Saturday, December 29, 2007

I Had A Nightmare Last Night

about TF. I dreamed that the Sun got his promised "other present" in the mail... a large box of chocolate covered nuts. And then somehow TF was here, in the Big Apple, and the Sun was with him. But there was another baby, a younger Sun. And I can't really remember if it was mine, or his, but TF said something about having to take the younger Sun to the dentist. And I dreamed of that old feeling, where my guts would tighten up and I'd choose my words carefully because I just wanted this younger Sun to come home, and come home quickly without drama. Even though I was mad as hell that he was taking the younger Sun to the dentist without my knowledge or consent. In the dream I told TF carefully "He just went to the dentist, but OK."

Of course, all of the above has happened in real life, but different bits of the incidents in different places, so the dream was an odd composite of flashbacks making a familiar story. It was very unsettling, and the feeling stayed with me off and on through the day. I know part of it stemmed from the email I got the other day, in which he mentioned certain incidents. It's the kind of thing where I know he mentioned them, because he knew what he was doing back then. Despite the innocent front, I always knew that he calculated what he did, that he knew that the Sun was my "Achilles heel" and he knew that I wouldn't fight him on anything as long as the Sun was with him. I had promised myself I wouldn't read the email in depth, but I admit to some morbid curiosity and I skimmed it a little.

But oddly enough, I take the dream as being in the past, as being "no more" because the whole time I was actually dealing with TF through incidents like that, I never dreamed about them. I was so busy "dealing" that I didn't have time to dream...

The Sun has talked to him almost every day this week, but for like three minutes tops. I haven't answered TF's last email, because when I do is when I'm going to tell him either play right, or don't play at all. But I'm waiting for Lawyer to come back from vacation. She actually emailed me last week... I had been blind-copying her on everything I wrote him, leaving his original emails attached. The fact that she took the the time to email me, FROM vacation, meant tons. It means I'm not really over-reacting (and yeah, I still check myself). It means that she got as frustrated and annoyed as I did. It meant that I was doing what I am entitled to do, and that my request (that he play by the rules) was valid. Her email meant that I could take a deep breath and not really think about him until I had to. Yeah, I DO know these things in my head, but it's a really weird feeling when the old emotions come creeping back... and the dream did for me what crying can do... releasing all those old feelings.

So on the whole I feel pretty good.

I'm still not looking forward to New Years Eve, and I'm sort of undecided as to what I'm going to do. Shoefly and WhiteClogs and the Moon are in PA with their richer friends... those folk who can either afford to go away or have homes in the Poconos, so they won't be around. The Professor doesn't want to drive anyone home (and she shouldn't, since there will be drunk asses all over the road) so she'll be sitting in her house with her bottles. Last year I spent the night with her, (and was vastly entertained by friends of friends of friends--one of whom got ridiculously drunk and passed out right in front of her house) but I'm not sure I want to do that this year... I may want to wake up New Years Day in my own damn bed... even though I'll be waking up alone. I'm sure the Diva is scheming to be out... hell, she's 20, that's what they do... but I'm not watching her kid. I wasn't even on Nene's list of STD*'s, which pretty much solidifies where THAT'S going... absafuckinglutelynowhere, which I knew already but damn. I could have at least pretended. But I'm not sure I'm brave enough to just be here with the Sun, on our own. On the other hand, I don't want any crutches. If this is life, so be it, and like the Fat Lady reminded me the other day, a new year represents renewed hope. Hope that this year, I will make things different. Hope that I'll find what I'm looking for, and accomplish something, dammit.

(That sounded pretty good and inspirational didn't it? Maybe I can make myself believe it. Cuz in all honesty it's highly likely that I'll just go sit in the Professor's house and get "euphoric" on my Corazon Anejo Tequila.)

*somethin ta do

The Sun and Me Had a Date

...and it worked out well that it was just us. He's an easy kid to get along with. He doesn't whine too much, isn't constantly hungry or thirsty or tired, and he loves Times Square as much as I do.

Back in the day, when I was first let loose on the City, we would go down to Times Square and take flix. How much were they, back then? Like $5.00 or something? And they'd have these big elaborate backdrops, or those bamboo chairs, and some dude with a Polaroid Camera shouting "Flix! Flix!" And Times Square was SO seedy back then. Plenty of neon, like there is now, but seedy, and dirty, and lots of hookers. Peep Shows. Scary people. Loads of fun and oodles of entertainment. The picture on the right was taken when I was about 18... ah...."Could it be that it was all so simple then..."

Today, it's super-slick. Still lots of neon. And "mad crowded, yo." The Sun and I started off at McDonalds, which was wall-to-wall people. Then we went to Toys R Us. The Naruto stuff was WELL picked over, so all the Sun scored was some trading cards. But he got two little Transformers figures and a hand-held Sudoku game. I have to brag here; the kid loves stuff like Chess and Sudoku, and can actually play them. For considerable amounts of time. Whereas me, the "smart one" growing up, took one look at the Sudoku game and my eyes glazed over. Down in the basement, he wanted a Naruto game for his PS2, but it was rated "T"... which normally I won't allow. He was begging, and I was relenting, until I went to get on the checkout line. Uh, NO! It was LONG.... lots and lots of people buying lots and lots of Wii accessories and games.

So, we left. We crossed over the Marriott Marquis, and "snuck" in so we could ride the elevators. I felt like I was doing something by sneaking in, till I realized that everyone in the elevators was there for the same reason. There was a big sign out that said that after 4P, hotel key card were required to get into the hotel, but until then (it was quarter-to) hey, ride to your heart's content. So we rode up and down twice:

video

It kind of sucked that we didn't get a "clean" ride straight from 45 down to 1, but from 45 to 8 was close enough.

