Phoenix

stained-glass

Phoenix's 1st Dance
I had my nostril pierced yesterday. I hadn’t had a stud in my nose since age nineteen – almost twenty years.

My intense fear of needles kept me away. And yet, last night – while shopping for my daughter’s ear-piercing – I knew it was time. And while the rest of my family went to find a shop that would accommodate our thirteen year old child, I stepped into the back of another shop, sat on a clinical-looking table, and waited, my mind and body going into that fear-space. Resting as calmly as I could.

The needle drives in and I breathe out slowly. When the shock and adrenaline pass I say: “I put this off a long time.”

“Everything happens for a reason,” the piercer tells me now, in a mild tone, as she’s setting the jewelry – a stud so small that my husband and mother fail to notice it when they see me next. She is a small, gnome like woman with sleepy eyes and full cheeks – beautiful, placid, and to my way of thinking – incredible. I know I would have a very hard time driving a needle into someone else’s body.

And now, her simple words – “everything happens for a reason” – maybe said offhand even, somehow strike me as profound.

Our family has had so many changes these last few weeks. Life is not happening too fast, precisely, but life is definitely carrying me along the current. I am not steering – I am guiding our little vessel as best I can. The wind chaps my cheeks and I am not always sure what’s around the bend. I’m finding a beauty in every little thing. A fierce, out-of-breath wave of feeling in my breast.

My little silver stud installed, I step into the night street and travel a few doors down and wait for my daughter. This tattoo parlor is a little dirtier; a large television plays a reality television show. I wait for my daughter, only feeling a slight pang of envy that my husband gets to attend her as her earrings are set.

And my daughter – well.

She is ethereal, amazing. She is my very heart.

Tonight she attended her first dance. I spent all the time and all the money I could. I wanted to do it right. She will never not-remember her evening.

Phoenix's 1st Dance

this friday night / do it all again

FRIDAY LINKS! AW YEAH (if you’re new, please read my Comment Policy before posting)

The definitive response, or at least an incredibly good one, to the TIME magazine assery.

What the world eats, a week’s worth of groceries. h/t Jen G. who reminded me of this article.

From the archives: “Craft pr0n and how it’s killing America” at Underbellie. This two-year old post was recently brought to my attention as a few of my tweeps were diggin’ on it. By the way, only a few months ago I finally found the “affordable and well-made, probably used” dining room table I write about here.

Sea and Land by J. W. Buel, 1889. Do you even know how much this is my thing? Or how much I want this book, and to embroider plates from it? A LOT. My favorite was probably the Japanese spider crab, which turns out has recently been fascinating my brother as well. Oh, and it’s very real.

The Japanese, or spider crab.

Obama blows it, big time:

And yes. I laughed so hard I cried.

Ashely Judd on her “puffy” face, at The Daily Beast. (Did I post this already? I don’t think so. Anyway. Here it is. She rocks!)

SCIENCE figures out what really causes ice cream headaches. In the comments, admit it if you’ve had one in the last half year even though you’re a grownup.

Literally the Best Thing Ever: Fictional Rich People of the 1980s at RookieMag.

Hey, I missed James Brown’s birthday! Here, have some dancing lessons. Just be careful on what life lessons you take from the man.

Girls Gone Wild: Female Sex Addiction and the Internet at The Fix.
Readers looking for titillation will instead find a thoughtful piece written by a sex addict (yes, that’s a real thing). I’m not a huge fan of The Fix being as its for-profit motives mean well, what you might think. But this was a good article.

“The greater your shame, the more you do the thing that gives you shame. You feel bad about yourself, you’re lonely, you feel low self-worth, you don’t have enough endorphins to make yourself feel good, so you go back to the addiction because it pleases you and punishes you at the same time.”

This awesome dad takes awesome pictures of his awesome daughters, plus with extra awesome.

“I’m not ashamed to dress ‘like a woman’ because I don’t think it’s shameful to be a woman.” – Iggy Pop

“Talking About Independent Learning” at Natural Life Magazine: a schooled and non-schooled young adult discuss the differences in their learning environments. What a beautiful interview. “Maybe self confidence is something that doesn’t need to be built as much as it needs to be protected.” I’d say the same for critical/”free” thinking, compassion, and work ethic… you know, those things people are often saying need to be drilled into kids.

My favorite tweet of the week.

“I’m sorry the information is so scanty but I’ll send you up more as I get it. Blake out.” First, he is acting the hell out of this cut-rate scene in a Z-grade film. Second, his looks and mannerisms are uncannily that of my brother! Third – SCANTY. The information is SO SCANTY.

Speaking of my brother! A picture of him from 2005. Adorable.

just so you know i used to practice background vocal dance moves to this one

Friday links – just a vid or two. Also I’m about to give up on Google+. I mean not even a LOUSY +1 on the following most excellent piece of 80s radness.

 
Led by the child who simply knew at the Globe. This is an amazing story. I was going to write some of my thoughts but, you don’t need ’em. Just read the piece.

Hold me closer, tiny dancer:

 
From Denmark:

 
Happy Holidays!

Blue Dragon Egg Jacket (Plus, Lady Ralph)

I told myself I’d finish Phoenix’s new coat for my birthday. And I did.

Blue Dragon Egg Jacket

Sly

(& yes, that’s right, I lined up the front perfectly). What’s cool is I designed the whole thing. HECK YES. All of it. Including the pleated hood and the ears:

Happy As A Clam

Hood, Pleats

And the double-layer sturdy pirately cuffs, and the ruched pockets, and the two-fabric sleeves with ruched sleeve heads:

Ruching In The Sleeve Head

And yeah, it was my idea to line with sateen. This TOTALLY works well and (I predict) will stand up to children’s more rugged uses of clothing.

Lining, Facing

I came up with a lining/underlining method that was quite easy to pull off. In fact I made much of the coat yesterday while we had a family over and their kids chatted with us and used computers and ate homemade veggie fried rice and I traded theories with the seventeen year old, exactly seventeen years younger than I, about the film Inception.

Back to the coat. Phoenix was so appreciative as I sewed it. When she awoke today she asked me to snuggle and we talked a bit. I then told her I’d finished the garment just now. She whispered, “Thank you,” and hugged me. She wore it to the drag show and we immediately began to get praises for it. At one point after I used the bathroom and returned she said she was getting stares and she’d fielded more compliments. I asked, “Do you like that?” (meaning the stares) and she nodded Yes. “I want to be a movie star someday,” she told me. I responded, “Well, you should let me sew for you, because people will look at you if I make you unique clothes.” Let me tell you, she was a treat at that show and very proud of her father’s performance (I think a video may emerge from this so, stay tuned).

Pointing Out Cat Hijinx
(Pointing out cat hijinx. No, I don’t want to look.)

There are more pictures of the coat, including construction details, at the Flickr tagset.

The drag show was fun, and so was the dance afterwards. My lovely husband post-act (much of his make up had worn off):

Post-Routine

Signing memorabilia for some fans:

Lady Of The Evening

For now, I’m tucking into the following: a homemade sandwich with fresh mozzerella, homemade Italian dressing, olives, and a lovely birthday wine from Jasmine. Hot, hot, hot bath to follow and a b-movie. Tomorrow a birthday dinner with friends and family, and (I think) Wednesday a spa date up in Tacoma.

w00t!

suspicious characters

My husband takes a deep breath, sighs, looks pointedly at the steering wheel, then kills the engine.  I know exactly what he’s thinking.  Is the truck going to start when we return? I’m hoping it will as we have kids at home getting up to God Knows What while we shop for groceries and believe it or not, asking people for jumps gets a bit old (although it must be said in Grays Harbor people are really ready for this eventuality, my friend J. tells me they also carry chainsaws in their trucks ready to cut down trees lying across the road, you know, just in case).

The truck thing is kind of his fault.  A few days ago before he embarked on fixing my mom’s troubled beast I’d asked him if the vehicle mayhap have a charging system problem, not so much a battery problem, take it and get it diagnosed first, blah blah.  He figured it was the battery, a good guess really plus he was doing the repair bit on lunch break, so he bought a new one on my mom’s dime and now the damn thing still dies every two days (if you use headlights at all).  OK: so, fine.  Tomorrow I’ll take it to the shop my dad always recommended.  And the kids and I will bus back. And I hope it’s not raining, ugh.  You know, that whole hour in between buses shit in the wind and rain.  Today was sunny but cold when you’re out hoofing it.

You know in Hoquiam and Aberdeen very few people take their errands or their work commute by walking, biking, or the public transportation?  It’s fricken rare to see people hitting the streets who aren’t poverty-level or dealing with a variety of drug, court, mental health and/or welfare problems (I currently have none of the above). Most peeps in my peer group are in their cars, minivans, trucks shuttling back and forth.  In fact there are huge swatches of pretty much normal Aberdeen where by being seen walking you’re judged to be either down-on-your-luck or poor or prostituting or mething and heavily judged or WTF’d based on any of these assumptions (actually, don’t even click and read the comments in that link, it’s just kind of depressing).  As for the supposed sketchy areas of the fair township, my pwecious widdle babies and I walked some of them today, first getting a hot dog at the stand by the carwash (not very prepossessing in appearance but delicious all the same) then some helado a la tienda naranja before ending up in my Monday afternoon belly dancing class.

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P.S., why am I in a belly dancing class. First off, most the ladies in there seem really into the scarves and skirt and jingles.  I own not one skirt except a denim mini (which I happened to wear today b/c of the sunshine).  I don’t like flowing veils or fringe or all that wispy twirling around with scarves thing.  So, I dance in my jeans with my fat rolls hanging out the top.  FTW.

Which brings me to:  I do like the dancing.  It feels great.  I like the ladies in the class, especially my friend J. and the instructor L.  I like really dancing, energetically so.  I try not to glimpse myself in the huge studio mirror, because my cavorting looks so much less impressive than it feels.

Which is my second Why am I in a belly dancing class query, because really?  Yes, I can do a bit of a camel walk or a figure eight or large hip circles or a shoulder shimmy or a veil drop.  But ask me to combine two or more?  Why don’t I just fall down, break my arm, and piss my pants while I’m at it, because that’s where I’m going to end up.

Oh and by the way, Ralph and I made it home from the grocery store.  The truck survives to fight another day.

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Documenting my domicile: our little porch.  Adorned with the Hogaboom Lemon Tree and (lower left) a Thrift City bifurcated rag rug for $2, which I carried all grimy-like in my fist for a half hour in line at the store, then washed and dried at home and you should have seen Ralph’s expression, although he has come to believe it’s a nice addition, so that’s good.