celebrityhood! but not at all, really! still, i take what i can get!

The hits keep coming; today I was featured at “Sew, Mama, Sew!” for the little Ready Set Robot shirt I made Nels late last summer* – an item that ended up at the Salvation Army eventually because he grew right out of it in about five minutes! Oh and don’t ask or hint for me to mail you my home-sewn clothes after my kids grow out of them. I would forget to mail a replacement liver to my own brother. I am horrible about sending things in the post (reason #243 not to suggest to me I start an Etsy shop of sewn creations).

I’m back in the groove for kid-sewing but my children are growing out of the “cute” pattern styles I’ve spent the last few years mucking about with – or maybe I’m growing out of working with those patterns (keep in mind I’ve had the same dogeared copies my girl Abi bought me years ago; I can’t seem to bring myself to spring for another subscription). Besides this lovely Ottobre line I mention here (because it is rad), it seems most kids’ patterns you find today are shapeless, boring pull-on sacks with little detail or imagination.  Interestingly this is also true for plus size women, i.e. women over about a size 14 RTW (interestingly “plus size” is actually only the upper half of the American population. Fashion industry, you suck!).

The relative dearth of great kid and fat lady patterns?  I make huge fart-noises with my mouth over this because hello, if anyone has the right to look fabulous, then small child persons and large adult persons do (I am about sick to death of the more fashionable online sewing communities being a huge dose of slim/white/twentysomething ladies posing like mannequins and looking like them too! I mean they look great but lets’ have some actual variety? No? Okay then!)!

So today, thinking about kids’ clothes with persona and interesting design lines I went searching for some vintage patterns.  I found a great Etsy shop with some kid offerings and called Phoenix over to make some choices – she chose four out of about ten. And I liked her picks. Which is kind of necessary because I will seriously veto sewing something I just don’t want to sew.  I’ve learned this the hard way as I still remember the last small soul-suck of a resentful-sewing episode (fuck you, felt pillow with velcro-appliques)! Weird how even at this stage I find myself getting sucked into sewing projects I don’t want to do.

Anyway, Phoenix chose a 50s tiered skirt dress, a 60s spring coat and a-line dress, a 60s chemise-style dress, and a 50s box jacket suit (total cost including shipping just under $30). I have some pretty devilish ideas about fabric choices too!

Today was balmy and wonderful out.  My mother accompanied us to the airport diner. She had I had giant taco wraps. They were good but I couldn’t finish mine. Nels got a shake as big as he is. I seriously love going out to eat with the kids (and my mom). I am fortunate we get this kind of family time often – several times a week.

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Phoenix ran off to a slumber party in the evening and Ralph and I made chicken kebabs, grilled artichokes, buttermilk biscuits (an amazing recipe that included, besides the buttermilk, lots of butter, cheese, and cayenne), corn on the cob, and hot tea with lots of sugar. A small family feast. On our tiny-ass coffee table which is our only table.

Happy Friday!

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ChokeSteamy!

* Psst, extra awesomeness? My project won a slot in a give-away contest with 393 entries; I didn’t even enter the photo; I was head-hunted. I have no idea how I was found actually. Thanks to Shelly from Patterns By Figgys for recommending me!

ask me your questions, and i will ignore your ass

Computer stuff is always ebbing and flowing at Casa del Hogaboom; as a result of being busy writing and sewing and cooking and pissing and moaning about this and that, I missed out on a handful of excellent formspring queries. Today I took a few minutes to catch up and post. I want to say I truly do love formspring questions, and I don’t want to deter the occasional fellow who comes along and asks, turning my formspring page from a desert with tumbleweeds and buzzards to a brief, lush and verdant oasis where I get to write and talk and act like I know stuff.

Here’s what I got today:

How does it work if/when homeschooled/un-schooled kids want to go to college, an exchange year, or something that typically requires transcripts?
There are a handful of typical concerns many home/un-schooling “outsiders” or those new to the concepts ask – “But what about socialization?” is one, handily followed by the college question … (read the rest of my response here)

How is Anna del Geckaboom? Is her tail growing back?
Anna’s tail is growing back nicely. She has been molting regularly and seems quite healthy. But I have terrible news … (read the rest of my response here)

How’s the “class 5 vegan diet” going?
Two words: BORRR-RRING! I have four more days of total deprivation before … (read the rest of my response here)

Thank you for your questions, readers!

someone’s bringing it lately

Lenore Skenazy from Free Range Kids has lightening-fast tweeted and posted a few wonderful articles in the last twenty four hours.  Even though I rarely do a linkdump here on my personal blog, these have been edifying and encouraging reads.

