Friday Tequila

friday’s child, born a little ugly

Friday Tequila

WTF. That’s what I want to know. I call this sort of ad, at very least, racially insensitive. But, I was looking for a Friday graphic. I also am unsure what’s happening here. Why is there baby tequila in a cage? You should tell me. I haven’t figured it out.

Short and sweet, link-wise.

First: my second zine installment is two days from shipping. Yay! Only two more days to get free goodies. Thanks to two generous donors, I have enough to print this month. Yeah, it’s been tight.

In the realm of crafty: I WANT FAKE FUR. About two yards apiece, in three specific colors. There’s a sale & everything. But I’m broke as fuck. Waaaah!

Olympic Weightlifter Responds To Sexist Tweets: ‘We Don’t Lift Weights…For The Likes Of Men Like That’ – good job, Zoe Smith! P.S. The picture of her lifting a billion pounds, she looks like she’s just standing there calm as hell.

Is Unschooling a Cult? This doesn’t even make sense. I’m posting it anyway. I find the topic of cults fascinating!

Gore Vidal passed. An intelligent and funny soul. Too much of a misogynist for me to fully endorse. Still, I really enjoyed him – and everyone else – in The Celluloid Closet, a film that still holds up many years later. Give it a watch!

Will wonders never cease: I literally never knew this.

Try not to have nightmares. The Gary Busey Monster.
 
Gary Busey Monster

Babies thrive on real meat!

“why is partying and having a good time bad?”

Friday links! Short and sweet.

I set up my next blood donation appointment online (here in Hoquiam/Aberdeen there’s one at Walmart on August 11th). All types are needed. Red Cross has been assclowny in a few ways in the past, but their online setup is pretty good.

“Amy Winehouse: Death and Addiction” by Kendra Sebelius (who is also @VoiceinRecovery on Twitter and writes on eating disorders; she does great work).

“Addiction is a serious issue, one that requires serious discussions. I feel people still have the tone of “well, she had a choice to stop.” Choice is such a hard word to even address in this whole thing. […] Rehab didn’t keep me sober, any more than it does for many people. […] This doesn’t mean a person is bad or a failure or unwilling to get better. It means it is hard to not only get sober, but to stay sober. I had to change my environment, ask for help, and find a new way of doing things. Rehab is just a starting point. You don’t go to rehab and automatically get better.”

Further on Winehouse: apparently a HuffPo article was needed because so many don’t understand alcohol withdrawal. This is kind of rattling to me.

OK, onto lighter matters: Special Report: Star Trek The Next Generation: A XXX Parody; even from giggly curiosity I can’t bring myself to watch something like this. But the review? GOLDEN.

Common rumors about lesbians I would like to dispel

The Just-So Stories complete text poster. Pretty fabulous. I’ve acquired this book and a few other Kipling tomes for my kids; they love them.

From M’s blog: “Mistakes”; a wonderful post about a child’s ever-broadening assessment of the world around him.

Make: Cucumber Lime Mint Agua Fresca at Simply Recipes

And – guess what? Babies thrive on real meat! From vintage-ads on Livejournal:

Babies thrive on real meat!

Babies, on behalf of parents everywhere, I’m really sorry if anyone offered this to you.

 

Take me out, baby / I want to go sail tonight :: Friday links!

Thursday I had one of the most energetic and lovely days, but now it’s 2 AM on Friday morning and I’d better get my links up!

1. Spousal unit Ralph updated his design website, favoring pink. I think it looks great!

2. From ricedaddies: “Who Loves More: Parents or Children?” This piece includes an analysis of a childhood book – a pretty funny analysis I think- and then delves into even more thoughtful territory.

3. Mexican Pointy Boots. This was seriously nine minutes of my life well-spent:

 

4. Katie Makkai – “Pretty”:

(Also, do read Tami Harris’ thoughts and the comments, at “Not a pretty girl.”)

5. From friend and reader Kat: “What Happened When I Chased Down the A**hole Who Slapped My Butt on the Street” at alternet. Good for her.

6. “A Black Woman’s Plea for ‘Justified’ – The Red State Western You Should be Watching” at Racialicious. This is super-smart commentary on American television and the typical (and atypical) treatment of race relations (specifically black/white race relations).

