Monday, October 16, 2017

Life of a Slow Driver (#2)



Sometimes when a car is stuck behind me on a one lane road and I'm not comfortable going faster, I imagine that I'm an exotic insect catcher (usually fancy cars are the ones bothered by my speed-limit abiding tendencies). When the lane opens up, I think to myself, "Fly like the wind, butterfly! You're free!"

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Camping Will Solve All of Your Problems

Are you overwhelmed with mess? Wondering what the purpose of life is? Generally irritated at the world around you?


Camping will effectively bring you purpose, let you have space from the world, and eliminate the messes created in your house or apartment for the duration you spend away. This tactic is actually quite compatible with children, at least as long as you


  1. Camp in an area that is not infested by racoons
  2. Camp in an area that is not surrounded by a raging river/cliff drop-offs/mountain lions/virus carrying mosquitos
  3. Camp in an area that is within a few minutes of a grocery store and at least one fast food restaurant
  4. Have extendable arms
  5. Have more than two arms
  6. Have a magically appearing stock of sippy cups and clean water and goldfish and cheese sticks and veggie straws.


If you are interested in this approach to getting a new start to life and you own a home, you may want to consider buying a pet racoon. This nocturnal omnivore will eat through your various doors and walls and eventually require the demolition of your home. However, as you will still own the plot of land, you will be left with a very clean lot of dirt, with which to set up a spare, minimalist arrangement, perhaps with the aid of a tent.


If you don’t own a home, you may want to forego causing any damage to your immediate building, as this will only leave you truly homeless and in debt, for you will have neither roof nor place for belongings nor--and this is the important part--a piece of land to easily camp on. However, with some preparation, you can notify friends or family of your camping intentions and spend increasing lengths of time camping in back or front yards.

Suddenly, your clutter problems will be over and you will have the mental space to focus on the now, prioritizing the pressing need to keep you and your children fed and clothed and at a sustainable body temperature.

New family pet included.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Oklahoma

The season is changing and the sky is softer and the leaves are crunching and the wind is stirring and all things are alive and dying with autumn. We've spent the last few days at a corn maze and a pumpkin patch, pumping water to race ducks and the little one throwing balls in a pit of thick, cool, dried corn kernels. Dirt is filling our nostrils and the seams in our palms. Two little pumpkins, an orange gourd laced with green and a green gourd laced with white lay on our wooden table, a small, yellow-hued thing that we love dearly.

And this morning is was, oh, such a beautiful morning.


So for all of these reasons, here is that most wonderful of states, Oklahoma.


 


Thursday, September 28, 2017

Saving Michael

The month after Michael and I became parents we were in a perpetual state of delirium. I remember, night after night, waking up and thinking that I’d lost the baby. I even remember looking in the crib, seeing the baby, and thinking to myself, “but where is the rest of him?”

One night, in a fitful state between sleep and restlessness, I was somehow convinced that Michael was falling off the bed, and that any such fall would lead to certain doom.

The first second into this, I was lying still in a semi-petrified, semi-flaccid state.


The next, I was trying to escape a blanket as tenacious as the chords of death so that I could save my husband.

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Finally I escaped the blanket death trap in time to reach over Michael and roll him towards me, preventing him from his inevitable fall off the bed and onto the carpet of doom.

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Michael, however, mistook my heroic efforts as an invitation to cuddle.

Somehow, he missed the gravity of the situation.



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Michael, however, remained unconvinced of the dangers of carpet. So he coaxed me to lie down and we went back to sleep.

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*Special thanks to Hyperbole and a Half, MS Paint Adventures, and the wonderful world of rage comics for formatting examples and inspiration*


Monday, September 25, 2017

New York



One day, dear New York, I will visit you. But for now I'll just be catching up on sleep.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

I'm Biased


Sometimes, it’s easy to think that if we are a woman, disabled, an ethnic minority, a religious minority, LGBTQ or otherwise part of a group often stereotyped, that we have no biases against ourselves and that nothing we do or say ever perpetuates biases or misconceptions. However, despite being a woman, I have definitely thought horrible shameful sexist thoughts like “Really? My doctor is a woman? Fancy that!” or “Wow, that man is such a good nurse! Look at him throw my bandages in the biohazardous waste receptacle!”
And even though my husband has Cerebral Palsy, I’ve thought despicable things about people with physical disabilities like “Oh that poor person must be so lonely and I hope they get to eat yummy meals like pancakes for dinner.” Or if I see someone pushing someone else in a wheelchair, unless they both have white hair and crinkly skin, I probably think “Wow, look at that caretaker go, and look at that other person being awake and out of bed!” Instead of, “Look at that cute couple!” even though if one day Michael is in a wheelchair and I am pushing him, I want people to think “Look at that cute couple!”


Even Michael has told me that he’s had these terrible, awful, yucky thoughts and even about other people with obvious disabilities, and sometimes he has them even though he makes himself sad for having them, and then he feels sad-times-sad, and then he feels extra sad because he doesn’t want other people to have those thoughts about him.


It’s not just about disability or gender or race though, it’s also just about human-being ness. I think thoughts like “Oh that person is crying they are having a bad day :( maybe their dog died or maybe they lost all their homework...




“One day they’ll know what it’s like when their baby is screaming his lungs off in his crib and they are afraid of scary possibilities of strangers sneaking into our house. One day that sad person will be sad about things like that, and then they will be really really sad, I bet they have no idea how sad, but now is probably a good time for them to be sad about things like losing their homework.” I might think this the day after sobbing because I misspelled my title on an essay I needed to turn into class. And I actually really hope I would cry if my dog died. If I had a dog. (I really really want a dog.)


So maybe all I’m saying is that I don’t know if the people who are hurting never perpetuate negative mindsets about themselves. But that doesn’t have to be paralyzing, I hope, and it doesn’t mitigate my responsibility as someone who is fairly privileged, either. For instance, as someone who doesn’t have any sort of obvious physical disability, I am in a position to better communicate with other people who might be inclined to dismiss someone with an obvious disability.


In which case it might not be so helpful to make myself or others feel shame for having bad shameful thoughts. Instead it might be better to simply brush those thoughts to the side and to keep getting to know more people who seem different than me or who seem similar to me but actually have deep differences and reminding myself, often, that I can be a spokesperson for so many who don’t have a voice, and that not only are people like icebergs with way more beneath the surface but that my vision isn’t very good and that I probably can’t even see all the goodness and 3-D-ness and density on the surface.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Thrift Store Play Date



I LOVE thrift store play dates. Even when a really nice and well-meaning lady comes up to me while I sit with my baby in the toy aisle, hands me a simple baby board book, looks at our pile of toys and says "you should consider this too. Trust me, I'm a teacher." (She probably doesn't know that our apartment is a fire hazard for all of the books inside.) 

Usually though, everyone just assumes that everyone else is doing the best they can for their children, and the more people come, the more it is clear that we're all in good company.



Saturday, September 9, 2017

My Backpack


So, I *tried* packing my eight books and the twenty notebooks for my students into a backpack (not my normal one, but a hiking backpack). They fit, actually. But the weight of the backpack made me worry about herniating a disk or developing a case of scoliosis, so I went with the suitcase, which was great because then people thought I was a real hotshot who commuted to campus by plane flight or a lawyer hauling around briefs. (This picture is tardy. School started on Wednesday, and it is now Saturday night. Oh well.)

Ode to Old Glasses

A few weeks ago I found a page that looked roughly like this in one of my old journals. Dearest Glasses, Fortunately you were bea...