Saturday, June 30, 2007

It's Alive!!!!!

The Sun's hair is. I think I'm going to start referring to it by it's proper name: Hair. It has a life and a court battle all it's own, and I swear, come July it's going to get up on the stand and speak in it's own defense!

Met with my current lawyer yesterday. She rocks. When I first started this journey, I was thrown into an association with The Strega. I loved her too. I met her over the phone first. Desperate and scared I was referred to her by Mima, afraid that FBB was about to pull a "stunt" (he did). She answered the phone and her deep alto voice was full of warmth and oceans of calm as she talked me down, laid out a path and told me she was just a phone call away if I needed her, but that I could handle things myself. Events rolled out pretty much the way she predicted, and I followed her path, filed for an Order of Protection and thus began my journey into Bronx Family Court. As time went on, I learned that Strega knew exactly how I felt and where I was in my head because she herself had been there. And she was in the process of defending herself for actions taken during her own escape. Towards the end of our association, I often wondered if my case was bad for her... if there were too many similarities. But at the same time, I think that watching me, she had a better understanding of her own self, and could forgive herself and stand up and fight for herself again. At least I hope so, because she deserved to forgive herself. I got the news that she was no longer allowed to be my lawyer at the same time I got the news that the Sun's lawyer (Guardian Ad Litem, they're called officially) could no longer be his. Talk about panic.

I did some crying and some freaking and some phone calling, getting leads from the Professor that led me to various DV orgs in NY that led me to my current lawyer. She had a Hispanic last name, but when I first spoke to her on the phone, her lack of an accent threw me at first. And her very polished lawyer-look threw me when I first met her face-to-face, until one day FBB kind of pissed her off and I caught a glimpse of her Brooklyn Puerto Rican childhood. She is tiny, shorter than I am; bright as a sparrow and full of fire but she has an extremely patient and quiet surface. She's certainly the right woman for the job, and she made me feel a whole lot better when she peeped FBB's whole card right away. Cuz a lot of people get fooled by him.

(Two judges, three law guardians and five lawyers later) We're getting ready to go to court in July. FBB has a new lawyer (this is his third one--4th if you count the fact that he was "Pro Se" for awhile), and my lawyer told me yesterday that in her initial conversation with FBB's to brief him on The Story So Far, FBB's lawyer brings up Hair. I guess he was shown a picture. "It's kind of long, isn't it?" he allegedly asked. "It is, and why is this a problem?" she allegedly answered. She also said she told him that when he had a son, if he didn't like his son's long hair he could cut it. I told you I liked her...

I told her that yes, the Hair started life as my small attempt at the Nazarite Vow, but once it was cut (spring of '04), really, I was prepared for bi-weekly visits to Tone or Meemo at R. A. W. Barbershop on 129th street, but the Sun refused. He liked Tone well enough, but he didn't like the sound of the clippers and dammit, he wanted Hair back. So by that August we started letting it grow, and during Kindergarten he had an afro, and during 1st grade he had a poofball on top of his head, and now in 2nd grade just passed he could wear his two braids again. The only thing I, as mom, require is that Hair is washed regularly and combed daily--unless it's braided. (I don't think his Hair will dread easily, but when he's a teen and can care for Hair on his own, he's welcome to try.)

In a society where we routinely try to prevent our children from mindlessly following their peers into trouble, why would I thwart his ability to stand alone as his own person? I don't understand why his father doesn't get that. Lawyer said "Maybe he just wants him to conform, to be like everyone else." I guess nobody ever asked him "What, if all your friends jumped off the George Washington Bridge, would you do that, too?"

Friday, June 29, 2007

Something To Chew On

I don't check other blogs every day, but I happened to check American Indians in Children's Literature today and came upon the article in the enclosed link.

The essay, written by Lois Beardless, author of Rachel's Children is an unflinching and very clearly written review of a series of children's books by Anne Margaret Lewis; Tears of Mother Bear, illustrated by Kathleen Chaney Fritz, and Gitchi Gumee, also illustrated by Kathleen Chaney Fritz. It's a long essay, but it's worth reading and really made me think. Ms. Beardless makes a lot of very specific points.

It even prompted me to put a little note at the end of my Bear Maiden story, which was something I wrote around the time I was having a semi nervous breakdown/serious lapse in judgment, and right before I quit my last job as a techie and completely changed my life. Writing that story helped me to clarify where I was in my head at the time, and how desperate and trapped I felt. I had been told that often in Native culture you are adopted by an animal, and often that animal is something that's around you or that you are attracted to, maybe even before you realize that you've been adopted. A few years back, my father was traveling to the University of Taos to do a workshop; he met a Dine woman named Anna and bought a lot of jewelry from her. Anna got to be a family freind, and one of her rings made it to me; a bear claw. I've worn it ever since, not even thinking about it, but when I began to search for my soul, the symbol of that bear claw became very important to me.

Ms. Beardless asks the question "
Is altering or extending a legitimate aboriginal tradition for the purpose of marketing it to non-Indians any different than completely manufacturing a new one? Doesn’t it send the same messages of inconsequential presence about the Native American people of a region? Doesn’t it disregard our historic presence, our collective consciousness, our objections to such appropriation and abuse? And wouldn’t eyebrows be raised if the same practices were applied to Germans, Jews, or African Americans?"

My response to that question is that it has certainly already happened to Americans of African descent, in my opinion. There are a myriad of stories and myths about Africans that we didn't originate that are accepted as truth. The one story I know people really fought against was "Little Black Sambo" because it was obviously racist, but even so, people asked "what's the harm? It's only a story." But there many stories--to say nothing of entire textbooks disguised as "history"--that give half-truths, rumors and plain ol' blatant untruths written by people of non-African descent and have become accepted as fact. Even worse are the stories that were appropriated by non-African culture about our accomplishments as a people, watered down beyond recognition and spit back at us. We get to accept the validity of
Uncle Ben, CEO (yeah, that still pisses me off) or Aunt Jemima, but the fact that Pushkin and Dumas and possibly Shakespeare shared our heritage is not something that's well-known anymore. I had a professor at Pratt tell me, during my "History of Graphic Design" class that "for the purposes of this period (the Renaissance) we will not be talking about Africa, as there is no known written or *printed* contribution from there during this time." In front of my entire class. I was so floored I couldn't even begin to tackle my response.

These days, I have noticed a terrifying trend particularly noticeable in the younger generation; we as Americans of African descent have begun to believe our own "bad press," to wear it like a badge of honor and to live up to it every day. The stereotypes and myths that our grandparents fought so hard to dispel have become ingrained in the current culture. It's a sneakier problem on the "High Side" of The Divide, but I can tell you that Down in the 'hood, they believe the hype. It's why I have such an aversion to the word "Nigga" and everything that it represents. I've had discussions with many people of African descent, who feel that to use the word on ourselves somehow negates its power and awful heritage; who argue about censorship and how it curtails freedoms when we "ban" certain words. But in a strange way, reading Ms. Beardless' essay clarified my answer; that word represents a whole host of myths and stories that were not of our origination, it creates images in people's minds of what a "Nigga" is supposed to be, and now we even believe it. And very few people even realized it when it was happening. And sometimes I wonder if it's too late/ too far to change; if those of us with African blood have become our own worst enemy because we don't even know our own truths anymore.

My Sun


As I was taking my own picture, he wanted to pose for one, too. Yes, my sister the Professor braided his hair; at his request. He was quite insistent on it, though he wailed and screamed as she did them; he's "tender headed" and she's "heavy handed". But she does a great job. Back before she was a professor and therapist, she was a cosmetologist/hair do-er, with a license and her own beauty salon at the age of 18. Then the immigrant African ladies undercut her; they opened these tiny, unlicensed shops where two and three ladies would all work on the same head at the same time, and charged half of what the Professor was charging.

The Sun is definitely "feeling himself" these days. He loves that he's got long hair, loves that he's got cool braids. Loves that he knows Karate and can pose. He's starting to care about what he wears, and is becoming consistent in his "style". It entertains the hell out of me.

Ya Might Miss It


cuz it's just that small... but here's the nosebling...

Thursday, June 28, 2007

...And Finally,

people really piss me off. Especially people who are so busy kissing donkeys that they don't open up their eyes to really see what's going on out the other end.