I’ve thought about the support I receive from most vocal quarters regarding the trust and freedom we Hogabooms give our children. Sadly, on any subject we tend to encamp with those who share our same views, fears, trepidation, and judgments. But I wish every middle-class parent/caregiver who kept their child under wraps – in what I would consider the typical style of many Americans – would read this piece: “What The Authorities Can Do If We ‘Take Our Children to the Park…And Leave Them There'” a guest post by Trip Gless at Free Range Kids. Gless gives a parent’s perspective on children’s freedom (to walk about town, to go to the park, etc) which includes some “child neglect” statistics, the intent of neglect laws and their confluence with the ogre of molestation and Stranger Danger, and CPS investigation and response to child neglect calls. Rather timely for us I need hardly say, as the article was posted yesterday, the same day of our little CPS visit for Nels’ jaunt to the bus station.

A brief review of the film Babies (2010) at babble provoked so many feelings inside me. First, I am excited to see this film and I have a feeling I will love it. Second, I feel such sadness that when my children were babies I did not have the wisdom then that I do now. Yes, yes, I know, the hindsight so many parents voice, yadda yadda. But for me the pain, although not overwhelming, is acute. I could have enjoyed things much more, I could have been an activist much earlier, and my children could have had a heck of a lot better baby- and toddlerhood. Looking around me I see Americans doing silly, unnecessary, and arduous things around the care of our children due to misguided, harmful, and socially-enforced agendas (please note, I don’t necessarily find these Americans themselves silly, most of them care very much about their children); when I had my own babies I fell prey to many of these things as well (perhaps fodder for a future post). My thoughts and aim these days are to help any individual family so that they can have an improved, empowering, and more dignified family life – whatever their circumstances (in fact just this morning I have two messages in my email queue seeking assistance on these subjects). Yet despite daily positive experiences, sometimes brand-new or not-yet parents ask me for advice or perspective and I feel lost; anything I have to give will likely be lost in the sea of cultural messages they have been getting since far before they ever thought consciously about the responsibilities, work, and joy of caring for another human being.

Sierra at Strollerderby’s babble blog featured a wee piece entitled “Will you be arrested for leaving your kid alone the park?”, which outlines briefly what legally constitutes “neglect” in our United States (so many people I know believe there’s a legal prescribed age a child can be left alone; I think parents sometimes find comfort in this imaginary “rule” as it alleviates them from making their own choices). More importantly, in this brief little blurb Sierra tells us why she’s willing to take the (small) risk of “getting in trouble” for allowing her children a park playdate. And I applaud her for this.

And now to my emails and – joy! – our first day back to Homeschool Sports, which I have been looking forward to probably even more than my children.

upon the eve of 33 / some random Hoga-joys for thee

Do you follow my Twitter feed? (my latest tweets are always up there ^^^ ). I say all this really witty stuff. Well that and I regurgitate the things I love that come across from those I follow. So usually I leave my blog for talky crap about my life, and my Tweets for …  tweety stuff.  But today there was an abundance of awesomeness and I need to share.  Like:

1. Bill Withers, live, performing “Ain’t No Sunshine”:

This song is simply wonderful, and seeing a live performance (and that band! That drummer!) well… Jeebus. Awesome.  I watched it twice and what do you know, the second time it came up awesome again.  Apparently we have a documentary currently playing on this amazing songwriter and performer. And I’m going to see this film, absolutement, yes, even if that means having to hear “Lean on Me” for the one millionth time.

2. Growing up, my family loved watching movies together – hailing from back when we’d get a few VHS tapes once a week and rent a massive, heavy VCR in a handled molded plastic case to play them on our dinky television. And we loved playing “that guy”.  Like we saw John McGinley in about a dozen movies as a bad guy or weaselly henchman (this is before he made mainstream fame in the television program “Scrubs”) but we didn’t know his name so we called him “Butthole Face” (or okay, my mom and brother did, because of his thin lips I think).  Anyway, I was surprised at some of the faces in this linked article, but reading the criteria made so much sense.  And I’ve always had an affinity for “that guy” (or gal) – the actor who may not get the awards or gripping character writing but gets the work.

