Monday, January 31, 2011

Day 17

Day 17 - A picture of your biggest insecurity.

Oddly enough, I was discussing this just this weekend. Not that I sit around cocktail parties and lay my insecurities out on the table like cheap booze, but we were talking about a topic that fits into this category: how much freedom you give your kid.

I worry about this. I don't know if it qualifies as an insecurity, but more like a well-worn worry.

When I was a kid (ahh--the phrase that sends teenagers into perpetual eye-rolls) we did some crazy shit. OK, not crazy, but it's not stuff I think I'd let my kid do. I mean, we would hop on our bikes, ride a few MILES across town, past the pedophile's house (luckily we knew which one) to the good park. The one with a lake. And ducks. And grass--unlike the crappy park just a few blocks away that only had one tree, no real grass and a sad set of monkey bars that even monkeys wouldn't climb (no monkeys were ever spied there, and we would not have missed them). Not to mention the roving gang of bullies who were set upon terrorizing even the smallest of sandbox users. All of this before cell-phones. Before anything. I would just call my mom (she was a working single mom) and tell her where we were heading (OK, I would ASK. I wasn't a complete tyrant). And we'd return in time for supper. Occasionally we spoke to strangers. We rode our bikes without helmets. We outran dogs. And we were happy as all get-out...and our hair remained as we intended it, rather than sporting a post-bike coif that would be a pitiful combination of the hairstyles of one-to-three Stooges.

Of course this deserves a disclaimer. I grew up in a small Indiana town. I recognize that kids who grew up at the same time in big cities may not have had this freedom. But they still had more than our kids will.

Even if Ben WAS a neurotypical child, I don't know that I would be able to just let him "go to the park" and trust he would be back in an hour. Or to just let him ride off on his bike, as long as he was in "shouting range" which was my range as a kid (lucky for me my mom had a big voice that allowed for a multi-block radius within which i was free to wreak havoc).

Of course, that's a moot point, since Ben is NOT neurotypical. He really has a poor sense of danger (he has a little--which puts me in the slightly lucky category of Autism moms). I mean, he can take a tumble and protect his head like a natural, but he's got no idea about staying out of the street. And he won't bolt much anymore, but he will wander if not being given the stink-eye. So, I let him ride his trike without a helmet (go ahead, gasp and call child protection, I'll wait) but I think that may be the extent of his living dangerously. He will never have even a modicum of the freedom I had as a kid. And I worry that I will be depriving him of some of the vital life lessons learned beyond the gaze of the parental eye, such as:

1) Geese are mean. I mean MEAN. One should never try to feed ducks stale bread if geese are around. Unless you wanna get pecked. Some of my worst childhood injuries were during escapes from geese. And some of my most colorful pre-teen language, as well.
2) When you are the oldest in a group, you have to watch out for others. Which is a cool way to play grown-up, but it really cuts into playtime. It's really the best way to teach responsibility and the earliest form of birth control.
3) Penny candy is easily stolen from a local store, especially if there are a bunch of you. But it's gotta be a team effort, and you have to watch out for other store employees--especially the stink-eye kind. You know the ones: they sneer when you walk into the store in the first place. As if the store's owner doesn't want me to drop by and pay a 40-cent markup on a Zagnut™.
4) Some things are best left untold to parents. Secrets are the beginning of developing a sense of self, and is the one child lesson that scares parents the most.
5) When adults are drinking and carousing, this is a good time to sneak things--just stay out of sight and earshot.
6) While it's good to be free of the fetters of nosy parents, coming home to a hot meal is also good. For some kids, this lesson sticks until you have to force them to get a job and move out of the basement.

So, aside from putting a chip in his neck like the dog, or putting a GPS tracker in his shoes, I will have to develop a way to help Ben learn these lessons without turning him completely loose on the rough-and-tumble streets of Studio City. And honestly, I am not sure the Studio City can handle this much awesome.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Day 16 - A picture of someone you've been friends with the longest and still feel connected to.

We moved to CA when I was 14. Not awkward at all. I had a large collection of preppy clothing and an accent that spawned memories of Deliverance. *cue banjo*

I'm not a natural friend-maker. I am cautious and shy around new people. My Chinese horoscope is year of the Dog--and that's kinda how I approach a new situation--hackles up, growling, but without the need to sniff crotches, thank you.

So, needless to say (why do we say that, if its needless?) it was difficult for this awkward Indiana teen to make new friends in this fast CA culture.

But, since I don't have leprosy or any noticeable tics, I was able to make a friend or two from similar classes. Primarily Band. yes, Band. I was lucky enough to learn music back in the sticks, and its hard to be anti social in band (lord knows I tried). Anywho, I made a few acquaintances in my section (yes, the flute section. Insert your American Pie jokes here, and then get over it) but one seemed to stick by me. She was a short little Asian girl, whose fashion sense wasn't much above my midwestern style. We both had big glasses, long hair, and a shy (but snarky) demeanor. I can't say there was a definitive moment that made us say we are BFFs--but one day we realized we were. And have been ever since.

we've been through the typical, friend stuff--she adopted my mom at one point (because hers is definitively crazy), we both dated the same guy (not at the same time), we went to the mall a lot, and spend tremendous amounts of time in the bandroom or under the band tree (which was sadly uprooted years ago). We developed nicknames for one another from a novel we read, calling one another Stick(me) and Stump(her)--both parts of the same tree, if you will. We may have had moments where we didn't speak for long period of time (she did go to college in Hawaii, so that put a damper on chit-chat), but upon any meeting, its as if we were never apart. We have been comfortable together from the start--either in conversation or silence.

She currently lives in OH, while I am here in CA. We are both married, and she is my son's adopted Auntie. My glasses got noticeably smaller while she embraced contact lenses. She's a middle of the road gal, and i am rabidly liberal. She likes cheesecake. I like cheesecake. Cream cheese has the unusual ablility to bind people together--and not just physically. She is family. And if I ever need help hiding a body, I know her first response would be, do you want me to dig or wipe up prints?

Saturday, January 29, 2011

It's definitely award season...

So, here in Lovely Los Angeles, this time of year is known as "award season" where miles of red carpet are laid, gallons of champagne poured, thousands of dresses re rented, bought, ruined & returned, and the local actor/waitress crowds get a few more catering gigs to put on their headshot.

Well, it seems Award Season has graced us here in the blogosphere as well.

