Friday, December 31, 2004

New Year's resolutions

1) To not make other people's problems my own. I love my friends, and when they need to talk, I always want to be there for them. But sometimes I let their stress become my stress, and I worry about them and the choices they make to an unhealthy point, so I resolve to stop doing that.

2) To be more assertive in the right circumstances. Sometimes it's just not worth it, but when it's a situation where it's going to nag at me later on, I resolve to do my best to speak up right then and there.

They're both going to be hard to keep, and I will most definitely slip up from time to time, but I'm going to do my best.

I feel like writing

I would like to
1) work on editing my nano novel
2) revisit/get back to work on the novel I started over the summer
3) start writing about some new characters I kind of randomly came up with this past week.


Yesterday we visited Janine and her kids in Livermore, and it was great to get out for the day and be with other people -- thanks Janine! I wasn't looking forward to the drive home anyway -- 90 minutes in the car with both kids at the end of the day is not my idea of the best time ever. Once we got out on to the road, we discovered that it was pouring, and it pretty much kept up the whole way home. Driving over the Altamont Pass with the windshield wipers on full blast, surrounded by cars and trucks driving at normal speeds, I was struck by the thought that I was going to need to really concentrate on my driving all the way home -- that we were really in a treacherous situation and getting my kids home safely was going to be -- well, not difficult, but not guaranteed either. It was kind of scary. A couple of times Rachel piped up from the backseat with "uh oh -- this is dangerous!" but when I assured her that we would be fine, she would insist she was talking to herself. In any case -- obviously we did make it home, and we didn't even hit that much traffic -- just some slow stuff going through Tracy. I never really felt stressed driving in it either. All in all, it was a little surreal.

Happy Birthday Rachel!

Today is the tenth birthday of my wonderful, brilliant, beautiful, sweet and lovely daughter Rachel Christine, who makes me proud every day! I love you, sweetie!

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Here is my attempt to post a photo:

My brother Chad and my son Will on Thanksgiving:

I need to figure out how to put more stuff on this blog. Other people have lists of links and stuff off to the side and I need to figure out how to do that, so I can direct people to the websites of my friends and other sites I like. I'm going to work on posting some pictures I like too. I just got an awesome one of my brother and my son together that was taken on Thanksgiving. I think Will totally takes after Chad so I love pictures of them together, and this is a good one.


X.x Basics x.X
[ Name ] Tracie
[ Nickname ] none
[Screen name ] tkbezerra
[ Birthday ] 6/19/70
[ Age ] 34
[ Astrological sign? ] Gemini
[ Chinese zodiac sign? ] Dog (I think)
[ Religion ] none
[ Status ] married
[ Eye color ] hazel
[ Height ] 5'6"
[ Shoe size ] 8
[ Parents still together? ] yes
[ Siblings? ] one brother
[ Nieces/Nephews? ] None
[ Kids of your own ] one son, one daughter
[Grandkids ] no
[ Pets? ] one dachshund, one cat, one betta
[ In school/graduated? ] Bachelor's of Arts, UCD, 1992
[ Rent, lease, or own your home? ] Own
[ Have any credit cards? ] yes
[ What do you drive? ] Mazda minivan

X.x Favorites x.X
[ Color ] green
[ Number ] I've never really understood the concept of having a favorite number
[ Animal ] turtle
[ Vehicle ] none
[ Flower ] tulips
[ Scent] Pine cleaner
[ Soda ] diet pepsi
[ Book ] To Kill a Mockingbird
[ Song ] Can't possibly pick just one

