please leave my pasty white thighs in peace

Yesterday I listened a (sober) drunk talk about his drinking for a bit. At one point he said: “It used to be fun… then it was fun and consequences… then it was just Consequences.” I started laughing in that kind of way I do where there is nothing past the moment of my laughter, a big belly laugh really that feels good. GOOD LORD do I remember the days – brief in my drinking career, as drinking careers go – of “just Consequences”. Those consequences I can enumerate if you like but the main point is they got to a place beyond what I could endure. I am here to tell you there are people who can Endure a great deal and today I have nothing but awe for this. They’re no weaker or stronger, more or less spiritual than I – it’s just a Thing.

Anyway I’m here one hundred percent for someone who wants to get sober. They can text or call day or night and I am one hundred percent. You don’t even need to think you can do it (I sure didn’t think I could!), you just have to want it in this way that is deep in your bowels, even if only a little bit, if that wanting is a little twinge right now while you’re reading. If you’re already thinking about it why not join those of us doing it? It’s like sitting at the top of the biggest awesomest water slide that everyone tells you is SO FUN and you know they’re right but you’re messing about and thinking of just walking down the stairs with sad Charlie Brown music. No! GO for it because you’ll be tortured until you do!

So, enough of that. When I write about alcoholism and addiction it’s generally to crickets, or at least a dearth of comments (don’t think I don’t notice!). Odd since it touches so many lives – it tells me stigma is very real. I still do it though, write about it, because perhaps there are those out there reading who find any kind of strength and hope or even amusement or even, “She’s crazy, how can she stand herself?”

And oh, I was slut-shamed today. I walked into a room and a woman yelled out, “Where’s the rest of your outfit?” I was taken aback and took my seat and thought about it and quietly asked myself why I was disturbed. A crystal-clear moment came to me: there’s no way this woman would have shouted that “joke” without an audience – she never would have confronted me in any way had it been just she and I. Sad thing is she (probably both victim and perpetrator) makes it hard as a woman to love my body and just be in my body and not feel it’s on display or that people have the right to size me up and put me down; she doesn’t know how difficult it is to give myself permission to dress a way where I’m not overheated. She doesn’t know I hardly have anything in my closet and I’d actually thought my on-Sale Target short-sleeved black dress was cute until she Jezebel’d my ass. Her shouting at me is just one bit of that endemic ladyhate out there that we don’t realize we’re breathing until we choke on it. It’s boring yeah but it’s also oppressively sad. I don’t have anything I learned from that except Yes, when people try to humiliate me it can actually work sometimes.

And finally: one of our two missing kitties came home, Harris. He was oddly starved – as in he’d lost a lot of weight, but he was so grateful and tender to be home. He has been like a new cat, all friendly and sweet and not biting us with his huge shark teeth. I do not know what is up but I hope the personality stays even if his weight comes back. Hutch continues to improve, which is wonderful. Hamilton, alas, is still missing.

The kind words, texts, and emails during our recent difficulties – financial, health, and pet troubles – have been so lovely. I can tell you it is never a waste of time to reach out and give some love. That kind of kindness has no endpoint.

Thank you.

UNSCHOOLING PRODUCES UNNATURAL CHILDREN

one plus one. really?

Thanksgiving, we had our four family members and one lovely dinner guest. Ralph and I made – all from scratch:

A Michigander-style 16 pound turkey
Mashed potatoes & gravy
Sauteed green beans
Roasted lemon asparagus
Crescent rolls
Celery & butter stuffing
Fresh cranberry-orange sauce
Waldorf salad (with pears, apples, sour cherries and spiced pecans)
A pumpkin pie (from fresh-roasted pumpkin)
A dark chocolate / coconut custard cream pie w/organic whipped cream

The grocery bill for all of this, including the dinner and foodstuffs from the day before, came to a little over ninety bucks. That is PRETTY GOOD shopping considering I am not much of a Financial Panther. I was pretty relaxed and had a great time doing the shopping – and yes, it was during one of those intense shopping-mart rushes, and I had both kids, and had to park a full block away. And I was just, enjoying myself. In fact it was one of those wonderful, so-glad-to-be-alive and in-the-moment experiences. And I was also thinking of all the women I saw in their hustling-ass for their families. We need to give women more credit.

