Category: Nerdgasm


Had a lovely few days off there. Really took lots and lots of time to just relax, slowly accomplishing in the most inefficient way possible. Luxuriating in time and (mostly) solitude. Oh, it was great. And so very apparently exactly what I needed.

I spent some time setting my intentions for the new year, and thinking about where I was last year. I have a lot of things to be thankful for. Last year I was stressed out about my job – knowing I would probably be getting laid off soon, and not feeling like I had a lot of control over it. And, really, not feeling very happy in the role. I found myself fondly remembering my days at Kinko’s because at least there I had a sense of camaraderie among my co-workers & relatively little spite and competition. I craved a kind of teamwork in my workplace that I wasn’t getting where I was. And though my layoff was way more sudden and unexpected than I expected, I was almost instantly relieved to be ending that phase of my life, and I was lucky enough to  have another job that I was pretty certain I would get, with that glorious 2 month cushion of funemployment. I’m so thankful that unemployment for me wasn’t a neverending ordeal, as it is for so many very qualified people in the workforce. And at the end of it all, I now have a job that, yes, pays less – but saves so much more in so many other ways. Mostly just preserving my creative energy for things that matter. I have more time now, without a commute or other necessary components of leaving the house for work. I’m here for the kids, whether any of us like it or not (hahaha), and eating lunch from home means less convenience foods and more cooking for me. It’s truly been a blessing for me. I read for at least an hour a day most days. I NEVER had time for reading before this year. Or I never made time.

In the coming year, I want to continue to read daily, and to also spend more time writing and creating. I want to continue to be sure my worklife doesn’t envelope my non-work life. I want to live as modestly as possible and enjoy the lack of stress for awhile, and to not be in a huge hurry to seek out promotions and advancements Pacing, pacing, pacing. Gaining something almost always requires that you lose something else. Be sure to weight the loss with the gain.

I’m also really happy about how well the kids handled the transitions this year. This time last year, I was forced to concede to put the Tao of Bird into public school, in spite of the fact that he’d been homeschooled since birth. It was agreed to allow Buddha the Grouch to continue to homeschool, but the plan has always been for him to take dual-credit courses. Though it was very frustrating to have my choices for the children, not to mention the hard work I have put into ensuring they had an enriching learning environment here at home, drawn into question in spite of the fact that the boys are academically successful in every. single. measurable. way. – I’m so very proud of both of my boys for continuing to make adjustments to accommodate the things we are unable to control. I’m incredibly thankful for those two resilient, strong, and intelligent young men.

13 years ago or so, after I gave birth to the Tao of Bird, my ex asked me if I regretted that I didn’t have any girls. I looked him straight in the eyes and I said “No. I really think the universe is trying to correct something here.”

So far…knock on wood…I feel like that is likely the case.

In the coming year, I want to continue to give both of the boys the space to become who they will be, and trust that they have the tools to become great men. To accept that they won’t always do things the way I want them to do them, and they might actually even fail at something. Or maybe even their definitions of failure might differ from mine, and I should allow them to be the judges of their own success.

I’ve met some amazing people this year. And while the circumstances that brought us all together weren’t always very happy, my life has been greatly enriched by the acquaintances – nascent and ongoing, brief and long-lasting alike. I’m proud of and grateful for a community of people who continue to struggle to achieve social justice.

In the coming year, I would like to continue to meet amazing superheroes. ❤ And to nurture my relationships with those I already know. As well as, always, taking good care of myself and making sure I have enough time to recharge in precious solitude.

Tangible goals are no fun, but I have some this year: at least 3 issues of the zine – perhaps distributed digitally. That’s the only one I have, or at least the only one I have quantified. I should probably set some other goals, but the zine one is the only one that sounds remotely fun, so I’ll just ignore the other ones. For now.

Other goals: Srsly…I want to learn to play an instrument (damnit) – but I don’t know how I will fit that in; Continue walking daily – maybe even more than I am now; REALLY NEED A GOOD ROAD TRIP – MAYBE IN THE SUMMER…MAAAAAAAYBE SPRING BREAK; continue weekly cooking/family dinner night; plz I can have a decent garden this year…

UPDATE:

I’m sure there will be multiple updates to this guide, so I’m going to put them on top so you can see them quickly…

I can’t believe I forgot to mention the perennial Mama Calendar. Coleen does this calendar every year, and it is always amazing. Here’s her info:

How to order your Mama Calendar: Send $12 by paypal or US mail to: the mama calendar coleen murphy coleen@bust.com
Only $10 if you track me down to get it in person! Also $10 a piece for orders of ten or more. Email for mailing address if you need to pay by check.

