satisfaction

Today: a trip into Olympia, a new hair color (purple! “Pimpin’ Purple” to be exact. Yeah YOU HEARD), pho at Little Danang, an IRL meetup with Jen, friend and blogreader as well as her wonderful boy T. (squee!), a visit to The Danger Room, a new t-shirt (Henry Rollins + Glenn Danzig, Yeah YOU HEARD), Olympia Coffee Roasting Company, some Recovery, and then grilled sandwiches at the cabin whilst watching copious amounts of Animal Planet.

I notice Shelton has a different culture than Hoquiam and Aberdeen, even though one might guess it would be similar. I got harassed by two men re: my new purple hair, on separate occasions, and I was only on the street a few minutes. I’m pretty tough re: blue collar scene but not used to the Mason County wildlife, I guess.

Ralph has come down with the cold that nuisanced the kids and I last week. He’s coughy and stuff.  Let’s hope he rests and feels better soon.

as I type this my dog thinks any minute now I’m going to do something super-cool

I took too much medicine last night & ended up throwing up lots. My poor son was still up when I threw up and he cried because he was frightened, even though I assured him afterwards. Then I couldn’t sleep, likely as a result of the meds and then too much strong coffee in the evening.

What’s worse than all that is I gave myself a really, really hard time about making these mistakes. I can’t always stop the mental negativity, the thoughts punish me and crowd me and yes, I know it’s terribly self-absorbed. The good news is I don’t do it as much or as often; and I am kinder to others very frequently, if I have not learned the art when it comes to my own self.

Tonight as Ralph, Emily, Phoenix and I drove to Olympia, my daughter identified weather on the horizon: “That’s a cumulonimbus cloud… we’re heading into a thunderstorm.” I said, “How can you tell?” (I mean I remember being forced to learn about clouds in school, and promply forgetting everything except for a few names.) She said, “The cloud has the classic anvil shape, and look at the color of the sky.” And then the holy shit of it all was she was right, as only an hour later we’d driven into what quickly became the most intense lightning storm I’ve ever been in, in my life in the Pacific Northwest. Huge drops of warm rain and a sky like a bruise and visible cloud-to-ground lightning accompanied with the loudest BOOMS and fire sirens and we drove past a tree that had been sheared.

It was thrilling. Thanks to the horrible nature documentaries my kids watch, I knew we were safe in the car. But I was still happy to get home and inside my little hidey-house.

Lightning Storm

In other news: Hutch had his first vet appointment. He’s down from 120 lbs. on June 27th to 111 lbs. today. I’m proud of getting him healthier and more comfortable. It’s been a lot of great fun, but a lot of work!

 

like a love song, baby

Ladies

If you got to choose, which woman would you like to suddenly observe, standing twenty feet away in the fabric store, stroking her “moustache” and eyeing you pervily? I say either way You Win.

By the way the three “grownups” accompanying me and the children today, after our lunch, also used their hard-won cash to purchase… pop guns, rubberband guns, and whoopee cushions. Then they gave these items to my kids and it wasn’t just the children who made liberal use of all of them while I was trying to navigate my mom’s electronically-plagued minivan through dense-as-MILK highway fog and aggressive and/or drunk holiday drivers.

So basically, I had a great, fabulous, wonderful roadtrip today.

Oh, and I bought four yards of two wonderful yardages of fabric and two fly zippers for two pair of pants, and one treat item for each child, for a total of $17, due to my laughably large bundle of coupons.

Aberdeen, Phoenix Singing

In Aberdeen, after dropping friends off. We’re stopped for a short train. I wish I could capture the colors, how beautiful it is here on a winter’s night. And my daughter, how fabulous she is. She won’t sing when I point the camera at her, not that you could see it anyway. I like I caught a glimpse of her smile at least.

Not Sure If They

desperate housewife

So I got stuck in Olympia with the kids at a late hour. Don’t ask me to tell you why or how, it’s a dull and yet painful story. I thought we’d have to stay (overnight or at least a long long time) and I was kind of panicked. I called people we knew in Oly but couldn’t get a ride. I kind of agonized and wondered around and bought things at Target and got the kids food while I went totally Flyhead about my predicament and couldn’t think straight. Let me tell you, those who know me probably perceive me as level-headed in person most the time, even when things are intense or when people around me are falling apart, but when it’s down to just me and the kids are involved in some way that seems unsafe or weird there can become a point where I get Crazy-Eye and my brain stutters and shudders. I’m surprised I wasn’t arrested on suspicion of shoplifting, I mean I was twitchy as hell checking out (with, I’ll point out, a credit card I wasn’t entirely sure would go through). Kids and I ended up boarding the last bus downtown because, where Target is, there’s nothing there you’d want to spend time with.

Lakefair downtown, things were a bit intense. The bus flew down the hill and I perceived the wondrous lights of a large carnival (large by my bumpkin standards anyway) so I knew where to take the three of us, for the Now anyway. I had only a few dollars cash – otherwise I would have dropped my rent money on two bracelets so they could go on every ride they qualified for. As it was they still had fun; watching a breakdance group and running about while I phoned some more. I sat by the lakeside vicariously enjoying their fierce little lives.

After finally getting ahold of Ralph and arranging a meetup I had enough cash for one carnival “ride” for the kids. Understand this was like, seven dollars I think, for the kids to go in this kiddo funhouse (their choice). The local who’d been hired on was amiable enough to conversation, or was rather a captive audience, to be more accurate. Turns out he’s a musician and living like a sardine can in a rental with others, trying to get by, thinking about going to school, not sure what he’ll do next week for employment. We talked music for some time and my feelers went up, as Ralph is still trying to get connected with Oly musicians and the fellow sounded talented or at least versed in many interesting instruments.

The kids played and played (bless this young man for not being a dick) but soon it was time to go. I sat my bundles of Target Fuckery and a McDonalds bag and my purse and whatever in the grass, and took out my card and wrote down my husband’s name and circled a number and wrote “Music / Helsing” (the latter re: the K Records festival each year). By this time two huffy carnival pros – that is, the fellows who travel with the outfit, not spareboard – were all over the young fellow and hustling him to close up. One of them was yelling into a walkie talkie, “I have some real important stuff going on,” and then proceeded to shout-command the young man in a brusque and not-entirely-thorough way. And shit, I get it, these people work hard, I’ve worked in that kind of scene, so I just slipped the card into the young man’s pocket (unobtrusively enough, or so I thought) and said, “Good luck,” (meaning, with everything) and then –

the guy who’d been yelling into the walkie talkie jerked his head at me and said, “Jesus,” with all the disgust you can manage mustered in a voice. I seriously wish you could have heard it. You’d think I’d taken a shit on the green. I am not sure what he meant but, I haven’t been addressed with that much vitriol and hate for quite some time. It was pretty busy and I had no immediate response to being perceived as A Piece Of Shit For Reasons Mysterious so I merely bundled up the kids and the bags and gently floated across the grass, trailing the final partiers fleeing off to bars (Oly was rowdy tonight, for reals).

Our rendezvous was with Ralph was scheduled for Sizizis (which, I found out, is closing down Sunday – boo!). Walking up 4th it was so many people and shouting and cutting eyes and the smell of booze and cigarettes and weed and all kinds of amorous behavior and fights and weird energy. And yes. A few people who returned my smile. The kids were great, of course, because they are tiger cubs running on sidewalks. We got to our coffee shop eventually (it really was a nice night for a walk). While I waited in line for my drink the kids got something cold from the cooler, grabbed a table, and set up chess. I stared a bit and wondered where they’d learned to play. I was feeling more collected, or so I thought. So I’m standing there and an amiable large man turns around and says to me, “Hey, do you remember the name of the boat from Moby Dick?” and I respond, “Uh, the Minnow… the S.S. Minnow.” then to my horror I realize my mistake and shout, “No! The Pequod!”

Oh good sweet baby Jesus in his golden fleece diapers.

At about 11:40 PM Ralph rescued me and I gave him the americano I’d purchased him and I got my ass out of Dodge. –

but, the kids had a glorious time.

