Have your coffee, splishy-splashy

@phoenixhogaboom & I At #HQX #YMCA, Waiting For @stuffnelssays

Phoenix, waiting

Today my son went swimming on his own. We dropped him off at the Y after running a few errands (cat food! dear lord the racket our felines make if even one meal is late!) and picking up groceries for ourselves. My daughter and I ran home and messed about a while, doing our thing, then made a hot lunch to take to the Y for post-swim. I knew the Little Guy would be hungry indeed.

When my son saw us waiting for him he splashed over immediately, all wet-puppy and lovely. After dressing, he devoured his bean and rice burrito in no time flat. After the briefest turn at foosball (I will never play my daughter again, a week ago she absolutely killed me), the kids ran outside into the (now wind-and-rain)storm, flung themselves into the car. Nels’ impish nose and beaky little face full of joy as he wiggled in his seat.

“I met a girl,” he tells me. “Named Miley.”

Ailey?” I can’t hear him over the defrost.

Miley,” he shouts back.

“Oh. Did you like her?”

“Yes. She loves me.”

“Oh really! Well does she know how naughty you are?”

“She doesn’t know. I kept THAT a secret.” He laughs wryly. WRYLY. He’s just a Little Guy!

My son is too little to know crushes but it won’t be long. My daughter already has an awareness. The other day a few ten to twelve year old boys were hassling her. I come outside an hour later and she’d kicked all their asses, AND they were in love with her, she was leading the pack. She’s got it figured.

Back home: children running about the house and wrestling upstairs. Crafting: more embroidery, a present for Nels, and I finished a few of the last tailoring details for a coat of my own.

Custom Shoulder Pads, Sleeve Heading

Tomorrow: I’m up at the Treatment Center a while, and the kids are making Easter baskets with their Grandma. My father’s birthday approaches, just a bit after my son’s. Time for contemplation, even if I’m busy.

Birds are like little people

if it’s friday, you should mess around on the inter-netz instead of working

“The Facebook Double (D) Standard on Obscenity”
This is just sort of amazing to ponder. What is really happening when we ban images of breastfeeding but promote any degree of (usually young, usually sexualized) cleavage? Breastfeeding is a recognized and protected “right” in many states – but not all! Breastfeeding it is under fire continually and, most importantly, people demonstrate an ignorance and vitriol toward women and their bodies that is staggering and sobering to behold. Women are still wrongfully arrested for breastfeeding, told they can’t breastfeed here or there or must cover up – even when the law does not support this (this in Washington State today, recognized as one of the more breastfeeding-friendly of our fifty – and by the way this conduct demonstrated by the Long Beach Head Start facility clearly violates Washington Law Against Discrimination), and maybe most tellingly everywhere the subject comes up we see viscous, untenable and shameful rhetoric heaped on the personhood of breastfeeding families – targeting the breastfeeding woman, of course (and on this, I refuse to link to the hate). My breastfeeding days are over but I feel deeply, deeply sad at how poorly our country and cultural framing is on what is a very pro-family, pro-baby, and pro-woman practice that should be regarded not as an enforced standard for every individual bio mom but as a protected and supported reproductive right.

“Grrl Vlog #4: Celebrity Weight Loss” by Reel Girls. Very good watching – take four minutes and DO IT. “OK I’m skinny now, but I’m also, like, nice, and sweet, and pretty, and refined.”

“When ‘Both Sides’ Aren’t Enough: Reporting on Weaver’s Blackface Pic” at Soc Images
I’ve often thought this before; the “obsession with [false] parity” (which often leads to “innocently neutral” articles that ignore historical context lived by those marginalized, thereby keeping privilege and oppression invisible). If anyone is in any doubt as to why blackface (and along the same vein and with some similarities, redface and yellowface…) is offensive, one can start the education at the excellent Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorablilia – particularly the “Caricature” treatments, Dr. Pilgrim’s many writings, and Question of the Month essays.

“When Teachers Highlight Gender, Kids Pick up Stereotypes” from Pennsylvania State University, and reported (of all places) at FoxNews.com. Main point: in a classroom setting, teachers don’t need to be actively spouting gender stereotypes to effectually promote them. I like the idea of using “child” and “friend” language over “boys and girls” language – very much.

If you run over a fat person and kill them, you won’t go to jail. I mean c’mon, they were going to keel over any minute now anyway since their veins pump gravy and stuff.

Twisty goes on sabbatical (boo hoo!), also links to Privilege-Denying Dude (yay!)

Domestic Industry
The grilled moussaka I made yesterday was delicious according to Ralph and (sort of) the kids, but I thought it was a total miss. So anyone who’s got a fail-proof moussaka recipe, lay it on me. By the way, who is this reviewer complaining moussaka is too “heavy” of a dish? Guess what, “heavy” food gives us the energy to survive, not to mention the zest for life and a will to live!

Shallots in Red Wine at Craft. I’m making Italian fare for Thanksgiving; I’m going to make this dish with whole garlic.

