30 September 2010

Perspective

My grandpa, on a pony
This is my grandfather, riding a pony on his parents' Ohio farm.
How old do you think he is?
Six?
Seven?
At this point in his life, he's already getting drunk.
Already smoking.
Already dodging the physical and verbal abuse of his own father.

He'll grow up to be a powerful, enigmatic man, full of charisma, but also cruelty.
He'll write in his own journals about his cruelty to his own sons.
About his drunk wife.
About his confusion.
About his love.

Imagine your 6-year-old getting drunk behind the barn, shooting off guns.

Six.

He's just a little boy.

Diptych - Behemoth

Behemoth - any creature or thing of monstrous size or power.

Yup, that looks about right.

Info: Here.
Partner: Kellee.

We're stilling playing catchup on these, but they haven't been abandoned.

29 September 2010

Day 07 → Someone who has made your life worth living for

I live my life for me.
Eye
As long as I can look my own self in the eye at the end of the day, I figure I'm doing alright.

--
30 Days of Truth

28 September 2010

Day 06 → Something you hope you never have to do

I hope I never have to witness any hurt to this child of mine.
I can't even utter the real words that go with this.
You know.
I never want to see the joy crushed out of this sweet face.
IMG_6554
I can't even imagine it for long enough to talk about it.
--
30 Days of Truth

27 September 2010

Day 05 → Something you hope to do in your life

I want to have a traditional family.

I want to get married to a boy that I love and plan a family and babies and coparent by design and and and and....AND.

And that's it really.

I want to have and raise kids in a secure two parent household, preferably with a backyard.

--
30 Days of Truth

Day 04 → Something you have to forgive someone for

Met a friend for coffee downtown. 
My uncle Jonathon came into the coffee shop while we were sitting at a table, wearing two pairs of cargo shorts, hiking boots with no socks, several shirts, and a fishing hat.
Shit.
I made eye contact with him, and he's my uncle, he's my mom's brother, so of course I said hi.
He stood by my table for what was probably only five minutes, but felt like 500.  He asked me three times if I was wearing makeup.
Through gritted teeth, "This is my uncle Jonathon."
It's not his fault.
Completely untreated, obvious, raging bipolar, obsessive-compulsive, hoarding, ET CETERA.

It's not his fault and I don't think it's his fault, and whatever, that's fine.
--
This is not the only case of mental illness in my family.
 --
I understand mental illness and I don't blame the person and I don't need to forgive anyone for that.
What I can't seem to stop are my own feelings of embarrassment at their appearance or behavior.
Intellectually, I recognize that their behavior is not my own, that I don't need to feel shamed by that.
But I am.
It makes me angry.
It puts even more strain on an already taut, thin relationship with someone who really, just needs help, even as they refuse it.
I need to forgive them for my own embarrassment, as silly or shallow as that may sound.
--
30 Days of Truth

25 September 2010

Day 03 → Something you have to forgive yourself for

I'm not good enough, maybe I will never be good enough.
--
I'm an inadequate mother. I yell and I get frustrated and I overreact and I underreact and I make popcorn for dinner and sometimes I'm the first one in bed and sometimes I'm up till 2am and grumpy in the morning.  I tell myself that I'm just a human and it's okay for Gabriel to see me for who I am but really it drives me nuts that I can't just be better
Why can't I handle it when he's throwing a fit? 
Why do I use my angry voice? 
Why do I fight with him?

I can never think of the right thing to say, and even when I say something that might be the right thing, there was probably something better. 
My god, why am I so awkward?

I don't try.  There's no good reason for me to be where I am here and now and today.  I don't have to be struggling and lost and why am I always so poor?  If I could just try harder. Right?
--
On an intellectual level I really do know that I'm ridiculous. 
Maybe I have a hard time knowing if I'm really doing my best but I at least know that I'm foolish when I let this stuff claw at my insides and keep me up at night. 
It doesn't do anyone any good, least of all myself.

I need to forgive myself, for my adequate parenting, for my best-I-can-offer friendship, for the just manageable place I've wound up in, through this messy process of living my life.

I'm working on it.
--
30 Days of Truth

24 September 2010

Perspective

Grandma (holding Bev), Nadine, Sandra
Caryl, Beverly, Nadine, Sandra
This is a picture of my grandmother with her three sisters.
She is eight years old.
At this point, she is already drinking.
Her hair is still in braids, she's still being dressed in outfits to match her younger sisters.
Raised by her governess and her nanny and, later, her boarding school, presented to her quaaluded mother once a night at bedtime, surrounded by a swirl of adults, denied any kind of normal childhood.
She's eight years old, already raiding her parents' liquor cabinet.