3. Today Kate Harding published a great article addressing our First Lady in response to the latter’s childhood obesity campaign.  Most things Kate writes are pretty great, and on-point, and smart, and compassionate, and kick-ass, and relevant.  Her writings are kind of like bacon – no wait, gilded bacon! – but instead of eating it you’re reading it and realizing she’s awesome and you wish you were that smart about stuff that matters but you’re glad someone is.

And in the non-internet and kind-of-awesome-but-sob! vein: today I got a card from the veterinarian who saw us through Blackie’s last bit of life on this planet.  On the front of the card, pawprints and everything, and: “Your life was a blessing, your memory a gift of joy… you are loved beyond words and missed behond measure.  Our Sympathy.” On the inside:

To The Hogaboom Family,

I just wanted to take a minute to say I am very sorry for your loss of Blackie.  With a diagnosis of lung cancer we can know that there was not more we could have done, and that her suffering is over.  One of the hardest choices we have to make in our pet’s life comes at the end, and it never seems easy to know when it’s okay to say good-bye.  I know that you made the right choice for Blackie.  Best Regards, E.

Yeah. So… there’s that.  One awesome vet, let me tell you.  And vets are just about the kindest people on earth, because they send you a card, and they are there with you at the end.  Life should be like this.

Oh, and tomorrow’s my birfday. 33.  I’m loving this number.

it’s the mark of a Good Man to like, pick up his own socks and shit

One of the reasons I left Facebook this last summer – one of about a half-dozen not-that-big-a-deal yet cumulatively significant factors – was the depressing reflection of modern married live vis-a-vis housework and gender-substantiated parenting roles.  Case in point, status messages like: “My husband is doing the dishes tonight, I’m the LUCKIEST WOMAN ALIVE!!1!”  Oh how I wish I was joking and oh how I wish this was just a singular event.  But I’m not, and it wasn’t, and although my friends and acquaintances are free to their relationships I wanted to experience Facebook as lighthearted entertainment, not teeth-gnashing reminders of realities I occasionally need a break from.  Facebook had to go, and I don’t miss it – and yes, since you ask, I’ve found another social media service by which to fritter away my time.

So, me.  I grew up in a household where really, to keep a dude you (Lady) did the chores. Both things were equally important: having a man, that is, and doing the work around the house to make sure he stayed happy.*  Oh and by the way, I have heard every excuse in the book as to why in general, heterosexually-partnered men do roughly half the work at home of their female counterparts** (unless the female is employed out of the home and the male is not, the one exclusion): from the (supposedly) individualized “Oh but t-hee!, he just likes it messy and I like it clean!” (heard this one many times) to evo-psychology drivel: you know, Guys are meant to hunt mammoths and Laydeez weave baskets.  So if you have some of those arguments, please don’t bother.  Heard ’em all.

If I sound a little harpy-like now and then (I do!) please know that although my logical mind knows fairness in the home makes sense and should be strived for – and I am fortunate to have a partner who believes the same – in some way my emotional sense is still reeling from the training I received growing up (see above) and the crushing amounts of depressing bullshit perpetuated ad nauseam in the world around me.  And I’m still kind of pissed, and kind of looking around like, Am I taking crazy pills? Why should we give a dude a lot of praise for doing his own damn laundry?

In a way I lucked out I didn’t marry an entitled little prince when it comes to chores, housework, and parenting; but also it wasn’t just luck, of course.  Some deep part of my nature loves work, and loves keeping house – taking care of myself and my own – and bridles at the thought that I should shoulder this burden alone.  When Ralph and I began dating we had separate apartments and neither of us were particularly neat, tidy, nor even cooked or cleaned much at all (this has changed, very much, obviously).  We dated for three and a half years before marrying; and he and I may have thought we would work well together but in a very real way we were so untested for just how much work we would find in growing (and feeding! Jeebus!) a family.  You know that idea that you and your Intended are supposed to sit and chat and discuss hopes, dreams, the future, and all the values you each have and make sure in every way you are completely and totally compatible?  Yeah, whatever. Good luck with that, because at least in my life I’ve had so many things thrown at me I just had no way of predicting, and I’m not sure my husband fared better in that foresight.

