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January 2006
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March 2006


You know what? I'm not taking a break. I'm not going to censor myself. This blog is for me. If you don't like what I write, take it up with me or don't read it. Simple as that.

This is in response to something I wrote a week ago, on a day I was highly frustrated, disappointed, exhausted ... I just needed to blow off a little steam in a safe place. I thought this was it. What I wrote was perhaps a little snippy but it was in no way a negative reflection on anyone or anything. Because of it, I've been told that perhaps I should step back and take some perspective before I write. Or add a disclaimer before I rant. Because you know, in the real world when someone pisses you off, you always say, "Excuse me ... with all due respect, I'm very upset by what you just did. I'm having a bad day and this is the icing on the cake. I'm about to go ape-shit on you but please don't take it out of context. I think no less of you, I just really need to voice my frustration."

Yeah. That happens.

And to my husband, you know you are wonderful and perfect and gifted and gorgeous and the best dad ever, and everyone who knows you knows you're perfect. And that I'm the screw up. And that whatever I write about you on a day when I'm feeling like a failure doesn't mean that you are in any way less than spectacular. People should know that. Anyone who knows me knows that I'm the flighty, temperamental, sarcastic, caustic, off-balance one. They should know better than to assume I don't know you're the one keeping this family sane and happy and functional. I know that every day. And I'm sorry if I ever write about you in a light that is less glowing than you deserve. I suck.

There. Revised.

Feeling disenfranchised

I'll preface this by saying that the revolving song in my ipod today is "Bad Day" by REM. I'll footnote that sentence by saying REM is my favorite band. Evah. I'll parenthetically add that REM came up on the shuffle as I was reading a news website and getting increasingly incensed and mortified by the way our current administration is "leading the world." Quote unquote.

Economyofone041018_1_175 Have you ever really listened to the lyrics of "Bad Day"? At first they cracked me up and made me say, "Sing it, Michael!" But as always, Mr Stipe has found a way to take something we ALL should be thinking about and questioning and putting it into lovely music with a catchy yet only slightly singable beat so that it subliminally swirls around in the head day after day. Then one day you wake up and say, "Damn! He has a point!"

Today I read about Bush yet again saying he was "unaware" of somethin' going on in his government, like that makes it okay. And about how we're heading for another stock market crash and yet investors and economists are paying no attention cuz they all want to make a buck first. Iran gets scarier by the day. Iraq gets no better. AOL wants to institute an "internet tax." And some meatpackers just became multimillionaires.

I hate reading the news. It makes me want to move somewhere lovely and isolated from the world, where I can raise my kids and make happy memories and have no fears or worries about all the people who just screw things up for everyone else. All those people who think THEY need to make a blanket decision for everyone. Who feel they need to be Oz the Great and Terrible.

So I was sitting there, reading, listening to music, getting more and more sad and frustrated and ready to join the ACLU and start picketing something somewhere. And then Michael came on and sang this:

A public service announcement followed me home the other day.
I paid it nevermind. Go Away.
Shits so thick you could stir it with a stick-free Teflon whitewashed presidency.
We're sick of being jerked around.
Wear that on your sleeve.

Broadcast me a joyful noise unto the times, lord,
Count your blessings.
We're sick of being jerked around.
We all fall down.

Have you ever seen the televised St. vitus subcommittee prize
Investigation dance? Those ants in pants glances.
Well, look behind the eyes.
It's a hallowed hollow anesthetized
"save my own ass, screw these guys"
smoke and mirror lock down.

Broadcast me a joyful noise unto the times, lord,
Count your blessings.
The Papers wouldn't lie!
I sigh, Not one more.

It's been a bad day.
Please don't take a picture.
It's been a bad day.

We're dug in deep the price is steep.
The auctioneer is such a creep.

The lights went out, the oil ran dry
We blamed it on the other guy
Sure, all men are created equal.
Heres the church, heres the steeple
Please stay tuned-we cut to sequel
ashes, ashes, we all fall down.

Broadcast me a joyful noise unto the times, lord,
Count your blessings.
Ignore the lower fear
Ugh, this means war.

It's been a bad day.
Please don't take a picture.
It's been a bad day.

Ironically, three songs later I heard the lovely voice of Nichole Nordeman singing a quiet yet impassioned plea for God to be small enough for her to hear Him and be strengthened by Him. A gentle reminder that I can't just run away to the country or join a mob and be angry. I need to pray. I need to find the best way for me to be a small change in the world. I have so many thoughts and opinions and fears and ideas, but who am I to do anything? But if that's the attitude we all take, people like Bush and his band of Merry Men (and Condie ... God help us if she gets a VP nod!) will just keep screwing up our world. And then how do we explain THAT to our kids?!

Six. Holy cow.

(Editor's note: Yes, this is Post No. 2 for the day, but since Saturday was such a freaking busy day I have a lot to say. And neither my boy nor my friends are footnotes; they each get their own space.)

