Monday, August 31, 2009

Week Two

School this semester looks like it's shaping up to be a mellow, not so crazy with piles and piles of essays to grade constantly fun semester. Which is good. I need a bit of a break.

I have tons of stuff to do. Workout, housework, go over and do some work on our current remodeling of the house in Highland. I will not be able to get everything done. Wednesday I'm going to get my hair done. Dammit. I will I will I will. Take a few hours for just me. I'm even going to skip my morning workout for it! I will have to find something active to do later, with the kiddos.

Anyway. This ^ is my week ahead. But on a less crazy busy more visiting with family side we are planning a trip to Texas this coming weekend. It sort of came up suddenly but I looked around and realized we could, if Andrew took Friday off, score a freebie four day weekend. So there you go.

And I swear, if Sean doesn't stop pulling keys off my laptop keyboard I'm going to scream. I have four keys pulled off and too damaged to fix, but they aren't essential keys, really. But I think he's done something to my control key. I can't get it to work this morning. Screamz!!!

Friday, August 28, 2009

The Don't Lie Meme

Since it's been so busy around here and I haven't had time to blink, I'll post this meme to the blog first. It'll wander over to Facebook when the RSS feed updates. :)

RULES - Copy, paste, and fill out in your notes section (created on your profile page). Then, tag your friends, including me.

Can you fill this out without lying?
Yeah. It's not really all that deep, honestly.

What was the last thing you put in your mouth?

Last person you rode in a car with under the age of 20?
Sean & Maia

How do you feel about Dr. Pepper?
I drank it a ton as a kid but don't drink soda any more. Sean LOVES it.

Have you ever kissed anyone named Matthew?
Nope. Is this meme by McConaughey tryin' to get some play? :)

Where was your profile picture taken?
Joanne's house, just before going to see Wicked. About 2 months ago.

Name someone that made you laugh today?
It's too early. The cat was funny running in after a long night out... I don't think I laughed though.

How late did you stay up last night and why?
About 9:30? When we put the kiddos to bed, we usually fall asleep ourselves.

If you could move somewhere else, would you?
San Antonio. Maybe Florida (panhandle).

Ever been kissed under fireworks?
Most likely. It's not a "special memory"

Which of your friends lives closest to you?
Hmmm. Mandy. But she's moving. :)

Do you believe ex's can be friends?
Nope. Not in my experience.

Calling or texting?

When was the last time you cried really hard?
Hmmm. I don't really remember.

Where are you right now?

What bed did you sleep in last night?
Matthew McConaughey's. (Just kidding. I guess I lied, huh? Does that mean I'm not in the meme club?)

What was the last thing someone bought for you?
Uh, Andrew bought me super good dinner last night.

Who took your profile picture?
Myself, with the webcamera on Joanne's computer.

Was yesterday better than today?
So far, nah. I had to work yesterday so it ought to be relaxing today.

Do you think relationships are ever really worth it?
Yup. They're what make us human.

Are you a bad influence?

Night out or night in?

What items could you not go without during the day?
My cell, blue gum, contact lenses!!

What does the last text message in your inbox say?
Hmm. I think it's the one about Artspace burning in Shreveport. :(

Do you hate anyone?
I try not to. Sometimes it's hard when they have caused you so much pain.

If we were to look in your facebook inbox, what would we find?
A lot of things from friends closeby planning kid events this summer. Some art activities around town I'm trying to do more of.

Can you easily tell if someone's fake?
McConaughey, that's personal info. Nah. Probably not if they're good actors.

Has anyone ever called you perfect before?

Has anyone ever called you a perfectionist?
No. I'm not one; kind of more of a fly by the seat of my pants kinda gal.

Can you whistle?

Do you sleep on your sideS, stomach, or back?
Most of the time on my back anymore. But I like it on my side. I used to love tummy sleeping-- can't do it anymore.

When is the next time you will see the person you like?
In a sec. Hubby is washing up his breakfast dishes and he'll probably come over and say bye in a minute.

What song is stuck in your head?
none... I refuse to think about this question too hard.

Someone knocks on your window at 2am, who do you want it to be?
Santa Claus.

Who was the last person to tell you that they love you.
Andrew, most likely. Maybe Maia.

Wanna have grandkids before you're 50?
Unlikely. Because of my situation with adoption, it's possible, however. (Not with Maia & Sean, but if the birth kid shows up, he'll be 18 this year!!)

Name something you have to do tomorrow
Relax. Don't do it.

Do you think too much or too little?
WAAAY Too much

Do you smile a lot?

Who was your last missed call on your mobile phone?

What was the last book you read?
Last done with: Hands of Flame by C.E. Murphy.