Over the years I’ve observed my husband is drawn to family life innately.  There is no other way to describe it.  I mean, he regularly goes above and beyond to do everything he can for us to the point of feeling guilt when he’s away –  yes, even at worky-work (I’m not going to go into the great length I could in describing the many comments, praises, and “Superdad” monikers he’s received over the years).  This isn’t his journal, so I can’t (or won’t) speak for him; I will only say it took me a while to figure out he didn’t long for freedom from the oppressive reality of family life.  At first I thought his compulsion to be home and Parenting and Husbanding hearkened back to the days of early parenthood, when I was completely overwhelmed by my newborn and really, really needed his involvement.  I’d be like, If you say you’re going to be home a 4:45, it better not be 4:47 motherfucker, and I really meant it.  This lasted some time and was not easy on either of us (although it was, oddly, very joyful and exhilarating; I honestly think breastfeeding hormones made me a kind of Superwoman).  One benefit of our lifestyle is I remember the years with infants as being entirely resentment-free on my part; I was proud of my husband’s work and grateful I’d required his invovlement and thus didn’t, you know, secretly hate his ass in any way.

I’ve discovered though, that as motherhood became a learned skill, Ralph’s devotion did not decrease.  Inasmuch as I’ve found myself able, willing, and more or less happy to cope in the home (“with some complaints”) including tons of time with my own children – Hello! Homeschooling here! – my husband’s sense of responsibility is strong enough that it seems hardly related to me and my difficulties or successes whatsoever.  It’s a touchy thing, because it’s not my place to talk him out of his feelings, and I don’t want to be the kind of spouse who caretakes my partner’s every emotional need.  That said, I have tried to help him more of late than I did for years – help him, I suppose, in shedding his guilt when he can’t be here, or can’t do his best, or do five things at once.  Because honestly, I may be tired and underslept and never get quite get enough Me-Time and every other thing but really, it’s okay that he’s human, or has a job, or wants to do something of his own.

So today it took a lot of encouragement to get him out the door to record some music.  He was making up for my inefficiencies: I was tired from the twin strains of entertaining company and sleeping poorly (sadly, the second element made me rather lousy at the first, although I did my best) and dragging in a way worse than I can remember for past years.  This morning he mentioned four separate times he could just forget recording today, and stay home, and hang out with the kids, and all that, so I could rest. I wasn’t having it.  A few minutes later he posited he could take a kid with him to record (which has, truthfully, yielded some awesomeness before).  And I kept ushering him away: it was fine, yeah, I was tired, and I wanted to rest a bit, but it would be a good thing for him to go.  And go he finally did.

I did my best at trying with a bit of cleaning and sewing and cooking and in between I rested and watched a couple films (Mamet’s The Edge – which I enjoyed – and Heist, which I found a bit dull).  Nels fell asleep at my feet, huddled oddly under a blanket on the floor and blissfully giving me a break from his Nels-ness.  Sophie cuddled me on the couch and the first movie made an impression on her; throughout the rest of the day she would chant – in a tiny, but fierce voice – “What one man can do, another can do!” and “I’m going to kill the bear! I’m going to kill the bear!” And we made it through okay.

Ralph came home a few hours later with his “new” studio set up (a generous donation from a friend), a third song recorded (coincidentally, this year’s numerical song 2000), and his spirits a bit higher than before; and we all survived just fine, and the day slowly sort of settled like a falling leaf in the gentle autumn breeze, and here we are, just the four of us, like so many nights before and I earnestly hope so many more.

And I’m grateful for the family; for a husband who, I guess for lack of a better phrase, knows his place. Ha.

* And provided sex, and dieted to look your best: all messages my mother taught me through her actions.

