Friday, January 30, 2009

Going in to rescue you

(Pre-script: This poem needs to be paired with the song "Superman," by Five for Fighting. Go down to the playlist and click it on before reading this poem. I'll wait.) (...still waiting...)

What if all of your brave heroics
were just a glamorous way to die,
to be the hero that you always hoped could save you
from yourself,
and you were going in to rescue you
as you pulled the victims out,
you were going in to rescue you
as you smothered the flames of fires
tears alone would never touch
and they patted your back and told you "good job"
but it was hollow since
you still had you inside your chest
engulfed in flames tears would reach,
if you would be brave enough
to let them.



Thursday, January 29, 2009

Inagural Observations

(pre-script: This post is best paired with the songs,"Talk," by Coldplay, or "Closer," by Jars of Clay...but if you pick "Closer," listen with your tongue in cheek meter turned on before you read any further, go down to the playlist, click on one of those songs, then come back and resume reading. I'll wait...) (...still waiting, while doing my best to hold back the crowd...)

Last week I watched the Presidential Inauguration Ceremony, and as always, I made some critical observations. There were so many, many people there. And I thought, "I would hate that." I would never have any desire to go there, even if it is history in the making. I have no desire to say to my grandchildren and great grandchildren, "Yes, kiddies, Mimi (which is probably what they will call me, lovingly.) was there at the Presidential Inauguration...My lips froze, and I couldn't see anything, and I almost got trampled to death, but I was there."

"But Michelle,"
you, my imaginary blog reader is surely thinking,
"Michelle, would you say then that you are more of an introvert?"
and I would reply, in my mind,
"Gentle reader, that is a good question. I do have more introverted tendencies as the years go by, but no, I am still an extrovert, mostly."
"But Michelle,"
"yes, dear reader?"
"It sounds like you are in introvert."
" I have no response except to point out that even Supergirl has her limits. Now let's move on."
"good point. Okay."

Did you see the orchestra? I did, on TV, while on the treadmill at the gym, where I had my own personal screen, so I could see everything very clearly, without the cold, and any other discomfort I may have been feeling I was bringing upon myself on that dadgammit machine...but I digress...
The Orchestra was majestic. Each member had a look on his or her face like "This is living. this is what I have trained so many years for; this feels like bliss, I am passionate about this." and they would exchange glances at each other, like they were all in their own little world, in on their own private joke, and it was only them, only them, and all those people around were just...oh wait, there were other people there?
And did you see Aretha Franklin? The moment she stepped up to the podium, I think I whispered under my (rapidly retreating) breath, "I love her hat." and then I felt a sinking feeling in my (furiously beating, blasted treadmill!!) heart, like I just knew, KNEW She would be criticised in the media for that hat. But I also knew that the people who would tear her hat apart obviously lacked the vision to see her, and the beauty that was her hat. Maybe, maybe, some of them were jealous that they didn't think to wear something so fantastic first, but just wore beanies, like everyone else. Dern.
Of course, I have to close by paying my deepest respect to the fact that there is a poet laureate who writes and recites a poem at the inauguration. I love that, because it is one of my hardly spoken dreams in life* to be selected as the nation's poet laureate, and to be commissioned to write and read an original poem specifically for the occasion. So if any government big wigs are reading this, and can get in touch with the guy who is in charge of commissioning the poets, have him call me. I will go to THAT Inauguration, for I will be on the stage, not among the crowds. Hopefully there will be a hotel room set up for me to stay in and everything; I'm really not picky, any 5 star will do. I even don't care what year you sign me up for, I'll take any I can get, as long as I have enough time to first find something fabulous to wear. Hmmm...maybe I should call Aretha, and ask her where she got that hat. Wait for it, peeps...


*Can the National Poet Laureate also be an Olympic Women's Marathon runner? If not, we might have a conflict of interest...but I'd opt out of the Olympics and just settle for Boston, if it meant a shot at the Laureate spot.

Monday, January 26, 2009

It's always sunny in...(nowhere.)

Pre-script: To get your money's worth from this post, first go down to the playlist, click on the song: "Winter, " by Tori Amos, then come back and resume reading. I'll wait...)

(...still waiting...)

I know a girl who is always smiling, and upon whom the sun is always shining, According to her. She never says it in those exact words, it's more that I read between the lines when she says things like:

"aren't we all so fortunate,"

"I can't stand how much I adore my children."

