Thursday, February 26, 2009

Aunt Martha's snow boots (Part II)

(Pre-script: If you have not read the previous post, "Custom Couture Crochet," please do so now, then come back to read this post. I'll wait.) (...still waiting...)

It's been 13 years since Grandma Angell died. So many memories summed up in the flurry of wrapping up a life in a few short days. My heart couldn't engage fully. But what got me back into the reality of the moment of her death was seeing Aunt Martha at the funeral home. Aunt Martha, who had cared for my Grandma until the very end. Since it was winter and stormy out, Aunt Martha wore her snow boots to the funeral home. Then standing by the side of the casket, she hung her head and wept. That was the moment that summed all of the sadness and grief up for me. Aunt Martha wept over my dead grandmothers body in her wet snow boots.


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Custom Couture Crochet

(Pre-script: This post must be paired with the song, "Not Your Average Girl," so go down to the playlist and click on that song before you read this post. Don't argue, just do it. I'll wait.) (...still waiting...)
Grandma Angell had a drawer in her kitchen where she kept cheap plastic naked dolls. They all looked exactly alike, like cheap Barbie dolls without the cleavage. It was important for my young, impressionable mind and eyes to not be aware that such a thing as cleavage existed in the world. That was why I was not allowed to play with actual Barbie dolls. I was not allowed to play with Grandma's drawer of plastic naked dolls either. In fact, she only showed me the drawer one time after much whining and begging on my part. The dolls were being saved in the drawer for the moment when Grandma would pluck them individually out, free them from a life of always blending in with the crowd and never seeing the light of day, and don on their tiny doll frames custom couture crocheted dresses that Grandma had made. The dresses represented different cultures from around the world, and Grandma would send me two new fantastically clad dolls every birthday and Christmas. I loved my display of dolls in couture custom crocheted dresses; the only caveat was that my mom told me I couldn't play with them. That really threw a wrench in my plans, since, as you will surely recall, I was not allowed to have Barbie dolls. If I couldn't play with real Barbie dolls, at least I was hoping that I could play with these same height but lesser chested designer dolls. At least that. They would not gallivant with Ken, they would only look at each other and admire each other's gowns and customs from a distance.
Y'all, come close, and I will tell you a secret. It is not wise to give a girl a doll and tell her not to play with it. I still have those dolls in a box in the garage...somewhere...I hope...I'm pretty sure. Maybe I should dust them off and display them. But then my girls would see them and want to play with them. And then I would be compelled to tell them that that they could not play with my now priceless dolls. And I don't believe in telling little girls not to play with dolls, especially when the dolls are just within reach.


Public Display of emotion

(Pre-Script: This post should be paired with the song," Closer," by Joshua Radin, so go down to the playlist, click on that song, then come back and resume reading...I'll wait...) (...still waiting...)
Remember when Tom Cruise jumped up and down and Oprah Winfrey's couch because he was so excited and in love with Kate? I thought it was a very sweet moment. Yet he was lambasted in the media for it. It made people uncomfortable; people are not always comfortable with lavish overflowing displays of emotion, and sometimes, I agree; sometimes the person expressing the lavish overflow of emotion are doing it for non earnest reasons, such as to get your attention, or your sympathy, or your money, or your last cookie. I hate people who try to play me like that. It's not straight forward. Be straightforward, dumb @$$. that's what I loved about Tom's couch jumping. he wasn't' expecting anything from me. he was just on Oprah, where she asks him that type of thing, his love life, and he was so excited he wanted to express it. Pure and genuine excitement for the woman. I did not feel manipulated in any way, and trust me, I have a good "I'm being manipulated here" meter for such things. My heart will bleed where it will, not where there is manipulation intended to invoke heart bleeding.

Untitled, from the archives

I've taken off
the clothes you gave me
and gone running
through life's sprinklers
feeling the cool wet grass
beneath my yearning toes.
I stayed outside, completely raw
for as long as the sunlight
to stay with me, and in
the the setting darkness, I
dried off in the towels
of independance
and I flung back my head
and laughed with the moon
as a thousand stars
winked back at us flirtatiously.



