stuck in the moment

Ralph might have started the game of Blanket Monster, but Phoenix Fire ended it. By clocking her father in the face with the rather rugged and heavy phony-Christmas-tree cardboard box. The way Ralph tells it Phoenix rather reluctantly gave up her hopes and dreams of a normal life, but with a practicality and thoroughness that is so trademark to her sensible nature. “Well, I used to have a daddy, but now he’s a relentless Blanket Monster, so I’d better kill the sonovabitch.” Ralph describes “blinding white light” and staggering to the bathroom where he staunched the flow of bloody nose while our daughter apologized with sincere but pragmatic gravitas. Fucker was pulling them under the blankets by their legs, afterall. “Tickle torture isn’t funny,” she tells me later standing with a towel wrapped around her reedlike body, her freckles standing at attention under a seal-wet post-bath noggin.

Later as we left for a date our daughter calls, “Take care of your nose, daddy!” She means it in a cheerful and loving way but it kinda sounds like a veiled threat.

We got home and later discovered a bunch of items on my Mac. Some intentional video – (I think Flickr cut out some of the artistic differences our children discuss at the end of the film)…

and some unintentional (Ding Dong!):

among interests: kittens, cuddling, creatures, manga

Phoenix opened her own FB account today. You should friend her because she’s a ray of light.

Phoenix at the Mia 1

Phoenix at the Mia 2

Phoenix at the Mia 3

Italian Wedding Soup! Well, my version anyway. (Spinach and parsley):

Spinach, Parsley

Evening. Phoenix intent, playing LOTRO:
Playing LOTR Online

She is just now bathed and wearing a t-shirt of Ralph’s. All four of we Hogabooms suffer dry skin in the winter months. We put lotion on the children after they get out of the bath, then a “daddy shirt”. It keeps the itches at bay.

I finished a testing garment today and got notes sent out and pictures taken before the fading light. I can’t show you pictures – secrets! – but you can at least look at the lovely yardage I used and what is obviously a well-drafted seamline.


I also hauled the Wizard sewing machine I picked up at the thrift store ($8) to the local quilt shop. I’m a fool for old vintage machines, having them tuned and refurbished and oiled… oftentimes to give them away to those who want them. The thing is I can’t stand to have someone tempted to buy some POS brand-new plastic thing from Walmart or Sears when there’s so much old vintage goodness – better machines and not nearly as wasteful as buying a new one. And I guess it throws a little scratch to the local OSMG.

Tonight my mom took us to dinner at the local pan-Asian restaurant. Teriyaki chicken, sushi, a bento box, yaki-udon, chicken broccoli, egg flower soup in a clear lovely broth, tea. A lovely hot meal to scare away the rain a bit. When we got home friends were on our porch. The two kiddos stayed until after midnight, laughing and playing with kitties.

Good company.

what she said

I hate it when a perfectly good three-day weekend kind of goes tits-up. For me, the main kicker was the head cold that’s left me unmotivated and tired and ill-slept. This would have been fine had it not rained in that sort of depressing, listless way that pisses on our heads around these parts now and then. Ralph tried to cheer me up by taking me out on the town to the bakery and then, laughably, our creepy little mall in Southside Aberdeen where we ate Los Gallos fare off paper plates and watched our kids gleefully earn buckets of arcade tickets (which were then transformed into junky candy and toys) with the $20 spots my grandfather had given them the night before. Nels elected to pay for all the video-gaming; Phoenix generously offered us all lunch on her dime. After the kids had had their fun Nels donated his last five dollars to another child in the arcade. My kids are shrewd with money yet have generous hearts.

I caught up on quite a bit of writing in the last handful of hours; in addition to my own projects (scheduled to publish! Yay WordPress!) a little bit of mine was featured in a “Op-ed” bit of a popular sewing blog; this sparked a bit of “discussion” and I’m going to publish my thoughts on the resultant comments at Underbellie in a few days. Feel free as well to read my latest Film Feministe column at UB since I love writing about movies and think there must be at least perhaps one or (maybe even) two souls out there who’d like to read my writings about movies.

Speaking of writings I keep telling myself I have to take a break from my obsession on social-justice subjects including feminism, LGBTQIA issues, and anti-racism (to sum some of my interests up rather slipshod; the second beer is kicking in). This weekend I’ve been poring over Jill Psmith/Twisty Faster’s pieces at I Blame the Patriarchy (my current extra-favorite post so far is “Profiles in Patriarchy: ‘The Girl” and her procured definition of “antifeminism”, or in other words, Shit I Hear All The Time Wherever I Go) and the Shaxicon/FAQ at Shakesville. Taking a break from this lovely but hefty fare I switch to Twitter which directs me to events in Katie Granju’s  family– nary so much of a warning as to how heart-wrenching that read would be. This kind of inter-netz consumption is heavy lifting at times and this is why the booze and the B-movies are sometimes necessary at night and I’m considering the upgrade to evening knife hits off the stove.

And finally, on the subject of film, this weekend I watched Thousand Pieces of Gold (which I enjoyed very much) and got about 80% of the way through Oscar and Lucinda before sleep finally kicked in (the latter was not without its charm, but mostly I found myself just amazed at Ralph Fiennes’ complexion and coloring as afforded in closeup).  It’s always nice to consume good film but of course, I’m getting better about letting some go when I see I’m not going to enjoy them (for instance I’d started and eschewed both True Crime and The Bodyguard, ugh).

Being sick for me is long, boring work.

meaning “dark red” and symbolizing rebirth from the ashes

Phoenix Fire
It’s funny how the most unremarkably pleasant days can suddenly swerve into something kind of concrete and momentous (or as “concrete and momentous” as anything that happens in this mortal coil). We were just pulling into the coffee stand today when my oldest child repeated his desire to legally change his name.

This isn’t the first time he’s told me he wanted to change his name to this particular choice. When we talked about it last I told him it involved a bit of trouble: mostly paperwork and assisting friends and family in remembering  and respecting the new name (which means friendly and persistent repetition). I don’t have the kind of disdainful judgment the name-change can sometimes invoke in some people* as I’ve had one of my closest friends change her name and my own sister has changed her name more than once; I’m all about people self-validating.

I was also very impressed with my child’s choice as it is a very powerful name and one that suits him well.

Still, there is something kind of scary about the whole business.

Names do mean something – otherwise people wouldn’t agonize over these choices; otherwise you wouldn’t hear anyone mock certain names (especially names relating to out-groups, races or ethnicities that the dominant culture scorns). I won’t deny I felt an odd fear at having to call my child something else than the name I’d known him by – his entire life, which felt like a big part of my life too.

Still, I can tell he’s serious about it. He called both his father and grandmother and told them; they were enthusiastic and supportive.

I know I have to get some kind of court order to change a name in my family. I know I’m going to have to call doctors and the YMCA and a few organizations blah, blah. I know I’m going to stop calling him “_______” as I have done for years.

But even today in the grocery store when I called him by his new name he immediately snapped up and came to me. He has been calm and happy in this way I recognize when he’s made a choice that really, really works for him.

Welcome to our home, Phoenix Fire Hogaboom.**

Watching You

* Although of course, the people who sneer at name-changes often have no trouble with married women taking their husband’s surname.

** You can email him at AT hogaboom DOT org to congratulate him – I know he’d love it!