I've been telling you all how my section of the Marketing department is being systematically destroyed. My boss had a very bad time of it for a while. They tell you about the "5 Stages of Grief" (the definition of which which has become mangled and cliched) and he was at first really distraught, then angry, then pleading, and now I think he's back to being fairly optimistic/in denial. He's been here for over 10 years... he says he has seen the ebb and flow. I don't know though... I still feel that it's only a matter of time before we're given our walking papers, the three of us, but it could be that I'm just used to the financial and entertainment industries, where they routinely "revamp" things and lay off tons of people. It's rare I've been in a place were people actually lasted 10 years.

But anyway. We literally have nothing to do, and what we do have is really bogus low-man-on-the-totem pole type shit. Like on Tuesday.... BigBird hadn't said a word to me in a few days, but she came up to me with a package and asked if I could take it downstairs to meet the hospital shuttle van, so that the package could be met on the Other Side by a minion of the Dark Side. And I thought... they are paying me a SHITload of money to be a messengerbitch. This can't last. At some point some honcho will decide we are no longer paying our way, and cut us loose. We can't take on any more jobs for the hospital; my boss was sneaking stuff on the side, but every time BK got wind of it, she stepped in, snatched it up and outsourced it. My co-worker has been reduced to running around to count how many newsletters are left at the end of the week. And I... basically I'm ignored. I'm no longer working on the newsletter AT ALL. Which is fine cuz I don't like that Vampyre Bitch (and she'z runnin' thangz up in heah now)... but it's not my choice (I really hate being lazy, because laziness begets more laziness with me. I need to be out of this atmosphere); I'd much rather be doing something. Either that or be home, dammit.

Yesterday, while we were trying to get home from IKEA, we ran into HUGE traffic problems. We had no idea why there was so much traffic at 4PM, but we found out that it was because there had been a blackout on the upper east side of Manhattan--affecting the hospital and my office, and many people were trying to get home using cars and buses since the subways were also out.

My boss told me this morning that he grabbed his helmet (I tease him about his little putt-putt scooter mo-ped--it's red, too) and left, as did my co-worker who lives up in Washington Heights. It was about 4:15, he said, and he anyhow he usually gets here about 7AM.

Early this afternoon, BigButt (who works with BigBird) was making snide comments about my boss; how he grabbed his shit and left the minute they told the staff to clear the building. She saw me cock an eye, so she tried to come over and include me in the "joke": "What does he do all day, really? He sits in his office. But he bolted, didn't stick around to see if he was needed." I said well, he does a hell of a lot less than what he used to, but it's not by choice. When she continued, trying to justify her humor I said "if I'd been here I would have left, too, because I have NOTHING to do."

And then I reminded myself to keep my big mouth shut. But I was furious. I mean, is her head so far up the BK's @ss that she can't see what's happening? I realize that in an effort to save her own job she may try to see things in the light that the BK is casting them, but really, how dumb can you be? Do you really think, if a person has been at a job for over 10 years, in a field that *requires* output of materials, that a person would last that long if they were *purposely* not doing anything? And what about the fact that the man is here hours before your fat@ss traipses in???

Whatever. Just had to vent. I won't even tell him that conversation, cuz this is certainly something that would put him out for a few hours.

...So To Continue...

...Tuesday I was exhausted, in part because we got to hang out with the Goobersmoochers in the VIP section at the beach and watch the Bronx fireworks. (And also, I'm just eightyearsworthof tired.) The VIP bracelets were thanks to Shoefly's Brother, who is a middleweight in Bronx politics. His boss is a heavyweight Contender for Mayor at the next election.

I had a conversation once with someone who was trying to convince me that I should vote. That I should vote because even if my candidate didn't win; there was something about the numbers game that helped build momentum. I dunno. Something she was saying. It sounded good at the time, and I voted, and Bush won anyhow, so while I'm a registered voter I'm back to not believing in the system.

But I'm watching the Mayoral elections in NYC next go round, because I know some of the players personally. Politicians are a funny bunch. You really wonder why they want to be politicians. Do they REALLY think they think they can contribute to a greater good? Do they even really care? What portion of their beliefs do they lose, how much of their soul do they sell out to get to a position where they CAN do something, and, once they are there... have they lost too much in the process to follow through on the ideals they had when they first started out? I think the most interesting portrayal of a politician on TV that I've seen lately... the one I think rings true, is Nathan Petrelli in "Heroes." I was thinking of Nathan as I watched the Contender mingle on the boardwalk, watched him on stage as he handed out plaques thanking various local businesses for their support of the Bronx, watched him sing a song with the band. I watched people come up to him to shake his hand, and more interestingly, watched to see who knew him well personally, or worked with him or just merely knew who he was. Human beings have this need to be special, and I watched to see who's body language said "Yes, I know him!--today that makes me special!" as they approached him.

I hadn't thought, despite Brother's enthusiasm, that he had a snowball's chance in hell of winning a major NYC election. He's Hispanic--and a brown-skinned Hispanic at that--in an undercover racist city that will suspend racism in favor of bigcashmoney, and he doesn't have an awful lot of money. How could he win against Bloomberg, who has more money than God? But then last week, Bloomberg renounced the Republican Party and became an Independent, and the TV news magazines all ran these pieces about how Independents don't run to win--they run to shake up the system. And I thought well hmmmm.... suppose Bloomberg is off "shaking up the system" and then will retire from politics to continue to run his multi-billion-dollar empire (cuz he can't leave that for long, or he won't be a billionaire anymore... everyone knows you can't stay rich leaving your shit for other people to run). Bloomberg is a savvy businessman, and strikes me as the type of person who's careful about the announcements he makes. So he said he wasn't running for president... and he wouldn't be; not literally, as he would only be in the presidential race to shake it up (you gotta admire somebody like that--someone who can talk the double-talk and not get caught). So it's quite possible the Contender has a shot. Particularly since, in my completely unpolitcally-savvy opinion, he's been busy selling out the Bronx to prove he's not partial to minority causes. The Bronx is getting a new stadium. The rank and file in the Bronx didn't want a new stadium, but the city did--had been trying for years. So we got one. And "SoBro" is becoming the next gentrification victim (although at a slower pace than Harlem, but it's definitely happening). Gentrification sucks for people who need affordable housing, but it's great for everybody else.

Life could get interesting, especially for Shoefly's family because Brother will be up close and personal in the mix.

But all those thoughts made me tired, so I wandered down to the boardwalk and took pictures instead. I like my Olympus; it takes great day shots but I'm still not getting anything I really like when it's dark out, and I don't use a flash. But here's some pictures.

The Soprano's "Uncle Junior" was there. He looks different without the coke-bottle bottom glasses. And a beard.

Think this kid cares about politics? How will what was happening up on the pavilion affect his life down here on the boardwalk?

This guy broke into some kind of body-convulsing dance to a Shakira/Beyonce cover.

This little girl could bust a move, too.

They did a little bodygrind, but they were cute and had some decorum.

The Moon, the Sun and "Frac" who lives across the street from the Moon. They're all at that age where they ham for the camera--too cool to pose now.

Where Do I Begin....

I'll try starting with yesterday, the last day of school. My Sun is now officially a 3rd grader. No more little baby, no more toddler. No more "little kid". He's a big kid now. His face is getting longer, his teeth bigger. His shoulders are broadening and his back is getting that rounded look teenage boys have. His feet are growing. He's becoming more aware of himself in relationship to people. He gave himself a "street name". I laughed; I asked him was he going to start writing it in grafitti letters? but he hasn't quite gotten there yet.

He got a great report card (which I need to scan and send to his father). He did well this year, flourishing under his teacher V, and his math teacher, L. V is much more "bohemian" and earthy, lots of beautiful hair and bosoms and butt, and the little boys adore her. She is a "flip flop" sandal. L is a little more uptight, more controlled and precise; more like a Keen sandal. The girl mommies seemed to have more of an issue with L than with V, but L was pretty good for the Sun, because he needs order and precision. But he loved V. And on the whole, now that it's over, I think the year worked out well for him. Early on I was concerned that his handwriting took a nosedive, he forgot how to spell simple words he already knew... but by the end of the year his handwriting had improved a little, and his spelling got better. But he excelled in math. And most importantly, he practiced his thinking skills, and found confidence in his voice. This means more to me than technical skills, because even in my own life I've found people learn the "technicals" at their own pace. But not everyone learns to think. And I think the world is in great trouble because we don't know how to think anymore.... we're all so busy focusing on the "technicals".

This summer, he'll have violin camp for a week, and karate camp at the end of July, and I have to figure out how to get him to Yonkers for his regular Karate lessons.

(I do need to learn how to drive.... but I can't afford it right now; I need to get my apartment comfortable again. And I get annoyed that people are quick to tell me to learn to drive, but "I don't teach" or "I don't lend my car" or whatever else... so... if I'm to learn I have to do it on my own. Which sucks. But I'll get there eventually. In the meantime, it's carpooling and the MTA for me!)