7. “AED Guidelines for Childhood Obestity Prevention Programs” from the Academy of Eating Disorders. This? is stunning. D’you think our First Lady will take note? I sure hope parents, teachers, and other adults do.

8. So, I’m not going to link to the deplorable article by LZ Granderson entitled, “Parents, don’t dress your girls like tramps”. I don’t want to contribute to even one blog hit, although by all means go read if you can stomach it. Ostensibly about the sexual exploitation and objectification of young girls and young women, it was also a hot mess of oppositional sexism, patriarchal attitudes, adultism, slut-shaming, sexism, victim-blaming, and misogyny (so: nothing we haven’t heard before). Yes, this was aired on CNN. A few good things came out of the piece: namely, on-point rebuttals. Here are four:

From PostBourgie: “Sexism, What About the Children?! Edition”. At Shakesville: “This is so the worst thing you’re going to read all day.” From Pigtail Pals: “Did You Just Call My Daughter A Prostitute?” And from Amy Bradstreet, a friend and reader and supporter and awesome-lady: “Shame And Blame Where It Belongs Regarding The Objectification Of Children”.

As always for complex or socially-heated subjects showcased by rather long pieces, feel free to add your comments to source articles and let me know – I will happily link back through here.

9. A Derrick Jensen quote, which I take as a refutation of “well, that’s human nature” / “it’s natural for people to act that way” of those I consider pro-status quo apologists, as posted by Idzie.

10. “Being acceptable in the eyes of society”: people would do well to read what it’s like to be a mother and/or mother-identified.

11. Make: sent to me by my brother’s lady J.: Herb Stenciled Easter Eggs. Beautiful!

11. “green snake”, a photo anthology (a tiny bit NSFW). I keep wanting to try absinthe, but I’ve thus far been too lazy to try to get ahold of some.

12. And finally: the best ballon dance I’ve seen, and that’s saying something:

"What the fuck are you Tolkien about?"

friday, friday, gettin’ down on friday

Friday links, or also, things I tweet and email to friends/family and then notice these people post them to Facebook to madcap happy responses. I miss the days of my Facebook account. I had many fans. Am I tempted to go back? Narp.

1. At design-fetish, from two years ago: “Retrofied Modern Movie Posters”. I sent these to my husband – a local and volunteer poster-designer, who wrote me in return (smugly), “I know.” Whatevs. A couple days later I stumbled (in a totally different space) on another such concept – but hello, a poster with major spoilers? Oh hell no.

2. I have one quibble with the self identified “world’s 9 most brilliantly pointless street fliers” curated at someecards. The “pointless” should be replaced with “fucking awesome!” because I peed a little. The last example had me at Hello.

3. I recently stumbled on the Antonio Buehler article “Who SHOULD Homeschool?”. I’m quite impressed as it is pretty frank and hard-hitting while emphatically laying to rest many myths propagated and ignorance perpetrated about the homeschooling option. Probably other people aren’t that impressed, but for me, he tackles a discussion many people pussyfoot around. On that note, I’d advise not clicking through unless you can read with an open mind, and as per usual if you have a refution or comment, please do leave it at the source material and link back through comments here if you like.

4. At the same time and in a similar vein, I found Buehler’s previously-published article, “Who Should NOT Homeschool” to be, as far as I’m concerned, compassionate and realistic in many ways… although I am a bit confused and have some concerns I haven’t satisfied. Beuhler seems to advocate for homeschooling purely in terms of achievement (which is a schema also embraced, however poorly consummated, by the schooling model). I’m wondering what worldview he holds for those who’d homeschool for holistic reasons, personal empowerment, and the mental, emotional, and physical health of our little human beings – regardless of the status, titles, or pay they end up commanding in their adult state.

5. Anita Sarkeesian challenges the mainstream tendency to celebrate so-called “feminist” film roles in this vlog: “True Grit, Mattie Ross and Feminism?”. There’s nothing I can say here that will add to Sarkeesian’s excellent analysis; the six plus minutes are well-spent. If you don’t know the term androcentrism, it’s long-past time you remedied that.

6. The Boston Globe “The Big Picture” feature contains a photo-essay of the earthquake/tsunami/nuclear disaster in Japan. The images of the very old and the very young are especially difficult for me. I also find myself wondering about the experiences of the rescue workers. They are faced with such colossal devastation, yet every moment they are making a positive difference – saving lives and moving people to tears and prayer.

