Friday, August 31, 2012

Depression Link

I came across this link courtesy of The Bloggess. It's well-written and includes a bunch of other links about depression that are well-worth a read.
Regular readers know about my depression, which I've nicknamed Mildred. You can always read up on that here, among other places on this blog.

Depression is something I still struggle with and I'm definitely not shy about it. I have days where I want to curl up in bed all day and not get out. But now that I'm a mom and L.E. can communicate, it's not as easy to hide from the world. When your child regularly says, "Mommy's sad," you need to pick yourself up and figure out the best way to shoo Mildred into her corner. I have a pretty good handle on it now. I'm genuinely surprised by well-adjusted I feel mentally, despite being in a new place. I feel a little lonely sometimes, but it's nothing like the burrowing-under-covers feeling Mildred brings.
So I'm not about to mess with what works.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Gone Texas, Y’all

Everybody needs one of these.
I used to live in New Mexico, which any New Mexican will tell you is overrun by rich Texans. It’s just like Nevada being overrun by rich Californians. 
It’s possible that this reason, along with the Steelers' Super Bowl XXX loss to the Dallas Cowboys, is what made me hate Texas with a passion.
Once when I was driving from Oklahoma City back to Albuquerque, I refused to get out of the car in Texas. So that was a few hundred miles across the panhandle, past the Big Texan Steakhouse and I didn’t stop.
I bitched about their driving, lack of style, trashy attitudes, horrible accents and boots.
Here I am now sitting on a fake porch in my backyard in Austin, TX getting attacked by mosquitos. This porch isn’t Texan; it’s actually a replica of a cabin in New Orleans that had been destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. It’s just the front of a porch, complete with swing.
From what I’ve been told, it’s so Austin, y’all.
I’ve embraced this like you wouldn’t believe, and I’ve only been here a week.
I bought yard art.
Granted, it’s not Beyonce the Giant Metal Chicken, but that’s only because I know the Bloggess paid $100 for B and the ones they had for sale at Austin Furniture Depot were more than that.
So I got a parrot instead.
L.E. named him Blu. I think Pedro is more appropriate.

I have friends in Reno who are seriously worried about me. They’re just jealous because they haven’t had tacos for roughly more than half of their recent meals.
Yes, there are bugs. Yes, our legs look like we have chicken pox. Yes, I can’t stop sweating from the humidity.
But it’s so nice here, you guys. It’s green and lush and there’s a Crate & Barrel. I mean I try to buy local when I can but it’s hard when you finally live in a city with a Restoration Hardware.
There is more than one Whole Foods.
There’s a competitor for Whole Foods called Central Market, which is actually closer to us.
There’s this place, which I’ll refer to as paradise. It has ice cream, burgers, beer and a playground.
The public pools are actually swimmable.
There is no wind; just a slight breeze.
So maybe instead of going full-Texan, I’ll just go Austinite.
I promise not to get a perm or big fake boobs. Or be a Cowboys fan. 
But I'm already saying, "y'all."

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Crazy, Convoluted Post About Life in Austin

This kid can adapt anywhere!

OK, I’m in Austin. So Now What? 
(Original title of this post)

We made it! Our stuff made it!
It’s nice to longer be sleeping on an air mattress after having dinner on new UT (totally obligated to write this: hook ‘em!) camp chairs.
The house is still a mess but we’re able to cook, sleep and watch TV. I’m even sitting on a couch! It’s not in the same room as the TV but what does that matter?
Yesterday, Dr. T. said the best thing ever. “Tomorrow, you should call the daycare around the corner and see if we can get Lucy in there two days a week.” It’s nice that I can have some time to myself and he’s actually encouraging me to spend that time by writing or finding a writing job.
So here’s my question, Austin: what’s next? What should we do? What should we see? What should I wear?

