Thursday, March 14, 2019

Attention Deficit Hyperactive DonglePoncho

Here are some subjects I currently on my mind:

The perils of geo-tagging instagramers on local it a boon to rural economies?
The problem with tourist-dependent economies in rural communities.
Paul Manafort, how much money goes to the legal team?
Biden, what would make me desperate enough to support?
(More on that on Twitter)
Should I stop writing so I can help Anson convert fractions into decimals for his homework?
What should I pack for my trip to Austin this weekend?
Am I cool enough to go to Austin this weekend?
My phone is about to die.
Should I go get a dongle or keep writing?
Was my latest tweet on the Utah Legislative session too caustic?
What is the formula for too caustic?
My child who keeps asking me when her friend will be done with piano lessons so they can play together is sort of driving me crazy because I DON'T KNOW and I am trying to write this very important blogpost.
Why did Anson give his friend my phone number? Now I get seven texts a day from him about Fortnite and I would ask him to stop texting but I sorta don't have it in me?
Even on my birthday when I was feeling "melancholy" I got at least four solid texts about Fortnite from this kid. And for some reason, getting those texts from a 10 year old boy meant for Anson on my birthday made me feel pathetic in a way I've never experienced before.
CK won't let the kids use his phone EVER and my phone is like the communal portal for desperate, bored or socially active children.
When I touch CK's phone it doesn't fee like someone dipped it in glue and rolled it around in a sandbox like mine does all the time.
I swear an alarm sounds and an electric shock is activated if flesh younger than ten years of age touches CK's phone. And that is what I call mobile device privilege.
I have a password on my phone but my kids have all figured it out and that's the problem with parental passwords, I am too lazy to protect them.
CK just brought me a dongle. So at least he's using his privilege to help others less fortunate.
Now I'm blocking Anson's friend because he actually got feisty with me when I told him Anson can't play Fortnite tonight (because I have to help him convert fractions into decimals). I don't need a power struggle on my own phone with my son's friend. Good gravy.
Now I feel a fresh new pathetic.
It's March 14th and it's very, very cold outside.
Is it unnaturally cold outside or is it that March phenomena wherein you think it should be warmer than it is and that's what makes it seem extra cold?
The haircut I have right now is not a good look for my face.
But it was worth a try. And it's ok.
Tonight Anson and I will read the chapter in Bridge to Terebitha where (SPOILER) Jess dies and I do feel a little pit in my stomach about it. Anson is going to break down. But then again, so did I when I read it for the first time in fourth grade. CK said he did too. That break down experience made Bridge to Terebithia number one in my heart for my whole life. I didn't know that words could walk you through an experience with such skill that you felt it in your stomach and it stayed with you for years. So I think, Anson is about to experience something huge and I am feeling responsible but I am trying to keep it in context.
Parenting! What an exhaustive thing. I am going to need that break this weekend in Austin (whether I am cool enough or not).
Should I take a poncho?
When I started this blogpost there were two kids at my house and now there is six and we're still waiting for that friend who is seemingly NEVER GOING TO GET OUT OF PIANO LESSONS.
This dongle is having connection issues and continues to make my phone and my lap top BEEP and NOTIFY me on repeat.


My lawyer friend says Paul Manafort is in it at this point for 3 million. That seems cheap. In a global gangster sort of way, I mean.
Suddenly I want a hot chicken sandwich.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

My 42nd March 11

Well well well here I am logging in one year older and wiser too.

I spent my birthday intermittently crying, and please don't tell me that has never happened to you. In my 42 years of having a birthday I can honestly say there are happy birthdays and there are sad birthdays and this was a sad one.

Let's call it melancholy instead of sad, ok? Because it sorta felt out of my control. It's like, you're just not feeling it. Not feeling being birthday girl.

I woke up to one child puking in her bed. Another child had the most dynamic breakdown I've experienced as a parent just as it was time to head to school. CK was also sick with the flu (but I question the diagnosis and would put my money on: Pleaser Who Cannot Handle Expectations on Spouse's Birthday.)

For the record, when you are married to a pleaser, the nicest thing you can do for them is plan your own birthday and let them know how exactly they can play a part. I mean, I blew up all my own balloons, designed my own cake, bought my own gifts, even wrote my own birthday card. It's my birthday right? Let me treat myself! I am not a pleaser like CK, but I can please myself when it counts. ;)

On all accounts it was a lovely day. Felt like spring for the first time, my sister Lucy brought me a pot of tulips and hyacinths, my other sister Page took me to lunch and I even got a nap! My mom and dad brought me a luxury towel embossed with "C" (my mom  CINDY was quick to say that it wasn't a re-gift). I heard from a ton of lovely friends and some strangers. I went shopping, ate my favorite sugar cookies, took the kids to dinner by myself which is sometimes kinda nice and ended the day with friends over for cake and story-telling.

The weekend I had spent with Janna in Capitol Reef National Park hiking, eating and totally taking advantage of free therapy. And the night before that, we went to a lovely dinner with dear, dear friends.

And yet, I cried a lot yesterday. I cried at my yearly check up, I cried to Page, I cried to Janna, I cried to CK a TON. I cried by myself driving in the car. I cried when I saw that Ever had spent a few hours decorating my room. I cried at the jalapeno burger I ate for dinner (but that's because of spice, I am pretty sure).

You know, just sometimes you have those kinds of birthdays. I don't know, but I was super happy to wake up to March 12 this morning. I did not want to Billy Murray that birthday.

If you know what I mean.

Monday, March 4, 2019

Pictures From My Phone: A Hipster Party Cheetah & A Clownish Hyena Go Get a Sandwich

Ever and Erin are in the school play this year. The dress rehearsals are this week. Ever is a clownish hyena and Erin is a hipster-party cheetah (?) and I am their costume designer. I have been working very hard on both of their outfits. Too hard probably. I can't help it, I live for this stuff.

I gave my mom a few Rupi Kaur books this morning. She's new to Rupi. I think she'll love the feminine power prose. Stay tuned.

We went to Bear Lake for the weekend where there was so much snow it was impossible to walk in it without falling a few feet down. Well, I mean if you're above a certain weight. My body happened to sink (OKAY). It was sort of funny and also annoying when you just want to get from point A to point B. Towards the end of our stay I decided to make the most of it and turned my sink holes into little snow caves for the kids. This is peak body acceptance.

I was laughing here but honestly it wasn't that funny.

Look at this grilled egg, bacon and cheese sandwich--CK cooked the egg so perfectly the yolk spilled out when I cut into it. When I fell in love with Christopher I didn't know he would someday do this for me on a very cold day in Bear Lake after I had been trying to weasel my way out of quicksnow. This picture was taken as I was officiating the wedding of Grilled Cheese to Tomato Bisque which as you know is very holy matrimony. May they be as happy as me and CK and still surprised by skills after 16  years!

You know on sunny days when you can't see anything on your phone camera so you shoot hoping for the best? I shot this one yesterday and I am pretty impressed that my selfie game is so natural that I didn't even miss my face, but sadly this wasn't the picture I thought I was taking. I thought I was taking this one of CK and is brother MD.

Thank you for coming to my phone photo dump. It's been everything you ever wanted. Much like the yolk that spills from the perfect grilled cheese you use to dip into the steaming pot of tomato bisque.

Mazel tov!

Thursday, February 28, 2019

When a Period Leads to Question Marks

This evening my kids and I watched Period. End of Sentence. together. I kept having to parent-check myself because like the women shown in India, I think many of us grew up in a shroud of mystery surrounding our female bodies. (A quick shout out to my mom who was always generous with information and created a relationship with me where I could be candid and ask anything--I just didn't always know what to ask.) So sometime I find myself instinctively assuming that certain subjects are not appropriate for kids but are in fact relics of female-centric shame that need to die with me.

I have chosen to be frank with my kids. My kids know what menstruation is, why it happens, when it happens, and what to do when it happens. I gave them this information as they asked for it. So, when we watched this recent Oscar winning short tonight they knew what pads were, and why they were needed. They didn't understand the cultural ignorance about women's bodies, religious shame heaped on menstruating women, or the poverty that created a desperate need for hygienic pads. But they did understand the sexism. Even Iris cheered at the end (SPOILER) when the women were successful selling pads door-to-door because she understood that making money is what will help the women reach their goals in life--specifically going to school.

We paused the film as my kids asked questions--there were a lot of them. The conversation went well into the night--over dinner, and homework hour, and reached the natural ending of bedtime.

I was happy Anson stayed to watch. He considered for a second that he might not want to, but was ultimately pulled in because there are two things Anson cannot resist: adult gossip and documentaries. He is curiously enticed by the very mentions of either past time. It delights me about him.

I tease my kids a little bit about how I have their future mapped out for them (of course I don't, I can't even think about two weeks from now)(also parental expectations make me squirm and feel nauseated). I tell Anson he is going to be a journalist (love of gossip and detailed story-telling), Ever will be the film-maker (loves to create story boards, write, and blow things up), Erin will be the lawyer (logic-centered intelligence while also empathetic while also cut-throat) and Iris will be our doctor (spends a good chunk of time studying books about the body and loves to administer band aids for anything that could possibly be considered injurious in the slightest). So as we sat and watched the documentary I thought about Anson sniffing out stories that needed to be told, Ever telling the story, Erin the women's advocate showing up to help represent, and Iris being there to make sure proper medical help was being administered.

I guess if we're all allowed to dream big, I get to maintain the hope that I birthed the perfect global-crises documentary crew.

You know, on the months I wasn't menstruating.

Thank you to Rayka Zehtabchi and congratulations on her well-deserved Oscar and one of the best Oscar speeches of our lives. 

Wednesday, February 27, 2019


This morning I had a huge task ahead of me: clean the kids rooms. I don't mean tidy up (gross did I just use the words "tidy up"?) I mean, I strip the entire space to it's dusty, candy-wrapper corners and detail the entire room top to bottom. I throw anything away my kids won't miss (which 90% of everything they keep)(99% really) and I collect a large donation for charity stores. But, it takes a full 24 hours to have it just right. Bed linens washed and replaced, furniture dusted, and sprayed with citrus freshener. And for the record, I do make my children clean their room once a week (among other jobs) but this is a job only I can do.

But it didn't matter because when I went to turn on PBS for Iris to watch while I commenced the quad-annual duties, I saw that the Cohen hearings were on tv and I was instantly sucked into the mobster drama that is now American politics. I sat spellbound on my couch in front of that ongoing tv movie for the better part of the morning.

I must say I am grateful CK made me watch all The Grandfather(s) last year because I wouldn't have understand most of Trump world. Thanks to those movies I am now proficient in the language of Mafia and I hear you, Cohen. I know the way you don't need your boss to spell things out for you. I know the way a nod of the head means it's time to off someone. I know how the Mafia language is part schmooze/part body language.

Anyway, you better believe I didn't move off that couch until Iris asked for lunch.

"Sure kid," I said to her in my best Bronx, "get yourself some spaghetti and meatballs."

I watched until Chairman Cummings called for a break. When I looked up Iris had obtained some reading glasses from CK's bedside table. She was sitting at the computer pretending to look at documents and ask questions using her fingers to point at someone imaginary.

Then I heard her say, "Do you like Donald Trump, sir?" and it dawned on me that she was playing Congressional Oversight Hearing. At that point I decided it was time to turn the whole saga off and head upstairs to do some cleaning and let congress handle their own dirty laundry.