Sunday, January 31, 2010

Americans Talk About Love

"So tormented was Mr. Bowe by his inability to make the relationship work that he set out on a two-year quest to find out why. Not through conventional means, like psychotherapy, but by researching other people’s romantic experiences.

The result is “Us: Americans Talk About Love,” a new collection of first-person accounts of why love succeeds or fails, published by Faber & Faber. No aspect of lust, greed, need or devotion is ignored: The book includes tales of obsession and confusion (from a 17-year-old girl in San Antonio, Tex., who can’t get over an ex-boyfriend and a drug-addled 30-year-old living with his mother in Arizona while following his ex on Facebook); finding bliss (as a 44-year-old lesbian eventually did in Minneapolis, after more than a decade of marriage to a born-again Christian); and acceptance (from a 76-year-old widower in Manhattan who says he dated more than 300 women after his wife died, without ever finding anyone to take her place).

It is as compelling as literary fiction, and the Los Angeles Times Magazine called it a “profound, touching work.” But it also functions as a kind of self-help manual, forcing readers to examine their own longings, failings and assumptions about love."

-New York Times

Saturday, January 30, 2010

sunlight in caves

I am very quiet. Full of spinning dials and arrows. Trying to find the peace of mind and heart it takes to carefully open hands, hold still for so long, have the bird fly to your palm. I am observing, and taking care of my children. No matter how sad I feel, the phone still rings, Lola has Girl Scouts, Dakota wants to talk, Ian is here so what should we do it's Saturday and life goes on. I know my place in this Universe. I am not in my childhood, where I was terrified and helpless. I am not in Haiti, an orphan without my left arm, which was cut off without drugs. I am not Nie, recovering from my umpteenth surgery after being burnt head to ankle. I am not mourning. It is January, and it rains. Today it is sunny. My body tells me to sleep all day. Hibernation, the way of depression. I refuse. I have children. I have to move. I have to shower. I have to let life soothe me, and it cannot if I am cowardly and hide. I read about Elizabeth Edwards. I open the pages of many life stories in Borders, my children chattering nearby. There are so many answers in these books, these stories. Lives lived, priceless lessons learned, that I can read and absorb and use. But I have to read. I cannot have eyes clenched shut, no one will wake me up when it's over. That is adulthood. This is it. There won't be a do-over of my thirties, or a revision where instead of what I did is remembered, what I wished I had done is remembered. Walking to get coffee, the sun is on my face. I can see the blue sky. I have so much more than has been subtracted. This is a balance not kept for life. One day I will fall short, surely. I am not in negative. I have to find the way to create the life I want. It is up to me. No one else. I cannot let fear make decisions. The only way to have the life I desire it to insist on it's evolution every day. If I want to be close to my children, to have them love me and trust me, I must insist on balance in myself. I cannot be lazy. Children know everything. They know I am sad. But they will never believe I am standing on a cliff. They will never fear my snapping teeth or wolfish eyes. They will never see me helpless. I will never see myself that way. There is something I can do. I will do it. This way, no matter how bent my back is, the steps are taken, and that is what matters. Step forward. Step forward. It is the only way out- through. Standing still until it is over will only ensure that when I look around, I am exactly where I was when my eyes closed and my feet stopped. So I move. I read. I take my vitamins. I force myself to share when I want to be silent. I force silence when I want to be crazy. I force my body to move when I crave stagnation. I force prayer when I want self-pity. I force exposure here, when I would like to hide. I am the mother now. I am the adult. I am the one in charge. I am making it real.

illustration: Option-G

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Clean-er Living: Organic Products, Paraben Free

er the C word blog post a few posts back, here are some organic products we use all the time round here. I love Avalon's Peppermint shampoo, Tom's deodorant is smooth and smells nice, the toothpaste is just great and the cleaners all work like charms. I used normal laundry detergent last month because it had been given to me, and everyone in my family complained that 1. it smelled weird and overpowering and 2. it made Ed's skin itch and Dakota have excema

Monday, January 25, 2010

i have a crush on this book

and if you have any spark of life, so will you

Sunday, January 24, 2010


i am completely loving this song, and the band name makes me happy

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Tribute: Goodbye Robert B. Parker, Thank You Spenser

Not many times in a life do you come across an author that not only moves you deeply, contains talent and skill, and by sheer prolific output becomes somehow part of the movement of your life.