Then we walked up to Rockefeller Center, to see the penny field from the Penny Harvest. It was so very cool to see about a million dollars in pennies all laid out, all collected from kids around the city. It meant a lot to the Sun to see his school's name along the side, and to see all the pennies that had been donated. He took handfuls of "his" pennies and threw them back in.

We blew off karate. It's vacation. And I needed my hair did, so we stopped off at Gourmet Garage for sushi (my kid LOVES sushi... maybe he was Japanese in his previous life) and then he sat and played Sudoku while I got my hair done. The Diva and Slugboy met us.

The Diva's court date--mediation--had gone exceedingly well. (Nene got his agreement done in a day, and the Diva's is taking slightly more time but only slightly.... so how come mine is STILL not done???? Fuck. But I'm happy for her; she did really well and I told her so.) She had to make concessions she wasn't thrilled about, but she was smart enough to know it wasn't worth prolonging the misery over.

We walked over to Nana's to get the TinyOne and it was nice to see Poppy, in particular. Then the Diva had a hard time leaving; she's not overly thrilled about being with me, but I think that her discomfort will encourage her to keep it moving and get herself ready for her own place. Of course, the Professor feels terribly guilty, which amuses the hell out of me.

And then the Professor brought us home. Everyone got to bed in good order, but I'm up cuz I needed my quiet time...


Friday, December 28, 2007

In The Eye of The Storm

The Diva and TinyOne spent the night with the Professor last night, since the Diva has Family Court in the city today. So the Sun and I got some quiet time.

I should have taken him to karate yesterday but we went to IKEA instead with the Professor. It was rainy yesterday, and I wasn't in the mood for much of nothin', least of all the busride back to the Rock from Yonkers. Besides, something pissed me off.

At IKEA, I spent money I didn't have, but luckily not too much. But on stuff I needed... I NEED lights for my room. It's so dark in there. For years the darkness didn't bother me, but lately it's driving me nuts. I also bought a purple duvet cover, which my soul needs. I need something purple in that room; yes it's my favorite color but it tends to soothe me.

It's sunny today, which is a good thing because my mood needs it. I'm struggling. I'm tired of bitching about the same old things so I won't. When I first started this blog, I wrote a post about Surviving The Dark Days, and I read that post to remind myself to take my own damn advice. And I'm trying very hard, but I'm not a happy bitch right about now.

I'm not looking forward to New Years Eve this year. I don't feel I'm any further ahead this year than last year, and I should be. And despite the fact that I think I'm trying very hard, I guess I'm not cuz nothing's changing. I'm also really sick of spending it as a single person. Not that I don't love my family because I do. With every fibre of my being. But it suddenly occurred to me the other day that it's been YEARS since I actually spent New Years with anyone other than them. Or without drama. And that never bothered me before.... "you can't miss what you can't measure". But now I can measure it, and it's pissing me off. But that's all I'm going to bitch about today because it's a nice day and I promised the Sun we'd do our annual (actually semi-annual) trip to Times Square.

We usually take the Moon on our trip, but I'm attempting to get my kid to karate afterwards, and the Moon's dad had "too much stuff to do" to meet us anywhere, and they all have some weird mindset against the martial arts so the Moon doesn't come with us often to karate (but if anybody needs it, it's him). So it'll just be me and the Sun, which is probably a good thing...

And then the Storm descends on us again this evening. The Professor at first was saying "well, I'm sure she'll probably be with me all weekend" and I said, "well unless you want to fall back into the same pattern only with less bedrooms, I suggest that you put her ass in your car and dump her at my house. As stressful as it is for me, you set this up and YOU better follow through with it". Can you say "enabler"?

Pray for me, if you care about me. Thanks.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

"It's The End of The World As We Know It...

and I feel fine...."

Well, sorta.

So, they're here. Much stomping and bringing in of bags, and the TinyOne running back and forth and screeching.

But we got TinyOne fed and bathed, and his Mama put him down for sleep, and we washed a load of underwear. The Sun had a bit of a time falling asleep but he did. I gave the Diva a Zyrtec right away; new dust always sets off allergies which sets off asthma under stress and we don't have time for all that. I even got stuffy, as I do when I'm stressed out. I had to kick the Professor out cuz she felt bad for leaving the Diva who was mad and crying and not really wanting to be here, having had to leave SlugBoy behind. But oh well.

Nene was having computer troubles and kept calling but I appreciated the calls cuz he'd ask me how I was doing and at least I could pretend he cared.

It'll be OK, I guess. I have to figure out where to put shit; I'm already tripping over crap as it is but we'll figure it out.

The Diva went to bed. I have to put away my laundry and then I'll go to bed... maybe.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

We Let The Beast Loose.

Most days, we keep The Beast tightly leashed. It looks like this:

For fun, we let it loose today.


Seriously. I've never seen a head of hair like that. Ever.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Useless Tidbit of Info

My Sun has done all of the below at least once. I got these from an "Addiction List" on Naruto Central: You know you're addicted to Naruto if you...