I was given this beautiful award by the equally beautiful (if beautiful means had work done) and talented (if talented=drunk) Jill at Yeah. Good Times. She has such an amazing ability to make fun of undeserving people, with a twist of lime, and make it feel like it isn't really you she's making fun of--just your sweater. And those shoes. She is my twin in this, and all things, and our love and friendship will no doubt stand the test of time--if the test of time means having to talk to one another when the vodka bottle is empty. And gosh, what a privilege and honor to receive such a prestigious, and cherished award from such amazing people (if people=heroin addicts). I would like to thank not only Jillsmo, once she stops bogarting the rum bottle, but the hundreds of other mommy bloggers who work tirelessly at making sure their blog posts after mine on Twitter so that my feed gets lost in the shuffle. I'd also like to thank Dale over at wardrobe for making sure that the only items available in my closet are sweatpants and old tees with liquor ads on them. That really impresses the Education team during an IEP. And finally, ... *bites lip* I promised myself i wouldn't do this... finally, i'd like to thank Autism itself--yes, i'm talking to you boo--for giving me that fateful cockpunch--even more remarkable given my gender--that allowed me to write such snarky vitriol and have other laugh at it. Or me. I'm never really sure...

Now, since the Oscars have not yet reared their ugly golden heads, it wouldn't be right to end it right here. So here are my three nominees for awesome Mommy bloggers

1)Apples & Autobots--because she nailed me with one of these last week
2)Big Daddy at Big Daddy Autism because i am still a little unsure about his gender based on his cartoon depictions
3) Jodi at the Mean Mom, because one day she IS going to read my blog and feel guilty that she ignored me.

Thank You. Thank you all. You're all beautiful. You're all...wait. Is that music? Are you playing me off. You cheap bastar.... *wild gesticulating*

Day 15

Day 15 - A picture of something you want to do before you die.

Yeah--I don't really think like this. I've never been a fan of bucket lists or anything like that. They just seem so final. Like, once you do it, then what? Lay down and die? Hey, it's been great. Climbing Everest was fun, but now I've got nothing to do…

Not that I want to climb anything like that. Or even be in a situation that is a) cold and b) lacking in oxygen. Not to mention c) uses yak milk for purposes that are best left unexplained. Besides, I have a fabulous bro-in-law who does that sort of thing regularly, through whom I can live vicariously. It turns out that first-hand, graphically-told tales of snot icicles are close enough to feed my wanderlust sufficiently, thank you.

Now, this isn't to say my main goal is to sit at home watching re-runs of True Blood (as tempting as it may sound). I'm just not one to make some sort of list to determine who I am.

A little back tracking perhaps: Autism has changed a lot of this. Once Ben was diagnosed--and even before--I had to learn to live in the NOW. And I'm not just talking some sort of Zen spiritualism. I mean, (and some of you mommies know what I'm getting at here) I can really only live TODAY, and maybe have a few ideas for tomorrow and the subsequent week. But those ideas MUST be transient, and open to change at a moment's notice. You do not know when a meltdown will occur. You do not know when your child will suddenly be afraid of t-shirts or the mailman. You have no warning that one day he will stop eating his favorite (and only) food, and then cry for some other food that you don't even have in the house and is only described verbally as "Wheenutch! WHEENUTCH!" For those of you scoring along at home, "wheenutch" remains undefined, although we suspect it might be located in the ethnic food aisle.

Living in The NOW trains you to be on your toes, and to really only worry about what's going on at this moment.

Oh, sure. In the back of my mind, when he's down for his nap, I like to envision Ben graduating High school, going on to college, being a major contributor to the Hadron Collider, or some such Nobel-worthy activity--just like any parent. But I am really--and I'm not just blowing smoke here--REALLY open to whatever the future brings. If he gains the skills to get him through school and further, awesome. If he finds that being around other people makes him break out in hives, OK. If he wants to sell Fuller brushes door-to-door, I'll get him a new suit. If he wants to be an disheveled slacker and hang out on my couch, I will teach him to knit Jamaican headwear to sell to his friends and hope whatever young, vulnerable actress he is dating will suddenly land a role on some unwatchable Teen Disney sitcom that goes into syndication despite the cast being led by Bernie Kopell. My job is to support him, in whatever capacity he needs, so that he can grow to the best ability of which he is capable.

It's actually been quite liberating, this NOW-thinking. And also stressful. And sorta Buddhist.

Now, that isn't to say I don't have an Autism bucket list. We all do--even if we don’t' admit it openly…

1) Potty training. You've seen me bitch about it enough. When will ABA start and when can I stop washing pull-ups? (We use cloth at home.)
2) Conversations. I am hoping one day I will be able to have an actual conversation with my kid--even if it's about a bug or proton particles--as long as there is a coherent back-and-forth that doesn't seem like I am trying to extract blood from the proverbial Rock.
3) I would like to stop being defensively jumpy at any and all playdates/playground activities/ or anything involving other children. Trying to explain the concept of "yours" and "mine" and "sharing" to him usually involve a great deal of "alcohol" on mommy's part, and my kid is…ahem…physical. His idea of a good time is clothes-lining other kids. So we have to be ready to spring into action should Ben decide to take a running lunge at another child in a violent half-hug of a hello, so that we can intervene or reprimand-reinstruct before Muffy McHovermom says something ignorantly inappropriate enough to make me clench my teeth and squint my eyes.
4) I'd love to travel more with him, to take him to places where he can get his learn on, or support what he is already learning in school. I mean, I totally fantasize about the year he learns about the pilgrims and Puritans, so that I can drag the clan to Salem, Mass. and study colonial witchy happenings with the poor saps who re-enact the psychedelic trips those folks were having. And don't even get me started on CA history…

And really, that's all I've got. I don't have any kind of "I hope he becomes the next Gaugin" or "Einstein's got nothin' on this guy". Yeah, that might be nice, but I've got today to worry about, and whether or not he's up for a hike in Griffith Park, or if he wants to watch Daddy play Mario cart. And the back-up plan involving both and a couple peanut butter sandwiches and a trip to playland at the mall. And afternoon margaritas. What is a back-up plan without margaritas? It may not be planning an expedition to Everest, but it'll do for now...

Friday, January 28, 2011

Day 14

Day 14 - A picture of your favorite pastime.

I know that you might find it hard to believe, but I actually enjoy hobbies OTHER than therapy research, determining behavior antecedents, and other fun Autism-related activities. There are actually moments that I can get to myself and do the things I love to do--things that do NOT involve the word "potty" or nursery rhymes, or anything to do with Thomas the train engine. (seriously, is anyone else creeped out by that train?)

For those of you who don't know me, I'm a crafty gal--and not in Beastie Boy terms. Having spent a majority of my childhood in Indiana--home of the winters of oblivion--and comign from a long line of crafty gals, I enjoy plying needle to thread, glue to paper and paint to wood, or any combination of those things.

I learned to sew when I was a teenager--which was a little late in Indiana terms. But the skills taught to me by my lovely home-ec teacher, and fortified by my mother and grandmother have stuck with me. And I'm not just talking sewing on a button or hemming pants here. I'm talking full construction, pattern-making, quilting--if it has to do with fabric, I'm on it.

My mother can tell you I wanted to be a fashion designer early on. She encouraged me and my love for fashion, but she was really the only one. I was faced with a great deal of pragmatism when I told other adults what I wanted to do. That, and I couldn't draw for crap--not that I ever learned figure drawing formally. So, I listened to the nay-sayers--my fault really--and went into education.