I can't stand it, how happy and emotionally healthy I am."

or even, "Lucky Me."

And when she looks at me, she smiles at me...and If I forget to sport my everready smile one day, she acts very, very cold to me, and I can read her thoughts thusly:

"My sunshine does not extend to those who refuse to smile into it, causing it to blind them."

But I've never been one to stare into the sun.

I have always heard the story of what happened to the girl who once upon a time stared into the sun, even though her mother had warned her, WARNED HER!!! not to, and how she was blinded for life. Stupid girl. For some reason, that story really got to me, and I never once stared at the sun. I now believe that my friend, my smiling friend, is the very girl spoken of in kitchens by mothers all over the world to sternly warn their children of the dangers of starring at the sun...and my friend was blinded, so she makes up what she thinks she is seeing in front of her...and when there is no way to justify that what is in front of her is NOT what she has made up, (namely, me) she cannot abide, CANNOT abide, she looks away.
but I have come to learn that where the sun always shines, everything is dry and brittle, mummies and petrification. Lizards with sharp teeth. Cracked things that were never meant to crack. And also, I'm really, really into the idea of seeing things accurately, at least some of the time.


Friday, January 23, 2009

Crying trees; (somedays, the whole world weeps)

(Pre-script: This post is best paired with the song: "The Older I Get," by Skillet. Please go down to the playlist, click on that song, then come back and resume reading. I'll wait...) (...still waiting...)

Because there weren't enough tears, the whole world wept.

clover wept, grass wept,

ferocious bare branches wept for you

when my tears alone just weren't enough

and still there were not enough tears.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Real Reason

(Pre-script: This poem goes best with the song "How To Save A Life," by the Fray, which is the last song on the playlist. Go down to that song, click on it, then come back and read the poem. I'll wait. I believe this is the first poem I have posted that I have paired with a song. It feels sort of like wearing a necklace with an outfit that I've never worn a necklace with before. I'm trying it on for size and feeling a little dangerous today. So watch out, world.)

(Of course I waited. I always do.)

The Real Reason
There is always a reason,

a real reason,

not the cop out reason that is assumed

and then affirmed

over and over.

There is always a reason,

and if we would talk about the reason,

the real reason,

life would be better for everyone,

if only because we would be able to breathe better.

Trust me, breathing beats suffocating any day.

But we don't always believe that breathing would be better,

and sometimes you do have to hold your breath

because you might inhale poisonous fumes or smoke


We get it wrong,

so wrong,

soooooo wrong

most of the time.



Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Bitter pill bitter broccoli bitter brussels sprouts

Sometimes you do the right thing
and it's a bitter pill or bitter broccoli and brussels sprouts the most bitter more bitter
than you ever thought it could be
when you used to idealize this moment, stand on a box and quote, "If I am in situation n, I will definitely not do x, and I will for sure do y. I don't know how anyone ever could do x. I don't know how anyone could ever not do y."
but then the moment came you were actually in situation n, and you did know
exaclty how anyone could do x, how any one could not do y
(because x is the easiest thing in the world to do, that's why)
so so much for standing on a box and quoting yourself
and so much for getting a standing ovation or pat on the back because really
sometimes you just get
the pill to swallow, the bitter most bitter of bitter broccoli and brussels sprouts that make you gag, so strong is everything in you pulling against swallowing it, and even though
you wash it down with clear conscience juice it is
a very cold consolation and does not always remove the aftertaste.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

On Swatting those Evil Mind Flies.