** Gay couples, incidentally, have more egalitarian division of work in their household; don’t think it hasn’t occured to me that if, God forbid, really I mean God forbid, I should end up an early widow I’m not going to be dipping generously from the female dating pool.

feeling healthy

I’m a bad mom, and here’s some anecdotal proof in case you’re new here: since moving into this house, I smoke. Every day. And I allow the kids around when I do so if they want to be. Sure, I tell them to stand back and I tell them why; I fully disclose that smoking is bad for their little lungs, that it’s a terrible habit.  But this morning Nels sniffed the air and said, “I love that smell!” and I accepted this with an only slight air of I-suck finality that settles on most parents at some point or another.  I’m smoking a vanilla Djarum black clove – a sort of silly-fancy little lung-snack to be sure, but one that does have a rather nice fragrance – as far as cigarettes go.

If I was a “good mom” I wouldn’t smoke at all, of course (and I wouldn’t occasionally swear, or ignore them when they’re talking to me, or start a project then interrupt myself, or tell them I’d be off the computer in “just a minute” and then it’s more like five minutes, or I wouldn’t keep them out of school, or let them order whatever they want in restaurants, or whatever the hell thing you’re all happy to read about and judge my ass for: Affording my blog readers a sense of superiority, just another service I offer). As a nominally “good mom” even if I did smoke, I’d do it closeted where they couldn’t see. Certainly I wouldn’t sit here french-inhaling and chatting with them while emitting the breath of Lucifer past their winsome, innocent little blonde heads.

The truth is, I’m even glad for their company out here on the porch, because sitting and [smoking and] talking with them is one of my favorite things to do during our day. I am not really a “sit and relax” type of person – I can sit sometimes, sure, but I’m usually thinking about all sorts of stuff: grocery lists, internet drama (and not even my own!), my current sewing difficulty (I seem to be always having these), the latest bit of proof I’m parenting correctly or proof I’m not – that kind of thing. But sitting out here on the front porch (one of my favorite places in the house) I love listening to them and talking with them and everything about them. I love that we teach one another about the world. I love that Nels is lying across from me on the windowseat in his little undershirt and boxers and he’s blowing soap bubbles and his hair is falling across the cushion like so much golden silk and we have the whole day for one another.

Today I’m trying to offering a rare unrequested lecture on a subject: what “retaliation” means.  When Sophie joins us a bit later, she adds to the conversation as well.  Nels is so surprised at having an open-ended discussion of what you could do when someone hurts or angers you that he can’t come up with the sort of typically vicious solutions I might credit him for.  The discussion of retaliation / revenge is inspired in part because I’m thinking of the latest nasty fight I’ve read about on the Internetz and part because Nels has a problem hitting and since bribery and scolding and punishment hasn’t worked much I’d like him to begin to grasp just why he does it (often out of anger toward some sneaky, low-down – but often not physically violent – thing his sister has done).

And maybe because I understand retaliation, myself, and it’s closer to my heart that others might realize.  Just these past few days I’ve been thinking a lot about how careful and relatively well-trained I am in not yelling or cursing in anger during adult conversations; I’ve thought in the past I was a basically decent, respectful person who might get angry but wouldn’t let anger get the best of me. Wrong, really.  In fact I like so many people can keep a civil tongue in my head while harboring deep, resentful anger in my heart; the kind of venomous thoughts that find me wishing Ill upon my enemies to an extent they might never imagine.  It’s funny, because although I pride myself on doing the Right Thing so very often – even when I’ve been Wronged – when it comes down to it the little black, spoiled bruise on my heart means I’m just not any better of a person than anyone else.

But my foursome offers a peace from the outside world, and often, yes, from my inner demons.  The rest of our afternoon spills out before us and by day’s end I’ve been a gentle Mama and a content person and the day has gone beautifully; the children took themselves out into the world (library, drugstore) and filled my house with happiness.  I am not a Good Mom, but the kids and I still have such open-ended trust towards one another; and despite the hard words and difficult times Ralph and I have had we retain a deep connection, comradery and love that is also a respite in itself – every night, every day, rinse and repeat.  As I type tonight the kids are sharing a noisy, splashy shower with my husband and our (recently-spayed) kitten has just successfully caught, then noisily devoured, a crane-fly plaguing the floor at my feet.  Family Life is very good to me, even when it’s mundane.  Tonight we spent an hour and a half out at a playground; first, watching Sophie’s soccer practice and then afterwards allowing the kids some play time on the playground (something parents never seem to want to do when school-year evenings can get so busy) and walking about the skate park.  There is something together the four of us have that I could never have imagined before.  It isn’t any better than what anyone else has, probably; it just runs Deep for me, deeper than anything I’ve ever known.

are you human / or a dud?