I also just stumbled upon this amazing artist on Tumblr. His paintings make me happy, and I love that he makes greeting cards, as well: http://www.etsy.com/shop/jonshawpaintings

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Below is the original post…

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I watch a minimal amount of television. I don’t have cable, and I watch maybe 1 or 2 guilty pleasure shows regularly. But even with that, I’ve already seen enough “buy buy buy buy buy” commercials that I seriously would like to vomit. Maybe that makes me a grinch. Maybe it’s passe to talk about consumerism and greed over the holidays. Maybe my kids will be in therapy forever because I have, over the years, slowly dialed back the gift giving and traditional holiday celebrating to almost zero. Maybe the real way to show someone you care about them is to brave the crowds on black Friday and give an underpaid Wal-Mart worker something to do on the day after Thanksgiving. I don’t know.

What I DO know is I have a ton of very talented friends and relations who make shit. So, I feel like if you really would like to buy something for someone over the holidays – why not put your consumer dollars directly into the hands of an original artist or craftsperson. Yeah yeah. I know you are broke and handmade shit costs more…but maybe you buy too much, anyway. Maybe forcing yourself to buy something more expensive, and less of it, will help your family value what they *do* get more. I dunno. I don’t think my kids are particularly more evolved than anyone else just because they don’t get a bunch of crap from me over the holidays. And probably this year I won’t end up getting anything except things they really need. But in case you are interested in keeping your holiday dollars in the art/craft economy, here are some suggestions for you. ❤

In no particular order:

Linger Bath and Body: Amber makes some of the best soaps I have ever had the pleasure to use. They retain their fragrance through the whole bar, and she has tons of really great “flavors.” I always keep extra bars on hand for when I have guests, so they think I’m all fancy and shit. And I have my own special bar in the shower that the kids aren’t allowed to use.

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My friend Pam makes the most delicious jams ever. She started sending them as holiday gifts a few years ago, and Tao of Bird would eat them all up before I had much of a chance. When I finally did manage to sneak some onto a piece of toast, I was blown away. So much yum, with unique flavors that go on forever, and ALL proceeds go to bull terrier rescue! Can’t beat that! Here’s what Pam has to say about her Jams:

Kick out the jams!!! And help some awesome li’l doggies along the way. All of my jams, dessert sauces, and mustard are loving made in my very clean but not-government-conforming personal kitchen. All fruit was sourced from one of three small farms — Hardin Farms in Eau Claire, Michigan, the Stella Gardens organic co-op in East Troy, Wisconsin, or the Fickau family orchard in Mukwonago, WI. All liquor used was purchased at a small family business. Flavors range from traditional to mad scientist.

Generally, my stuff comes in 4oz jars, BUT I have a limited number of 8oz jars available. Just ask. Small jars are $5 each, or 3 for $12, or 5 for $20. Large jars are $8. I also have a very, very limited number of Roma tomato quarts for $15 each — they taste just like summer!

Shipping is on you — if you don’t want to use a flat rate box (ideal if you are getting more than one, cuz these are in glass jars), I will let you know the actual shipping cost.

100% of the proceeds go to the Fort Dearborn Bull Terrier Rescue organization. Yes, 100%. So, if you buy five jams, the rescue gets that $20. This way we all get to give a little something to someone

Questions or whatnot, contact me at jamming4bullies@gmail.com

If you’re interested in a fancy gift basket, let me know and I’ll get my crafty mom on it!

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I met Colin Mullin when he started organizing weekly sign-making workshops for Occupy Austin. Now he’s selling prints of some of his beautiful artwork on his website: http://www.colinmullin.com/index.html

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Art by Dan Grzeca

I’m really proud of all of the zinesters I’ve known in my life who have grown up to become independent artists. Of the printmaking variety, Dan Grzeca is probably one of the most prolific. He does amazing works with animal/wooden building themes, and much more. You can check out his prints here: http://groundup.bigcartel.com/

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HappyMakerTreats – Pansy is basically a genius of all things, but she’s especially a genius at making delicious cookies. She can adapt recipes to satisfy any dietary restrictions you might have, and everything she does tastes awesome. I know at least one person who will be getting some Happy Maker Treats this month! You should also indulge! She also makes and sells aprons.

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My friend Jessica recently started making organic merino wool tube socks! Super comfy, soft, and warm! Also, she is doing organic cloth diapers and wool diaper covers on a word of mouth order basis. Contact her at: ohdearjessica@gmail.com, or at http://www.littlefawnorganics.com for diapers.

art by John Porcellino

art by John Porcellino

I’ve known John Porcellino since we both lived in the Chicago area, publishing zines. John was one of the very first local zinesters I knew, and gave me the die-cast bulldozer that became the basis for my tattoo. I’m so glad that John P is still creating and publishing his comic book King Cat Comics and Stories. There are none like him. His books make me happy to be alive. ❤ You can find his comics and other merchandise here: http://www.johnporcellino.blogspot.com/p/buy-comix.html

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Ally Shaw is another zine friend of mine from way back. She now resides in England, and makes the coolest jewelry! I’m vowing this year will be the year that I buy something from her awesome Etsy shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/feralstrumpet

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Yet another zine friend who I used to live with in Chicago, Andy Lowry now creates one-of-a-kind decorative home goods. I need to vow to get one of her awesome custom serving trays this year, as well! Check out her website here: http://www.whygirlsgoastray.com.

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Beth Winegarner grew up in the zine world, too. (How awesome is it that zines nurtured so many artistic people into lifelong careers in creative fields!)  Now she’s a journalist, writing books about important topics like this one: http://www.bethwinegarner.com/the-columbine-effect/

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Check out Sarah’s awesome jewelry at her website here: http://www.worldonastring.us/

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Tracie is just getting started creating natural bodycare products under the business name Teabody Naturals. So far, she only has a Facebook Page, but keep your eye out for more information, or email here to find out what she has available: tracie@teabodynaturals.com

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How to describe Imagine? He’s the wonderful child of a friend I made through the internet at the height of hipmama days. Imagine makes incredible Lego designs, and you can find his book here: http://www.blurb.com/b/4566814-imagine-designs. He’s such an awesome kid.

Entrust-460x600Ray Maseman (aka Raymond) is another awesome printmaker. I keep typing things about Raymond’s artwork and it just sounds so silly to describe it, I’m erasing. Whimsical? Silly? Fantastic? All adjectives sound really trite. I think my favorite concept in Raymond’s art is the penguin in a bird-shaped flying machine. That pretty much describes how I feel about all of Raymond’s artwork. It’s like a penguin in a bird-shaped flying machine…or a giraffe in a boat. You can find greeting cards here: http://www.cafepress.com/raymaseman, various cards and merchandise here: http://www.zazzle.com/maseman, and prints here: http://www.amazon.com/s?ie=UTF8&page=1&rh=n%3A6685299011%2Cp_lbr_three_browse-bin%3ARay%20Maseman

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In addition to my friends who make cool stuff, here are some other suggestions for non-commercial gift giving:

From my friend Karen: My sister makes amazing things, she is hauling her lot to a craft show this weekend but said next week her ebay store will be stocked up. She creates steam punk sculptures, repurposed books, cute stuffed critters along with original paintings and drawings. Her ebay name is pleasant_surprise

Bliss Point Cupcakes: https://m.facebook.com/blisspointcupcakes?ref=stream&_ft_&_rdr

Upcycled goods: http://adaptivereuser.com/home.html

Feel free to make your own suggestions in comments. Independent makers only, please!

P.S. I almost forgot about meeeeee! I will be putting out a new zine this year, as well as postcards. I’m currently doing a fundraiser, and taking pre-orders through that fundraiser. Please help fund my zine and zine library this year. ❤ Thank you. Here’s the link: https://www.wepay.com/donations/oyster-lexicon-zine-and-crustacean-zine-library-fundraiser

This post might meander a bit. I’m feeling meandery.

First – I composed this post in my head sort of. I haven’t done that in awhile. Remembering when blogging was new and I was sort of obsessed with it, and maybe just maybe the blog might have taken the place of the companionship that was missing in my marriage, because I remember very clearly thinking in blog posts as though I was thinking of clever ways to communicate a story to my lover, or my best friend, or my husband. It would be nice to regain that a bit. Writing to the muse – being the conglomerate of all of the inspiring people I have in my life, and my desire to offer inspiration and hopefully BE inspiring.

But I was composing a post in my head in the car driving home from a friend’s house. Because my head was still buzzing with thoughts sparked by our conversation.

There’s this awesome part about parenting where you sort of get to remember how you unfolded as your children unfold before your eyes. When they reach that age that you remember was integral to you becoming who you are, which was, apparently for me, probably between the ages of 16 and 17. And while my eldest son is a completely different person than the person I was, I respect that he is who he is. And even though I’d like to mold and change him – even if I could – I need to remember that he’s still unfolding. I can’t force him any more than I was forced. I can only live my life regardless of him, and set whatever example I can set, and accept that he might or might not learn the lessons of my life until/unless they become lessons in his life, too. And just hope that he sees the lessons for what they are before they become “learning experiences.” Hopefully I can pass those lessons along, the important ones. The ones that were difficult for me. And hope that he finds his own difficult lessons to learn, and that he learns from them.

My eldest son. He turns 17 next week. Can you even believe that? 17. As he told me last night, my work is done. He’s already become the person he’s gonna be. I can’t influence him anymore. These things were walked back a bit after further reflection, but in a sense – he’s right. And yet, he’s not done growing. And I’m certainly not done influencing. And as long as he’s alive, he’ll be doing the former; and as long as I’m part of his life, I’ll be doing the latter. Even if from a distance – physically or emotionally. And from what I’m being told, I need to brace myself for some emotional and physical distance from that child. And I need to not take that too personally. And understand. And abide. Which I’m known to be good at for all of the wrong reasons, so I might as well be good at it for the right ones.

I respect that my children have known some degree of tumultuousness in their lives. As does any child of one parent who has a somewhat unconventional way of doing things and another parent who is vastly more conventional. I respect that it must feel like a warzone to those guys. And they are smart. And they are sensitive. But they might both need distance at some point in their lives to decide exactly how they feel about it all. And I have absolutely no control over whatever conclusion they come to. And I feel like I need to accept that, slowly, starting now. Starting sometime last year, actually.

And this all made me think about my own growth through the years, and who I’ve forgiven and what I’ve mended and all I’ve left behind. When I’ve made dumb mistakes, and when I’ve made smart ones. Things I rejected, only to accept and embrace later in life. Things I miss and things I wish I could get rid of. And all of the growth, forgiveness, leaving behind, mistake-making, rejecting, accepting, embracing, missing, and letting go I’ve yet to do.

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The other thing I was thinking about was how absolutely beautiful it was today to meet still more new people doing food distribution to survivors of the Halloween Onion Creek flood. Two women who I hadn’t met were there today. One had worked with the group before, but I hadn’t met her. The other woman was brand new. They were both older than me by probably 10-15 years. The woman who had worked with the group before was telling the new woman “What I love about working with this group is there are no bosses. No one tells anyone what to do. We just show up when we can, figure out what our resources are, work out a plan, and it all comes together.” Perhaps it was presumptuous of me to assume this woman didn’t know she was perfectly expressing the principles of anarchism, but it made me happy, regardless. We live in a world where helping other people in the spirit of empathy and community is a radical act, and yet it instantly makes sense as soon as you participate. The most radical action is the most mundane.

 

She’s Not There.

It’s 11 PM, and I’m waiting for an artichoke to cook. Finally getting around to eating dinner. Today has continued the theme of wishing I could remain bedridden while still accomplishing all of my goals and tasks. I did manage to stay in my cozy bed for much of the day, but some things required out-of-bedness. For instance, chalk pastels in bed? Not such a great idea.

Mainly I lazed about in my nightgown today. Brooded a little. Thought a lot. Drew and wrote some. Listened to music. Chatted with an old friend and kept track of world events. It was definitely a well-executed mental health day.

I thought a lot about understanding vs. accommodating. And the fact that I can very much understand someone else’s choices. I might even endorse those choices. I might possibly even fight for that person’s right to make those choices. However, understanding fully why someone has made the choices they have made does not necessarily obligate me to make the same choices, or to invite the potential consequences of those choices into my daily life. That’s been a difficult lesson for me to learn, but it’s a good one. I’m glad to have learned that this week. I’m glad to have come to terms with it. Understanding is not agreement. And just because I don’t desire something does not mean I don’t understand it.

Anyway, my artichoke is almost done. Nom nom. Eats!

 

 

I THOUGHT it was 7 AM when I woke up today. According to my alarm clock, it was. I was tired when I woke, but when am I not? I thought to myself “Quit being such a baby. Considering the time change, it’s actually past the time you would normally wake up…in fact, you’d have already worked half an hour by now!” Determined to start my new (later start) work schedule off right by taking a morning walk, I got out of bed, sleepily donned my walking clothes, and greeted the dark dawn. Then I looked at my phone clock. The one that automatically sets itself for DST. 6 AM. hahaha. Well, ok, then.

I’m kind of excited to see how this new schedule treats me. There’s something about a schedule change that is invigorating. For the next three months, I’ll have Saturdays off (where I used to have Sunday off) and my start time is two hours later. Of course, my end time is also two hours later, and with 10 hour days, that pretty much eats my entire day…but if I’m disciplined, and continue to get up just a little later than I used to wake up, I can pack some really good exercise, reading, and a nice meal into that extra two hours in the morning so it doesn’t feel like all I ever do is work. And having three days off in a week is really helpful. As is starting this new schedule immediately after DST, when I’m still used to time being an hour later than it actually is.

A lot of my friends are doing NANOWRIMO. I’m not. However, I’m hoping to have the content for the first issue of my zine done by the end of the month, so I can do the layout the first week of next month and get it printed by the solstice. If I can get the first issue out by January, I’ll be happy. I’m probably going to do a WePay campaign…or maybe even a kickstarter campaign…to raise money for it in advance, because I am broke. BROKE. BROKE. And both of the kids still need ALL OF THE THINGS.

Anyway, I’m pretty sure the name of the zine is going to be “Oyster Lexicon.” It will be an alphabet of the things I love, and the first issue will include letters A-F:

A-Artichoke

B-Birds

C-Chicago

D-Dancing

E-Eyeglasses

F-Feminism

It will be a full-color zine with drawings and hand-written text. And I’ll probably do postcards to go along with it, and sell them for a bit extra. Maybe if I do a kickstarter, I’ll throw the original art in as a perk. My hope is that I will at least break even, and maybe even make some extra for the next issue or just to have for various art projects I’d like to do, and the zine library.

The zine library, which I’m planning to open up at least 1-2 times a month with a reading room and discussion topics. I’m super excited to finally know people I can actually talk to for advice and planning for this, and hopefully we can bring the various zine libraries around Austin (two others that I know of – maybe more that I don’t) together to create some sort of database. What I’d REALLY like to do is have an IZDB – like the IMDB – a database that includes zines, zine producers, zine contributors, and zine topics, with everything cross-referenced and maybe even sample scans.

These are my big plans. So, it’s sort of like NANOWRIMO, only more like LOZILIMO (local zine library month) for me. ❤

 

The Art of Unsticking a Window

 

You must be thorough.

That angry purple paint

you carelessly splashed

onto walls

over baseboards

globbed onto sills & casements

won’t give easy

Having solidified

In your

Living Room

for a decade

while you’ve craved

open windows

never time to

break the seal

 

Though you wield a hammer

You must be gentle

The glass, already

hairline

fractured

and delicate

a window is more

vulnerable, even,

than it seems

Surrounded, as it is, by

impervious, swollen

wood

 

You must be innovative

When a hammer doesn’t work

try a paint scraper

& if you can’t find

a paint scraper,

you look for a

screwdriver

And if your last housemate

stole all your tools,

use the metal spatula

floating in the

sink’s lake of last night’s

fetid dishes

 

You must be persistent

get at every single

crevice – slicint, pushing,

pulling, hammering,

BELIEVING

with all your might

that you will get this

fucking window

open.

You will feel this autumn’s

cool breezes in your

Living Room

 

You must

write poetry

in your mind

as you work.

 

You must stop

When you are done

and celebrate

By writing down that poem.

 

You must not

be discouraged

by the fact that there are

Three more windows

waiting

to be

Pried Open.

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I’ve decided I’m going to attempt to write a poem a day in October. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to accomplish it, and I’m double not sure if I’ll want to share what I’ve written…but I am committing myself to trying, and as inspiration I’m going to read poetry every day, so at the very least I will link to a poem I have read. And I know it’s not October yet, but…

The Poetic Process

Drove home stoned on Cohen

and Waits had to write

a poem like a full bladder, brainsharp

pencil, ran

Into the house with a

simultaneous empty that felt like

Hunger, got distracted

by all of the Chores

that never get done

Poured

some water in a pot to boil

Divorced

myself from the conversation

To my room, tried to turn on

Music, music

won’t turn on, got

Distracted by Facebook

as I scrambled for

my journal, which

I found in a crevice

between my bed &

the wall, too small

to fit my hand in to

Got a stiff

bookmark, managed

to knock it over,

then flat

on the floor

once again beyond grasp

As I dropped my favorite

pen in trying

to retrieve it

Rolled far

Underbed, the metal pieces of which

Came apart, thankfully temporarily, as I

wrenched it

away from wall enough

for my fingers to grasp

Several other

Lost Items

Unknowingly Sacrificed

to bed monster

Until finally,

gingerly,

with very fingertips pinching

journal cover

Extracted from

hungry maw

but not before

accidentally pushing it

further underbed, causing

me to burst out

in glee of the fact that

At least now

I had something

completely absurd to

birth upon it’s recovered

pages

And that’s

when the water boiled

over.

Lainie

9/13/2013

I’m in the process of writing a long post about my experience with the Occupy movement over the past 2 years. I started writing it on 9/17 – the anniversary of OWS. But it’s such a personal topic for me. I want to be careful that I don’t make my experiences sound as if they are universal experiences, which is what frustrates me most about what I read about the Occupy movement. So, it’s going to take some time. Perhaps I’ll have it done by 10/6, which is the anniversary of Occupy Austin.

I’m also immersed in a spree of overtime. Like ACTUAL overtime that I’m ACTUALLY PAID FOR! Time and a half, and everything. It occurred to me tonight that I haven’t been able to take advantage of overtime pay since before I had children. I’m really enjoying being paid for every fucking minute I work. I can handle a little temporary work/life imbalance for that. I’m also really enjoying my job. It’s gotten to the point where most of the situations I deal with are easy for me to handle, and I really love the fact that I get to talk to people all day in the spirit of helpingness. Plus I really love my team, who I only have to interact with in chat. We’re on a team of about 20 people who all work different schedules and are from different cities, and every person on our team has some sweet, endearing quality that I adore. Today I worked an entire full day of overtime and I actually really enjoyed myself pretty much all day. I’m missing my friends and activist activities, but all in good time.

from _Gregory_ by Marc Hempel

I’m pleased to say that both of the boys are settling into the school year nicely and seem to be doing really well. I feel like a broken record, but I’m so proud of those guys. It really has been a rough couple of years for them, and I hate that. I especially hate that decisions I have made have made their lives more difficult, because I want only for their lives to be peaceful and easy and uncomplicated. Ha!

But the awesome thing about those guys is that they really are totally brave and strong and resilient. And also really quite funny and fun to be around, even though they do both have their teenage moments that occasionally stretch on for days and even sometimes weeks. At this age, parenting requires a magnifying glass, to enlarge fragments of microcosms of moments into a bonding experience. I don’t want to give away too many of my secrets, but I have recently discovered the wonders of plopping down on my sofa and watching a dumb movie as a means of enticing my children to emerge from wherever they were hiding and clamor for conversation. And I’ll take that!

 

from _Gregory_ by Marc Hempel

Tattoo gets finished on Sunday. I’m already wanting another one. Several. Maybe even that little mouse, Wendell…or Herman Vermin. hahaha.

 

Mommy-Son time with The Tao of Bird today. We went out to breakfast at his FAVORITE RESTAURANT ON EARTH, Donut Taco Palace.

We ate donuts AND tacos, and enjoyed some tasty beverages.

Juice…or no juice?

I kept trying to get a picture of Bird, but he kept, as he called it, “Sean Penning” me.

I have embarrassingly few photos of my children. Both of them started to hate having their photo taken at a young age, and I gradually just trained myself to take pictures of food and trees and birds and stuff. I can’t say I blame them…I’m not terribly fond of being in photos, either. But I need good material to embarrass them in front of their dates wi…er, I mean, to send to relatives who have no clue what my children look like.