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

As you can see from my Current Obsession, I've been focused on organizing and re-vamping my space. I've lived in this apartment 8 years this summer. This is about the longest that I have *ever* lived in one place. Certainly the longest I've ever lived in one apartment.
  • Ages birth - 2: Riverdale, NY; Geneseo, NY; Bronx, NY
  • Ages 2 - 3.5: Paris, France
  • Ages 3.5 -8; Hope Road, Kingston Jamaica; Montgomery Avenue, Kingston Jamaica
  • Ages 8 -9: 12 different places in Kingston Jamaica
  • Ages 9- 12: Bull Bay, Jamaica
  • Ages 12-13: Various Pit stops from Miami to Chicago to NYC
  • Ages 13-19: 'Two-Five in Harlem, NY
  • Ages 19-21: Different apartment/same building on 'Two Five, Harlem NY
  • Ages 21- 22: Got married moved to Grand Concourse, Bronx NY
  • Age 22: Rat trap @ss apartment on W 142nd, Harlem, NY while I got unmarried
  • Age 23-25: Back on 'Two-Five, upstairs from the Professor, otherside of building from Big Bear
  • Ages 25-26: Palisades Park, NJ with a boy
  • Ages 26-29: River Edge, NJ - same boy
  • Ages 29-31: Moved out to the Rock, nice apartment on the corner, sans boy
  • Ages 31-34: Out on the Rock; nice apartment across the street from the corner I first moved to
  • 34-42: Present apartment. A record for "stability" is set!
But my apartment has pretty much looked exactly the same for most of it. I'd done such an elaborate paint job, I've been reluctant to change anything. And the paint job has pretty much held up... and I'm not sick of it either. The only place I was never able to change is the bathroom, cuz the landlord put wallpaper on the bottom half and it seems like such a HUGE job to get rid of it.

The furniture in the living room has only ever been re-arranged twice. So I'm definitely overdue for a major change. The red couch is it... but I've got stuff to do first, like drag the old one out to the deck. And the funds are way tight... but I've got to do this. Or I'll go nuts.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Freakin' Tired

Bone Tired. Brain Tired. Deep Down In My Soul Tired. But the Sleepless On Da Rock story continues. My room--sans those large black plastic garbage bags of crap thanks to the rummage sale--is a little nicer-feeling. But I'm feeling so unsettled that I just don't want to lay down. I feel like there's so much to be done.

Sun got to school WAY late today. Neither of us could get it together. Yes, I'm chronically late. Yes, Fat Lady, I think "MOM" should be a category/cause for being chronically late, but I also think "Single MOM" should be, as well. It's not that I have it harder than any other mom... at least not if you listen to most moms on the planet who bitch about the lack of help from their Significant Other. And some single moms are efficient and organized. Though I really haven't met one (and the Professor claims to be, but in certain instances I could beg--rather loudly--to differ).

But I'm just worn out. Riding around with the Fat Lady last Thursday, on our way to pierce our noses, she had gotten a call from The Bull who was stressing because Spice wanted juice and there was none in the house. The Bull never asked her where she was... and she never told him, either, deftly maneuvering the conversation around so that she merely told him she'd be home soon. And he hung up, and I guess he handled whatever the situation was, and we went on and pierced our noses (I LOVE mine, by the way. I don't know why I waited so long...except I was always afraid it wouldn't look right on my African nose. But it does.)

And it suddenly occurred to me: I have never had that. It has always been me and the Sun. Even when FBB was around, even on days when our relationship was actually functioning fairly normally, I have never been able to just run off and pierce my nose, knowing my kid was *home* with a parent. (A lack of juice in the house, if FBB were home with the Sun would have a been a MAJOR fight and a MAJOR reason for me to rush my ass home and not get my nose pierced.) Hell, running to the store because I suddenly realized I needed an egg or a carton of milk is a major production. Do I dress him and take him with me? Or do I just not go? Up until very recently, the latter was usually what happened. Now, he's 8, and I can park him in front of the TV or Playstation and a phone and tell him DON'T MOVE DON'T ANSWER THE DOOR and run out for a sec.

So right now, as the school year ends, there's "endofschoolyear" tired, but on top of that I think there is just "eightyearsoftired". But there's just too much to do. Sleep is a necessity... but it's also a luxury. But I'm too damn tired to stay up and do anything, and the mind is still churning regardless and so lately, as I sit in my chair and try to figure out the finances, or process digital pictures (I've been taking a lot lately, which is sort of my creative outlet at the moment) my mind just blanks out. I wake up an hour or two later, but neither body or mind is rested, and so I try again to finish whatever it was I was doing. Then I get up and realize FUCK. I STILL haven't taken out the garbage/made up my bed/set up my coffee/got his clothes out for the next day/got my clothes out for the next day/changed the laundry/took laundry out of the dryer/washed the mound of fucking dishes/put the dinner leftovers away/etc.

I'm tired of complaining, too. And sick and tired of being tired. I keep thinking "if I just make my house comfortable, get my systems back in place, I could function better". But it just takes too much effort and when the fuck do I have time????

On the positive side, I got through school. I changed my career. I think my fight with FBB might ALMOST be over. I'm SLOWLY weeding through the junk I seem to amass. I DO have a job in my new field. Major accomplishments, to be sure, but at such a slow-ass pace. It's taken me about 10 years to change my career... from the first thought that "maybe this is what I want to do to" "hey! I am actually doing this". It's taken me 5 years to be almost rid of FBB (as rid as you can be of a child's parent, I mean). It's taken me 4 years to get a job where I actually love what I do (it's just too bad I'm not actually doing it and the people suck the big hairy one). It's taken me about 3 years to get *any* kind of organization going again. But I wish my progress weren't so slow.

And again, I'm getting really sick of bitching. So I won't anymore.

But I'm tired, and that's why I haven't written too much over the past few days, and there's lots I want to comment on. But I'm too damn tired.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Tips For the Chronically Late

Hey, that would be me. I am chronically late to everything. To work. To bed. And I JUST found this article which was pretty useful. I have to go figure out what kind of "late-nik" I am, but in doing a quick skim of the article, I found several descriptions of me.

"Have a Chronically Late Personality?"

I Feel A Couple Of Rants Coming On....

and I really haven't gone on any rants here; I've been too busy cycling through depression. I'm actually feeling better; it's amazing how good I feel when I don't have to deal with FBB. Or when I'm not being obsessive about something. Even the voices are pretty quiet... although they're definitely ranting about things.

But I'm a little scattered and can't form any real thoughts about stuff so it will have to wait. Maybe a little later on in the day...

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Well, it's a little later and I've been so lazy today I've gotten nothing done. Laziness is not a good thing for me.

But I wanted to acknowledge something. I happened to be going over old posts yesterday, and noticed that I'd gotten a hit on my post called "Bury My Heart" from O Pechanga, someone disenrolled from California's Pechanga people. I haven't had time to explore the links that were posted. I also am not sure I'm really ready to. I'm not sure I'm ready to really explore and explain exactly how this issue upsets me.

When Big Bear was at my house yesterday, we took sharp eyes to the picture of my grandmother on that blanket, and discussed again whether the blanket was a studio prop or not. I broke out some books I have; books that contain pictures and meanings of various Native American symbols and emblems and were able to make out some symbols attributed to the Cherokee, among other Eastern Woodland tribes.

And we talked about the Cherokee's decision to disenroll descendants of Freedman, and how that makes us feel. But it's still too close to the heart. I have to deal with it later...

Busy Weekend

The Rummage Sale at the Sun's school raised about $800, which isn't bad considering. Considering not a big turnout, considering we (the Parents Association) were all so friggin' tired and scattered we didn't get a whole lot of fliers out... etc.

And the clutter is out of my house.

Today (it's still Sunday for me) I finally mopped a few floors, and completely cleaned out the foyer in front of my apartment door, and then Mima came by, and then Big Bear and the Professor came by because there were no kids. So we had a nice, relaxing time, and I grilled chicken wings and breasts and made salad, and Mima got some Corona and we sat on the back deck and acted like grown-ups. The Sun got to hang out with the Moon for a bit, and ride his bike.

The back part of the apartment, where the bedrooms are is neat and clean. The front is till messy.... but it's a start.

I don't have any pix of the nose yet! But I will...