X.x Do you... x.X
[ Color your hair? ] yes, for almost 20 years now
[ Twirl your hair? ] no
[ Have tattoos? ] None
[ Piercings? ] one in my nose, three in my left earlobe, 2 in my right
[ Have a boyfriend/girlfriend/both? ] Not unless you count my husband
[ Homework? ] I feel like I do since my daughter started 4th grade
[ Like roller coasters ] yes
[ Wish you could live somewhere else? ] no, I like it here
[ Want more piercings? ] no
[ Like cleaning? ] I wish
[ Write in cursive or print? ] cursive
[ Carry a donor card?] yes
[ Swear a lot? ] unfortunately
[ Own a web cam? ] no
[ Know how to drive? ] yes
[ Diet? ] sometimes
[ Own a cell phone? ] yes
[ Ever get off the damn computer? ] no
[ Hablar Espanol? ] no
X.x Have you ever.. x.X
[ Gotten a speeding ticket? ] No
[ DUI? ] no
[ Been in a wreck? ] I've been in car accidents but I would classify them more as "fender benders" than "wrecks"
[ Been arrested? ] no
[ Been in a fist fight? ] no
[ Kicked someone in the nuts? ] not with any serious intent
[ Stolen anything? ] yes
[ Held a gun? ] no
[ Drank? ] no
[ Been so drunk you couldn't remember anothers name ? ] no -- I've been drunk plenty of times but it doesn't affect my memory
[ Been so drunk you couldn't remember your name? ] no
[ Considered a life of crime? ] no
[ Considered being a hooker? ] no
[ Cheated on someone? ] sort of
[ Cried over a girl? ] No
[ Cried over a boy? ] yes
[ Lied to someone? ] yes
[ Been in love? ] yes
[ Fallen for your best friend? ] no
[ Made out with JUST a friend? ] no
[ Been rejected? ] yes
[ Been in lust? ] yes
[ Use someone? ] no
[ Been cheated on? ] not that I know of
[ Been kissed? ] I've been married 13 years and have two biological children, so figure it out

X.x Now x.X
[ Current mood ] bored/irritated
[ Current music ] lots of Beatles lately
[ Current taste ] I need to brush my teeth
[ Current hair ] messy
[ Current annoyance ] toss-up between the dog barking and nothing and the fact that it's noon and I'm sitting here in my sweats with no plans to get dressed or get anything done any time soon
[ Current thing I ought to be doing ] getting dressed, cleaning the house, parenting my kids
[ Current windows open ] outlook express, AIM window with Janine (blinking at me), two blog windows
[ Current desktop picture ] my kids on Halloween
[ Current favorite band(s) ] The Beatles now and forever, Maroon 5
[ Current book ] Middlesex (and it's damn long)
[ Current cds in stereo ] Beatles collection
[ Current crush ] characters I made up when I was falling asleep the other night that I might write about soon
[ Current favorite celeb ] Jeremy Piven and Jason Bateman
[ Current hate ] Christmas vacation, myself
[ Current job ] "homemaker"
X.x The last time x.X
[ Last book you read ] Girl In Hyacinth Blue
[ Last movie you saw ] That I hadn't seen before: "Saved!" That I had seen before: "Office Space." They're both awesome.
[ Last thing you had to drink ] coffee
[ Last thing you ate ] chocolate
[ Last person you talked to on the phone ] Sue
X.x Do you x.X
[ Do drugs? ] No
[ Have a dream that keeps coming back? ] yes
[ Play an instrument? ] no
[ Believe there is life on other planets? ] not really
[ Remember your first love? ] yes
[ Still love him/her? ] no
[ Read the newspaper? ] yes, but not very much of it
[ Have any gay or lesbian friends? ] yes
[ Believe in miracles? ] more like happy coincidences
[ Believe it's possible to remain faithful forever? ] yes
[ Consider yourself tolerant of others? ] depends -- stuff like sexual preference I don't have a problem with, but I am shocked and dismayed by some of the choices people make in their lifes wrt parenting, money, etc
[ Consider love a mistake? ] another happy coincidence
[ Have a favorite candy? ] am partial to Skor/Heath bars
[ Believe in astrology? ] no
[ Believe in magic? ] no
[ Believe in God? ] no
[ Do well in school? ] I did pretty well
[ Go to or plan to go to college? ] I went and may go back again someday
[ Wear hats? ] sometimes
[ Hate yourself? ] sometimes
[ Have an obsession? ] characters in my head, an affliction of being a writer
[ Have a secret crush? ] just the characters in my head

X.x Love life x.X
[ First crush ] I was 11
[ First kiss ] some guy I had just met -- ugh
[ Single or attached? ] attached
[ Do you believe in love at first sight? ] not for me
[ Do you believe in "the one?" ] no
[ Describe your ideal significant other ] I'm pretty happy with the one I've got and am too much of a realist to have any ideal, I think
[ Have you ever played a game that required removal of clothing? ] not that I can think of!
[ Have you ever been intoxicated? ] yes
[ Favorite place to be kissed ] hm...
[ Shy to make the first move? ] depends on what kinds of signals I'm getting

I'm a slug

We are doing so little this week! Yesterday, a trip to Costco was our big event of the day -- today it will probably be grocery shopping. Rachel has had it with Will, and yesterday in the afternoon, I asked him to go find something to do approximately 837 times. They need to go back to school in the worst way.

