Archive for January, 2007

sorry, Jon. you’ve been replaced.

my new TV Boyfriend is Alton Brown. he’s good looking, funny, a bit of a geek, and a foodie. and just when i thought it couldn’t get any better… comes his road trip. that’s right – not only is he a hottie food geek, he’s into motorcycles. oh, and a cinematographer with a science background. and looks *damn* hot with a little bit of stubble. and that picture of him looking all cute and yummy and like he knows a little secret, sitting there in front of the diner with his road gear on? yum. that could only be improved by the addition of leather. (did i say that out loud?)


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1. Do you make New Year’s resolutions? If so, what is your most important one?

i don’t, generally, because i have a hard time scheduling important decisions. January 1 – decide something important! yeah, just doesn’t work for me.

however, i did make a fairly New Year resolution, if deciding the middle of the month counts, and that is to live more consciously and mindfully this year. deciding how and where to spend money, and even if to spend it at all, how to give back… eh. it’s a whole big post that’s brewing. the links in the sidebar under ‘mindful’ should give you a hint as to where i’m headed these days, tho.

2. Easter is coming. Many Christians give up something for Lent. Do you give something up for any reason (or season)? What is it this year?

in the past, i’ve tried to take something on. sacrifice for the sake of personal penitence doesn’t seem especially meaningful to me. taking on something (volunteering at a soup kitchen, for example) rings truer to my sense of Lent, which is about reflecting on what it means to be christian, and how you choose to put that into practice.

this year, i don’t know if i have it in me to take on anything else. i’m not sure what i’ll do. maybe just revisit my schedule and book in time for family one night a week.

3. Do you watch the Super Bowl? If so, do you watch it with a group? If not, what do you do while the game is on? Anything special?

what sport is that again? 😉 seriously, been to one game party in my life, and that was enough.

4. Would you miss Monday Madness if it stopped permanently?

yes! 🙂

5. Name at least one theme for MM questions. Share at least one question for that theme.

hobbies. what’s the most unusual hobby you have? and how did you get started with it?

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i had sort of forgotten that i’d left all y’all with such a heavy post, because i’ve been up to my ass in alligators of various shapes and sizes. so, for me, there’s been a whole lot more going on in the emotional landscape lately than the last post would let you know. or, maybe, not more, just varying shades of shite.

so. 🙂 scattershot crumbles.

first – while the last post may have sounded incredibly sad, that’s not all by a long shot that i remember or respect about having those beings, among others, in my life. i’ve spent a fair amount of time loving my current group of critters, and remembering snuggling up on the couch with stanzi (which meant me snuggling up, and her perching over my shoulder, because she was never a lap cat).

things for which i am grateful: listening to Great Big Sea on the speakers as i type this, having a computer and a connection with which to blog, being reasonably warm and comfortable, having a roof over my head, observing the 34th anniversary of Roe v. Wade and appreciating the fact that the right to decide how to care for my own life and body was there when i needed it without having to resort to subterfuge. for my friends, for my family, both by blood and by choice, for Chica Bean – who will listen to the most incoherent calls and messages – and *get* me. for the fact that i live in a state that has a hip, Democratic governor who is willing to blog and podcast his job.

guys that i find hot (after, of course, my hubby who rocks my world – the others are only eye candy): Sam Waterson. Andre Braugher. Jon Stewart. Sam on Top Chef 2. Alton Brown. (yes, i’m a foodie, and a geek!) Eddie Izzard. Johnny Depp. Alan Doyle (from Great Big Sea – you know them, right?). Michael Franti. Denzel Washington. and Clive Owen, i’m lookin’ at you… and wondering if you might make the list.

life these days seems blastingly overwhelming… and i’ve started chipping away, one task at a time. inventorying where i’m spending time, looking at what serves me and what i serve, and thinking. also, just doing one chore at a time.

