getting my house in order

getting my house in order
it's a jungle out there

Thursday, November 25, 2010

thanksgiving 2010



All week month I've been trying to cultivate conjure gratitude

It has not been easy.

Not only has is it not been easy to not feel grateful
see all that negativity but it's even more uncomfortable knowing that I'm not feelin the love.

Before prozac I was painfully aware of all things wonderful in my life.
I was even more painfully aware of my inability to FEEL the wonderfulness.

Then the cloud was lifted the veil pulled away the scales fell from my eyes
and I saw the light

Can I hear an amen sistah?

Well. Once a body truly experiences gratitude and thankfulness and contentment and maybe possibly just a wee bit of joy it really sucks to go back.

Recently I've been Discontent. Edgy. Wanting. Lacking.

Feeling these things in the heart and the body when the mind knows everything is
SO FUCKING GOOD really sucks donkey balls.

*****

A few weeks ago, I was all in a confused tizzy.
I went to yoga to stop my head from popping off. I hung out after class with Yogini Shannon.
I was am in a
what the fuck am I doing? what the fuck am I thinking? what is my problem?
I don't know what I'm doing I don't know what I'm thinking what is my fucking problem?
kind of space

Yogini Shannon looked at me and said your MOM died

And BANG
A flash of light woke me up.
I looked at her and kind of laughed as I burst into tears

my MOM died

FUCK

Shannon saw me and hugged me and felt me dissolve as I sobbed on her shoulder

Oh my GOD Shannon, my MOM died

She said it was like watching a blister pop. She said it was radical.
Michelle, you still have to GRIEVE.

Fuck me

*****

Since then I've been having weird dreams about my folks.

A dream that we're arranging for them to move to a new place and I'm worried my dad will decompensate and
IN THE DREAM I realize he's already dead and I don't have to worry about him.
In the dream I feel relief and gratitude he's already dead he won't suffer anymore thank god he already died

And dreams of my mom. One of her being very present but not being able to speak to me.
And last night an oddly reassuring dream. We were all lined up in a bed head to foot like sardines she loved sardines on saltines or enslaved africans crossing the ocean. I could feel her lying cool and dead on my right and it was ok.
Then energy infused her body and I felt it warm up next to mine and she was alive. Her hand reached for mine and squeezed it it's ok but I could feel her fingertips were still cold despite the warmth coming from her body.
And the coolness of her hand told me it was temporary and then she was gone.

*****

So today is Thanksgiving. I think it was Her favorite holiday. We'll stand in a circle at Sister Halona's and I will remember that last Thanksgiving I stood next to Her, her cool left hand in my right. I will remember that Ted announced there would be a new family member at the next Thanksgiving and I will remember that my mom kept looking at me in disbelief and I was aggravated by her and I will remember saying don't look at me I'm not the one who's pregnant.

But that was before I understood.

And today there is one less and one more.
A new baby is in our circle. A baby she tried to wait for.

*****

I don't know. I'm feeling so off balance and I'm having to re-examine so much.

I just want a more peaceful heart.


Sunday, November 21, 2010

Kim Update and Other Sundry Loose Ends


I'm really bad at finishing things kinda like this post.
I start projects all the time and get almost but never quite done.

It's been 4 years and my pink and purple house is only 75% painted. Inside and out.

I started a handmade quilt while trying to get pregnant with Jack.
think Like Water for Chocolate.
It's balled up in the bottom of my closet not. quite. finished.

3 or 4 years ago I told my mom I'd recover seats of her dining room chairs.
No biggie. Just scissors and a staple gun. I think I got 5 done.
I promised Sister Halona I'd finish the rest so we have somewhere to put our tushes on Thanksgiving. We'll see about that...

My Ganesh tattoo is finished. But all I had to do was lie down and open my wallet.
Does that sound dirty?
I still haven't posted picts. I will.
I wish it was still warm and I didn't have to cover it up all the time. I love it.

Cultural Sensitivity: A 3 Part Series only has 2 parts.
And that's probably the way it will stay.

