Good men are in my neighborhood

Every morning I drive the same route to work, which crosses through one of my favorite neighborhoods in Durango. The houses are old and the sidewalks are cracked by roots of trees who have been around since this town was founded.

Faded Tibetan prayer flags hang from porches, marking the student rentals. Sunflowers poke their heads over the fences of retired hippies. Further south, blocks of established family units mingle together, listening to music, gossiping and watching their kids play. People have already rolled out their bbq grills, eager for the warm afternoons of drinking and sunbathing.

 On College Avenue, my friend JL has her Scrapbooking store, which has flourished in its first year of business.  Due to its location, people walk to work from this neighborhood, sporting Durango’s standard of “professional” wear: blazers and Birkenstocks.

As I come to a stop at 6th Avenue,  two kids cross the street with their dad, headed towards Park Elementary. When I worked for 9-R, this primary school was the most sought after place for kids in Durango. People would use their mom’s, cousin’s, landlord’s, etc.. address to qualify for enrollment. The school, the location &  the people are just a few of the reasons this neighborhood’s average home price ranges between $400,000.oo and $600,00.00.

That’s a lot of zeros for a single mom to digest.

I watch the little group pass in front of me. The daughter (8-ish) rides her Razor scooter, flying towards school with a smile on her face. The dad walks behind with his (10-ishson), talking to him and sipping coffee. His face is stubbly, coming to a point in a sandy-haired goatee. His uncombed hair sticks out in wisps under an army green cap. He is the picture of crunchy, outdoorsy, laid-back, Caucasian Colorado, with his snowboarder son in a neon green hoodie.

I feel a little twinge of happiness, looking at them. There are some good men out there, even within the 16,000 people who live in my town. Maybe even one that might be interested in me.

The Knocked Up Effect

Examiner  Logo So, I thought I wasn’t going to get this gig due to my being 500+ miles away from Denver, but apparently, they can list any Colorado-based Examiner under Denver. So now I will be writing ANOTHER blog, on top of this one and this one.

I also submitted my formal complaint to Head Start this week. I talked to Spot’s girlfriend, and she said that parents were calling him in tears over what happened, so I think I’m going to start calling parents and getting them to write letters, or sign a petition I can submit. I also emailed the director of Head Start, who I met through my previous job. Maybe something will come out of this, maybe not. Maybe I will have to go in front of the board of directors. Who knows, I’m not scared.

For the first time in history, LB started crying when I left her at daycare today. The entire drive, she kept asking me, “Is Spot back? Is Spot back?” I don’t know how I can explain this to a 2-year-old. Its just wrong.

The weekend was nice; felt like spring,  though I too depressed to do much. I did laundry, sat on the couch and ate leftover KFC for breakfast. Watching America’s Next Top Model reruns in my state of mind was stupid. It took me all day to pick out something to wear I didn’t feel fat in. Stupid TV. Stupid KFC.

For an intriguing article I plan to discuss on the Examiner, click here. Apparently, they are calling my breed of single motherhood the “Knocked Up” effect.

Word.

P.S. my new post at RMMB is up too:  

Band Names

I may have mentioned that my dad is a musician. At 55, he’s never been lucky enough to hit the big time, but living in a small town, you get to be somewhat of a big fish.  My dad is a mediumfish in Durango. He’s like a very eccentric, peace-loving Tuna.  He’s also been a character actor of career paths throughout his life, but deep down, he’s always going to be a songwriter.

When I was in high school, trolling main street in small packs of fellow teenagers, I’d sometimes see my dad’s flyers posted. Lurking in the shadows of the coffeshop announcement board, there would be a shoddily designed piece of paper, blatantly showing my dad’s lack of computer skills. I’d try to disappear when boys would tease me about my dad’s latest band name.

Beartown. Lawnmower. Das Samba. Shades of Blue.

My dad had a different band for every musical phase of his inspired Aquarian soul. I selfishly started fantasizing about future band names that wouldn’t expose my family name to public mockery. As soon as my dad’s latest band dissolved, I’d start hinting at  names I’d carefully constructed for him. He’d usually laugh at me.

almost 10 years later, and I still catch myself daydreaming about names for bands.  Today, I was working and came across a course title  from the University of Wyoming:

Varsity Rodeo

I think it would be a good name for a country band.

 

His Puppet Master

We didn’t go to court today. Since the recusal was granted, all further contact with our previous judge was canceled. Now we have to wait for February. We got hit with another helluva blizzard today and my phone was ringing off the hook with parents wondering if we were gonna let school out early. We also got a few angry parents calling because all buses going to out-of-town sports events were canceled.

“Its probably not even snowing in Grand Junction!” one mom screamed at me. “Do you know how frustrating this is?”

Um hello? You really want a bus driving your kids through a blizzard at 11,000 ft on THIS road?

Yeah, me neither. That mom was WAY more hardcore than me.