Cakesmile My boy is six. I'm reeling a bit. How in the world has it been six years since he was born? How in the world has it only been six years since I began this party called "motherhood"? I just don't understand how time can go so fast and be so tricky. I feel like I've been Henry's mom since the beginning of time; it's getting increasingly harder to remember that there ever was a life without him. In many ways, he was the beginning of me. I felt so aimless and unsettled until he came along. I thought I knew who I was and where I was going, but I think I was just a little disillusioned because looking back, I didn't have a clue.

But this boy. Oh my. We challenge each other daily in so many ways. I miss the time when it was just him and me, playing and talking and being together. A lot of our stress has come about since I got pregnant with Harper and things began to shift. And as he's gotten older and has started to discover who he is, we're finding that in the ways that create volatility we're very similar. We have quick tempers, we have a lot of passion, we are both stubborn as they come, we both have that first-born need to be RIGHT about everything. I admire this kid so much and look forward to seeing who he becomes as he grows but MAN does he make me crazy some days. It's scary to think we're previewing the teen years right now, as we both yell at each other, storm away from each other, slam our respective doors. All while Marc the Saint rolls his eye at us and Harper claps and sticks out her tongue.

Yes, we are a lot a like, but he also has so much of his dad in him. For that I'm thankful. They can talk and play so well. Henry is learning more and more from Marc as he gets older, and since their interests are so similar they actually enjoy each other. Every time we go out to eat, Henry finds the empty page in his kid menu and he begins drawing little Tie-Fighters so he can set up his half of the "battle" with Daddy. And when he plays with Legos, now he builds ships and guns because that's what Daddy's been teaching him. The gun control freak in me chokes up, but Marc assures me this is what boys do, and it's better to teach him early on the way to respect it. Blah blah blah. I know he's probably right though.

Thankfully, Henry is also himself. That's a good thing, because everyone loves him. We constantly hear how good he is, how polite and well-behaved, how smart, how sweet. Of course every parent likes to hear that stuff, but for us we actually know it to be true; not just some public persona that Henry's been trained to use. He actually IS a good, smart, sweet, polite kid. And we're so proud of him and of the fact that not only did we raise him well but he actually listens and remembers what we've taught him.

So to you, my boy, happy birthday to us both. To you, as you grow. To me, as I celebrate the fact that you made me a mom. The best job I ever had. I love you, pork chop. You amaze me daily and I look forward to all the years to come. I can't promise we'll ever get past the tempers, but hopefully we'll learn to laugh about it and embrace the fact that we're alike. You're a part of me. One of the best parts I'll ever have to give.

Such sweet sorrow

Parting, that is.

Group My crop girls - Jess, Nisa, Angie, Jen, Kirsten, and Susan - came over for brunch on Saturday for the unhappy purpose of saying goodbye to Jess. She's moving to North Carolina in about two weeks and it's just a bummer. Big time.

Sure we had a great time at the brunch ... we talked, we laughed, we were silly, we were serious. We were super cute. (Right girls?) But we were super sad to see our friend for the last time.

Big sigh.

I hate that just as I'm making a group of friends, one leaves. Story of my life but in reverse. I was always the one doing the leaving, so for years I resisted really making friends, having friends. Sure I liked people, but I didn't get attached. And now I have a group and they make me laugh and think, and one is moving away. So unfortunate, but I'm so blessed to have met Jess, and that we live in an era when miles are incidental. And hey ... we'll always have scrappin', for that's how we found each other to begin with. There's always that.

So safe travels, my friend. Keep those kiddos and yourself well and good, and keep in touch with your lovelies in the frozen North!! (And please don't start saying "y'all" ... I just couldn't take that!)

(And Margie ... we missed you, too! Hope you and the kiddos are over the stomach flu soon!!)

Attn: Seth Wescott

Hi. Just wondering where you've been all my life. Because I seriously think you're my Dream Guy. Is that okay? See, you fit all my requirements: skater (my high school crush criteria), rugged mountain guy (my college crush criteria), tall, lean, dark and handsome (my all-time crush criteria), you live in Maine (criteria period), you're just yummy to look at, you seem intelligent and well-spoken and refrain from using the words "Dude" and "stoked," and now I find you are King of the Snowboard Cross ... my new most favorite sport to watch (and not because of you ... I was hooked by the first heat, before you ever stepped up to the gate). Sigh. Really, Dream Guy.

I have to state outright that I come with baggage - a husband, two kids, and a fear of anything too fast or too dangerous or too inclined to cause me bodily harm. But if you're okay with that, then so am I.

Call me!


Seth1 Seth2 Seth3Seth4

It figures.

But first: look!! My amazingly talented friend Nisa graciously took some headshots for me (Reality Scrapbooking needs one to go with the layout in their upcoming book) and during the process got this totally fun shot of what a photo shoot REALLY looks like! Ha ha.

Okay. Now ...

