"You happy now, bitch?"

a rebuttal

Another typical unschooling-defamation piece makes its way into my Tweetstream. I was inspired to make a little something I will picture in my mind every time this happens. Call it my personal moment of Zen.

"You happy now, bitch?"

This little bit of Photoshoppery has nothing to do with unschooling. It has everything to do with being awesome. For instance how awesomely I LOL every time I read or hear some other persnickety, tired-out, anti-child, parent-dissing pearl-clutching screed recommending enforced child-class institutionalization.

***

In other news: I wrote a new post at UB, but it’s kinda grouchy, fair warning. I had a good day today though, honestly.

Ruh-OH!

Oh yes. It’s Valentine’s Day. Got anything planned? I do. But first I like to get a little love song in my system.



But don’t worry. It’s not all teddy bears and diamond rings in champagne flutes. Because I’ve got a little something for anyone in ANY valentine disposition.

JUST FOR YOU: Twisted / Ardor*

Share Twisted / Ardor

Twisted /

“Please Don’t Leave Me” – Pink
Funhouse has been getting a lot of rotation here, mostly by Phoenix but I ain’t complaining. The first time I heard this song I thought, ew! The video only verified the awesome levels of Creepy & Wrong

“Don’t You Want Me” – The Human League
Come on, classic desperation. And when you bring it to the dance floor, no smiling allowed.

“Obsessed” – Mariah Carey
Another fun video by a knockout diva.

“Skullcrusher Mountain” – Jonathan Coulton
Hard to pick from all JoCo’s good stalkin’ rockin’. Last summer found me belting this one out while driving. The kids eventually dug it.

“Freakum Dress” – Beyonce
Oh Bey. You’re like a real-life princess and you sound like an angel. Sometimes your lyrics though, a bit unrelatable.

“Caught Out There” – Kelis
Well. It is Valentine’s Day!

“F*ck You” – Cee-Lo Green
How is this not everyone’s favorite song? OK, OK, I reject the “golddigger” narrative as offensively misogynistic but let me have my fun!

“La Tortura” (Shakira & Alejandro Sanz) – Shakira
This is the one I belt out at home at volume 11. P.S. I want to re-enact the video frame-by-frame, I need a partner and a buttload of onions though. Interested?

“Lose You” – Peaches
No love mix is complete without her teaches.

/ Ardor

“Heal The Pain” – George Michael
Another lovely piece from a fabulous artist; from an album released in 1990 and enjoyed immensely since then.

“Need U Bad” – Jazmine Sullivan
This is another one I love to sing, and Phoenie does too. Sullivan is one of the most expressive vocalists I’ve got in rotation these days.

“Drive” – The Cars
A classic that serves up nostalgia and longing.

“Never Let You Go” – Justin Bieber
Hey. Do you remember being fourteen? This song makes me cry. Haters, fuck off.

“Prove It All Night” – Bruce Springsteen
OK, in all seriousness, THIS is the one I’d like to belt out most, when Ralph finally realizes my hints at forming a dancehall cover band are not really hints.

“Let It Be Me” – Ray LaMontagne
Like so many ladies, I have fallen for the bearded crooner. IT’S A TRAP

“Human Touch” – Bruce Springsteen
The Boss is so good he rates twice.

“Skinny Love” – Bon Iver
I like Bon Iver despite Ralph giving me a swirlie every time he hears me listening to them.

“Waterbirds” – Tennis
From a pretty album by husband and wife, all shoegazey and sweet.

“Hello Love” – Be Good Tanyas
I want to be a lady-country-folkster with a guitar. And be a bit prettier with a unique songbird voice.

“Love Like a Sunset Part I & Part II” – Phoenix
We have this on vinyl. The whole album is lovely and holds a very special, rainy-and-windswept place in my heart.

***

Happy Monday, all!