Friday, June 22, 2007

What I Did Today

1.) Most of the clutter that was in my apartment (2 huge bags of clothes from me and the Sun, 2 pretty big bags of shoes, 1 large microwave, 2 boxes of video tapes, books, a box of toys and some misc computer peripherals--oh, and my Franklin Covey) got dropped off at Sun's school today, via the Professor. She drove me home last night and we packed her car, and today on her way home from work she came by and we unloaded it. My room felt immediately better last night, since all the bags were in there. So I'm on my way. Tomorrow is the Parent Association Rummage Sale (and Family Day) at the Sun's school, which is why all my junk is there.

2.) I got my nose pierced. I'd been thinking about it for a few years, actually, because Mima has one. But I was afraid it wouldn't look right. A few days ago the Fat Lady said she'd been thinking about it, and I told her so had I. Today, after unloading my stuff and sorting through other rummage stuff, she looked at me and said "wanna go?" So I pulled the Sun out of percussion practice (cuz I knew we'd never make it back in time--the teacher was *pissed* but the Sun was tired anyhow and was glad to escape) and we went down to the Village, to New York Adorned. We both picked out the smallest pins we were "allowed" to start with; hers is white gold and mine is yellow, and that was that. It's funny; I was a little nervous but I knew it wouldn't hurt as much or take as long as the Giant Tat, but it *did* make my eyes water. The first person I called to tell was Mima. She was thrilled.

I told Fat Lady hers looked like it had always been there, and the guy doing them said the same about me. It's a little sore... but I like it a lot. My father asked me what was I rebelling against? My mother answered "FBB", but the Fat Lady said it... "Age."

3.) Obviously I didn't go to work today. Didn't miss it. Fat Lady and LilacBlue and I drove over to Jersey to get supplies for our "Family Fun / Rummage Sale" tomorrow. We went to a craft store in Edgewater, and Target, and then had lunch in a "brooklyn" style pizzaria. It was sit down. Pizza was really good. We got back in time for the kid's dismissal. Oh, both LilacBlue and Ladybug have succumbed to the Fat Ladies need to change... they cut all their hair off. Me?-I'll stick with the nosepin.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

I'm The Red-Headed StepChild Today

Apparently, I'm not the newsletter beeatch these days. Seems "they" didn't like the fact that I was squeezing type into the boxes on the newsletter.

Now bear in mind... I'm only the person who puts text into the newsletter, now. I can format a little, but ultimately, the VampireBitch does all the "Tweaking", and since she "Tweaks" ABsoFuckingLUtely EVERYTHING I do, no matter what, it hadn't occurred to me this was a problem. I'm only laying things out, not making it look pretty. I don't lay pictures in, since they asked me not to. And I assumed VB would do over anything I did, since that's what she's been doing. And the funny thing is, ya think someone would say something, right, or ask why I did it? NO! They run to my boss to say they weren't happy, completely ignore *me*, and start running to my co-worker to do things. Yet last week, *she* was the RedHeadedStepChild, cuz she'd accidentally used the wrong template. But VB had tried to chew out my coworker (they've worked together like 10 years... with a very uneasy truce) and coworker went into BigBird and told her she wouldn't tolerate being spoken to like that.

But somehow, no-one even *attempts* to speak to me in *any*way. I smile a lot at them, when they're looking directly at me. I don't give lip; when they can't make up their minds as to what *exactly* I should be doing, I simply wait 'till they decide. I'm very careful not to throw shade. Really. Cuz nobody can get their back up as quickly as I can... or as visibly. Those claws come out in a hurry. But here, because I'm not vested, things *usually* roll off my back.

So my boss calls me into his office to tell me what was said, and I said I'd already figured I'd done something to piss them off, cuz they had been patently ignoring me since Tuesday. And pointedly requesting that my coworker work on the newsletter.

Amazing.

The thing is, no-one around here is really being paid a *whole* lot... certainly not by my standards. And they've all been here SO LONG (10 years plus, most of them) that they seem to think this is the whole world.

And I'm bitching, yes, but not passionately. I'm just more amazed that people really think this way, act this way. I told my boss, after the crap I've been through, the people I've had to fight, the places I've worked... this is such small potatoes. I asked him if he thought I should shuffle out of his office looking beaten, or should I walk proud and hold my head high and smile? Cuz it's all an act right now... there' s no emotion. He said it was my call. So I acted like nothing happened.

On the other hand... it's kind of fun, observing, and I could really practice my "playing with people" skills if I had a mind to. But I'd much rather be at the beach, or at the sun's school. Or something. Even working... Maybe I'll finish up my website.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Things They Never Tell You About Having Kids

...but I made a point of telling my DivaGirl when she announced the impending arrival of PerpEtualMotion; it's all fun and games till they start walking. Then shit hits the fan, and your relationship with the father/SignificantOther takes a major nosedive. And it's very unexpected... you feel like since you made it through all early nursing issues (or if you decide to do that bottle thing--those constant night time bottles), diapering, burping, no sleep, etc, that once baby starts walking you get to coast a little.

HA! I have seen more relationships fail during the 18mth-3 year time frame, than at later times. Toddlers are EXTREMELY demanding of your time and patience, and as a chick, you have less time and energy to deal with bullshit. Also, your body has finally recovered from the shock of pregnancy and childbirth, even though you may or may not have lost the "babyweight". If you have lost the babyweight, you feel good and sexy again (except you're fucking tired--and you STILL may feel your body isn't EXACTLY the way it was BC) and if you haven't, you're beating yourself up that you're still "chubby". And men seem to think during this time "the hard work is done, the novelty has worn off... I'm gonna go hang out w'ma boyz!" And mommies get really pissed off about that. And there are all sorts of other other issues that seem to come up during this time... it's like what's good about your relationship to begin with goes bad, and what wasn't so good gets horribly worse.

I was warned, and the warning came from an extremely unlikely source; a former flame... someone who had preyed on women who were at this point in their lives until he got burned a few times with the drama. I spoke to him early in my pregnancy, and he told me to be careful, especially when I told him that I wasn't nor was I planning on getting married, and that FBB and I fought all the time anyhow. He told me he wasn't going to be the one to cheat with, since he'd been down that road. I can't say I believed him, cuz he was notoriously full of shit, but I filed that little piece of info away in the back of my head.

'Sho nuff!... The Sun hit 18 mths and it was difficult before, but it was unbearable after that. And by the time the Sun was 2.5, yep... happened to me too.

So I made a point to tell my DivaGirl that day in the hospital room (she'd been admitted to the hospital with a severe asthma attack--a reaction to her exposure to some shrimp), and she looked at me the way we all look at our elder sisters/mothers/cousins/girlfriends when they try to warn us about becoming a mother, and she felt it would be OK.

But she's going through the Upheaval now, and the Professor, who's computer is ailing (YES, I'm going to fix it, I promise) informed me yesterday that hell had been breaking loose but it sort of escalated yesterday. And mind you, she's up close and personal in it, since they all live together.

But I have a lot of faith in DivaGirl. For a 20 year old she's a damn good mother... she's a damn good mother even by older women's standards. And I'm really extremely proud of her. And The Man, "PITA" has actually impressed me as a young AfricanAmerican man. He walks with much baggage, as most of our young brothers do... but he has really put out effort. And I'm one jaded and bitter beeatch about ALL MEN, but the "brothers" in particular, so I can assure you this his high praise coming from me. So, if you read this, send some "positive vibes" their way, that they work out something that benefits the three of them (cuz it's all about PerPetualMotion, really... he's all that matters).

Funny Thing

...I noticed yesterday after I posted my "musings" was that nowhere in there did I mention a companion and how that fit into the picture. *sigh*. I guess I've gotten so used to not defining myself in relationship to a man, but I wonder... is this really a good thing?

I've already spent enough time bitching about the plight of my lovelife, and I'm bored with that subject so I ain't gonna right now, but it's still a bone of contention with me and my "wholeness" mission.

But I am thinking... cuz I'm poised between two decisions:

a.) keep those metal gates shut and just go for self -- find someone as Shoefly says "to itch the scratch". (Or my Homegirl called it-An STD. SomethinTaDo.) The problem with that scenario? Aside from the fact that it's not something I do easily and/or particularly enjoy, the people who usually give me this piece of advice are themselves enmeshed in long-term committed relationships, and have been for several years. So I suppose it's them wishing they had the choice to make. But as I keep saying, for me... to have anyone get that close to me *in the first place* I actually have to like them. A lot. Because otherwise... ew! Don't touch me!

b.) go on a mission to find someone I like and who is long-term material. But that requires mingling with the general population to weed through and find someone I like, but in the meantime you get to rub up on a lot of useless specimens. And ew! Don't touch me!