I called Rooferman and asked if he could drive LB home from visitation tonight, but he told me he didn’t have enough gas. I was pretty much expecting the following scene to occur by the time I went to pick her up.

Me: So, I’ll see you tomorrow at Mediation?

Him: No. I can’t afford it.

Me: Well that’s ok, we’ve got plenty of time before our next court date. When you’ve got the money together we’ll schedule another one.

Him: Nope. It costs way too much. Its bulls***

Me: I think it could really help us. I think its best for LB.

Him: I don’t need someone there to supervise our conversation.

Me: We can’t even talk without fighting. I’ve tried to do this many times.

Him: Well lets talk about it now!

*Note, I’m standing in their doorway, my car running, the blizzard simultaneously icing the roads, LB with her coat half on. Blondie is sitting behind Rooferman, massaging his shoulders. Her kids enter the room to see what’s going on. Blondie screams at them to get out.

Blondie: He’s sitting right here.

No s*** sherlock.

Me: I’m not having this conversation right now. Call me if you would like to meet with me and discuss this mediation thing.

Him: Ok fine.

I slam the door and leave. Rooferman follows me outside and dials his cell phone as soon as I get in my car. I answer.

Him: Ok lets talk.

Me: The roads a really icy, I will call you when I get home.

Him: Lets be adults about this, think about it (hangs up on me).

Me: (calling him back) I’m-

Him: Don’t be calling back just to get the last word in, lets be adults (hangs up on me again).

Unfortunately for him, he didn’t hear me saying that hanging up on me does not constitute “adult” behavior and I will not be calling him back . I shut off my phone and drove home to put my hungry, thirsty, diapered 2-year-old to bed.

Its official. I’ve used toddler Love & Logic tactics on my ex, and I actually feel good now! He didn’t get me mad. He didn’t make me cry. He just acted like a child and I treated him like one.

I hope he and his puppet master are very happy together.

Red Retaliation

Colorado went blue this year. I should have figured the good ole boys weren’t going to just let this one slide. The Republicans lost the presidential election, and what is their natural response?  Go buy guns.  Don’t forget Colorado is also home to the NRA. If you click on the website, you can actually order gun-totin’ Santa Christmas Cards. 

Here’s some news articles in case you haven’t heard. Living here, its hard NOT to notice the paranoid gun-clutching that’s been going on:

NPR: Gun Sales Rise on Fear of Democratic President

NRA: With Obama win, gun sales soar in Texas, Colorado

Even McCain told his fellow Republicans to unite under their new president. Watching his concession speech, I gained a lot of respect for the man. He talked about Obama achieving a dream, becoming an icon and bringing forth a positive response from a tattered country. But the damage had already been done. The Palin-induced, terrorist paranoia had infected the masses. You could hear it in the booing crowd on election night. I’ve received more than one “Obama is the Anti-Christ” text message during these last few weeks.  McCain’s followers obviously are NOT going to come together with their fellow Americans.

When I went to pick up LB from her dad’s house this weekend, I saw this sign still in the window:

I don’t think its coming down. Its a direct retaliation to the election. I wonder how many guns are in that house. I’m afraid the war between Rooferman and myself runs much deeper than I thought. And its not ending any time soon.

I love my new president, but I’m scared.

Blue

Since my little court drama was first priority (obviously more important than this historic election 😉 ) Here’s my short tribute to how amazing and empowered these last 48 hours have been for me.

Colorado went blue for the first time in my voting career. In a sea of red states, Colorado and New Mexico joined forces, electing two democratic cousins to the Senate, and declaring Barack Obama as their new president. The disturbingly offensive, ridiculously ludicrous definition of “Personhood” (Amendment 48) was overwhelmingly defeated as well.

I cried. I’ve only had the privilege of voting 3 times so far. My first two voting experiences were depressing, drawn-out, traumatic experiences. At the tender age of 18, my faith in our government was on the verge of being shattered. By 22, I was completely jaded. Now at 26, my vote has finally meant something. This time, instead of sobbing with pure, unadulterated anger, I was crying with utmost and complete joy.

When LB was born, almost exactly 9 months after Hurricane Katrina, I was scared for her. I didn’t want to bring her into a world filled with hate, fear, deception, manipulation and greed. I didn’t know what kind of a future she would have, but I didn’t have high hopes.

Thanks for proving me wrong, Mr. President Elect.

Nazi Hunters unite

I think the psycho rednecks in our state took this one just a little too far. Just a sick reminder that for every granola-eating, backpacking hippie in Colorado, there’s a trigger-happy, NRA preaching, Planned Parenthood-attacking, Hummer-driving bigot to negate any positive energy that arises.

Living in a battle ground state is kind of scary right now. I swear if I hear another “Yes on 48” radio ad, I’m going stick forks in my eyes and mail them to the Focus on the Family Headquarters. Or maybe we can all re-enact the infamous “dog head scene” from the movie Fear?

Vomit.