My son will be five in January.
My nephew is seven.

It all just breaks my heart.

Day 02 → Something you love about yourself.

I have compassion.

I get all inappropriately bloody hearted when people make mistakes.
We're all only human.
Sometimes you do the right thing, and sometimes you want to do the right thing but it sure doesn't seem like there's any way you can and maybe you fucked things up something awful, and sometimes you just go and do the wrong thing even though you know it's the wrong thing.
But that doesn't make you evil.
All anyone can do is their best.
With socio- and psychopaths as the obvious exceptions, I truly believe that everyone is moving forward doing the best they can.  Maybe from the outsider perspective it's clear that mistakes are being made, but what do outsiders know anyways?  It's not like they have to live it.
How can I possibly know what choices I would make if the ball were in my court?  If I were raised by different people in a different time with different expectations, who would I be?

I wrote this in February:
I believe that people are good.
I believe that even when they're doing things that society in general or I personally view as wrong, they think either that they have no choice, or that they're doing the right thing.
I stand by my claim.
People are good.
We're all just doing the best we can with the tools we have.
I'm not saying that all behaviors or choices or actions are good or right or even acceptable, I'm just saying that we need to see why people do the things we do.
We need to educate and rehabilitate, not punish.

So.
I'm compassionate, I guess.
I don't think that people are bad or that humanity is one great big mistake.
And that's good.
I hope.
--
30 Days of Truth

23 September 2010

Day 01 → Something you hate about yourself.

As a disclaimer, I don't really hate anything at all.  But I have some STRONG feelings of dislike, so we'll go with that, okay?
--
Something you hate about yourself:

I'm not nice.

Not by any definition of the word.

There are other things I don't like about myself, sure.
I'm lazy.
I'm unmotivated.
I'm impatient.
I lack discipline.
Arguably too much of my sense of self worth is invested in other people liking me.
And hey!
Why is that my brain can only run as either Spazzed Out Distracted Butterfly on PCP or as Hyper-Focused Weirdo Obsessively Mulling Over the Same Thing for 14 Consecutive Hours?
What is that?

But all of those things, as important as they are undesirable, come in at distant second to my central flaw, around which all of the others dance and spin.

I'm not nice.

I think mean things about people and I'm calculating and I'm unforgiving and I'm judgmental and I'm stubborn and I'm not generous at all and I run icy cold for no good reason.
I frame everything in terms of how the perceived outcome will serve me.
I don't like 98.99% of humanity on contact.
I'm easily annoyed.
I'm selfish.
I'm an expert at picking out and describing the precise flaws of those around me.
And I do it.
Every time.

I'm not a very nice person.

I wish I was.
--
30 Days of Truth

22 September 2010

30 Days of Truth

I got this from my friend Adam
I'll start tomorrow.

Day 01 → Something you hate about yourself.
Day 02 → Something you love about yourself.
Day 03 → Something you have to forgive yourself for.
Day 04 → Something you have to forgive someone for.
Day 05 → Something you hope to do in your life.
Day 06 → Something you hope you never have to do.
Day 07 → Someone who has made your life worth living for.
Day 08 → Someone who made your life hell, or treated you like shit.
Day 09 → Someone you didn’t want to let go, but just drifted.
Day 10 → Someone you need to let go, or wish you didn’t know.
Day 11 → Something people seem to compliment you the most on.
Day 12 → Something you never get compliments on.
Day 13 → A band or artist that has gotten you through some tough ass days.
Day 14 → A hero who has let you down.
Day 15 → Something or someone you couldn’t live without, because you’ve tried living without it.
Day 16 → Someone or something you definitely could live without.
Day 17 → A book you’ve read that changed your views on something.
Day 18 → Your views on gay marriage.
Day 19 → What do you think of religion? Or what do you think of politics?
Day 20 → Your views on drugs and alcohol.
Day 21 → (scenario) Your best friend is in a car accident and you two got into a fight an hour before. What do you do?
Day 22 → Something you wish you hadn’t done in your life.
Day 23 → Something you wish you had done in your life.
Day 24 → Make a playlist to someone, and explain why you chose all the songs.
Day 25 → The reason you believe you’re still alive today.
Day 26 → Have you ever thought about giving up on life? If so, when and why?
Day 27 → What’s the best thing going for you right now?
Day 28 → What if you were pregnant or got someone pregnant, what would you do?
Day 29 → Something you hope to change about yourself. And why.
Day 30 → A letter to yourself, tell yourself EVERYTHING you love about yourself

Mira

con Mira

This is my friend Mira.
I love her, and today is her birthday, and I hope it's awesome, because she's awesome.
I have such great friends, I don't know how I got so lucky.