But regardless, I'm making a super effort to be more feminine and girly (which is easier for me to do in the summer, anyhow) and to practice my "helplessness"/"Damsel in distress". Which is SO NOT ME. Seriously... I have access to power tools and a decent amount of muscle and I prefer jeans and sneakers and messenger bags to girly stuff. And issues with being helpless. But I clean up pretty well so I'm trying. And I noticed I got more hits on my Myspace profile once I put a picture up of myself instead of my artwork.

Are people really that shallow?

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

StaffBash Back In Session - And Other Musings

She'd taken a week or two off, the BigKahuna and then we'd been shut out of one or two, but today we were all there. It wasn't too bad, I thought, mainly because I am profoundly not vested in the process. Those big metal gates in my head can be *extremely* useful. Today's topic was "Your Agenda", in which people were to bring their own issues to the table. My view... since the "graphics people"--as we are known now--have absofuckinglutely nothing to do, what the hell agenda are we supposed to bring? "Uh I need something to do"? Though Alabama, my boss, managed to bring up things to keep BK "in the loop" and deftly got a sidewinder landed on BigBird and the Vampire. Kinda cool. BK only gingerly went after my boss, since he's gone to some HR folk. You could see she wanted to, though. She's definitely looking for an opening.

Though I have to say, she wasn't on top of her game today. She wasn't wearing lipstick and her eyes looked a little beadier than normal, nor was she wearing her pristine white... today she was in sort of a cream color which didn't do much for the complexion. When she's on her game she wears white with a bright red lipstick and sits straight up. So maybe shit's kinda backfiring on her. But who's to say... my experience with FBB being sometimes when you think you've got them pinned they come back with some unexpected shit. I'm wearing Pristine White today, though, and when facing her I'm careful to keep by body language open and look her straight in the eye. She's yet to call me out on anything.

But I just need this gig to last past July; past the trial. After that it's a whole new ballgame.

I couldn't fucking sleep again last night. What happens is... I can't bring myself to let go of the day enough to get in bed. I find shit to keep me up. Lately, I admit to a certain obsession with MySpace.

(Boy, that Tom dude is a friggin genius. I've been a MySpace snob for a while. The layout is god-awful; the blinking crap people put on it is awful, you can't read half the stuff because the type ends up being on a same colored background, but within that framework it's an amazing concept. And you can customize it a great deal if you've got some coding skills. It is the ultimate in exhibitionism, of which I have latent tendencies. I usually manage to keep those tendencies in check... mainly because BigBear certainly has them in spades and so my "daughter's reaction" was to not be like her--to do the opposite and keep myself undercover. To "Hide in Plain Sight." But the tendencies exist, though I don't put as much of myself out on MySpace as others do. People...especially women... put WAY TMI out there. The other night I was able to piece together the story of a former friend of mine, someone I'd had a huge crush on and who's been MIA a few years now. He ended up with the wrong girl, (I tried to tell him, but who listens to me?) and it was pretty interesting to see that I think--based on what I found--that she got him but good. I wonder where he is. I was able to piece together a pretty interesting tale, because the daughter had an interesting page.)

But then what happens is I start falling asleep at the desk, in about 1 hour doses. So I get up, go to bed like 3, 4, 5am... and am wide awake. I'm almost tempted to get up again, then sleep hits me over the head and the next thing I know that alarm is going off.

This morning (cuz it was about 4:30A) as I lay there listening to the freakin' birds wake up, I tried to think back to what was the last time I ever felt "normal" inside of myself and connected to the world around me, as opposed to me being in a "skin". And there's a difference. When I'm in 100% comfortable, there is no barrier between me and the world. It happens when I'm around certain people. My Sun and I exist completely within me and out into our world together, as do I with my family. And now there are friends with whom I feel this way. But this feeling can also exist within a period of time, and within an environment. If I'm not making any sense, there is a line in a Beatles song... "and life flows on within you and without you" which is about the closest I can describe what I'm talking about.

There were times when I was not complete within my own skin, but having a baby started to change that, and I think the process was completed when I did the Illustration program at Pratt. So about now, I'm very happy with my inside life, barring some residual issues. The Voices and I are friends, pretty much... even on the days when they rip me apart. On the whole, I trust them. The biggest outstanding issue is FBB. But I'll deal with that in a sec.

But *me*, within my actual life, my environment--I'm not quite there. I love my apartment but there are some serious issues. The Feng Shui is all wrong, and some of it is just the way the apartment is laid out... and there's not much I can do about that. And moving, the Sun informs me, is not an option. I am not the type of person who's life is governed by her kids, but the Sun has some valid points. The Rock is about the last affordable (and in NYC this is a KEY word) place in this Rotted Apple where kids can walk the streets alone, ride their bikes around a block, walk to the beach unaccompanied, where cars will slow down as they turn into a block. Where parents can allow their kids to play till after dark outside the house. Yes, we have had our incidents, but I've been on the Rock 12 or 13(FUCK! where does the time go) years now, and I can't recall any incidents involving young children. So this is a big reason to stay... although the heart of me longs for Harlem. Or even EL Barrio. Not that either of these places really exist anymore but there are still pockets that the beast called Gentrification hasn't been able to irradicate just yet.

So I'm stuck here for the time being. But my room is just too damn dark; it literally swallows the light. The apartment is also really big... which is great but there seems to be more room to collect shit, and no matter how I try I end up with tons of shit piling up in closets and corners. And I HATE my kitchen. It's laid out all wrong; I hate my stove with a passion and the fridge sucks, too. The landlord won't replace them... which means that at some point I need to... and because they are smaller than the average size of appliances, they cost twice as much. But, in the summer I end up cooking on the grill on my deck a great deal which makes the kitchen bearable... so the biggest problem is my room. And I'm not quite sure what to do about it, short of bash in a wall and put up a window.

The other thing I'm not too happy about is my where I am as far as a career.

I did some webcrawlin' and discovered that of the core group of kids I hung out with in High School... I got plenty o' nuthin compared to them. One kid grew up to be a respected gynecologist. One is a decently-known soprano. Another is the president or vice president of her sorority and active in her church, another is getting her real estate license and has worked in a hospital for a long time. Don't get me wrong; I love my life and I love my skills, love what my title says I am--"graphic designer, marketing"... but this job sucks. It's bearable when we don't have Staffbashes. But sitting in that conference room today I looked around and said to self, "I don't like *any* of these people. And the ones I do like are either skating on thin ice or are just waiting for summer to end so they can get the hell out."

And even if I liked them, the bottom line is I'm happiest working on my own time. Or with people I like. Or for myself--it's just I'm not all that disciplined about it. This morning, late to work, I caught the hospital shuttle to my office, and it passed right by the Sun's school. I was on the phone with LilacBlue, and as I passed the school, TheOneHalf, the Fat Lady and Lilac Blue ran out to wave at me. Which just made me smile. I *am* blessed... but it would be nice to be accomplished. Or have disposable income. I said to LilacBlue we really ought to figure out how we can support ourselves and each other, (along with Bigbear who wants "in") so that I won't have to pass them in a van as I'm taken to someplace I don't want to be. To still end up broke at the end of the day.

But I wonder... if I ended up being a designer in a place where the people were nice and there was sunlight peeking through, I might be happy. So I'll start to look again, after July. Maybe the point of this place is that I finally got confidence in my skills. Although I gotta tellya... if I was less of a person, the way me and my co-workers are treated I'd have some serious self-esteem issues; the Dark Side has literally taken away *everything* we're supposed to do. Even the newsletter. Which is why I have the time to write this long-ass post.

Back to last night, and not being able to sleep, I realized that the major thing hanging over my head, the one thing I don't have a lot of control over, is the trial in July. Overall, I *do* feel better about dealing with FBB. He stresses me (or rather the voices remind me, I stress myself over him), but every little triumph makes me stronger, and his last visit was definitely a triumph for me. I know I'm "over" him because I actually am tempted, from time to time, to reason with him, but I'm also wise enough to know it would do no good... probably even stir him up. But I want this trial over. I'm ready to move on to the next phase, even if it means dealing with him without the courts and the law guardians and the precinct, because I know for certain that should he ever rile up again on me, I have no qualms about getting the authorities involved again. And I think he knows it, too. I've no regrets or guilt about taking him to court. The stress I feel when I have to deal with him is more and more along the lines of true Post Traumatic Stress--flashbacks of how things used to be, and ingrained habits of how I used to react. But it's not "real-time" anymore.

But I want this over, because I need to get back to the process of feeling "whole" within my environment.

