Thursday, July 30, 2009

Fairy Tale 2: The Rain

When the rain started, the world was dry. The plants surged upward, grateful, basking in the needed moisture. Children splashed in the puddles happily, kicked water on their parents, who laughed.

But the sprinkly storm turned heavy. The heat was moist, like a laundry room. The rain did not refresh anyone; people stopped splashing playfully in puddles and instead, began to fill sandbags with mucky brown grit. The domesticated flowers began to droop from too much water. Their leaves grew yellow, then brown at the edges, then, inexplicably moldy and finally, turned to mush.

It kept raining.

Vines dormant since the age of dinosaurs started to grow. Tiny green shoots, at first, they covered outbuildings, eclipsing their square shapes, then crept into the yard. Nothing had sharp edges anymore-- it was all soft, green, masses of tendrils. The tendrils grabbed at the children's ankles as they ran past, on their way through the downpour into the rapidly growing smaller houses. These vines had beautiful, giant flowers that smelled heavenly to the small birds and insects-- who hovered near and were snapped up, eaten by the flowers, slowly digested in slimey juices.

Still, it rained.

People forgot what lawnmowers looked like, left them to rust in the yards. The gasoliney smelling machines began to look like old art projects as the vines covered them, turned them into topiary of an ancient world. New indoor lives were found, forgetting the heat of summer, the heat of lemonade and ice cream and beaches and dry sand that sticks to the backs of legs.

The rain did not stop.

It dribbled. Drizzled. Poured. Torrents came down and then became gushers. Ditches filled up, overflowed. Sidewalks became small rivers. Doghouses floated away, some with the dogs, forgotten, perched on top of them, howling.

And the water and green kept flowing, flowing, flowing, until people forgot the words for "dry" or "dusty" and even "desert."

Hot & Rainy

hot and rainy hot and rainy.


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Fairy Tale

Once upon a time a young, redheaded princess found her way into the woods. It doesn't matter which woods, it doesn't matter how she came to be there. What matters is that these woods were dark, and the paths were unclear, and there were small animals hiding under low branches as she passed. There were larger things, too-- the reason the small animals were hiding.

The redheaded girl did not wear a red-cloak, carry a basket for her grandmother, smell gingerbread, or hear fairy music leading her on. She simply walked. She was alone, and at first, she was not very afraid. She figured she would find her way out, and knew she had a good head on her shoulders, and reasoned that where she had been lost she would eventually find her own way out.

There may have been monsters. There may have been encounters with magical beasts-- perhaps dragons, with fiery red eyes. Perhaps unicorns, lulled by the sound of her singing into resting their heads upon her lap. Perhaps there were heroes so entranced by her beauty that they threw themselves into her service and found her to be worthy.

Perhaps not. Perhaps she was just lost, and never found, in a woods far from home.

Which story would you write?

p.s. this is not a metaphor for my life. It is fiction. Don't read anything into it. I'm just thinking about fairy tales.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Peas in Pod

So I go into the bedroom to check on a squawky kiddo. (Probably Sean who works up to being awake like this.) They were sleeping so closely piled up that for a second, adjusting my eyes to the darkness of the room, I couldn't see Maia. They were like one kid, attached at their back with legs scrawled to each side. Eternally twin.

They used to sleep like that all the time when they were infants-- bundled in their blankets, with head hands face in same exact position. I even have some cool photos I'd put on here if I wasn't too lazy to go find them.

I just thought it was kind of cool to see that again. Whenever they are in the bed together, they gravitate towards each other. This is just the most extreme example of it I've seen for a long time.

Feels Like Autumn Already

Not to be a totally banal weather blogger but the last week plus week ahead here in the Swampland is rain rain and then more rain. With brief periods of muggy heat. Right now, in fact, as I sit here, it's dark and feels like earlier than it is. In our bedroom, it's super dark, and if I want the kids to wake up before noon, I'll have to turn on lights and make noise. I'm blessed with kids that will sleep in the morning (it wasn't the case when they were infants, however). But if I let them sleep too long, they won't nap and will be crabby all afternoon, so it's a fine line.