I first came across Robert B. Parker when I was 22 and bringing my then baby, Dakota, to my 7:30am-6:30pm job as a nanny, where I watched a girl baby. During the kids naps, I would browse through the bookshelves and snatch a book quickly, before the kids could wake and steal the short time I had to read. I was lucky enough to one day choose a bland looking little novel, a crime story, about a Browning and Shakespeare quoting private eye, named Spenser. ( Spenser with an S, as he always pointed out ) I read quickly, easily, this wasn't hard reading and it wasn't a shock of instantaneous brilliance. Spenser would find that phrase funny in relation to himself, I know it- ' instantaneous brilliance '- it's actually the exact kind of ' smart guy ' ( as his enemies called him: ie: you some kind of smart guy or what? ) remark he would have made in describing one of his cases to a detractor.

And then- that magic. I fell in love with Spenser. Madly, deeply, in love.

Abel Westing said to me, " You got some smart mouth, fella. You damn near blew the job.
" I know, " I said. " My pulse is still pounding. "

Dry as the finest champagne. Spenser always undermines his foes with this droll and still faced humor, a device which generates much of it's delight from the fact that we- the readers- are in on it, we know what Spenser means and thinks and if he's in a good or bad mood or he and Susan are arguing- while the bad guy or dupe on the receiving end of the remark just has a suspicion that this guy is yanking his chain, mocking him in some way. If the bad guy realizes he or she is being mocked, Spenser just gets dryer and dryer until the only thing more dry would be the bad guy's cold dead body on the ground, which is what does happen, sometimes, in his world.

Spenser was good looking, but not amazingly so. He wore jeans and a jacket and tennis shoes and of course, had demons. At the beginning of the series ( the first Spenser novel is The Godwulf Manuscript ) he meets Susan, a beautiful, intelligent Jewish woman working as a school psychologist, and they slowly and beautifully begin one of the most compelling, tremendously alive and heartwarming relationships I have ever had the privilege to discover in fiction. It is the Spenser/Susan relationship that is at the core of the magic.

And then there is Hawk. Hawk is almost 7 feet, very black, very silent, very dangerous, very wry and on to people, and Spenser's eventual best friend and partner. The 3- Spenser, Susan and Hawk- form a fascinating triangle of relationship that you wish would never, ever end. Only of course they are not real. Whereas Robert B. Parker was very real. Real enough to die this month, at age 77 in the home shared with his wife in Massachusets, of an apparent heartattack. Here is the dedication in his novel The Widening Gyre:

For Joan, David, and Daniel. The center can hold, and does.

That dedication alone is enough to begin to love the man. The classic and adored photo of Parker ( by my husband and I, at least ) on the back seals it.

When I realized that there were an entire series of Spenser books, I was ecstatic. When I realized that Robert B. Parker wrote a book or 2 a year, I was thrilled! And when I married a man who also fell in love with Spenser, Susan and Hawk, I finally had someone to share my adoration with. Mr. Curry fell hard in literary love. We have every Spenser novel Parker wrote, as well as many of his other novels, Jessie Stone novels, random Westerns.

And you think that he did, " I said. ( I is Spenser speaking )
" I have my reasons. "
" What are they? "
She shook her head.
" Oh, " I said, " those reasons. "
" There's no call for sarcasm, " she said.
" The hell there isn't, " I said.
" I think that's probably enough, Mr. Spenser, " Maitland said.
" It's not enough, " I said, " But it's all that I can stand. "
- Hush Money


Spenser is a kind of thinking man's Tony Soprano. He kills people, as few as possible, but he does kill people. He loves Susan devotedly without cheating, but he does need his own apartment, his own space, no marriage. He is a loyal till death friend, but he has few real friends. He is a champion of what he believes to be justice, but it can be shady, debatable. He is large and gruff and women swoon around him, he loves a good pair of tits but he is interested in strong, intelligent women who do what is right. He is constantly concerned with what the right thing to do is, but will do the necessary thing. His relationship with Hawk, a more fiercely violent and terrifying type, allows for the release and exploration of man's reaction toward violence, and black and white relationships.