(And I also really need a new job--just had a minor crisis--all resolved now but this is a PITA.)

And to get back to the thought that wouldn't let me sleep... I haven't felt whole and complete "within me and without me" in a loooooong time. And I think that getting rid of the 200 lb gorilla that is FBB will go a long way to making me feel whole again, because for all of the Sun's life, I have been wrestling with him. It's not that it controls my "everyday", but it is a constant "hum" in the background, and I'm really done with it.

I also have to dump all the clutter.... and not hold onto it for a yard sale, cuz yard sales are a lot of work and I hate doing them. So I'm gonna dump everything at the Sun's school this weekend at our Rummage sale, and call it gone. Anybody need a microwave?

Monday, June 18, 2007

These Quizzes are Downright Addictive

particularly when you don't feel like working, dammit. Hey, my cubemate just told me he quit, bastard. I'm jealous. He says he may get certified to be a yoga instructor. He said he had all sorts of "hippie-type" thoughts. I told him that my exterior was only a persona I put on and that we needed to chat.

It's beautiful out. Hot. Not humid yet. I DON'T WANT TO BE HERE. Argh.

Anyway, back to the subject at hand:


Your EQ is 133

50 or less: Thanks for answering honestly. Now get yourself a shrink, quick!
51-70: When it comes to understanding human emotions, you'd have better luck understanding Chinese.
71-90: You've got more emotional intelligence than the average frat boy. Barely.
91-110: You're average. It's easy to predict how you'll react to things. But anyone could have guessed that.
111-130: You usually have it going on emotionally, but roadblocks tend to land you on your butt.
131-150: You are remarkable when it comes to relating with others. Only the biggest losers get under your skin.
150+: Two possibilities - you've either out "Dr. Phil-ed" Dr. Phil... or you're a dirty liar.



=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

This was awesome:

You Are 84% NYC

Congratulations, you are truly a New Yorker. You've seen it all, and you're more than a little cynical.


=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

The Professor would tell you that this is true about me:

You Are 71% Perfectionist

You are a true perfectionist. You are both demanding of yourself and others.
While it's great to have goals and standards, they don't need to be sky high!

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

Happy Father's Day!

Although I was invited out to Long Island to visit a friend of mine and her new baby, along with another freind and her new adopted baby (and I'm sorry that I've missed meeting the "new people"), Poppy let us all know last week he wanted to go to Rye Playland for Father's Day. So we went to Rye Playland.

I dunno. Poppy seems to be in great health and spirit these days, but the older *I* get, the more time I want to spend with him in particular. It all changes soon enough, and I don't want to miss anything. I don't want any regrets.

Besides, I always say that Rye is my favorite place. Something about the architecture, the hint of days gone by in the facade of the buildings, the ocean on one side and marsh on the other, the smell of funnel cakes and the taste of cotton candy, and the loud CLACKALACKALACKA of the Dragon Coaster. I think I fell in love with Rye watching the Tom Hanks movie Big. Even though some of the locations were inaccurate, the few shots of Rye just intrigued me. It's hard NOT to have a good time at Rye. Even when I went there with FBB, before the Sun was born, it was one of the few dates we had that didn't end in a fight. And after the Sun, when I wanted to run away, I ran away there. One night, I went with the Professor and her girls, and a 6 month old Sun who was bathed and in his PJ's. I kept thinking he'd fall asleep, but no, he stayed awake the entire time, dazzled by all the lights and the noise, smiling the whole time. I have a picture of him and I that night, the kind you take in those digital kiosks and they charge you an arm and a leg for, and put into a keychain. The keychain finally broke, but my upstairs neighbor put the picture into a snowglobe for the Sun as a Christmas present one year. That night, we got home about midnight, and FBB was working as a bouncer on the bar around the corner from my apartment. The bar we met in, the bar I spent WAY too much time BC (beforeChild). When he saw the Professor's car pass by, he came flying around the corner to yell at me for being out all night with the baby. But I had just wanted to get away from him...

The Sun is now big enough to ride most of the big rides. The only one he *won't* go on is the Dragon Coaster. He keeps thinking it will be scary. But he got on the log flume with me, and we got soaked.

I had to fight with the Sun to call his dad though, for Father's Day. He left a message finally, before we left for Rye. And then I wanted him to try again, while we were there, and threatened him with not going on a ride. It sucks. But I felt strongly he had to call his dad. I don't know that they ever talked... the Sun said he kept getting voicemail.

Here's the fam, when we first arrived:


And here's a picture of me with the Sun. The Professor took this one, I think.


So, a special shout-out to the Father's out there....

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Responsibility Sucks

I didn't go out last night. Went food shopping instead. I was so tired my food bill was $213. But I got food! I treated myself to a $12.00 can of Ackee. It was cheap; I've seen the can run as much as $20.00. Trust me, I won't be sharin' that with NO ONE.

I'm not going out tonight either. Sucks.

Although I'm not as responsible as I should be. My apartment is still a disaster.

Hey, the Sun can officially ride a bike now! This is big. He started last weekend, but this weekend he's pretty much wobble-free and only had a few spills. So I guess I should dust off my old Trek... maybe we can start riding our bikes to the beach. That would be cool... that is, if I'm wobble-free. I am definitely not the world's greatest bike-rider.

I'm cravin' sugar, dammit. But I'm still successfully controlling the obsession. Going out really would have helped...

Friday, June 15, 2007

TGIF #2

It's cool temps here in the Big Apple, and the pollen count is high so it's making my body reaalllly sleeeepy.

My brain, however, is FLIPPIN' RESTLESS. The Genie is bubbling around inside her bottle, with tendrils of smoke silenty escaping. Can you see it?

Things that need to be done: Supermarket run, Target Run, Laundry (though the laundry was started last night as I went to bed). The everpresent apartment cleanup (it is really bad--the floors are so disgusting even I'm apalled). Stuff for the Sun's school, maybe a 2page web site job.

What I wanna do???? GO OUT. But I don't know which side will win... probably the responsible side. Mostly because the body is sleepy. But as I always say....

".... that could change...."

=-=-=-=-=-

4:30P

Still really sleepy. But the bitch is BACK! At lunchtime I hopped in a cab up to Spanish Harlem and got my hair done. My regular lady, Maria the younger, was out, drat it! Yomari was there and I think she gave me the second-class treatment cuz I used to be her customer, but she talks too much and too loud and too fast, and so I started waiting for Maria. Well, Yomari made my @ss wait today, for almost an hour, till Maria the elder (who is *very* Pentecostal) came in. So the Elder washed my hair... in slllooooooow motion, and then in sllllllooooowww motion put it on the rollers. And then I had to sit under the drier for 40 minutes. But Yomari was pretty quick about blowing it out, and I got that "Revlon Swing" (well, really "Gentle Treatment") going. But, I got back to work about 2:1oP (having snuck out at 11:55A). And wasn't even missed. Any my hair smells good. And The Sun called and said percussion is ending at 5:30P, so I have to leave at 5P.

So maybe I'll get to do the Target and StopNShop run with Shoefly this evening (if I can leave the school picnic pretty quickly), and then maybe that means my @ss will clean tomorrow after karate while I wait for the Professor to get her self in gear. And maybe that means I can go out tomorrow. As you can see from my sidebar, sugarcubes are now a "previous obsession." Those gates are firmly clicked in place. The bitch is back...

(OK maybe not quite. In the middle of the night I still get a hankerin' but what can you do. Go find another one, I guess...)


*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~**~*~*~*~*~**~*~*~**~*~*~*

Yesterday the Diva danced. Her HighSchool friend "MissHoney" (a guy--gay since she met him as a freshman) works with afterschool kids as a dance instructor. He's a great dancer, and he and the Diva are *fabulous* together, though they carp at each other like old spinsters. The ladies in the clan (plus PerpetualMotion) all went to show love. It was nice to see her dance again. It was nice to see her in comparison to all the younger girls. There was one youngish teen who reminded us of all of the Diva at that age.

But PerpetualMotion was the funniest. On the way home we were all in the Professor's car as she did the drop-offs. Amped, the Diva was sitting in the front seat, blasting the radio. Eve's new single "Tambourine" was playing and the Diva starts dancing in her seat. And PerpetualMotion starts dancing too, in his carseat; head bopping, feet scissoring super fast, hands going. A born dancer, truly his mother's child.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

My Play-Doh Garden Has Grown

This is about 3 months worth of play-doh flowers, minus a few I've given to co-workers. They make me happy. I have yet to start making them out of more permanent clay...