(I wrote it in the comments for a previous post, but I gotta write more about it here):

Yesterday, after swim team practice, my daughter is approached by a girl about thirteen. The girl asks,

“Do you go to school?”

“No,” Phoenix answers.

“What is one plus one?” the kid challenges.

“Stop bothering me with silly questions,” Phoenix retorts.*

I DIE A THOUSAND DEATHS AT HOW AWESOME MY DAUGHTER IS. I just… I can’t tell you. When I was my daughter’s age I was guarded about everything. I vacillated between being authentic and badass and brash – then shrinking up out of fear. I had no method of coping for condescension – let alone something as elegant as Phoenix’s straight-forward call-out. I wanted to be good at everything and I wanted to be liked, and I was easily shamed, especially by someone bigger than me or with more authority. If it were me I would have probably answered, “Two,” and felt humiliated, and that humiliation would have turned to anger, and I wouldn’t have known what to do different next time. Phoenix is the calmest and most centered girl. I take virtually no credit except I continue to learn to get out of the way, and listen deeply and give her the nurture she needs.

What is it with unschooling coming up more lately? I trust it will die down again. It goes in spurts. You know, spurts where we get to live our life without being commented upon or outright harassed. I am not complaining. No really! It is just odd it’s been coming up. Like while this thing was happening to my daughter, someone was telling her father how good it is Phee is on the swim team: “Oh that’s good, get her out of the house. Get her some socialization!”

No, really.

UNSCHOOLING PRODUCES UNNATURAL CHILDREN

 

Anyway so last night my daughter and I watch one of our favorite shows, “River Monsters” from Animal Planet (we are both HUGE Jeremy Wade fans). My kids are expert movie riffers.

“In order to catch this monster sting ray, I was going to have to do something I’d never done before -”

” – dress as a Sexy Lady Ray!”

then

“The residents were finding enormous bullsharks in the place they least expected -”

“a HOT DOG CART!”

… and so on. Many giggles into the night until we got too sleepy to watch and fell asleep all cuddled-up like.

***

* my daughter tells me she and this girl are now friends.

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

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.

Happy Baby!

ZEN BEAR, it’s Friday!

ED. NOTE – I am still working my little tail off trying to raise money for our participation in the Life is Good Unschooling Conference. Donations and/or moral support are much-welcomed as the clock ticks on towards the end of May!

It’s been a while but – I’m ready to install Friday link round-up again! Yay!

Happy Baby!

Social wellbeing: Why it’s OK to give to homeless drug addicts by Mark Johnson. This piece especially resonated with me. Rare to see such a deep understanding of addiction published in the MSM.

Social wellbeing: Badinter Protests Too Much by Wendy Priesnitz. Yet another convo about how our own children are keeping us down – this has been around for some time now – but nicely refuted by Wendy. Pro-tip, if your so-called progressive feminism mostly picks on women and their choices you might want to check your feminism.

My son begged and begged me to buy him the Kikkerland First Aid Box (Red) from Gray’s General.  And I did. Now I need all the stuff that goes in a First Aid box. HALP I’m not even sure what that is!

Local: missing from Elma still, Cory Allen Kellis.

Nature is horrid. (Third picture down. THE EYEEEES)

and thirty babies are PISSED at you.

100 year old photos of New York city – freshly digitized, amazing, and up for your review.

The illusion of choice – click through and peruse.

Vadim Trunov, photography.

What’s inside an elephant? Interesting project, but don’t watch while eating.

Yahoo answers comes through for us.

A dramatic surprise on a quiet town square.

Dog-logic.

Cooking: @LLifeOfMine on Twitter came through with a great rice recipe. I used it last night and it’s fabulous.

Sewing: Figgy’s Patterns posted their new line, sized up to about 8/9. Shipping is May 10th. I got a testing sample of Banyan and as soon as I’m finished with my current project for Phoenix – and while I wait for the fabric to arrive for Dharma’s jacket – I’m so whipping up some of those pants for my little guy!