Hawk nodded. " Tha's a good start, " he said. " Then what we going to do, bawse? "
" Get you diction lessons, " I said. " I always know when you are really jerking my chain, because you start sounding like Mantan Moreland. "
" Mantan Morland? "
" I'm kind of proud of coming up with that one myself, " I said. " Where did the Lamont kid do the deed? "

" Had a condo in the South End, " Hawk said. " Did it there. "
" Okay, that's Boston Homicide. Which means Quirk and Belson. "
" So we talk with them first, " Hawk said.
" I'll talk with them first, " I said. " They'd arrest you. "
" Bigots. "
- Hush Money

Susan and Spenser are both intelligent, compassionate thinkers with incredible work ethic, devotion and interest in life, from cooking ( there is a LOT of food in Spenser novels- they are always eating steak and frites with some delicious red wine or drinking steaming coffee with fresh donuts, all of which Spenser sweetly delights in ) to the arts. Spenser just happens to chase and occasionaly kill thugs for a living, while Susan is a psychologist. The two meet, and their relationship, it's ups and downs, the parting at one point and eventual reconciliation, is so hard worn, so ragged at the edges and brimming with love that they feel as real as your own family. They are our own family-

I have read Spenser every year since age 22, and I'm 35 now. I can't imagine never walking into Borders again and seeing a new ROBERT B PARKER on the newly released shelf. I can't imagine never reading another classic Spenser-ism, or another tender but incredibly unshmaltzy love scene with him and Susan, or heartrending hard luck case Spenser involves himself with, the moral dilemas he faces in his line of work, the puns, the shoot out's with Hawk, the redemption of wrongs, the hysterical characters he meets, the incredible way that Parker had of rendering a landscape or town or person so vividly with just a few sparse paragraphs.

I am not just mourning Robert B Parker, or thinking of his wife and children. I mourn Spenser. Thank you Robert B Parker, from the bottom of my literary heart. I love your books, I love your wonderful and tender heart and mind, and my husband and I will miss you and your world, very, very much.

" It makes you better than other men, " Paul said. " If you hadn't been what you are, where would I be? But it also traps you. Machismo's captive. Honor, commitment, absolute fidelity, the whole myth. "
" Love, " I said. " Love's in there. "

Love is definitely there, Parker.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Winter Teeth

blinking is bark, soil, earth's excrement.
mouthing my knuckles fills the lungs.
rain turns it's windmill through the clouds:
clouds broken and jagged, black hives.
my nipples, buds, trapped neatly to root.
my toes find the ends of the Earth, dangle.
the soft stuck mouth of my sex closes
so that nothing new can grow, be born there.
my trunk twists and trundles in it's sleep.
rain climbs the stairs backward, i am
bone cold, blue lipped, tight fisted:
for something grows where i do not desire.
something births with the miserable freeze
where the rest of life has gone still:
i am not what you want me to be.
i refuse to grow this thing.

the birds leave worms across my face.
this is their final offering.

night: where the trees are men in hoods.
houses miles away. the thrum of wet wings,
to east. the wind the hiss of snake. my mind
devoured. fertilized with your easy sperm:
take this and this and this. now again.
i blush nicely with axe in mouth.
the soil fills my sex, my skin tells me i am mad.
there is no reason for this wildness in such comforts.
only that my spirit is a naked thing in the mud.
i move without you in this Winter ecstasy

i am my own, she hers, you take your offering.
what you fuck or feel: i refuse to grow that thing.