thinking about: why i take WonderBoy to church with me, and what i hope he’ll get out of it. why it’s important to me that he gets that, at all. what i get from going. how i perceive and define my community, and how that shifts and mutates every damn day. what i think of coming up on my fortieth birthday, and how i think i’ll eschew all the hoopla in favor of a small, introspective observance with my best friend (who is only a week or two behind me).

wishing that i had an electric blanket, or better still, a heated mattress pad.

grateful that my creaky little kitty, all 17 1/2 years of him, will let me carry him up the stairs to sleep with us in the night, because he needs the extra heat.

grateful for the amazing words and thoughts of annie lammot, and once again (still? always?) picking inspiration from what she says and shares. among them, the poem she used as the forward for her book Travelling Mercies – i’ll point you to maggidawn’s entry on the same poem for the full text. poem, poet, thought and word all meld together. i’d suggest reading it aloud for fuller effect. and then read it out loud again. read it, savor it, digest the words. and tell me what you think. what do you hear, in that poem of thanksgiving or letting go?

loving that WonderBoy still wants and appreciates me reading to him at bedtime – not something we’ve done in a dog’s age, and which we restarted tonight, with one of my fave books from when i was his age – Johnny Tremain. i adored that book, and the images i conjured up from the words, and even more, going in to Boston and finding where Johnny would have lived. perhaps there’s a field trip in our future. 🙂

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it’s a healthy thing, i think, to acknowledge and name our grief, and to give it a place in our lives. perhaps we let go, eventually, altho for me that would mean letting go of the source of grief. and i’m not ready to let go of those people and animals, those beings, not now, and probably never.

that doesn’t mean walking around, marked with ashes and grieving always. for me, at least, it means having a space and a time in which to remember, grieve and commemorate.

tonight, the invitation to remember came from reading kate’s post about grandma. reading all her raw love and emotion, the hurdles she jumped and the place she’s made for the kitty who was part of her life for so long (and still is)… i was right back on my kitchen floor four years ago, stroking and loving stanzi, waiting for the vet to come and put her to sleep. i spent weeks trying to nurse her thru her illness, and when it got to be too much for her, when she wasn’t herself, wasn’t there, i had the great good fortune to say goodbye to her while holding her in my arms. i struggle, often, with the idea that i should have let her go sooner, should have made it easier for her. to this day, i have no idea if i picked the right time for her. i pray that i did. and i hope that she heard all those stories i told her, all the love that i tried to pass along thru touch and sound, that she knew, as she was leaving, that she was and is loved.

and i’m right back in the front seat of my car, last fall, sitting there holding pigwidgeon, screaming and crying, because my sweet dear little dwarf hammie, that i had nursed thru 3 months of diabetes, who was so incredibly charming and trusting… i didn’t do enough. i had come home that night, and found him crunched up in the corner of his cage. he had been fine the night before, and now he was barely hanging on. i called the vet, and rushed him down there, cradling him to my chest in one hand, shifting and steering with the other. and it wasn’t enough. or, maybe, it was. i didn’t get him there in time to ease his death. as i’ve found, tho, a natural death is easier for dwarf hammies. and so i took him back, folded him in clean tissues, and drove home slowly, sobbing and apologizing.

we had a funeral for him, Wonderboy and i. we buried him in the garden, with a marker that Wonderboy wrote out. ‘we loved you.’

and we did. and i am still grateful for the experience of loving these beings as part of my life. i am richer for having known pig and stanzi, and relish my memories of them, now and always.

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we didn’t just get family. we got Family DefCon3.

Family 1.0, you sign up for spouse, in-laws, awkward holiday negotiations. Family 1.5, you have kids, and the negotiations get more interesting. 😉 Family 2.1, you’ve survived graduations, driver’s license, in-laws, and every dang holiday. and you’ve made it up the learning curve.

Family DefCon3 – there is no learning curve. there is only survival mode. you are tossed bodily into the entire damn mess.

[note: i *adore* where i’m at these days, and love my hubby, and love my kid. there are some things about the situation that have nothing to do with my most immediate family.]