7. At The Noble Savage, Amity Reed writes “Sleep, my pretty, sleep”, regarding a strategy to perserve mental health when the world seems a dark and scary place.

8. At What Tami Said: “Stop Being ‘Shocked’ by ‘Isms'”. I’ve heard this point before, and I am in whole-hearted agreement. I love how Tami writes because she is rational yet well-equipped to discuss emotional realities; she also has a succinct delivery on complex subjects that I rather envy. And good lord, any “progressive” or liberal reading here, please do click through.

9. Crafting: I’m pretty sure the Super Secret Waffle Cult is behind many nefarious breakfast pastry plots. And by the way, I would totally make up some of these crepe paper flowers except that within a week they’d be clotted with cat hair; no longer so “fresh”.

10. Sasson shirts. I don’t need to write any further, except to say this is what I like to put on after I’ve had a hard day bringing much love, happiness, and saxiness to the world.

11. The tribute to Dwayne McDuffie at Racialicious is sweet and informative. In particular I enjoyed the video interview where McDuffie makes some excellent points regarding the inclusion of racial minority characters in a white-dominated field. It is So. Worth. Watching!

12. Sent to me by friend and reader Bex: “Deb Roy: The Birth of a Word”. At 4:57 I STARTED CRYING. Also at the end. The big ticket/mass media/marketing opportunity items were less important to me than the reflection of the “feedback loop” of raising our young – in other words, it isn’t just us influencing them; we respond in Pavlovian kind.

13. Random Parenting Thought 2 – Behaviourism v Unconditional Parenting at Analytical Armadillo. I would cite Behaviorism as just about the number one mainstream US parenting principle (even if adherents, parents and non-parenting adults alike, wouldn’t self-identify it as such). It’s crap, and limited, and fear-based – and yet it prevails. Ed. note, see comments for a discussion of the meaning of “Behaviorism”.

14. Local! “Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain memorialized with guitar sculpture in Washington” (that would be Aberdeen, Washington) from APP.com (written by local reporter Steven Friederich). I notice Mayor Bill Simpson can’t help farting in the general direction (most locals with his views on Cobain however think our log/rape’n’pillage history and serial killer/boomtown murder rate are totally honorable/colorful and deserve the museums & memorabilia devoted to them. Etc.). What’s interesting to me is people still come from all over the world to explore Kurt Cobain’s life, to find clues, to look deeper into the birthplace of music that resonates with them. On a related note, Aberdeen and surrounding area has mostly whizzed this responsibility (and opportunity) down the leg, although as this newspiece indicates, many people are trying to do right by our historical record.

15. Guest-posting at Authentic Parenting, Meredeth Barth writes, “Just a Child”, her response to an average parenting mag’s average kind of article (“25 Manners Kids Should Know”). Of course I related to much of this, but today I’m reflecting that mainstream “experts” often aren’t really experts, but rather those who repeat and reify the views we’re finding comforting, convenient, etc. Most parenting “experts” today espouse a lot of twaddle (sadly, some of it quite harmful), and I’m sad to think of how much I’ve bought into, and how hard it continues to be to un-learn these tenets and simultaneously forge better relationships.

16. Awful Library Books discussed a potential shelving of Not in Room 204, a children’s book dealing with a child’s experience of sexual abuse by a father. The original post (specifically the submitter’s concerns) and many comments made me incredibly sad, or angry – some comments made little jests, some claimed the book was “too creepy” for children to handle and it might give them nightmares (ah yes, the perpetuated belief kids aren’t smart/are too fragile, etc. – while we hold they are, apparently, equipped to handle being abused in their homes without a lifeline). Fortunately better heads pervailed in the commentariat. I liked what Sarah, a librarian, had to say (3/17/11 4:54 PM): “This book handles the subject responsibly and respectfully. It’s crucial that we don’t hide information from kids even if it makes us uncomfortable; sometimes their lives depend on getting their hands on a book like this.” Leigha (3/17/11 10:56 PM) makes a great point about a handful of responses regarding access: “All the comments about how it’s a good book to have because it’s in the adult section anyway and the kid would need it read to them seem to be missing one key point…it’s normally (like for the girl in the book) one of the parents DOING the molesting. Do you really think a child molester is going to read this book to their kid? And I doubt anyone else would unless they suspected something. If it’s not where the kids themselves can get it, it’s pretty much worthless.” Me, I’m still saddened, and gobsmacked, that one of the most prevalent forms of abuse against children, and one the child is least able to get help for, is still so under-discussed and meets with so many so-called well-intentioned adults’ pressure to keep it under wraps.

