Monday, May 2, 2016

Pet Peeves and A Bulleted List of My Day

I'm trying to get this list done. Two posts at a time, apparently. And it's May now, so I'm officially terrible about this challenge.

The 15th prompt wants me to tell you three pet peeves.

1. People who comment without reading what they are commenting on.
2. People who blame me for what people write in response to things I post.
3. Basically the entire fucking internet right now.

That was quick. Heh.

The 16th prompt wants me to make a bulleted list of what my day looks like. OH NOW THIS WILL BE FUN.

Should I number it? Would that make it weirder? Here's what a typical weekday looks like, minus all the overthinking and anxiety stuff.



  1. Feed baby at 3am or whatever time he wakes up.
  2. Wrestle with baby as he attempts to perfect 16 different yoga poses after eating.
  3. Celebrate wildly when husband puts baby back in his crib after he kicks Dad in the head while doing yoga.
  4. Wake up when the birds start chirping outside. Attempt to go back to sleep, which may or may not work depending on which conversations from the day before are being relived in my head at the moment.
  5. Wake up precisely 7 minutes before alarm goes off. Give up sleeping.
  6. Get up. Pee. Ask husband if he wants a smoothie even though he always wants a smoothie and the question is a waste of time.
  7. If someone is coming over in the morning, maybe put a bra on. Maybe. Depends on who it is.
  8. Go downstairs. Tell older kids to clean up after themselves before the leave for school. Did you eat? Do you have a lunch? Good luck on your test. Make good choices. Bye. Love you.
  9. Let dog out. Again.
  10. Laugh at 7 year old sleeping on the couch, again, after he "woke" up early to watch tv.
  11. Make smoothie. Switch kefir. Grumble under breath at the pile of dishes. 
  12. Coffee. Smoothie first, then coffee. These are the rules, people.
  13. Kiss husband goodbye. Love you.
  14. Check FB, schedule stuff. Roll eyes.
  15. Switch the laundry because there is always laundry to switch.
  16. Do dishes because there are always dishes to be done.
  17. Twiddle thumbs until 7 year old wakes up.
  18. When 7 year old wakes up, get him fed and working on schoolwork before his sister wakes up.
  19. EPIC AMOUNTS OF WORK BEING DONE
  20. Read all the news. Scan fb. Lose faith in humanity. Briefly regain it.
  21. 11 year old wakes up. Beg her to eat something that doesn't require an hour of nibbling.
  22. Try to get as much work done as humanly possible before baby wakes up.
  23. Baby wakes up, roars like Godzilla, leaves path of destruction. Feed Godzilla.
  24. Put him in highchair and throw food at him until he pretends to poop just so he can get out of the highchair.
  25. Send them outside to play for a while.
  26. Schedule some stuff on Facebook. Check email. Moderate comments. Roll eyes at the internet.
  27. Try to get work done while Godzilla baby does everything possible to prevent that.
  28. Lunch. Feed baby, then nap. Yay.
  29. Finish whatever isn't done. Do more dishes. Do more laundry. Watch some Bill Nye.
  30. Wait until last possible minute to shower in time to leave to pick up older kids and carpool kids.
  31. Drive around town for a solid 90 minutes. Laugh at people trying to back into parking spaces. Wait in parking lots. 
  32. Curse under breath at road construction by the house.
  33. Curse under breath at a specific neighbor.
  34. Do your homework. Get ready for whatever we have to do this afternoon/tonight. Feed baby.
  35. Make dinner. Do more dishes. Do more laundry. Sweep kitchen floor.
  36. Feed the people. 
  37. Usually, play a game or something after dinner unless someone has to go somewhere. Or catch up on episodes of Flash or Arrow or Dancing with the Stars.
  38. Wrangle baby. Feed baby. Goodnight baby.
  39. Go to bed. Brush your teeth. Kisses. Love you. No really, go to bed.
  40. Husband: "want a drink?" Me: "yes".
  41. Someone falls asleep on the couch about half the time while trying to catch up on Game of Thrones or Daredevil.
  42. Go upstairs, lay down. LAYING DOWN IS THE BEST.
  43. Replay entire day, over analyze everything I did and said and thought. That thing that happened 20 years ago - worry about that too. 
  44. Eventually fall asleep, knowing that Groundhog Day awaits tomorrow.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

My commute and my life in 7 years

I've fallen woefully behind on this 30 day challenge, and the end of the month is almost upon us. I'm not even halfway done. Here is the challenge if you are interested. 