But the point is that because of all this rain and no sun for so long it really has started to feel, this week, like a turn towards Fall. I know it's not that long now until I'm taking the kiddos to "real" school again and going back myself. I have the syllabus I created last year for a new class I've never taught before, and there are about 8 students per class registered already (since it's mostly an all Freshman class, it's unusual for it to fill up before late Drop/Add).

I have big plans once this Fall semester starts. Academics tend to do this: the Fall is another "New Year" for us. We get new clothes, new students. Some of us try to clean up the office space at work. Me, I'm going to renew my efforts at the gym. I was being really good at the start of the summer but then when Sean went to his sporadic summer school schedule, I just lost all the extra time in my day. But I am recommitting seriously to the plan to lose 30 pounds of extra and re-muscleify re-aerobicize, re-tone my flabby tired almost 40 year old body. It will mean an actual diet, I think, this time. Complete with "nutrition shakes" for breakfast and light meals. And NO liquor for at least the first 6 weeks. I may quit altogether forever except for special occasions. It seems to me that it's half (perhaps even more than half) of the weight loss problem. You drink your "just one" glass of wine with dinner, and it tastes really good so you want another, then you figure "I'll just have a bowl of ice cream too" and then that is a BIG bowl and then there's an extra 500 calories in your day. That's more than a total hour's worth of walking on an elliptical, at least. If you're really killing the machine. And the most fit of people over 40 that I know, most of them don't drink much at all. It's a youthful thing. (Except for the French. And I seriously think they're tricking us somehow...) :)

Anyway. That's a long blog post to say: it feels a bit like the renewal of "back to school," back to work back to being something other than a slacker in PJs again. Just because of a week of rain. It'll go back to sunny & too hot, I'm sure, before summer really gives up the ghost but it's a tease, and I, for one, am looking forward to it. Even with the pain of working out and weight loss goals.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Fake Words

Lately, when I have to type one of those "fake words" for verifying I am indeed a real person and not a spambot (an interesting image there--robot made of spam) I've noticed that they seem to have made that process more sophisticated. The "words" are more like words. Before when you would have to type some horrid combination of vowels & consonants that you'd have to look at several times to get right (and often the letters would wiggle in just such a way that you'd think-- is that a t or an f?) it would be really irritating to me, and I wondered about people who have just a little bit of eyesight issues, or certain reading disabilities.

But the last few I've done have almost been words. It's kind of pleasant, and I start to think "what if that WAS a word? what would it mean?" But then, I am a little bit on the weird side. ;)

And I'm loving the rainy weekend day we're having today-- a long moment after coming home where the hot lava colored dragonfly who keeps visiting our pond hovered and really seemed to be looking at us for quite some time, saying "hello" or perhaps chasing us off, a really good book,* naps, and a husband home and grumbling at bills and records.

And none of those fake words I imagine are for mundane things like bills or records. They're words like "magic" and "hero" and "rescue" and "ice cream."


*Alice Hoffman's The Story Sisters.... possibly her best since Practical Magic.

Friday, July 24, 2009

What it Looks Like

So all week, I've been super tired in the morning when I get up and drag the kids, kicking and sometimes screaming, out of bed to get Sean to school by 8. He's done with that now for three weeks, which will be tough ones.

This morning, when I could have slept in myself, I'm not so tired. I guess it's because I can leave the kids in bed & do things on my own without them on top of me for a little while. This is a rare break for a mom of young kiddos. Often, they want to be on my lap while I type (difficult to do when you have kids as wiggly as mine.) Or they just want me to be sitting there, watching Thomas the Train with them, or outside playing in the yard with them. I do that most of the time, too, with very brief minutes stolen away to check FB (it keeps me feeling connected to an adult world.)

But Andrew works pretty damn hard nowadays (and here in a minute is where the title will come in.) He gets up most mornings at about 5:30, 6:00 and heads to work, where he is all day until at least 4. Then he works sporadically (his phone tends to go off every five minutes) on our various rental property issues. Especially right now with two of them vacant & needing tenants.