· Roll your eyes back in your head and shout "byakugan".
· Stick your hand in a electric box and scream "chidori" as you pass out.
(Well, he screams "chidori" all the time)
· Start to call your teachers Sennin.
· Can spout out a random character quote on command.
· Decide to call your moral code your "ninja way".
· When you run, you run with your arms behind you.
· When someone asks you what your dream is, say that its to be Hokage.
· Paint dark circles with mascara around your eyes and claim to be able to control sand.
· You constantly crack your knuckles and do hand signs without even thinking.
· You poke people in their butts and yell "A thousand years of pain!".
· Draw a swirl on your palm and claim to be able to do the Rasengan.
. You call your teacher Iruka-sensei.
· You go to school with a forehead protector and claim it is the new trend from the Hidden Leaf Village.


and several others.

I'd be more concerned, but I was in K-Mart about two weeks ago, and the snippy-gay-teenage-checkout kid was totally into the Naruto figurines I was buying for The Sun. When I noticed his Hidden Village of Sound Wristband, he spouted off names and ages of several characters and that he watched all the stories in Japanese. At least my kid is still under 10....

Christmas Is The Boringest Day...

when you're a Jew. Or some derivative thereof.

Bigbear told me that Poppy watched every version of "A Christmas Carol" he could find. For someone who doesn't keep Christmas, she said, she had Christmas shoved down her throat. Then they went off to lunch with their long-time Jewish friends, who were in town for the weekend, down on the upper West Side. They wanted to go to BBQ's. I said, "Ma, BBQ's might be closed. It's Christmas! Did you call?". "Nah," she said. "They'll be open." And then she said some other mildly racist/definitely politically incorrect stuff about Mexican busboys and time and-a-half which I'll leave unsaid. But if you live in New York you'll know what I'm talking about.

I don't consider myself to keep Christmas... there are no holiday lights in my windows--although they're hung since last year, I never turned them on this year. I need to go put my barbecue-flavored chicken legs in the oven so we can eat but that's the extent of my holiday cooking. The Sun though, said that technically, we DO keep Christmas since he gets toys and we give presents.

So rather than deny, I agreed. He has been stating that this was his best Christmas ever. The Moon's family, where we went last night, are hilarious. Titi cooked. Her oven is broken so everything was done on top of the stove; pernil (which we don't eat), pot roast, steak, chicken wings, mashed sweet potatoes, yellow rice with sausage (lovingly made with turkey sausage and chicken Vienna sausage, on account of The Sun and I), white rice. Niece (who's going to a culinary arts high school) made a beautiful red velvet cake, Titi M made flan and pineapple upside cake. We had coquito. The Sun got gifts; a Naruto DVD in Japanese with English subtitles (this morning he was telling me how to say "You're a jerk!" in Japanese), a few more Toys R Us gift cards, and iDog, a Transformers Bumblebee robot, a beautiful book of Naruto art and two crispy $5.00 bills from Grandma Iris (and she signed it that way). I told Titi there were too many damn guests this year, and not enough leftovers. I took a small plate home, feeling slightly guilty. The Chinese niece-in-law took home a HUGE tray. "Damn," I said, "and I was trying to be nice... I felt a little bad". "Yeah," she said, piling on pernil, "I almost feel bad. But I'll get over it!"

When I got home, I couldn't help myself and checked email. And of course there was a badly-spelled-no capitalization having-sporadic periods having email reply from TF. It started off with something about an incident that happened five years ago, and the word ABUSED (in caps) in a sentence denying it (a kicked in door, motherfucker? threats? oh, but you never hit me, right? Does being held against a wall by your throat count? Or not? Fuck you.). I skimmed the first paragraph and decided against reading it. I could, point-by-point, give "facts figures and photos". I could try to point out where our to remembrances of the same incident differ. By why? He wouldn't read it. If he did, he would only try to argue his case. And besides, he was only trying to draw me into contact, of which I have no desire for. I wrote back that I don't hate him (deleted the part about it taking too much energy), that I've no desire for contact unless it's necessary since I'm not into relaying messages through the Sun, and "The only things I care about are 1.) What time are we meeting Saturday morning (I am assuming 10AM at Dunkin' Donuts) 2) What time are you bringing him home on Sunday night 3.) where are you staying with him while you are here, and 4.) when do you plan on signing the visitation agreement."

As of this moment, only two questions were answered, one with incomplete information and two were ignored. Guess which two?

*sigh*. I guess I'll wait until next week to make the final blow. Unless my patience runs out before then.

In the meantime, the Moon got a Wii for Christmas. And a Naruto game. "Why would you do that to yourself" I asked the Moon's parents? "You'll wake up in the morning and find my child in his longjohns, his stuffed dolphin under his arm, his hair fuzzed up and the Wii remotes in his hands, BEING Naruto. Why would you do that?"

Earlier, we went to visit UpstairsNeighbor's mom in the nursing home. She's been there about a month. It was hard for UN to give up her mom, but she couldn't give her the care she needed; she had a hard time dealing with Mr. Kip's death. So it's been hard on them, but UN's mom looked pretty good and was glad to The Sun and I. Thumbelina came too.

So, it's been a good day. The streets out here on The Rock are EMPTY. The restaurants are all closed; there's parking everywhere. Reminds me of a song I know...

Merry Christmas to all my Christmas-Keeping friends!
And HappyChineseFood Day to everyone else!

Monday, December 24, 2007

It's On...

...I'm done.

I got an email sent to me this morning, and I sat down and wrote a response. I haven't been able to speak to Lawyer; I called her this past Wednesday or so, and when I tried to cc her on a response the other day, I got back one of those automatic "out of the office until...." messages. So I'm on my own. I called Nene... I asked him to only listen to what I wrote, and tell me, as a father, and knowing me the way he does, what he thought. I also told him about the Christmas package.

