Friday, July 28, 2006

Sweet, sweet nectar

Oh my. Oh my, my, my.
I love this man. Someone please clone him.

Thursday, July 27, 2006


Oh, the Jinky Art has the writing now as well! Hoorah!
Seriously, I love that Jinky Art. I covet those portraits. It's enough to make a girl want to move her kids to Australia, just to get such delicious photos of them...

Tuesday, July 25, 2006


So I'm thinking (big surprise) about how much pain we go through when we're trained, for lack of a better word, to dislike and mistrust ourselves.

I've been reading some posts about the hard stuff that some really good and insightful women have been going through, and mulling over the feelings that these posts brought up for me, and one common thread really stands out for me: Each of these women were taught as children that they deserved what they were getting. And what they were getting was shit. And I'm remembering what that feels like, and it's been on my mind anyway because I'm working (as you know) on moving past some things in my brain that I just feel I want to leave behind.

This post isn't going to make a lot of sense, I can tell already. Please stick with me. Or, well, or not. If you've been where I'm going, you're going to know what I mean, I guess. So there's that.

When I was a kid and living with my mom and her husband, he treated us like shit, her and me both. The thing is, when somebody treats you like shit, and you're healthy, you do one of several things. You say, "Uh huh, well, Fuck. Off." if warranted. Or you say, "Look, you may not realize this, but you are treating me like shit and you need to stop." Or you just walk away. Or something, you get the drift. So a really primo Shit Treater has to try and keep you from being healthy, right? They have to make you as sick as they are, so that you end up thinking you deserve what they're handing you. Who are you to leave, or tell, or stand up to them? You're nothing. You're weak. You're unlikeable. You're stupid. They love you, which is more than you'll get anywhere else, but how can you expect them not to treat you like shit because, man, you just bring out the worst in people. It's especially easy to talk kids into this line; when you're a kid, you're supposed to believe grownups, especially if they are one of your parents or step-parents or whatever.

I'm not dwelling on this, but I'm just remembering how my mom's husband used to say horrible things to her until she cried, and then he'd call her names for crying, and say he was just joking with her and why was she such a cry-baby with no sense of humor. And I remember hating her for being so weak. But I loved her more than anything, you know? I went a long time when I would not cry over anything personal. I'd cry at movies and crap, but if I was afraid or upset about something personal, I wouldn't cry. I would either get very blank, or I would smile. The Chica and I still sort of joke about it because if something totally freaks me out, I still do that. My jaw clenches up and I'm sure I look like death with this horrible grin on my face, but I swear I cannot do anything else. I have to be either really freaked out or really, really angry, but it's still there. And even when I cry, I have a hard time just crying--I have to sort of make it into a joke so you don't think I'm really crying, or so you can see that I know how stupid I am to be crying. And I'm a crier, so you'd think I'd be used to it by now.

I remember the first time someone said something that made me think that maybe I was looking at things a bit askew. I was telling my high school counselor, who I started seeing because of fun stuff like loosing my shit in the middle of English class and scraping glass up and down my arms, that I was really afraid that my friends were going to figure out what a horrible person I was and run for the hills. And she said, "You must not think much of them." And I said, "What are you talking about? My friends are amazing, they're wonderful." She said, "Well, that's not what I'm hearing. Either they're so stupid that they can't see what you're saying is obvious, that you're this horrible person, or they know it but they're just stringing you along and pretending to like you, which is pretty bitchy. So which is it?"

I will always love her for asking me that. I think that's the only thing that could have made me start thinking that maybe, just maybe, somebody was full of evil stagnant black shit but that it wasn't me. She could have told me that up and down and I wouldn't have heard her, but to turn it around and make me look at it that way got through somehow, even though hello, that was 20 years ago so obviously I'm a slow worker.

Friday, July 21, 2006


What is more fun than hanging out watching "Ghost Whisperer" on a Friday night? Spontaneous visitage by She, of course. I have to say that it's one of the few benefits that I can see of the whole divorce/split-parenting thing: having the luxury, a few evenings a week, to make spontaneous plans.

