Monthly Archives: February 2008

Sky Princess Returns

This morning, when I said good morning to Rocky, she said, “NO, I’m Princess Andromeda.”


my sixteen year old preschooler

Conversation between Rocky and her friend (verbatim):

Rocky: Kate, you’re welcome to join me in my bath.
Kate: Baths kill me.

Is it just me, or does my 3-year-old have a high schooler’s command of the English language? And Kate – well, I just don’t have a response to that.

Later, Rocky lead Kate around on a dog leash, saying “come on, Casseopia!” Later still, at the dinner table, one hand was Ursa Minor, and the other was Ursa Major. Apparently, they’re studying the sky at the Dirt and Bugs Preschool.

I’d just like to point out that “Casseopia” has five syllables.

She can now write her name, and she’s been asking Rukan to teach her to write. We’re starting her on “cat”. But I have a feeling she’s going to ask for “superfluous.”

Rukan’s getting antsy to get her into t-ball.

Overheard in Massage School

“Use your tool to find the gluteal cleavage.”

must . . . make . . . art . . .

Yesterday, in a difficult session with Rukan and the Amazing Therapist, I realized that I’ve sacrificed my writing in order to make ends meet in my home. I miss writing, as much as I miss dancing. With no time to write and injured feet that can’t dance, how do I replenish my creative soul?

Tonight, I gave a puppet show at work. Rocky had given me her “Grandma” puppet to take with me, so I wouldn’t be lonely. I poked Grandma over the top of my little cubby and Grandma had conversations with the phone room interviewers. “How was work tonight, Honey? Did you get any completes? Only holds? Oh, that’s so sad.”

Fifteen minutes later, I was admiring the colors, textures and aesthetic composition of my garden salad.

Love Day

At nine, I was at a chair massage gig for a local nonprofit, in a room with 15 mamas whose language I didn’t speak, learning to communicate with them through my hands. It was beautiful to feel their history in their muscles, to feel their differences and similarities, and how many of them (as I do) guard their core selves with steel-muscle barriers against the outside world. I’m learning to meet them where they are, instead of trying to push my way through – to work slowly, with great care and love, as if this woman whose body I’m touching is a dear sister. A few times, I actually felt shoulders let go, just a little bit. I love my new job.

At eleven, as I was on my way home, I was led off my path by some unknown force outside myself, drawn away from IH35 and down 51st to Duval, steered by a strange invisible hand to the left, and then again to the right, and told by an unheard voice to park outside Freshplus grocery. I was led out of the car by forces greater than myself, straight to a big pen with a bunch of shelter dogs up for adoption. The unheard voice told me to pet puppies. And so I did. I petted nasty, dirty, love-starved street dogs that had been at the bottom of the pile, the top of the kill list in the shelter before they were rescued. After about an hour and nearly adopting a little white female, the Godvoice told me I probably shouldn’t, given that I can hardly feed the family I already own.

At one, I was at the Dirt and Bugs Preschool with Rukan, Rocky and Sunny, my valentines. At one-thirty, I was with my family and some of Rocky’s school friends (including the unbelievably adorable triplets) at the canoe rental on Barton Creek, eating a veggie burger. We watched the girls splash and play in the water, squealing with delight. We watched the mean-looking swans to make sure they didn’t attack Sunny. I watched Rukan with great, deep love in my heart, neck-deep in that cold, cold water with a gaggle of curly-haired mix-race preschoolers hanging all over her like giggling lamprey eels.

At four I was in my home. Rocky took a bath and Rukan and I prepared dinner. We three sat down to salad and bean tacos, and exchanged cards and agave-sweetened chocolate (did I mention how much I love my wife?). Rocky went to bed to Disney’s Pocahontas TM on tape, surrounded by stuffed animals. Omid-Joon stopped by briefly. Now all Ru and I need is for Monk to show up.

Happy Love Day.

Why did I name it "Blue Ox"?

Aside from blue being my soul color (and eye color) and Ox being my animal on the Chinese calendar (because English and Chinese are like, twins or something), it was really because of Uncle Pete.

Right around the time I was realizing that I’m a writer, Uncle Pete was out cutting down a tree and the 250-pound snag at the top fell on his head. It should have killed him. It busted his skull open badly. He fell down, and was about to go to sleep; then, as he recalls, my grandfather (long dead) appeared before him with Pete’s father-in-law and told him he had to get up, that it wasn’t his time yet. Pops led Uncle Pete out of the woods, and Aunt Ella just happened to be driving away at that moment and saw him in her rear view mirror, staggering back down the dirt road toward home. Pete’s EMT son happened to be at the house, and he stabilized him till the helicopter got there to take him to the hospital. His head was cracked open just enough so that he didn’t die from the swelling. Honestly, everyone, even the doctors, called it a miracle, that he didn’t die.

I was so blown away that he survived, so filled with admiration for his sturdiness and will to live, and just so damn grateful (because I adore him) that I named my blog after his truck. The Blue Ox.

So there you go.

I need parental help from Big Brother

Today I took Rocky to my WIC application appointment. They had required that I bring both Rocky and her immunization records, which I admit baffled me, considering that WIC is a food assistance program. But I brought them both.

We went through the whole rigamorole, the waiting, the paperwork, and finally got taken back to what ended up looking like a clinic. They weighed Rocky. They measured Rocky. I started getting suspicious. Then the lady said, “come sit over here, Honey,” slapped on green vinyl gloves and pulled out a finger poker. I stopped Rocky with a gentle hand on her shoulder. “What are you going to do?”

“We’ve got to check her iron levels,” she said.


“In order for you to get the vouchers, we need to have her iron levels.”


“. . . um, what?”

“You can’t do that. I don’t know why you need to do all this.” Rocky, at this point, had read the woman’s intentions and began to whimper. She retreated to the other side of the room and curled up on a chair.

The woman’s supervisor came out to try to talk some sense into me. “Ma’am, we need to know how her nutrition is, so we know that she’s getting enough of everything in her diet.”

“I can assure you she is.”

“We still will need it in order for you to get the vouchers.” She then went on to explain that every three months, I’ll need to come in for a nutrition class, and every six months they’ll be testing Rocky’s blood. All required, to get $50/month food vouchers. “She’ll forget about it in five minutes!”

I looked at Rocky’s frightened face, and told them no thanks. It’s not that I’m opposed to getting Rocky tested, when we really need to. It just made me feel . . . icky inside. Like Big Brother was in the room. We walked hand in hand back to the car and drove home. I told Rukan what happened, and she said, “Hell no! Don’t go back!”

Actually, it sounds a little like the kind of Christian missionary work where you have to go to church to get clean water. No wonder I felt icky.