1. It figures that after a long day following a really short night following a really long week, when all I want to do is go home and nap, I run to the grocery to pick up three things. Just three. I get into the shortest line (becoming clear to me that this is NEVER a wise move), just as the lady is finishing checking out, only to hear, "You still need $3.82." So the lady leaves the line, goes back into the aisles, and I stand there mystified. A minute later she returns with toilet paper, a can of soup, and some other small thing. The checker rings it in. "OH!" she says, "Now you need $.48!" I glare at the checker and am about to reach for a Kit Kat to hand the lady to just be done with whatever Price Is Right mission she's on, when again she leaves. The cashier looks at me and apologizes. "She needs to spend $50 to use a coupon she has." The lady returns with a small item, the checker puts it through, and declares her finally over the $50 mark: $50.17. The lady smiles, as if some feat has been accomplished, and proudly hands the checker her coupon. The all-important savings, that all this hassle was for? $5. Yes. She spent an extra $3.82 on crap she didn't need in the first place (or it probably would have been on her list!!) just so she could save $1.18. Come ON, people!!!

2. Got 3.5 hours of sleep last night, got up at 5:15 to get ready for the craft fair in Edina, sat at the craft fair hawking my wares until 12:30, tore down my table, drove home, went through above grocery fiasco, and made it home in time to eat my first real food of the day and then take a nap. Three hours later Harper wakes from her nap. It soon becomes clear Marc WASN'T listening for her so I could sleep. So I get up, call down to him that she's awake, and go in to get my girl. Suddenly I hear this crash and Marc say, "Michele!" Turns out he'd gotten up from a nap of his own (of course), came upstairs to pee before seeing if I needed help (of course), got as far as doing his thing and pulling up his pants, then boom. He passed out. Into the tub. Taking out the shower curtain on his trip down. So I had to haul his 6'4" ass of out the tub, check his head to make sure he hadn't cracked his skull (cuz we don't have insurance until March 1, we found out ... but not until AFTER Henry went to the dentist for a cleaning and x-rays. That figures.), then give him sympathy for passing out (which, to be fair, I was concerned about him) before going back into Harper's room to finish cleaning her poopy butt. Why is it always Mommy who has to save the day?

3. It figures that after staying up so late to prepare, I didn't sell a single photo card. It was all about the handbags at the art fair. Figures. I did make some great contacts with people who claimed to be very interested in hiring me to make scrapbooks for them, though. Which was really the point of me being at the fair. And everyone loved my photos, just didn't need any cards. Cuz no one writes cards anymore, I was informed. That figures, too. Just didn't think of it.

And this was just today.

Introspective self-joining

I've seen this little exercise on pretty much every blog I read. Time to give it a whirl and do a little soul-searching ... ha.

What were you doing ten years ago: I was in my last semester of college, loving Critical Literature and slogging through everything else; recently engaged, working all the time, living in a great old apartment downtown across the street from the fire station with Frances and Mary Beth ... good times.

What were you doing one year ago: I was insanely pregnant, planning Henry's fifth birthday party, waddling myself all over the place and fighting Marc daily to work on the baby's room.


Five snacks you enjoy (in no particular order as all snacks are created equal):
1.tortilla chips & salsa & guacamole
2.leftovers ... seriously
3. triscuits with gouda and coarse mustard
4.popcorn ... preferably from a movie theater
5. veggies and dip

Five songs to which you know ALL the lyrics:
1. I Will (The Beatles)
2. Such Great Heights (Iron & Wine)
3. Low (REM)
4. Damn I Wish I Was Your Lover (Sophie B Hawkins)
5. The Littles Birds (The Be Good Tanyas)

Five things you would do if you were a millionaire: 
1. Start a fund for philanthropic and charitable giving
2. Give moolah to our parents and siblings
3. Live on a sailboat for a year
4. Hire periodic childcare and write a book
5. Hang out with Marc and the kiddos all the time

Five bad habits:
1. accept/anticipate defeat
2. be lazy
3. swear
4. lose my temper
5. pick my nose (I'm phobic about stuff hanging out of my nose)

Five things you like doing:
1. taking photographs
2. laughing with my kids
3. curling up on the sofa with a book or magazine
4. Marc ;o)
5. laughing with girlfriends

Five things you would never wear, buy or get again:
1. an American car
2. matchy-match outfits
3. poodle perm
4. frosty pink lipstick
5. cheap pots & pans

Five favourite toys, in no particular order:
1. Canon 20D

2. iPod shuffle
3. k'nex (love putting stuff together with Henry!)
4. the internet (it entertains me daily)
5. Marc ;o) again

Happy props to my lurkers!! Love you all!! Thanks for sending me cheer!

Lurker Pride Day!!!

No, there's no parade. No, I don't have any candy to send you. Just lots of love to give!!

It recently came to my attention that I have a handful of faithful readers ... no wait, that's not the punchline. I have a handful of faithful readers who are mystery to me! Like, their names aren't familiar. Like, I'm not sure if I know them from sometime or somewhere else and it's just slipped my brain. (Totally possible.) But I'm staggeringly flattered they like my blog, and infinitely curious about who's reading me and why they like me so damn much!!

So, it's official Lurker Pride Day!! If you read this, if you like this, leave me a comment and introduce yourself!! I know my sister and my husband are loyal followers, but beyond that it all gets a little fuzzy. Send me some love and I'll love you right back!!!