(Pre-script: Before reading this post, make sure you go down to the playlist, click on the song "Unwritten," by Natasha Beddingfield, Then come back and resume reading. And resume reading. And really, really read. I'll wait...)(...still waiting...)
If I were teaching a class , which I would never do, no one would ever hire me for that, as far as I can tell, I would teach the peeps to write, or draw, or paint, or sculpt, or mold because it is in the blood to create in such a way, because the person will have an internal itch until he or she relieves it by creating the thing that is scratching at the inside of his or her mind or heart, even if it is an unformed idea that just needs to be played around with, a jumble of words that need to be somehow arranged, and rearranged, and rearranged just so, the important thing is to get them out, get them out, when they will drive you crazy like a swarm of evil flies would, if that swarm was buzzing around in your brain. That is often just how I feel before I write anything, how I have often felt my entire life. Sometimes people have glommed on to what I have had to say, and connected to the way in which I said it, and other times, they have not said anything, I think because they were scratching their heads, thinking at best, "Hm, I don't get it," or at worst, "Man, she's LOST IT!" But I created what I needed to create because it was what I needed to create. I have sat and listened as things I say are torn apart, sometimes by the ignorance of those who don't know what they are talking about, and sometimes by the wisdom and knowledge of those who do know what they are talking about, and what I hopefully have learned is that sometimes what comes out does not have to be brilliant, does not have to show that I have arrived at the allusive "arrived" place, what is important is that what I expressed was a stepping stone, my own personal stepping stone, that was right where it needed to be, because it was right in front of where I was standing at the time.
When I write, each word is like swatting another one of those evil mind flies, and I don't stop until they have all been extincted from my mind. The feeling of relief is so great, and I can take a deep breath, step back and look at what I have put out there, and I am satisfied. I am satisfied to have done the thing. I don't need an award to have done what I needed to do. I don't need the world to be tracking with me in all of my processes. It's nice when they do, but I can still be happy with and proud of my creation when they don't. I think that people often don't take the time to pay attention, to look deeply at something, to reach beyond the surface of the thing, into themselves, and feel what is directly on the page in front of them; what they already know, but refuse to acknowledge, or what they don't yet know, and refuse to create space for. I think people would rather sleep walk through life. They say you can't wake a sleep walker up, or it will make him crazy. The sleeper has to wake up on his own.
So my point is this: If you are passionate about a thing, then do it. It doesn't have to be world class; most things will not and cannot be World Class, if they were, then World Class anything would mean nothing, or close to nothing. But let's say your passion is tennis. You may not be very good at it, you would not have any fun trying to play an Olympic pro, but that is good, that is better, sometimes, because you can play with a little child, or your novice and arthritic grandmother, and not be catering down to do so. If your passion is painting pictures of apples all day, every day, then do that, and don't ever think about if it looks like a painting you saw in the Louvre, or the paintings your next door neighbors are painting. It probably doesn't. But you must do it because the world has already seen the Louvre, your neighbors have already painted the paintings that look like their paintings, and only you have seen what is on the other side of your mind. It is in you, it is in your blood, and you must get it out, regardless of what your critics might say, you must get it out, or we will never see it, and you must get it out before it eats you alive.


P.S. Tonight, I needed to write in many long run on sentences.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Stained glass memory

...and from that instant, I was rendered use-
less but I kept displacing air around
me like a restless bullet with no mark;
Some moments are encased in glass upon
eye level shelves, in mind, wholly preserved.
frequently visited, those hallowed halls,
when opening my eyes, I always think:
"how will I ever see the world again?"
without that memory tainting every sight
without that vision blurring solid lines
making them bleed together, every piece
of me, glued now by blood and tears congealed
and this is how I walk now, how I breathe
how beats the heart that will not let you go
each day a slow unwilling waking dream
that must be felt and numbed and felt again.


Friday, January 16, 2009

Apple Shaped Heart

(Pre-script: This post should be read while eating an apple, whatever kind of apple you prefer. I suggest a Fuji or a Pink Lady, as those are my personal favorites. This post should also be read as the song "Sweet Pea," by Amos Lee soothes your ears in the background. In order for this to happen, you must go down to the playlist, click on that song, then come back and resume reading. I'll wait...)