Now, before you say," but you shoulda…," you have to also understand that I was (am!) a jill of many talents. I also read like a fiend, and write tolerably well. And I have a head for memorizing all sorts of crap, so while fashion fed my creative side, I did have a side that liked the thought of being a teacher. I mean, lord knows I like to drone on and on about inane crap sometime…

So, career choices aside, I can tell you that craftiness never really left me, and I now have a whole basement-type room (basements don't exist in CA) that is dedicated to my creations. I only get to go down there when Ben is either at school or taking a nap, since he hasn't really grasped the concept of danger, per se, and lord knows I don’t want to have to rush him to the ER for an iron burn. It's also the place in this house that is MINE, just for me, with my sewing machines and fancy scissors, where I can listen to my crappy music and not have to clean up after anyone with testosterone. It's a quiet and thoughtful place, and I often get lost in my thoughts or designs when I'm down there. (ask my husband who has learned to sing a little tune loudly before he comes in so that he stops startling me!)

That being said, I hope that one day Ben will be able to hang out in my studio like I would hang out in my Grandmother's sewing room. (under the table and out of the way, mind) And I hope that he develops some of the crafty gene. I suppose there is that side of me that hopes he develops some sort of sick visualizing skills that will make him a genius artist (even though it seems he is turning out to be more of a number kid). If anything, I hope my studio will be a place where he learns at least the joys of creation, even if it is just glue and glitter--which I still consider vital parts of a child's development.

And of course, I've included a picture of my best work yet--my own wedding dress. It was a joint effort between me and my mother, but still, there aren't many who can say they made their own wedding dress, so I hope you'll allow me some vanity on that point. Or at the very least, acknowledge that I'm not talkin out of my ass…

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Day 13

Day 13 - A picture of your favorite band or artist.

I was telling my husband that I was a little nervous about this entry. I mean, admitting that Sting is my favorite artist pretty much does away with what little rock-n-roll street cred I might have been clinging to. I mean, he's a bloody wanker! He's a snooty, self-righteous, tantric yoga practicing, castle-owning, ancient mandolin playing tosser! And g-d help me, I love him.

I started paying attention to music--I mean PAYING ATTENTION, when I was in my teens/preteens. And I suppose I am lucky enough to have been a teen during the height of the Police. Lord knows if I had started paying attention a few years later, my favorite artist might have been Terence Trent D'Arby (shudder). I remember the first concert I stayed up to listen to on the radio was a Police concert. I remember I was trying to record it on my piece of crap radio, but it had to be at a certain volume to work, and I remember my mom coming to my room to tell me to turn it down. (and so it began) Even now, when I listen to the Police, I get this fuzzy spot in my chest--not just nostalgia, but it's almost time travel. I am transported back to my old room, painfully outgrowing the frilly yellow bedspread and the collection of dolls, and recognizing the soundtrack of my soul.

I should point out that the early part of my youth was spent in southern Indiana--not exactly a hotbed of rock-n-roll. I was lucky to get out liking the Police. I mean, it could have been Hank Williams Jr.

I should also point out I was raised in a household that had a heavy James Taylor/Carly Simon influence. And Lord knows the rise of Lionel Richie was not ignored in that house, either.

You see what I'm getting at? Divine intervention played a part in my liking something unlike the music that surrounded me. I was meant to be a fan of Sting and the Police--he was the first artist that was truly MINE--different from the world around me, and the influences that were trying to shape me.

Even when we moved out to California when I was 14, and I was introduced to Oingo Boingo and Depeche Mode, I knew I was a poser in liking them. Don't get me wrong--I liked them, and still do--but I was bound to like them as I tried DESPERATELY to fit in to this newer, faster culture. I was trying so hard to make friends and lose the accent that made others judge me so quickly. Embracing Boingo and the Cure was my ticket into a world that would take years for me to understand. And I never really felt like I fit in (as is a teenager's dilemma). So, it should come as no surprise that I clung to Sting and the Police as the one thing that was solid in my transitory life.

And throughout all my life, he has been that--with or without Andy Summers and Stewart Copeland. All throughout the painful 80's, when he went solo and wrote weird jazzy stuff. I remember how poignant "Russians" was--although to hear it now, it seems so simplistic and dumb (kind of like the actual Cold War, no?) And I still have a soft spot for "Fortress Around Your Heart"--remember I was a teenager, full of angst and despair. I dug a lot of his 90's stuff--again because it spoke to some inside part of me that was warm and witty, albeit languishing. Lately, I can't say I dig much of his new stuff--I mean there's nothing there that creates that fuzzy spot--but I can respect him as a musician. he uses some trippy time signatures, and his knowledge of old instruments, while still on the wanker side, is pretty impressive.

And we can't ignore his role of Fayd in the so-bad-its-amazingly-good Dune.

I suppose it would have been easier to discuss my love of Dave Matthew's Band (who was a close second) or even my respect for Ella Fitzgerald or Miles Davis, which would at least have garnered me some props from the Jazzy crowd. But no. Imma stand by my love for Sting. Yeah, he's got some stinkers, and I know I'm not the only one who'd love to smack that self-righteous yoga smirk off his face, but amidst all that are some songs that have become my internal soundtrack. They mark those moments in my life when I learned vital life lessons, big or small. So I'll stand up and say I love this wanker, even if that makes me one too.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Day 12

Day 12 - A picture of something you love.

Well, this is where, I suppose I write about my first baby, Mantequilla. No, it's not a love affair with butter--which I do have--but a love affair with the little butterball that crawled under my leg and into our lives 7 years ago.

(here's your cue to say "AWWWWWWWWWW")

This is our little Manny. Pure bred chihuahua, currently over 7 lbs. Neutered. Fussy. Pampered, if you will. He has a strenuous schedule of napping, barking at nothing (or possible Al Quaida activity in our neighborhood--we're not sure), napping, begging for food, and puddle-making--inside and out. I picked him out from a breeder out in the middle of NOWHERE (She also bred King Charles Springer spaniels, so I suppose you need a house without neighbors if you're gonna breed yappy dogs) He was one of two males she had--the other with a BEAUTIFUL brindle coat and absolutely no personality, and this little man, who crawled right under my leg as if it was the best place in the world. Yup--he chose me, and has been my shadow ever since.

Now, for 3 years he was the pampered prince of this house, and when we took vacations, I yearned for him so. He was my little furball. And then, the birth of Benjamin.


Unfortunately for him, Manny became #4 in the house after Ben was born, and he had a bit of a tough time adjusting to his new position. But as the baby craziness settles down, so did he. And once Ben was eating solid food, well, he found his gravy train. (and added a little more junk to his trunk). They occasionally play together, Manny & Ben, but mostly Manny is hiding away, tucked into his blankets, keeping up with that rigorous sleeping schedule to which he adheres himself. He's getting up there in dog years. He's a little greyer around the snout, has a little trouble jumping from time to time, and makes a lot of snore-y, gruffeldy noises when he sleeps. But we love our old man--all of us do.