Earlier, I'm sitting at the computer with a cup of latte he very nicely made me, checking my FB while he finishes his morning routine. He's leaving and I'm asking him what his schedule will be like. I can tell he plans a pretty busy day as he contemplates his lunch, and when he might make it home.

I think of what it looks like I'll be doing today, all day. Sitting here, mucking around on the computer. Easy easy. But what dads don't see are the countless moments of chasing after a kid. Andrew's a GOOD one, helps out a ton, even does it himself now & then. And it's not like I'm Martha Stewart. Sometimes, when he comes home, the house is a bit of a wreck. But he doesn't see how much worse it COULD have been had I not caught the kid in the fridge after the eggs, or spilling green kool aid all over the house, or whatever interventions in 4 year old universe I will have to make today.

It looks easy, being me, from his waking up early, running all day perspective. I get a little more sleep, I get to sit here for a little while on the computer checking up on my friends. I can imagine how it seems. But I've also been the one at a workplace all day, too, and I know how different that is, what that feels like for a grown up, and how some days I really, really would trade with him. Let him stay home and be "dad" and me go to work all day.

Moms are never off work. Maybe when they're fourteen I'll have some time off. Maybe then I'll get an employee of the month plaque and my picture on a wall somewhere and a cool parking place. :) Something to look forward to, I'll bet. But I'll also bet some other suckup employee will sneak in there and get the plaque instead of me because that always happens to me.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Exercising my Feminism Muscles-- a little

I have a friend on Facebook who is passionate about blogging about feminist issues in a way I wish I still were. So I usually read her posts, even when I don't comment on them. In reading her blog today, I found a link I'm going to recommend in a minute.

It's interesting to see her flexing those issues and reminds me that these arguments don't go away (unfortunately) because I'm not actively in the trenches arguing about them. The anti-feminist trolls are still out there on those blogs that I don't read & comment on like I used to. Sigh.

There is, however, a blog that wasn't around back when I wrote about more than twins and whiney parenting and not having a permanent job. It's pretty cool, and I was reading over the discussions, wishing that I wrote more like this still, thinking of whether I'd be willing to get into that fray again.

For now, I think I'll just point you all to the blog (called and say: here is a very useful resource.* If you're wondering what Feminism is, where to find interestingly written definitions of common feminist ideas/terms, etc, go to this blog and muck about. It makes me feel like I should be doing other things, like I haven't done this stuff in too long, but I don't know how much time I can devote to real philosophizin'-- especially with a kiddo literally crying (fake crying.. I'm glad to see it; it's a step in the right direction to his learning to communicate) for my attention.

My feminist muscles are a little shaky in theory, although I like to think that in raising two strong, assertive, kind, equal children of different genders, I am exercising them daily in practice.

*And I am disturbed that "very useful" worked it's way into the post while I was listening to Thomas the Train. AAAAAUGH! Children's programming-- is it reprogramming me subconsciously?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Thanatos, not Oedipus

When did you first become aware of death? That you could die?

In spite of having a pretty good memory for lots of events in early childhood, I don't remember. I remember seriously choking on a pork chop when I must have been about four, and my dad shoving his finger in my throat and popping it out. I was scared, but I'm pretty sure just because of instinct scared. I didn't at the time realize the implications of the incident.

Around the same time, my cat got hit by a car while I was waiting for the school bus with my sisters. I wouldn't go to school, cried for a long time, felt sick.

Maia is worried about dying. I haven't figured out yet HOW aware she is of this, but twice now (once after falling and getting a minor boo boo, once randomly talking about me leaving her at daycare and her not wanting to go) she has said she "doesn't want to get dead." She's also been very worried about me "getting lost"-- which, I think, translates to mommy not coming back, ever.

I try to reassure her. But how do you really reassure a child about this? You want them to be careful, to not do stupid things that could get them seriously hurt or, yes, killed. It's a possibility for kids sometimes because they take risks (run in a parking lot lately? kids do all the time if you don't constantly remind them).