(...still waiting...)
Is it possible to feel nostalgia for a place you've never been? I have never been to New York City, but my heart MY HEART!! doesn't know that. Part of my heart belongs to that city. There is a song, "I left my heart in San Francisco," and although I have always lived minutes away from San Francisco*, my heart MY heart, has pieces of it scattered around New York City. On the opposite coast. Where I have never been.
In my mind, I would live in a high rise apartment, the kind with a nice doorman (or two) because it is safer that way, and would I live high up, in a cozy, cute apartment where I could look at the business all around and below me, or I could close up the blinds and be safe in my own little nook, separate, but right in the heart of the heart of my heart, AKA New York City. When I wanted to leave my cozy apartment, I would take the elevator (complete with elevator attendant (again, for safety) who I would know by name and chit chat with, briefly) down to the lobby, and walk out, and walk across the street to Central Park, where I would be known and nodded towards as "One of those crazy runner chicks" and in New York City, in Central Park, I would actually wear great running gear, something exactly like what Kelly Ripa or Elizabeth Hasslebeck run in (2 avid NYC Central Park runners, as far as I know.) When not running, I would walk everywhere else, to great restaurants and hole in the wall cafes, Broadway Musicals, coffee shops, museums, department stores too, as much as possible. If it was too cold or too far to walk, I'd have to learn how to catch a cab...or else call down to the nice doormen in the lobby and ask them to call a cab for me. I'm sure they would gladly oblige, since I would know them by name, and regularly bake cookies for them. I might even take the subway sometimes. I would feel cozy and snug, surrounded by all of those buildings and people I don't know, but never lonely, because my heart MY HEART!! the apple of my apple shaped heart, would be home.

*Let me be clear: San Francisco is a great place, I adore it. I am in no way knocking San Francisco.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Genes of my jeans

(Pre-script: To get the most out of this post, turn your tongue in cheek feature ON HIGH, go down to the playlist, click on the song:" Closer," by Joshua Radin, or "Closer," by Jars of Clay, both work, but Joshua Radin says "I'll take the blue one's every time," which is extremely appropriate for this post. then come back and resume reading. I'll wait...) (...still waiting...)
Sometimes I call my jeans by name.
"Come here, Paige. How are you today, Gap, Paper Denim and Cloth, Chip and Pepper, and girls, don't leave out Arden B. She's been very good to me in times of stress."
And my jeans hear my voice,
and my my jeans know my voice,
and my jeans respond thusly:
Some days they respond, "Right back atcha, babe."
And Lots of love goes around.
But Sometimes they are in a collective foul mood; Maybe they are all bent out of shape that I left them in the dryer too long, or not long enough, or maybe they are insulted at the idea of being matched with a particular top. (they can be very picky about that sort of thing, those snobs.) Or sometimes they need to be reminded that they are not allowed to have an opinion on how often I eat dessert.
Chip and Pepper and Paper Denim and Cloth are the jeans that have in the past held the longest grudges. I almost got rid of them, (SHOCKER, but I believe in being honest here, peeps. Let me let it out.) but then I realized that I was wearing Chip and Pepper all wrong. She had to tell me how she wanted to be worn. We now have an understanding which has caused me to be more considerate in my approach to all of my denim, yes, including the Paper, Denim and Cloth.
The thing that worries me, though, is the aging process. Arden B, for instance, the great comforter that she is, we've been together for a while now, and we have developed an understanding. She does not hold grudges or care much what I pair her with; she is past a lot of that, because apparently she just likes to be with me, so she daily offers me the promise of soft warmth and consistency. And you cannot just buy a new pair of soft warmth and consistency genes. I mean jeans. You just can't. You can only appreciate them for what they are, and enjoy the time you still have together...and hope that Paige, Gap, Chip and Pepper, Paper Denim and Cloth, et al. are headed in the same direction.
Yes, I have high hopes for all of my girls. They still have so much to offer.

P.S. The picture at the top features my girl "GAP."
P.P.S. The sisterhood is not opposed to adding Seven, Citizens of Humanity, Joe, Hudson, etc, etc, to their numbers. It's really an open group. The only brand we shun is "True Religion," because I don't want little Buddah's on my jeans.
P.P.P.S. The best place to buy jeans is CROSSROADS.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Little Marcy and Me

(Pre-script: you just have to imagine the music that goes along with this post. I hope it's as fantastic in your mind as it is in my memory. Take a moment to get situated with that, I'll wait...) (...still waiting...)
When I was 4, I was obsessed with my record player. One of my favorite records was Little Marcy. Little Marcy was a singing puppet who sang in a puppet like voice. As a result of listening to Little Marcy, my parents decided that I, too was starting to sing in a puppet like voice, as opposed to my not unsimilar every day 4 year old voice, and this obviously concerned them greatly, so they took away my Little Marcy record. I think they intervened just in time, as they were surely concerned about my future singing career. And we all know how far THAT has gotten me in life.
Oh what, you haven't heard about my singing career? About my debut album that came out when I was 12 years old, "On Life and Love, What I Learned the Hard Way?" There was some fantastic vocal crooning on that one, but looking back, I think maybe it didn't do so well because people are generally insulted at the idea of being told how to survive horrible breakups and heartaches by a 12 year old. I mean, who was I kidding, what did I know at the age of 12? Certainly not half as much as I knew by the age of 16, when my follow up album came out, "Now That I'm Older." I still haven't figured out why that one didn't do much better; On the cover, I am wearing red sequins and feathers, and half hiding behind a haze of fog or smoke, it's hard to tell which, with a serious expression on my face suggesting that I am too focused on the music to smile. (I still think the track "Why you wanna treat me this way?" had Grammy gold written all over it.)


Monday, January 12, 2009

Confessions of a chronic jumper

(Pre-script: Before reading this post, please go down to the playlist, click on the song "Not Your Average Girl," by India Arie, then come back and read this post. I'll wait...)
(...still waiting...)
I became a jumping jacker* probably about 12 years ago, when this thought occurred to me: "I wonder if I can do 1,000 jumping jacks." So I proceeded to do 1,000 jumping jacks...and the rest, as they say, is history! Ever since then, I have proceeded to jump thousands and thousands of jumping jacks whenever it has occurred to me that I should kick my own butt into gear. I have done as many as 5,111 jumping jacks at a time, interrupted here and there to do things like cook dinner or in some other way take care of the peeps. As long as I keep the mental tally in my head, it's all good. Sometimes I don't count, I just do jumping jacks during commercial breaks, or until a hockey period is over. I find them to be a good alternative to couch sitting while watching a TV show or movie. The kids usually will do a few with me, and they laugh...and then I laugh, because uncoordinated children trying to do jumping jacks is very funny. Derek does not like my jumping, because he says it shakes the whole house. He had no idea just how quirky I was when he married me.


*yes, I invented the term "jumping jacker," but I am not possessive of it; feel free to use it if you feel it accurately describes yourself or someone you love.
And yes, I am aware that "Jacker" has never been an actual word before. You will not find it in the dictionary, or win a game of Scrabble with it...unless you are playing Scrabble with someone who will let you get away with playing a made up word you read on a blog.

Sunday, January 11, 2009


Always, the road in front of me...
red lights hurry past me,
white lights come towards me
and I trust the white lights to stay on that side
of the thin line that separates
coming from going.
far ahead,
the silhouette of mountains,
and above that black sky,
and above and inside that,
low slung moon\
but I never get that far;
my destination always distracts me
directing me off of
this freeway before I ever arrive
(but I like to think that if I were to drive forever I would someday arrive)
at that silhouette
of mountains,
and above that black sky,
and above and inside that,
low slung moon.

Friday, January 9, 2009

The one in which I whine.

(Pre-script: This post will best be paired with the song, ""Carry On, Wayward Son," by Kansas. Go down to the playlist, click on the song, , then come back and resume reading... and take special note of the fact that this time I did not say "please." Why? Because I have no patience today, that's just do it...I'll wait...) (...still waiting...)
I am sick.
I am never sick.
But I am sick.
But I am never sick,
because I say "I will not be sick."
World without end, amen.
and that is the end of that.
Until 3 days ago, when my body betrayed me.
Here's the dealio*, peeps. I'm not THAT sick, it's really just a cold, but a sore throat is a sore throat is a sore throat, and HOW am I to tend to the needs of 4 needy little dudes who have yet to gain an ounce of empathy?!? Okay, I may be exaggerating a tad...surely a side effect of the steroids...(but I'll get to that.) The little dudes are only empathetically challenged with regards to their MOTHER. MOTHER apparently is God like in their minds, in the sense that GOD has no needs, and the little dudes choose to see me in the same way. My, what precious little dears they are.
SO the particular cold I have has the added bonus of red eye irritation, sort of like pink eye without the puss. SO BEAUTIFUL!!! And because it is a viral cold, the red irritated eyes are likely to stay with me for an entire week. Fun, fun! I know this because I called the doctor today. He was not concerned about the pink eye, but he was concerned about the dry cough. So he prescribed a steroid inhaler that will evidently help the something or other heal faster than it would without any steroid if I start to resemble a woman's professional body builder within the next few days, you will know why.
The problem with a cold is that it lasts and lasts and lasts like you gave it energizer batteries at the first sign of a symptom. NO ONE wants to endure the misery of a stomach flu, but at least a stomach flu usually runs itself out within a day, and leaves you approximately 3lbs lighter, which is always psychologically encouraging.** You get no such psychological encouragement from a cold, just tired, run down, sore throated coughing-ness, and red irritated glassy eyes.
So to that, I say, "ashes to ashes and dust to dust, from dust you were created and to dust you will return. "
Cough, cough. Pass the Vick Vapo-rub...and a big ol' bowl of ice cream, nature's remedy for a sore throat. (Naturopaths, take note!)

*the fantastic word "Dealio" was stolen from Uncle Rico, of Napoleon Dynamite fame.
**Never mind that you gain back the 3 lbs as soon as you are feeling well enough to eat normally again.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Getting it wrong or right

(Pre-script: to get the most of this post, read it as the song "Blackbird" plays...go down to the playlist, click on that song, then come back and resume reading. I'll wait...) (...still waiting...)
Sometimes I don't like my kids.
But I don't like to say that because when non parents hear that, they hear "I don't like my kids." Fellow parents hear the truth:"I love my kids, of course, but I don't always like the behavior currently being displayed, because it embarrasses me, or because they are endlessly needy, and I am the main administrator of those needs, and I am tired of being the main administrator of those needs, or because I do not like being misrepresented in such an untidy presentation that that threadbare beloved shark t-shirt my child adores wearing represents to the world today." This morning as I was escaping into my bowl of Quaker Oatmeal Squares cereal*, it occurred to me that I had nothing to give the peeps this morning. Oh, I had snacks and clean clothing prepped for the day, but I had nothing of myself to give. And my throat was sore. And the boys were wrestling. And it was only 7:30am. So I handled it this way: First, I yelled. Then I prayed. "God, I have nothing to give the peeps today. I need you to help me. Please, please help me..." And because I believe that God heard me, and that He takes my sore throat, empty heart, Quaker Oatmeal Squares escaping with a tendency to yell self seriously, I believe that we will all make it through the rest of this day. Even if it is just be the skin of our teeth.
And maybe one day, my little peeps will end up in counseling. I hope they do. I hope they get a good one, and stick with it, even when it's hard. There is only so much I can give them. I believe in delegating the rest to medical and psychological professionals. Why do parents fear that? Didn't we all grow up and eventually have stints (some longer or more intense than others) in counseling? and it has made our lives better, right? In fact the people who shun counseling and all forms of self awareness or therapy are the grown ups who seem the least healthy as grownups, regardless of how blissfully perfect their childhoods were. I stay emotionally away from those. (And non cynics. I can't get close to the never cynical.)
And when the little peeps are no longer little, and come back to tell me all the things I did wrong, I will say "yes, yes, I did, and I wish I could have been better than myself, and I am so, so sorry," and I will think "Yay, good for you for figuring it out."

*I like to mix the brown sugar flavor with the maple flavor.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Warning: If you are a person with no sarcastic or cynical tendencies whatsoever, please go back to your mac'n'cheese...*

(Pre-script: this post will be better digested when paired with an open mind, a strong beverage, whatever your idea of a "Strong beverage" is, and the song:" Closer." by Joshua Radin. Please go down to the playlist, click on that song, then come back and resume reading. I'll wait.) (...still waiting...and please take note of the fact that I am waiting with a smile and direct eye contact...regardless of how I may or may not be feeling.)
Y'all, the Januaries were back in full force today.
Apparently they have a collective understanding: "Invade the gym on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. This is the way to new year bliss. This is the way to accomplish our goals and make all of our wildest dreams come true...until we slowly taper off and get back to status quo by February."
Was I annoyed?
Heck yes!!
And here's the secret, peeps. It's okay that I was annoyed. It's okay that I feel however I feel, and it's okay to write about my own feelings on my own blog. Feelings are what they are. I do not, no not need to be scolded or guilted because of it. Y'all, I am smart enough to think up the other side of the issue by myself, thank you very much. I do NOT need to hold hands and sing "Kumbaya" with every January I encounter at the gym to be expressing the love of Jesus. Besides, I am pretty sure that even Jesus, the Son of God Himself, felt irritated with people, even people He was sometimes being nice to.

*...because I don't actually trust you.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Hot water, Bubbles, and a new shirt.