Have the best day, sugar.

DIMPLES!

21 September 2010

Desk Drawer Contents

*Post-its
*My local college student ID from a class I took my senior year in high school
*Banana chips
*Sunflower seeds
*Emergen-C
*Binder clips/rubber bands/pens/white out/sign here stickies/etc (all the office supplies I think of as specifically MINE)
*Penis whistle
*Spider ring
*Black tea
*Green tea
*White tea
*Packing tape
*Thank you cards
*Gum
*Lighter
*Stress ball
*Back up nametag
*Bouncy ball
*Business cards
*Viactiv
*Glasses case
*iPod cord
*Two computer mice, one corded, one wireless
*Canned air
*Script for outgoing voicemail message

20 September 2010

words, meant to accompany some previously posted pictures

*Trip to Denver
I flew to Denver to surprise the lovely Paris, for a SHOCK! AWE! commemoration of her first anniversary of her second wedding to her first husband.  It was perfectamundo, except for the part where one of our friends broke her face with hairline fractures and concussions and stuff.  But all the other parts were really good.  Sneaking into the resort pool and basking with cosmopolitans? Good.  The look on Paris' face when she saw me on Friday night? Good.  Jalepeño poppers? Good.  Hayley wearing a blanket to breakfast (pants-free)? Excellent.

*County Fair
I took Gabriel to the fair on Wednesday and then again on Friday.  Both times were awesome.  I love the fair.  Like, really, really love the fair.  It's one of my very most happy places, and we had a great time, and Gabriel came home smelling like hay dust and cinnamon, with his hands ice cream sticky and his knees grass stained and telling me about the ponies and the tractors and the baby cow and the trains and mom mom mom did you see that horse I like that horse that one with spots on its butt.
Take your kids to the fair.
It's magical.

*Out with my sister (whole set here)
Saturday my brother Daniel spent the night at my house because my parents weren't going to be home, so I did what any good older sister would do and I put him to babysitting and went out for a couple hours with Laura and Aurora.  We had a fabulous time doing very, very little.  And took some fab pictures, as is our way.

*The Hunger Games/Catching Fire/Mockingjay (<- affiliate links, y'all)
I'm still in post-trilogy shock, but. I read the entire series this weekend (THANK YOU REN), and ohmygod.
I just.
Excellent.
Without giving anything away, these are post-apocalyptic, depressing young adult novels. And I love them. And you will too.
This is now ranked amongst my favorite young adult trilogies (what like you don't have book lists that get quite that specific? Pfft).

We're Not Morning People

When my alarm went off at 5:30 this morning I didn't want to get up.
Of course I didn't want to get up.
Five.Thirty.A.M.
No one wants to get up when it's still dark out, particularly on a Monday morning following two lovely days of sleeping until 8:30 or 9:00*

But my alarm went off and I got up and I dragged myself around until I was mostly ready and partially caffeinated and then it was 6:30, which is when I wake up Gabriel.
And Gabriel didn't want to wake up.
Of course he didn't.
Six.Thirty.A.M.
I scooped him up out of bed, and as I was carrying him into the living room, he wiggled down onto the floor, crawled between my legs, sprinted back to his bed, and hid under the covers.
And man, oh man.
I just could not fault him for it.
Who WOULDN'T do that, given the chance?
So I let him sleep an extra fifteen minutes.
Because of all the mornings that I want to dodge obstacles to run back to my bed and hide, it's nice if sometimes one of us gets to do that.
I hope those fifteen minutes felt extra soft.
I hope he liked his dreams.

I hope this is a good week.

*I recognize that self-sufficiency is probably just a sign of neglect, but when Gabriel wakes up, he comes and checks on me/tells me he's up, then he puts on a cartoon**, gets himself a snack, and waits until he hears my (programmed, timed) coffee finish before he comes and wakes me up.  For all the challenges that boy presents, he makes up for it 1,000 times over by letting me sleep until the coffee's done on Saturday mornings.

**Yeah my 4-year-old can put on his own cartoons because of that one time when he was still a 3-year-old and I was just.so.tired. that instead of getting up and out of bed I had Gabriel bring me a paper and pens and I drew diagrams for the VCR and the DVD player and the accompanying remotes.  I win?

16 September 2010

My Uncle Gordon

Gordon Kane
This is my great-uncle Gordon. My mom's dad's older brother.
He had a debilitating stutter. 
As the oldest of six, he bore the brunt of the physical and verbal abuse doled out by his father, my great-grandfather.
So he stuttered.
And he lived alone.

Gordon worked as a pilot in Alaska, flying hunting parties to obscure locations.
In the late spring of 1955, he dropped a party off on an Alaskan island. 
Flying back, there was a storm.  He crashed into the mountainside and died.  It took three weeks to find the hunters he'd dropped off; by that time they were on the verge of death themselves.
My great-aunt Cherry, the youngest of the six kids, kept his two kittens. 
A friend had given him the cats that spring, to keep him company.

My mom wasn't born until 1957, so everything I know about him, I know from his siblings.
And from the picture in my parents' hallway.

15 September 2010

My Uncle Herb

Herb Johnston

This is my great-great-uncle Herb.  He's my dad's dad's DAD's brother (you got that?).  He was a dog sledding, fur trapping, walrus hunting, fishermanning, Alaskan explorer dude. 

There are all sorts of animals and faces and trinkets that he carved out of walrus ivory, hiding in the hutch and sitting on window sills at our house. 
There's also a walrus skull in the back of my parents' closet, just waiting for an 8-year-old to unknowingly run her hand over its eye sockets when she stows away in her parents' pitch dark closet during a game of hide-and-go-seek.
It. Is. Terrifying. As I've mentioned before.

I never met my uncle Herb. 
My dad remembers him fondly.
So does my grandfather.
So did my great-grandfather.
He sounds like he was a pretty good guy.

14 September 2010

Good At

*Describing people I love based on their flaws.
*Pinpointing and detailing exactly why strangers are funny looking.
*Keeping track of irrelevant bits of nonsense.
*Talking my friends into making questionable choices.
*Making questionable choices myself.
*Knocking things over.
*Spilling coffee on my shirt.
*Napping.
*Walking and breathing at the same time.
*Proofreading the work of others.
*Sudoku.
*Obsessive thought processes.
*Forgetting where I parked my car.
*Losing cell phones.
*Giving the impression of keeping it together.
*Shopping for other people.
*Brushing my teeth.
*Making Angry Eyes.
*Fancy hair-dos.
*Arm wrestling.
*Awkward self-portraiture.
*Cookie dough consumption.
*Note taking.
*Gossip.
*Adventure.
*Making nonsensical lists.
 --
Et tu?

08 September 2010

How I work, at work, but also at home (sometimes (not really))

I'm going to talk about where I actually Work (yknow, work work?) for a living.
I'm not a professional blogger or writer, and I get a lot of little background stuff done while I'm running other projects at MY JOB (and they know about my blog, so I'm not outing myself or anything), and I don't actually have a work station to talk about at home (more on that later), and besides, I have a magic mouse.  
How I Work - At Work
1. That's my you-had-no-idea-my-work-computer-was-so-awesome brand new (floor model) iMac. It's pretty and I love it.
2. Official post-it method of remembering shit that I need to do, accounting codes, etc.  I am exempt from criticism for this method because I'm so awesome at working. And stuff.
3.  MAGIC MOUSE OMG MY MOUSE IS MY FAVORITE THING IN THE WORLD I HAVE A MAGIC MOUSE.  Magic.Mouse.
4.  10-Key.  Used to excess.  As in, broken wrists and arm braces excess.
5.  Calendar.
6.  EVERYTHING OF LEGIT WORK IMPORTANCE SHOVED INTO A CORNER.
7.  (looks like a '1', but isn't) the PHONE.
8.  Pictures of my kid. Because he's awesome.
How I Work - At Work
1.  Totally NOT google reader looking at blogs. Except....SHIT.
2.  More post-its. It WORKS, people.
How I Work - At Work
A closer up of all the shit that I do every day.  It's organized to me, even if it doesn't look like it to you.  Also a 2-year-old Gabriel in bunny ears, as is his way.