FDC3. yep. that’s my life these days. 😉

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(that said, there is a lot happening, and much i want to write about on resolutions. still cogitating on that one…)

for now, 10 on Tuesday, quite blatantly lifted from the ever-lovely jen (who hopefully doesn’t have another migraine tomorrow).

10 things you do well.

1) worry
2) cook, and bake
3) play Trivial Pursuit
4) also, cribbage
5) analyze issues and problems
6) be loyal to friends
7) garden, at least outside (indoor plants are still a mystery)
8) learn – i think i’m a pretty good student
9) admit my mistakes
10) appreciate the goodness in my life

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*sniff* i’m a little under the weather today. too much pepper spray can make a brother congested, if you know what i’m sayin’. but the harder they hit us, the louder we become. kinda like the skin on a drum, you know what i’m sayin’?

love me some Michael Franti. also, Ani DiFranco, Ellis Paul, Utah Phillips, Bruce Cockburn, and so very many local artists (and not just Boston local) – anyone who is willing to sing the truth. by which i mean their own truth, because truth is in some ways very subjective, isn’t it?

ah, the slippery slope of truth. what is true for me may not be true for you. some things – don’t kill, don’t steal, be kind, open doors for older people – seem pretty self evident. but when it comes to how you see your own universe? greyer area.

*gaaaaaaaahhhhhh*! okay, i’m trying to be kind, and dance around what i want to say by framing it as ‘we all need to be kind’. but honestly? WonderBoy’s BM is frosting my ass in a big way.

(yes, Little Man is too big for MedSm, so now comes the new sobriquet – WonderBoy. because he is wonderful.)

~sigh~ ~wanders off to refresh wine glass~

disclaimer: i have never claimed to be, nor do i think i am, a perfect parent. i don’t think such an animal exists, and if it does, slap it on the endangered list right now. WonderBoy had a chance to call me out tonight. and that was okay.

soooooo… Wonderboy has been frustrated by a myriad of things lately. we don’t let him run rampant, there isn’t enough time in the day, we don’t buy him every new toy, hubby and i are sometimes (and often, lately) sidetracked by adult obligations, or just our own stress.

all of this comes back to hubby, in the form of several ultimatums, from the BM, in a call wherein she dictates that “they” will all have a sit-down, and she will fix things with him and WonderBoy. “they”, apparently, means Mom and Dad and Son, who (as WB explained) all sit down and have a nice healing chat and then all move back in together.

*sees more shades of red than i thought possible*

and did i mention that WonderBoy was told and believed that he wasn’t allowed/able/capable of talking to his own father? *snarl*

that, my friends, is manipulative bullshit of the highest degree. *goes all MaMa Bear*

WonderBoy is doing pretty well. we’ve had several discussions so far, sometimes me and WB, sometimes hubby and WB, sometimes all of us. it’s rough, dealing with the shrapnel.

hardest for me was this question: ‘why is mom so mean?’ caught my breath when WonderBoy asked that. and i had no answer, other than ‘she loves you, honey. and she’s doing her best to look out for you in her way.’

on a better note, hubby, WonderBoy and i all had a conference with WB’s teacher to talk about his report card. it was a good, solid report card, and it was great to have a conference where we liked the teacher, the teacher liked WB, WB liked the teacher… aw, well, it was just a big love fest. 😉 best of all, WonderBoy had a chance to show off what he liked about his work. so very nice to be able to give WB a space where he could see that ‘conference’ doesn’t mean ‘talking to’, just ‘talking’. and i could see how very many shades of proud he was when his teacher praised him for his skills and participation.

he’s an excellent kid, WonderBoy is. and he had that shy little grin on his face tonight when i told him that, which told me he heard the compliment and appreciated it. still doesn’t know what to *say* about the compliment, but likes it.

~sigh~ *looks skyward* is it always this hard to parent? *rhetorical question, but feel free to comment.*

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