Monday, February 23, 2009

Melancholy Day

when the faucet drips
like the constant dripping inside
of myself
and the cold water stains
my consciousness
I reflect where you are
how I was there once
and how I left my home
beneath your skin
Melancholy Day
good for tuneless violins
the softly humming memory
of moments tasted and
the dewdrops we swallowed
one early Tuesday morning last October
when it was warm
but getting colder.



Pour a little sugar on me, baby

(Pre-script: This post is a continuation of the previous post, "Something to Lose." This post will flow best and make the most sense if you have already read that post. If you have not, I recommend you do that right now. It's just below this post. Go read it.
When you are done with that, and are ready to read THIS post, go down to the playlist and click on the song "Cornflake Girl," by Tori Amos, then come back and finally resume reading. I'll wait...) (...still waiting...)

After the birth of my 4th and final baby, when I was in a hazy blur of trying to lose the 80lbs I had gained with her as furiously fast as possible, I started eating Weight Loss Oatmeal for breakfast. It was basically instant oatmeal that was sweetened without sugar. I would eat my oatmeal, then I would go to the gym for a vigorous workout. I would endure said workout because I had a goal in mind, the perfectly perfect goal of one day ONE DAY!! Fitting into my size 2 jeans again; and I mean fitting into them in a way that looked good, not in a "Look at me, I am wearing these jeans that are sucking the life out of me because I can finally get the zipper up all the way, who cares if I can't breathe in them. They are on, and they are size 2, and that is the point."* So I ate weight loss oatmeal, and struggled and slogged my way through pain and misery morning after morning after gray, sad, arduous morning. Then one day, it occurred to me that the weight loss oatmeal was not created for people who were going to go and workout for 2 hours afterward. Weight loss oatmeal was meant for people who were going to eat it and then...not do anything active. DOH!
And with that realization, I felt so much better. Life became colorful again. Because really, how could I just abandon so quickly the very substance that has nurtured me throughout many trials in my lifetime, the very substance which has lulled me away from the slippery precipice of depression, which has sung gentle songs of hope, assuring me that life was indeed still worth living?? And here's a secret: there's nothing like a bit of sugar to fuel the best workout of your life. Don't believe everything that you hear, read, see. There is always another side to the story to consider.


*People who wear their jeans in this way might as well wear a sandwich board around their necks declaring the jean size in bold print.

Something To Lose

(Pre-script: This post pairs nicely with the song, " The Older I Get," by Skillet, Sort of like white wine and Tilapia, or pizza and rootbeer. Go down to the playlist, click on that song, then come back and resume reading. I'll wait...) (...still waiting...)

I had frosting for breakfast this morning from last night's birthday cake, which my mother and children made for my early 33rd birthday party. The cake part was dry, so I just ate the frosting off, careful not to neglect the frosting between the cake layers, as well. Who wants to waste calories on dry cake? Not me, not today. I ate the frosting while the children were not paying attention. At least they seemed too busy bumbling about, bumping into each other, and generally complaining about each other and the things they were bumping into to be paying attention. But maybe they were paying attention, did notice, and are storing it up in memory banks as one more thing to complain to their therapists about, later:
"My mother fed us cereal for breakfast while she herself ate frosting."
I imagine at this point that the therapist nods and scribbles on his or her tablet, so that the children will continue:
"Ours were the metabolisms that wouldn't quite. Our hyperactive bodies were about to be handed off to the school, to be dealt with there, and our mother would not have had to handle us again until after the sugar crash."
The therapist will continue to nod and scribble furiously.
Eventually, I imagine that the children will feel validated enough in their collective wounds to confront me, and when they do, I will say,
"Listen dear children, and I will teach you. The day will come when you will have the ability to choose for yourself the delicate balance between your waistline and your sanity. You could not properly decide that at the tender ages of 9,7,4, and 2, certainly not while you lived in my house, so I decided for you, and what I ultimately decided for you, and me, and us, was that I wanted to be able to tell the world that at least I did not feed you frosting for breakfast. At least that."
As far as the delicate balance between my own waistline and my own sanity, I chose to see the frosting as giving me extra energy to fuel a super kick @$$ morning workout. Judging by the boisterousness of my car singing, it was going to work.
"I don't ever want to feel, like I did that day, take me to the place I love, take me all the way, yeah ,yeah, yeah, yeah, love me I said yeah yeah..."
-Sentiments of the Red Hot Chili Peppers,
which sounded so good in my own deep and deeply reaching loud voice, full vibrato provided by the bumpy road we drove upon, my children's ears having no escape from the onslaught,
and then Gwen Stephani came on the radio, singing, "If I could escape, I would, but first of all let me say, I must apologize for acting stank and treating you this way, 'cause i've been actinglikeIwanttofallonthefloorandtakeoxygenshuttherefrigeratormaybethat'sthereasonI'vebeenactingso cold..." and don't forget the "WOO HOO"'s and the "YEE AH" parts of that song, and eventually she sings:"I didn't mean for you to get hurt."