Oh. And then there's where I work at home.
I'm a very productive blogger lady person.
I really do do most of my blogging from bed. Or from the floor in the hallway (my preferred Listening to KNBR spot).  Or sometimes from the kitchen. Because that way I don't burn down the house while I'm making dinner.
At home I have a MacBook, circa 2008, named Ramón.
And a Canon Rebel XS and a Canon Powershot and a scanner and a printer and a head full of nonsense.

How do you work?

07 September 2010

Birthday Weekend Wrap-Up

I spent Friday night listening to KNBR, and ohmygod to the Giants suffering from crushing defeat at the hands of the Dodgers.
Then I broke out in hives.
Then I went to bed.
Then I woke up at 5am on Saturday morning and I did this.
And I scored exactly what I scored on my practice tests, which. Expected.
I wanted to do better, but 690 is good.
Solid, even.
I'm working on not making my sad face when I tell people my score.
Because the score is GOOD, and my expectations of myself can be ridiculous.
Then I went to the mall to buy myself a birthday shirt because I am OHMYGODSOTIRED of Every.Single.Shirt.I.Own.
I didn't find any shirts.
I bought three pairs of jeans.
Went to Julia's.
Modeled BumpIts.
Lounged in the hot tub.
Chatted with some guys in the hot tub.
Thought they were a gay couple.
As it turned out they were just from the East Coast.
I have trouble with that sometimes.
Collected Leah.
Ate.
Drank.
Gathered up Daniel.
Eventually got my hands on Stella too, but only after she made a detour through Hunter's Point, as is her way.
Found out via interwebs that the Giants came from behind to beat the Dodgers.
Happy birthday to me.
Went to some ridiculous club called....oh god, what was it called?
The floating cow?
The master cow?
The something udders?
There was a cow.  
A leopard spotted cow?
The Something Cow
Spotted Something Cow

Got OHMYGODSODRUNK.
Bo0b Grab
We are....awesome.
Dance?
My bewb makes for good holding, I guess.
Got Daniel drunk enough to dance, which, yeah, that's pretty drunk.
Had ridiculous amounts of fun.
Woke up Sunday morning in muchly pain.
Drove back to SC.
Went to lunch with mom and sister.
My mom took me shopping.
Shoes and a dress.
Birthday nap.
Birthday cake.
Birthday Cake
Thank you Adam!

Listened to the Giants beat the Dodgers.
Happy birthday to me.
Birthday outing with a fabulous group of people, including Krishna, Lisa, sister, brother, etc.
Pizza.
GLORIOUS SLEEP.
Monday.
Wretched drive.
Listened to the Giants beat the Diamondbacks.
Happy birthday to me.
Child collected.
Home again.
Child sick.
This morning.
Child medicated.
Child at school.
Me at work.
Also sick.

-Fin-

02 September 2010

Birthday Wanty Things

Epiphanie camera bag (ginger), $164.95.  I was already in love with these bags and wanted one. Then I went to BlogHer and saw all of the different incarnations in REAL LIFE.  Now I want one MORE.
The new Kindle (with 3G & WiFi), $189. I want it. That is all.
Joe's Provocateur Jeans, SUPER EXPENSIVE (but also awesome).  I bought them on sale at Macy's for $60, which *I* felt was spendy for jeans. But now that I own them? They are magic, and $150-$175 for a second pair is sounding more and more reasonable.
Other things: Money (obvs), fluffy books (that are also good), the repair of my sewing machine, pretty earrings that don't hurt my delicate little metal-sensitive earlobes, an éclair, one of those connecty cords that will make my iPod talk to my car stereo (accidentally left mine in my old car when I got the new car), an extra usb cord for my phone (htc incredible) because having only one is a pain in the ass, cute underwear, coffee, fun eyeshadow, knitting supplies, a beachy vacation, absolution of debt, scoring over 700 on the GMAT, a television that doesn't have a weird divot on the screen exactly where faces always seem to be, daily naps, or, whatever.
Cupcakes?

Late August Heat

Mad Face
Yelling at me.
silhouette
I love his eyelashes.
Silly Face
Hamming it up.
Bike Pump
Trying to pump air into his tire.
Elliot and Gabriel
Elliot and Gabriel
Camille
Mimi on the quarter pipe
Camille
Camille
Elliot
Elliot