What book are you currently reading?
Reading the first cyberpunk book... can't remember the name.

Is there something you always wear?
My diamond earrings. My wedding ring.

What were you doing 30 minutes ago?

Did you have an exciting last weekend?
Nah. Although I did go to a hula hoop class, and that was fun.

Have you ever crawled through a window?

Have you ever dyed your hair?

Are you wearing a necklace

Are you an emotional person?
Yes. Too much so, really.

Can you handle the truth?
Thanks, Jack Nicolson, but usually, yes.

What's something that can always make you feel better?
Having a little time to myself to think.

Will this weekend be a good one?
Hopefully. Most likely since hubby will be home.

What do you want right now?
A sip of coffee. Ah. Wish granted.

Are you mad about anything?
Not currrently, but I could over think something and manage it I'm sure.

When was the last time you were disappointed and why?
Uh, I don't know the last time. I have been disappointed with my job prospects. Oh-- I know. When Andrew told me we might end up living in S'port forever. :(

Would you share a drink with a stranger?
You mean, drinking out of the same cup? Or just getting to know someone? Depends. But yeah, as long as I'm not sharing cooties.

Who was the last person you visited in the hospital?
Andrew's Grandmother.

How many times have you been pulled over by the police?
A couple. Not too many. Last time was for an expired inspection sticker. Doh!

Have you ever worn the opposite sex's clothing?

Where is your biological father right now?
I think, since he was cremated, his body is back in New York with his early family. I'd have to ask, though, cause I'm not positive. But technically, I hope HE's somewhere happy-- heaven, reborn, peace. What have you.

Whats on your schedule for tomorrow?
to be honest, probably REAL ESTATE CRAP again. But I try to have fun with it.

Look behind you, what do you see?
the stairs.

Can you live a day without TV?
yes. But I don't know if my kids could.

Does anyone of your facebook friends know your password?
Andrew probably.

Would you like some cake?
Definitely. But I shouldn't cause I'm being GOOD.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


I thought this week that the kiddos were both going back to school, but it turns out Sean doesn't start until Friday. Which is fine, but I have him home still. But when I thought he was going back, I had plans for this week to be my "New Year" of sorts. I was planning to start the diet, start the going back to the gym plan for losing 30 (at least) pounds by Halloween. Which I still am doing-- it just starts next week, instead. (Well, the formal workout part of it at least).

When I was in grad school I had scooted my weight up about where it is now, actually, even without the help of having two kids in the middle of it. "Giving birth" to the dissertation was labor enough. But I lost most of it; 50 pounds of fat to be exact (I gained a bit of muscle during that time so it didn't necessarily round out to a total loss of 50 lbs). During that time, I even became, for a short while, an aerobics instructor. Certified and everything. Really. That lasted, oh, a few weeks. Then I was pregnant. And I could have kept doing it until that day I got a flu-ish bug and my boss at the gym basically was going to make me lead a class while pregnant with twins and flu-ish. I told her to get bent.

Anyhoo-- I digress. The point is this: today, in spite of the fact that I am not as I had planned going back to the gym yet I am starting my diet/exercise plan. I actually AM going to bellydancing class tonight, and that will give me a little bit of a workout (probably a bit more than last week... and I was even a little sore then). I'll try not to over load the blog/facebook with too much diet talk; that can get really boring really fast. But this is the official start of the quest to look like my anarchy cheerleader by Halloween again. (If you know not what I speak of there, look in my facebook old pix file). I can do it; I will do it.

Of course, the added bonus is that in order to lose all that weight I'm not drinking for at least 6 weeks, and there will not be any more melancholy too much red wine posts like there was last night. Oy! What a silly head sometimes! Tell the whole Internetz, why don't you? So this resolve is strengthened by this morning's not silly but icky head.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Blog Post Left IntentionallY Blank

Sometimes, I write a blog that I then decide to not make live.

It doesn't happen often. Sometimes I think about posting it on the now locked up, never written in, anonymous blog of yore.

But right this second, I'm feeling a little bit p'od. A little bit-- lied to. A little bit too compromise-d.

And I won't publish that blog post for now.

But I am going to go get another damned glass of Red Wine. Screw the headache. It's better than the heartache right now.

Ars Poetica

When I was a senior in college, up at the lovely lovely Bellingham Washington campus of Western Washington U,* I took a "Critical Theory" course. It was summer, and the warmest it ever really got in Bellingham was the mid 80s. The sun was like the friendlier, more cheerful, less vengeful cousin of the one here in the South.

A group of us took this course together, taught by one of the profs in the department who, while he exuded professor-ly-ness, was also a really nice guy. (Not that those two things are mutually exclusive, but this one was particularly neat.)