Yesterday Was A Blur

...and I kept forgetting what day it was. I got back to work and it was dead quiet. They were still working on last week's newsletter (which meant they were going to pay "rush" charges for printing, thereby poking holes in the BigKahuna's claim that the "new" color newsletter was going to be cheaper to produce than the old one. See, the old one was ALWAYS incurring rush charges to get printed... and I think this is now the second week of late charges. So we'll see...) and were barely acknowledging my existence. So I squared away issues with my good friends over at Sallie Mae (boy, they are worse than the mob), and did whatever else. Not work, though.

So I'm getting back to life, as is the Sun. He's starting to let drop little tidbits of info about his stay with FBB. Today's little tidbit, dropped in oh-such-an-offhand-way, as we were getting ready to run out the door to catch the bus was "(He) said next he sees me we're going for a haircut". I almost didn't hear him and had to ask him to repeat it.

If you're new to my life (which honestly, I doubt most of you are, but my narcissistic tendencies allow me the fantasy that people I don't know "for real" are addicted to the drama that is my life), the Sun has long hair. It started out because when I was pregnant, his father gave me much drama. And about the time I was 7 months pregnant, my own father woke up one morning and discovered he couldn't pee. He had a tumor the size of a grapefruit in his bladder, and urine had backed up into his kidneys, which were now failing. It was a very scary time and I resolved that my first born, already named, would be dedicated to God if He would hold me together through everything. And He did.

Now granted, I'm not THE most diligent person when it comes to religious practices, but I do consider myself to be Old Testament Jewish (which is a WHOLE OTHER story). And there several stories in the old Testament about the "barren" woman to whom an Angel of God appears, and tells her she will give birth to a son, and what his name should be, or why he will be important. (I was hardly "barren", but The Sun was a one-in-a-million shot where I wasn't paying attention. At 33, this was my first ever pregnancy. And at this point, probably my only.) One of those stories is about Sampson, who's mother was instructed not to drink wine or strong drink while pregnant, and not to let a razor to his hair. With everything that was going on, I quietly decided that I would follow the Nazarite vow. One of the things about the vow is that while it is not life-long and is not a difficult vow to follow, it is very effective and very meaningful. I hadn't discussed the "vow" part with FBB, but I did tell him early how I didn't want to cut our son's hair right away (FBB was born Catholic, but doesn't have a great relationship with God. In fact, I think he's angry at Him 98% of the time, which is a major part of his problem so that *any* religious topic or request on my part was vehemently denied). FBB agreed initially, because his own hair hadn't been cut until he was three. I was told by his sister that he had a large ponytail on top of his head until he was three, but one day an uncle took him to the barber shop unbeknownst to his mother and shaved him bald. When his mother came home from work (I think she worked in the Stella D'Oro cookie factory) she didn't recognize him. And that was another component of the reason I didn't want to cut the Sun's hair; to right that injustice. However, when the Sun turned three, FBB was still OK with The Sun's long hair (which by now, was pretty long) and so it stayed.

But that year is when things started to get really nasty. The Sun started pre-K with long hair. I'm pretty sure he started Kindergarten with long hair, which by now was almost waist-length. We were now in court. FBB started making noise that he wanted to cut Sun's hair, because when he would take him places, people mistook him for a girl. But it didn't bother the Sun who adamantly didn't want his hair cut and had no problem piping up to say "I'm a boy!"; it only bothered his father. But the threats got stronger, and one day the Sun came home from a court-appointed visit with half the length chopped off. The Sun was very unhappy, and sat on my lap and asked me not to let his father cut the rest of his hair "up to here" (patting his head). And I tried to protect him, but I couldn't, and on the next visit he came home with a "fade" hair cut and braids in a plastic bag. I cried for hours. Not so much because of the hair, but because of how it was done, and because I couldn't stop it. Long story short (and we're still in court so I won't go into details) there is now a court order preventing any hair cuts by FBB until this thing is sorted out.

And this is how long we've been in court... The Sun's hair is again waist-length.

So this morning, I looked at my little boy's worried face and told him "Your father is not allowed to cut your hair, and he knows it, so I wouldn't worry about it". I told him there was a court order, and I told him if it came up he could say so.

It took him two days to digest that fear, my little Man.

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I actually had some sleep last night, but I'm way tired at the moment and so wish I could take a snooze. I'm writing, trying to stay awake. It's not working. I'm trying not to sneak out because I got here late; I went to a Parents Association meeting this morning, and am trying to be fair. But I think I need air...

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=--=-=-

OH! I KNEW I was forgetting something.

So Littleman Sun can read now, and reads pretty easily. But he can also reason and think. This comes in handy... makes me feel SO MUCH BETTER about him as he moves around in the world.

Now you know that during this visit-brokering I asked for two things... one was to find out where he was staying with his father. Well, I was never told. Pissed me off for the simple fact that it was all *I* asked for... and he asked for several things and got all of them this go round (fucker!). But the other day, The Sun tells me they were staying in a hotel. "Oh, which one?" I asked. He said he didn't know. I was annoyed but whatever. But the Sun continues "But it was on West Farms Road, near the 2 and the 5 train". "Really?" I asked, surprised, because that was pretty specific information, and FBB has yet to be that specific in anything he divulges my way.
"How do you know?"
"I saw it on the map."
"What map?"
"The map he had printed out and put in the car."

Can I tell you how much that amused the shit out of me? Could I even explain why? I don't even think I could, but it makes me feel good. And actually, in general it makes me feel a hell of a lot better about The Sun as he grows up and moves through the world, because he knows how to figure out where he is. He also knows the that most subways stop on 'Two-Five, where Nana is. So wherever he is in the Big Apple, he can find a way to people who love him. As a mom, that is an extremely reassuring feeling.

I asked him, knowing a little bit about West Farms, "was the hotel clean?" "Yes," he said, "but there was no room service." "No?" "No... when we left the bed messy in the morning, when we came back, it was still messy."

BWA HA HA! This just amused me. Probably because it means these frequent trips back and forth from the Big Apple to LaLa land are starting to cost the FBB. OH YEAH!!! He just hired a new lawyer, that's what it is....

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Back To Life, Back to Reality

...Back To The here and now, yeah

Ugh, he's gone, thank God. Got on a plane and took all his misery and his FBB ass back to California. Leaving behind a very stressed and grumpy little boy. And a worn out and jaded chick.

Yesterday was my little man's big concert. He did so well. His friends and loved ones all joked about how long he stayed up on the stage. The way the concert works is that Roberta has all the kids start, with the "Littlies" in the first row. As the difficulty of the pieces increases, the "Littlies" peel off the stage and go sit, and the more experienced players move forward. And so on, until all that's left are the senior performers and Junior Ensemble kids, who by now are in their early teens.

The Sun stayed up there until the 4th/5th graders were there. Even I didn't know how far he'd come in a year... didn't know he'd be up on stage that long. As I've said repeatedly, I guess those screaming fights over practicing paid off. And I have to say... he *has* come a long way in a year. It's pretty cool to see. He's so serious when he plays:
and I'm so proud of him.

He was stressed, though. He'd spent the night with FBB the night before, after the tournament. Instead of taking him home to rest, like I'd asked, he took him to buy clothes, why I'm not sure. Either he didn't think I'd sent any, or he didn't think I'd sent any for the concert, or... who the hell knows what he was thinking. The Sun called me about 10P to say goodnight. The next morning, I got to school about 8:25A, with a change of clothes and clothes for the recital... *and* his violin. The Sun was already there. And he was way crabby; yelling at his friends, stomping around, grabbing the ball from kids. He grabbed a ball from his best friend "M", who went flying but was OK. But when The Sun grabbed the ball from MamasGirl, almost knocking her down, I went into the school yard to get him.

Normally, I would have chewed him out, but the stress on his face was evident. And so I just gave him a hug and asked him if he'd had a rough nite. Of course I told him he can't push and shove his friends but to really chew him out wouldn't have solved anything.

We got on the bus to the rehearsal and were there until about 1:30P, and then after school we went to BigBear's house to relax before we had to dress for the concert. I'd decided I wanted him to wear a tie, and he was opposed but I insisted. Ties for kids his age were *impossible* to find, but luckily the Diva had accidentally gotten the wrong size when she had bought one for The Carday. I took pictures of The Sun and The Carday before we left.

FBB came glowering in right before the concert started... but his face beamed with pride once it started. It was pretty cool to see.