Monday, January 18, 2010

january rain

Let me tell you what my home is right now- first, the light. The light is blue, grey, dove, but clear, clean, not muddled. The light is still. It does not move over the objects but has penetrated them, so that every blade of grass carries exactly the same illumination as Hagrid, our large striped grey cat, moving over those grass blades toward Bellatrix, our minxy grey cat. Then, without warning, the light dims, just a shade, and the wind picks up in the may trees around my home, the ones that despite living in San Diego since 3 years old, I cannot spell- uca-lip-tus. The trees are tall and stalk like in trunk, and the leaves smallish, and right now the wind is moving and shaking them all toward the east, and they are making a loud rushing brushing hushing sound, like this:


The sound fills me and I am lifted beyond my emotional state and suddenly clear of it, like a bird- forgive the tired metaphor but it is so right!- just like a bird, lifted by the wind underneath my wings and into the sky and far beyond the exctractions, demands and concerns of the life still rooted firmly to this planet. Just now the rain started! It is pouring on the rooftop like a tapdancer, like this:


at a speed only a jazz scatter or tapper like Sammy Davis Jr. could keep up. Mr. Weasley, our large, almost adult orange cat, is curled up next to me with Karate Chop, one of our two adolescent kitties, who is a fantastic coloring of grey stripes with orange/brown cheetah like stripes. Mr. Weasley licked her fur round the nose, eyes and mouth until she fell asleep. Doesn't that sound wonderful? I think I will ask Mr. Curry to do that for me.

I am in the sunroom, where the computer is, and there are only windows here on all walls, so that I am looking directly out at all times to our backyard, which has sprung up with the most deliciously crisp shade of green, thick grass. The rain is having a ball on our roof! The trees are still swaying but I can't hear them as well now. Lola is laying on the floor on her large red heartshaped pillow that she bought at Target with a gift certificate. Dakota is recovering from the stomach flu and lying wrapped in blankets on the couch. I lit a log in the fireplace, and they are watching the first Harry Potter. Mr. Curry is reading. Probably Robert Parker. I gave him two shelves and organized them for him, and you know what those two shelves hold? Robert Parker novels. He has scrounged through and re-read them so many times that the books are in dissaray and piles and that makes me happy every time I look at it, so that I smile. It makes me happy that I married a man who reads books so many times they are a mess. Even though I have bought him 4 books that I know he would love over the last few months and they sit, unread, because he is obsessed with two series: Robert Parker Spencer novels, and Harry Potter novels. The last two holidays we bought him a copy of a hardback HP because we only had paperback and with all of our entire family reading them, they are literally falling apart. The first one has no cover, I believe, and the second is beginning to miss pages and come apart at the binding. Mr. Curry is reading Lola the first one, at night, in bed. She struggles a bit with reading so he reads them to her.

The rain is pouring. I wrote 2 pages on my novel yesterday and it is coming along really well now. My writing has gained authority and I keep going back and editing from the beginning to make the book have that cohesive, authorative voice. I began submitting yesterday, inspired by Collin Kelley's post that he also began for 2010. Poems, that is. ( swimming pools, movie stars ) I just finished reading Philip Roth's Patrimony and wrote a short review on Goodreads. I highly recommend it. It's wonderful. Here are links to bloggers who have books that I recommend:

Collin Kelley, Conquering Venus

Vicky Forman, This Lovely Life

Rachel King, Magpie Hall


Sunday, January 17, 2010

enough bookshelves

I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves. ~Anna Quindlen

via we<3it

via we<3it

via we<3it

crowded room via we<3>

selena lake via we<3it

Friday, January 15, 2010

and like that, it all shifts

When I became pregnant at 19, my self esteem resided primarily from 3 ideas I had about myself:

1 I was hot, boys and men wanted me everywhere I went, fought over me, wrecked friendships
over me, as I remained pretty 'untouchable' and although I did NOT judge girls who slept
around, and at times tried to be more open to making out, I could not do it, and kept my
desire and body pent up unless in a monogamous relationship, of which I had very few.

2 I cared deeply about other people, the world, art, music, the meaning of life, and sacrificed
my time, energy, money and comfort to help others whenever possible.

3 I was a writer.

I had no intrinsic self esteem, or very little. I based my worth largely on the effect I could have on others, and the discipline I could produce in myself emotionally. Then I had Dakota. My worth, which was small, very, almost unsustainably small, shifted itself entirely around the form of motherhood- successful, unselfish, courageous, devoted, informed and loving motherhood- but successful. Yes. And I knew where my focus was and I knew the risks inherent to my position- intellectually, I knew. I knew that single mothers who bonded as deeply as I had with their sons risked placing unfair, unhealthy burdens on those sons. I knew it was possible I would try to fix myself through mothering him. I knew I could ask too much of him, emotionally, as a 'partner', and this could hinder his selfhood and ascent into manhood. I understood these things, kept them in mind, and- there is no book with lists you check off, telling you what is leaning towards problematic, and what is healthy, what is good. And how do you judge the weight, the importance, of each action, when you've never done these things before, never made these decisions before, and have no role model of doing it successfully, other than books, novels- in other words, words not action?