Thanksgiving books; these are with a vegetarian bent (if you won’t be doing the turkey thing) and also several by Native / First Nations authors. I put some on hold at our library to read while we’re at the Lake.

They’re dying of cholera in Haiti; other places in the world lack soap to prevent diseases. 5 million die a day, mostly small children. Go to http://www.cleantheworld.org/ to help (more on “How to help Haiti” at the Chicago Tribune).

“Eight Great Ways to Help Others on Thanksgiving”; yesterday I donated several pounds of veggies and some pantry business to a local family. It felt good to help; it also felt very good not to waste food, something that sends me into a tiny panic. Our cats and chickens help us not waste food either; scraps go to both sets of animals (our chickens are vegetarians but our cats are not).

It’s Christmas time, or rather, it’s time for Ralph and I to stop spending money on utilities and buy and create those extravagances that are so lovely to experience. Ralph and I make most our Christmas presents, but we buy a few as well. I’m currently plaguing Ralph to buy some Samsonite for the kids (their current luggage is falling apart); last night I got the perfect safety pins for a Phoenix project.


One thing’s for sure: Nobody ever sees the pool shark coming.

Birds are like little people.

comic from toothpaste for dinner

the 4th, redux

Fireworks At The Log Pavillion

It was KIND OF INTENSE out on the street last night when we came back from Aberdeen’s firework showing. We stopped at a nearly-closed fireworks stand and out of joviality (and maybe no small gladness they’d emerged the 4th unscathed physically) the proprietors gave us about $40 worth of fireworks for $10.  The kids sparkler’d and flower’d and lit off (with Ralph’s help) some massively-way-too-loud monstrosity. Then – UNICORN FOUNTAIN:

Nels and his Best Friend Ever, yes a firework called “Unicorn Fountain”, an incendiary that flamed and sparked and blew up for so long the very rowdy and booze-fueled neighbors – who had TNT levels of artillery – made comments of admiration.

Later, around midnight, as Nels salutes the Fire Lord:

ringing out 2009 with a half-hearted “whee!”

My kids enjoy going to the sixties-style Chinese American restaurant in town; they in particular love C., the friendly and very beautiful Korean American server who is almost always working. Nels in particular talks to her constantly; asking for more tea, fortune cookies, telling her very long and elaborate stories about every part of his life. Tonight over his barbecue pork he wishes C. a Happy New Year and asks what her plans are for the evening. She responds, “I’m working, then I’m going to go upstairs and watch a video, then I’m going to bed.” “That’s not partying,” he frowns, his voice 70% observational, 20% disappointed, and 10% disapproval.

And boy, do my kids feel the festive vibe of the evening. They definitely have brought more “party” to the equation than we parents this year; continuing in the vein of this recent Christmas I – to use a bit of Scottish phraseology I read somewhere – “couldna be fucked” over the whole business. Maybe next year, if I’m still living. 2010? I don’t feel the need to write a respective or resolutions; I don’t want to go out, shout and cheer, or clink champagne glasses (although I do want a kiss from my husband).

At midnight a countdown, fireworks, a libation, a serving of homemade apple pie. By 12:05 Nels is staggering around, saying faintly, “Please… I want to party…”, his little face flushed. A few minutes later he has a crying meltdown when he begins to understand our fireworks are gone. It’s an impressive, over-wrought display, eerily reminiscent of the adult male alcohol-infused versions that are no doubt disgracing themselves in a social setting as I type this. And at least Nels won’t be waking up in a strange place or wrapped around a steering column, and no one will be starting the year with a hangover.

firework firework, siren siren

Tonight we hosted a lovely family for dinner: friends Sara* and Rob and their two kiddos.  This was after  a full day of my kids behaving, well, bat-shit crazy.  I should have known the day might go a bit sideways: both children, upon waking separately, asked me if we were going to get fireworks.  First thing out of their mouths, I kid you not.

Dinner time: I cooked and cooked and we ate and ate (spaghetti with meatballs, salad from our garden – a huge red lettuce!, roasted garbanzo beans, oven-roasted tomatoes, farl, sauteed asparagus, and chocolate-frosted rainbow cake). It’s the third of July which means lots of fireworks already. Out in the backyard watching a rather impressive display up on the hill and my daughter shouts, “Oh yeah?! We have hens and they lay eggs!”  At first I thought she was referring to our real-live poultry; no, she meant the very modest firework Ralph had procured.

After bath the kids are so tired that Sophie goes to bed crying (this is too bad) and Nels climbs into my bed, is magically joined by the sleepy kitty Mabel, and within seconds they are asleep, curled up around one another.  Two babies instinctively seeking one another out for warmth and affection.

The sight of that makes me want to have a kitten in our household at all times.

(Thank you Ralph, for working so hard on my new blog. I had that anxious feeling all day as I longed to commit Facebook-suicide. I have you to thank for making that step.)

* Sara creates and sells the best natural body care line of products I’ve ever used – NAYY, I am just an addict!