I did see Toothless Mom of 6 yesterday with 4 of her kids and since I'm in a place of more compassion with myself and therefore the Universe my Grinch Butt isn't so big these days. Or small.

You know what I mean.

And Kim.

I've been wanting to write about Kim for months now.
But like I said, I'm not so good at finishing things.

Kim is kicking butt. She started a blog and a website.
She's fund raising and granting wishes.

She does NOT give up when things get tough.
She does NOT leave half finished projects on the bottom of her closet floor.
Nothing is 75%.

She does NOT defer her dreams. Kim does NOT like raisins.

If you are shopping online this season, click on the iGive button over on my sidebar.
Lots of major vendors will donate a percent of your purchase to the charity of your choice. Easy Peasy. And it costs you nothing but a few extra clicks.

So. Go visit. Check Kim out. Leave some good love.


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Books Can Make You Fucking Crazy


So this morning I'm standing on the corner with Dawn & Diane, my realtors.

Yup. Realtors. As in Real Estate. I'm buying real estate.

We're moving into a New House. I'm looking at investment properties.
Cause you know how good I am at taking care of this house.
And since I'm so good at it, why not take care of more?

Never fear. We're keeping the pink and purple house. We'll rent it out.
I promised Mia we wouldn't sell it.

Anyhoo...
Dawn & Diane are the kind of ladies who LOVE Black Friday.
They start at 4:30 in the morning.
They told me so themselves.
As you can imagine, I HATE Black Friday and almost every thing else that has to do with buying more shit.
Unless I'm buying real estate

So they asked if I had started my Christmas shopping.
Seriously? I'm buying real estate. I have no time for Christmas.
I already warned the kids it's gonna be a lean Christmas.
What does that mean mom? I thought lean was like bacon or something.

Christmas shopping? I can't even do grocery shopping.
Being the lazy undisciplined procrastinator I am, I haven't started packing yet.
I told myself there was no point until we were actually in contract, but in all honesty, that was just an excuse to sit in the sun, or go to yoga, or whatever.

I told Dawn & Diane I don't start Christmas shopping until after December 15th.
They looked at me like I had two heads.

So. I can't think about Christmas cause I have to think about packing.

I've made several attempts to organize climb over the stuff in the attic.
All the crap we don't need and never use had been packed up in labeled boxes from the last time we moved.
Or so I thought.

Lo and behold, Mia has discovered the attic and all the boxes of cool shit she's never seen before.
Now the attic is a big jumbled pile of unused and useless crap that I have to either repack or throw out. where's that roll of hefties?

There are like 112 boxes of books up there. Most of them are mine.
Alice Walker, Amy Tan, Barbara Kingsolver, Anne Rice yikes.
Books about farming. Books about gardening. Books about medicine. Books about meditation.
Books about India. Books about Mexico. Books about food. Books about sustainability.
Michael Pollan. Bill McKibben. Vandana Shiva. Arundhati Roy my secret girlfriend.
All the books that put me over the edge.
The More You Read the More You Know.

I can't get rid of them. They're Good Books. But they are Flowers in my Attic.
They are banned from my living space. Hidden away.
I can't look at them cause they'll just look back at me and hurl accusations.

Seriously Michelle? Giving the babysitter money for FAST FOOD three times a week?
What about all that plastic? What about all that industrial meatwheatndairy? What about fossil fuels?

And now a swimming pool? We know you were drinking bottled water today. What about the dry aquifers?
What about India? What about California? What about FOOTPRINTS goddammit?

Damn books. I wish they'd shut the fuck up.

The only books allowed in my living space are cook books and art books.
And we have a lot of those too.

*****

So. We looked at a building today. 5 small residential units and a ground floor retail space.
Right on my beloved Main St.
Brick. 1889. In really good condition.
As Patrick, my soon to be Partner in Real Estate Crime, said this is a no brainer.

Before entering the last apartment, the listing agent kind of apologized.
There is one tenant who has been here a long time. An older man. He's kind of a hoarder.
There are piles of book everywhere.

understatement

Very neatly stacked piles of paperbacks lined the small hallway and the walls.
Then rows of stacks in between.
Very uniform. Very deliberate.
Very. Neatly. Stacked.

aack

On one cluster of piles, there were 6 wrapped rolls of paper towels, balanced on end, carefully arranged in a hexagon with 2 more rolls in the middle. A bowl was balanced on top of the 2 rolls. It looked shrine-like. Something else was going on with the paper towels but I don't remember what because that's when my nose started to sting and my eyes started to leak goddammit.

he's crazy poor thing

There was a small bedroom with a single bed. No photos. No tv. No nothing.
A couch. A bed. And stacks of books.

my heart hurt

Something about it reminded me of my dad.
My dad was not a hoarder or obsessive compulsive. Nor was he alone.
But he did have dementia which was eventually diagnosed as Alzheimer's.
We watched him slip away.
It was like watching someone fall down a bottomless well or looking at someone backwards through a telescope.
I'm disappearing. Pretty soon there won't be anything of me left.

Sometimes it felt like I was drowning, being with my dad in the last years of his life. Not for me, but for him.
I couldn't still can't imagine what that must feel like.
Knowing that your SELF is disappearing.
I had hoped it would progress to the point where he would feel no pain and no sadness and no loss and no regret.
No such luck.

So I got that drowning feeling being in this old man's apartment home.
What must that feel like?
I told myself it's ok this is how he alleviates his pain manages his anxiety combats his loneliness

ouch

On our way out we saw him. Old guy. Maybe cataracts. Big coat. Hat. Dementia.
Holding in his hand a few more books to stack.

He was very sweet and friendly. The 5 of us filed past him.
Oh wow that's more people than have come to visit in years!

aack

So. I guess I'll just have to buy the building.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thoughts on Veterans Day

Call of Duty Black Ops. Released 11/9

I bought it for Jack. I did.
I've allowed him to play Rated M shoot em up sniper games AND I've bought the gaming systems on which to play them.
And the headset so he can play with his friends online and interactive.

That's some crazy shit.

Last week I took him to pre-purchase the game and promised I would pick it up Tuesday while he was at school.

Tuesday morning, Jack was like a kid on Christmas Eve.
mom there was an hour long preview of the game on line. It's SO COOL. I can't wait. this is gonna be the longest day of my life. 8 hours of igneous rock and dividing exponents. oh my god i can't take it.

Let me tell you, standing on line at GameStop with all those guys who were also picking up their newly released Black Ops games was WAY more disturbing than the thumb sucking chicken dick

All these
arguably adult men were crawling out of their skins to get their hands on it.
And the looks on their faces when they had their hands on it, it's shape smoothly covered by white plastic, clutching it to their chests and scurrying out of the game store, a gleam in their eyes. eeek

I actually heard some of them hehehe on their way out.

Pathetic. And kinda pervy. It gave me the willies.

I can rationalize ANYTHING. It's one of my talents.
When Jack was a baby, I vehemently expresed my outrage at the whole toy gun thing.
Even water guns. I remember he went to the birthday party of a 4 year old, and the party favor was one of those monster super soakers.

I was appalled

Flashforward 9 yrs and I'm spending my hard earned money on uber violent war games.

Shoot me

I heard a report a while back from my beloved Amy Goodman that these interactive military games are designed with Pentagon backing and George W signed some piece of paper requiring high schools to release the academic records of all juniors and seniors which then get interfaced with the online gaming info so kids can be recruited.
For the military.
Based on their academic performance and video war game acumen.

Can anyone say Big Brother?

I told Jack that the Pentagon was snooping on him.
Wow mom. That's messed up. It's just a game. I'm not joining the military. I don't want to really shoot anyone. Don't you know that about me?

He was totally offended and probably thought I was a dumbass for not trusting him to know the difference between real and make believe.

War is not make believe. The military is not make believe.
There is an HBO special on tonight about soldiers and PTSD.
I heard exerpts from interviews.
A mom talked about the effect that 2 tours in Iraq had on her son.
He could not make peace with the fact that he had killed people.
She said he wasn't raised to kill people. I tried to explain to him it wasn't the same. He was a soldier. It was part of his job. He was doing his job. I couldn't get him to see it was different. Its not the same.

BULLSHIT

It is the same. Killing people is killing people. Period.

He shot himself in the head because he couldn't live with the memories.
As do hundreds of other veterans. And thousands more think about it.

Still. I tell myself it's ok that Jack plays these wargames for hours every day.
I tell myself it's ok because he does his homework first.
He's in all honors classes.
He's a Good Boy.
He has no desire to enter the military or really shoot anyone.
I tell myself it's ok.

I'm not sure it's ok.

Is it a coincidence that this new call of duty game was released 2 days before Veterans Day?
2 days before this HBO special?

Is that a coincidence? I don't know.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Kiss My Ash Party


When She thought Dr. NewGuy had an answer and a cure, She said well, I guess this isn't The End after all. We'll have to have a party. A Lackodemise Party. We'll have margaritas and ceviche.

Ah lah

On The Last Day, She asked us to mix Their ashes and spread them in our gardens.

Sunday we gathered at Sister Halona's for the Kiss My Ash Party.
November 2 was Their 48th wedding anniversary.
November 17 would have been Her 75th birthday.



The Sister Formerly Known As
Bartender Melanie
made some wicked margaritas

the kids got a whiff and said
it smells like Grumsie's house

we Patrick Girls sure do love
our margaritas

I had 3

Bruce made TWO kinds of ceviche
She would have liked it


the Son-In-Laws
both shared lovely thoughts
while the Sister-Wives had at it



a few of The Grandsons
Baby Isaiah... do not look in to the light
look away from the light

real boobs are better than
the boob tube anyway



The Gorgeous Granddaughters
trouble


so this is where it gets weird
it wasn't weird for us
cause we're all weird to begin with
but it may seem weird to you
unless you're weird too


The Fruits of Their Labor and Loins
who is teaching english
somewhere in rural China

It's so true.
We ate and drank and laughed.
Then we ate and drank and laughed some more.

Just like we used to.

It was the best Kiss My Ash Party ever.


Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Other Half of the Weekend Whine

Saturday morning, Bruce and I went to pick up the van. We discussed dinner.
He planned scallops in some kind of lemon butter something sauce, endive something or other cooked in red wine and port, wilted spinach, and buttered noodles for the kids.
cause they won't go near the green stuff

So off I go to the ginormous wine store.
It's been a really long time since I've bought wine.
A bottle of red and a bottle of port for the endive.
We'll take the leftover wine to Sister Halona's on Sunday. No problem.

I have no clue about what kind of wine to buy.
I thought of Laura, who chooses her red wine based on how pretty the label is.
I don't find pretty, but I do find super cute.

Eleven bucks. Sold.

Off to find port

On the way I spied a label with my all time favorite symbol.


I'm a sucker for this.
Cute Home Grown Rain Boots goes back on the shelf for Fair Trade sustainable blah blah blah.
7 bucks to Chilean grape pickers.
YAY


whatever

Mia and I look at the wall of port. ports.
ooohhhh mommy this one please this one we have to get this one


and Pleasant Valley is right down the road
3 cheers for local port



Whatever. Port is port. Right?
And Bruce only needs a little for the red wine braised endive thing.
And Mia likes the puppy.

insert creepy thumb sucking perv incident here

Long story longer... I get home with the wine.
Bruce takes one look at the Chocolate Lab port and reads the back label.
i did not do this in the wine store

...grape wine with natural chocolate flavor and caramel color added...
...unabashadely unsophisticated with the familiar fruitiness of lush ripe native grapes...
...delightful hint of chocolate, it is as unpretentious and approachable as friendly puppy...


Chocolate Lab port is flavored with chocolate. And caramel. And dog breath apparently.
Chocolate and carmel do not go with endive and scallops.
At least not on the same plate in the same course.

sigh

Then we couldn't find a corkscrew.
It's been a really long time since we've opened a bottle of wine in this house.
There used to be an abundance of corkscrews here at Chez Brucie but no more.
We looked in drawers. Attic. Basement. No corkscrews anywhere.
we don't have wine glasses either

Bruce tried to jam the cork into the bottle but no luck.
So back to the wine store for a dollar corkscrew.
The sustainable fair trade chilean wine had a cork so damn tight we couldn't get it out.
Even with the dollar corkscrew.
So BACK to the wine store for a bottle of red with a screw top.

Between the 2 of us, we made 5 trips to the wine store.
That's 5 times the trips we've made in the last 18 months.

Shoot me.

I think the Universe is trying to tell us something.

WTF? Sundays In My City

Blogger ate my post in some weird way so this is amended from yesterday
wine story to follow-too much torture

Absolutely positively under no circumstances will I Mr. Linky this to Unknown Mami's Sundays In My City

WARNING: CONTAINS TOTALLY X-RATED CONTENT

OK. I'll start with Friday's flat tire on the way to work. In the rain.
A morning fully booked with baby check ups and I get a flat.

Did I mention it was raining? And cold?

What a way to start a 12 hour day.

Thanks to Geico, I have roadside emergency service.
And Bruce hadn't yet left for work so he came to rescue me.
And while I was standing roadside in the rain watching my van get towed away, J texts me about a hair dryer
cause it's time to ghetto wrap the windows again and offers me the use of her car for the day.

Because she's awesome like that.

The Universe is Abundant.

So all is well and good. I get to work at 10:45. I see my babies. The garage calls.
964.00 worth of new tires and various transmission-y oily gassy things so the 10 year old van will pass inspection.

Fine. It's only money.


OK. So where's the X-RATED part?
I'm saving the best for last.

So
Yesterday was a beautiful fall day in our little town and I was walking home from returning J's car.
2 blocks from home, I'm on the phone with Mia to see if she wants me to make pancakes and a car pulls up behind me and slows down.
I see a good looking young man leaning toward the open passenger window.

Excuse me. Can you tell me where Kennedy's is?

Kennedy's Chicken?

Yes

Truth be told, I thought this was odd.
Young good looking black guy wearing a black doo rag driving a black car with a baby car seat in the back asking where the fried chicken place is.
shame on me for making assumptions
So being the nice helpful non-judge-y I'm-not-scared-of-young-black-men girl that I am, I start directing him to the chicken place.

I look back at him and he's sucking his thumb
???
And yanking on his big erection
?????
And looking right at me
?!?!?!?!?!

ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?!?

Which is exactly what I yelled at him.
I wanted to jump into the car and smack him in the head for being an asshole but thought twice about that.
So instead I yelled I'm calling the police.

Now I can barely make my stupid Crackberry work when I have all my wits about me.
The first number that popped into my head was 411.
nope
So I held up my phone to take a picture of the car and the front license plate but alas there was no front plate
how convenient
so I kept yelling that I was calling the cops and getting his plates and taking a picture.
All the while he's sucking his thumb and whacking off and watching me.
Then he backed his car up so I couldn't see his rear plate and drove away.

PISSED ME THE FUCK OFF

I got home, yelling and screaming, ranting and raving, got in to the van, and went looking for that fucker.
After 10 minutes driving around I gave up and went to the police station to file a report.

Quite a scene.
Me yelling at the cops through the bulletproof window about erections and thumb sucking and fried chicken.

They dispatched a few cars and took my statement.

I'm a weird combination of irate and amusingly astounded.
I know this is twisted thinking but I wanted to slap him and say what the fuck is wrong with you you're a really good looking kid what the fuck are you doing?

I did not feel scared. Nor threatened. Nor violated.
I actually crack up when I think about it. Dumbass Freak
However
I know that a lot of women out there might be traumatized if this happened to them. Or at least grossed out and vomity.
What if Mia had been with me?

Which is why I'm going vigilante.

Bruce said Chica it was really weird but let it go.

No way. I'm gonna find that fucker if it's the last thing I do.


Your fairy is called Columbine Icedancer
She is a bone chilling bringer of justice for the vulnerable.
She lives in mushroom fields and quiet meadows.
She is only seen when the bees swarm and the crickets chirrup.
She wears lilac and purple like columbine flowers. She has icy blue butterfly wings.