What I had not counted on, or read about, was the problem I am being to feel, like a tumor slowly making itself known underneath the skin, the shadow and form and shape of something that has been so deeply ingrained inside and so unchallanged- until now- that I did not know it existed. I have based my self esteem around the happiness of my child.

I am feeling this thing, tapping my fingers around it, trying to get the geneology, the biology,
the details right. Writing this to you- part of that.

My childhood was sad, terrifying, lonely. In becoming a mother, I could, as The Courage To Heal discusses, heal past wounds, in part. And I have! In part. I did not realize that my motivation went beyond protection and loving my child and myself, and into murkier bogs- proving to myself, to everyone! that I am not my parents, I am not my father, most of all- not like him, not going to pass on the legacy he passed to myself, my baby sister. I knew the danger of projecting your failed dreams onto your children, but I identified those dreams so simplistically ( becoming a famous dancer, etc) that I missed the less defined dreams you could lay on your child: so in an act of probable stupidity but also therapy, I will list the undefined dreams I expected to be able to 'produce' in my children by giving them great parenting, as I saw it:

they will be free of chronic depression and anxiety
they will have strong self esteem
they will not feel angry at the world
they will care about succeding in school
they will show respect to me even in anger
they will not use drugs
they will be grateful for their lives
they will understand they have to work for what they get
they will accept my authority based on respect for me

Dakota is 15 and I know the list could go on. The expectations are not only what I want for him. No, they are what I want for ME, for myself, for how I want other people to see me, how I want to be able to look and talk to myself: Look, you did this. You made these kids and raised these kids and put blood sweat and tears of patience and time that so many don't and because you did that they are special. They are solid in spirit body and mind.

So when Dakota began to struggle, so did I. When he began to hurt, so did I. Because how could this happen? How could I have nursed for 2 and half years, co-slept, baby carried, nutritionally supervised, supplemented, given space to, let go of even when I didn't want to, worked with, did homework with, had Friday Night Family Night since BIRTH, loved loved loved this child and he is struggling THIS HARD?

Here is a new question for myself. How will Dakota be able to grow up, how will Dakota be able to face his demons, If I can't handle that they even exist?

Sunday, January 10, 2010

I Wouldn't Change The Man He Is

Her voice is absolutely divine...

Friday, January 8, 2010

the C word

M. is my Aunt's best friend, my redheaded Aunt from a family of redheaded women- including my mother- and M. herself has red hair. I've known her since I was 5 and just found out a few years ago she dyes her hair red. I'd never have guessed. M. was divorced a few years ago and lives with her 13 year old son. Nine years ago, M. had breast cancer. aggressive carcinoma Her mother died after a hard battle with breast cancer when M. was a young girl. And now, M.'s cancer is back. In her 'chest wall' as doctors call it.

Kate McRae is the little blonde beauty in my sidebar, the one I asked you to pray for. The prayers are for her little body, which has been invaded with brain cancer, at the stem of her brain, thick with blood vessels that cannot be surgically removed. Kate just finished with her 4th round of chemo, and had the follow up MRI. It was not good. The tumor shrank. That's it. It's not gone, and it's not even dramatically shrunk. This is horrible, horrible news for her parents, her family. I can't begin... to imagine. I go there and shrink back at the curtains, shying from the true enormity of horror you must feel when your child, your baby, is being attacked and killed from within and you can't stop it.

