Believe in the Flowers.

Carol of the Zombie Jesus!

I have chosen to get rid of this post in lieu of realizing that it did no good and was very silly.

Tomorrow has been a long time in coming.

In spring of 2005, one semester after I did, Colin started attending JWCC. There was always the underlying knowledge that it's "just" a community college, but that was usually overshadowed by the fact that nobody else in his family managed to attain a degree - all of them either avoided attending college, or, more often than not, dropped out before graduation. We have gone through a lot with this ordeal: monetary problems, attaining loans we'll never be able to pay back, long hours and late nights, unbelievable stress, and a lot of problems revolving around confusion as to how many classes were left and what they were. But tomorrow, all of that comes to a head. All of it is proven worthwhile.

He almost didn't get that assinine portfolio done, nearly didn't get to walk (he missed the signup for the ceremony and cap/gown ordering by five months). We almost didn't have the money for his cap and gown. We may not be able to have a fancy celebration.

But tomorrow?

Tomorrow, Colin graduates from college.

I could make a bunch of bullshit excuses about how it's "just" an associate in science, that it isn't a real finalized four-year degree, that while it's nice and all, it doesn't really show much to a company. The thing is that I can't bring myself to actually say any of that because I don't feel it. I'm proud of him, that's what I am - so incredibly proud that I'm nearly bursting. I get to watch him walk, and more importantly, he's done with this leg of his journey. There nearly aren't words for the pride I have in him, and I know that tomorrow, when he walks across that stage, I am going to cheer. I will cheer, scream, and cry. Because my husband? Yeah. He got his degree. He graduated from college.

Yes, like so many others, I have something to say about this interview.

I was incredibly excited about watching this live on the Today Show. I'll selfishly admit that it wasn't particularly because I thought it would be awesome to see the profession and usefulness of blogging finally brought to the forefront in such a public, all-encompassing way - the meeting of television and the Internet always seems to finalize the point that the web has taken over the media spotlight - but because I totally thought it would be fun to watch Heather Armstrong kick ass on national television again. Like she has on Good Morning America, Nightline, and even a - gasp! - local station in Utah.

So when the time rolled around, I grabbed Gabe and sat down in front of our old gifted TV - circa 1750 I'm pretty sure - as if I was back watching Saturday morning cartoons. Which I never watched. Col came by and laughed as I sat there, having done little else so far that morning past get up and feed Gabe breakfast, excited and even a little bouncy because that is my IDOL, man, screw you, you're just my husband and I only married you. This woman INSPIRED me. To, you know, do stuff! Jesus!

So there I sat, and with every passing second I became more and more disappointed. I've not seen much of Hota Kotb and have never had a personal problem with Kathie Lee like so many others profess to have, but I could feel that sense of utter dread the moment the live interview started.

There was Heather, looking gorgeous and composed, and there were Hota and KLG, sitting around and acting like badly-prepped ditzes. Hota was okay, KLG was disgustingly uninformed and it was fairly obvious (come on, she's "afraid" of computers) that she had done absolutely no research herself. Not to mention that a fear of computers and the Internet made her a kind of bad choice for this sort of interview. She seemed to still be feeling the fallout from all of the time she discussed her children on TV years ago, and thus gave Heather some psychic grief for basically doing the same thing and being able to better handle the negative criticism she unfortunately suffers daily. Overall, the interview did a great job of totally missing all the positive points of blogging - either about your family and children, or about whatever you want - and instead made Heather look like a woman that encourages stalkers to come rape her husband's clogs. And give her daughter enemas.

Afterwards, I was still psyched that I had gotten to see Heather on LIVE TV DEAR SWEET GOD, but was disappointed by the interview. I went on her site, got to read the impressions of other viewers, and finally - today - got to read what the experience was like for her. It's good to know that her followers weren't suffering alone.

