A letter came in the mail today. I was reminded about a generation so much greater than ours. While we are sending emails, incapable of being bothered by the post-office, my Great Aunt Marcy sent my son a card for his 4th birthday. It’s not just a card this time, it’s a reminder. When she lost her husband of 50 years I couldn’t be bothered to send a single thing while she, in return, never once forgets a birthday of her great, great grandnephew. I couldn’t bear to open the card and see only, “Love Aunt Marcy” instead of adding “and Uncle Charles” to the second row.
I stood at the back door and cried.
Earlier today I was reminded that while I have “friends” on facebook I don’t know what they’re up to. People are having babies, graduating, changing jobs. All while I sit and stare at a computer screen 8 hours a day and wrangle children in my “spare” time. There is a book deal! There is traveling! There are speaking proposals to be done! And yet, my kitchen sits neglected, my friends grow entire human beings and my children await another year of life and summer and fall.
My Uncle Charles died while I was in the middle of a travel spree earlier this year. His life was a good one, he was a strong man, although handicapped by a motor cycle accident many years before I was born (the least reason of which I refuse to let Mr. Flinger purchase one of those death traps). I knew him as 100% amazing, strong and intelligent, always a proud father and grandfather, uncle and husband. He was old forever, since I was ten perhaps, endlessly aging at an impossibly slow rate. He would live forever, I thought, because they do: Your family. They live forever and you forget how short and unforgiving life truly is. Thirty years is nothing to someone in their fifties. They’ve conquered teen-age years, early adult, middle age. They are forever etched in their families mind as equally old: always the same, un-aging until the day they suddenly die reminding you of reality.
So it was that I did not make my Uncle Charle’s funeral. Traveling from Dallas, to return to Austin for SXSW, there was little time between. San Antonio felt a decade away, a rent-a-car, two young children unable to see their own mom. My Aunt had her family, her nieces and nephews, my aunts and uncles, her daughters and sons. She was loved and my Great Uncle Charles was rejoiced and I, from afar, joined them. Until this moment I did not think twice. My family needed me home. My work needed me present. My children wanted their own mother.
Still, only two months later, a card arrived reminding me that I will never be your Aunt Marcy. I will not ever fill the shoes of my Grandmother. I will not walk in the ways of those so much more wise, those who love beyond the now, those who see beyond the years. There is reason to live close to those who age before you: to live near extended family. To understand the wisdom of years and wrinkles that we can only imagine. At mid-thirty my age feels heavy. I feel the burden of time. Speaking to those whose lives span eternal decades remind me: a card, though simple, scribbled with ink, and stuck with a “forever” stamp, is more than just a card. It is an entire mindset of love and forgiveness: One I hope to live up to one day.
Right before Thanksgiving, a feast of turkey and more
Our daughter danced in socked feet, slipped to the hardwood floor
Busting open up her chin, seven stitches she bravely took
After all the kids were settled, we promptly went to Redhook
Another day of working from home, a fire I could not attain
Smoke suddenly filled the house, we waited in the rain
Two fire trucks and four firemen appeared in gear that day
The smoking log they finally found, made it look foul-play
The next busy thursday, busier than the usual Flings’
A call prevented my Canadian trip, someone took our things
My wedding ring, baby photos, the iPad I had won
They’re out there with the Wii, in some big stack of fun
Three weekend days to recover, not nearly enough
Wondering what is wrong with people, an attack we rebuff
When suddenly the water heater, not having been attended to
Decides it’s time to mix things up! Fuck Chrismtmas! Such hullabaloo!
A deductible, a water heater, four new locks and a door
Security system installation and a few items more
Ensure this christmas will be a small one, no large packages or bows
And If the condo won’t sell, add to the list WE FORCLOSE
I wouldn’t mind if Santa was more than an artful farse
Maybe bring my ring back? Some money? Save our arse?
In the spirit of the season, I’m thankful we’re all ok
But comon now, let’s be honest, life is not a Cabaret
Such a year it been, two thousand and ten
I don’t mind so much that you’re done
All I can do, is watch for the other shoe
and hope it won’t drop in twenty - one-one
Summers of my youth were filled with sunny, sticky hot days, swimming parties, bike rides, and friends. Houston weather, relentlessly suppressing, choked your lungs with moisture. Us kids would ride around, ignoring the heat, to each other’s houses like mormons on mission. We would bike everywhere, arriving sweaty, sticky, and breathless ready to play and repeat the entire process.
This summer, as an adult, I’m able to re-live that experience. Or, at least in my own way, reminisce about it.
One of my best friends lives 3.6 miles away. I’ve always been fortunate to have friends near, but this is especially helpful when shit goes down for a dear friend. It’s nice to be able to be close, to have the option of hopping on my bike on my lunch break and literally riding to my friend’s house in 15 minutes or so, just like I did as a child.