After breakfast, Bird and I went to the library to check out some books. Bird is really enjoying Lord of the Flies. He is just certain that’s the way it would really be if children were stranded on an island. I told him he needs to watch Lost…or Gilligan’s island…for slightly different points of view. He says he likes books that are grim and depressing and unsentimental. I tried to get him to read Native Son by Richard Wright, but he chose some sort of weird space cowboy mystery, instead. I think this is going to be an interesting reading year for him. He’s exploring new things. I chose some awesome books that I won’t be able to finish by the time they are due, and will probably end up buying, after paying my overdue fine at the library. Because that’s how I roll.

In the car on the way home, we listened to this episode of Radiolab.  What’s funny, is I remember listening to that episode of radiolab on a walk by myself one night. I was going to pick up Bird at a neighbor’s house while I was listening to it. I have no idea why I remember that, as the day was completely insignificant, unless you consider that radio show to be significant, which I suppose you can. It’s a pretty good episode.

Back home, I watched Heathers while Buddha the Grouch scoffed. As a 16-year old (actually, pretty much since he turned 5) he seems morally obligated to scoff at anything I like. In fact, he has actually told me that he’s not allowed to like anything I recommend to him. I keep telling him that’s going to bite him in the ass, especially when all of his friends start talking about how awesome, say, Raising Arizona is…and he’s either going to have to admit that it’s a great movie, or he’s going to forever be a closeted Coen Bros. fan. But I wonder if Heathers is really only funny in the context of all of the ’80s John Hughes-formula teen angst movies. I guess I’ll have to ask someone else’s kid. I hadn’t watched the movie since my 20’s, and I laughed out loud at some parts, but OH, THOSE SHOULDERPADS. hahaha. Of all of the eras of fashion, you have to admit…the 80’s were pretty fucking ridiculous.

The rest of the day was spent grocery shopping, driving to the other side of town and back, and avoiding being sucked into an endless “How It’s Made” marathon, because apparently that’s on Netflix now. I’m so toast if they ever start streaming House Hunters. As it is, Buddha the Grouch keeps trying to get me to watch “just this little bit” of How It’s Made, and I keep objecting vociferously.

So, you know, typical weekend of late. I’m glad I’ve taken the time to spend extra time with (or at least being available to) the kiddos lately. I’ve missed out on some important activities that I’d really like to be involved in, but I just don’t feel right not being here right now. Especially with the coming weeks and the work-hour craziness they will be bringing. Insane amounts of overtime – here I come! I’m telling people I’ll probably see them in October. Hopefully, I’ll still have time to write.

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This week has been kind of a whirlwind. I had really just begun to establish myself at work and not stress at all about whether or not I could do my job…and they threw us into training for something new. Which is awesome. It’s nice to learn new things…but I was just at that point where it seemed like I might maybe start establishing a good rhythm in my life & my schedule was thrown all out of whack, I’ve had to work extra hours, and now we’re being offered a bunch of overtime that I’d feel silly to not grab up while the grabbing is good. So, there’s that. A mix of bad and good things. Good things and their maybe not-so-great consequences, is what I’ll call it.

On my walk today, I had all sorts of ideas about what I might write about tonight. Apropos of the above, I thought a lot about how I have this love/hate relationship with chaos/order. I like making plans and schedules, but I rebel against them regularly. It’s possible I dislike commitment. It’s possible I am not fond of predictability. It’s possible that patterned behavior annoys me. OR…it could be an exercise. It COULD be that my rebellion against my inner organizer is just practice for when all of my plans go to shit and I work 12 hours of overtime in a week or something.

Maude (from Harold & Maude): Vice, Virtue. It’s best not to be too moral. You cheat yourself out of too much *life.* Aim above morality. If you apply that to life, then you’re bound to live life fully.

But mostly, I think I just figured out a long time ago that I will never ever get done all of the shit that needs getting done, and decided I might as well prioritize the fun shit as much as possible.

I also decided, after years and years (gosh, more than 20 years, really) of de-prioritizing my own desires, needs, and rituals out of fear of spending money on them, to get a tattoo I’ve been hoping to get for some time. Fuck the fact that I can’t afford it. I also can’t afford any of the other stuff I’m forced to afford, and I somehow get by. And how many packs of ex-boyfriends’ cigarettes, guitars, and whatever else have I paid for in my lifetime of waiting to get this damn tattoo? I could have gotten a zillion and a half tattoos by now!

Needless to say, I’m already planning the next tattoo.