We started with Plato, ranged through the years up to Showalter & Fish & Derrida. It was super interesting. A lot of writers write about their "Poetic Arts" and those writings become theoretical grounds for other artists. I think that a dominant trope still for most artists (at least the ones I come into contact with) is the Romantic idea of the artist as someone in a fluffy poet shirt who quaffs red wine and communicates directly with the Muses (or perhaps angelic women with too white face & rosy cheeks).

Anyway. The point of this is: what is my poetic art? I love to write. I love poetry, the confessional poetry is my favorite, probably. Anne Sexton, in particular. I wish I crafted my poetry more, created sonnets, formal verse. I usually don't, and I write too many poems about writing poetry. For my fictional art, I am really interested in a type of Magical Realism. I thought I was going to write Urban Fantasy, but this summer, I've been reminded of the roots of my favorite things, and what I want to do is a lot more like what Alice Hoffman and/or Charles De Lint do. This kind of dreamy reality where it's entirely possible for the dragonfly buzzing around you to turn into a fairy, but that fairy doesn't necessarily then want to "do you." (Which is kind of the "urban fantasy" place that scenario would often go....)

My short short fairy tales this summer were partly inspired by a book Alice Hoffman wrote, called The Story Sisters. In it, she frames chapters with a fairy tale version of the real characters' lives. I often write about myth and fairy tale in my poetry (see. there's a connection intended in these paragraphs) but I felt less like shaping these journeys into poems than I sometimes do.

In Bellingham, the campus was just lovely. Up on a hill, towers peeking through tall trees. There was a small road that went through part of the campus, but I think the only thing that drove down there (if I'm remembering correctly) was the city bus. In front of the bookstore. There was a steep slope, and at the bottom, a bank of trees. In the middle of that bank of wild looking trees was an old fashioned street lamp. It truly looked, for all intents & purposes, like a waystation to Narnia or some other faery land. I used to imagine seeing someone magically appear beside that lamp. Perhaps, someday, I will, and I'll find my fictional place nearby.

*And it never snowed when I was there, and this picture isn't exactly the location I'm writing about-- it's quite nearby. You can see one of the lamps I'm talking about, though, and this is such a cool picture I had to put it on here. Such a nice campus. Looking at pictures of it just now reminds me and makes me super nostalgiac.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Summer's Final Days

This summer has been fun, if really crazy & busy. As the first summer where I had a kid home most of the time, I have had to be patient in a new way. Learn to find things to do. Thank goodness we have a pool, cause the kids have been in it A Lot. Now that it's starting to cool off a little bit, they're spending more time in their play fort, and the pool has gotten a little more boring. We've played at the parks, gone on trips, boat rides, played with puzzles, watched scores of movies.

Right now I'm watching the flickering of afternoon slanted sunlight on the blue of the water. Maia is scheming to catch something that has fallen into the pool, crouched like a little monkey with a stick in the ant pile. Sean has had enough and is inside watching Bolt. (Again.)

It will still feel hot, for a while, here. But summer is officially on its way out the door. So the world spins and my garden grows. Sometimes a little weedy, sometimes too tall. Sometimes not what I expected. But thriving, even.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Next week planszzz

Who wants to come with me for pedicure + tattoo + martini lunch day? Say, Wednesday?? Cuz next week is my summer vacation in like, four days.

And I realize this day negates my earlier post about diet week starting next week. Maybe diet week starts Thursday, after PTM day.


I'm thinking about poisons. The type that go on apples, the type that go on spindles. Or perhaps the best kind are the curses-- you don't have to put a stopper in those, add the skull & crossbones. They are ultra portable, no?

Curses. Spite. They're always part of fairy tales; bad faeries seem ready to drop one at the slightest offense. Leave me off the party invitation list, will you? My RSVP will be on its way as a few words that will blight your fields, leave you asleep for an aeon, keep you from being fruitful.

But then, too often, the poison comes back to you, doesn't it? The stepmother swings from the heights in her red-iron-hot shoes. Dancing to the victor's music. The mirror is smashed. The dwarves dig, and dig, and dig, and the wicked fairies find themselves bound in iron and salt water and tossed deep. Deep.

The spite that gets unsaid, though, that poison eats at you. If you keep it inside, you find it resurfacing, so often you need a warning label on your own thoughts. Easier, perhaps, to let a young couple into your house, pretend to linger near the oven door, let yourself be pushed in. Easier to surrender. Let your wickedness finally be a cautionary tale to others.

Who, after all, really mourns the wicked?


Even as long as she had been asleep, her eyes still moved with dreaming. What could you dream about after 100 years of sleep? Did she dream life, that she was awake, brushing her hair, doing the dishes? Ah, but princesses never do the dishes.