We all, all know people like this, stories like these. They are at once intensely personal and universally shared. We might have gone through it ourselves. I know a few fellow bloggers who have had cancer in the past, and a few who fight it now. I had a scare in the past, one of the worst weeks in my entire life, when the large, 6 centimeter chunk hanging off my ovary was deemed ' possibly cancerous by my doctor because of it's complex appearance. I had an MRI, and waited. I waited in panic. Terror. Not for my own life, but leaving my children? Before they are grown? We all face that fear, as parents. It's one of many. My cyst turned out to be the result of Endometriosis, and that diagnosis began my journey into the world of health, nutrition, alternative medicine. Turning my body towards health, towards life.

I spent the first few months of my research in a mounting panic. Reading about all the things in our world that we have created- things we press against our skin, put in our mouths, rub into our scalp, soak into our skin, wrap round our babies, enter the bodies of our children- which cause cancer left me feeling helpless, terrified. My cancer risk is higher than the average person because I have Endometriosis. Melanoma risk goes up over 60% for those with Endometriosis, for example. I also smoked from 15 until 30 ( with the exception of my pregnancies ) and spent my childhood saturated in the chemicals brought up by a chronic state of fear. All risks.

What I could do to help my body heal, what I could do to prevent my family from being exposed to so many cancer causing agents- that became my mission. I'd like it to be yours. Cancer cannot be ' prevented ' one hundred percent, of course not. Genetics definitely play a role, especially with certain cancers. Certain obvious factors- smokers, daily drinkers, weight, working with radiation- affect risk. There are risks that can't always be nullified- air pollution, power lines, water - but there are many that can.

In doing research for Endometriosis, I learned about the connection between chemicals and cancer in many household and beauty products. Parabens was a word I found popping up over and over in my reading. Parabens are in almost every mainstream product imaginable : soap, shampoo, conditioner, lotion, makeup, etc. In small amounts, parabens have been proven to be safe. But the accumulative effect is a growing concern, and many now believe that parabens, and many of their counterpart chemicals, greatly increase cancer risk. I replaced my shampoo, conditioner, soaps and lotions with chemical free ones. Often, products will say ' paraben free '
on the front. I buy mine at Henry's or Whole Foods. The risk of putting these chemicals on and into children on a daily basis is truly scary. Their immune system functions differently than adult immune systems, as do their organs.

The chemicals in laundry detergents and household cleaners are also risky. The 'safe' cleaners keep getting better every year, and I've found clean just as well most of the time. I use Nature's Way and Method. Luckily, Method has been mass marketed and you can find it at Target.

Eating whole foods, largely organic, was a natural step for me after reading over and over about the pesticides and hormones put on and into our foods. We are literally creating medical problems never seen before because of how we make food and what we eat. Young men are getting a disorder in record, never before seen numbers, which is basically an endocrine disorder which causes enlarged breast tissue, among other things. There is a direct correlation between this disorder and the hormones in our meats and milk. There is also a direct correlation between the hormones in meat and milk and young girls getting their periods and breasts younger and younger. Hormone balance plays a HUGE role in many cancers, and a healthy hormone balance is essential to every part of a healthy body, including thyroid production. Know anyone with a thyroid problem? I bet you do. Irritable Bowel Syndrome, among many other gut related diseases, used to be considered a problem of aging. Gastro's saw patients primarily in their fifties and above. Now, patients are in their 30's, even 20's, with these gut issues, brought on in large by eating diets large in processed foods, fat, sugar and wheat, and hormone imbalances, which are brought on by... the connections start to become so clear, the more you read. The gut houses what is called the second brain of the body, where many hormones are released. This is why so many people get a stomach ache when they are upset, and why if our hormone balance becomes compromised, so does our immunity.

Certain foods are more important to eat organic than others, based on how processed they are and if the pesticides 'sink' into the food. There are lists easily found online. Meat and milk is especially important to buy organic, hormone free. Lunch meat has a direct link to cancer because of the preservatives used in it. I had a friend, Lena, who was a scientist who worked on cancer, and she said no one in her lab. ate sandwich meats or wore deodorant, because in the community of scientists, it's known that despite what the press says, there is a link between these things and cancer.

I also know a woman who works with plastics, and refuses to let her daughter eat off anything plastic, including her bottles, which are glass, or chew on plastic toys. This woman told me she had no problem with plastic until she took the classes required for employees of this plastic company, and learned about what plastic is made of, what it does to your food, how it reacts to heat, and what it can do to your body.