17. Tonight the 7th Street Theatre here in Hoquiam is showing Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. As I have been doing for about four years, I designed the movie program (shoehorning in the popular trivia section, and deciding which trivia had merit, and imagining some the fantasy-geek rage I might inspire if I got any of it wrong). Anyway, whilst up late finishing that up I stumbled on this image which left me giggling.

"What the fuck are you Tolkien about?"

For those whom it applies, I hope you have a lovely Friday night and a fabulous weekend!

 

“science searches for answers”

Watching Phoenix watch “television” (Netflix on her laptop) is fascinating. She typically views science shows and BBC – right now she’s watching “MonsterQuest”. As she watches she flips browser windows and Googles and looks up photographs and information on Wikipedia, etc. It’s a highly active process, not at all the zoning-out zombieville Americans love to claim all American children are doing, all the time.

She has a brain like a steel trap (it runs in the family; my father had it, I have/had it but I’ve since half-deteriorated mine with booze and Will Ferrell movies). For a long time her favorite book was Camping & Wilderness Survival: The Ultimate Outdoors Book – she’d take it on roadtrips and such and just pore through it. I’m sure it would still be in rotation but it was, sadly, one of the casualties of our aquatic-car (note to self: get her an “new” copy for Christmas; extra note to self, at any point she may start reading your blog so quit discussing surprise-plans ahead of time). So anyway, we’ll be taking a walk in the woods and suddenly she’ll tell me how to apply a square elbow bandage or instruct me on which mosses are edible. Don’t worry, I don’t remember any of this. I just figure to keep the kids close when the apocalypse comes. I think they’ll be wilier than most.

Ralph took some kids out up to the wet and rainy cemetery trails; they made a little video:

(TINY MUSHROOM AT 02:01)

friday link-up!

Culture
“Accounting for What Matters” by Wendy Priesnitz:

“Aside from allowing academic and personal freedom, life learning is about living more mindfully – acting altruistically (instead of earning gold stars or the approval of authority figures), respecting individuals for who they are rather than how much money they make or how many degrees they have, overturning discrimination, working cooperatively, and learning about and improving the world by living in and acting on it. The kids who are growing up in that way should be able to solve many problems.”

“The false and harmful rhetoric of family life vs. work life” by yours truly

Cute Overload on the U.S. elections

Craft
How-To: Linoleum Print Cards & Invites at Craft

budgeting for your creative habit” at Scoutie Girl. I have to squint real hard on this one… For one thing, the “budget” and notes thing isn’t how I roll (It’s how Ralph rolls though, and it appears to work okay). Also, those mentioned “cash-eating demons” for some people I know are things like rent and utility bills. And maybe this is why I’ve started thinking a lot more about gifting and donating some of my work – I want to create opportunity for other people to feed their souls. I do, however, wholeheartedly agree wtih this: “When your expenditures don’t line up with your values, you get that icky I-ate-too-much-ice-cream feel in your stomach. And it’s hard to shake.”

calaveras, dia de los muertos – beautifully-done in polymer clay with hand-painted detail.

Viewing/Reading/Listening
New on Masterpiece Theatre – “Sherlock” (can watch online)

Good documentaries (links go to the titles on Netflix instant): Awful Normal, Man On Wire, and I Have Never Forgotten You

Cat Owner’s Home Veterinary Handbook (but I will be getting my copy through Jackson Street Books)

“One Kiss Can Lead To Another” – a great mini-anthology!