So here's to you, puddle-master. You keep warning us about possible Al Quaida attacks, and we'll keep giving Ben food he can drop on the ground.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Day 11

Day 11 - A picture of something you hate.

I don't get it really. I don't understand that line of thought that allows you to go from personal thought to forcing others to believe as you do. I don't get trying to bend people to your will, all in the name of a thought.

To discuss my frustration with these sorts of people, I should take you back to my senior seminar for Religious Studies. You know--the class you have to take to prove to your professors that you deserve that piece of paper that says you are an expert. Or at least a blathering know-it-all. Now, for many other majors, this class usually involves the writing of a thesis and following it up with months of mind numbing library time where you research every little thing about what it is you have to say, footnoted, spellchecked and hopefully coherent. A worthwhile endeavor to be sure--and having done it for my history degree, I'd willingly do it again. But I would not--REPEAT--WOULD NOT repeat my RS senior seminar. It was the most difficult semester of my college life--and that includes student teaching and the semester I had to take Japanese History with the most incoherent professor who ever drank sake.

My professor for this seminar, Dr. Harry Wells, was (is!) a smart M-f'er. I spent many an hour in his office--also babysitting his kids and house-sitting for him when he was out of town. He is a Buddhist, and I was a rabid Jew (at the time) and we spent many an hour discussing concepts of self, non-self, illusion and religious time. I also got to know Harry because he was my spinning teacher as well--not the bicycle class, but actual spinning of fibers into yarn. It's not a skill I've indulged in for some time, but it is a skill I am proud to know. And Harry was one hell of a teacher--in the truest sense of the word. Lots of professors at university are usually just smart folk who do well pontificating over their own ideas--but very few of them are really good teachers. Very few truly inspire you to think new thoughts, challenge your core beliefs, and learn to define who you are. Harry, among a few others, was just that kind of teacher.

Anywho--he was also the leader of the senior seminar the semester I took it. And he challenged every concept I had of myself. With the simplest of assignments: spend the semester dialoguing with someone you consider to be your "other"

I took it seriously, and began a dialogue with the local Baptist minister--and I'm not talking some soft-spoken dude with a nice suit and a sweet smile. I'm talking angry, Jew-hating, (well, everyone-not-Baptist hating, really)passionate Jesus loving, lighthouse collector. Yeah--the kind you'd find being sold on QVC, the kind that make you think, does someone actually BUY those? Yeah--this guy and his congregation do. Religiously.

As to the dialogue, some of you might say, well, that sounds like my kind of fight--bring it! But THAT isn't dialogue. During this semester, we were also receiving instruction from Harry as to the true nature of dialogue: to truly LISTEN, to HEAR, to ACCEPT, which leads to further tolerance and respect. To take the chance that your other might change your mind, that they might be right. Did you read that last part? It's harder than you think. Most of us step into an argument ready to defend our own ideas even if they are ridiculous. It is a much different beast to actually--I mean REALLY accept that your idea might be wrong for you.

Now, I should state that during this experiment, I was pretty serious about my own religion. I was going to a radical Temple, I was keeping kosher, I davened daily. And this man sat at his desk and told me to my face that I was bound for hell, that my prayers were to the devil--in whom he knew I didn't even believe--and that until I repented for my evil ways and accepted this hateful Jesus to whom he constantly referred, my life would be nothing but suffering and a waste of space.

WEEKLY, folks.

And I was supposed to open my heart to this discussion, to take that chance in believing he might be right, and to also show him respect, even though he did NONE of that for me?

I also started the free campus therapy at the psych. center that semester.

But taking my senior thesis seriously, I worked and I worked at this, I LISTENED and I HEARD. I did my very best to ACCEPT the honesty of what he said--that I understood it was a vital truth for him, but I will admit I never did respect it. I just couldn't. It was so hateful. And I thought that in all the time I spent in this dialogue, through all the frustrated journal keeping that Harry forced us to do, through all the moments of doubt that I would exit this thing SANE, I never thought anything so hateful about him. Oh, sure, there was some name calling on my part--in my journal of course, never to his face. I was raised better. But I never for once thought that he was , or SHOULD suffer through his life for the hateful things he thought, and I could never get past the fact that he did think those things about me.

Turns out, the semester made me a stronger person, a more tolerant person, and a new Jew. I actually stopped keeping kosher and I davened a little less. I got knocked off my religious "high horse" if you will, and began to find the beauty in all faiths, including atheism. I worked on accepting all. I opened up my heart to the universe and my path decidedly changed--well, veered off in a different direction, if you will.

I also got an "A" in my seminar. (and a newfound respect from my peers who didn't have nearly as challenging an "other" as I did)

But with the new vision, the new tolerance, the new acceptance with which I work to use daily in my life, I just can't figure these Westboro folks out. I don't understand this kind of hate. Even in his worst diatribes was Pastor Angry McBaptist this hateful to me. If I was showing any pain over an issue, he did take a moment to try and offer comfort, in his own way. So, I don't understand the need to stand up and say if you're not with us, you're a piece of filth. I don't understand why they feel it is right to hurt those who grieve.

I'm a firm believer in free speech and freedom of religion (obviously). I respect their right to protest--and that freedoms are not necessarily pretty, but important nonetheless. I see them and think: what must be missing in their lives that they have to terrorize others?

But my disbelief isn't just for Westboro. I don’t understand the anti-muslim hate in this country. I don't understand the supposedly "Christian" rhetoric over those who are not Christian. I don’t understand how a child could be raised to hate, so vehemently, another child who has done NOTHING. I just don't understand--and yes, sometimes it keeps me up at night. I have to raise my son in this world, among these people, and I have to try to explain to him how all humans deserve at least a modicum of respect, even when they spew this filth.

This is what I hate. That one day I will have to explain to my son that the world is not as beautiful as it is to him right now.

I realize this entry isn't as snarky and funny as previous entries, and I promise, tomorrow will harken the return of said snarkiness. But today is today, and imma take a moment to contemplate these fuck-ups, and other jerks like them, and figure out how thinking about them can make me a better person. Otherwise, they win. And I CANNOT accept that.

And maybe have a beer to two--you know, to help the thinking...

Monday, January 24, 2011

Day 10

Day 10 - A picture of someone you see yourself marrying in the future.

Well, as I've already crossed that bridge, I suppose this should be a love-fest about the hairball I married.

I should start by saying I never figured I would marry. I mean, I'm a handful. And I figured there just wasn't a dude out there that a) could handle or tolerate all my shit or b) would interest me longer than a month. I figured I'd become this Dorothy Parker character with a few dogs, a drinking problem and a smart mouth.