"But Michelle,"
I hear my imaginary reader saying,
"Michelle, don't you think you should listen to kid songs in the car, and don't you think those songs will traumatize your children's sensibilities?"

Gentle reader, I think that some Red Hot Chili Peppers are sometimes good for the kids, especially when what they are singing is true, and it will not harm the dear darlings in any way."

"Okay Michelle, good point, but they may still be traumatised by their mother's loud singing."

"Yes, dear reader, I concede that point, they may especially be traumatised by the times in the music when their mother has to break out the motions to go along with the words."

"Yes, Michelle, I fear that, for you, and for the sake of your children, you know, their psyches, which are so tender."

"Gentle reader, I don't know what to tell you. I did sing Gwen Stefani to them, "I didn't mean for you to get hurt," and that, I think,is the truest thing I could ever sing to them, the anthem that I hope will carry them through the rest of their lives, whenever they remember me."

"Okay, Michelle, okay. So what should I do with this 'Kid's Bop' greatest hits CD I just bought you?"

"Burn it, Gentle Reader, just burn it."

And now, it seems I've got something of my own to burn on the treadmill...and it was worth it.


Friday, February 20, 2009

Bless the beasts and children...and the beasts who are children...

(Pre-script: Before reading any further, please go down to the playlist, click on the song, " Superman," by Five for Fighting, then come back and resume reading. I'll wait...) (...still waiting...)

...particularly the ones who live in my house and have the audacity to call me "Mom."

Is it too late to decide I don't want to be a mother anymore? Too late to turn in the i.d. card declaring me a "fit" mother, with the explanation that they were oh, so wrong when they issued that one to me? That I am a defective model, they just didn't see it because I smiled politely for them when they took my picture for the...i.d. card? I always smile politely for them, that's because they don't see me at home. I don't always smile like that at home. They also assumed I owned a Wonder Woman costume I could pull out anytime I needed to turn into her. Um, no, I don't. If they had read the questionnaire clearly, they would have seen that no, I do NOT have a Wonder Woman costume. I should have taken that question as a clue, that I would both need a Wonder Woman costume so that I could pretend to be her when reenacting super heroics for the daily entertainment of my children, and also because I would actually really need to become Wonder Woman on a daily basis just to manage and finagle my way through the day. It's probably also too late to get my down payment back, on, you know, my sanity.

"But Michelle," my imaginary reader is whispering,

"Yes, Gentle reader, what is it?"

"Michelle, they don't actually give you a card. "



Bigger gulp.


NO CARD?! Can't turn it in?!!

"Gentle reader, do you mean to tell me that They just let you go insane?!! "

"Yes, Michelle, that is exactly what I mean."

"WOW what a concept. "

"But Michelle,"

"Yes, gentle reader, I thought you were gone by now..."

"Michelle, not quite; I had another question."

"Okay, Gentle reader, okay, go on..."

"Michelle, what would you do if you WERE Insane?"

"Hmmm....gentle reader, you are making me think here, which is not a good thing to ask of a woman on the brink of cracking into a million pieces and losing every last ounce of sanity...yes, gentle reader, I might already be over the deep end...I might already be insane."

"Well, Michelle, if that is true, then what will you do?"

"Gentle reader, you are relentless. I guess I would...yeah, I think I will probably go buy a Wonder Woman costume.""

"Wow, Michelle, what a breakthrough."

"Yes, I will go do that right now. The peeps are between the ages of 9 and 2, which gives me ...Hey, gentle reader, it's been real, but I have to go now, so I can practice perfecting my spinning while rapidly changing clothes technique. I have approximately 9 more years to get it down. It's going to require a lot of energy and focus."

"Okay Michelle, good luck with that. XOXO!!"