(Pre-script:This post goes best with the song,"Good Intentions," by Toad the Wet Sprocket. Please go down to the playlist, click on that song, then come back and resume reading. I'll wait...) (...still waiting...)

I think selfish thoughts all the time.
It bothers me.
and then I pray something like "God, I am selfish, very selfish, and I am so, so sorry."
I just had this thought on Saturday, actually,
and then I had to take a bubble bath. Hot water, wash over a multitude of things. Make me bright red in the process.
bubbles heal.
Then I went and bought myself a new shirt.
'cause there's nothing like embracing a cause.
And there's nothing worse than realizing how selfish you are while wearing clothes you don't feel fabulous in.
Today, I pray to not do every selfish thing I think about doing.
Maybe only 95% of them, the 95% that are the most fun.
we'll see how tomorrow goes.



(Pre-script: This post is best paired with the song, "Ants Marching," so it is in your own best interest to go down to the playlist, click on that song, then come back and resume reading. I'll wait.) (...still waiting...)
This morning I was irritated at the girl on the stepmill next to me. While I was marching up and up and up, She was doing some crazy sideways step and leg stretch thing, and I was thinking "dude, just step normal, already." It's not her fault I was irritated, though; I am sure that if I am honest with myself, and all of you, that I was really just irritate that I didn't come up with that cool, innovative sidestep stretch move first. Okay, I can offer her that bit of a gracious thought today, for she is a regular gym goer; I see her there often. We are bonded in the sisterhood of regular gym goers. I would not, could not be so gracious to her if she were a January.
Y'all, the Januaries are back.
You know what I mean; the people who resolve to finally get in shape this year, and crowd the gym the first Monday after New Years Day. That's nice, but Januaries, could you please realize that you are not serious about your resolution to work out, as you were not serious about it last year, or the year before? If you were serious about it, you would not have waited until January to go to the gym, you would have been here all along, sweatin' it out with the rest of us. I would not mind you being here if it didn't mean crowded machines, and that I might have to give up a treadmill for you. And I might have to give it up at a crucial moment, like when I am grooving to an awesome tune that I am trying with all my might not to actually sing along to, even though I sometimes allow myself the indulgence of mouthing the words*. Do you know how it feels when a trainer asks me to "share" the treadmill with a January? How is a slightly neurotic girl supposed to train to be an Olympic marathon runner if I have to give up my treadmill so that a January can get on.
Treadmills are not for sharing, peeps: that's just a co dependant notion, one of many that our society embraces as noble. (I don't have time or energy to get into that right now.) Let's be clear: if you want a treadmill, get to the gym earlier. I did, obviously.

I know that you are going to fizzle out very soon, January person, and so do all of the other regular gym goers, so why don't you catch the clue train a little quicker this time, jump on, and give us back our gym?!? And then if you feel guilty, just go take a nice long walk outside... try not to feel like a doofus for forking over the cash for a gym membership. DOH! I'm sure that you can get your money back. Thanks so much.


*Derek thinks that I actually sing out loud, but just don't realize it. It's possible, but highly doubtful.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Catching a Fly

I wanted to capture the buzzing fly in a jar
wanted to poke the lid with air holes
and watch it bang against the clear glass
"am I crazy?"
it must wonder as it sees somewhere it can't figure out why it's not getting any closer to
no matter how hard it pounds it's tiny wings
no matter how exhaustedly it smashes into invisible walls
Maybe the lid did not need air holes
maybe there is already enough air in the jar to sustain such a tiny thing
for as long as it's tiny life would naturally last,
but I added the air holes
to alleviate my guilt. That's the truth of it.
I am selfish.