But she's so sad, and she's coming up with this at awkward times and I know she's thinking about it. She's seen a few animals die-- one of the fish from our pond was partially eaten-- and bugs fall into the pool all the time. And then, I'm sure, we've seen something on TV. Even Nemo's mom dies, and that's rated G.

I think (and here's the title link) that this is possibly the real identity crisis of childhood. It's not about wanting to replace your parent with your other parent. That's what Freud, obsessed with the sex part of it, got wrong. It's more about realizing that you don't go on forever, that you meet with death and that when your parents get freaked out because they don't want you climbing on top of the 12 foot off the ground playfort, it's because "very bad boo boos" happen.

I'm not entirely sure how to handle it. I don't want to freak her out, but I also hate to lie to her. Stuff happens, right? What is pretend, what is real, is it possible for mommy or daddy or other people to "get lost?"

This is probably where being better Christians than we are comes in handy, because you can reassure kids that going to Heaven to be with the angels would be okay. I'm a spiritual person and believe in an almighty being (a conversation for another time... not really "God" per se) but I am not really a believer in angelic choirs and a big white guy in flowing robes. And I'm not exactly sure I know what I think happens to us after death. So how to reassure a child?

Perhaps the real crisis comes with being a parent who has to learn these hard lessons, again, as an adult who treasures their kids more than anything else ever before or since. I'd like to get this parenting thing as right as possible, but man, these are the tough ones.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Blue Journal

I bought a new fancy journal today at B&N. I had about an hour there to linger with coffee and cinnamon scone (not the free ones!) This journal is very pretty and I tend to be a sucker for these empty books. I imagine, when I buy them, what I'll fill them with. It's like a gym membership--filled with all kinds of good intentions. Sometimes they get filled, sometimes they don't.

This one is really pretty & fits in my purse. It has a cobalt blue cover with an elastic band attached by a pretty five-pointed star. It is handmade in Nepal, and supposedly very Eco-friendly and created by a mostly female co-op. It was pricey enough that I believe it; I hope at least enough of that money I spent goes to those women workers so far away. I don't always believe the eco greenwashing propaganda of products like that-- perhaps some woman got about 5 cents on my purchase price. At least it's something, though. I hope.

I wrote in it; several pages all about loss & mourning & how I miss time spent like today in the bookstore, lurking, thinking. I like it, and I kind of intended to retype it here but I think I'll leave it in the print vs. e-journal version.

I'm trying to move away from the whiney complainy posts and the blogging about blogging that tends to happen when you think about the process too much (here I go again.) So... look forward to moments of scribbled notes from my new blue journal. My July New Year's resolution is to be more creative less "me me me." Hopefully, this can happen and creativity will flow out of the pretty cobalt covers.

Too Bad Buffy Isn't On....

I have LITERALLY so much to do and so very little time to do it in that it's actually making me crazy. I am sitting here with this urge to actually do nothing and make the time vs. things to do ratio worse. This is the last four days of Sean's summer school, and I will not be able to do anything but sporadic updates to email and such while he's out of school for three weeks straight with no relief.

I could write more and more about this but it makes me sick to whine, again, about how hard this parenting thing is.

I just want to lie on the couch and veg with a marathon of some stupid show and a bag full of chocolate chip cookies. And I seriously shouldn't. Really. Well, maybe just ONE cookie.....

Monday, July 20, 2009

waiting for rain

I can hear light rumbles just off in the distance, like a marching band's drum section warming up, each one practicing a different bit. The breeze from the outdoor fan is actually cool and the air feels expectant: hushed, somehow, until the katydids buzz loudly in the nearby tree canopy and the rainbow umbrella holds very still until an errant gust flips its edges, warning of what is to come.