When I finished, he said "go ahead. Send it. I don't know what's going through his head, but I think you have a right to send it." So I did... but first, I had The Sun call his dad so they could have a nice chat before my email sends TF into a mood. Then, when they hung up 20 minutes later, I hit "send". Oh, and during that phone conversation it was learned that a.) TF was busy buying baseball stuff for his friend's kid out in CA. Cuz he knows the kid likes baseball. And b.) he was sending The Sun another present.

Afterwards, going through my junk mail folder I found another email. I don't know why it ended up in Junk, but it did, and it had been sent before the first one. And it made me sure that I was OK in writing what I wrote.

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

I have never ever told The Sun he couldn't see you. I'm not sure what time period you are referring to, but even at the worst of it, when the Order of Protection wasn't in effect yet, but I knew it was coming, I only told him that he wouldn't see you as regularly as he had, and that it would only be for a little while. And when you canceled the court-supervised visits, or canceled the outside supervised visits, I told him that he wouldn't see you for a little while, but that it wasn't for ever. And when you moved to California initially, and he was devastated, and said "I'll never see my dah again" I told him that he would. That there was no way he would ever NOT see you. I felt awful for him that he missed you. I never want for The Sun to hurt.

When he argues with you over the phone, or gets mad at you, or you get mad at him for not calling and then he says he doesn't want to talk to you because you yelled at him, I always tell him that no matter what happens between you and I, that you will always love him. And I always tell him he needs to call you, that he needs to stop what he's doing and make the time.

It's no secret that you and I don't get along. It's no secret that we probably never will. I don't like you. I don't like what you did to me, I don't like how you treated me and there are times when I don't like the things you say to The Sun, either. And I've no problem telling you that. But one thing I am, is fair. I told you from the very beginning that if you wanted to be a part of The Sun's life you could be, but that it was your choice. And it has been your choice to be in his life, and I will always respect that. I will always honor that.

However, there need to be rules in place, a system for us to operate so that there are no misunderstandings.

We have been in court for five years, and we still don't have a visitation agreement, which is the only reason I went to court in the first place. How it played out once we got there is messed up, but it was beyond either of our control. This is why I didn't want to go in the first place. I knew that once other people were involved it wouldn't be up to us anymore. So we tried to work it out on our own, we tried through mediation. Family court was the last resort.

But as of this moment, 5 years later and a waste of everyone's time, money and emotions, we still don't have a visitation agreement, because you haven't signed it.

And I am not required to comply with you unless you sign it. As part of the agreement, I have specifically asked that January 14, 15, and 21, as well as July 1, 9-10, 15 and 22 be unavailable to you so that we can practice our Passover and Day of Atonement the way we always have, the way you have known me to practice since the day you met me. The day you are requesting falls on January 21. I am asking you one final time to specify a time on Sunday night, January 20th, to bring him to a neutral meeting place so that I can pick him up and not go outside on my Sabbath the following day. If you will not honor that, then I am not required to honor this visit.

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

Now, I'm off to the Moon's Aunt's house for good Puerto Rican food, crazy people and lots of cheer. I made a buttered rum peach cobbler (on a whim--although a message was passed through Shoefly from Titi that if I came without the cobbler, I wasn't getting in).

Happy Holidays, all!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

*Sigh*

Long day. It started with trying to get the Sun to Karate, him screaming and crying and saying he didn't want to go. My friends rag on me about the fact that I trek all the way to Yonkers with him; some say I'm a good mom because I do--that if it were them the kid would never go. Some say I'm crazy. I'm sure that the ones who know me really well think it's all about ulterior motives, but it isn't, and I'm crazy certainly, but two things... one is that he bitches and complains but once he gets there he always thanks me later and tells me what a great time he had. And two, MOST of the friends who tell me I'm crazy for making the trek have some form of life partners. And to be fair, in my honest opinion if I had a partner who was an active participant in the Sun's life, I probably wouldn't make the trek.

So I take him. Other than Poppy, who we really haven't seen much of since school started, there aren't a lot of men around the Sun on a regular basis. There's only one male teacher at his school, one male co-teacher (who isn't in his class) and one male para (who is, but is attached to another boy). Everyone else is female. Most of the parents who hang around the school to help out are female. The guy who helps out with the after-school daycare is cool, but the Sun doesn't really stay ALL that often. So the Senseis come in handy. Particularly when the Sun is being oppositional. I have no problem threatening to tell Sensei about his behavior... and the best part is that when I DO tell, one of the two of them will call him on it. Sweet! But they are also extraordinarily kind to him.

And he needed them today; although it was just BigBrother Sensei today. We missed the Sun's age group class, so he did the teenagers class, and afterwards stayed another 45 minutes or so with two grown-ups, to practice katas. One was a white belt, and one a yellow, and so the Sun being an orange belt, outranked them both. So it was sort of a level playing field.

Friday night when we got home there was a package for the Sun from his dad. His Christmas present. I told the Sun that if it was wrapped, out of respect for his dad we'd wait till at least Christmas eve to open it. We cut open the box.

There was a statue... one of those soapstone looking statues of a father and child, and the negative space between them was a heart. It was nice, a nice sentiment expressed in the card. There was also a Toys R Us gift card--$20. Yup. $20. Now see... I DON'T keep Christmas in the family; we don't have a tree, we don't exchange gifts. But I like giving presents, and I always say Christmas is a good excuse to find something cool for someone you care about. For the Moon, who is pretty much getting to be my "other" child, I go out of my way to find things he'll like or that I know he's into and this year alone, what he's gotten from the Sun and I equal AT LEAST $50. And it's not the money that bothers me. It's the principal.

