Friday, May 25, 2018

Wooden Broccoli

You win some, you lose some.

-As of today 4/4 Kendrick kids have completed their respective grades and are inclined to move onward and upward on this harrowing ladder we call academia.

-According to tradition, on the last day of school all of the students join in a dance festival which spans culture and history alike. This means the festival is a massive gathering of students, faculty, staff, parents, grandparents, older siblings, dignitaries, and former students. It is an agoraphobic nightmare stuffed with smiles and cameras. But, this was the first year I spotted all of my children before their respective dances and was able to actually see them perform!

-Foiled by social anxiety, Christopher gave me his blessing to slip out early after my kid's dances were done. I wish I didn't sweat and fret at the thought of being in high-capacity social situations. But navigating two hours of that kind of sociability will put me in bed for days.

-I spent a few hours on the perfectly-planned deck of my dear Mindy Gledhill eating pizza and commiserating about social anxiety as our children buzzed around in swimming suits. It's been thrilling to watch her latest album take form and function.

-I only got through an hour of summer break before I was grunting at the kids. Why won't they just put their shoes IN THE SHOE BASKET?! Christopher and I have this thing now, when the kids do something inexplicably irresponsible or reckless we look at each other and say, "ALL SUMMER LONG!" Did you come to this blog to hear about my perfect life? THERE IT IS.

-Before the kids were out for the summer Iris and I got one last hour of alone time. We watered the back porch plants and played in her cottage with her wooden food. She made me "burnt cheese sandwiches" (grilled cheese sandwiches) and a side of broccoli warning me, "Be careful, broccoli will make you fart!" "Is that so?" I asked. "Yes, broccoli and beans make you fart." I am old school enough that the word fart still seems so vulgar, and yet when a little blondy four year old says it, it's the cutest drop of human verbiage.

-Yesterday we celebrated Anson's tenth birthday. Anson is VERY ten years old. If you've ever known a ten year old boy I think you'll know just what I mean. It's a full time job. But I would like to mention that Ever came home a couple weeks ago and told us that Anson won the Anti-Bully Award at the school for being an ally and friend to all, and for standing up to bullies. It's so Anson that he didn't even  bother to tell us himself. He is very tender-hearted and carries a keen sense of justice. The more he ages, the more he uses it for good. And also yesterday I took him to get a haircut where he sat in a chair and played Nintendo. And like five hours afterward he looked in the mirror FOR THE FIRST TIME since the haricut and said, "Oh wow, that is really short. Oh well," and moved on. How would this life be?

-Anson turning ten also means that I've been a mother for a decade now. Was there really a time when I pined for kids to litter my house with their shoes? It almost seems like it was just a dream. Haven't I always been here, eating wooden broccoli and watching tanned-skin children parade about wet with swimsuits in the sun? It seems natural, though certainly not easy. Sometimes I think I might crack and break and die of the ordinary. But there are little bits of splendor that catch me by surprise and delight my crackled soul.

Like when Iris says fart. ALL SUMMER LONG.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Pony Up

I am trying to get some writing in today but Ever and Erin are watching My Little Ponies in the same room as my desk and so I am like writing one sentence and then getting engulfed into the storyline and then I snap out of it and write another sentence and then I am like, "Wait, what did she just say?" and they answer me and then I turn back to my computer and I have completely forgotten where I was.

I have been trying to get up early to write but it's not working out well because I'd rather use that little bit of time to sleep. So sue me.

I was sleeping last night and woke up in a panic because my lungs wouldn't open up enough for me to take a deep breath and I was coughing and thumping my chest and

(Human Twilight Sparkle just chose to go to Crystal Prep! She's like the smartest!)

and Christopher woke up and ran and got an inhaler and taught me how to use it and I did and woah, it was amazing how fast it worked. I am new to allergies but boy do I hate them so much.

But I am trying to say that with a night like last night, and the night before when two of our kids got bloody noses, and the night before that when one child entered into a nightmare marathon I just don't get a lot of sleep. So I take it when I can get it.

And writing just comes when it comes. I guess. So what's with My Little Ponies turning into humans? I mean, call me a purist but...turning ponies into humans isn't scientifically correct for one thing.

Besides that, when those ponies turn into humans and experience allergies and nightmares and bloody noses you'd think they'd be like, yeah it's a pony life for me.

But what do I know? I've never even been a horse much less a pony.

Ok, time well spent.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018


"For me it's an extraordinary gift to see something and to write about it. For me, no experience is complete until I've written about it." -Michael Longley

I think I've had a breakthrough about writing recently. I don't think calling yourself a writer has anything to do with your technical skills, your education, your perfect prose, but it has everything to do with how you experience the world.

For me, when I am having experiences, they fill up my head in words. I am constantly asking myself,  "How would I write this experience down? What words would I use? How would I phrase things so as to arrange the narrative to make a comprehensible piece?"