Not Sure If They're Having Fun

cuddle goblin

Today I delivered this little scrappage and my own sweet ass to a Mother’s Blessing for friend and reader Kat:

Head-On

(And yes; Ralph and Phoenix named the bunting “Cuddle Goblin”, because all my one-of-a-kind baby things need names.)

Goblin

The bunting was made from a lot of scraps – cotton canvas, silk, and linen – and the shell was made by Essex linen/cotton, a fabric sent by Karen as a Thank You for pattern testing. It was lined in a soft off-white fleece. Given the math, I figure it would be fitting the baby in late late spring so I did not underline for additional warmth.

I am beginning to really like the Essex linen/cotton and may buy some (since I’m all out, finally). It is lovely to work with, although I am still getting used to the fact it shrinks and shrinks and shrinks upon washing. It seems very rugged and stain resistant (I’ve made my son pants from it and they still look fabulous after much rotation). A bolt from Dharma would be divine; I could dye it in batches – I love dyeing fabric – any color I want! (Yeah, yeah, get in line with all the other supplies I need; my WIZARD sewing machine is still in the shop as I don’t have the funds to bail it out.)

I’m still experimenting with applique…

EXTREME CLOSEUP

And employing both my stellar machine- and hand-sewing skillz (a bit of color on a hidden snap, plus PRICK STITCH and, for the lining, slip stitch):

Hand-sewn Snap

Zipper

(You can see more detail shots and read about how I made this in the Flickr tagset.)

The Mother’s Blessing was a very lovely experience; I’ve been to a handful of them (though not for a couple years) and they suit me more than the typical baby shower content and substance. I brought a date, my friend Jasmine. It was a super lady-positive evening. Here we are all tied together, just before snipping ourselves apart.

Mother's Blessing

I’ve a length of cotton string around my right wrist and over the next few days will be holding Kat and her family adventure in my mind and heart.

“do you know who i am? i’m barry lutz!”

Quick trip to Olympia tonight with Ralph while the kids gamboled at my mother’s. After shopping for about twenty minutes I had my stuff done; Ralph and I stopped by Amore and Jason’s place after to enjoy takeout Japanese food, homemade ice tea, and have a great chat. It was a nice impromptu date, especially given Ralph and I have been having one of those busy weeks where we hardly have had time to just enjoy one another. On the way home we rocked the Paul Beribeau, Lady Gaga, Pink, Goldfrapp, The Gossip – and as we rolled into Aberdeen I made an abrupt switch to the Fleet Foxes’ “Meadowlark” for a laugh. Now don’t get me wrong, Ralph and I love, truly LOVE the FF, but that doesn’t mean a few good jokes about their sensitive beards waving morosely on Ruby Beach aren’t in order.

In case anyone wanted more of a window into my brain, the last twenty four hours I’ve been softly laughing to myself over this:

OK, the punch line? Just kills me. I’m a huge Thomas Lennon fan and enjoy pretty much every actor on “The State” and kind of marvel at the cancellations these talented writers have experienced in their many projects. As I found out doing a little late night research, this sketch was listed on IFCs “50 Greatest Sketches of All Time”. Deservedly so.

They see me rollin’

Tonight I’m doing a little packing as tomorrow I’m up to my friend Amore’s in Olympia for crafting and candy-making. I KNOW, right? I’m borrowing my mom’s van and planning on listening to the 80s XM station all the way up, possibly quite loudly. And drinking a criminally-caffeine-loaded coffee drink. And I’m pretty sure Amore will have something delicious on for lunch. Who knows, there may even be some sunshine outside.

This is the closest I get to a “vacation” or break lately, and it’s a bit brief. Still, I [gladly] take what I can get.

Lemon Meringue
(Small Stone #9*)

Richness of yolks and lush citrus
Trembles before your fork
At midnight.
Satisfied sighs & low lights

Small stone project

linky mcfuskerson

In a few hours I’m off to the City (not really: Olympia) to watch Ralph and Liights play sweet, sweet music (I will also be giving Flo a squeeze as I haven’t seen her in a while!). I’m also hoping to eat some spicy Thai or Vietnamese cuisine until my mouth explodes in a hedonistic flavor party. While I’m rocking I’ve got some links for you all to bask in the radness therein:

Local:
Mamma Mia! is playing at the 7th Street Theatre tonight and tomorrow. I might go tomorrow. Anyone want to come with me?

Social:
Tami Harris hits it out of the park at psychologytoday: “What’s so wrong with ‘sounding black?'”

Proof that a man can do Feminism right: “Silence, Ines Sainz and Offensive Lines” at postbourgie

Idzie published “Misconceptions About Unschooling” at her blog I’m Unschooled. Yes, I Can Write. It’s a great piece (of course). I get a huge, huge laugh of the people who occasionally come to this 19 year old’s (incredibly well-written) blog and tell her how if you unschool your child he/she won’t learn how to write! NO SERIOUSLY! This happens!

“On Birth Rape, Definitions, and Language Policing” by Cara at thecurvature; some day, I truly hope, we can begin supporting victims instead of re-victimizing them by denying them their lived experience.

Practical:
“Cloth diapers for apartment dwellers” at hobomama. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. You know, I no longer use diapers but I seriously, seriously love how supportive, helpful, and awesome the parents/carers are who write these types of DIY primers!

Krafty:
“Kids Clothes Week Challenge (Fall 2010)” at elsiemarley. What do you think? Should I do it? What should I make?

Humor:
This made me laugh until I had tears in my eyes: “The Inconsiderate Breastfeeding Woman” at citizenofthemonth.

I’m not exactly sure what category this post is in, because it’s funny but apt and brilliant and my favorite of all posted here today: “Kids and wheelchair manners” at badgermama.

***

In other news, last night I received an email that included this passage:

Some days I feel as if I am standing inside a thick, heavy, almost greasy-feeling cloud of frustration, guilt, hopelessness and torment. It actually presses down on my shoulders physically (at least it feels like it). The moments that you share are like one of those industrial strength hurricane fans that they use in the movies. Once I begin reading, the fan begins to blow that cloud away. I can breathe again. I can be happy about something again. By the time I’m finished reading, I’m ready to take on the next challenge.

So… that was pretty wonderful to hear.

sounds like maybe ralph should play charlie’s next time

“Charlie’s is the best fucking bar, man! You can get so much titty action there!  Well, Levi can.  I don’t got game.”

I overhear this, walking in front of a small pack of boisterous men and headed up 4th Avenue in Olympia, looking for a 24-hour coffee bar I know is up here somewhere.  I’m also looking for my girlfriend and trip-mate Jasmine who was not allowed into my husband’s rock concert on account of misplaced identification (sad times!).

“She’s got more game than me,” the breast-aficionado indicates yours truly. Ladies know this ritual well: a male stranger, bringing you into a conversation on an awkward or slim segue.  It’s usually harmless; it’s usually friendly.  I return communication in that spirit, because I do not assume guys are unilateral creeps, or that they don’t have the right to talk to me.  He compliments my fishnets.  I tell him they can be his for $1 at Wal-mart.  He tells me I wear them better than he could.  I ask if he knows where the coffee bar is.  He walks me to it and manages to shoehorn in several colorful Olympia facts as well as saying there’s “nothing to fucking do around here.”  “I take it you live here,” I say, and after his assent I tell him: “I’m from little old Hoquiam, and I like visiting a lot.”

If I’m out during nightlife, I get hit on, yeah. I think I get hit on because I am a content and happy city-goer.  I like talking to strangers.  More than that, I love going to music (especially Ralph’s), and I love eating food in the city, and I love the summer night and what it’s doing to my mood, and I love that I took Jasmine out to lunch and the spa and we had a wonderful time – even if her plans to watch a show were derailed.  I am ecstatically happy for a free night while my kids are out with other grownups – my daughter with my mother, my son home having pizza and recording music with a friend of Ralph’s.  I am happy, but also the world seems spinning so fast it might throw me off entirely, at least where my children and my paths have momentarily diverged.

Redbird Fever‘s set was a good one; I was touched by the friends who came, many from a 1 or 2 hour drive away, and the unexpected and pleasant surprise of Ralph’s old bandmate I hadn’t seen in nine or so years.

Small town; good times.