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Hard Surface

(Pre-script: This post best paired with the song,"One Headlight," on the playlist...go down, click on that song, then come back and resume reading. I'll wait...) (...still waiting...)
I drive on a hard surface, asphalt,
that was poured, has dried, is black, and
I drive upon it.
When it rains, if there are oil stains on the road,
you can see a rainbow where the water and oil mix
or refuse to, I guess, as the saying goes,
There are off roads made of dirt
which have never been paved
in less developed areas,
in the mountains, the forests, for example,
I mean that those are the off roads of my life,
but there are people who live where
the dirt roads are their main roads and
poured asphalt roads are their off roads,
and when it rains, the dirt
turns to mud,
their tires might get stuck in ruts there,
and have to be pushed out
or pulled out
or waited out
or left there.
(Sometimes you just have to leave it there, tires and whatnot.)



Monday, February 16, 2009

This is (maybe not what) she wanted to be...

(Pre-script: To fully experience this post with as many of your senses as possible, you will need to go down to the playlist and click on the song," Suddenly I See," by K.T. Tunstall, before you read it. Then come back and read. I'll wait.) (...still waiting...)
If you ask me, all Esther ever wanted out of life was to be a wallflower.
Not a people liberator.
Not a confrontationalist.
Not an entire book in any book,
and especially not an entire book in the Bible.
When the Bible writers set up a stand with a sign on the front that read:
"Tell us your story, and if the Holy Spirit moves us, we will write it,and everyone for the rest of time will know who you are,"
as the line of people, like anxious puppy dogs,
(Pick me! Pick me!)
wrapped around and around the booth, I bet Esther just walked right on by, as fast as she could without looking too conspicuous, with her head down, deep inside the hood of her cape,
heart pounding,
palms sweating,
hoping no one would see her
no one would call her out of the crowd,
no one would notice,
because, ew, how embarrassing!!
and Awkward!
and yet, and YET!!
The girl had no choice in the matter.
Her life became the Soap Opera of the B.C. era, in which she was the star.
She was beautiful, desirable, chosen, and wanted.
Contrary to what is often taught,
Sometimes God uses those, too.


Sunday, February 15, 2009

Stuck between two doors in the rain

(Pre-pre-script: The song that must accompany this post is "Blackbird." Go down to the playlist and click it on before you read any further...I'll wait...) (...still waiting...)

At the end of the day,
pick up the pieces that remain;
a torn hem,
a cup handle, the yarn of doll hair,
brush the dust off your jeans,
the defeat, the collapse,
open up and
paste them together in the scrapbook of your mind...)

it was pouring when I left for the grocery store tonight.
I walked out under a black umbrella,
started the car, turned up the heat,
and then unexpectedly, Ethan ran out, front door wide behind him,
ran out barefoot in the mud, in the rain,
to the car I had just started,
crying, "I want to go with you, I want to go!"
I told him, "no," I said, "go back in the house,
stay home, you need to stay home,
and I"ll be back soon, it's just to get juice,"
so he said, standing in the rain,
"wait, take my sword"
and handed me his plastic sword painted to look metallic and dangerous ,
and then he said,
"Wait, take my guy"
and handed me his plastic Spiderman,
then he ran back to the house, and I locked the car door,
watching to make sure he got safely back in,
but just that fast, the front door was closed and locked, too,
and he was weeping now,
weeping on the front porch under the awning,
out of the rain but close to it,
I saw his face fall as he said "I locked it! It's locked!"
he ran towards the car,
not sure where to go, not sure where to fit,
two doors locked around him, and the pouring rain in between,
but then the front door opened, of course it would,
a father would let his son in,
a father who didn't know the son had gone outside in the first place,
but a son might still not expect that;
If he hadn't ever locked himself out of his own world before,
of course he would imagine the worst devastation,
in that split second it takes for two grown up parents to react,
to get their impulsive 4 year old out of the cold,
out of the wet, out of the dark,
into the warm, the light, the dry
to wait for me to return
with juice, and milk, and maybe an unexpected treat.