Friday, January 2, 2009

How we drive

(Pre-script:This post is best paired with the song," "Big Yellow Taxi," Covered here by the Counting Crows. Go down to the playlist, click on that song, , then come back and read. I'll wait.) (...still waiting...)
It tends to be a loud process.
The children cannot get into the car quietly, and today,
they are arguing, about blah blah blah and fill in the blank. They tend to argue loudly.
I am usually satisfied to have everyone in the car dressed and wearing two shoes each. I don't even care that Ethan is wearing a tiger costume and a Superman cape. He was going to wear a hat, but decided not to, because "Tiger's don't wear hats." I don't even care that Jeremy is wearing two mismatched shoes, one flip flop and one sandal, and it's January 2nd...and not an unseasonably warm January 2nd at that. We're only going to the gym.
The children always sit in the same seats, but Kristina likes to resurrect an old argument from time to time, that it's not fair; today, she adds that Jeremy didn't "earn" his seat. So it's not fair. and blah blah blah, and fill in the blank.
In my head, I am silently praying "Please, just help us to get along and love each other today; and if that's too much to ask, at least just let us get along. And if that's too much to"
I turn up the radio and sort of bop and sing along, "are we human, or we dancer? My sign is vital, my hands are cold..."
Kristina says: "I see a large cloud that looks like a dinosaur."
I say:"Oh, yeah."
Jeremy says:"I think I see it too!"
Ethan says:"Me TOO!!"
Natalie says:"The dino-hore, the dino-hore!"
and for one moment, we are all united in vision, buckled in our speeding minivan.
The kids keep chattering and I keep singing and zoning out, "So what, I'm still a rock star, I've got my rock moves, and..."
and Kristina says:"I think God is giving me a message: I saw a heart, a dinosaur, and an alligator in the clouds, and I think He's telling me that he loves me, but that there will be danger, but that He will protect me."
Ethan says:"Jesus is saying that he sees the little animals"
Jeremy says:"That's not what you mean."
Kristina says:"I think God is telling me that He loves me, but I need to be careful with small animals, because I saw a lot of small animals in the clouds."
And now we are here, arrived.
But my little peeps have trouble getting out of the car, too. I say "Get out, we're here now" They act as though I have just told them to sit there and blink. And stretch. And yawn. Because driving to the gym has worn them out.
So I say "Dude, we're here, get out!"
The only response comes from Kristina:"Oh and I saw the letter "C," too.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

...Like it's 1999

(Pre-script: For this post to have maximum impact, you will need to read it as the song,"100 years" by Five for Fighting plays. Go down to the playlist now, click on that song, then come back and commense reading. I'll wait...) (...still waiting...)
Remember 1999, when everyone was afraid of Y2K, and the impending possible computer crash? And then on December 31, 1999, the clock went from 11:59pm to 12:00am, and...nothing happened. Impending doom averted. PHEW. That could have been close.
What DID happen was that my 2 month old firstborn baby had contracted Infant Botulism and was about to be admitted to the hospital for 8 days, with all sorts of tubes and wires sticking out of her. Much prayer, a newly developed Imunoglobin, a couple months of physical therapy and nose tube feeding later, and she was a fully recovered big fat happy 4 month old. PHEW that WAS close.
And before you ask, no, I did not do anything crazy like feed her honey or traipse her through construction sights. She was fed only breast milk, and I held her all the time, not out of paranoia, but just because all I wanted to do was hold her. In fact, in the hospital when she was born, I didn't let anyone else hold her, even if they asked. My logic was that as she had been incubating inside of me for 9 months, my curiosity of her had grown 9 months worth, and now she was out, so I was going to be the one to hold her, thank you very much. It was similar to the story of the Little Red Hen, "You didn't help me grow the wheat, mill the wheat, mix the dough, bake the bread, so you will not help me eat the bread," only more like "You didn't help me feel the nausea, get fat all over, endure the labor, and then give birth, so you will not help me hold the baby...YET." (We'll never know how she caught it.)
9 years later, my firstborn is a 9 year old. I could never have predicted that. She is a 9 year old 4th grader who enjoys playing piano and ukulele, with 3 younger siblings. In another 9 years, I assume that she will be in college. But really, who knows? Maybe she'll be a hippy by then, tending to her dreadlocks and wearing long skirts as she treks across Europe with a backpack, a new resolve to vegetarianism, and her trusty ukulele for entertainment at night around the communal campfire. Maybe she'll be offended by the idea of institutionalized learning and say things like "The school of life and experience is all the education I need." That's fine; I just hope she doesn't inhale.
From everything I've observed or read in books, though, that tends to be more of a 2nd, 3rd, or 4th child trait; those free spirit notions are more what anyone BUT the high strung type A firstborn tend to espouse, since the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th borns are the wounded ones who received less undivided attention as infants. And whatnot. But we'll see in 9 years.
Happy 2009, peeps.
I am not predicting anything.