Couldn't all artists just substitute Longley's words "write/written" for whatever medium they experience the world through?

 I think so.


And so the list goes on.

This is just a thought I needed to write down so that I can say I've completed this breakthrough experience.

So it is write/written.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

They Call It Sea Lice, Actually

Wellllllll, ok. So where were we?

Oh right. We're right back to talking about my endlessly intriguing life. So first, I went Austria.

Oh just kidding. I went to Midway, Utah. That was a fun night. We tried a new restaurant and the evening was one of the first slightly warm ones we have had in awhile but they seated us next to a fireplace and it was just the perfect temperature and the food was local and lovely.

And then there was the day the girls and I wore matching striped leggings, but only a few of us were committed so it didn't last past this picture. I AM LOOKING AT YOU ERIN AND IRIS.

We went to Idaho for Easter and Spring Break. It's really sad because we did some cool things, went on some beautiful hikes and I have no pictures of it so I can't exactly prove it. That's the problem with suspending your social media accounts, you don't have incentive to take photos. I mean, beyond "memories." Oh wait I just found this photo I took during a roadside stop somewhere between Utah and Southeast Idaho. I slapped a filter on it so it would definitely look like I HAVE THE LIFE.

Maybe "living in the present" isn't what its cracked up to be? Also, palazzo pants...likewise not what they're cracked up to be, but man, so cozzzzzzzy.

You know what we did do that is worth mentioning? We went to Crystal Hot Springs which is in the very northern hemisphere of Utah in a town tucked into the Wasatch Front called Honeyville. It wasn't just hot springs--I mean, as regulars of hot springs, we know our lava-molten-heated water sources--this is a full on mineral bath. It's like diving into a pool that has been poured into an enormous rusted-out tool box, with the tools left to stew at the bottom. Did that make any sense? (It will if you've been there!) It's called Crystal Hot Springs, but it's not crystal clear water. In fact...were we swimming in hot, steaming robot blood? We could've been. I don't know.

For certain, we all jumped in and in two minutes our life force was completely zapped. The baby (when do I stop calling her that? she's four) didn't talk the entire time we were there and Christopher looked like his spirit had left his body and he was just left to float his days until the zombie apocalypse. At one point, Anson blasted out of the pool and desperately shuffled through our picnic basket until he found a plastic fork and began scratching his legs with it in such a fashion I thought maybe he swam into a poisonous patch of water....until I realized...that's not a thing?

I don't know about any of this. But I did come home with matching strawberry-colored rash on either hips which was free of charge, I think? It occasionally itches, but I don't want you to worry about me because it's definitely NOT like the time last year when hundreds (thousands?) microscopic jellyfish larvae got trapped into my swimsuit on a gorgeous Costa Rican beach and bit me all over my back and belly and it itched and burned so badly I asked to be read my last rights.

Oh man, I said my life wasn't intriguing but that last paragraph is pretty precious. And you know what's funny? Unlike our Easter and Spring Break capers, I DO have a picture of the EXACT MOMENT I WAS DEVOURED BY  THOUSANDS (MILLIONS?) MICROSCOPIC JELLYFISH LARVAE. Here it is:

If only I could time travel and tell C. Jane to GET UP! GET UP! GET UP GIRL AND SAVE YOURSELF SO MUCH ANGUISH! (BTW I also have a picture of the rash itself but I will spare you and your love of hamburger meat.)

And anyway, if I COULD time travel I definitely would have a super incredible intriguing blog, instead of me yelling at lawmakers and posting pathetic Zombie Birthday Parties DIYs., good to see you. Time to go switch the laundry.

p.s. Definitely giving Crystal Hot Springs two thumbs up. Must try. We loved the adventure of it all. The baby (or whatever I'm supposed to call her now) started verbalizing thoughts about an hour after we left. She's fine now.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Checking the Boxes

If you want to read this post, and I cordially invite you to do so, I humbly request you read this very informative article explaining the background of what I am writing about. I assure you, you will be rewarded with some very fine gems if you do. But it does talk about rape and harassment and the failure of men in power to believe women. So please take care if you decide to proceed.

It's funny because there was so much news this weekend that I didn't know I had been mentioned in the Deseret News until my aunt emailed me. And it wasn't as if I was mentioned by name, really. In fact I had to go to my source to make sure that the person in question was actually me. You see, the line reads, "He referenced a former Provo city employee and congressional campaign staffer and a city councilwoman who have criticized his leadership and said some people are trying to "destroy" him." 

That's hefty allegation I guess. Trying to destroy him? Whoa. I really wanted to write a public statement after it was confirmed that the "Provo city employee and congressional campaign staffer" was me but I didn't have time until this morning (Tuesday at 6am) and if I can hardly find the time to just write a quick rebuttal then HOW DO I FIT IN TRYING TO DESTROY A WHITE MAN'S LIFE in my schedule? You know? I mean, DESTROY! I've watched enough Game of Thrones (don't Google that Mom) to know you don't just wake up casually and destroy a life. Especially of a man in high power--a CONGRESSMAN! Who does that? Look at what Stormy Daniel's had to do just to tell her story! And even then, 75% of Family Values Utah GOP will remain cool with D. Trump and will continue to support the CONGRESSMEN who vote with him every single day of their lives. 