When all of my cracks split
me into millions of
shattered pieces,
fragile shards,
will the light
shine in, will
the rain wash out
acid rain, so bitter
chemical to taste,
burn on the tongue like a brand
all the
names of all my sorrows
names of all my childen
all the names
of all the places and ways I've
ever been;
will a prism
shine out rainbow splash
across anything I stand
in front of



Friday, February 13, 2009

Honey from the hills

(Pre-script: This post will best suit you if you read it while the song," Cornflake Girl," by Tori Amos, plays, and then listen to the song "Breathe," by Anna Nalick. I'll wait...)(...still waiting...)

I've been working on some things.
working like the worker bees buzzing away in their hive, from up on their Mountain of Prosperity, to make it a peak overflowing with honey, sweet, and full of natural pollen local to the area...
Honey from the hills of prosperity prepared by the busy buzzing worker bees, special for all of your biscuit, cornbread, tea, or other sweeten-before-consuming-needs.
because so much of life must be sweetened before consumption,
so much of life must be savored,
or smothered,
or sticky
to keep it from crumbling everywhere, to
keep the crumbles stuck to something sweet and sticky when they do fall apart,
when they do mess up your clothes,
and your fingers,
and your resolve to remain perfectly composed.
(All those things you thought I had together?
Never did.
I Never had it together, Honey.)


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The beauy of seeing things through

(Pre-script: To get the most out of this post, please read it as the song," Loving a Person," by Sara Groves, plays...go down to the playlist, click on that song, then come back and resume reading...I'll wait...) (...still waiting...)

Will you still love me if I don't space and indent my various thoughts properly? (Don't answer that, it's totally rhetorical.) This morning when I woke up I rubbed my eyes, which you are not supposed to do, because "they" always tell you, "don't rub your eyes" it leads to eye bags, permanent lines, crows feet, on that delicate thin skinned but oh so noticeable area on your face. This is a major concern for someone like me, who tends towards dry skin, anyway, so the same phenomenon that kept my teenage skin clearer than some of my teenage peers is the same phenomenon that will also likely bring the wrinkles to my face sooner than it will to my more oily skinned peers. It's like, "kid, you had your fun when you were 17...step aside, it's time for those who suffered the worst acne to have fun now." I guess it's only fair...but still, it's TOTALLY not fair. But I rubbed my eyes this morning anyway, because when I wake up in the morning, I am sometimes not thinking clearly, I am still in some foggy dream state ,usually, and my only thought is"boy that was strange," or "wow, that was vivid," or "How is it that I am able to compose symphonies in my head as I sleep?" So it was in that state of mind that I found myself rub, rub, rubbing away at my eyes, and since I was already rubbing them, I figured, what the heck, go big, while I'm at it, and when I removed my hands from my eye area, my eyes felt happy. They did not itch. They were grateful, and clearer of vision. and then I slathered on the eye cream, oh yes, I slathered good, with at least as much enthusiasm as I had enlisted in the act of rubbing. but the cream stays on, so hopefully it will have extra benefits. It should also have extra benefits because I willed extra benefit power into it, like "Eye cream, wash over a multitude of eye rubbing sins..." But now, Will you still love me if my face starts to space and indent itself, so that all of the feelings I have ever had become evident there, even when I am not currently feeling or thinking any one them? You don't have to answer that. It's totally rhetorical; don't answer that...because you will feel compelled to say "yes, of course we will." You will confidently answer that question "yes" because you'll think it's your duty to assure me, but you will not have thought the question through seriously. So I do not want you to anwer that. I will always love myself, and so will God.


P.S. And if I love myself then I will be able to love you. "Love your neighbor as yourself." assumes that you already love yourself first...the degree to which you love yourself is the degree to which you will be able to love someone else.

Monday, February 9, 2009


(Pre-script: I pulled this one out of the archives. I wrote it 11 years ago, and thought it would be fun to post today. No music required, just the poem a la carte. Enjoy.)

I would have made up my mind yesterday,
but the fly in my skull would not let me sleep,
and the itching in my brain was
the way my mother used to sing too loud
whenever she was remembering
too many things at once,
and so I stayed up, fully aware
of how comforting this blanket of darkness felt
against my throbbing consciousness.
And if I cannot make it this week,
it is because the ants in my left cheek are finally hatching,
and I could not resist the urge
to scratch and peel away
the delicate skin, like a peach,
just to watch the way they run their kingdom,
and the way this blood is able to nourish
such pathetically busy creatures,
so it is not that I have forgotten you;
(there is a scratch on my memory where you tripped twice this morning
when you were busy spinning your web.)



there is a maddening silence where

the music aches to fly,

get tangled in my thoughts

infused into my logic

caressing creativity

ricocheting off of consciousness

like lightening bugs playfully illuminating

an otherwise stark landscape.