Austin. Day 4
The above was written on my second day here. I was trying to be optimistic because reality had yet to set in. I’m not saying that I hate it here and want to go home; I’m simply facing the challenges of a new city.
Moving sucks. It sucks if you're moving to the greatest city in the U.S. It sucks if you're moving to Eastern Washington. It just sucks.
If I were to track each day, this is what it would have been like:
Austin. Day 1: holy crap. The Target is totally ghetto. I’m going home to cry.
Austin. Day 2: at least our stuff showed up. And I found a nice Wal-Mart. This town is Bizarro-World. And what is up with movers and lamps? Not one lamp made it here unscathed.
Austin. Day 3: found a giant cockroach in L.E.’s dresser. They call them “palmetto bugs” here. I think that’s so we don’t feel so poor because we live with cockroaches. I screamed loudly and then got yelled at by Dr. T for screaming in front of L.E. At least SHE was nice enough to console me by rubbing my shoulders and saying, “Mommy. It’s ok. It’s ok, Mommy.”
I’m ok with bugs, mostly. I don’t mind if they’re on the floor, on the walls, crawling out of drains or hanging out on the ceiling. But when they’re hiding in furniture, that’s MESSED-UP! I would have given you a chance to escape before but now you and your buddies are dead.
I’m talking to bugs now.

So yeah. That’s been my first few days. I’m trying desperately to be optimistic. When I post a funny status on Facebook about queso and mosquito bites, the three people I know here (virtually, not physically yet) all posted stuff about West Nile Virus in Travis County. In addition to the Skin So Soft I’m slathering on (OK, I know it theoretically doesn’t work but I still like the smell) I have to spray myself with OFF so I’m instantly reminded of the horror of my life that was Girl Scout Camp.
The humidity isn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be but I think it may be the cause of my shoes not fitting. Or else it’s the stealth queso that seems to appear on every meal we’ve ordered out. I call it stealth queso because rarely the word “queso” is printed on the menu but it shows up on your entrée somewhere. Usually smothered. It’s delicious but food-guilt-inducing.
Point being, I can only wear flip flops, which makes me even more likely to kick the edges of furniture accidentally. My latest and greatest accessory is a bag of ice.
I hate flip flops.
I haven’t used my Weight Watchers app in 3 weeks. I thought it would have started yelling at me but even worse is it just doesn’t care. Same with the GPS who will let me make 5 wrong turns and still won’t call me a fucking idiot.
I’m starting to sound very sad but really I’m not.
My house is very lovely and it’s in a cool part of town. Dr. T has been letting me furnish it as I please. I haven’t had internet so there’s no pressure to find a job. L.E. has adjusted beautifully as only she can. I need to get her some friends; she definitely misses the interaction amongst other kids.
My hair has never been more fabulous.
This place is in walking distance. For reals, y'all! I can walk to a place that has beer, burgers, ice cream and a fenced-in playground. It's like new-parent heaven.
And I walked to this coffee shop where I now sit with a cold Diet Coke and free WiFi.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Living Without Internet

I won't have wifi in the new house till next week. I'll post lots after that, unless the coffee shop around the corner had free Internet; unlike Bibo in Reno...(what the hell kind of coffee shop doesn't have wifi?)
With love from Austin,
Hip-baby Mama

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Nightmares and Hallucinations

Photo credit: ©Alexey Lisovoy |

It’s no secret that I’m stressed, exhausted, overwhelmed, etc. It’s also no secret that I sometimes medicate to sleep. Last night, after the Greek festival wherein I burst into tears over the thought of becoming a stay-at-home-mom to the ridiculously more-difficult-than usual tantrum-y L.E., I took ½ of a Klonopin. Then when I realized I was crampy and bloated, I took some homeopathic PMS tabs that supposedly have no drug interactions.
What happens next is what I can best describe as tripping balls.
I’ve never done LSD before and my single foray into mushrooms ended up with me puking all night after watching James and the Giant Peach. So this was all pretty unexpected.
I woke up scared. I wanted to call Margie but my phone was in the dining room. Of Margie’s house, where I am staying. So my plan was to go and get her. The first time I tried to get her, a man was standing in the hallway with a gun. A big gun. The second time I tried, there was a pack of coyote/wolf hybrids in the hall. Like the big Twilight wolves who spoke to each other, only it wasn’t funny this time. The third try, the blankets tried to strangle me. The fourth time, I finally realized what was going on and I had a blaring headache. I succeeded in getting out of bed and got some ibuprofen.
Mind you L.E. is sleeping in the same room the whole time this is happening so there was a big challenge to make sure she didn’t wake up. “Mommy is having violent hallucinations,” is not something you should have to explain to your child. Ever.
So I gave up on getting help from Margie but I’m pretty sure I imagined going into her room a few times but the layout was all different every time.
I fell back asleep and that’s when the nightmares really started.
We were enslaved in some sort of cult/government bunker where all of my female friends were pregnant despite the absence of our older children. Cutesy birth announcements were projected on the walls. And the name choices were awful; I highly doubt my one friend would name her child Primet but whatever. Next thing I knew, it was time for me to give birth, which I did in about 3 seconds and it didn’t hurt. It was a boy and I can’t remember what we named him. Ben? He had blonde hair and blue eyes and nobody even thought twice about the fact that I had just had a VBAC while standing in a hallway.
Woke up again, fell back asleep.
Still enslaved in the same bunker but I’m part of a rebel team who is about to take over with the help of some Japanese friends, including my BFF. It involved product merchandising. Well, that was the distraction while I climbed on the roof of the bunker with the other snipers to shoot the enemy. We were successful with me getting the main killshot. We celebrated with the Japanese distraction team only they decided to turn against us and I ended up running away from a flying Hummer that was shooting at me.
Woke up again, fell back asleep.
This next part can be best described as a detailed backstory for the whole rebel take over. Some of it involved slot machine design. Don’t ask.
Woke up again, fell back asleep.
Finally, Dr. T. shows up in these nightmares. To tell me that he’s leaving to take Spanish lessons and it’s up to me to either keep L.E. or figure out a way to get her to where he’ll be studying 10 hours away every weekend. He was so cruel in saying that he still wanted to be part of L.E.’s life but only if it was convenient for him. He also wanted nothing to do with me so I would have to hire a driver to get L.E. to him.
Woke up again, fell back asleep.
Last one. We’re living in a seedy motel but I drove a brand-new convertible which gets stolen in a grocery store parking lot. 911 doesn’t pick up and my dad isn’t around to help. I track down Dr. T. in an alley but he has delved so far down into homelessness and drug addiction that he is of no help. He can’t even find L.E.’s bathing suit in his hobo-bag. Worst of all, he’s still insisting that he’s leaving L.E. and me and we’re on our own without him. I got dumped by a drug-addicted hobo of a husband who I’ve been married to for 12 years.
I’m pretty sure he stole and sold the car for drugs, too.
Nightmares suck.
So that sums up the most terrifying night of my life. But at least there were no zombies.
I’m pretty sure the cult/enslavement parts are smaller parts to the bigger story I’m working on for my novel. At least now I know what to do for inspiration.
There are other little things here and there. At one point I texted T and asked him what to do. He never got back to me till this morning. Also, my Google history reads: “Homeopathic PMS medicine interaction;” “Klonopin hallucinations;” “PMS Klonopin side effects;” “Pharmacies in Canada;” (what good would they do?) and “La Qunita Inn El Paso” so I could try to find T in El Paso.
Usually my foray into drug experimentation/accidental consumption end up with some kind of moral or lesson. I know I never want to experience pain like that before whether conscious or not. And I obviously still have unresolved issues with my family since they were less than helpful every time they showed up.
My BFF can put on a hell of a distraction fashion show while I’m snipering on the roof.
And purple isn’t a bad color for our government/enslavement camp attire. They kinda looked like Renown scrubs.
So in summary: drugs are bad. Even RX drugs can mess with you if you already have a good base-layer of crazy going on.
Or else my novel just got that much more super-awesome and amazing…

Thursday, August 16, 2012

My Favorite

This is my favorite part of my Reno house. Crown molding. The perfect "frame" for art or a TV. The antique blue from Sherwin-Williams' Arts & Crafts collection. The brick around the fireplace.
This photo will always invoke the happiest of memories.
And if those walls could talk they would say, "Damn! There were some GREAT times in this room!"

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

My Austin Moms Blog Debut!

How much harder is moving when you have kids, compared to pre-parenthoood? Hop on over to Austin Moms Blog and read all about it.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Yes, Even More Talk About Moving

If I had the energy, I would make a really cool box-fort.
We’ve been in Reno for over 15 years and have established a great foundation.
It’s hard to pack up and move away from that and start all over in a new city. But that’s also exciting. I get to re-invent myself. New friends. New opportunities. New city. Bigger city!
I’ve only been to Austin once and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to move there.
It’s weird to think I won’t be back there until the day I move into my new home, which I haven’t even seen.
I cut all of my hair off so I’ll be starting off in Austin as a short-hair girl. That’s another new weirdness for me because it’s been long since I’ve been a mom. L.E, fortunately, loves it and still says, “Hey Mommy! Nice haircut!” like her daddy taught her.
I got new glasses, too. L.E said, “I want to wear them. They’re blue.”
It’s like I’ll be a totally different person once I move.
L.E has tried to help with packing. She has sprinkled her stuff animals throughout our boxes so she always has something of hers to unpack. But sometimes she gets distracted and wants to pretend a giant plastic tub full of books is her “boat” so she empties it out and goes “sailing.”
We’ve had to toddler-proof the bubblewrap, too. And who knew how sharp the edges of a tape dispenser can be? I mean L.E.’s fine, but I have a nice big gash on my hand from it after I proudly taped up a chopping knife in cardboard incident-free.
Saying good-bye has been harder than I thought it would be. Having one last lunch at Dish Café with Seema. One last Aces game. One last drink on the roof of Silver Peak. One last toe-dip in the Truckee River. One last annual annoyance known as Hot August Nights. One last nail appointment at Soak. One last glass of wine with Vicki. One last lunch with My Favorite Little Piggy. One last awkward run-in with that girl who I used to work with but can never remember her name. One last surprise visit from Nicole. One last chimichanga night at my sister-wife’s house.
One last shooting in my neighborhood. We don’t live in the ghetto but I like to think of it as the Gateway-to-Where-Bad-Shit-Happens-Despite-Having-the-Best-Taco-Truck.
Moving itself sucks and is horrible. It’s not the physical part; that’s fine and all. But it’s the emotional part that nobody ever talks about. It’s hard finding something stashed in a closet that can evoke a painful or happy memory. And when tensions are running high in the household, you just need to keep your head down and an “every man for himself” approach.
I know I keep writing about this move but the fact is that it’s the biggest thing in my life right now. I’m unemployed and about to call an air mattress my bed. My husband is taking my dog and leaving me here with L.E. for an extra five days. I have to fly with L.E. again.
My bank account is dwindling.
I don’t know if I’ll like being a stay-at-home mom. A part of me thinks that I’ll absolutely love it. If that's the case, then where did all of that career ambition go that I’ve always possessed? Did it get flushed out of my uterus 2-and-a-half years ago? And is that so bad? I really don't want to jump into the women-having-it-all debate right now but maybe for some of us, our child is enough. As long as there are writing jobs that come in and I can work on them from home in-between writing that ever-elusive book I keep talking about.
Methinks this is perhaps fodder for another post once I truly am a stay-at-home-mom. (I vow to never use SAHM to describe myself.)
If I end up being really that sensitive to that label, maybe I’ll just say I’m a writer/mom blogger. If you keep reading this and telling your friends, then it wouldn’t be a lie!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Reno by the Numbers

After living in Reno for 15 years, I am breaking down my stats, in no particular order:

7 Addresses

5 Places of employment

1 Time crying on the first day of a new job (caused by this guy)

5 Times I met Sparks Mayor Geno Martini

2 Times I met Reno Mayor Bob Cashell

1 Time I waited on Sen. Harry Reid

1 Time I did makeup on former Gov. Bob Miller

1 Time I sat on the plane behind Gov. Jim Gibbons

1 Time I sat across a bar from Gov. Kenny Guinn

2 Times I was at a dinner with Governor Brian Sandoval

1 Casino family I consider part of my family: the Ascuagas

12 Nights that ended staggering out of a casino during a sunrise

10 Nights where those mornings meant a trip to Scruples or Gold & Silver Inn

3 New Silver Peak Breweries

1 New Great Basin Brewery

5 Different restaurants that took over that old weird Brewery on S. Virginia St.

0 Restaurants taking over the former Famous Murphy's

50 Concerts/Shows at Wingfield Park

12 Concerts at Reno Hilton/Grand Sierra Resort, including Nine Inch Nails which was easily one of the best shows I've ever seen. It was a stadium-style show in an 1800-seat venue.

4 Concerts at Lake Tahoe

5 Concerts at John Ascuaga's Nugget, not including free Rib Cook-Off Shows

13 Nugget Rib Cook-Offs

4 Photos with rib-eating champ Joey Chestnut
Fourth year in a row.

1 Giant riot during Hot August Nights

0 Hot August Nights events attended since

1 Marriage at a Chapel located on the Truckee River

11 Anniversaries celebrated at the bar which now occupies that former chapel (Sierra Tap House)

1 Dog

1 Child born

15 Playgrounds visited

0 Chuck E Cheese's visited

3 Different daycare centers

1 ER Trip for child

4 ER Trips for me

Infinite number of friends, colleagues, acquaintances and people who coerced me into joining ad/design/printing clubs with them.

I love you all. I'll miss you all. And will somebody please, for God's sake, either re-open Famous Murphy's or replicate their steak sandwich!


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

I Guest-Posted!

Check out my guest-post on Reno's food truck scene. It combines my favorite things: food and machinery.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Do You Like Instagram?

I can't decide if I think Instagram is the coolest thing ever or if I'm annoyed by it. Check out my post on The Glenn Group Blog and weigh in...

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Changes Ahead

I'm a whirlwind of emotion. I'm excited one minute, sad the next, then glad, then bummed, then anxious, then happy and then completely overwhelmed.
I should be packing but I'm writing about not having time to do anything. Go figure.
I'll miss the life I've built here but I'm genuinely looking forward to a change. I hope this move gives me the kick in the ass I need to figure out what I want to do with my life.
But what I'm most looking forward to is exploring Austin with L.E. That's the biggest difference I have moving to a new city this time. I get to see it through a whole new set of eyes, which are already amazed with anything remotely new. As much as I've become accustomed to a comfortable life while working full-time, I want to seize this opportunity to live a little more simply in a single-income family. I'm hesitant to use the term stay-at-home mom because that seems so permanent. I look at this as being unemployed in a new city in which I'm going to take my time to find the right job for me and the right pre-school for L.E. Plus, with the many things there are to do in Austin with a toddler, I don't think we'll be staying home all that much.
I want to spend as much time as I can with my amazing daughter. I want her to value the time she has with me, too, just in case I do get a normal 8-5 job soon.
I look forward to being Mommy first and foremost.
I look forward to blogging more, both here and for Austin Moms Blog.
I look forward to learning WordPress and migrating this page over to that platform, hopefully building readership, advertising and really getting myself out there. I am inspired by so many other bloggers; women who I feel like I could be friends with despite not knowing them in-person. I want my readers to feel that way about me, too.
I want to build up enough of a readership to justify going to BlogHer '13 next year.
I have a lot of lofty goals and ambition. It sucks that they don't quite pertain to a normal paying career.
I have a lot going on right now. Obviously.
But stick with me, kids.  I have a lot to say and I'm going to keep saying it. A lot of changes are coming in my life and you get a front-row seat to see all of the chaos.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

I Done Got My Hair Did

Based on the rule that everything is bigger in Texas, I assumed that would mean my thick, curly, frizzy hair, too.
So I did what anyone would do who's going through a major life upheaval:
Hacked my hair off! It feels so much lighter and, dare I say, sassier! I love love love it.
What do you think? Like? Hate? Makes me look old and mom-ish?

BEFORE: Taken three days ago
AFTER: Several inches gone and much darker.
Kinda gross, but it was A LOT of hair.