Sewing (again): I’m hosting the Open Sew here in Hoquiam, on Saturday!

Crafting: the spring Handmade Companion is out! Featuring a tutorial by the lovely Karen LePage!

My favorite picture on the internet this week:

BEAR

(here’s the story).

Finally: ever feel like you just can’t get a handle on life?

do you like horses

ridikkulous

A letter from Mohandas Ghandi to Hitler. I do not joke. Hey, those without Google+, can you see this link, or do I need to correct it?

Film review: excellence, excellence at Tiger Beatdown re: American Psycho (the book and film); also, some “Crazy Bitches” from seminal films of my childhood, offered up at Bitch Media. Finally: Tropes vs. Women: The Mystical Pregnancy from Feminist Frequency. #w00t

This Is Not an Onion Parody of How Fox News Would Cover Obama’s Birthday

Weight Stigma – Why it hurts… by Janet Zimmerman

I submit this piece in rebuttal to the many who think self-shaming (and other-shaming) are necessary or productive forces with regard to “health” (meaning, weight/size). The science is in (and has been and continues to support the fact that): weight/size stigma leads to more weight fluctuation, long-term weight gain, disordered eating, and low self-esteem. As a parent and someone who works with and sees a lot of kids on a daily basis – and loves these children deeply (“fat shaming for four year olds”, just the most recent piece in the blogosphere), I – frankly – want the cycle to end.

But, I always have to laugh about studies on social justice issues – because people will continue to believe their bias in the face of any evidence, and I know this. If science doesn’t convince my dear reader, I’d ask you to look deep into your heart and ask if shame and guilt and fighting with ourselves (and others) has ever brought you true, lasting, happy, healthy change – while keeping you present for, caring of, and compassionate towards others.

I’ll wait.

Meanwhile! Make: Indestructible Capri Sun Wallets

Fake logos from the movies! This? Is so incredibly cool. Your favorite?

Reviewed at Bantam Street: The Brain That Wouldn’t Die (1962). Classic! And one of my first exposures to “MST3K”; I’d love to see “Elvira’s Movie Macabre” version.

Pretty: “Auntie Peggy Has Departed”, an art installation

I was asked what “snorgling” means. Here’s a definition. And here is a tutorial:

 
The table of contents for the next Life Learning Magazine. I seriously cannot wait, especially for Couture and Swindler’s pieces.

Finally: last night Amber, Jasmine & I were tasked with coming up with band names for Ralph & co, re: his latest music project. Here are some he rejected (probably representing about …. 25% of our silly assery):

Assquatch (also, sadly, already taken and… all kinds of horrible)
Muffintops
Vulva
Grassbacks
Marble Smugglers
Summer’s Eve
Angeltits
Vagzilla
Shit On A Shingle
Pap Schmear
Duck Lips
Snakelight (these latter three were from our gynecological-exam inspirations)
Shart Week*
Showboat Pork N Beans

do you like horses

* Ralph later corrected me: It’s Shart Weak.

sewing curtains

so who doesn’t have a party to go to?

Well our party spirit is a little dampened. This morning we found out someone got ahold of Ralph’s account/credit info and cleaned us out. I mean CLEANED us out. So that was kind of fun! Ralph had to stop work early and make all these phone calls and stuff and I have no idea if we’ll get our monies back and get food and stuff! Wheee!

But nothing shall stop me from Friday’ing your ass up! Pull up a cup of joe and check the linkage!

***

Androcentrism: It’s Okay to Be a Boy, But Being a Girl… at SocImages makes valid points, plus I didn’t recognize who that was in drag at first. Pretty cool.

While we’re on the above-mentioned quote, please watch this Madonna video. MY FAVORITE PART of the video culminates at 02:49. P.S. So interesting this video got banned after the other violent shit male artists have pulled.

Tracy Morgan: If My Son Was Gay, I’d Stab Him To Death; HA HA HA that Tracy Morgan! So funny! Hm, there’s not an emoticon I can think of to type how I really feel about this. … Anyway, here’s Wanda Sykes response to Chris Rock’s defense of Morgan, via Racialicious. Thank you Ms. Sykes.