Silly Facebook. I posted this list last night and have received several interesting and heartfelt responses – including gratitude (I also likely made a few people feel smug at how un-awesome I am). I was encouraged to share here. So I will!

I was debating compiling a list of, “25 Things That Make Me Feel Like a Bad Parent”. But it’s different to be “mom”. WAY more judgment entailed in the label / identity of “mom”, so when that word is leveled against me it’s nuanced differently than “parent” – most moms understand what I’m saying here. I do hope some dads fill this out as I’d love to see their lists.

So, I am going to write things I feel bad about. Some, pretty bad. Some, only 1% bad. Don’t be reading into how “bad” I feel because maybe it’s not all that much. Or maybe it’s WAY more than you’d think. Oh, and I’m not going to write anything that sounds “bad” that I am secretly smug about, because that is gross.

25 Things That Make Me Feel Like a Bad Mom

1. Pretty much any time my kids talk to me I respond with, “What? No, pick that up.” or “Wash your hands”. I am truly inspired by gentle parents who listen to their kids fully first, instead of barking out orders at them all the time.

2. I completely expect (and receive) full household support from my partner. You know, I think other mamas have been threatened by, jealous of, or annoyed by my egalitarian household and the lip service I sometimes devote to it. Suddenly I’ll feel like I *expect too much* out of my man, which makes me sometimes feel more like a bad wife than a mom. But you know what, fuck it, this is how I roll.

3. I let my kids dress themselves and sometimes they look tres-shabby AND I allow this to make me wish I’d dressed them in tidy clothes – despite the fact I want to feel groovy with their autonomy.

4. Sometimes I think a good portion of the reason I’m a stay-at-home-mom is because I’m so irritated with how many people demean it and put it down.

5. I give my kids so very much freedom in so many ways, especially their manners. In public sometimes they will be running down the aisle, or talking loudly in a restaurant. Half of me thinks, Oh shit my kids should behave better, but the predominant part of me is completely content to talk to them about their behavior later, and suffer the glares from grownups in the moment.

6. At home when they are driving me crazy, I yell at and spank my kids.

7. My kids have cavities and I can’t figure it out. The dentist says we’re doing everything right (but then I am so guilt-laden I will think he and the staff are being pantywaisted or lying to make me feel better!). I vacillate between knowing it’s awesome I take them to a good pediatric dentist, and “knowing” somehow I am the World’s Shittiest Mother for having kids with cavities.

8. I can get annoyed easily with other people’s kids.

9. Out of every family I have ever met, my kids have the absolute fewest toys. OK, on one hand I know this is the right choice for me. On the other hand sometimes I feel like other mommies judge my ass (which means on some level I must feel guilty?)!

10. I don’t advocate for fairness for my kids if they get in some scrap. They can handle it.

11. Even though I am creative and sew, bake, etc, I do not put together cute little crafty shit with my kids. Why, I don’t know. I do know, because in the thirty minutes it takes to put it all together they’d have torn apart some OTHER thing I’d have to clean up. Jeez I am getting pissed just writing this out.

12. My kids run around outside in their underwear (we live along a highway) and I truly just think the world should deal with it.

13. When my first child was young I was competitive and judgy about her clothes / manners / development level as compared to other babies. It was like a (thankfully temporary) insanity. I hate to remember what it felt like in my head.

14. I bake with white flour and sugar and yes my family loves it.

15. Sometimes I get this glimmer and feel glad my children are so slim (and not “fat”). I almost hate to write this, because I know this is so wrong of me. I am actively working on it though (thank you Kate Harding and co. at Shapely Prose…)

16. I smoke.

17. I get annoyed with bathroom talk / fart talk (theirs) even though I know I shouldn’t.

18. I still sometimes do Time Outs. Although I think they are dumb, and I am just being lazy when I do it.

19. I am sweeter to my youngest than my oldest. Working on it, people! As I type this I realize I am a crappy excuse for a human being.

20. I let my kids flat-out ask for things (sleepover at Grandma’s, a quarter from strangers, etc.) without “managing” them or stopping them. Again, usually I just talk to them about it later.