For the moment, I am alone as the kids have disappeared into the house & I know I have to go catch them or find a mess to clean up. But I look up and see about a hundred different shades of green and the sky hit that immanent grey rain place as the breeze begins to rise. The hissing of the leaves in the wind replaces the katydids that have now gone silent and the cat licks his fur, alert and interested, just up from a nap.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

An Honest Mom

A post I made on Facebook yesterday made a frequent reader & old blog friend say something about how I'm an "honest mom". Her thinking was that I was admitting to sometimes being a little tired of doing the mom thing all the time and wishing for time just to myself. And that was right-- I do sometimes miss those old days of "single marrieds" status. Andrew & I were married 13 or so years before we had kids, so that was a lot of time to have no one to account to but ourselves. It was fun! We flew off to London & Paris, to Alaska, to Hawaii and various less exotic places at the drop of a hat. We could stay out late and sleep in, have Sunday brunch with lots of champagne and then go back to bed for the rest of the day. Lather, rinse, repeat. A family member, years ago, complaining that we hadn't had kids yet was reprimanded by another family member who said "Leave them alone; they still like each other." And that was--and still is, most of the time ;)-- true.

Nowadays it's pretty different. A lot of parents, I guess, miss the wild days more than I do. I don't really need to go out to bars or be on my own very often. I had plenty of wild days, and will again one day when they're older. Date night sounds like fun, but twins tend to scare off the basic babysitter. You have a hard time getting the teen from down the street interested, and when they do think they can handle it, they see me chasing after them (Sean in particular) and are suddenly "busy that night." As much as it feels like a cop out to say, he is a special needs kid for now, and therefore even a challenge for me sometimes. So a lot of the time, I don't even bother trying to find someone.

And part, a huge part, of this is I really, really like hanging out with my kids. I don't need lots of downtime from them, usually. I am fine with other parents who want to get a sitter & hang out. Perhaps if we lived in San Antonio where we have a large network of friends I'd be more up for the hassles and challenges of finding night childcare more often. When I'm putting them down to sleep and they nuzzle into the crook of my arms, Sean on the left and Maia on the right, and sigh sleepily with their little heads resting on my chest there's just very little that can compete with that. A nice martini and a date night without kids is awesome-- but this is ultimately a better feeling and doesn't leave a hangover.

When I'm feeling particularly crabby about the lack of socializing, I think of all the parents of friends I have had in my life. Most of them did not hang out and go out all the time. They had developed a habit of staying in-- watching movies, reading, chilling. I think staying in with your kids is probably more a norm than not. And I used to say that wouldn't be me-- I'd drag them wherever and still do stuff. But it takes a long time to get over the stares and crabbiness people shoot your way when your kid makes noise in a favorite hangout or give you a 'tude cause you brought them to the movies or whatever. And my kids are a little noisier than your average 4 year old. Sean has this shriek he does when he's excited that makes people turn their heads and glare at us. Andrew says I'm too sensitive to it but I remember being the person who wondered why that parent couldn't control their kid-- now I know-- sometimes it's just impossible to explain to the kids why they need to be good here, so you just keep them home.

Anyway, I'm thinking about this today because Andrew really wants to try, later today, dragging them to the gym with us. There are facilities there for parents w/ kids, and I sort of want to do it-- I really need the workout-- and I am dreading how hard I think it's going to be chasing after my hoodlums. We'll give it a shot, I think, but your guess is as good as mine how it's going to go.

So wish me luck. Another commenter to my post said "one word: Nanny." And boy do I wish I had someone here like my friend Patty who used to call herself my nanny. Life was infinitely easier with someone who considered herself as responsible for my kids as Andrew & I do. Maybe if I win the lotto. I guess I ought to buy a ticket.... but that won't help at the gym in an hour.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Post Poofage

Okay, yesterday afternoon's post was a bit too whiney so I have now made it go "poof" bye bye. I was floating the idea, maybe venting a little, and it was too much even for me. One of my commenters on Facebook said something (very sweet) and it made me realize how pathetic the "don't you hate it when" post was. If you weren't lucky enough to read it, good. :) If you did read it, you have my apologies and this little piece of very nice baby swiss cheese to go with the w(h)ine.

I've gotten used to there being very few comments on here. I know there are a few readers, and thank those folks for putting up with me. But now that these blogs are properly importing to Facebook (I had set it up months ago to do so but it was only importing it for me to see because of a clicked privacy box-- kind of useless to import it that way) I need to remember to not be so dramatic.