Meanwhile, we had tri-color rotini for lunch yesterday. In cream of mushroom soup with chicken, all baked together with that cool cheese stuff that you can get now that's in the Parmesan cheese shaker from Kraft. It was really good, and that much preparation can only mean one thing: I did NOT cook it. You know that's quality. Everyone was enjoying lunch until we noticed that Gabe was eating the white and red pastas just fine - but the green spirals had been left behind on his tray. After they had been there long enough, or if we didn't give him anything else once his supply had dwindled to just green, he began to toss them on the floor. It was his reminder to us that green is evil, and we are horrible parents. For some reason, seeing a one-year-old (okay, thirteen months and a little) make this kind of distinction threw me off. It didn't occur to me that he would be able to tell the difference between the three pastas when there wasn't a change in flavor, and watching him separate them out and only eat what he wanted astounded me.

He's also doing more walking than crawling - how awesome is that?

As for me, I had a dream last night. I was at my mom's house, and while I was in the back room she handed me four pieces of paper - two were typed on special paper from the place she works, and two were handwritten transcriptions of other letters. The typed letters were obviously copy/paste versions of something else, or hand typed by her or someone else. When I read the handwritten versions - in her writing - I realized that they were supposed to be letters from my father, one of which claimed he was in town looking for me and wanted to meet up with me. I asked her when it was from, and she replied that it had come last September. She had failed to pass these letters along to me, although all professed an extreme want to see me and get to know me if I was willing to do the same. There were no return addresses, no phone numbers, no envelopes, all of which indicated to me that the originals had been destroyed. Upon asking, she confirmed it, and I accused that she had "probably burned them or something". Just so I couldn't see them, just so I couldn't get to know my father, because she didn't want me to. As she went around doing things, pretending afterwards like nothing had happened, I was crying and trying to yell at her for having hidden away the letters, but I could never get my voice above a rasping, angry whisper, and thus I was sure she couldn't hear a word I said.

I'm not sure what any of this means, or what it might be indicating, but that's really all there was to it. I know I had other dreams, but this is the only one I remember. I've been having a lot of dreams lately where I've been crying, or sobbing, or screaming (or trying to). Odd.

So today is Mother's Day, and I'm sitting alone out in the living room in front of my computer eating reheated home-made cheese taquitos. Or however it's spelled. I'm alone because Col has chosen to lay down with the small screaming angry thing and try to get him to nap again, as he still seems exhausted.

Today started with a wakeup call of whining around 7 AM, though everyone managed to stay in bed until probably quarter 'till 8. At that point, I got up to pee and Col changed a diaper. When I came back to bed, there was a lot of roughhousing with Gabe, and the end result was Col getting up with him and telling me to go back to sleep. Mind you, it was a reluctant process, and although it's Mother's Day, a day I should get to sleep in, I offered to get up with the angry one. Col refused and grudgingly trudged out of the bedroom. So I went back to sleep.

I got up maybe a couple of minutes after noon, the longest I've slept in years. Gabe woke up with me after taking an hour nap, though he was still obviously exhausted, and when Colin came in, I told him such. I was informed in a rather lackluster manner that there was lunch in the microwave for me, and with that, Col laid down and I left the room. He's still out here, and I'm eating reheated whatever-the-hell-these-are.

I feel gipped somehow, since I guess - silly me - I thought that Colin would be willing to give me a day off, as I fully intend to do for him soon (not just on Father's Day, but then too). I know I'm not getting any physical gifts or anything, and I honestly don't expect him to do anything else for me all day, but apparently even asking for this one thing was too much. He's angry and bitter now and only barely managing to contain his frustration. Mind, I do understand that it's possible to have a bad day. But I guess I kind of expected all that dorky stuff they show in those commercials - breakfast in bed, a card (hand-made is great), hugs and kisses, whatever. Oh, wait. He rubbed my feet for me on Friday (and called it my Mother's Day gift after I jokingly asked him if that's what he was giving me).

I think that next year I'm boycotting this day and just telling him to never mind it. It isn't worth it.