21. I don’t care if my kids eat one hundred million cookies, or a full pint of ice cream (as long as they eat some dinner first).

22. I let my kids watch scary movies with me. They can handle it.

23. I send my kids out with my husband to do errands so I can have some time to myself. Yes, I know this is not “wrong” – but I still feel like a “bad mom” when I do this. That is f*sked up!

24. When we go to a park I don’t play with them, not much anyway. Hey, I’m awesome that I took them to a park!

25. I honestly, when it comes down to it, am completely not offended if my kids swear.

definitely, definitely breaking a blogging rule

If you think this list is in response to the recent Facebook “Post 25 things about yourself” inter-meme, you’re correct; but this is the second twenty-five I’ve come up with. Being my FB friend is fun – if by “fun” I mean you will soon defriend me in response to my crass sense of humor or my verbosity.

***

1. My family lived in a bus until I was eight. It had planets painted on it. And parents inside, usually smoking weed or whatever.

2. I will leave the house with no makeup or my hair untouched after a shower; but I hate finding out I’ve left the house without earrings. Despite this I only have four pair of earrings. I guess what I’m saying is, my birthday is coming up, and I really like earrings.

3. I find elevators creepy; I guess I’ve seen too many movies where something horrible happens just as they’re opening or closing.

4. I love the smell of grilled onions but loathe eating them and avoid it if at all possible.

5. People who act distant or superior irritate me. When I was younger, I’d make them a sexual conquest (usually, but not always, successfully). Now I try to feel compassion; it’s a self-defense response.

6. I can’t remember a time in my life people didn’t regularly corner me or lay out some life scenario and ask for my feedback or advice.

7. At night when I’m hovering around sleep I rub my feet back and forth on one another. Actually, this feels very personal to admit to for some reason.

8. Besides my children, I am not always demonstrative (physically or verbally) toward people I love, but I love them very, very fiercely. I think about them a lot during my day.

9. I get emails out of the blue often, from people who read my blog(s).

10. Despite being a relatively tidy housekeeper, I truly do not judge people with messier houses, although most of my girlfriends apologize for their house when I enter it. WTF? I think I should start giving them side-eye and saying, “Yeah. You need to clean this shit UP.”

11. I try to be completely honest. If I think ahead and realize something I want to say isn’t helpful, I will stay silent. This means I’m quiet around my mother a lot in response to stuff she tells me. She probably thinks I’m not listening or don’t care, which is a shame.

12. I am an alcoholic.

13. Things I do not own: a credit card, a cell phone, a bought-new car, a house, a television set, and a microwave. I’ve never owned the first four.

14. I gambled once at a casino. BORRRRING. Don’t need to do that again.

15. I am not dumb but I can’t follow “caper” movies. I’m like the guy Jerry Seinfeld joked about, whispering in the theater, “Wait, why’d they kill that guy? I thought he was with them. What? He wasn’t with them? Oh, then it’s a good thing they killed him.”

16. I believe Jesus Christ was here on earth and was the son of God. I didn’t believe this until adulthood. I am not very devout, but I love making Jesus Christ jokes a LOT. Maybe that counts for something.

17. The personal vice I’m most often guilty of is Projection. Followed closely by a devastating addiction to sailor porn. Just kidding about one of those.

18. I love teaching and I love writing, and I hate that when I do both things I hear myself sounding like an arrogant know-it-all.

19. I love spicy food. LOVE IT! (I am currently eating burritos slathered in Tapatio.)

20. I love my brother more than he loves me, and I’m okay with that.

21. I love watching movies (and a few television shows). If you conjure up the following you will probably have most of “me”: Blue Velvet, “Strangers With Candy”, Anchorman, “The Office” (BBC), American Psycho, “Deadwood”, and “The Wire”. I’ve cried tears of joy at some point during all of those.

22. I think my dad’s persona and style of parenting was just perfect for me.

23. My kids think I make the best food, ever. This #23 was added at my daughter’s request.

24. I am a compulsive hand-washer and I always worry I might smell bad. P.S. please do not take this opportunity to email me and say the latter is true, I’m not sure I could handle hearing that now.

25. I am not scared of crazy, loud, weird, retarded, or old people. However if someone is mean to me in any way at all it will make me want to cry.

***

Hmm. Maybe it’s possible to know too much about someone.