Afterwards, he took the Sun, but the Sun had told me earlier he really didn't want to go... This is the first time The Sun wasn't brimming over with excitement that he didn't want to go with his dad. FBB didn't really linger, didn't try to mingle, but walking across 151st street (or wherever we were), we happened to all be walking in the same direction, and Ladybug, from The Sun's class, pounced on him. So LilacBlue walked right up to them, and introduced herself to FBB--even getting him to laugh. So she gets the prize!

The Sun called me *at midnight* to say Goodnight. He said FBB wanted to drop him off at home at 2P. I said "no" but heard The Sun tighten up immediately, so I said "we'll talk about it tomorrow."

The whole weekend, FBB says NOTHING to me, but he wants to drop the Sun off at my house?! Yah, I don't think so.

This morning, The Sun called. I didn't answer when he called the house phone, and called him back from my cell. I lied and told him I wasn't home, and wasn't going to be home at 2P so tell his dad that we could meet in the Dunkin' Donuts where the #6 train ends. He sounded SO stressed. He told me later that his father had a "talk" with him about not calling... that he should call him at least twice (a week?)--I said you already do that. And he gave him back the phone! That I paid $16.00 to get to California overnight because the Sun was stressing that his father would call him a liar if the phone didn't get there.

I'm so tired... this post has taken me two hours to write. There's more... but not much more and nothing serious, I guess. The Sun came back in one piece, but mentally he was a wreck. Again today he was a nasty, stomping, yelling, uncooperative Little Boy. We went to pick up the Moon, and he was awful to him. I explained to the Moon "don't take it personally... he's been with his dad". And The Moon tried so hard to mellow out his friend. He was really gentle and caring... the first I've ever seen that. But it worked. By the time WhiteClogs came to get the Moon, The Sun was more like his old self. I made steak and baked potatoes for dinner, and then got him in the bed. *MY* bed. He wanted to sleep there. And I've got to get there, so I'm going to end this.

I dunno. There were no outward incidents. Overall, it went well. We successfully navigated a visit without the court, outside of the precinct. But he's still a nasty, miserable fuck, and he really doesn't like me. Which is fine, because I've discovered I profoundly don't like him. I'm not as afraid anymore, though. It helped so much to know that I have people who will buffer me... though I wonder if that will always be the case. I spoke to LilacBlue today who remarked on how pleasant FBB was when she talked to him; that he had a nice laugh and a nice smile and beautiful eyes, and if she didn't know the bottom half of the story, if she didn't see how the Sun is when he comes back from being with him, she would wonder if I was making it all up.

I dunno. I do wonder if it's me sometimes. But I know how I feel when I have to deal with him, and I know the Sun had a *hard* time this weekend.

Didn't Post Yesterday...

...cuz I was with the kids all day doing the rehearsal. And the concert went fine; FBB and his crabby @ss was there, but I have to say he was verklempt with pride. The "exchange" is about to drop soon, so I'm off, and will post details later.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

WHAT THE HELL?????

kind of ending was that on the Sopranos???? WTF? Did they all get wiped out? Did they go on to live happily ever after? Was it the guy who went into the bathroom? Did only Tony get it? Or did he rat? "Don't stop believin'" THAT WHAT????

ARGH! That was was a bigger disappointment than coitus interruptus!

In other news...

My good and trusted friend Shoefly was gave us a ride down to South Bronx High School this morning, where the Sun's tournament was. The flier said registration was at 8A, and I was stressed cuz I knew there's no way we could get there then. The Sun needs *some* sleep. We got there at nine. We were some of the earliest folks there...except for IFKALP who was already there waiting. (IFKALP has a new name... FBB. Maybe I'll explain why that's his name now, but mebbe not. But I will give you a clue: Watch an Austin Powers movie.)

Both Sensei's were there already, which was great. The Sun went off with his dad for a bit, and I sat by myself while the tournament started with board breaking. The the Professor came... which was *really* appreciated cuz I didn't have to sit by myself. A very cool thing about the Professor... she has a knack for keeping in touch with people unlike myself, who's usually so busy off in my head that I forget that I should call my freinds.

The Professor has kept in touch with an old Sensei of ours. She "texted" him as he was getting off work, told him about the tournament and he came up. It was actually *really* good to see him. I have always remembered his name and how I knew him, but I had forgotten his face-- you know how that happens? Somehow today it was really cool to see his face, to remember what it was like back then when I was 16 and thought I knew everything. I recognized him the minute he walked in.

In the meantime, The Sun's turn had come up in the Kata portion of the competition. He addressed the judges and began his Kata.


He did very well. And considering he was sort of top of the line-up, when the judges tend to be slightly stingy, he got a *great* score; two 6.0s and a 7.0. He was *very* proud.
















We were proud. But even prouder when at the end of the section, they gave him 4th place! And he got a trophy! His first Karate trophy ever. I was jumping up and down... Auntie Professor was so proud, and FBB even smiled.



So then our Sensei came, and I took him down to meet The Sun's Senseis. Which meant I had to be closer to FBB who had taken up a position next to the Senseis. The Sun was about to start Kumite (sparring) so I stayed there next to the Senseis so I could take pictures. I could tell FBB wasn't too happy about that at all. The Sun lost his bout, getting hit in the face in the process (not serious, though) but his Sensei's talked to him and made him feel better. I took a picture of the Sun with his trophy and I offered to take one of The Sun and his dad and the trophy, but FBB didn't want me to take his picture.

I guess maybe he thought I'd steal his soul or something. It was funny, but it kind of hurt the Sun's feelings. FBB must have been feeling sort of "prickly" today, because the Sun was very reluctant to sit with him, and really didn't want to go with him. Actually, part of it was he learned to ride his back the afternoon before, and he would much rather have gone back to the Moon's house, hung out with the boys (there are 10 boys under 12 that live on the Moon's block) and ride his bike.

This is the first time since the whole court case began, that a visit exchange has taken place in some place other than a precinct, so actually this was huge. And all things considered, it went well... tho it went well because I was in a room full of black belts, and the Sensei's--once they felt out FBB's personality--stuck close to me, as did my Sensei. The Professor had filled him in on the backstory, and so he came down from the stands and stood with me until The Sun got changed and went off with his father. In fact, no one left me unaccompanied, and so FBB's habit of trying to make comments he knows will either upset me or unhinge me didn't get to come my way. The only comment that tried to get zinged my way was about the length of The Sun's hair, but it was made to the Professor who just laughed. Totally took the stinger out of it.

The Sun seems a little stressed; he called at bedtime concerned he didn't have clothes for tomorrow night, but I told him I'd bring them--and his violin--when I came to school tomorrow. I kind of got the feeling that FBB--who knows he didn't hold up his end of the bargain as far as telling me where they're staying (I still don't know), and didn't send a message as to what time I should get the Sun on Tuesday (2P) until today--was looking for me to start something. But he'll get no fight from me. I'll save that for July. So now I just have to get through tomorrow...

Saturday, June 9, 2007

BWAH HA HA!

So The Fat Lady posted a few of these, and I will too. They are fun.

This first one, I thought I'd come up with "Oscar the Grouch" but I do think this is more suitable (except for the "neatfreak" part... although BC--"BeforeChild"--I was a TOTAL neatfreak):
You Are Bert

Extremely serious and a little eccentric, people find you loveable - even if you don't love them!

You are usually feeling: Logical - you rarely let your emotions rule you

You are famous for: Being smart, a total neat freak, and maybe just a little evil

How you life your life: With passion, even if your odd passions (like bottle caps and pigeons) are baffling to others


This tells me that my feminine side has definitely grown with age... cuz I used to firmly believe that I was man forced into a woman's body, and unexpectedly forced to deal with all the hormones and feelings that women have. Which is great, cuz I like being a woman. But it's hard to do it with a man's mind. (When I saw the movie Switch I thought, "HEY now! THAT explains it!" It also explains why the Fat Lady and I work well together; we balance each other:

You Are 54% Feminine, 46% Masculine

You are in touch with both your feminine and masculine sides.
You're sensitive at the right times, but you don't let your emotions overwhelm you.
You're not a eunuch, just the best of both genders.


And this was interesting, because the questions I answered made me think "hmmmm, maybe I'm not as creative as I thought!"

You Are 71% Creative

You are beyond creative. You are a true artist - even if it's not in the conventional sense of the word.
You love creating for its own sake, and you find yourself quite inspired at times.


And then I found this one. Which is funny, cuz I have a little pewter Pegasus on my desk:

You Are a Pegasus

You are a perfectionist, with an eye for beauty.
You know how to live a good life - and you rarely deviate from your good taste.
While you aren't outgoing, you have excellent social skills.
People both admire you - and feel very comfortable around you.