My Sun, though, is a grateful kid, and was happy to get a gift card (which by the way... a few years back when TF still spoke to his relatives, one of his cousins had given the Sun a Toys R Us gift card for $100!!!) and he liked the statue. When his father called this morning (as we were making our trek) to say that what he got was because "Daddy didn't know what to get you--you never sent a list!", the Sun merely said "Thank you. I love it." And then turned to me and said "You see? I told you we should have sent the list." But I'm still convinced his father was playing games. I'd bet a $20 Toys R Us gift card on it.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Those Damn Lambs Need To Shut The Hell Up...

they're freaking me out.

Drama, drama, drama, and more drama. And I don't mind posting my own drama, but I won't really post other people's drama. This isn't "Page Six". But there's drama and it's stressing me the fuck out.

The biggest thing, I guess, that IS affecting me is my impending room mate. And I love that babygirl with all my heart, and the babywhirlwind too... but the thought of sharing my space with them is flipping me out. NOT that I won't get over it... NOT that I won't get into the "flow" once it's actually here... because I will. But I don't like sharing my space. I never have. When we were kids, and moved into the empty apartment next door from the parents, NOBODY ever crashed in my room. But there was always somebody sleeping on the Professor's floor. Or in her bed. Always. And the funny thing was... I even let her have the bigger room because of it. I only really need a little bit of space... but it's got to be all mine.

My Homegirl from way back in the day called me tonight--she was driving from Indiana to Kentucky. She finished telling me about how she's finally getting divorced... finally got fed up with her High School Sweetheart (they'd gone their separate ways for YEARS but on a leave from the Army hooked up with him and ended up married) and gone off on him.
She said she went off on him so bad, he HAD to beat the crap out of her... just to save face. So he did, and she filed for divorce two days later. And it'll be final next month. But anyway, I was telling her how even though I'll be OK, I'm having a hard time adjusting and I said "you KNOW I don't give up my personal space." And she said "No, no you don't." I guess I got a little defensive and she said "don't get me wrong... I'm not ragging on you. I KNOW how hard this is for you, and the mere fact that you're going through with this means you're really trying, and I'm really impressed". Which made me feel really good, because a.) it's awesome when someone knows you THAT well, and b.) it's nice to be acknowledged when you're fessing up to issues--nice to know that you can grow past them. Maybe. Sometimes...

So there's that. And speaking of people who "know" you and "get" you. I'm struggling again. It sucks when you find someone who does... and someone equally at home with their own little quirks, who's completely open and honest, and doesn't get on your nerves with the rah-rah and the bullshit (and I have to admit... I'd say a good 85% of people get on my nerves, 10% are people I love so dearly I can tolerate when they get on my nerves mostly because they tolerate me, and the other 5% I'm closely related to and so I make a POINT to forgive them when they get on my nerves). Somebody who genuinely makes you belly-laugh. Or when you express to them something that pisses you off or gets on your nerves, they actually try to take your feelings into account (HOLY FUCK!). In short, somebody almost perfect. But then there's that one little, tiny eeny beeny catch.

You're old enough to be their mother.

Motherfucker.

And the age thing doesn't bother me like "Oh my GOD I'm old" but more like... "shit... it can't possibly work. Not for long, anyway." ("For eva. For eva-eva??") That Ashton-and-Demi-thing is a freak of nature, a lightening-strike. A one-hit-wonder. But I am Aquarius. We NEED things clearly defined. There has to be a PLAN, dammit. Even if the plan changes. But here, there can't be a plan. Hell, a plan wouldn't work anyway. And so with no real plan (well, actually a plan to be done with the whole thing, and you can see how obviously well THAT worked) I went with the flow and well, ended back in a place I was tryin' really hard not to go.

I figured out today though, as I mulled over it, that I'm so unsettled because EVERYTHING is so unsettled; my finances are on shaky ground thanks to being unemployed, now my home is unsettled/about to be upheaved, and this other thing is unsettled. I probably wouldn't be quite as freaked out if at least one other thing were more stable. But at the moment, nothing is really clear-cut and that disorients me. But I'll be OK. I guess.

In the meantime, there is SO MUCH CRAP I'm behind on, it's not even funny. I really have to "grabahold"...

The Sun is doing well though...

Monday, December 17, 2007

The Sun's Violin Recital

video

He did really well, my little man. Very steady rhythm; no dynamics at all, but steady.... Roberta leaned over to me and said "WOW! He did REALLY WELL!" which is a HUGE complement coming from her... but I think the Sun is famous for his sloppy and frustrating practices. He stands around, digs out wedgies, picks his nose and yawns a lot. I know he yawns when he's concentrating, but they think he's bored. And he rushes through practices. But somehow when he stands up to play he pulls it out his @ss and plays beautifully.

I dunno. He's his mother's child, I guess... only perform well when our asses are on the line. *sigh*.

Swimming in Cold Water, Against The Flow

is about how I'd describe my life right now. Too many concerns to list (but hey! I just did); some very disheartening, some not so. I'm annoyed with TF (when am I ever not?) but pretty much have the idea these days that like the snake in the proverbial story, I knew what he was when I picked him up. In other words, I need to quit my bitchin' cuz that's all he'll ever be. Though it would have been nice if he could mature enough/take enough Zoloft to not inflict his shit on his Sun, but whatever. The latest, in a nutshell, is that while last year he harassed the shit out of his kid for his Christmas list and was annoyed that in the essence of speed, I wrote it out and not the Sun, this year there has been NO MENTION of Christmas at all. None. Luckily, we don't keep Christmas, and luckily, we are pretty much co-family with the Moon's family, who does so with gusto. (So the Sun is going to get some pretty cool shit--nothing big, but things I know he'll cream his shorts over.)