I won't catch them in a jar,

I like them small and darting about, chasing each other,

bumping into every place my mind wanders.



Sunday, February 8, 2009

y'all, it's typical.

(Pre-Script: To fully reap the rewards the following post has to offer, you must first go down to the playlist, click on the song, "Not Your Average Girl," by India Arie, then come back here and resume reading. I'll wait.) (...still waiting...)
Today I was in the grocery store, because apparently it was the popular thing to do at 4pm on a Sunday afternoon, since the place was busting at the seams,(...but I digress...) and I saw on the cover of People magazine the picture of a fat looking Jessica Simpson with the title, "Jessica is proud of her body!!!" and under that, "Don't call her fat!" oops.
But wait,
they blast a picture of her that makes her look fat on their cover, but I can't call her fat? And really, that's what People Magazine needed to report this week? Because I really don't care how many pounds Jessica Simpson weighs. I really don't. I don't know the girl. I think anyone would look fat in that outfit, anyway...but that is beside the point. I don't think People magazine is stupid, either...
I do think they are passive aggressive, in politically correct ways that the mass population won't pick up on. "LOOK, we are going to pretend to applaud Jessica Simpson for her good attitude, so we are going to put up a picture of her in an unflattering outfit (what's with the 2 belts and super high waisted jeans, anyway??) then comment on her size, put it right out there, but tell you not to be a hater, and not to CARE about her size...if you people would stop CARING about Jessica's size, stop calling her unacceptable names, like 'fat,' then we wouldn't have to show you these pictures of her and document her every ounce gained or lost."
Um, excuse me, People Magazine, but the peeps of America didn't care about Jessica's size until you subtly-or-not-so-subtly told us that we should. The reason Jessica Simpson is on your cover is because she happens to be a naturally beautiful person. The validity of her music and movies may be up for debate, but she is a very physically beautiful person. So when Jessica gains weight, the magazine people feel better about themselves by putting it on their cover. They assume that mass America will also feel better about themselves by seeing such a cover."Look, she's more like us than she ever was. She looks less like a goddess we are intimidated by, and more like...a person we would not be quite as intimidated by."
"...But let's just pretend that's not true, so as to maintain our noble reputation. Slap some sympathetic sounding, even loving sounding, maybe, words on the face of our scorn and shame and send it to the presses. This is too good to pass up; Our ego's couldn't stand it."
And that is why they do it.
Think about it, peeps.


Saturday, February 7, 2009

Doesn't make house calls

If I could rescue you from all of it,

Then you would call me "Princess Grace."

and I would call you.

Yes, I would call you, but

Princess Grace doesn't live here

anymore with her

whatevers and stuff

(and all that stuff)

and her fancy title, and

Princess of Hearts doesn't

make house calls.

Cupid was quite accurate with his arrow

slicing the in half

down the middle, divided,

conquered and ruined and now

masking tape masquerades don't fool anyone

anymore, at least

not in this neighborhood;

we got invited and couldn't handle

responding to such an invitation so

here we are




what the heck happened.



Thursday, February 5, 2009

Where the drifts get deeper.

(Pre-Script: This post must be paired with the song, "Winter," by Tori Amos. Take special care to pick the song by Tori Amos, since there is another song on my playlist called "Winter" that is by Joshua Radin. It's another good song, but not right for this post. Please go down to the playlist, click on the correct song, then come back and resume reading. I'll wait...) (...still waiting...turtleneck required in 60 degree weather.)
It doesn't snow in the part of California where I live*.
I have little experience with extreme weather conditions.
Okay, I lied, I have NO experience with extreme weather conditions,
I have ZERO experience with ZERO degree weather, and beyond. As if beyond zero could ever exist. But it does. Which baffles me, in advanced math as in weather.
I have visited the snow, tried snowboarding, skiing, tobogganing; I don't know why, because as a rule, I try to avoid plummeting down steep inclines very fast, and as another rule, I try to avoid sitting on thin, rickety looking benches that are intended to lift me high up off the ground, but slowly, so as to draw out the torture, especially since I have no idea how to get off of that bench, at the end of the ride of terror. In other words, I try to avoid activities that remind me of my intense fear of heights, especially when combined with my intense fear of extreme weather.
Every visit I have made to the snow has only solidified and confirmed what I already suspected, which is this:
Snow is fantastic for metaphors and stories.
Not so much for real life.
In real life, snow can freeze you and burn you.
and now that I think about it, just take the word "snow" out of that last sentence, and replace it with any other word, which will also apply.

*But I always run off where the drifts get deeper, always. It's where my heart, mind, and soul live.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Idiot Savants

(Pre-script: This post will serve you best when read while the song "Bring Me To Life," by Evanescence, plays. Go down to the playlist, click on that song, then come back and resume reading. Hint: If you understand the lyrics of the song, then I'm probably not talking about you in this post. I'll wait...) (...still waiting...)
What difference does it make how brilliant you are, if you're really an idiot?
The most brilliant people I know inhabit themselves unapologetically, not in a "Look at me, I'm going for shock value" sort of way; THAT is a form of stupidity...but in a "this is who I really am" sort of way, "Even if no one understands it, it's who I'm going to be, since it's who I am." And that requires brilliance...even if that same person could never score very high on their college S.A.T.
Some of the highest S.A.T. scorers you'll ever meet in life are idiots. Oh, they can read an entire Physics textbook and instantly understand it, have photographic memory for the details of every page, then go teach a class all of their new found theorems, but they do not know how to have an original thought of their own. They do not know how to inhabit themselves. They have not grown comfortable in the space that is their own identity, or even recognize what decorates it; what makes it ornate and stunningly unique. so they hide behind their textbook answers: "E=MC squared."
"Scratching will only make it itch more."
"Don't ever have ice cream for dinner."
"If so and so said it, then it must be true."
"This is how it's always been done."
"Don't rock the boat."
So good at inhabiting a book, yet incapable of inhabiting their very own selves.

I don't care how smart a person is, if he's really an idiot.
It's okay, you can think about that when you wake up.


...When September Ends

(Pre-script: To get your money's worth out of this post, including but not limited to, more things than I have time to list here, first go down to the playlist and click on the song, " Suddenly I See," then come back and resume reading. I'll wait...) (...still waiting...)

Last night, while driving, I heard the song "Wake me up when September ends," by Greenday*. Anytime I hear that song, I am instantly, magically teleported back to September 2006, the month of my life that I was 8 months pregnant with my 4th and final baby. All I wanted to do was get through September and be in October, where I was starting to visualize the birth of the baby, the completion of a season in my life. I saw September as this great obstacle looming in front of me, taunting me, laughing at me, "you have to get through me first, you have to get through me first." and it was right. And I hated September '06 for that. If you had gained 80lbs in a single baby pregnancy, you would have hated September '06, too. I know, I know, 80 lbs, how did I do that, right? Trust me,you could, do it too, if you really applied yourself. Apparently I had no trouble applying myself; I applied myself real well. One of my tricks was to bake fresh brownies every night and eat as many as I could while they were still warm. I ate them as though they were oxygen. Yes, now that I think about it, that is the perfect description of how I ate them; like I was trying to replace them for the actual oxygen my body was missing. Because 80 lb weight gain pregnant girl here also couldn't breathe. If I would have been able to breathe, then maybe some signals would have been sent to my brain, namely the common sense ones, like "If you consume brownies like oxygen, you will end up gaining 80 lbs, and you are not going to be birthing an 80 lb baby. No one in the history of the world has ever birthed an 80 lb baby. It would be terrifying." Oxygen deprived brain didn't get the memo. Although it is also true that if oxygen deprived brain HAD gotten the memo, it would have thrown the memo out my other ear, and continued valiantly on the brownie conquering quest. Because I also needed comfort for the other ailments I was enduring, namely the loss of feeling in my fingertips, the inability to sleep laying down, the impatience of knowing that my baby was there, just on the other side of my skin, mere millimeters away, but also not quite here, and I just wanted her to hurry up and get here, already, baby..because having to wait for things is something that patient people should have to do, not impatient people. And did I mention that I couldn't breathe? Because I couldn't. Just so you know.
Occasionally and often, people would look at my pregnant self and declare that, not to worry, whatever weight I'd gained was all baby.**
Oh, really?
Well if that's true, then baby is going to have to explain why she left all of her luggage behind. After enduring the trauma of a huge epidural needle in my back that did not work, so that I was then subjected fully to the most excruciating pain of my life, so that I was yelling at everyone for release from this miserable existence, and was mentally and emotionally practically in another realm, seeing angelic visions and my life flashing before my eyes, and possibly a bright light, which could have also just been the hospital light but still, while the flesh and blood midwives around me looked at me funny and told me I was just fine, just fine, Excuse me???? After all THAT,
it took me 9 months to unload all of her luggage.
And she was worth it.
So were the brownies.