I want to get this house tidied up and even though I'm enjoying sleeping in (almost 10 am this morning -- woo hoo!), I know I can't live like this. It's good that next week is my week to drive carpool in the morning. That will ensure that I put my gym clothes on and get my butt out the door at a reasonable time each morning. Sue and I are going to start back in with the weight lifting on top of the cardio as well. I may even go back to Weight Watchers, although we'll see about that. Right now -- baby steps. Just going to the gym every day again will be great :-)

Monday, December 27, 2004

Wow, I suck at updating my blog

Maybe I'll be better at it now that Christmas is past. New Year's/Rachel's birthday is still upon us, but her gifts are bought, and we will probably eat lunch out, have a little cake, and be done with it. And we're going to an east coast NYE celebration at our friends' house, kids invited, that night, which should be fun. In any case, nothing is taking place at our house and not much preparation is expected from me, so yay!

Friday, December 17, 2004

Desperate housewife? Not me!

I realized recently that I have been unemployed for 10 years as of this week. I went on maternity leave from my job as a receptionist/secretary at SPP-LET around the middle of December 1994, and have not returned to the workforce since. It's been a decade with ups and downs, but overall, I can say that I am happy to be a homemaker and stay-at-home mom, and if I had it all to do again, I wouldn't do anything differently. The first five years were really hard, what with being lonely in SLO, dealing with Rachel's disability, money issues and Ryan's unhappiness at his old firm, and all the health issues that I believe resulted from my emotional state. The second five years have just gotten better and better :-)

I've said it before and I'll say it again: I have a pretty sweet deal. A great husband, two wonderful kids, awesome friends, a roof over my head, financial stability, and enough free time to really enjoy my life. Everyone should be so fortunate as I am. I'm feeling very blessed today!

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

My Christmas gifts

Okay, so get this:
Last week, after I got Ryan's second Christmas gift, and I wrapped both of them and put them under the tree, I started the usual taunting: I got your gifts! You're gonna like them! And so on. It's juvenile but I can't help myself. So I say to him, have you bought my gift? And he's like, yeah. And I'm an idiot, so I believed him!

Sunday, we're driving into the Longs parking lot to check out Christmas trees. I'm thinking about what a mess the house is, and how my whole entire family is coming next week on Christmas, and how I'm going to have to clean the whole damn place before that. I'm thinking about how I'd like nothing better than for someone else to come and clean. So I said, you got my Christmas present already, right? And Ryan looks at me and goes, yeah, and he's so lying! He's a terrible liar and usually I like that about him. Oh, I was so mad! So I gave him a pretty much an endless amount of crap about it, and then I finally said to him, okay, well, if I was talking to a husband who hadn't bought his wife a gift yet and also hadn't lied his ass off about it, I might tell him that his wife would like someone to come and clean the house before Christmas and that would make a pretty excellent Christmas present. And he's all, oh, thanks for telling me that. So I was pretty happy about it at that point.

Today I went into Sac to have lunch with him and we got on the subject of Christmas gifts and I started bugging him about my Christmas present again. And again, he claimed to have bought me one already. And I was just not falling for it this time. Which is why I felt like a moron when I took him back to his office and he told me to pull into the parking lot and wait a minute, and I watched him go open the trunk of his car and pull out a Macy's bag. And he brought it over to me -- it had two packages in it -- and he said could you put these under the tree for me?

So, a) he did buy me presents
and b) no one is coming to clean my house next week!

I thought maybe he'd had them gift wrapped at the store, but when I pulled them out and put them under the tree as instructed, I couldn't help noticing that someone had done a perfectly hideous job of wrapping them. Can't wait to see what's in them. One is clearly clothing and the other one, I'm guessing DVDs.
Yeah, I don't update my blog often enough. Janine has been complaining that I don't write in here enough, and since she's the only one who reads this blog, I suppose I should try to keep her happy. I don't know, it seems like every time I get on the computer lately, all I do is check my email and then play games. I haven't even been logging into AIM much lately, which is weird. I guess I've been feeling anti-social.

