29 July 2010

Coitus Interruptus

Winston wrapped his bare legs around his mother's waist.  One hand tugged his white t-shirt down over his diaper, the other a fist, hid his dirty mouth.  His eyes darted back and forth, eagerly seeking the contents of the house behind me.

"Hi.  My name is ___ ______.  I...we...used to live here..."

"Oh, yes of course, ____" I said as I grabbed the pile of mail sitting next to the front door.

"Believe it or not, there is a forwarding order for this address."

"Oh I believe it!"  I handed her a stack of letters.  "I've dealt with Australia Post before..."

"But that is not why I am here."  Winston wiggled in her arms, clearly straining to come inside.

____ explained, apologetically, that she and her husband separated last year.  He moved into the city.  Winston hasn't seen much of him since, but then, he never really did.  For the last year, Winston has been struggling with the concept of "home", continually asking to come back here, back home.

"It's been especially bad the last few weeks...and, well, I just didn't know what else to do...how else to make it clear to him."

"Would you like to come inside?"

She set him down, his bare feet flinching on the cold wet pavers.  He rushed toward the door, froze at the threshold.

"See, Winston?  Your toys aren't here.  Our furniture isn't here.  We don't live here anymore.  Do you understand?  We have a new home.  This lady lives here now.  This isn't our home.  See? Daddy isn't here."

My heart fluttered and sank as I shifted awkwardly in my robe.  I thought of my own constantly changing dream scape, of all the locations that represent "home" to me...of how they morph and blend so that some days I wake up not knowing where I am - or where I belong.  Yet, I am a grown woman, self-realized who consciously makes the decisions to set my life afloat in the name of adventure.  I am not a scared little boy with no stable shoreline against which to measure the tides of change.

Winston peered around the corner of the front door, scanning the living room, soaking in our camp chairs, soiled rug, and the $10 couch I bought off gumtree.com and covered with a moving blanket.

"Yes, Mommy.  It's a yucky house."  He turned and walked steadily back to his over sized SUV.

Fuck You, Winston.

26 July 2010

This is NOT an Internet Scam - I Promise

What:   Massive Yard Sale/ Bake Sale/ Street Carnival
Why:    See Below
When:  July 30 - August 1, 7:00am - 3:00pm
Where: 1205 Kimberly Drive, San Jose, CA
How:    You go there and spend some money, take away some stuff, eat a cupcake.

You know how sometimes, when you bruise your knee, and then for some reason keep knocking that knee into things more than you normally would?  Well, sometimes that can happen to a whole family.

The Kestermont Clan (of which my sister is a contractual member) has been absolutely besieged by health troubles in the last 4 years.  I'd list them all, but it would sound like one of my Aunt Bette's Christmas Letters.  Of course, how else am I going to elicit enough sympathy to get you off your ass?

There have been multiple surgeries to untangle intestines and fallopian tubes.  As often happens with cars and computers, there were a few bits left over that didn't seem to fit when it was time to close the lid.

There were mysterious infections that lead to near amputations. 

There were hemorrhoids so large they could only have resulted from the mixture of toxic chemicals and radioactive materials (there is a joke about uranium and coccyx waste in here somewhere, but I can't seem to extract it.)

There have been knees ripped from their sockets like a good greasy leg of fried chicken - if fried chicken wore cute knitted hats with ears and went skiing at Lake Tahoe.

There have been gall stones, and infections, and back pains, and paper cuts too.

But worst of all, last year Papa Kestermont suffered a head injury that put him in a coma and kept him in a hospital for over two months.  He's out now, and walking, and joking, and being ornery, but he still needs a lot of care.  Momma Kestermont has been managing with a little help.

But last month, she had a brain aneurysm, and now she too needs some help.  Now, they all need help.

This crew just keeps smiling and laughing and loving through all of these ups and downs.  So please, drop by the yard sale and take away some of their burden.
Thank you.

What:   Massive Yard Sale/ Bake Sale/ Street Carnival
Why:    See Above
When:  July 30 - August 1,   7:00am - 3:00pm
Where: 1205 Kimberly Drive, San Jose, CA

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23 July 2010


I'm not sure which I like better, the product itself or the fact that the package is labelled in Korean AND Spanish.

Well, something resembling Spanish anyway.  Just what exactly is a pique nique??

And just how does testosterone make it fattening?

Bad, Bad Kitty LOVES it!  I caught her licking the package.

17 July 2010

On a Cold Winter's Day

Everyone assures me that this winter in Adelaide has been exceptionally nasty - that it is usually much more pleasant than this.  Seems I heard the same story when we first moved to Sydney.  I honestly believe we could hire ourselves out as drought busters.  Whenever we move to some pleasant climate, they invariably experience their wettest year in a decade.

Despite our intense desire to remain cuddled beneath our cozy doona, I hoisted our asses out of bed and down to the Adelaide Showground Farmer's Market - a delightful collection of local producers and food artisans.  In no time at all, my fingers were numb from fishing coins from my pockets, but our little basket was full of fresh crisp produce and recently slaughtered pig parts - because nothing chases away the gloom like a bubbling pot of chile verde, especially when paired with a box of cheap wine.

My chile verde recipe was graciously passed down to me by my most wonderful brother-in-law, Eddie who claims to be a real Mexican although I suspect he is actually a Shriner - although come to think of it, there is no reason the two are mutually exclusive...do Mexican Shriners ride around in mini-low riders?  Why do I have trouble imagining Eddie in a miniature anything...

People who have tasted my chile verde invariably ask me for the recipe.  To that I say, come spend a gloomy Sunday with me, drinking cheap wine, roasting chiles, and peeling garlic.  I realize that is not practical for many of you, so here is the recipe I transcribed from Eddie and keep proudly attached to my refrigerator with magnets featuring visages of His Most Holy of Holies, and three sexually curious sheep from New Zealand (is there any other kind of sheep in New Zealand?). 

I don't know why the phrase "creepy cheese eating surrender monkeys" is written on this recipe, but I do know it is critical to the success of the stew.  Questions?  Sorry, you'll just have to come spend a gloomy Sunday with me.