*For some reason this song always came on when I was in the grocery store...(DJ's think it's funny to do things like that, play a song with the word "September" in it often during the month of September)...and I was probably there to buy more brownie mix.

**These are not the same people who looked at me funny and asked if I was carrying multiples. These are not the same people (okay, 1 person) who said that my pregnant belly looked like a huge zit that needed to be popped. These are not the same people who (okay, I person, again.) took one look at the 3 children hovering around my pregnant belly and said that I must be crazy. Those are different stories for another day.

Monday, February 2, 2009

The knowledge of impending Ice cream.

(Pre-script: To get squeeze every tasty morsel you can from this post, you will need to first go down to the playlist, click on the song,"32 Flavors," then come back and resume reading. I'll wait.) (...still waiting...)

Come closer to the screen, I'm about to tell you a secret. How embarrassing of me. But here it is:
True confession # 327:
I am a nice person all day long because I know that at the end of the day, I am going to eat ice cream. Not only am I a nicer person all day long because of the knowledge that I carry at the forefront of my consciousness of the impending ice cream, but I also forgo a multitude of dietary disasters. The cookies that call me, yes, call me by name, sometimes by first, middle, and last name? I call back to them:"Get behind me, fresh baked cookies. I will not die on your battleground today. I will be having ice cream later. When the kids are in bed. And the house is quiet. And I can enjoy it. In the perfect over sized Starbucks mug. With the perfect undersized slightly bent on the left side spoon." (Yes, I eat it by the oversized Starbucks mugful, and I have a favorite ice cream spoon.)
"But Michelle," my imaginary reader is asking,
"What we really want to know is what kind of ice cream you prefer."
To which the only answer can be, gentle reader, that your very own favorite flavor of ice cream should do the trick.
"But Michelle,"
"Yes, gentle reader, what is it this time?"
"That's not what I asked. I specifically asked what type of ice cream YOU prefer, and I was careful to phrase it that way."
"Well, in that case, gentle reader, you are just going to have to wonder. I will not go into so personal of a detail in such a public venue."
"But Michelle,"
"Yes, gentle reader? you are quite chatty today."
"Michelle, it's not like everyone who reads your blog lives right near the stores you frequent and will rush to go buy your favorite ice cream out."
Gentle reader, it's a risk I'm willing to take.
Now let's review:
The knowledge of the impending ice cream keeps me on the straight and narrow path of dietary correctness throughout the day,
it makes me a nicer person to everyone around me. Which is a good thing, because there are a lot of people around me a lot of the time. Hint: some of them once lived inside my body. When they lived there, they each grew strong from the steady stream of ice cream being pumped at them through the umbilical chord. It was prenatal bliss at it's finest. And yes, I was a very, very nice pregnant girl.
I am convinced that I may have lost my sanity a number of times without the knowledge of impending ice cream.
Sometimes the answer really is that simple.
It's something like a mix between the wisdom of Solomon, when he said "Go eat your food with gladness, and drink your wine with a joyful heart, for it is now that God favors what you do."*
and the wisdom of Elle Woods, who said "Endorphins make you happy. Happy people don't kill people. They just don't."**
Let's eat.


*Ecclesiastes 9:7

**From the movie "Legally Blonde," starring Reese Witherspoon. One of the best movies of all time. But If I were Napoleon Dynamite, my big brother Kip would be roll his eyes at me for saying that, and would say, "Napoleon, like anyone could ever know that," which is one of the reasons Napoleon Dynamite is also one of the best movies of all time.