Look, Arya Stark had to recite that list in her head for a long time before she could even begin to do her work of destruction! Plus she had to train in serious sword fighting and face-swapping. And while I do have a list (which I call my Manemies List--a collection of enemy men who have done women wrong) my former boss and white male congressman is not even close to the top! That spot is still occupied by the dude who put a hit on me by the stake relief society presidency and had them follow me (which they obediently did) a few years ago. (If you aren't Mormon you'll have no idea what drama I just dropped, but anyway). I still see him around town and think of his demise. (I am not perfect!) I also just moved another dude to a top spot for divorcing my friend for not being sexy enough. Oh lawd my list is long and fruitful.

But the truth is, I did criticize him publicly. I mean, not SUPER publicly. Not like, as publicly as I could have. In a community facebook thread (which I didn't even post!) I showed up to defend the five women who said my former boss (and white male congressman) didn't do much after they came forward with sexual harassment against Provo's police chief. It was a hot news item, showing up in three major papers and then the congressman wrote a pathetic op-ed response in which he said he only ever heard two allegations as his time as mayor. And he took them "seriously."

And then oops. A few days ago he "remembered" there were actually three allegations bought up. Which he DEFINITELY took "seriously" and then forgot them, I guess?  Anyway, I am a woman who has also experienced being dismissed (and dumped, to be honest) for bringing up sexual harassment, sexism and homophobia with the white straight male congressman on his campaign and was told I was being "insubordinate" and something about my tone being off and then when I defended my tone I was told my timing was wrong and so on and so forth (a story I really don't want to get into for my own emotional health) and saw other women be treated like shit (I learned that word from you Mom, don't judge) in both offices I worked in and so guess what I BELIEVE THE WOMEN.

And even had I not had these experiences, I have chosen to always always BELIEVE WOMEN because the price they pay for coming forward is so extreme. It's so devastating. Any man who says "we have to be careful because lives could be ruined" about women coming forward and being "fair" to the man accused doesn't believe women. When you're sexually harassed and you decide to come forward its because your life is already ruined. It's your last hope to be compensated for all your loss. And it's hugely risky. And most of the time the dude walks unscathed and maybe even made a congressman, or like PRESIDENT. So to even utter the phrase "lives could be ruined" essentially means, "I don't believe these women, and even still I only value male lives."

And as I read more of this article it became more and more like a farce, or like an SNL sketch. And before the weekend was through, I was listening to friends read the whole thing in dramatic reading fashion! My lands, the laughs we had. I mean, it's cinematic! Classic white male material! Should be required in feminist theory classes in college! There's classic male victimhood, with the punctuation of male tears! There's the whole "women want more than just to check the boxes" and "they need a lot of emotional support and understanding" (women are pets?) bit! And the part where he says he allowed his predator chief to"retake" sexual harassment training ("Oops, you forgot and grabbed a woman's thigh--you should probably brush up on that training again!")! And don't forget how he decided to take care of the problem by insisting that his own police chief was chaperoned when he went to certain areas of his jurisdiction so he wouldn't be "misunderstood". Right? Because when your police chief calls your boobs "puppies" it could be "misunderstood". We've all been there. Understandable.

But the crowning moment for me really was the part about how he wakes up every day in a cold sweat worried about what he might be accused of that day. Like, most of us women are waking up hoping that we aren't harassed that day, you know like the other day when I went for a walk and a man walking his dog started yelling at me some vulgar joke about the way my body bounced when I walked fast. Or we worry about not getting a job (or being removed from a job) because we won't put up with our co-workers gazey eyes or gross jokes about our bodies. I mean, while this white male congressman who is fairly wealthy is worried about this scandal making it hard for him to get an executive job or raise money for his re-election, black men are waking up hoping they won't get shot for holding a cell phone in their backyard. 

After all this, why would I--a mother of four busy young children--take anytime out of my life to destroy a congressbro's life when he's so obviously doing a good enough job on his own?  And this is a man up until last week I still held out hope for! Even after all the crap I experienced and witnessed, there still remained a lasting faith in him--however slightly. But his response to the charges pretty much destroyed (to use a word) any good will I had left. And not only that, my family is fully aware that I will divert time and resources to show up for women (and sometimes that means I ignore them to write an unedited, messy post on my blog in defense, and they will have to fend for themselves for breakfast) but I will not spare one tiny ounce of my over-scheduled, under-funded, over-budget life to execute the destruction of a privileged dude who refuses to get help for his own deeply ingrained misogyny.

I mean, that's just not a good investment of energy sources. I don't have to be a lawmaker to get that.