The night I met him, I had sworn off men. Ok--backtrack: sworn off relationships. I had been sprung on some jackass who kept me waiting by the phone for the call he never made--and he wasn't the first one--so I had a long chat with myself, and prepared myself for my Algonquin Round Table future.

So imagine my surprise when I laid eyes on this fuzzy beast wearing a velour shirt in the crappy dive bar (complete with Thai whores--NOT kidding--and accessible pool table) and told my friend, "I'm gonna marry that guy." My friend swiftly bought me a drink because he thought I was possessed by demons or at least, sobriety. But I knew it, down to my toes that I would spend the rest of my life with this guy--big shoulders, fuzzy face, velour shirt and all.

He started the night by sassin' me, and the rest of the evening, including the strip club and subsequent bar-hopping is frankly not worth reporting upon (for fear of legal repercussions and in respect of the delicate sensibilities of my readers) other than we seemed to get along swell, and he asked me out for a real date later.

That first date was at Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles--which should tell you everything you need to know.

This man, the father of my child, the Alpha Male of this house, and the mixer of strong cocktails, has made me laugh every day of our marriage--and most of the ones before. He lets me freak out over silly shit without judgement, (at least that I don't see, eh?), pampers me when he can, celebrates my triumphs and gives me that meaty shoulder to cry on when necessary. He is the traditional provider to my not-so-traditional housewife. He is an awesome dad who takes over the night shift when he gets home so that I can take five minutes (or 50) to frickin' catch my breath over a glass of wine. He accepts Ben for who he is, trying to make his day easier when it's frustrating, fun when it's boring, and calm when too much is going on. And he will, from time to time, load the dishwasher when I'm not looking. ;)

so here's to you, my unga-bunga man with your fruity girly drinks and your baseball obsession. You can continue to say inappropriate things to me until I'm dead.

And btw--the dishes in the dishwasher are clean…


You like me. You really, REALLY like me, kinda.

So I've finally received one of the fantastic awards that float around the blog-o-sphere that make us realize people other than our family actually read the shit--er, stuff that we write. wow. I don't know what to say. I didn't prepare a speech.

This auspicious award was created by jillsmo over at Yeah. Good Times. If you read her blog, you might think we're related. I think we just drink the same liquor in similar qualities. This stunningly beautiful and creative reward was bestowed upon me by Apples & Autobots, who no doubt spends her time trying to figure out ways to shame others into participating.

Here are the rules: (you'll have to pardon the foul language. Jillsmo must have been channeling my inner demons when she created this)

1. You must proudly display the absolutely disgusting graphic that I have created for these purposes (put it in your post, you don't have to put it in your sidebar, I think that would seriously be asking too much). It's so bad that not only did I use COMIC SANS, but there's even a little fucking jumping, celebrating kitten down there at the bottom.It's horrifying! But its presence in your award celebration is crucial to the memetastic process we're creating here. If you need a higher resolution version... I totally have one!!

2. You must list 5 things about yourself, and 4 of them must be bold-faced lies. Just make some shit up, we'll never know; one of them has to be true, though. Of course, nobody will ever know the difference, so we're just on the honor system here. I trust you. Except for the 4 that you lied about, you lying bastards! But don't go crazy trying to think of stuff, you'll see by the example I've set below that we're not really interested in quality here.

3. You must pass this award on to 5 bloggers that you either like or don't like or don't really have much of an opinion about. I don't care who you pick, and nobody needs to know why. I mean, you can give a reason if you want, but I don't really care.

4. If you fail to follow any of the above rules, I will fucking hunt your ass down and harass you incessantly until you either block me on Twitter or ban my IP address from visiting your blog. I don't know if you can actually do that last thing, but I will become so annoying to you that you will actually go out and hire an IT professional to train you on how to ban IP addresses just so that I'll leave you alone. I'm serious. I'm going to do these things. Starting with the 5 of you I'm about to pass this award on to.

So, in an effort to be a team player, or at least indulge in some sort of role playing fantasy where people actually listen to me and are amused by what i write:

1. As a child i had a dog, a hamster, a parakeet, 20 fish (not all at once), two cats and a rabbit. They're all dead. And i'd rather not talk about it. OR the various piles of dirt in the back yard.

2. In college, i had a 7am fencing class for which i showed up 40% of the time (sober) and i still passed.

3. I have a lovely rose garden out back full of champion roses that i tend with great care and delicacy. I've won myriad awards at the county fair.

4. I love broccoli.

5. I brew my own beer and mead.

Now to pass on this presitgious award to someone worthy: (hah hah! *rubs her hands together*)

1. Debi at Hunter's Lyonesse (because she is my BFF--awwww)
2. Chase at Chaseblogger
3. The Frustrated Teacher
4. Laura at Preoccupied
5. Jodi at the Mean Mom--not that she actually READS my blog or even knows i exist.

it's on bitches.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Day 09

Day 09 - A picture of the person who has gotten you through the most.

I suppose the intent of this day's entry to is to write some sappy crap about your BFF and how much she helped you get over Tommy, who decided that a cheerleader had a better chance of putting out than the weird theater/goth/vampire you've decided to become. And while we'd all love to take a few minutes out of our day and read THAT, you'll forgive me if I choose to be a bit more…irreverent for this post.

Yes, I could write about the travails of my single mother working two jobs to make sure I was fed, clothed and not tempted by the stripper pole--but I already posted about her. Or I could write about my own BFF who I've known since 9th grade--bad glasses and all--but that post is coming later. Same for the post about my old man. I have yet to find a possible post about the dog, but I'm not sure he's in the top list here. So instead of some sort of Walton sentimentality about how wonderful these people are in my life and how I'd be lost without their love and support, I thought I'd honor the one man who has really supported me all these years, without question or fail, through all of the changes I've demanded in our relationship, including the times I've turned away from him. He's there every day, quiet and strong--like a sentinel for my own sanity.

I am speaking of course about Juan Valdez.

I was introduced to Juan and his delicious elixir in high school--as many of us are. But frankly I was unimpressed with his boldness, and the fact that EVERYONE was into him at the time. Ever the one to buck current fads, I ignored him through high school. But he knew I was there. He was watching.

Then, in my jr. college, heavy binge drinking, christ I have to get up and go to work at 7-11 days, he and I became very good friends. It was lucky for me that I was working in a place where I not only had to bring Juan to the masses, but I was allowed to drink his magical elixir FOR FREE. With all the frou-frou creamers one might imagine. (although even then, I must say it wasn't my bag--then and now I drink it straight with a little cream, no sugar, no crap. And forget that flavored stuff--UGH) Indeed, this relationship was promoted most vehemently by my employers--that I might maintain my own sparkling 7-11 cashier personality--but also the ensure that the coffee was fresh (if we were drinkin' it, we would know, eh?) I was Juan's embassador to cops, contractors, hungover folk and people just lookin' for a moment to catch their breath and enjoy the neon splendor that is 7-11.