My Christmas-sing is mostly done. Yesterday after I went to the gym and came home and showered, I turned on a movie ("Mystic River" -- it was okay) and spent a few hours wrapping Christmas presents. Today I went with Sue to Borders and bought gift cards for Rachel's teacher, her speech therapist, the full-inclusion specialist, and a girl in speech therapy who Rachel is exchanging gifts with tomorrow. I asked Rachel what this girl would like and was told "a tooth fairy." Didn't really know how to comply with that, so I went for the easy route -- the gift card. Don't you just love them? I know I'm happy whenever I get one! All I have left to do now is call and order a gift card to a day spa for my mother-in-law and pick up some perishables to put in a basket for my grandma. And I guess this is the last year that that's going to work for her since she's moving into assisted living after the first of the year. Which is good for her but bad for my gift giving. I think I will just start sending her a big flower arrangement every couple of month. She and Ryan's grandma seem to really like that, and I like to surprise them at different times of the year.

The kids will be on Christmas break soon, and I actually can't wait. Normally I'd be dreading it, but this year we have all this crap with Rachel's aide situation at school (the situation being that she doesn't have one and hasn't for nearly two months), not to mention the fact that getting up to get the kids off to school has really been harshing my mellow lately. It's so nice now that they're old enough to get up, go downstairs, turn on the TV and have cereal or toast or something without me. Having school-age kids rocks. The other day for some reason first thing in the morning I was really missing Will being a baby and I had to come downstairs and look at pictures of him as a baby in one of the scrapbooks. But then when they went to school, I was glad :-)

Don't get me wrong --I do miss Rachel as a baby sometimes too. It's just that on this particular occasion I was missing my little chunk baby boy :-)

Ryan's in San Jose for the next two days and probably for most of next week. We are going to be living like Lord of the Flies around here, I'm telling you!

Tuesday, December 07, 2004


I got an email from my mom this morning -- they compared her recent mammogram to one from 1999, and the calcifications they thought were new are actually the same ones she's had and they haven't changed at all. So she's fine -- no biopsy, no worries! I'm so happy!

Monday, December 06, 2004

Family Size

Last night, some friends of ours told us they're expecting their fourth child in May. I'm happy for them because I know it's what they want, but I have to admit that the number gives me pause. Four kids! That's twice as many as we have! I know tons of people want at least three, but I never wanted more than two, so wanting four is totally beyond my comprehension!

I feel fortunate to have married someone who feels the same way about family size that I do. My brother's fiance is from a family of five, just like Ryan, which I think is funny, since I didn't know that many families with more than three kids growing up, so what are the odds? I asked Angela if she wanted to have a big family like hers, and she said she did, but that Chad only wanted one or two children. I hope they can work that out. I wonder if they'll settle on three -- to me that really seems like the boundary between a small family and a big one.

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Rudolph & Frosty's Christmas in July

I don't mean to keep beating a dead horse, but there are some really crappy Christmas specials out there. Seems to me anyone would know that Ethel Merman + Claymation was a bad idea...

I am so glad this wretched movie has to go back to the video store today!

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Had a productive week. The Christmas cards went out yesterday, the decorations are up (other than the tree, which we'll probably get next week), and most of my shopping is done. I'd been thinking we would get a family portrait done to give to parents and such, but we will see if that happens. Seems like we're buying gifts for everyone anyway...

Rachel has a Girl Scout Holiday Boutique to go to in a little bit. Yesterday she was gone from 8 in the morning till 8 at night -- from school to Girl Scouts to a birthday party. When I picked her up, I asked if she had a good time, and she said "Yeah, but I missed you!" I'd kind of missed her too :-) She's so loveable lately -- Ryan and I were talking about it the other day and we agreed that she's developed this quality of self-possession. She knows who she is and she's comfortable with it. And that's that. It's a quality that will serve her well as she goes through the next few difficult years. I supposed it's possible that she'll fall victim to some of that whole self-hating adolescent girl, why-am-I-not-perfect-and-beautiful thing, but at this point I don't really expect it. We'll cross that bridge when/if we come to it, I guess.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

I hate my printer

Our printer is older (about 4 years! :-/) It's gotten very picky about sucking paper in to print on, and ever since we switched our computer over to Windows XP, whenever it gets jammed, once you clear, it insists on spitting out about a million pages of nonsense crap, just a few lines on each page, before it gets itself sorted out. We will definitely be getting a better one after Christmas, and have asked my Grandma to contribute either cash or a gift card to Staples or Office Max toward that end (she asked what we wanted -- I assure you i'm not in the habit of soliciting money for the things I want from elderly relatives or anyone else!). But in the meantime, I have about 80 Christmas cards to print and get out the door, and going through this routine every 5 cards or so (not to mention wasting all that black ink -- argh -- I have a spare color cartridge in there I would be happy to use, but if I have to buy another black one before I'm done with this piece of crap I'm going to be livid) is getting really old, really fast.

Yes, there are bigger problems in the world, but this is the most annoying thing in my life at the moment, and this is my blog, so I'm going to whine about it if I want! :-)


Last night I got an email from my mom saying she'd "flunked" a mammogram. She will be having a needle biopsy on December 15 and they will go from there. If it's what they think it is, this will be her third bout with breast cancer. The first was in 1988, and the second was in 1998. Both times she had surgery and that was the end of it -- no radiation or chemo. I so hope that if there is anything to this, it will be that simple again -- not that surgery is simple. I really really hope it's nothing :-/

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

I'm pretty bad at keeping up with this blogging stuff.

Suffice it to say, November is done and I'm finished with my novel. It ended up being about 58,000 words - 2,000 that I wrote prior to November 1st but needed to be in there. Some would say I cheated. But I wanted to write this particular novel for Nano, and there were two scenes I'd written before that I really thought were important to the novel, and I still wrote over 50,000 words during the month November, so whatever.

I printed up the novel on Sunday and I'm slowly working my way through it. It's pretty okay. Needs work -- in fact I think big chunks of it probably just need to be removed entirely -- but you know, I always surprise myself. I write and write and think "this must just totally suck" and it never does as bad as I expect. It still needs work though!

Got started with all the Christmasing too. Sunday we put up our little fake pre-lit tree in the "new room" upstairs and I went through the ornaments and separated out the more durable ones for the kids to use to decorate it. I also did up the fireplace and put the lit garland on the bannister. Today I put up lights out front. Nothing too strenuous, and it looks very nice. We won't get our tree till later in the month. I have a good amount of my Christmas shopping done, and today I designed our Christmas cards, printed out a few (my printer is sucking -- we're planning to get a new one after Christmas -- woo hoo!), and organized and printed out the mailing labels. Once I get them printed and buy stamps, it shouldn't be too tough to get them out the door pretty quickly. I do need to get some wrapping done. Stuff is piling up around the chair in our bedroom and it would look so nice wrapped up under the tree in the new room :-)

Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer

My kids had been looking forward to watching "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer" for a week, and it was on tonight. When Ryan got home, Will actually asked him how long it would be till it came on (2 1/2 hours, or a century in 6-year-old time). So guess what? They turn on the TV at 8 o'clock and see the end of it. Daddy had failed to note that it was on CBS (here in the Sacramento area, CBS runs all its prime-time shows an hour early) and Mom had failed to set the TV to Tivo the approximately 763 times she thought of doing so. The children were distraught, and Daddy was apologetic till Mom sent his butt to the video store to see what he could scrounge up. We have one of those old, independent video stores that stocks every cheesy old kids' show they ever put on video. Well, success! Daddy returned home with not just one but two Rudolph videos. The kiddos got to stay up 20 minutes past their bedtime to watch the regular Rudolph video, and have the delights of "Rudolph and Frosty's Christmas in July" (featuring claymation versions of Ethel Merman and Red Buttons!) to looking forward to tomorrow.

Okay, I know "Rudolph" is really old and stuff, but geez. Not only was it unbelievably cheesy, but it was pretty sexist too. There's this one part near the end where that miner/adventurer guy goes over a cliff, and they're all really sad but they decide that the best thing to do is "get the women home." Not to mention the fact that, when the little reindeer were trying out and practicing to pull Santa's sleigh at the beginning, it was clear that only the boy reindeer were eligible. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know it's just a dumb old kids' special, but I hate seeing stuff like this in shows aimed at kids. On the other hand, I would probably also be offended if I heard it wasn't being shown because someone decided it wasn't PC enough. If anything, they shouldn't show it because the animation is lame and the story is dumb.

Needless to say, my kids liked it anyway. They will probably want to watch it about a hundred times before we have to take it back on Sunday. At least they haven't asked for the animated "Frosty the Snowman." For some inexplicable reason, I have always hated both that song and that show.