And what do you mean hanging out watching GW doesn't sound like a fun Friday night? I am a bachelor. It's what I do.


You all should know that the situation with the Ex and his girlfriend isn't as totally bizarro as that last post makes it seem. We don't generally hang out together or anything, and I make a real effort to set boundaries for myself. We're all friendly, and my feelings for the Ex really do border on fraternal (what's the sisterly version of that? sororitorial?), so we will get together for holidays or kid-centric activities, and we'll help each other out if a schedule juggle is called for, but I do my best to stay out of their whole, y'know, thing.

It's a little complicated because of extenuating circumstances that I don't really want to go into in a public forum, but there has been, over the past few months, a little more of a familial "support" role on my part. Still, I'm being very careful about my boundaries and in general, I say the same things over and over: It'll be okay, you need to talk to each other, not to me.

So I'm not totally nuts. Just FYI.

Thursday, July 20, 2006


So I snooze the alarm and when I go back to sleep, I have this dream in which the wife of this guy I used to work with (and whom, truth be told, I always had a bit of a crush on but never did anything about it because I was married, idiot) was all upset with him and didn't know what to do. Then the phone wakes me up and it's the Ex's girlfriend in tears because she's all upset with him and doesn't know what to do.

How come this type of thing never happens when I dream about getting it on with Hugh Jackman?

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Beautiful as the day

And these are the everyday triumphs, the small victories:

When your nearly-7-year-old son throws himself on the floor sobbing at 9:00 at night, after too much arguing over why he has to clean up his room and what the consequences will be if he doesn't, because he's tired and hot and not the last in a long line of Impatient and Temperamental People, you take a deep breath and then you get some cold cloths and you help him into bed and turn on his fan and read him a story. And when he sobs very quietly that he needs some alone time and turns to the wall, you don't take it personally and you don't think (much) about all the things you still need to do before you can go to sleep; you think how proud you are of him for learning to ask for what he needs, and how lucky you are to have him, and you wonder when having a temper became a disease, and begin to wonder if being healed might mean just accepting who you are, who he is, instead of always fighting it. But for tonight, you just let it be, and you read the story.

When you begin to wonder if you will ever get your life together, your finances together, your body together, you give yourself a break and you set your mind on what you choose to believe. And you remember what that is, exactly: That you are fortunate, a child of great fortune. That your life continuously overflows with abundance, from sources both expected and unseen. That you are blessed with wonderful people and children and a healthy body and great love. You hold that in your heart and in your mind and let is sustain you. So long, that is, as you don't get the great idea to try to mow the lawn--the lawn that has been growing for 4 weeks while it gets its roots under it--with your push mower in the 100+ degree heat. If you were to do that, then you'd let yourself have a small emotional breakdown while you were laying damp and nekkid on the bed evaporating so as to recover from the heat stroke you nearly gave yourself. And you might have to have a little cry at that point, but that would be okay too.

You gently remind yourself that finishing a project is more productive than starting a new one to avoid the feeling of ... what? What are you trying to avoid? You sit with that one a while, instead of just running from it.

You breathe more, and drink more water and less vodka. You choose to believe the good in people, to smile more, to take a breath before talking or yelling or rolling your eyes. You choose to quit reacting to other people's reactions. You decide to have a cup of coffee, to make a bird bath, to let go. You might even decide to love the world, and to live in it.

Monday, July 17, 2006

It's over

Dear Diet Coke,
How do I even begin? You know I loved you. I swore I'd never forsake you. You were everything to me, everything. How many years did we have together? So many good years. Whenever I needed you, you were there for me. How often I turned to you! But now...

We can't go on. You're hanging with a bad crowd, darling, and I just don't think I'll ever be able to look at you in the same way after this.

And anyway, you kinda taste like ass, now that I think about it.