Then it was off to real college in Humboldt county. You might read that and think--ah hah! you turned from him then, to make friends with Mary Jane. But you would be wrong. Oh, I knew her, and partied with her from time to time, but she was not the constant companion that Juan turned out to be. Not only drinking his concoction before, during and after class, but I was again blessed with a job that served and promoted this magical brew. Not a barista (THANK GOD)--no, I worked in a local art-house theater where I was responsible for the movie-time weekly recordings, the sweeping of dropped popcorn and the enchanting shelf display of Jujubes. Working late into the evening, only to get up again for The Religions of China (a fave) or Forestry 101--(thank GOD for the splendor of general ed requirements) Juan was a solid friend to helped me to achieve my dream of having not one, but two bachelor degrees and a teaching credential that I am obviously using to my full advantage as a SAHM during what is now 12.4% unemployment in CA. Seriously, is ANYONE hiring?

The next stage of my life: Teaching. South Los Angeles. Long Commute. Stress. Continued Barfly activities. Enough said.

And now, teaching career aside, child born and growing, Autism dx established and accepted, Juan still sits at my right hand, ready to steady me as I read through miles of paperwork, fold gallons of laundry, blow countless bubbles and greet this early bird child each morning @6am. Oh, my doctor warned me--I need to send Juan packing if I would like to feel less anxious and more "normal", and lord knows I have weakened him considerably. I even gave him up for a time, until I decided my doctor was a quack, and that I needed some form of stimulant in the morning, or someone was going to get shot--and my doctor was first on my list. Ok, second, but still.

So, thank you Juan. Not only did you almost single handedly get me through college, but you've assisted in enlivening mind-numbing IEPs, early morning (and I mean EARLY) episodes of Barney and that paste-eater Caillou, and you've allowed me to at least stay up late enough to have an adult conversation with my husband that did not involve the words "potty" or "snacky-snack." You've been the backbone to my snarkiness all these years, and I am grateful to your calm voice when it comes to the thoughts of homicide I have for others. Thank you, my friend. Without you, I might be doing 20 to life. Or at least still working at that damned 7-11.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Day 08

Day 08 - A picture that makes you laugh.

so this one allowed me a few chuckles this morning. i LOVE the whole awkward family photo genre--and have been known to collapse from laughing so much at these wonders of nature. If you doubt me, check out this website, and get your giggle on.

I couldn't find my absolute favorite--one i had seen years ago but that stuck with me like a bad nightmare after a night of jager shots. But this one is pretty close. Enjoy.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Day 07

Day 07 - A picture that shows your true self.

Hmmmm. True Self, eh? I suppose that would be a picture of me curled up with some funyons and a trashy novel...

You know, i went through all the recent pics of me, and the not so recent, to find a pic that represented who i feel that i am. And none of them did. Oh sure--there are some cute ones of a particular smirk or irreverent look, and those were definitely in the top ten. But they were take years ago, before marriage, before child & pet, and definitely before Autism. Now, that isn't to say that smirks and irreverence are dead in this house--au contraire, but a certain level of maturity and acceptance got thrown into the mix, along with its corresponding stress and frustration. (the grown-ups were right when we were kids--being grown up isn't as much fun as it seems)

So a picture of the real me. Again, a series of photos this time...

The real me nourishes my family. I spend ALOT of time in the kitchen, creating and cleaning. I make my family's bread bi-weekly--and when Ben was GF, that included his GF bread. I make most meals from scratch, or semi scratch. Hippie/kitchen witch that i am, i just feel this is the most tangible way to show my love to my family.

The other part of me, when i'm not partaking in floortime, ABA, or general rambunctiosness (of which there are no pics) i am in my studio, creating. And it is where i feel really calm. I suppose i am more of a "crafter" than "artist"--but those kinds of labels don't mean shit to me. I like making things with my hands. I like creating garments for myself, my family and others (for a price, mind). I am a
bit of a whore for that phrase or look that says "oh wow, you MADE this?" It's prolly a good thing that my studio is two floors below me and unsafe for my child, otherwise, i'd drag him down there with me all the time (trust me, the day is coming, once he understands the danger of the iron--and has a place of his own to create or play)and we'd never do the things he wants to do.

I suppose a final pic, that doesn't exist, would be of me hunched over my laptop, typing furiously. Also my escape/release, i write nearly everyday. Again--creating something with my hands, kinda. Writing has been with me since i was a child, writing poems and stories. Even in those days i was a barfly--y journal was always with me, as i eviscerated the sausages in print. (kept me from talking to people too, which was a plus) But alas--no photos

Because it turns out, the camera is usually in my hands--thus the lack of photos in my natural state. And considering the current state of my ass, i like it that way.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Day 06

Day 06 - A picture of somewhere you've been.

I've been lucky enough to get my passport stamped a few times before the squirt was delivered. Both the Old Man and i decided we wanted to travel, and discovered we do so together fairly well. I am in charge of all paperwork, and he is in charge of making sure i have enough alcohol. Other than that, we just kinda wing it.

This picture was taken in Australia, on Heron Island, also known as Turtle Island on the Great Barrier Reef. During the season, you can see the baby sea turtles swim off to their existence. We however were not there during the season, but rather during their winter--so no turtles, but plenty of booze. This was Australia. (wow, can those people drink!) That Orange speck there is me. When we got there we took a walk around the island and was amazed that we were so far away from the mainland that there was nothing to see but sand & sky. We also had a fabulous dive here, seeing a myriad of sea life and getting stuck in a school of yellow tailed fusiliers. Ahh, the days when were young and in shape enough to scuba dive and drink the night away--and STILL look like tosspots in the eyes of Aussies.

One of the things that kicked me in the ass when Ben was diagnosed was the thought that he may not like to travel. I mean, one of the characteristics is the need for familiarity and routine, right? There are lots of places i want to show him, places to explore nature or history or culture. And I'll admit to a selfish worry that he will never like travel enough to take a big trip like that. And the thought of taking a trip without him (a big one, mind--not a weekend bender in Vegas) seems pointless and empty.

Useless thinking really. I mean, he's ONLY 4. And last year he had a fabulous flight to Hawaii. And lord knows, i think he may be developing a new love for the TSA--ever since Xmas, he keeps asking me if we're going to the Xray today. I know we ain't hittin Germany any time soon, but i hope that one day this obsession with trains will lead to a rail trip across Europe. Ein Bier, bitte!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Day 05

Day 05 - A picture of your favorite memory.

'nuff said.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Day 04

Day 04 - A picture of your day.

This one is best served in Photo essay form, i think.

I feel like i spend my entire day either filling this or unloading it. Like, I think i am going to give it a name because sometimes i think i spend more time with her than my family.