* (Um, let me know if there’s any weirdness with listening in… I don’t really know how Rhapsody works for non-subscribers.)

this is the face of depression

Today everyone was perfect. The kids were wonderful and beautiful and my husband and them were like in the kitchen laughing gaily while sipping cocktails. They were a bucket of kittens. They were a unicorn painting. Everyone was stellar.

Except me. I sucked.

I didn’t sew. Not a stitch. I wrote this arcane little social justice piece no one will give much of a damn about and those who read will likely think I get all frothed up over unimportant stuff*. I didn’t lift a finger to sort out domestic life (leaving Ralph to clean house, cook food, grab groceries, set the table and serve dinner, and raise our children). I tried to knit something but I’m too inept to figure out how to do a provisional cast-on (yes this is AFTER watching YouTube tutorials). I didn’t even get any television-watching done. I bathed and got dressed – because I have never been in my life so depressed I didn’t do that – but that’s about the only thing I did that made me feel like a human being.

So really? You know those days where you just end up ungrateful and dispirited and you suck? Yeah. That was kind of the overarching sentiment.

* OK, rescinded, a few people liked it and a few more people at least “Like”d it.

of needlesharp ire

Yesterday in my belly dancing class we learned to hold the veil and work with it while dancing. Holding the veil hurt the claw part of my hand, because I’ve been handsewing more of late.  The pain in my extremeties served a bittersweet reminder of my love and bondage; it spoke aloud of something that will be with me for the life I have, as long as I’m able:

Because I love sewing. Times one million.

I’ve been sewing since tempus immemoria, i.e. always.  And over the years I’ve been annoyed by, to some extent large or small, the following:

1.  The elitist, sizeist, racist, ableist, etc. buffet our current glut of craft books and websites are serving up. This needs so much unpacking I had to write up a separate post.

2.  “You should / could sell those!” Really?  Because I’ve never heard anyone say that before.  Or no wait, I hear it all the time.

I understand this is delivered as a compliment 99.44% of the time.  That’s cool.  And it’s interesting that from the lips of so many springs the concept that the ultimate compliment is deigning my work fit for commoditization or earning potential.  Huh.

A tip: those who sell things usually mass-produce them at some level.  This is not for everyone.  Some of us who sew shudder at the very thought of making two identical pillowcases (hello!), let alone churning out one after another diaper cover. Some sewists thrive on this sort of thing, sure. I personally know several. But when someone spies my crayon roll- up (genius!) and says you should sell those, they don’t seem to realize if I took their “advice” I’d be making a bunch of crayon roll-ups instead of other stuff, and the resultant item would be something that would either end up being more expensive than I could unload easily, or it would necessitate a whole wholesale fabric / factory-style construction / mailing center / production workshop.  And me making the same thing over and over.  And: no.

These days I simply smile and say, “If I sold them I wouldn’t have time to sew for my family.”  Ralph says I’m getting good at this.

What I say to other crafters:

“Wow, that’s fantastic.”
“How long did that take you to make?”
“Do you sell those?”
“I’m impressed.  How long have you been making those?”

3. “My mom/Granny/whomever used to make all our clothes.” Really? Did she do anything else, ever? Did she bonsai kitten you into a glass jar so you didn’t grow?

I have no doubt some moms (grandmothers, aunts, fathers, etc. etc.) did in fact make close to 100% of their progeny’s garments (though: socks? underwear? shoes? really?). However the number of times I hear this, I’m pretty sure many have exaggerated. Before I sewed a lot I used to say this about my own childhood wardrobe and I think I’ve even heard my mom say it. Until I look at the pictures in the photo album and yeah, I’m rockin’ some homemade digs but a lot of non-homemade stuff too.  To the extent cheap labor and crappy enviro-pillage occurs it’s currently a bit cheaper to buy ready-made (although not necessarily quality) than the materials and time-effort going into homemade.  This wasn’t always the case, though, and some people did used to sew quite a bit.