But the Sun is hurt. He asked me if he should go ahead and send his list. I told him honestly, that if HE felt comfortable doing so, he should (because I've learned to trust The Sun's intuition with regard to his father; he seems to have an uncanny knack of knowing exactly where his father is in his darkspace) but I get the feeling that Christmas has been unmentioned because TF wants the Sun to ask about it, which would give TF the opening to say something really mean. Like "I thought you didn't keep Christmas" or some bullshit like that. And I told the Sun that I really didn't feel like having him say that, cuz then I'll have to get mad. But I asked him if he felt differently and he said sadly "No, I think you're right". Fucker.

In addition... oh hell. It's not even worth mentioning. But suffice to say I'm wondering how much of a stickler I'm prepared to be about his upcoming visit. Since there is STILL no signed agreement.

I'm broke as hell, my rent goes up in January, I'm getting no replies from ANYTHING I've applied for, I'm trying very hard to stay away from Nene who I miss, but mainly because I miss "closeness". It's hard, cuz we still talk reasonably often. But I'm an all or nothing chick--it's just a fact of life, and I'm in no mood to just be a bootiecall. But damn. And I'd pay for eHarmony but I can't afford it. I'm tired of flying solo. What else; my house looks like who-did-it-it-and-ran, I've yet to even make my 2007 edition holiday greeting (I'm sure it'll hit me Friday night or something, and I'll stay up all night and do it... it just hasn't hit me yet), I need to send out TF's present from The Sun (because I really am a nice person, goddammit), the Diva is just floating through life about to crash and burn and as much as I love her I cannot carry her, and I'm fat. Not fat compared to other people who struggle with weight, but fat compared to me and my own self image, my back hurts, I suddenly realized I can't fucking read the fine print on my Exedrin Migraine bottle anymore and I feel like an old tired ass.

If I think of anything else, I'll post it later. Y'all don't have to read it, but at least I'm not carrying the shit around with me, which is afterall, why I started this blog.

I have to get back to La Vida Low Budget because I obsessively must finish what I've started because if I don't I feel like a failure. And I want to create a poll to find out if a.) people really care enough to continue posting and b.) should I continue directly on to 1978, or skip ahead to '81--the year I was 16 and swore I was pregnant? It would mean I'd have to 'fess up to a lot of shit my parents STILL don't know about... but it could be fun. I had fully inhabited Harlem Style by then...

Later I have to post about how I chewed the Sun and the Moon out about "work ethic" (Lord don't let him grow up to be a lazy ass like his mother) so bad they both read books on the subway all the way home... it was pretty funny.

I stayed home this morning to accomplish something/anything and the only thing I've accomplished was changing my bedsheets and vacuuming the rather large dust bunnies that had taken over, but the piles still remain and my kitchen table is still underclutter. But, I'm off to pick up the Sun from school; he has a violin recital this evening. I'll try to post a picture.

Kara Walker Visited by two Buckskin clad Big Legged Redbone Wenches

BigBear wrote her own thoughts on the Kara Walker show, and passed it 'round amongst her freinds. She pointed them to my blog, so in turn I'm posting her thoughts. Just till she (well, I ) sets up her own blog.

Yesterday, I meet my daughter The BearMaiden at "Miguelina’s” Dominican hair salon, on 3rd Ave. in El Barrio. After her hair blow out, we lace up the buckskin boots and head out into the sleet and freezing rain to head downtown to the Whitney Museum to look at Kara Walker. The first storm of winter has hit Manhattan, cold, wet, slippery and dark, a perfect day to visit Kara at the The Ole' Plantation.


The BearMaiden, who graduated from Pratt in Graphic Design and Illustration does not think of herself as an artist. She’s too pragmatic, having worked in offices for some years before the genetic bug to create hit. She thinks about money, the rent, paying bills feeding her growing 9 year old son (see: thebearmaiden.blogspot.com). This makes her The Perfect Companion for spending an afternoon looking at ART. I live in LaLa land, thinking about aesthetics, perfect expression, color theories, making stuff.

We get to the Whitney a bit cold and wet but in good spirits. We agree that the papercuts show superior technical skill. The crispness of the line, the sharp points like knives cutting the psyche of the viewer. The Cyclorama had many visually beautiful elements, the crescent moon with drifting clouds, the abstractions , airy black mass shapes with drips of ‘moss’. The figures parading this way and that round and round, and yet, here’s the same old foreground middleground background, as a narrative and literary expression it says what it says, but as a visual experience, I got a little bored. OK, that’s personal. It wasn’t so much the scat and sex, which I found immature, but the lack of ‘duende’,that animating spark that lifts the work off the wall and burns it into your psyche. Besides the story of slavery not black and white, that makes the history way to simplistic, and no way explains me and The BearMaiden in our buckskin and turquoise and strength of leg. So Kara Walkers point of view personal, does that, her technical skill and mean world view make it ART? I say no, because for me there’s no magic, no back beat no wink of the eye pulling me into the joke. I find the work cold and over inflated. I liked the small pieces washed panels with black cutouts that made a seamless world. One, of a woman in skirts, baby dropped by her feet attached by umbilical cord running invisible up the skirt the most gripping work. The background a light wash of grey punctuated by delicate hatching suggesting clouds, a pastoral environment fraught with fear loathing confusion doubt longing.

The BearMaiden says, yeah, she makes ART because she illustrates her own personal narrative. We both found the drawings weak; the journal entries looked forced the ideas young and not particularly insightful, though I loved how uncomfortable the Pale Conservatives got looking and reading.

The film work, with shadow puppets worked. The audio elements were gripping and some parts quite funny, though the Pale Conservatives didn’t even giggle. I especially liked the Black Bluegrass of the last film installation. I can see Kara Walker making a feature film about the Ole’ Plantation, our very own Julian Schnabel.

Kara Walker reminds me of Thelma Goldin, neurotic, ambitious,successful, highly visible in the upper echelons of Plantation life, but there’s a suicidal energy here as they cut themselves into a corner.

I find the papercuts blown up like helium balloons, over inflated so it can be seen at Art Basel and Museums and Big Galleries, For me ,though, small is better, but hey, I’m just a Red Bone, living out here in da brier patch, just me and the Tar Babies.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

The BearMaiden Gets Cultured

On Thursday, Bigbear wanted me to go with her to the Whitney Museum to see Kara Walker: My Complement, My Enemy, My Oppressor, My Love. Bigbear reads things like "Art In America" and "Art News" and the Sunday Times pieces, and knows all about who's who in the art game/world, what their medium is and what people think of them. She also knows stuff like where the hot gallery scene is and who's in it.

I don't pay attention to things like that. And most times, bigname artists annoy me. In fact, the artworld annoys me. My experience with that world includes the very local view back in the days when the Studio Museum in Harlem was just a little loft over a very low-budget ghetto supermarket (instead of the fancy new stand-alone structure it is now). Also as a little girl in Paris, I had all sorts of strange artist and musician-types floating in and out of my apartment, especially 'round dinner time. A little girl's view of people like that tends to be of extremely egotistical people who like to drink wine and preach their view of the world over each other, getting progressively louder as the wine flows until somebody gets annoyed at someone for real, or gets really obnoxious and storms off. Then there's shouting and bad feeling and everybody goes home.

I also get annoyed by questions "OK, but is it art?", especially when there's some buzz about somebody who decided to saw a cow in half and stick in a vat of formaldehyde, or paint a picture of Christ or the Virgin and stick it in pee. Cuz no, I don't think that's art. I generally think of art as self expression done with some tangible medium like paint or pencil or an instrument.

So I wasn't *overly* crazy about going to the Whitney. In fact it was FAR more important to me to get my hair done and my eyebrows threaded, cuz I'm feeling particularly overwhelmed by life at the moment, and attending to my personal grooming tends to make me feel better about things. But Bigbear was excited, and I haven't actually hung out with her sans drama and/or other (dramatic) family members in a minute or two, so I said "sure, I'll go... but I'm getting my hair done first." Which I did. And had to wear a hat on top of it all day cuz it was "snaining" (snow and freezing rain).

I had no idea who Kara Walker is or what she does. So here's an uninformed persons view of the show, cuz apparently, she's got some kind of street cred. And I'm not being funny about that... as we were going through the exhibit Bigbear told me of the accolades she's received, as well as some of the criticism, and afterwards I "googled" her a little bit. But previous to Thursday... no clue.

(So if you're like me, and didn't know, you can follow the links, but here's a picture:)

Technique-wise, I was impressed. I have a "thing" for black and white--it probably stems from my deep love of (traditional media) photography and the two years or so I spent in a darkroom. I sometimes think it takes way more work to design or illustrate in black and white as opposed to color, because you have to really pay attention to space and contrast. In color, you can "fudge" a lot of things, but in black and white you can't. And if you're literally doing black and white, using no shades gray in between, it can be downright boring unless you really know what you're doing.

So I really enjoyed the starkness of her work. She knows what she's doing. There were a couple of pieces of a larger piece that were downright stunning; there was one cutout of a crescent moon with clouds passing over it that was just beautiful. I also appreciated that she understood and effectively used stereotypes of slaves and owners; her cutouts clearly appropriated the pre-Civil War view of African features, and the cutouts themselves could have been done by someone from that time. She fully inhabited that era, and as someone who can become obsessed with things I related to that. I think I understood the story she was telling, and I liked that her work was powerful enough to unsettle you. Particularly the white people who were there... they shifted uncomfortably as Bigbear (looking especially Indian in her fringed boots) and I passed through. There were some Brownskinned people there too... but VERY few and I'm fairly certain they were all one group from one of those "I'm middle-aged-and-been-through-hell-but-I'm-finally-going-to-college" type community colleges, like Touro or Monroe. And I didn't get the feeling that Walker's work spoke to them. The conversations I overheard were "Where's our Professor?" and nothing about "Did you see the such-and-such one? What did you think?"

There was a small, circular room installation, "Slavery! Slavery! Presenting a GRAND and LIFELIKE Panoramic Journey into Picturesque Southern Slavery or 'Life at Ol' Virginny's Hole (sketches from Plantation Life)' " See the Peculiar Institution as never before! All cut from black paper by the able hand of Kara Elizabeth Walker, an Emancipated Negress and leader in her Cause", that I thought was just brilliant... the whole idea of standing in the center of the room and turning slowly to take in the panoroma just tickled me.

There were some papercuts on canvas with guache or tempera that were really, really nice. Makes me want to try something like that one day.