Quotes
This one comes via Mamapoekie:

When we adults think of children, there is a simple truth which we ignore: childhood is not preparation for life; childhood is life. A child isn’t getting ready to live; a child is living. The child is constantly confronted with the nagging question, “What are you going to be?” Courageous would be the youngster who, looking the adult squarely in the face, would say, “I’m not going to be anything; I already am.” We adults would be shocked by such an insolent remark, for we have forgotten, if indeed we ever knew, that a child is an active participating and contributing member of society from the time he is born. Childhood isn’t a time when he is molded into a human who will then live life; he is a human who is living life. No child will miss the zest and joy of living unless these are denied him by adults who have convinced themselves that childhood is a period of preparation. How much heartache we would save ourselves if we would recognize the child as a partner with adults in the process of living, rather than always viewing him as an apprentice. How much we would teach each other… adults with the experience and children with the freshness. How full both our lives could be. A little child may not lead us, but at least we ought to discuss the trip with him, for after all, life is his and her journey too. – Professor T. Ripaldi

correspondance, commerce, & creeps

This morning after meeting a friend at Pure Clothing here in HQX (I love the owner J. and think we are so lucky to have such a great shop; today I found a pair of hot-ass Silver jeans in my size as well as a pair of my tried-and-true Levi 501s – have I mentioned how much I love jeans yet hate stretch jeans, which are almost all you find if you’re over about a US size 10, and remind me sometime to tell you my friend Jasmine’s dire and graphic warnings on such stretchy-fare) I stopped at Jackson Street Books and chatted with the owner Tammy (who really. REALLY. knows her books). While talking my eye fell on about ten books I wanted for myself or as gifts. I finally settled on two for Phoenix: Bunnicula by James Howe and The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan (the second book in the very popular Percy Jackson and the Olympians series; she simply devoured the first one about half a year ago). I thought both were excellent Halloween choices. When I got home I surprised Phoenix with the books and she smiled bigger than you can imagine and put aside the “younger” (and shorter) Bunnicula to dive into the YA/General fare of Percy. I felt a bit sad as it seems her babyhood vanished far before I could treasure it; however I know she will pick up the story of the vampiric lupine (a favorite of mine as a kid) – at some point.

So I spent my grocery money on jeans and books but we made due with pantry provisions for dinner and I really think the purchases, especially the books for my girl, entirely worth it.

Today a friend asked me if I’d sew her up a dress (based on the striped hooded version recently modeled by Phoenix) to which I said Yes. I am ready and willing to take on full-grown ladies (and gentlemen), especially plus-size women as they are so underserved in the fashion industry. All of this has to be done within my own work schedule of course (I am currently two pair of monster booties behind) – which I’m trying desperately not to get backed up on as:

the gag order has been lifted and I am now able to publicly blog I am testing for an upcoming book project of Karen and Shelly’s (of Patterns by Figgys) as published by Wiley. While I’m not able to post pictures of the garments I’m testing (yet), I can say they are all fabulous and fun to sew and scratch my technical-writing nrrd-skills.  I’m saving up pictures in Flickr (as private) and hoping to make them public some day. There are a lot of things I really love about these two ladies, their designs, and their ethos (including generous voluntary copyright clauses for cottage-industry or home sewists). It is pure joy to be able to help such an enterprise.

And:

I recently received a Thank You email (very specific and edifying and including details of my reader’s life – which I love!) and a Paypal donation by reader E.; the day after a handwritten letter arrived, penned from New Zealand blogger Elly – and full of NZ and AU currency and some history/geography to boot! As far as feedback and commentary from readers it’s been a great week. Well actually it seems to get better all the time, although to be clear IMs and DMs and tweets and email and snailmail has never been much more than a steady trickle (I am no Celebrity). For this I am grateful as I sometimes fear I let correspondance slip through the cracks. Frowny-face.

In other news, sketchy Flickrite Alejandro seems to like the ladies. And the little girls. Like my 8 year old daughter. (Just not anyone over 22 or so, or fat or “ugly” – ew!) But don’t worry, I’m sure the fellow’s legit. See how he has no profile information and has posted no photo except one of a Siamese cat.

Cute cat.

get it get it get it

Today was incredible! Almost too much to write about so I’ll confine myself to just a couple events. The first part of our day was Phoenix’s most vigorous soccer game yet. After winning the previous four games, today’s challengers tasked them severely.  And I got to see some… whooooooOOOoo… I don’t know what to call it, parental behavior that was just … intense.