Okay, moving on. Look, I totally enjoy FYeahSeamstressTiger on a lot of levels (for instance, as I believe I’ve made my position clear long ago [#7]):

sewing curtains

 
But the aggregate effect of the occasional snooty I-can-sew-so-well-and-you-totally-don’t-get-it leaves me cold.

h/t friend Dawn for this Cute little flash animation about how we’re gonna fuck things up. IS it flash? I don’t know. I just call everything that has that look, flash.

Bullying (30): How to stop parent bullying at ronitbaras.com. The “I need to think about it” technique? Kelly-Goddamned-Hogaboom needs to practice this one.

When Homeschooling is Blamed for Child Abuse by Laurie A. Couture. Sometimes I’ve wanted to write out what’s behind the many distinct eyerolls I experience when I hear child abuse blamed on homeschooling – because it’s just laughable. Ms. Couture’s article stands on it’s own merit, however. And the last bit:

“The vast majority of parents who allow their children to learn at home are passionate about their children, love them deeply and put them, their needs and their interests first. Child abuse is a tragedy that will continue as long as this culture supports power-over, punitive, subordinating ways of treating children. Unschooling and relaxed homeschooling are part of the solution!”

Yeah, that gives me the chills.

The Link between Substance Abuse and Eating Disorders by Kendra Sebelius (also known as @VoiceinRecovery on Twitter). Absolutely bleeding edge on progressive treatment for comorbidities more common than many people realize.

Yes, I put my name on the bone marrow donor registry but I kinda want to pee in fear thinking how awful it would be to donate. I’ve given plasma before so know the whole, suck the blood out and put it back in routine (COLD blood going back into one’s body, ugh!), but the needle in the pelvis bit sounds like the real picnic. ANYWAY, truly, if I can help in this way I hope to!

Make (or at least, read about the deliciousness): red currant jam from David Lebovitz’s blog. I am new to having him in my feed reader and I’m liking what I read. His points on complaining about red currant prices are pretty rad.

This week: I watched Norwegian indie film Troubled Water, and started Canadian television series “Due South” (spoilers in both links, obv). The former is elegantly-rendered grief porn, & I say give it a miss (despite a few merits). The latter is a lot of fun, altho’ it’s so unselfconsciously mid-nineties it actually might bog me down and I might not finish. But I can’t get enough Paul Gross, he’s like Cheez-It’s to me.

Quote of the Day
Every society honors its live conformists, and its dead troublemakers. ~ Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic’s Notebook, 1960

Tweet of the Week
Kevin Murphy, participating in a Twitter hashtag game that many others were rather vile with. But in this case – MUCH LULZ

relax, don’t do it – it’s friday!

Friday links, and I’m giving you a small portion of nice, soft, digestible pudding-like fare. This week’s prescription: take ‘er easy.

First, from the annals (eh) of unintentional comedy and American overconsumption:

Or, as Lizz Winstead says, “YOU: I like to poop, but would enjoy it more if it was more complicated. ME: No problem.”

Then: Wave At The Bus – 170 days of dadly awesomeness. Truly.

Fascinating: A Worldwide Day’s Worth of Food: “In their new book, What I Eat, photographer Peter Menzel and writer Faith D’Aluisio present thought-provoking portraits of individuals around the globe and the food that fuels them over the course of a single day.” P.S. “calories for this day” – SUCH a victory over typical conversations!

Children have not always dressed, or been dressed, differently than adults. Here’s just one example. Quite relevant to a submission we have for our upcoming Fiber & Textile show.

h/t Flo for posting this on FB:

You know the only thing funnier than this seven-odd minutes is the fact that as I watched I realized: I don’t think I’ve ever used, nor heard someone use, that phrase IRL. But then –

You probably just don’t get it. Do you.*

(What movies did we see here? Check out the curator’s blog post.)

And finally: thanks, Jasmine. This is kick-ass:

* I should note: besides being a great montage, at about 0:56 we’re seeing KARATE KID III which was riffed most excellently by Mike, Bill, & Kevin.

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: