merry go round broke down

My car went kaput today. At least we pulled over safely. We weren’t that far from home. I’d paid the bills, dropped off the mail, and fed myself.

I got the kids home and set them up with food. Ralph and a few generous friends hauled my car home.

FUUUUUuuuUUH

*slowly lowers head to desk, gently sobs tears into plastic fake woodgrain*

Here’s the thing though. The secret. Life is good. Life is good because I like myself. I like myself because I’m at peace with the dharma.

“It’s boring. But it’s part of my life.”


“Look what I can do!”

A little photo-blogginz:

The dog, who is rolling around in ecstacy as I furminate his fluffy ass. Pictured: approximately the same amount of hair as is in my backseat after one car ride. I jest, or do I??!?!

The De-Furring Process

The De-Furring Process

The De-Furring Process

The De-Furring Process

The De-Furring Process

Mable, being awesome & chillaxin’ in her favorite chair. She likes it best when I clean the chair, so she can immediately furball it up. If you’re sensing a pet-hair theme now that the warmer weather has hit, BINGO.
Shaking Head LIKE A BOSS

Party time! A gift (hours of sewing but I didn’t take a photo, oh well!), & a three-layer chocolate cake with cheesecake filling and cream cheese frosting:
Gift, Cake

Cake With Fresh Flowers

& the pièce de résistance, our uteriñata! The first-ever piñata I’ve made, as far as I know… it might have been Ralph’s first too. Ribbon-pull method, as nope, there won’t be any beating of a uterus up in this household.
Uteriñata

Uteriñata

At the party, our children – being beautiful, being themselves.
Our Son

Phee

Thank you for that experience.

At the bus stop:

TWEEKERS
SUCK
then, clearly added later,
YOUR
[BITCH]
TITS

It’s cold as hell and the bus “shelter” provides no respite. I tap on my phone and look online expecting to see the bus here any second; instead I find we will have to wait fifty more minutes and I’m like, stunned with despair.

I want to cry. My serenity vanishes and I am completely pissed. I will spare you the details; it’s ugly and trifling, but yeah I’m angry and I’ve already figured out how everyone is to blame. And with every ounce of self-restraint I do not say or do anything shitty out of this mental place and instead I zip my coat and I walk alongside my husband and I tell him, “I’m very cold.” He’s a cheerful bastard and has his metabolism so in a single-layer cotton hoodie he’s fine. He and my kids, I’m telling you. Their bodies ramp up and they are like hot little bread loaves in the bed at night, ask me how I know this. But I’m cold, cold, always cold.

A man gets on the bus and then another, and I recognize them from Treatment. They perhaps don’t know me or are too busy. One looks good though like he might not be drinking. Last time I saw him he was all yellowed up even in his eyes.

One thing about being wet and cold and out in the elements, we’re finally home over an hour later, and I am so pleased to be back inside. My daughter brings me a blanket and a pillow and asks if she can remove my shoes, and I’m so grateful and she blushes, pleased with herself she could make me so happy.

My daughter. This morning, first thing she said to me, she pulled me in close while she was still in bed and whispered her good dream she had. It was the most stunningly beautiful handful of words I’ve heard in a while. And I knew it was a secret only for me the moment she told me. It brought tears to my eyes; the dream and its sweetness, and amazing thing that she shared with me because she trusts me.

Things were different for me when I was her age. It’s hard to believe in something better, even when it’s right before my eyes.

I wrap up in blankets and I rest. A friend picks me up and takes me home, later. Simple things, those little things that help me. I am very grateful for these.

***

I haven’t been posting too many links lately, but I wandered across this today and I got some good laughs, mostly from the rebuttals. Like “Dave”, and SOYFUCKER omgggggg lolz

***

Ralph’s project this evening:

Miguel Ángel Fuentes in The Bermuda Triangle (1978)

Well, that happened.

I’d wondered what happened to Miguel Ángel Fuentes, the let’s-face-it de facto centerpiece of the 1980 silly “superhero” film Pumaman. I mean, I didn’t wonder about him enough to Google it or anything (he’s actually been getting plenty of work, thanks*). I  was pretty inspired to see Rifftrax’s latest cinematic offering, The Bermuda Triangle (1978) featured this delightful man. Most of the time he’s in the bilge getting soaking wet and – here’s where I sat up and paid attention – wearing a very impractical tiny babydoll crew tee. And not just one crew tee. But two!

Miguel Ángel Fuentes in The Bermuda Triangle (1978)

Then – wait for it –

Miguel Ángel Fuentes in The Bermuda Triangle (1978)

So one thing after last night’s viewing of this cinematic turd, Ralph and I decided we had to make those t-shirts (so we did). And then I thought I’d post the um, artwork, for the shirts, in case anyone else had to have them.

Black Whale III Tee, Design 1

Black Whale III Tee, Design 2

The Bermuda Triangle isn’t the crappiest film I’ve ever seen by any stretch (um, but just to be clear, it’s really, really bad). As far as movies go where you know everyone’s doomed, this film had me at the “OK let’s get down to it then” place within the first few half hour… then just dragged out. I think they also murdered a few actual sharks, put scuba-stuntmen at real risk, and littered a lot in the ocean, so that was kind of gross.

Anyway for anyone else who’s a little b-movie freak, here you go.

 * And he was in “The A-Team” pilot! I’ll bet playing a generic Latino bad guy who has no lines and gets blown up. I haven’t watched an episode of “The A-Team” ever, but, that’s my guess.

friday links: the garden of your imagination

Today: Hutch was invited to be the official newshound of Grays Harbor Down. Pretty cool stuff!

 
Someone’s cutting onions up in here.

“Letter to a Teacher from an Aboriginal Parent (1977)” – if you’re a human being, you should read this.

The trouble with kids today. OK, there’s so much to love about this post. I cringe-laugh at the Connery interview. I know I shouldn’t feel bad for him, publicly airing his ignorance and fear, but I kind of do. And it’s ironic our macho, best Bond (well, I like all the Bonds, but got a soft spot for Mr. Connery) is in reality a frightened person, who hits and then justifies hitting as making sense. But I really liked all the quotes at the bottom. “Get off my lawn”, the world is going to the dogs, “kids today”, et cetera. Good stuff.

Some comments on the MSM’s depiction of Mr. Holmes, who last week murdered people in a theater in Colorado.

A piece on Spiritual Bypass; a concept I’ve been thinking about a lot, lately. Good stuff.

Who Gets To Be A Geek? Anyone Who Wants To Be by John Scalzi – a great piece (except for the obligatory hipster-diss – what is UP with that?). ANYhoo, a wonderful takedown of Peacock’s crap.

& finally: NEVER FORGET

A cat named Mustache

a sphere of activity in which we are permitted to remain children all our lives

The last few days I’ve thrown myself into new work with addicts and alcoholics, giving rides here and there, buying breakfast for the flat-out underemployed, caring for other people’s kids, teens and pets, taking a friend on a birthday date, and helping those who have a hard time making ends meet.

Plus all that other stuff of caring for my own kiddos and husband and pets and household as best I can. And having a bit of a social life, and a sewing life, to boot!

So, I am behind on both writing here, and responding to comments. I apologize.

One thing I want to point out is the few people I’ve helped recently, or a handful of them, have given me a valuable lesson. A friend I took a dozen eggs to yesterday because she didn’t have food money until today, the difference between she and I (back when we couldn’t afford food and utilities and our lifestyle, and were bouncing checks and igorning collection bills because it was all so overwhelming), is this friend asked for and accepted help. Asking for and accepting help, in appropriate ways and from appropriate parties, has been a new(-ish) cornerstone of my life. Let’s face it, without help I was flailing at best and often a Toxic Asshole either running from, or attempting to selfishly dominate, many of life’s challenges.

The Toxic Asshole part of me is still live and kicking and surfaces more often than I’m proud of, but there’s another presence within that I like a lot more. She’s like a Baby. Baby Awesomesauce. Baby Awesomesauce is growing up just fine, but things take time.

Of course giving back gives me immense rewards so it is in itself a selfish activity of sorts. One of the hardest things going right now is to know when to give freely to others, and knowing when if I were to do so, it would rob my family of something I should be giving them (time, groceries, mostly).

I put my faith in the path set before me and I know that one day I’ll look back and see with clarity where my life is heading, and why.

***

In lieu of Friday links I have two pieces of local interest:

First, Ralph and I put together a collection of my sewn pieces for sale at the On Track Art Walk tomorrow. I would love to earn money for my craft, to have my pieces find gleeful homes, and – most of all, to find a sewing community. If I had a dream it would be to be involved with a community center/studio where I could create, and help others do the same. I don’t have the resources to start this myself, but perhaps someone out there does. In any case, I’m ready to be Out There a bit more.

Second, our local town’s annual festival came out with their official t-shirt. Many HQX residents do not endorse the shirt and are taking actions, including boycotting, writing letters to the editor and City etc, and printing a better shirt and donating profits (you can read more about it here, if you have Facebook).

From my G+ post here are some of my thoughts:

“I love my town and I love my country. One thing I love about both is the right to protest ideas and products that are violent, offensive, and bad for children and grownups and probably even small puppy dogs. Yay local Jokay Daniel who’ll be selling the alternate shirt & donating profits; also J. for being instrumental in creating alternate shirts.”

Reading the comments in the Facebook group is pretty darn cool and makes me proud of my HQX peeps.

***

And finally, something to ponder:

A cat named Mustache

you smell that

i’m realizing now i need a custom reamer

No links last Friday. So this week I’m serving up somethin’ CRISP:

First: The Poptart Cat. Of course. It’s weird how people somehow know what my dreams are like:

 
Then:

Let’s Help LeVar Burton Stage A ‘Reading Rainbow’ Flash Mob YES LET’S

My de-snarkification by Jo Paoletti (@joyomama on Twitter, and reader @kebyar’s mama). I like it.

America, the Scapegoat [Youth Correspondent Tryout] by Sonita Moss at Racialicious. Our American racism(s), pretty bad. But apparently lots of fun for some in other countries to point out en lugar de airing their own shit.

Make: 555 Footstool. This is the kind of stuff that gets my husband all fired up.

At xkcd: Google+ vs. … you-know-who

CRAFT linked to a Baby Shower Donut Tower. I have to be honest. This gives me THE SHIVERS (plus that’s not how I spell “doughnut”, but the same woman’s posted manicure truly works for me). I am passing this on for those who might find it inspiring. I am a good cook but not much for presentation.

Make: David Lebovitz & horchata; my version is here.

“Shame” by Rosa at class rage speaks. Good articulation of a pretty nasty cultural problem (stigmatizing those struggling).

Did you see Avatar? You know, Anglos Valiantly Aiding Tragic Awe-Inspiring Races? Well, you should (I mean the mashup, not the film with the same title). The mashup is supposed to be “funny” and I guess it is, but it’s pretty heavy too.

Manual Photography Cheat Sheet posted at buzzfeed – brilliant!

“Green Lantern: Like a Clump of Poo-Covered Hair Floating Through Space” by Lindy West at The Stranger. Yes, actually, this is pretty much a perfect style of movie review – and tells me everything I need to know.

I’m suddenly into my cars, as progress has been made recently, and I’ve been watching stuff like this, and this. Is it just me or are the dudes doing these tutorials adorable? Gee, and I thought the field of car fuckery was heavily populated by mansplaining blowhards (of all genders). Guess those who care enough to tutorial, aren’t so bad after all?

My Name is Mud at Medrie’s blog Our Rags of Light. Always lovely reading.

My brother’s lady J. just participated in the Hip Happening Craft Fair in Selwood (by the way, here’s her Etsy shop). As well you can check out her Flickr projects. Fun stuff!

you smell that

 
And finally: “I want them to be on a rainbow”. Say what you want, laugh, announce parody or sincerity, but SOME PEOPLE REALLY DO FEEL THIS WAY and SOME OF THEM LIVE IN MY HOUSE and I SHALL SAY NO MORE

CONTEST

OK, who can guess: which serio-comic song makes me laugh with jittery glee?

Exhibit One:

Exhibit Two:

Exhibit Three:

Exhibit Four:

Let me immediately confess I threw in a ringer. The Fogelberg (any Fogelberg really) fills me with a tight and smoldering rage. Like, if I ever found myself in that situation, I wouldn’t drink beer in the car with that loser. And I’d also probably hate myself for dating the guy in the first place. P.S. I hate the word “lover” times about a thousand.

Also, theories as to why Sandy and her puppy dog mysteriously died on that same exact night they showed up, or how a man might sexually satisfy his partner even if he’s paralyzed from the waist down, are welcomed.

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:

it’s six am and i’m all messed up (friday)

It’s Friday again and I gotta admit, this week’s links are rather schooly (or, non-schooly), but there are a few other subjects as well as some frivolity to boot. Let’s get started, shall we?

1. In “Authentic Parent, Inauthentic Birth?”, Laura shares a story of a birth that went poorly – with the typical lack of support from others, choice afforded, and semi-tortured reflection on personal consent given. It is a powerful piece and I related to much of what I read. I also thought a bit about how much I admire birth and breastfeeding – well, activists, I guess, although that word has, to some, such a rigid and harsh tone. Indeed, culturally-induced misogynistic perceptions have succeeded in bathing the birth movement in a poor light. But Laura’s post, spoken in first person and passionate and real, reminds us this movement is mostly populated by women who want others to have a safe and empowered experience – and to have choices, and the support to make them, in one of life’s potentially most profund events.

2. One of my favorite comedians, and from what I can tell an all-around beautiful man, tweets his interview: “BIll Corbett” at Suicide Girls. Besides being a must-know for any cinemaphile, it seems almost everything he says is funny, insightful, or sweet – and often enough, all three. He and Al Yankovic alone are worth joining Twitter.

3. “Kill Me Or Leave Me Alone: Street Harassment As A Public Health Issue” via Racialicious. The post is just – hard to read, and reflective of a reality far to many people face. Tangentially (sorta), like the author, as a woman, and living life with compassion as much as I can, I don’t think the mainstreem public response to Charlie Sheen’s activities (which continue to be exploited and celebrated) is fun nor funny (latest update).

4. Sunday Sweets: Butterbeer Cupcakes at amybites. Yes. I’m gonna be making these.

5. Apologies if I’ve shared this (I don’t think I have), but because the Bill Corbett interview reminded me of the many delightful MST3K and Rifftrax educational shorts I’ve seen, I present: “The Cliche Family in Television Land!”

6. Misbehavior in Public courtesy of Love & Logic. OK, let’s have a contest. If someone can find something MORE f’d up and chilling than my cited example, you win like, a prize. Here’s the worst aspect, as I see it: the impressions and instruction the physically-large sixteen year old Preston in this story receives, given the “big stick” by the authority figure (the mother), to wield over the thirteen year old at his mercy. After spending most his days and hours in school, saturated in the playground (and classroom) bully culture in play, this seems an elegant and effective training session for Preston in Might Equals Right.

7. “The Deconstruction Of Indulgence (NFSW)” at Sociological Images. These were rather upsetting images, actually, so let me post a trigger warning for eating disorder content. Well-executed art, absolutement, not arguing that. What thoughts and feelings do the pieces invoke in you?

8. “Raising children to be submissive members of the lower caste” by Tami Harris (whom I just, a few hours ago, finished an awesome blogger-on-blogger interview; she’ll be posting on Monday!). Watch the video, read the passages and comments. I was really struck by how different cultures and microcultures frame the same strategies. In my parenting peer world, parents hardly *ever* own up to hitting (or dragging, grabbing, screaming at, coercing, manipulating) their children, although time-outs are deemed completely acceptable and *totally different*/separate from the abusive framework listed above.

9. In public health: um, go Georgia? (but, not) Anti-Childhood Obesity PSA Shames Fat Children as curated at Sociological Images. As usual regarding the folk devil obesity, the comments are riddled with a few haters; but hey, there are also some purdy good rebuttals to the haters. Or maybe I was just feeling kinda unsinkable when I read through ’em. Like I got some laughs from those who said they didn’t see the “shaming” in the campaign.

10. Speaking of fats: in AU: “Should fatties pay more for flights? I’m on the Morning Show” at Dr. Samantha Thomas’ site The Discourse. OK, I’m sorry, but I’m used to examples of US morning television, with it’s false parity and sensationalism and weird superficiality even on issues torturing Americans. So, is Australian morning television always this decent? A short, but satisfying, video, and Dr. Thomas does very well.

11. Top reasons to homeschool or unschool by The Sattvic Family. Good retort to the “socialization” question regarding homeschoolers, by the way: “As is obvious, the way of choosing one’s peers regardless of age is far more social than one’s child only having friends they are forced to choose from, and that are the same age.” Also, reason 4), in its entirety, was so good it made me pee a little.

12. “Children are Born to Learn Everything They Need On Their Own” by Laurie Couture (I am currently making my way through her podcasts; brilliant!):

“No one has to (or should) teach children anything. Children are wired from birth to learn everything they need to learn to reach their full potentials. They just need adults to get out of their way and instead guide, mentor and expose children to the resources they want and need in order to explore, create, play and invent.”

13. Speaking of people to listen to: Wendy Priesnitz will be featured at Unplugged Mom, 8 AM EST today! It’s a podcast so you can download later at your discretion.

14. In the comic book genre, applicable to other pop culture products: “Tropes vs. Women: #2 Women in Refrigerators” from Anita Sarkeesian at Feminist Frequency.

15. Finally: lately I’m listening to Brandi Carlile, watching “Gavin & Stacey”, and (re-)reading The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Rings, a paperback I got for $1 from Jackson Street Books. Wonderful stuff. What about you?