S. Grips Her Knee

In fact today I saw pretty much every bit of published parental codes of conduct broken (just on OUR side of the field, the other team’s parents were even more yelling-y and included two screaming pacers). I was left kind of reeling: How do coaches put up with this? Like a mother yelling, “What was THAT?!” repeatedly at her daughter when the girl made mistakes and then bellowing, “GET IN YOUR SPOT SAMANTHA!!” (names changed to protect the identity of dickweeds). Probably my favorite was the father who yelled at every player to “GET THE BALL!!” (really?), repeatedly told his daughter to physically push the opposing team members, kept up a constant mantra of play-specific adjuncts delivered from the sidelines (this is, everywhere I’ve read, a no-no), and did not applaud anything other than a score (this same personage only remembered a few names of the top-scorers. At one point when my daughter had the ball he yelled, “Get it, uh-number… uh-5!” He also mixed up the three Latina girls’ names. Oh and he kept getting off and on a cell phone to chew someone out).

I am not making any of this up!

I’ve had to do some personal education on being a sporting parent. I participated in sports as a kid, but my parents rather didn’t. I’m proud of Ralph and I and our developing strategies – which soccer enthusiasts, coaches, and successful and happy athletes prefer over the pushy/aggressive and “motivating” paradigm. I’m still figuring it out but if I hadn’t started a self-education I would probably be feeling decidedly uncomfortable and confused about what I was seeing (Karen Ridd’s piece in Natural Life Magazine‘s September/October 2008 issue, “Lost in the Parenting Wilderness”, was especially helpful; her sons are high-level performers and so the onus of parental management and her own past experiences as a competitor were especially difficult to navigate). Today it was kind of heartbreaking to observe just how little support comes off the sidelines and how much screaming, criticism, and inappropriate coaching happens instead. A real eye-opener for me.

We have a good coach (inasmuch as I can tell). He has seriously developed the girls to an extent I would have not imagined. Several of them have improved markedly, our daughter included, in the space of two practices a week for a couple weeks. I’m impressed.

More reading from an article called “Parents & Motivation: What’s Your Role?” by Dr. Alan Goldberg, a sports psychologist:

“Pushing, prodding, demeaning and bottom line, emotionally abusing [your] son. Is this motivation? […]

Pushing your child towards certain athletic goals that they may or may not have will backfire in your face! It is not your job to motivate your child-athlete. It is not your job to push or pressure them. Doing this will only kill their love for the sport and cause them to ultimately lose respect for you.

Your children’s motivation to participate and excel in a sport is something that should come from within them, not you. They should compete because they want to. They should practice because they want to. They should have their own reasons and own goals. They should pursue their own dreams. I don’t mean to be harsh here, but when it comes to your child’s sport, your dreams don’t count.

I’m going to keep this report positive (although I am seriously, Jane Goodall-like, wanting to further report on the intense behaviors I saw today!) because despite almost comic unpleasantness Ralph and I had a great time. It was a wonderful game. The girls worked hard. They were three players short on the team and there was an incredible amount of effort. I felt like I got to know each of the players a little bit better by observing them tasked so hard. After the game ended, we were the only family who let our daughter play on the playground (because remember how these are little girls?). Fortunately there were many other children there waiting for their siblings’ games to end, including two of Phoenix’s teammates. We stayed an extra hour and a half while they played. Ralph and I played with the girls, much to their delight – they especially enjoyed Ralph’s intensely physical and boundlessly playful shenanigans.

In other news I am walking on air as our first indie bookstorein HQX opened. Let me point out we are a combined community of two towns and about 26000 people and before today we did not have a serious bookstore. This one looks decidedly good! It is in a very small space – in fact it is the former anteroom of the diner I worked in as a young woman and, briefly, a handful of hours last year. Despite a small space, selection and pricing look great!

And what should I see when I walked in but, immediately, Scott Clevenger’s book – a book I’ve been wanting (as I’ve recently decided to allow myself book-buying, not just library use)!
Z. O. M. G.

All other potential purchases had to be pushed aside for this one (including $18 worth of groceries) – because you bet I bought a copy (here’s a taste of the authors’ brilliance). I read the introduction in the lobby of the Theatre next door with their live music venture – and laughed out loud! Also who should I see in the modest turnout but my mom’s ex-boyfriend. Likely so stoned that… well, what’s a good stoned reference. Like he could hardly move. I waved in and invited him over. He seemed suspicious but he did drift in and out of the store. I stood talking to new friends and old acquaintances while my kids ran and tumbled about with their friend (another sleepover here tonight). I couldn’t have felt happier than I did this evening – and it was just simple pleasures, really.