Tears and kisses,

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Things I will write about when I get a minute

The soccer week thingie and related Boy stuff
A Big Piece of News that I can't tell you about for a few more months. But that will be veeery interesting when I do tell you. And which is good, and not even anything to do with me personally, but will have quite the effect on the Family Unit.
What else do you wanna read about?

Sunday, July 09, 2006

World Crap

Friggin' good-looking Frenchmen and their crappy tempers break my heart every time.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Tuesday, July 04, 2006


We have an open space behind our house, and on the other side of it are a few family "farms"--not really farms, but folks who keep a few horses or sheep or cows. And one of those farms now has some lambs, and in the evening, when it cools down and we open the windows (because someone decided to live without air conditioning, wacky insanity!), you can hear them, and it makes me want to go live out in the middle of nowhere. It would be interesting if I ever ended up being of one mind, instead of always being all "Black. White. Black! White!" with a little "Chartreuse!" thrown in for spice. I love living in a neighborhood with, you know, neighbors, and people, and stuff within walking/biking distance. But I would like to live out in a forest in a house with real shutters and pine needles and shit. There's nothing to be scared of in a forest. Other than a forest fire. Which, okay, pretty scary.

Yesterday we biked to school, then I biked home, then biked back to pick up the kids, and we all biked home, plus I planted ALL the ground covers in that nasty clay soil we have out here (adobe hut, anyone?), so by bedtime I was all worn out. I stuck the Girl in my tub and the Boy in the shower, then he went to play with his Legos while I got in the shower. As I was getting undressed I hear this voice chime from the tub, "Mama, I can see yo bottom!" and I turn to see this forehead and eyes peeking up over the edge. "Oh, I'm sure you can," I said, because it isn't exactly the kind of thing you could miss. "We're both girls, and we're in the same family, so it's ok." Then we had this song: "Yo bottom, yo booty, yo CUTE LITTLE bottom!" Let me just point out, in case I haven't made it clear, there are many adjectives that one could use to describe my butt, BUT cute and little are not two that spring to mind. So nice to have children and their tenuous grasp on reality around the house.

Earlier in the evening, some of our neighbors from the old house passed by on a bike ride and stopped for a minute to talk. The Boy was off playing with some neighbor kids, but the girl and the old neighbors' boys ran around for a few minutes. At one point, I don't remember how we got here in the convo, but they said to me, "You're always so patient." And the woman said, "I always wished I could be as patient as you are with your kids." And it was funny, because this is the woman that I had a complex about, back pre-Lexapro when I was going into my Freaky Depressed Recently Divorced Non-Religious-Based Hermit stage. I was convinced that she thought I was Crap Mom and you know the drill. Then when I went on the meds and was seeing Dr. Zen, at some point we came to the conclusion that hmm, maybe some of that was in my own head? And I should just try not to project? And eventually I quit thinking she was always avoiding us and blah blah blah. And now here was this same woman, saying "I wish I could be patient like you" and looking kind of, what? Sad? And I said, "That means a lot to me, you saying that, because I don't usually feel very patient. I usually feel like a total shrew and then I lay there at night thinking about what a crappy mom I am." She breathed out, "I feel that way all the time." "No," I said, "I know you do, we all do, but none of us are. We're fine. We just don't believe it. You're doing great."

It's a holiday over here today, so of course we're celebrating by watching..."Sleeping Beauty"! "Mom, how can da fairies carry da princess?" "They probably used magic." "OHHHH!" Happy 4th, or happy Tuesday, depending on your locale.

Sunday, July 02, 2006 ass.

If you have over a friend/coworker for dinner on a Thursday, and you drink a leeetle too much Riesling, and you work on Friday, and spend all day Saturday planting shrubs and trees and flowers, and then have your niece over for a sleepover with your kids Saturday night, and then get up at 6:30 to make them pancakes and then take them to the park, by Sunday afternoon you will have had a very nice time for days and days, but you will feel...

Saturday, July 01, 2006

We are family

This is the coolest shit I've ever read.