So, I do a load of laundry daily--to keep it at a dull roar. I have no problem, loading the washer or dryer, sorting every monday, and picking up all clothes scattered about the house. What i do have a problem with is folding. I hate folding. I have no psychological reasoning for it--but it embodies the drudgery of housework for me, and i will find every excuse to avoid it. and then i end up with this--baskets of clean clothes just sitting about. making me crazy. waiting for the laundry fairies to take pity on me. THey never do. ungrateful bastards.

Autism + Potty Training = alcoholism.

But at the end of the day, or at least during naptime, this is the view out my livingroom. Even on a hazy day like the day i took this pic, it's a gorgeous view, and i get to feel like a pampered movie star for a good minute or so. Until the dishwasher stops.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Day 03

Ok, so we're back to the 30 day challenge i gave myself, with no help from AT&T. we resume with Day 3

Day 03 - A picture of the cast from your favorite show.

This was tough. I don't watch a ton of TV, but i do have my weaknesses. Mostly they run on cable, because, well, a show just isn't a show without gratuitous cursing and sex. (actually, i just haven't found a network show REALLY worth watching in a long time, so i've kinda given up. And i curse a lot, so cable shows fall within my paradigm)

I had to put two pictures here, because both of these shows fall into the "must make time to see them" category. (thank god for DVRs)

I was always a fan of the Sookie Stackhouse novels, and i really like how HBO interprets them. That and i love me some Lafayette. If i had a gay drug dealing friend, he would be it.
And yeah, I get it that the whole vampire thing is REALLY getting old. But i don't do the whole twilight thing, since i'm not a teenager, or any other teen/angst/the world is against me so imma fall in love with someone who is not alive/wow that top is cute kind of books/movies, so I don't really feed the vampire thing except for True Blood. And while Alexander SkarsgÄrd is nice to look at, i have to say i think I'm more a werewolf girl (have you seen my husband?) Team Jacob, nothing. Team Alcide, baby!

And well, I love me some polygamy. Not that i want to be a polygamist, but something about that world fascinates the holy hell out of me. I also like reading stories about harem life and middle eastern marriages. All i can figure is that i must have been a sister-wife in a past life. That and this show can be so RIDICULOUS, that it's like watching a daytime soap--but without the "smell the fart" moments. Unless you're watching Bill Paxton. That seems to be his major method of acting. I should point out here that i am not a Mormon, or even a Christian for that matter, and no, i do not want to discuss my life in the hereafter, or the plans heavenly father has for me. I tend to listen to the great mother instead--but i do love watching this portayal of a marital trainwreck. Now if you'll excuse me, season premiere was last night, so i need to go catch up.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Arrakis of Communication

Fuck AT&T. yeah. I said it. Like you haven't thought it.

So, I've been twiddling my thumbs since 1/5/11. Seems AT&T didn't think to waterproof any of their equipment here in Los Angeles, and found themselves "unprepared" for the recent biblical deluge we had prior to and over xmas.

Now, i should state here, the Old Man and i decided a while back that smart phones would be a waste of time and money. As much as we might be lured by their flashing lights and silly hand acrobatics, we decided that the money could be better spent on things like therapy and cheesecake. Besides, we've got our wireless network at home. Who needs a smart phone?


I never thought i was this much of an internet junkie. But two days down, and i will willing to sell my virtue for a few minutes on Facebook. Ok, not my virtue PER SE, but i was certainly willing to forget my upbringing and open up a can of whoop-ass on every AT&T operator i could actually get on my cell phone. NOTHING more infuriating than being told my a recording that i could save time with this call by going to their website that i couldn't currently access due to their antiquated and bizarre wiring system.

seriously, 4 days in i broke down in tears. TEARS. over the inability to look up inane shit and song lyrics.

Not to mention that prize FB status about someone's cat.

as the Irish say, for fucksakes!

now, withdrawal complete, i found i was in fact able to get some chores done. i'd love to say i was a better parent--but the kid had a fever for a few days, and didn't need much more from me than an occasional snuggle, a DVD change or an unending supply of watered-down juice. So i read through the remaining books on my Kindle, did tons of sudoku, actually paid attention to one of Ben's train videos and folded the laundry.

and when all of that was finished, I quietly plotted the demise of AT&T.

I won't bore you with the multiple tech trips to the house, the various, "well i'm not approved to fix that problem" and the constant crating of my chihuahua--since they are viewed as the most fierce of house dogs. Suffice it to say, the line was FINALLY fixed last night--an hour before we were about to go out. enough time to download the 600+ emails waiting for me (wow--do i need to unsubscribe from some stuff)and alert my friends and family that i was finally back in the 21st century.

NOw that kind of sacrifice and subsequent visionquest would be useless unless i learned a few lessons:

1) there's only so much solitaire you can play...

2) Perhaps i shouldn't be surprised that my son has issues with paying attention in school or being distracted.

3) sacrifice is good--if you mean by sacrifice gutting a goat on an altar to appease the technology gods.

4) Watching a AT&T stooge fight the organic overgrowth, fight off neighbor dogs and climb a difficult pole two days before Time Warner Cable is coming out to give us new and BETTER internet is indeed a point-and-laugh worthy activity.

And for those of you even vaguely paying attention, my 30 day posts will resume tomorrow...

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

30 Day project: Day 2

Day 02 - A picture of you and the person with whom you have been close the longest.

This is me and my mom. (well, my mom, my best friend and my spawn and me--I discovered looking through my pics that it's a rare find to have a pic with both me and my mother in it. Usually because the camera is in my hands. And those that do exist are not exactly…flattering to either of our, ahem, healthy figures. So, this little family photo will have to do. Besides, it makes sense--my BFF there is second on the list of people with whom I've been close longest)

Its been me and mom since forever. She was a single mom when it wasn't so cool to do so. And to her credit, I did not become a drug addict, marry a man who beat me or dance on a pole. So she must have done something right. Thanks, mom.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

30 day project: Day 1

Post a picture of yourself with 10 facts

10 things about me:

1. I have the ability to memorize the most inane shit, but have real trouble doing math in my head. My mother says I memorized Green Eggs & Ham very young, and I remember reciting Jabberwocky (Alice in Wonderland) early on. But DO NOT ask me to estimate the price of the collective items in my cart.

2. I have two bachelor's degrees (History & Religious Studies) and a CA teaching credential. I taught for 7 years in South Central Los Angeles. After being professionally burned out, I am now a SAHM, a seamstress, amateur tarot card reader, jill of a few trades, and wedding officiant.

3. I will dye my hair until I am dead (or get preggers again). My natural hair color is the color of boredom. (look close in the picture--my roots are getting bad--but dont' look too long, you might just fall asleep out of sheer boredom)

4. I've been trying to get pregnant for over a year now, and am getting discouraged. I turned 40 this year (well, last year, technically) and it's like the warning light lit up my dash, and I've got a gut feeling that my body isn't going to cooperate any time soon. And yes, I've tried a myriad of "remedies" and have no desire to try anything artificial.