So next? Yeah. I replaced all our plastics with glass.

Cancer and autoimmune disorders are becoming prevalent. Long ago, when I was born, Silent Spring was written, and it was all laid out. If we keep poisoning our environment, she wrote, we will poison ourselves.

I can't prevent it. But I'll be damned if I invite it into my body, or into my home.

Stay healthy, friends. And if you have a moment, please pray for Kate McRae.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Dictated To Myself by None Other Than Mr. Curry, Himself.

Mr. Curry has a huge penis. Mr. Curry wields his penis like a sword. One time Mr. Curry gave me twelve orgasms in a row because he is such a stud.

I would like to point out to my husband that this is what happens when your wife is perched at the computer, hands on keyboard, thinking what to write on her blog, and you begin to mock her in a singsong voice, saying ' Mr. Curry has a huge.. '
What happens is she writes what you are saying.
You like apples?
How you like THEM apples?

I love you, honey. :)

Monday, January 4, 2010

i've got a crush on this momma

Milla Jovovich - for some bizarre reason, some quirk of brain, I remember the exact first time I saw this woman's face- she was a teenager on the cover of Seventeen magazine; I was in high school, and thought she was a goddess of beauty, a girl I would kill to look like. She modeled, and then ditched modeling to become a singer. But turns out, her music is actually kinda cool, weird and funky and with cult appeal, and she went from music to movies- we own The Fifth Element and love it- to fashion, and her label is all kinds of awesome. Then? She has a baby au natural, ( which I think is very cool, as I have done that both times ;) is a baby-wearer and names her daughter Ever, a name I love and have placed at the top of my girl baby names. So crush. Crush hard.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

self recriminatory lists

Things That Would Make Perfect Sense To Do That I Don't Do

drink at least four cups of green tea a day

have sex once a day *

floss once a day

go to sleep by 11pm every night

avoid watching multiple, late night episodes of The First 48 and Forensics to avoid subsequent PTSD like symptoms and obsessive checking of windows and doors in the early am hours

avoid drinking coffee while eating small amounts of food to avoid subsequent trembling limbs and random crying jags

organize my clothes washing schedule **

* with my husband
** might be impossible due to vast amounts of linens, blankets, towels and clothing accumulated
by five people and two dogs

babysittin blues (babybaby, babybaby)

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Home For Christmas

Lola's Santa

Friday, January 1, 2010

Before, After, and Thank You Kindly


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Two Thank You Very Much Curtsy
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Thank you to Angie, for sending me, for no reason other than kindness.
a copy of the decorating book I had posted with a picture
as a Christmas Wish- signed, no less!

Thank you to Elizabeth, for sending me, for no other reason than kindness,
the amazing canopy that you see above,
one that was Sophie's, and is now, to her delight, Lola Moon

although she believes it's from Santa ;)

Both of you were Christmas Spirit
and made the day even lovelier than it was



Flash Cards

Ever's cry is so beautiful. It makes me think of Sylvia Plath
And now you try /Your handful of notes;/The clear vowels rise like balloons.
Her cry is round and full and rises- but not far- until it pops easily against the air, her father's face, the space between her and I. It hums upward like this: hmmm mm....hmmmm hmmmmm..  Her cry is so clear and crystalline and free of all the muddy hurts of life. Her cry is river water over rocks. It is also a calm cry, a cry that expects fully to be met with tenderness, loving voices, hands, a bare breast pressed into her mouth.  It breaks me open.  I am worried for our D., our oldest child, and that worry is etching itself into my face in the lines around my mouth and the one between my eyes. In the hollow distracted expressions a camera catches from me before I can offer something else.  I have been worn down with the bright cracking love of a new baby, and I am tender to the bone. Slight hurts invade my skin..I wrote once. True again.  I am shy, easily embarrassed, prone to misting over in the eye, self conscious and apologetic over things that I know logically aren't my fault, or anyone's. But still I am sure they are my own to fail.  I feel ashamed of my fumbling. I wanted four children. I have four children, and now I am fumble fucking around, making lists one minute and falling asleep on the chair, mouth open drool down my cheek the next. 