I was originally going to say that today alone had been tough, but that would be a lie. The last couple of mornings have been, though, with a certain small someone deciding to wake up around 6:30 AM after going to bed far too late. It used to be that we would fight him on this and attempt to force him to go to bed at a more reasonable hour, but after we realized that he would go to sleep whenever he pleased - about the same time we gave up trying to get him to sleep in his crib around month four or five - we gave up the futile effort. It wasn't worth the screaming and crying and hours spent sitting next to him, singing until our throats hurt and our mouths were dry, storytelling and just talking about absolutely nothing - like how the seasons work or why it rains or where milk comes from - until he would give us that look that begged us to stop being stupid and just let him do what he wants. I have to admit, too, that Col was way more patient than I was 90% of the time and tended to do a lot of the sitting and singing. I'm just not a patient person.

But lately things have been descending into this little personal hole of hell that we seem to have created for ourselves. It comes and goes, but lately exists as a grocery-less fridge and cupboards, a past-due car payment, an overdrafted bank account that will soon close, and three other bills (electric, phones, cell phones) that have past their due date unpaid. Never mind that the car insurance bill should have been coming out of the bank account (but since that's empty, it won't happen). Oh, and we owe another $50 in rent.

There's a certain sense of personal responsibility for these problems that I harbor. I try not to discuss it much and do my best to act as though I don't feel bad at all and know that things will improve, given time, and that we all encounter problems occasionally. It's just difficult to ignore all of the problems, and knowing that if I had a job, I could fix these problems ... Well, it doesn't go over well in my head. But the job market right now doesn't allow for the unemployed, doesn't give me any kind of boon for having not been able to find a job. We don't receive any kind of government pity because of the requirements of TANF payments and it's only thanks to the government as it is that we have any kind of health care available for us or Gabe. Today my intentions are to call my DHS caseworker and beg her to let me come in and reapply for the Link card, in hopes that we will find some kind of fallback and at least can get groceries. We gave up the card when we were doing a bit better, not wanting to be the stereotypical moochers; it was so nice, for a time, to be able to provide for ourselves and know that at least when it came to food on the table, we were the ones responsible for it - not the $400 a month we were handed so very kindly by the state. Now, though, I regret that high horse and wish I could have admitted the truth to myself: no matter how well we're doing, we are still lower class and will probably suffer for the rest of time for not being born under the right names or situations.

I can't help but think that it's bruising to the ego to have to go back to depending on the help of others after being self-sufficient for a time. It always hurts to admit that yes, we're doing badly again, and no we aren't proud of it, but there isn't a whole hell of a lot we can do right now. We can complain and do our best to fix our problems, but we always have to keep in mind that they may not be fixable and we may suffer the consequences of being poor.

I used to like to use the excuse of being college kids; everybody understood that, and agreed that it was tough. But now that Col is graduating (with an AS, and you had better bet your ass that I'm proud of him for it) and I have for the time being given up on the prospect of school, it seems that excuse won't be adequate anymore.

I guess, really, that's it. There's nothing else to all of this, just that it depresses me and I know it depresses Col, and I don't know how to fix it.

Yes, that's right - my spam folder is taunting me.

I check my email obsessively for no reason and often find a menagerie of messages in my lovely spam box. They range from promises of online degrees in strange fields of study in only a couple of months, to claims of wonder products that will miraculously "enlarge" my "member" in one use, to promises of MONEY MONEY MONEY MONEY MONEY like one of the messages I just deleted (of course, I'm smart enough to know that the real messages would have said it eight times, not seven).

The problem are these emails that promise financial stability, government grants to repay debts, and new work-at-home jobs that provide thousands of dollars every paycheck.

Granted, I realize these are simple hoaxes created either to make sure your account is real so companies can send you more spam, or phishing emails meant to gather sensitive personal information to steal a person's money or identity. I know this, but it doesn't make me feel any better to delete it when I know all too well the situation we're in financially. What if one of those messages was real, and actually helpful, and would have meant fixing all of our problems without having to worry? What if I've just deleted the answer to all of our issues, getting ahead in our bills, not having to worry about how we would pay the bills? There are so many "what if" scenerios attached to my fears that it isn't funny - and I don't know what to do about it.


Meanwhile, Gabe is walking, our rebate check won't be coming until late June or July, I still don't have a job, bad weather is coming hardcore, Mom's house is falling apart, I need to clean, and .. I'm so depressed. I can only hope things start looking up soon.