This is a less than private venue now that I'm not anonymous so no more venting, or too serious of whining. I had a trying day of chasing four year olds (who would NOT nap) yesterday and was just crabby is all.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Broken & Lost Things

When you live with two four year olds who are as rambunctious as mine you find yourself pulling out the super glue all the time. Yesterday the sweet little beehive honey container I found got knocked into the sink & thus needs its turn with the glue. Over our road trip, Maia lost a new treasure from her pirate trip at a stop in FL. She figured it out fairly soon (about an hour later) but there was NO way on an 8 hour road trip we were turning around for two hours extra for a stuffed dolphin toy.

I remember a friend of a friend once talking about how she would hide the dead rolly pollies when her kid split them in half by accident, pretending the new one was the same one when the child said "fix it." I remember thinking that was a bad idea-- some things can't be fixed, and even a 2 year old can and should learn that, especially when it's life, and even when it's only a rolly polly life. Sometimes, especially Sean, breaks things over & over again and the glue runs out. But sometimes you gotta leave it broken, I think.

It gets me to thinking about the things we lose & break in our lives. Simple things you put a bit of superglue on and hope they hold. When I was a kid, I moved around so much and lost everything I owned many times. Perhaps this explains my own odd attachment to trying to fix things, to trying, as I did yesterday, to buy a new toy to try to make up (at least a little bit) for the lost one.

Yesterday at our "problem" rent property, the kids from the back apartment were in the patio for the house poking the ceiling with a metal rod. These kids have most likely been breaking in to the currently untenanted (we're working on it) large house, and probably cut the new screen door. They're about 11 or so, and ought to be trustworthy to leave unattended sometimes, but they aren't. They're constantly in to stuff, and terribly destructive. It may get them kicked out of our place because we won't let our cool places be totally trashed.

It got me thinking, as usual, about my own childhood and my own times alone, and I spent last night feeling, generally, kind of sad and a little mad. Not because my childhood was like theirs but because, overall, it could have been similar but wasn't. And I guess we learn different lessons differently, because I don't LIKE breaking things. And I think, and hope, that my kids are going to feel sad about it too. The loss is sometimes forever and can't be superglued, and a new toy doesn't necessarily replace the old one.

But that's a tough lesson to learn, and I hate watching my kids learn it too.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Florida Bound

When I was a kid, I lived in the panhandle area of Florida (and by kid I mean teenager). Every year around Spring Break the tourists would start piling in. Yes, we got some folks in the winter, called Snowbirds-- folks for whom our winter was a balmy tropical paradise. But the real trade started around late March.

We made fun of the tourists. They would wear black knee socks with sandals. They would get horrible horrible sunburns on their faces and backs, with a little strip of white on their nose where they put some zinc. They drove crazy, because they didn't know where they were, and always wanted to turn left where they weren't supposed to turn left.

They brought jobs, and money, though. And we did appreciate that, although sometimes we weren't sure of the trade off. As a local, we hardly ever went to the beach in the summer. It just wasn't something you did-- you were working.

Well, where I live now is prime territory for what was called the Redneck Riviera. People within a day's drive-- La, MS, AL, Ark, tend to use the panhandle as their stomping grounds. It's a beautiful place-- I think better than any other beach I've seen. (And no, I haven't been to the real Riviera. I think that might be the one place that could actually compare.)

We are headed to FL this weekend. It's not exactly a vacation, although it will be one a little bit for us. We WILL go to the beach, and we're going on this pirate boat ride. Very touristy. My fifteen year old self would possibly be horrified. Mostly we're getting together with family to celebrate the life of my 101 year old grandmother who died a few months ago. This is the first time the whole family has been able to get together since then, and we're having a picnic & visiting. I'll see nieces & nephews and the kiddos' cousins that I haven't seen yet, new babies and all.

I'm looking forward to everything but that long drive. I miss beachfront. I would like to live someplace closer to water (real water... not the gator-ridden culverts around here). One day, when Andrew is retired (not too long really) from the military and I get to finally pick where we live, I hope to find something close to beach. Then, my kids can grow up mocking the sunburnt tourists & being mortified if her dad wears black socks (which when we were in Hawaii he tried to do.... let me say I made him take the socks off.)

Redneck I may not be, but I AM headed to the Riviera of my youth.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Terrible Mother/Housekeeper

I am terrible at keeping things tidy. I just don't care that much (hello INFP). But my son just crawled under my computer desk and pulled out a piece of popcorn & ate it. I seriously don't know how long it's been since I had popcorn. It crunched, so it can't have been that long ago, right? Right?

Does that make me less of a terrible mother? At least he'll have a good immune system.

Howling At The Moon

Yes. Another blog about blogging. This one with more bleayatching power & new management!

When I was in grad school, I took some Education courses thinking I would hedge my bets & possibly teach in high school. (Still hedging that bet-- but that's another story another time). A fellow student & I talked about the tendency in Ed classes to talk about oneself ad nauseum. She called it "howling at the moon". It doesn't really happen so much in English grad classes-- I doubt it does in, say, Engineering or Accounting, either. It reminds me of those commercials for the Bing search engine where people are repeating random unrelated trivia without communicating-- it's kind of talking without hearing and can be a little on the insane side, I think.

I think blogging tends to reinforce a kind of howling at the moon mentality. And this is by no means a ploy to get people to comment on here, so don't feel obligated to do so. I hardly ever comment on the blogs I regularly read anymore... if I can't click a Facebook "thumbs up" and move on it just is too much time commitment. ;)

But if you're writing about stuff without feedback, I think you tend to talk talk talk & I've always been the one who exceeded the page limit on papers. I'm not immune to writing way too much about too little and blathering on about myself for hours & hours. Navel gazing.

I use metaphor & example a lot in teaching too, but I see on other faculty's "ratemyprofessors" that some students really hate it. What we think of as a teaching tool "see, I write too.. I have this problem in my writing too and I'm more experienced in writing than you are so don't feel bad" becomes something students think is unrelated to them and boring. So far, I haven't gotten the "always talks about herself" complaint from any of my students, but it may just be that I'm still young enough to be interesting still to them, and that will change in time. So it's important, when we write about ourselves all the time, to not be too much into the "me me me" moments.

I write this blog mostly for myself, and for my mother & Andrew's mom to see news about the kiddos. Sometimes I use it as a dumping ground for poems I've been working on, themes that are circulating in my head. I don't really blog about politics or current events much. It is about me. It's a journal, of sorts. But it's not ALL of me. It's not the only thing going on in my life, it's also not very deep. It's also not going to be something super duper important. If I just had an earth-shattering moment, there might be a vague poem about it but doubtfully a real explanation. So if I seem shallow on here, or "howling at the moon" it's because I'm not good at nature blogging like some blogs I love, or funny like others. I don't like to post my "real" writing, when I do it, here, because I have a fear of someone stealing everything (not that I think I'm that good, but neither are some of the other blogs I've seen plagiarized.)

What I suggest if it seems like I'm howling loudly about myself is twofold:

Join my conversation & comment (ah, I lied. Apparently this is a plug for comments. Damn.) OR howl at your own moon & direct me there. I'll read it... I may join in and howl a little bit, too. But mostly it's just a thought I'm working out. I could make this all private and anonymous but then I'm talking to myself even worse, and I might get twitchy and weird(er).

Sunday, July 5, 2009


Have temporarily escaped children & husband. Stop. Had two glasses of red wine to kill anxious feeling in stomach. Stop. Read friend (hola Swine & couchkitten & brando & joe) blogs. Stop. Now what?


Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Morning Storms

There should be thunderclaps
or at least looming black clouds.

Some kind of warning would be nice when
life shifts on us. Sweeps us up in a maelstrom of sadness & anger.

But for consolation, I have sweet hugs and someone
on my lap
who loves me no matter how imperfect I am,
at least until he's a teenager. :) Then,
all bets are probably off.


This was meant to be a poem, but I guess I'm done with it now. I think it's probably wrong to use an emoticon in a poem, anyway. How po-mo of me.