In Starbucks this morning I talked to the mother of a boy in Lola's class. I tutor the math in class, she said. Lola's having a really  hard time with the multiplication tables. I opened my mouth to respond but she kept talking I told her she should practice. We do practice, I said quietly, biting the inside of my cheek, screaming YOU WILL NOT CRY MOTHERFUCKER in my mind.  Oh I know! I told her...and she kept talking.  And it was mostly a lie. Mostly, we haven't been practicing. Mostly, I bought flash cards three weeks ago and still haven't remembered to use them once.  Mostly, I get off work at 4 and have to be lying in bed nursing my baby to sleep at 7. In the hours between 4 and 7 I have to spend time with all of my children, take one of them somewhere, eat or make and eat dinner, fold and put away one load of laundry, shower myself and or Ever, and possibly on a good night, like tonite, blog.  We are letting Ever stay up late tonite, because I had to write. Or my head will pop, not like Ever's kitten cries, but like a big, bloody pustule of adult frustration.  In addition to the things listed above, there are the other four million things, like teaching Lola how to ride a bike (feeling  horribly guilty we haven't regularly taken her out to learn) calling people who used to be my friends but might have given up on me at this point, returning emails, keeping my  house from the brink of filth and hoarder status, picking up groceries, going through Lola's backpack with her, signing papers, opening mail, paying bills, organizing the month's schedule, organizing whatever needs to be done for kids outside of school ( lately: summer camp forms, payments, phone calls and Insurance forms and phone calls and emails and phone calls to both L and D's schools about separate things ) spending 'special time' with Lola, doing homework with Lola, talking to D ( who has been wanting to talk nightly and who I MUST respond to because 1. he's almost seventeen and his time as my son as a kid is almost over and 2. he's having a hard time ) and oh my husband. I miss him so much. 

I've forgotten so much. And no matter how much I do- we do- I am always failing somewhere important. It's important, all of that. It's important that Lola's homework is done and one time and we make the kids school lunches so they don't eat like shit and our house isn't disgusting and I always, always have this feeling of anxious urgency.  At work, I can barely stand it sometimes, thinking of all the day going by and all the things I need to do.

And sleep, and Ever's teething and waking up all night,

and I have a tremor and a twitch in my left hand and today, I dropped not one but two drinks, just let go of them like an old lady, not even tripping or slipping, just my hand letting go for no reason.  

Not only do I feel like a failure, I feel like everyone agrees that I am.  Everyone but Mr. Curry, of course, who is, as always, my biggest supporter.  Everyone being the lady in Starbucks who knows my daughter isn't good at math and that I'm not tutoring her ( I work with S. every night with flash cards, she told me ), the people who wrote the complaint at my work about my baby holding propensities, and my nine year old daughter, who while she says I'm the best, also acts like I'm monumentally fucking up every time I have to ask her to wait a minute or to stop talking for TWO SECONDS CAN YOU JUST STOP TALKING FOR TWO SECONDS or tell her, no, Mommy can't play dolls tonight, I'm too tired.  I want to cry just writing this. I'm too tired for my sweetie at night, I just can't have focused play acting with her more than once a week right now and it's what she wants more than anything. I offer other things- sit with me, snuggle me, let me read a book to you- but it doesn't make her feel important the way playing does.  

Two nights ago we did have a dance off. Mr. Curry was the judge and Lola won by 12,000 points. I did the Sprinkler wrong and got -1. I love you Mr. Curry for giving me a negative one for our daughter.

And I'm sleeping with her and Ever, and after Ever falls asleep, Lola and I cuddle, every night. But still she doesn't seem to feel IMPORTANT enough, her big blue eyes are a little sad, and she acts so hurt over everything we can't do for her.  I feel like I'm ruining her happy heart. Dakota wasn't like this when Lola was born. What I could give him- which was much the same- was enough, he felt loved and important. Lola needs more.
I keep trying to prioritize. I keep rearranging. I keep trying. I keep failing. I'm always forgetting something, something that can monumentally fuck my kids up. ( If she doesn't get this now, she'll have a horrible time in fourth grade, she said. And it's true.  ) Like flash cards.
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