5. I realize it isn't the thing to say, but I'm not in the "I can recover my child" bastion of Autism moms. I am not part of the Jenny McCarthy mother-warrior crowd. That doesn't mean I sit around and bemoan the fact that my son has autism. Nor does it mean that I doubt that the tactics that these moms are using aren't having effects on their child. It doesn't mean I don’t try some of the same methods/diets/voodoo to help my son. I realize he's got a struggle ahead of him, and I strive to give him the best tools he needs. But I also recognize that what works for one kid on the spectrum doesn't necessarily work for another. I realize that makes me a bad mom in the eyes of some. And all I can say is--if it does, then maybe those eyes need to be pointed elsewhere? I respect your GFCFSFcornF life. I'm not saying you're wrong. But what works for your boy hasn't really worked for mine, so imma skip the DAN! doctor for now, and would like it if you'd roll your eyes at someone else.

6. I've got this weird ability to read people really well. I think I am reading micro-expressions, but couldn't tell you exactly. I just know 99% of the time when I am being lied to. Doesn't mean I act on it, but I am aware. Its kind-of a bummer, really. I think I'd rather be ignorant.

7. I get really annoyed with people trying to push their agenda on me or others. (see #5) I get that sometimes you find a lifestyle choice that really works for you, but I have no desire to be a vegan or go on a mission. Thank you.

8. I am a certified officiant of the Church of Light, and can perform weddings. I have only performed one to date--and it was one of the most awesome spiritual experiences of my life. I really hope gay marriage is legalized, because I would love to help anyone create a ritual that enriches their lives.

9. I have NOT lost the baby weight. Ok--I've lost half of it, but the rest is killing me. Not that I'm trying real hard. I have a love affair with pastries and baked goods that is seemingly compulsory and horribly addicting. Quitting smoking was easier. (not)

10. Internally I am a hypochondriac. I don’t express it much--but I work out the worst case scenario in my head ALL THE TIME. Chest pain? I'll have a heart attack on the freeway. Constipation? A blockage that will make my intestines explode. Headache? tumor. This is my internal dialogue, and I'd like it to shut up.

I hope this has given you some insight into my insanity. And maybe now you'll understand why I am such a hermit. That and I just dislike people. Except you. I like you.


Monday, January 3, 2011

Getting to know you...

so, i discovered yesterday, as i tried to find a post for Blog Gems, that i don't have any kinds of, "hey, this is me" post. And since i've gained a few fans that haven't known me since i had a spiral perm in High school, i figured it's only polite to find a way to introduce myself. So instead of some self serving post about how awesome i am, i decided to copy a 30-day thingie i read over at I'm Just That Way I decided i didn't have enough creativity to come up with my own--and i liked how this one was laid out. That, and it would force me to post EVERY DAY for 30 days, which may help me build a more regular blogging habit...

So here's the rundown:

Day 01 - A picture of yourself with 10 facts
Day 02 - A picture of you and the person you have been closest with the longest.
Day 03 - A picture of the cast from your favorite show.
Day 04 - A picture of your day.
Day 05 - A picture of your favorite memory.
Day 06 - A picture of somewhere you've been.
Day 07 - A picture that shows your true self.
Day 08 - A picture that makes you laugh.
Day 09 - A picture of the person who has gotten you through the most.
Day 10 - A picture of someone you see yourself marrying in the future.
Day 11 - A picture of something you hate.
Day 12 - A picture of something you love.
Day 13 - A picture of your favorite band or artist.
Day 14 - A picture of your favorite pastime.
Day 15 - A picture of something you want to do before you die.
Day 16 - A picture of someone you've been friends with the longest and still feel connected to.
Day 17 - A picture of your biggest insecurity.
Day 18 - A picture of your favorite place.
Day 19 - A picture of a habit you wish you didn't have.
Day 20 - A picture of somewhere you'd love to travel.
Day 21 - A picture of something you wish you could forget.
Day 22 - A picture of something you wish you were better at.
Day 23 - A picture of your favorite book.
Day 24 - A picture of something you wish you could change
Day 25 - A picture of you last year and how you've changed since then
Day 26 - A picture of something that means a lot to you.
Day 27 - A picture of yourself and a family member.
Day 28 - A picture of something you're afraid of.
Day 29 - A picture that can always make you smile.
Day 30 - A picture of someone you miss.

I'll start with the first post tomorrow. I need to think of 10 things. Meanwhile, check out Dani G's blog...


Saturday, January 1, 2011

1/1/11--or how dates really have no meaning

G-d I hate this time of year. I suppose it isn't enough that I have learned to LOATHE xmas with a passion. But now I have to listen to the inanities of 20-somethings and their attempts to change their life for 9 days before they realize they haven't got the backbone to really make a change on their own.

Now, don't get me wrong. I'm all for life -affirming change and reflection. It's exercise for the soul. I just hate these arbitrary days where one decides that a little less nicotine and a little more movement is a good choice. Wait. Lemme rephrase that. I actually prefer arbitrary days, because it usually means something happened to spur the decision or at least a deeper thought than, "I should do something for the new year." Changing a calendar page is hardly an event. Unless by event you mean writing the wrong date for 14 days.

So, as you may have cleverly inferred, I have not made any resolutions. Nor have I in some time. That includes the inane, "I make a resolution not to make a resolution." (wow, that one REALLY gets under my skin for some odd reason) I really don't treat the day any differently. My old man and I get our "respite" date tonight--because it just happens to fall on New Years' Day--not because it's a special occasion, other than some stores being closed. We opened a bottle of champagne last night--but that was instead of popping open the pull tab on a Natty light. Benji is the same kid this morning that he was last night--a little pissy and whiney as he works though the emotional trauma of being back home after a week away. I don't think he has any resolutions either.

I haven't asked my old man. He's not much of a resolution person either. His philosophy--if you wanna change something, well, change it. Don't wait around for a month. Unless the batteries are dead in his man groomer. Then it might take a few days (weeks) before he gets around to that.

I suppose I could make a list of how I could be a better parent. And boy, wouldn't THAT be a great trip down guilt road? Or I could contrive some ideas on how to be a better wife. Or I could just be selfish and figure out how to be better to me. But I don't feel like paving guilt road this week. Let's just say, when I wanna rest, I rest. When Benji needs more floor time, I give it, and when my Old Man craves attention, I point out that his man groomer needs batteries.

Now, I'm not trying to dissuade you from quitting smoking, or hiking more, or even trying to cut back on picking up strangers at local rest stops. These are all good things to either start or quit, depending on your own personal philosophy. I'm just sayin I will quit/begin stuff when I feel like it, not when I have to go to the office supply store to buy a reminder.

So, I hope you all enjoy getting up early and taking my parking place at the gym this week. To keep the world in balance, I'll be taking up the slack and committing those sins you've sworn off for now. Hey--SOMEONE has to keep the local liquor store in business...

Happy calendar changing!