What?

I told you guys that I was bad at both completing tasks and following instructions.

I'm doing two of the prompts today in an pathetic attempt to get back on track, though I know it likely won't make much of a difference, and I'll likely never finish the rest of this challenge.

Self awareness, for the win.

The first prompt is about my commute to and from work/school; the second about my life in 7 years.

Oookay.


My Commute
Considering I am sitting here in my pajamas on the couch with the laptop and the dog, I don't really have one, at least not in the truest sense of the word. I work from home almost all the time, and these days I don't ever write nearly as much as I used to or should now. Frankly, I'm too busy homeschooling and toddler wrangling to get any time to "work" beyond the work that all that stuff entails.

I'm a bit frustrated with the reality of my situation at the moment, not so much because I'm personally frustrated by it, but because it has become apparent that I'm essentially the worst nightmare of one of my daughters. The idea of being a mom stuck at home with a ton of kids, regardless of what other contributions to society she might make in addition, is abhorrent to her.

Sigh.

I felt the same way at her age. I still feel that way a lot now. I've mostly made my peace with my place in life at the moment, but there are days that I still question everything, particularly the days when it's made obvious just how negatively this place is viewed by her, though I suppose my being here is actually the luxury that gives her that perspective in the first place.

I digress.

This was supposed to be about my commute.

My primary occupation, if you don't want to consider it "work", is parenting. I live in my car for hours and hours each day, shuttling kids to and from school and doctors and orthodontists and band.

My desired occupation, that of a writer, doesn't have a commute. In the imaginary world where I could get up each morning with a hot cup of coffee and nothing else to do, I could churn out books left and right. Perhaps someday....

My secondary occupation, the one where I stand in bars full of drunk people and read questions, doesn't currently have a commute as I am waiting on a venue. My fingers and toes are crossed that the one I'm pulling for comes through, and if the planets composed of bars full of drunk people align, my commute will be approximately 10 minutes each direction.

My Life in 7 Years
Ooooh, math, and the kind that I despise the very most in this world, the kind that makes me look into the future and figure out how old I'll be and my children will be someday.

In 7 years, I will be 46.
I will have been married for 25 years, with my husband 31.
My oldest will be 21, the age I was when I got married. He should graduate college that year.
My older daughter will be 20, in the middle of college.
My younger daughter will be 18 and a senior in high school, getting ready to graduate.
My middle son will be 14, a freshman in high school.
My baby will be 8.

Aside from the terrifying truth of those numbers and where my kids will likely be in life at that point, I don't actually know what I'll be doing.

My two current homeschoolers should be back in the public school system at that point. The older of the two is going back to middle school this fall. Barring any reason to keep my son or pull either of them, I'm assuming they'll both be in public high school in 7 years.

I'll have two kids probably in college. Two.

The only two kids I was ever supposed to have, according to my initial life plan. Heh.

The baby won't be a baby anymore, and whether he is in public school or homeschooled remains to be seen. A lot of that is going to depend on how he learns and grows and whether any marked changes happen to the school system around here at the elementary level. He might still be home, learning here. He might be in school. I don't know. A lot of where I am will depend on where he is.

By then, I hope that I'm working more, doing something. Anything. I'd like to still be doing pub quizzes because it's fun even if I still freak the fuck out when I have to do it.

I hope I've finished at least one of the many books I'm working on.

I hope that I'm able to work as a doula more consistently.

Beyond that, I'm not expecting anything specific. 7 years ago, I was a very different person in a very different place. Pretty much everything about my life was different. I had no clue how much was going to change. I had no clue about a lot of things.

Back then, I still had both of my parents.

Ack.

Can I be done with this prompt now?

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Things That Piss Me Off Tuesday - the bathrooms and Beyonce edition

Rawr.

These past few days, goddamn.


If you don't understand what Lemonade is, then it's not for you
Sunday afternoon, my husband took most of the kids fishing and while he was gone and the baby was asleep, I watched Lemonade. I'd been seeing posts and comments from friends raving about it all morning, this visual album that needed to be watched to be understood.

I watched it, not really having any idea what it was about.

I didn't want to spoil anything for myself ahead of time.

Good.

Lord.

It was good. It was so fucking amazing.

I need to watch it about 12 more times to really experience it all fully, but I'm not sure that I can handle it emotionally.

Musically, visually, spiritually. It is a story of long histories and pain and healing and redemption and rage.

I don't for one second think that this was made for me, but I related on far too many levels to the images and words. I know that my experience with it is one limited by my experiences in life, by my perspective, and I know full well that this all just means more to black women. So much more and for so many reasons.

I'll not be commenting on any of that specifically because I learned a very long time ago when it is not my place to opine, where it is my place to yield to those with a closer relationship, a deeper understanding.

I stand back now in deep adoration, drinking in the words of those women, the ones like Luvvie. Please go and read her piece here. 

In the days following the release, I've seen people in the media wondering how she maintained so much control about the project itself and protected it from leaks ahead of time.

We don't see conversations like this with male artists. No one muses aloud about how they became so saavy about the business aspects.

I've seen people question the authenticity of her emotions because she's making money on the sale of the music, as if that has ever been a basis to invalidate what male artists had to say.

I've seen people (who I imagine didn't actually watch the piece, but commented on screenshots instead) condemn her for politicizing music, who've vowed never to support her because of her support of the BLM movement, of the fact that she provided a space for the mourning mothers to let their pain be seen.

Music isn't made purely for entertainment, at least not all of it. Music, I'd argue the important music, is made for a reason beyond fleeting amusement. It's tied to a story, it's intended to connect to the audience, it's intended to make a statement, it's intended to make you feel something. Just because her career began in pop music doesn't mean she's disqualified from saying something with more meaning today. No. No it does not.

I've seen people bash her for airing her dirty laundry, for the accusations made about her father, her husband. I've seen people rush to the defense of her husband, shame her for mentioning what happened between them. Blame her for the reactions of her fans based on the social media posts of potential Beckys.

Fuck that noise right now.

No, seriously. Fuck. That. Noise.

This is her story to tell.

She didn't name names. If the women who might have been involved in the attempted destruction of her marriage out themselves on social media, that's not her fault.

If you're feeling sympathy for the man who appears to have betrayed her, made amends, reconciled and appeared in the video....well...

This story is about her. Her life, her love, her pain, her rage, her healing, her marriage. It's not about the woman or women who ended up merely becoming a footnote in her story.

This is her story to tell.

If this is the manner in which she has chosen to tell it, one which is resonating deeply and profoundly with large numbers of people of all genders and ages and relationship statuses, then so be it. If it makes you uncomfortable, oh well. I don't think she cares. If you don't get it, good for you. For real.

Then this isn't for you.

Move along.

This isn't for you.

Stop believing it is supposed to be.

p.s. Piers Morgan, this sure as hell isn't for you. Sit down.

Bathroom Bills Gone Wild
I seriously cannot believe that we are at a point in society where we are arguing about bathrooms.

I'm going to bullet this list because I'm pretty fucking tired of arguing.

- If you're worried about your daughter sharing a bathroom with transgendered people, you should probably keep her away from every adult and older child she knows and is exposed to as well, because they're far more likely to abuse her.

- Do you just not care about the boys? Um....because your logic seems to suggest that all those predators are now and should remain in the men's bathrooms. With your sons.

- That little girl you're so passionate about saving might actually associate as male. And that son you don't seem too concerned about may have been assigned to the incorrect body at birth. I apologize for just blowing your mind.

- The same logic used in these arguments were used before in regards to segregation. History. It's a thing.

- If you really care about protecting kids in bathrooms, lobby for sex offenders to be banned from all public bathrooms. Worry for half a second about the kid that was just beat to death inside a school bathroom instead of some imagined harm conjured up on cable news.

- The statistics don't support the claim that transgendered individuals pose any threat to anyone in bathrooms. 

- There are elected officials that have been arrested for improper behavior in bathrooms.

- Trans people are far more likely to be victims, across the board, in every setting, public and private.

- It's none of your damn business whether a trans person has physically transitioned or not. Stop obsessing about genitalia.

- If the threat you've deemed legitimate is that predators will use bathroom equality as some way to enter bathrooms, you probably missed the part where they're criminals and don't actually follow the law anyway.

- Attacks in public bathrooms are exceedingly rare anyway. Pedophiles usually target and groom children they already know, not strangers.

- The fitting rooms at every Target I've been in for the last few years have been non-gender specific already. I was in one last night, actually. With lots of people of all ages. There were people who appeared male and people who appeared female. I did not demand to see anyone's genitals. The world did not explode.

- You've been sharing bathrooms with trans people already. For your entire life. For real.

OH. One more thing.

If someone says they'd rather share a bathroom with a trans person than a bigot, they aren't calling you a bigot....but if the shoe fits, feel free to lace that shit up and take a lap.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Things that make me laugh

These prompts are weird, can I just say that?

This one: Two words/phrases that make you laugh

Here is the link to the list if you're interested. 

So do they want two words or two phrases or two word phrases?

I have questions.


How about a two word phrase?

FART
NUGGETS

Admit it. You totally laughed right now.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

I'm supposed to tell you about my current relationship...

I knew from the moment I saw this challenge that I probably wouldn't finish it, but it was probably worth starting anyway for the sake of forcing me to write more frequently.

I've failed abundantly at it thus far, considering this is supposed to be the 11th day in the challenge, I started it early, and it's the 21st of April.

Oh well, I never have been good at following directions.

Today, the prompt reads, "Your current relationship; if single, discuss that."

Here's the link to the list of prompts if you're interested.

My current relationship. Well.



I've told you all almost everything about us and yet somehow have said virtually nothing. That's the trick of being a writer in this online world, this ability to simultaneously share everything and nothing.

If you'd have told me 24 years ago as I sat in a stuffy driver's education classroom, bored and annoyed by guy sitting in front of me, that one day I'd marry the quiet one beside me who had never even made eye contact with me up until that point, I'd likely have told you that you were crazy. Certifiably so.

Back then, I was more outgoing. I was far more reckless. I was in an odd place in my personal development, having already gone through the most turbulent times of my adolescence and making some attempts to atone for a string of awful choices. I was trying to fix all the things that were wrong with me the best I knew how. I was a mess, even at 15.

The guy in front of me, one who would talk incessantly, one who believed that I wanted anything to do with him. He tried, daily, to get me to feign interest in him.

I was trapped in the last seat in the row, on the aisle at the end, in the corner. When it got to the point that I couldn't take it anymore, I turned to my left, looking for an escape from the drone of his voice.

He was there.

He'd sat next to me for months by that point, but we'd never had any interaction at all. I introduced myself, desperate to make small talk. I don't even remember what we talked about in those moments, while I was trying to avoid someone else, while we were both supposed to be paying attention to some lecture about blind spots. I guess it doesn't matter now, not that it ever really did. He was my soft place to land when I was running away.

He is still my soft place to land when I'm running away.

This morning, one of our daughters woke us up at 6:18am. She needed me to cut her sandwich. Let me sleep a bit longer, I begged. He laughed at the ridiculousness of being awoken an hour before anyone had to leave to go anywhere to cut a sandwich.

Parenthood.

We both tried and failed to go back to sleep. The sun was up and sandwiches needed cut, after all.

I rolled over to his side, nuzzled my face deep into his chest, inhaling his scent. Beard balm, lotion, cologne, him.

We fit together perfectly, him and I.

We always did.

Even when we didn't.

Perhaps that sums up our relationship better than anything else I've ever written.

I could have stayed there forever this morning, our bodies intertwined.

We talked for a while as we lay there, willing the day not to start quite yet. About my brokenness and his, about the reasons we are who we are and how we got here, about how living in this world we occupy now, in this great after phase for us, is better even though I never thought we'd be here someday.

There were a great many times I wasn't sure we'd make it this far.

We did.

There's an ease to us now, one which didn't exist before. A rhythm.

He's home, and not my current home; he's my only home.

Home should be a soft place to land.

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