Even if those are a hard, hilly, hot, sweaty, sticky fifteen minutes. (This is where I say, “That’s what she said.”) (And you all laugh.)
*Wobly 55 second clip of the process. minus the part where I stopped to fix my pedal or where I walked my bike up a huge-ass hill. Dudes. It’s a fucking big hill, don’t judge.
I wanted to get my friend something that says, “I’m sorry your body is an asshole and didn’t grow your baby correctly. Fucking babies. Always making their own decisions, anywho. Well, FUCK THE BABIES. Stupid fucking uterus,” but do you know how hard that is to find at Target?
There are cards for dead pets and not for dead embryos. What. The. Hell.
I happen to know, from experience, the only thing that really helps during a miscarriage is some kleenex, chocolate, and alcohol. And maybe a lovely smutty magazine or two.
So that’s what I got. The miscarriage basket.
I made my own card, though, because Hallmark is well behind the times of “Kick Mother Nature in the crotch and spit on the ground” cards. Seriously, there’s a market for this.
Perhaps I’ll start one.
I have a bone to pick, Kelly. I happen to get those amazing “be more” Electrolux Washer/Dryers you speak so highly of. No, I wasn’t actually trying to be just like you, GOD no, why would I want to do that? I know small dogs less annoying than you are. BUT, I did find an amazing deal on a pretty amazing washer/dryer set and after drooling and researching, decided to plunge in to debt for the sake of Laundry.
And oh, how it was worth it.
Except one thing:
My clothes don’t fly in to the closet or hang themselves like yours do.
WHAT IS UP WITH THAT KELLY RIPPA?
Next you’re going to tell me that advertising isn’t real. Whatever. I believe everything I see and *I* want my clothes to fly in to their places, Kelly. I deserve nothing less.
Although… I do have to say, I felt a bit justified after I took my flying trapeze class and saw your video show up next to mine on youtube. I watched your whole little show, Mrs. Rippa and I do have to say, Wow. I’m less than impressed.
I mean, even tall, slightly-heavier-than-should-be old ME can do better than that, Kelly.
Validation comes in strange forms, eh?
*This post brought to you buy sarcasm. If you don’t know sarcasm, or are Canadian, you might think I’m going to actually take on Kelly Rippa.
**Which would be stupid because I could SO TOTALLY kick her tiny little ass.
Listen up, Blogosphere. This is part 1 of a 3 part series.
That’s right. What I have to say is so important, I am going to do it in three installments. This? Is number one.
Here is a short post on how to not write like a douche.
Its is possessive. The book is torn and its page is wrinkled.
It’s is a contraction of it and is. It’s about to rain.
You’re vs Your
Editors note: This one makes my tongue curl to the back of my throat and sputter strange noises only gophers understand, so listen up.
You’re is a contraction of YOU and ARE. You’re going to DIE when I tell you this!
Your is possessive. Your husband is getting you beer.
(Maybe you’re still confused? Go here.)
Their, There, They’re
Their is possessive. Their dog just pooped on the floor. Their shoes are moldy.
There is a location. You can find the cup over there.
They’re is a contraction of THEY and ARE. They’re going to catch a plane.
Here vs Hear
Here is location. (Similar to THERE. In fact, this is how I remember this. THERE and HERE are locations - both abstract and real.) We have the best coffee here
Hear is what you do with your ears. In fact, EAR is in the word HEAR. Did you hear that? You can remember now!
People? THAT IS WRONG.
Apostrophes are for showing possession (or contraction). It is NOT for plural.
:: taps glass to computer screen ::
Apostrophes are not for plural.
So, let’s say (oh! see what I did? LET US = let’s) we want to tell everyone we have a moms club.
It is not a Mom’s Club. That is one mom’s club (perhaps she’s a cave-woman or a police-woman.)
We have WOMEN’S RIGHTS.
We own cats. We have a cat’s kennel. I hate cats.
Who the fuck cares? That’s what spell check is for.
I was at the gym a few days ago when this commercial came on. Maybe it was the hormones, maybe it was the stress of moving, maybe it is me being all “woman-like” but I started to tear up right there at minute 11 on the elliptical.
Shortly after, I went to the weight room and saw a little old lady shuffling her workout mat back to put it away. The woman could barely hold herself up, let alone this large green workout mat. I offered to take the mat and put it away for her. She thanked me.
It wasn’t too long after that I turned on the car and heard the craziness that is now our country. People hating white people and not calling it racism. People lashing out. Others telling people to give is their duty and others fighting being told what to do.
It’s at this point that I realized, regardless of my political affiliate, I’m still not an asshole, no matter who you think I may or may not vote for.
I’m just a little bit sick and gottayam tired of people placing everyone is boxes. Little boxes made of ticky-tacky. I’m tired of hyprocicy. I’m tired of name calling. I’m tired of empty promises. I’m tired of the misunderstanding that spans the isle and I’m tired of people assuming.
I’m a Libertarian. Not an asshole.
I believe less government is a good thing. I want to decide ON MY OWN that McDonalds is not healthy, to select businesses with models I agree with, to let my decision effect and change the world, not the government. I want to see change and I want to see others helping each other, not because Big Boss Man said so, but because we are raised with the core belief to respect human life, however different from you that may be.
I want to see healthy discussion. I want to see honesty. I want to see a world where opinions matter and are not immediately deflected. I want to see my children become people who will accept a large variation of lifestyles not because the government mandates it so, but because I teach them we are different and that is OK. I want them to acknowledge and accept change while understanding core principals. I want them to love people for who they are not who they profess to be.
I want my son to be allowed to be a boy. To play too rough, to jump in puddles, to sleep in the dirt. I want a school system that encourages learning of all types and does not shelter nor prevent any one child from being more than another.
I believe competition is healthy. Striving for something better, to be a part of something more, is a part of growing up.
I believe failure is OK. I believe failing teaches lessons and without failure, there is no growth.
I do not believe it is the governments job to prevent that failure, or that growth.
I’m the kind of girl that will pick up your baby’s sock if he/she kicks it off when you’re walking. All I want in return? A smile and a thank you. I’m the lady that will stop to let you in if I haven’t been cut off six times since two blocks ago. All I request is a nod and a wave. I’m the lady who you are calling a racist, a homophobe, a biggot. All I want is a chance to discuss, ask questions, admit I have no answers.
I am the lady who will see a lesbian couple linking arms and think how awesome love is, and how we all need our very own person, whatever package that comes in. And I do not want to be judged for that thought. I’m the gal who hates being called racist simply because of my skin color. That, alone, is racist, is it not? Determining my opinion of you because of your skin color based on my own skin color, well, that’s just fucked up.
I’m the programmer who is humble enough to shrug. I’m the woman who will admit she needs help. I am the mom who knows my children will not understand or respect every decision I make but who strives to make decisions based solely on the fact that I make them out of love and in the belief they are the best for this minute for my children.
I’m someone who believes in small business, who has faith that the system allows each to rise to their inner potential, who strives to let free market be truly free. I’m the person who is consistently shouting hands off to most all things government. I’m the lady who believes jobs will cure an economy, put strength in people’s hearts and a backbone to this nation.
I am honest to a fault. I am torn by two parties. I am not an asshole.
I’m a Libertarian.
Hey, remember that time I was all, “OMG WE GOT A HOUSE AND WE GET TO MOVE!”
Fuck that. Moving is hard, yo!
It’s not just the new-ness of the place, or the old-ness of someone else’s dirt, it’s the alone-ness, the “what are we doing-ness” of our lives.
Disrupting the routine is no good, people. NO GOOD AT ALL.
But not having internet? That’s death.
Monday was our scheduled day. “Your rep will be there between 8AM and 5PM Monday, March 22.”
Awesome. I can totally unpack and not have internet for two days in our new house right?
So I unpacked and I paced. I glanced out the window every few minutes. I kept the music low so I could hear the door.
It started to feel really familiar. Akin, if you will, to those last few weeks before I gave birth to my daughter. The “Due Date” was really a range of time. “Any day now” lasted weeks. I walked, I paced, I was uncomfortable, a little lost, stuck in anticipation, unsure. I re-lived those moments as I waited for the Verizon guy. And waited. And waited.
I called my husband and begged for him to do something. Not unlike the phone call at 38 weeks pregnant yelling, “JUST GET HER OUT. GIVE ME AN ORGASM. THEY SAY IT WORKS OHMYGOD JUST DO IT.”
I slowly gave up as the afternoon passed. I knew it wasn’t happening that day. I felt lost and betrayed and alone. I was sure it would be monday. Monday I would have my Internet Baby.
This is the point of the story where you tell me, “Did you just seriously compare waiting for the Verizon dude to having a baby?”
YES. YES I DID. This is how effed up I am in my world without internet people. I HAVE NO PERSPECTIVE.
So if posting here is a bit raw for a while, know it’s because I’m probably typing on my iPhone screen using auto-correct and yelling, “No! I didn’t mean to type stinks, I mean pink! DAMNIT!” And “Ate you going to the car?” translates in to “Are you going to the park?” And so forth.
And in the mean time, I’ll scouring the house for a 3 inch elephant because SOMEBODY will not be able to go on living without it. SOB DRAMA SOB.
See? We’re all sorts of non-perspective in our new, awesome, amazing house right now. Even if it is all those things.
We don’t “DO” Valentine’s Day. We never have. We do “The Discount Chocolate Day” on February 15th, but not a day before. We do “let’s go to the mountain today” or “let’s make home-made cookies” or “let’s go to the beach” but we don’t do Vday.
Vday is too.. I dunno.. Venereal sounding for me.
I’ve always told Mr. Flinger if I asked him to do something nice for me on Valentine’s day it means he’s in deep shit. VERY deep shit. Instead, I prefer not getting a dozen roses or a card with a half-assed scribbled, “with love, your-husband-that-sleeps-next-to-you-every-night-remember-me?” He better be making an effort to love the me other days of the year and if he’s not, he will have to do much more than get a card or purchase some diabetes-inducing chocolate. He better buy me an island in the Pacific.
So we don’t do gifts. We don’t do a special dinner. We don’t do a date night or a holiday or a trip.
Instead, let’s all gather around and watch some fantastically fun songs. Shall we? Gather hands now and sing along.
Lalallalalalal Let’s Make Out! Lalallalalalalalal Let’s Make Out!
I love you more than a kid loves candy. More than a PMSing woman loves chocolate. Well, almost as much as that last one.
And if that doesn’t make you smile, here’s a little more “risque” card:
Who says I’m not romantic?
I’ll even make some good-carb pancakes for the children in the shape of a heart with some strawberries just for Love-Day.
Are you gagging yet?
In the spirit of Ashton, let’s all tell the people we hate on Valentine’s day how we really feel and go back to loving our people the rest of the year. Deal? Deal.
You wouldn’t think someone this adorable could cause any trouble.
And oh, you’d be wrong. And also a suckah.
I can remember sitting behind the recliner listening to the theme song from St. Elsewhere. I remember my mother, without looking back, yelling, “GO TO BED” and wondering how she even knew I was there. I was so quiet! The woman had eyes on the back of her head. She till does.
The theme music has changed, the recliner is different, but the person sitting behind the chair refusing to go to bed is reminiscent of 1982.
My son, my precious baby boy, the apple of my eye, is pissing me right the hell off. The Boy willl not, for any bribes, threats, pleads, stay in his bed. He will not sleep before 10PM or past 6:30AM. He knows what he wants and he wants it. It’s us. He’s changed in to a little man wanting late night TV and a whisky (ok, fine, “milk” whatever) until way past bedtime. Past OUR bedtime.
Last night in a fit of “what DO I DO WITH YOU” I stated, “Every time you get out of bed, you lose a lovey.” It had a “This Wonderful Life” tone to it but with threats, lovies, and the absence of an adorable child telling a story about angels. It also didn’t work.
I tried putting him back in his pac-n-play telling him only big boys get to be in big boy beds and when he feels he’s ready to be a big boy and stay in his MAN BED, he can have that again. He said, “OH! MY CRIB! YEY!”
I’ve lost hair over this. I’ve tried guilt trips, bribes, threats. I’ve let him stay up, I’ve stayed in bed and snuggled, I’ve read extra books, I’ve tried to ignore the behavior.
I have no good answer. I have no good solution. I have my regrets for letting this kid sucker me in to manipulate me with his charming ways of telling me he loves me and his adorable ways of being two.
And now? I’m paying for it.
Help? Please? I’ll let you stay up late. I’ll even buy you a pony.
I’m a little obsessed. And by a little obsessed I mean tuned in to The News 24/7 palpitating with each dramatic climb or drop of the market, watching twitter for latest information, basically becoming a human news ticker. “Market down! Market up! Bill didn’t pass! Bill being updated!” and on and on. It’s annoying my own self.
I’m having a hard time focusing on anything other than the Economy. On anything aside from “THE MARKET”. From anything aside from “THE GREAT GLOBAL MELTDOWN OF TWO THOUSAND AND EIGHT IN WHICH THE FLINGERS LOOSE THEIR HOUSE AND FORTUNE.” Because, if I’m honest, we are those people. We believed the nice Countrywide lady. We took a mortgage out with interest only on a 297K condo because the housing market in Seattle was so out of control, we couldn’t get a house. We were smart, really, not wanting to pay more than 300K for anything knowing we couldn’t afford it and yet? Here we are: 45K upside down on our teeny tiny condo praying that in 12 months everything will turn around because we are so totally fucked if it doesn’t. The ARM comes up in 12 months and our kids may be playing with sticks and beating each other with rocks at that time.
Or maybe they already do that but it will henceforth be known as “home.”
So I’m watching for selfish reasons. For concern. As a libertarian I despise all things Big Government. As a stupid idiot, who bought in a high market and will refinance in a low market, I’m giving myself an ulcer.
So forgive me if you come to my house for dinner and I sit with you at the table for two hours telling you why DEARGODWEAREALLGOINGDOWN. Which is what I did last night after fish tacos and two glasses of wine.
I’m really sorry about that conversation. And probably the lack of cumin, too.
And, as is custom when I’m all sorts of “I don’t know how to end this,” Look! My kids are cute!
16 guests here now.