It annoys me to hear it because it’s all part of a conversation that cheapens the time and effort needed for high-quality, sturdy clothes. As if a half-hour a day thrown here or there could clothe a growing family.

What you could consider saying to crafters instead:

“My mom/Granny/whomever used to sew clothes for me. I loved (/hated) them!”
“How much time did it take to make that?”
“How much time do you spend sewing?”
“I seem to remember my mom made so much of our clothing. I wonder why so few do so now.”

4. “Will you make me one of those?  I could pay you [ some incredibly small amount for your time and the materials ].”

These days I will do it for free or not at all.  Because first off, again, my goals do not include earning currency. Secondly, if I charged someone a fair price it would be more than most people are willing to pay (trust me!).  So the offer of $25 for a full dress and pintucked pinafore, including fabric costs, is insulting (true example!).  But a request for a gift is flattering (I may not say yes, but it never hurts to ask).

5.  “OMG I would love to sew but I just don’t have time.”

Right.  I have loads of it to spare!  Why don’t I come over and do the rest of your lifework so you can sew, if you’re not too busy!

OK, no more sarcasm, but: Hey guess what!  I made all that time!  I elbowed other things out of the way!  It has been long, mostly joyous, occasionally hard, haul! It’s not like I just had time lying around!

6. “OMG, did you make that?  That is so cool!  I totally want to sew but I just can’t get past blah-blah, one time I made such-and-such, and everyone loved it blah-blah”

My sewing is All About You, so thank you!

7.  “You need new curtains?  Why don’t you just make them?  You can sew anything!”

FUCK YOU*, I totally hate sewing lots of things, including home dec, duvets, cushion-covers, etc. Just because I can make things doesn’t mean it wouldn’t kill my soul to undertake the effort (recent potholder-fail, I am looking at you!).

[ / asshattery, mine ]

* I don’t literally think “Fuck you” towards hardly anyone, it’s more like I think “fuck you” towards curtains.

balls. part deux. (also: trolls)

I got my first anonymous hater today:

Wow. So artfully self-aggrandizing and self-effacing, yet so ANGRY, defensive. Root emotion: anger = FEAR. What are you so afraid of? Your smart readers must do so only to shake their heads. So sad. I’ll be looking for your caustic, derisive response.

The person who wrote this formspring query had emailed me previously – a much more level-headed criticism – but apparently didn’t like my response. Instead of moving herself on to read other blogs, she felt she’d take me down a peg.

Not to be a downer on formspring, but I thought I would post this to let people know that anonymity can often foster hateful language. Those of us who write online – and attach our own names to our writing – get this sort of thing now and then.

Anecdotally: I’ve always thought the root emotion of anger is hurt, not fear. But I’m open to other opinions!

OK, of course, I know what several of you smarties are thinking: “That doesn’t deserve a response!” And goddamn it, you’re probably right!  And yet, this formspring flame is a timely one for me and is touching on something that’s been on my mind:

In the handful of months since I’ve opened comments on my blog, I have been receiving good comments fostering lively discussion – and, behind the scenes: private picking-at-me emails and, now, my first anonymous hate-mail (um, yay?).

This is truly incredible and I’d like to give you a minute to think about this.

People have been reaching out to talk to me since I’ve been blogging – six years.  Before I opened comments I received DMs, IMs, emails, Facebook responses, snail mail letters, people stopping me in the street and phone calls from across the country.  These communications have often been supportive, grateful, and complimentary;  many asked for my advice or my perspective.  Occasionally these communications directly challenged my assertions or writings (this is a sensitive-New-Age way of saying: people would argue with me).  And always, always these experiences have been worthwhile to engage in.  Every single one.

Things have changed.