An indie bookstore within biking distance from my house here in HQX.

Pinch me.
Halftime Strategy
¡Estas chicas son increíbles!

Pools of sorrow waves of joy / Are drifting thorough my open mind / Possessing and caressing me

I’m re-reading a favorite book of mine: The Little Friend by Donna Tartt (thank you Abi for giving it to me years ago!). A more perfect book for Kelly God-damned Hogaboom can simply not be found. I liked it so much I immediately went out to find her previous work, The Secret History, which was also excellent, but since two awesome things have to have a favored choice (kind of like would I rather make out with Mads Mikkelsen in his viking-beard-and-skirt or as the tortured expatriate relief worker with a tragic secret?), I’ve gotta say The Little Friend wins out.

I’m sorry, I have to take a minute to recover from those Mikkelsen image searches.

So anyhow, I love finding a book I can read over and over and over because it’s kind of rare. I felt this way about A Prayer For Owen Meany before Irving’s sexism became simultaneously too annoying and snore-inducing to weather.  I can still read the Lord of the Rings books over and over, yes with the snooty British professorial bit and the weird imperialism and omission of lady-agency and, well, dorkiness I suppose. We only own a handful of books on a tiny corner shelf my father built for me the year before he died. Books are one of the many, many things I don’t own in a long line of things I refuse to own because “stuff” terrifies me and besides, we’ve moved three times in a year and don’t own our home and I’m still (mentally and emotionally) semi-nomadic AND please, we have so many mouths to feed and maybe keeping a home-order is one way I cope with this. My children have more books than I do; mostly we rely on librarying up like no one’s business.

Today I took the kids to see Circus Gatti – the first time we’ve been to a circus in a handful of years. Held at our huge wooden stadium here in HQX it was one of those dissociative moments of thinking how fucked-up our world is but also being stunned at the beauty of it, twisted and all. The finale act two elephants performed and stood on their hind feet to booming Latin/urban hip hop and I felt conflicting and equally strong emotions: sick with myself I was supporting likely unethical animal-husbandry, impressed with the athleticism of the hardworking circus employees, unaccountably embarrassed by the socioeconomic markers of working class we continue to evidence (by being at the circus in the first place and being unable to afford all the trappings my kids wanted), blessed and amazed by my stunned and vivid children who shouted and ran about and bought what confectionary they could afford ($4 bought cotton candy) and performing somersaults on the bright green. Pheonix also knew way more about elephants and the training therein than I’d realized.  I sat comfortably on the wooden bleacher and held my son in my arms and felt dizzy from both the height and expanse of the stadium (I am slightly agoraphobic) and the mixture of my emotions and let’s face it, only a small handful of snap peas and a slice of cheese for breakfast.

Afterwards the circus emptied out more quickly than one could have predicted; the children took me to the nearby school playground and frolicked some more. I went back for the car (I only had use of it one half day this week) and when I got back sat patiently as the kids made their way to me (not at all promptly after I called). As a finale the Boy first did an impressive monkey-bar feat and then hopped down; when I clapped he beamed at me and pulled his shoes off the hood then opened the car door and buckled in. The children asked, “Where are we going now?” To the grocery store (where I let them pick out fruit, whatever they wanted). Then home, in the sunshine, together.

obsessions, a coda

After watching the fun but lightweight film Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightening Thief I was rather humbled by the fact my daughter knew so much more Greek mythology than I (I also laughed MUCHLY at the kind of erotic overtones of Pierece Brosnan playing a centaur, ladies you know what I’m saying?). I’d been prepared to put the film behind us but my brother’s lady J. suggested we look into the book series. I checked out the first from the library (same-day service, thank you Lisa!) and told my daughter I could read it to her. She immediately cracked it and stuck it in her face and didn’t look up until she’d finished it including not even letting me borrow it for one second to see if I’d like reading it, too.

See?

Phoenix & Percy

This was Phoenix, for the twelve hours after the book got into her little hands. When she woke the next morning she got right back to it until she finished it (note: she is simultaneously reading while removing a kitten from her neck):

Phoenix Continues Reading

I was a voracious reader myself as a girl; although I don’t remember getting my hrrdcore Book Nrrd chops until age 10. Phoenix outstrips me easily.