Perhaps in their dreams? If serving girls dream of life in the top floors of the palace, is it the opposite for those who have never touched real, hard life?

Probably not. She probably dreams of balls, dancing. Champagne in crystal glasses and kisses stolen on close embraces. Softness and furs and the flash of a chandelier.

Fine music, laughter. Or maybe spinning thread, fine silk, over and over into cloth. Into tapestries of history, life, unicorns in woods, or tigers dancing. Lovers meeting under apple trees while white peacocks look on, aroused. Life. Fate.

If she wakes from her dream, will that universe end?

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Wicked (Step)Mother

Anne Sexton
I was wrapped in black
fur and white fur and
you undid me and then
you placed me in gold light
and then you crowned me,
while snow fell outside
the door in diagonal darts.
While a ten-inch snow
came down like stars
in small calcium fragments,
we were in our own bodies
(that room that will bury us)
and you were in my body
(that room that will outlive us)
and at first I rubbed your
feet dry with a towel
because I was your slave
and then you called me princess.

Oh then
I stood up in my gold skin
and I beat down the psalms
and I beat down the clothes
and you undid the bridle
and you undid the reins
and I undid the buttons,
the bones, the confusions,
the New England postcards,
the January ten o'clock night,
and we rose up like wheat,
acre after acre of gold,
and we harvested,
we harvested

I am only human. And not really all that old, as time is reckoned. And once upon a time, I was a princess.

You laugh. All you can see are the crow's feet, the blotches on my hand from too much sun. Hair with a few white streaks, right there, where I always said I wouldn't dye. Say, of photographs, "that can't really be you."

Men lay at my feet. Wrote my name on walls with spraypaint. Beat their chests as I gave them up. I was worshipped; a goddess.

Now, I see this girl, who looks like me. So much like me but better. No Oil of Olay could ever get me back there, no Age Defying makeup slant my eyes or highlight that color.

And this girl, I love, with an ache that eats my heart. Licks its fingers afterwards. Leaves me alone in a woods with wolves and red cloaks if I even imagine her not smiling at me. A tiny piece of me; the best bits.

What am I to do? They made me a step-mother. A little distance, makes it seem easier.

I avoid mirrors. They are only out to lie. I don't speak to fairies. All that wing-span makes them flighty. I sew buttons; I sew tapestries; I sew the entire history of my people. And I watch as she replaces me.

And I smile. Because, contrary to the Grimmest interpretation, it really is okay.

Out of the Woods

After a long time, the princess made her own way out of the woods. Perhaps she no longer attracted the attentions of unicorns, and she had not worn flowers in her hair in a very long time. Her hair was not entirely red anymore and the wine in her basket for grandma was long gone. She carried her own pack, and knew that often, the heroes with the shiniest armour are the ones that can be trusted least. She knew how to handle wolves and never danced in fairy rings at night. She even knew that woodsman can sometimes come to your aid but more often than not, it's better to have an axe handy yourself.

When she made her way to the village she remembered as a girl, it was smaller, somehow, and there were heartsick memories lurking in shadowy corners. She ignored them and kept moving.

She didn't expect any fairy godmothers to help her. They were busy with their own lives, figuring out how to stop their wings from drooping, how to clean pumpkin carriages, or the best key for a song to get mice to sew little garmets for themselves. That sort of thing.

She found the house of her mother, long empty, cleaned it, chased fat dimpled spiders out of corners, lit a fire, mended curtains, cooked stews. A cat that had been living off the mice in the nearby woods took up a perch on her stoop, courteously ate rodents, sometimes leaving a bit of tail for the princess in payment for the scratches he deigned to let her give him.

If, sometimes, a young girl came to visit her, and they drank tea and talked of possible futures with handsome strangers and fate's change, if, sometimes, those young girls took away vials of hope and left a little money behind, well, that's small business for you. Time spent in dark woods with wolves and heroes will teach you a lot about fate, and futures, and the comforts of a small house with comfortable chairs.

But she never, ever, fed them gingerbread. That sort of thing only leads to trouble.

A-social networking

Dang it. It looks like both Facebook & Twitter are having some kind of problems this morning. I thought maybe it was me at first, perhaps something had happened to my password but I checked on Twitscoop, which is independent of both but tracks what is trending on Twitter, and it does look like people who can post on, say, their iphone, are getting through but otherwise, there are connection & other problems.

Probably some kind of viral attack, I'm guessing, if it hit both sites at once. Funnily, there are no news stories about it that I can see. I would think that it would at least hit the tech news. Ah well. Maybe I'm just more observant than most newsies.

That's okay. I've scrolled through the news, found several disturbing stories, and now will go read my book. So Old Skool.