Yes, I know who wrote the formspring snark*; if I chose, could email this person and say, “Hey dude, not cool”, or ignore this person or write them and their opinions off, or whatever (I do think a focused post about my ANGRY would be good – although of course, I pretty much happily trot the subject out often enough).  But let me stay on point for now:

I have a lot of readers at this point, a number that has grown over the years. I have many lurkers – that is, people who read and never comment, never email, never let me know they’re there (or who perhaps eventually reveal they’ve been there, for years). I figure it makes sense that eventually I’d get a couple readers who read me and discover they don’t like me, yet – and this is the icky part – keep reading.  I know this could be true, in part because I myself have hate-lurked on a blog, chewing myself up inside about someone whose life, for whatever reason, got on my tits because it was too preachy or too consumerist or too slutty or whatever.  I’m not proud that I did this or that I had these feelings.  I’ve moved on from reading specific publications because I realized it was toxic for me to stay; I was unable to engage the author in a productive, dialogue-inducing way and keep my mind open to who they are; I was both intolerant of and tormented by our differences.  Until I self-corrected I would hate, obsess, chew over why the person or author was wrong or gross or whatever.  I’ve never made a secret out of my own Hater tendencies, because they are a part of me.

What sucks for me is that I don’t publicize my blog as a prescriptive worldview nor a direct communication to specific parties. This is my journal.

So, for instance, my recent personal litany on what people so often say to me about having kids out of school was not a dogmatic denouncement of public or private schools for all parties; the social construction of education is one I am not well-versed in – yet – and I have not been asked to weigh in on by anyone, ever. (If you do wonder what I believe about the vast majority of standard education, and how my life fits into the world at large, I’d direct you to this jaw-droppingly amazing article by Eva Swindler; she’s an actual authority writing professional copy by the way).  I am a human being and you are seeing me in all my humanness; I keep very little private from this journal.

Yeah, I’m aware my thought processes challenge people.  Maybe, reader, you don’t feel particularly challenged, but I want to tell you I get told this all the time; in fact, I’ve often been told this is one of the best things about knowing me (other reasons: my compassion, my cooking, my breasts).  Seriously, in the last week this is what I’ve heard about my writing from about a half dozen parties: “amazing writer”, “on another level”, “hard to follow”, “witty and fast”, “jumps around a lot”, “perfection” (ego-zing! on that last one). Even being handed the shit-sandwich from formspring I know, in theory anyway, that someone who makes character attacks and says I’m “so sad” is, in fact, likely very threatened by what I say, which means hey, maybe I’m saying something worth saying.

Yet, of course, if anyone out there sets me up as Enlightened (or, alternatively, SO SAD AND ANGRY), they are using my very human expression against me to insist I’m not fully human.  This feels like infringement – in both cases.

Because I am not at some “level” of awesome (holy shit, do you even READ here?) or, alternatively, someone who is JUST a sad, frightened, judgy person (duh).  I am just as insecure and brittle and flawed and shitty as the next person.  Writing has been the sole tool I’ve used to know myself.

Oh my god, that reminds me: writing.  When some people say “such-and-such has saved my life”?  This is writing, for me.  And not writing some nicey-pants stuff nor trying-to-say-the-least-(or most!)-offensive-thing. Or like, “I saw my kids playing by the pond today and I realized, this is Life, like seeing a newborn kitten in a sunset” stuff.  I have been trying to say the Me, trying to express myself and I am getting pretty good at it.  Expressing myself.  My best ever writing is when I feel I have really told you who I am, what I think, how I behaved. And I know it’s not always pretty (although sometimes, it’s sublime).  In fact, I love keeping my journal so much I will never stop as long as I’m able.

So getting another I think you should be careful with your language because you are saying things I don’t like email, then a few “I don’t always agree with everything you say” prefaces (from people who asked me to open comments, but have never used the comment function), then “you’re sad, caustic, derisive” – well, it just starts feeling a bit frustrating.  And assy.  Because, you know, fuck off.  This is my diary.  It really is.  I am terribly sorry if at any point I gave the impression this is Life Lessons from Kelly Who-Gives-An-Arse Hogaboom (incidentally: this site is not my diary and would likely be the closest I’d come to claiming “professional” copy, although P.S., I don’t get paid for shit, ever).  Because, you know, it isn’t.

So, yeah, comments.  I know if I close comments things will shift back to where they are more comfortable for me; indeed, my closest loved ones have suggested this.  But the majority of the comments here on my blog have been edifying and delightful.  And I’m not sure I should do things to make myself more comfortable (although yes, I hear you – this really is my space to do whatever I want).

Oh and! Because seriously, everyone tells me I’m smart and intimidating and “rock-solid” and it seems nothing hurts me?  (No seriously, I have been told this three times by three different women this week).  Just to be clear: anonymous hate and snark directed at me, personally?

Yes, it hurts.  Like, upon reading the words on the screen my chest constricted and I felt flushed and Terrible as a Person and like I wanted to Make It Go Away, for several minutes.  I felt Wrong in everything I said and Hated and so pathetic and somehow it’s right I should be hated on, because I have a public blog and write about my life (of course, as a lady I really do “deserve it”), and I have opinions and show my ass and stuff.

Funny thing.  Writing this all out helped.  Huh.

* I’m not sure why people don’t know that first of all they use some of the same phraseology, grammatical errors, figures of speech, and the same tone; secondly, I can “see” people when they are online so thus when a query or comment pops up it isn’t as if I hadn’t seen their recent tweet, or IM status, or whatever; thirdly, that as popular as I am to read it is rare the EXACT ONE SUBJECT gets up the ass of two separate people in the same exact way, so if someone already emailed me then followed up with an anonymous formspring post, well. Yeah.  I know it’s you.

Do Your Job

“Do your job.”

So, ugh.

I’ve been a frazzled, overwhelmed, resentful woman, wife, and mother.* I apologized to my family today but only after I blew up and said something so mean-spirited and ungentle and terrible. And it just really sucks, because of course an apology can’t un-do the thing I said, or the way I’ve been feeling and how that’s likely affected my family. Because: of course when I get to a place where I’m this pissed and pent-up and all, by then my family is usually acting like asses because they rely on me (probably too much) to be a good Mama and a decent person. So it’s kind of like a Square One kind of deal. And I need all the help, good will, and good fortune I can get.

^^^ Me, during better times, and incidentally with my hair, not the chemically-altered version. & my boy. Telling me a story. & I love him.

* Yes, despite – on Thursday – having a wonderful 33rd birthday full of friends and family treating me very, very well.

oh thanks, and next could you tell me the motions i’d use to actually wipe the counter down with it?

Received today via email newsletter from a “natural” parenting publication:

Green Kitchen Tip: Always on the go this summer? Pack cloth napkins with lunch for a homey touch. Use this green tip when packing kids off to summer activities where a snack is required, when going on that long awaited family picnic, or just putting together a lunch for that all–day car trip. Cloth is better for the earth and adds atmosphere to any meal. Plus, you can even make your own fun summer napkins out of scrap cloth from around the house!

Kind of inane, kind of harmless.

Kind of really silly and then the more I think about it, really silly.

First off, I am OG cloth. We use cloth everything here – napkins, cleanup, lady pads, even hankies. The only paper products we use are, well, paper, and toilet paper (don’t laugh at the thought of doing otherwise when it comes to the latter – actually we do have some personal cloth and a link search reminds me that this is a great option).

I have two problems with this little “tip” or “tiplet” or “really stupid paragraph that was a waste of time to write and to read”.  This little nugget is featured as a valuable tip in a magazine. So, raise your hand if you don’t know that cloth is usually a more green option than paper.*  Hands up? No one? Oh, OK. But did you think of the radical idea of actually using cloth napkins, for say, lunches?  Lunches that you pack for a car trip?  Whoa!  That is the sound of my MIND BEING BLOWN.  So, thanks, glossy parenting mag at $4 per issue, for something my cat’s ass could have written.

But the true gem of our abovelisted “tip” is as follows:  “You can even make your own fun summer napkins out of scrap cloth from around the house!”

OK. What?  Scrap cloth?  Are we all milliners here?  A show of hands again: who has scrap cloth LYING around the house?  (I actually do have yardage folded up in my living room and on some shelves – but I am a very serious seamstress who sews daily – which might be one reason I am irritated at the breezy, just-whip-this-up-on-the-sewing machine crap I seem to see everywhere.) In general people don’t just have cloth, you know, lying around the house.

In fact, if you do have enough cloth lying around the house to make a house-set worth of fun, coordinated summer napkins, I would suggest you might be a hoarder.  In fact, I’m going to go out on a limb here: this is the sort of “idea” that sounds kind of cute, kind of kicky – and merely encourages people to buy (“Oooh, that fabric was on sale! Maybe I’ll make napkins some time, I’ve always wanted to!”), collect, plan projects they never in fact do, and cram stuff in their closets with projects of noble intentions but no fruition.

Now that doesn’t sound very green after all, does it?

I’m thinking of a new tag to add to my writings, a new category to bitch about:  Homemaking idiocy? Sewing snark? Shortcuts for the, oh-they-actually-help-no-one-but-pad-our-publication/product?  I’m open to suggestions.  I’m also open to hearing why I would ever, ever want to pay for a subscription to a glossy magazine full of this inane dribble.

* If you’re interested in the subject of cloth at home and it’s measuring up to paper products, I thought this was a decent article.  FWIW I worked for years in, and enjoyed, a career in the paper industry.

facet number #417 of my little anger ball

Friday my mother returned from her vacation in Cabo and came right to our house to pick up her little dog. She brought my aunt and my aunt’s three dogs (who piss and yap like you wouldn’t believe – the dogs, I mean), my grandfather, and my new Mercedes, a lemon-yellow beauty I cannot wait to get my claws on (she will have it until next Saturday, when she and the kids and I Amtrak to PDX to pick up her car, and bring it back). My mom also brought t-shirts for my children and a lovely embroidered dress for Sophie – I had one very similar at Sophie’s age from a family visit to Mexico.

We had potluck dinner at my mother’s last night. It’s a different kind of meal at my mom’s: usually some kind of meat as centerpiece, only one vegetable dish, and lots of booze.

My grandfather is a difficult figure for me. This is almost entirely due to resentments I carry about my mother’s side of the family, which I will try not to go on at length. Patriarchy, in a nutshell. My grandfather was worshiped my entire childhood (which means for a long time I adopted a similar attitude) and to an extent, still is. He is, believe it or not, seen as raising his brood of five although my grandmother was the one in the house changing diapers and dealing with it all while my grandfather was off at war and later, an hours-intensive job driving a Mobil truck. My grandmother (dead now for six years) is given little credit for being an influence, a maternal presence. She is seen as the bad one, the silly one, the poor housekeeper, the one that was harsh and often late to her children’s activities, the one who slept late and loved to be pampered.

My uncles may love my grandmother warts and all, or give her more credit for her life’s work; but I have heard little on the subject from them. Mostly, I see the way my aunts and my mother have carried forth the family mythology. My eldest and youngest aunt have devoted a great measure of time in caring for him in almost every way a person could hope to be. My own mother, when he visits, is distracted and completely devoted – to my view, trying to impress him, cater to him – and mostly supports or at least does not object to the irritating sexist crap that leaves his mouth. It’s thought that because we all know he loves us that these things are “harmless” or – and this always bugs me – unchangeable. You hear this about our elders – sure they’re a bit racist, or rude or a belligerent alcoholic, but that’s just how they are and they will never change, so don’t make a fuss. I loathe this concept.

A primary difficulty for me is I didn’t start seeing this unfairness towards my grandmother and unmediated adoration of my grandfather until after my grandmother was gone and, perhaps more importantly, I had spent some time in her role of mother and wife (I was, with my husband and new baby of four months, able to be there for my grandmother’s death, which I appreciate so much now). I can’t speak to my grandmother about her experiences, and I desperately wish I could now. I know I would have been able to pay more attention to her as a mother with children, than I did as a girl growing up. I loved her very much but did not take her seriously as a person – much like the impression my mother’s family leaves me with.

I don’t want to dislike my grandfather for a family legacy that bothers me. Yet I feel that instinct when he’s around. I do my best, which is to be loving (I made a pasta fazool last night and was pleased he had several helpings) but also be myself, meaning I speak up if I disagree. I walk that line of not wanting to upset a beloved elder (and I do love him), but also not wanting to give someone a blank check for bad behavior. My grandfather is A. old, very old, and B. on a tackle-box sized plethora of pills. He has an amazing brain and a forcible sense of right and wrong (which we all have benefitted from, and do respect deeply). But his mental acuity comes and goes: last night, he asked me what artichokes were. A minute later he remembered in detail an article he’d read – one that pertained to a book I was talking about.

My grandparents’ influences have likely benefitted me in larger ways than I sometimes acknowledge. On her second marriage, my mother married my father, a man who was very intelligent, had a strong sense of personal right and wrong, and respected my mother’s autonomy. To this day my father’s influence within me runs very strong, and I am grateful for both of my parents and who they are; which I must further credit to who raised them up and loved them.

The truth is I do love him, and I should not allow myself to dislike him. I have other living relatives I can talk to about the family mythology: and I do, especially my eldest aunt and my own mother. These conversations are interesting to me and bear much fruit; I hope for my family they experience the same.

nicey-nicey

The very lovely young mother who’s been sitting next to me during our twice-weekly swim lessons kept the chit-chat lighter than normal: having invited us twice previously to her church programs on Sundays, perhaps our repeated non-attendance sank in as some kind of snub. Perhaps she was snubbing us out of judgment or boredom. Or perhaps there is nothing to speculate – she was merely quieter than weeks past. Typically a woman in my position makes sure to make extra-nice in the scenario – as if to say, “I’m not going to attend your church but I want you to know it was so nice you invited me, and I still want everything to be okay between us.” That’s the way most ladies are. It’s not that I don’t care to be polite. I’m just so damned tired right now.

A tendency to anemia during my menstrual period, hormonal fluctuations, the abstention from drink, or the rainy, dismal weather: I don’t know what it is, but I’ve been in a dangerous mood. It paints my perception of the world into something utterly different than how I usually experience it. The children I spend time with are rude, horrid, or slow; adults are clueless, irritating. My mental state is like shark cruising, waiting for the scent of blood to distract me, edgy, keyed up and ready to strike. I haven’t yet crossed the threshold into Full-Blooded Bitchdom where my husband is concerned, but my kids have certainly been on the receiving end of my precipitate hostilities.

On my Pandora station Band of Horses’ “The Great Salt Lake” begins playing. Coincidentally this is Sophie’s current favorite song. She’s sitting next to me reading (and thus so enthralled she can’t “hear” it), but my mind is full of memories of her precise duck-voiced singing, which makes me smile.

Another day, another night to get through; maybe things will look or feel better in the morning.

wrong as rain

This morning a girlfriend told me it wasn’t until just now that the weather here started getting to her. “Last night I was listening to the storm and thinking, ‘I shouldn’t be hearing this!'”

I feel the same. I’m ready for sun or at least – I’d settle for warmth with an absence of rain. First of all, the fact I bike most everywheres means that rain really sucks. I don’t have to just rainproof myself but my children and my groceries and my paperwork or whatever else I’m transporting. And then I have to go inside buildings soaking wet in vain hopes to hang eight layers of clothing up to dry before I go again.

Let’s put it this way: If I was to look at the weather, I’d give it this face: