Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Bitch, please.

Lately, in a way that hasn't been the case since I was a much younger woman, I have been needing to read about people like me. I have the privilege of an awesome network of friends who nurture and support me, and so most of the time the fact that I don't see myself reflected in the wider culture isn't that troubling. The people who love me are a good mirror. They argue without deriding; they empathize rather than sympathizing. Most of the time, that's enough to keep me afloat. But every once in a while, I go to fill out a form and discover that none of the boxes reflect my answer. Sometimes it's something the people I know can't help with, because they haven't been through it, and it's important to know that I'm not crazy, not the only person who's ever experienced it, not the only person who hated 300.

I was thinking about this while reading Megan's article about cohousing in Xtra, not because we are buying a house any time soon, but because reading it gave me the pleasure of recognition--if we ever do own, it is unlikely to be in the traditional configuration of man + woman + optional kid and picket fence. (I was thinking about it, too, when I read her blog post about how she and her co-housers had purchased a car together, the three of them, and then discovered that it was legally impossible to list all of them as owners. That's what I'm talking about.)

It's ironic, then, that the next link I clicked told me that Bitch magazine is in serious danger of folding. For those of you who don't know Bitch ("Feminist Response to Pop Culture!"), you should check it out while you still have the chance. And if you feel compelled, donate. I already have, because I have been reminded of the worth of seeing my values make it to print.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

in which I get concussed, drown, and am crushed by beer bottles

We're back from the cottage. I love cottages, because what I really want to do on vacation is lie around reading my book, swim, cook, and argue with my friends. It's true. I'm funny that way.

It's also neat what things you learn when you spend a few days living in the same space with people. For example my friend Greg, who is much admired among those of us who know him from work for his handiness at any number of tasks, built the most crazy-ass incompetent fire I have ever seen. Sorry, dear, but you know it's true. Some kindling, and then some juniper branches, and then a giant log plopped right on top.

Greg: "I'm waiting for all the apologies I'm going to get when this burns."
Thea: "I'm rehearsing, wait: 'You got lucky.'"
Peter: "If that actually catches fire, I will walk into town, buy the ingredients, walk back here and make you a pie."

Alas, I foiled my own chances to get pie when he kept adding more and more and more juniper, and cardboard, and then some juniper branches approximately four feet long, draped over the fire with their ends dangling.

alex [quiet, but incredulous]: "On top?"
Me [laughing hysterically, intervening]: "Oh my god, stop. Stop. Stop."
Greg: "It would have worked."
Me [stuffing kindling into the hot part at the bottom]: "Seriously, no."

It rained all of Sunday, so of course we had to go get in the lake and toss a frisbee and a miniature football back and forth. I can neither throw nor catch, which caused no end of trauma in gym class, but it was very pleasant to play with people who didn't care. Eventually Greg and Peter started throwing rocks at each other again (Me: "Use your words!") and I got cold and got out and went back to reading my book.

The hijinks did not extend to the food, the brilliant food, at least not unless you include the addition of copious volumes of butter. So it was with a heavy heart (but grateful arteries) that I got in the car to come home yesterday morning. I was shaken out of my melancholy by the necessity of fitting myself into the front seat with the better part of the 120 beer bottles we were returning. I'm glad to be home. I missed Lizbeth, and I wanted to sleep in my own bed. But you can bet I'm plotting next year's trip already.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

not a fan

Operation Pave the World continues apace on my block. I hadn't noticed it so much until Paul and Sarah came over, and Sarah said "What is up with your street? I've never seen so much front-yard parking in my life!" And I had to admit that indeed, there was a lot of front-yard parking. Now I can't stop noticing. Up the street one way, three houses got together and covered their entire fronts with asphalt. Yesterday it was the house a couple doors up from us.

"I can't even remember," Lizbeth said, "was it--"
"I'm pretty sure it was lawn." Now it is an expanse of shiny blackness. As you all know, I am not a fan of grass, but I am now freaking out about runoff and water pollution. Stop the insanity! Try interlocking pavers or something! Geez!

Also, it smells funny.

Right now I'm listening to one of the guys doing construction next door shouting about how these other guys "don't appreciate him or value his experience!" I'm like, um, I'm sorry they hurt your feelings, but could you not wake up the baby? 'Kay, thanks.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

happy Thursday!

Dear Diary, tonight for dinner I had pork ribs and a piece of watermelon, and it was awesome.

Confidential to Eli Manning: you look like a cupcake. Get a haircut.

Knock knock.
Who's there?
Interrupting Pirate.
Interrupting P--

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

more things I ought to have grasped by now, but somehow hadn't

Dudes, Lucy is sick. Not, like, horrifically sick--like "summer cold" sick, which seems to leave her 95% her usual even-tempered self, thank you god. But it's so sad to hear her make all these little snorgully noises trying to breathe through her nose, and also, it's about the baby snot. So. Much. Snot. Which she helpfully wipes away, getting it all over her hands and face and the next twelve things she touches. I am now one of those hovery grownups with an ever-ready diaper wipe, trying to swoop in and clean her little walrus-tusks of snot away at the first appearance without traumatizing her with actual swooping. Because seriously, if someone kept lurching at me with a wetwipe, I would find it freaky and annoying pretty fast.

I know you're glad I shared. I just. Eep. Now that I am surveying Parenthood as though it is a country I might live in sooner rather than later, I'm amazed all over again at what kind of stuff isn't on the label. Babies are sweet, magical little beings who will get snot on your clothes!