"Darkytown Rebellion," another installation, had colors from projected transparencies over cutouts on the wall, which was way, way cool.

There are two rooms showing looped movies; one had sound and the other didn't, and they were interesting. It was cool to see the papercuts "come to life" and being used as shadow puppets to tell a story. Bigbear liked them, but I got annoyed at the prolonged sex scenes.

Which brings me to what I didn't like about her work. I'm no prude, at least I don't think so. I've watched pornographic movies but I don't like most of them; I find them incredibly boring because they are usually laughably bad with no plotline whatsoever. A few lines of stupid and badly delivered dialogue that really serves no purpose other than to interrupt loooong sex scenes accompanied by really awful music. And they usually only show one angle--for the man's benefit-- and the sex is pretty unrealistic (though gay porn is another story). But the fact that "exploited" women are acting in them and that men can watch them incessantly doesn't particularly bother me. If they were more interesting, I'd have no problem watching them. I bring this up because there are a LOT of sexual references in her work (leave the kiddies home, folks, unless you want to do a lot of 'splainin') and to me, it got to be monotonous. Watching them, I began to feel the same way about them that I do pornos. There was a lot of fornicatin' back in them days, I get it. And a lot of it was brutal. And maybe we're all screwed up (pun intended) as a country because of it, but the imagery was relentless, and none of it was redeemed. There was also a LOT of reference to "poop" and "flatulence", and if you're the parent of an 8 year old (boy in particular, but 8 year old girls are guilty, too) as I am, you might understand how "it's funny the first 100 times..."and not so much after that.

I also wasn't overly crazy about her drawings. They weren't "spectacular" the way her silhouettes were. They were good; don't get me wrong. She draws and inks better than me, but she was no Rembrandt--who's graphite drawings can reach across a span of centuries and smack you upside the head.

But the overall thing I liked least was her bleak and very narrow view. Bigbear said later that none of her women images were particularly strong, and I agreed with her. I came away feeling that her point of view was that Black women survived the horrors of slavery as a testament to our ability NOT to fight back. Like our strength is the the ability to endure, to suffer, but given half the chance we'd become just like our oppressors. There wasn't an "end" to the story, there wasn't a "growth". You didn't walk away feeling like you'd "come through" something and survived; you just came through it. And maybe she feels that way... but I don't.

And I don't because there's something I've inhabited, and she hasn't, and that's my Indian. Yeah, I know, my favorite subject. But standing in the panoramic room it suddenly dawned on me that her world is very "black and white," and so it throws her whole view off-balance. She believes the hype--the version of history we've been sold, and when I looked her up later I read that she came from a very diverse California background to a very segregated south at the age of 13. Having come from a very segregated (by virtue of country) "all black" environment to a more diverse New York at the age of 12, I can relate to the culture shock and how that shapes your view. But I've always known my own personal history; that I'm more "diverse" in my blood than I look, and when I got older and went looking for my Indian and saw how much a part of us all that Indian was, it freed me from all the hate and the anger. Because I began to see that the hate between "Black and White" is contrived, designed to keep the current system in place. If we all really faced the true history of this country and how intertwined we all really are, it wouldn't be as easy to "hate" a group of people, because where do you begin to delineate who's who?

But in her world, it's easy to delineate. And so the anger and despair never diffuses and dissipates. So then I couldn't relate to it much after that, and we left.

Bigbear felt it was more illustration than art, and I told her as someone trained to be an illustrator, I fully considered it "art". Because art is where you get to express your own story and point of view in your own "words", whereas an illustrator is paid to express someone else's point of view; you're fed the story... you're given the parameters, you're told what emotion you are to project.

(So hmmm..... seeing as how Walker is "fed" the traditional version of pre-Civil War south, and is accepting of the parameters, maybe it *is* "illustration".)

Anyway. Actually, an extremely "fun" thing happened while browsing in the gift shop. I picked up a book about the making of "Wildstyle", one of the first movies about hip hop. (Shit... it's the 25th anniversary of that movie. Dang, I'm old.) To my great delight, they had some photos the filmmakers had taken at "The Valley" in the Bronx, in 1980, while researching for the movie. I WAS THERE. Not in the picture... but in 1980 I was a freshman in HS. The following summer, '81 I guess, my girls and I used to sneak out of Harlem on the #2, and go to the "Jams" in the Valley. I have to go through my photo albums and dig up my photos... and see what I wrote in my 1980-81 diaries about those jams...

Bigbear wrote her thoughts on this show, too, and I told her that later on, I'd post it. Maybe :)

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

To Continue The Catch Up...

Monday, December 5, 1977

We go to tree lighting, etc.
Psalm 39
Day 18

Got up medium. Dressed. Ate breakfast. It started to snow. Just hung around. Pops went out. It rained. Pops got mom beautiful boots at the thrift shop. Then he went downtown to get fuel. He came back. Ate. Then we phoned Aunt Sinah. Before that, the heat +hot water came on! We went to the [Christmas] tree lighting with Aunt Sinah. We ate supper in green trees. Came back. Went to bag. Thank you, Mr. O.

I ate:
  • Breakfast: 1 bowl oats+honey (+apples?)
  • Dinner: grits, collard greens+white kidney beans+poached egg
  • Supper: 1 king-sized deluxe burger, french fries, hot chocolate, ketchup, lettuce, tomato
  • Snack: 1 bag hot pnuts

Things I didn't write:

  • I wonder how long the heat and hot water had been off? There was an exclamation point after the sentence, so it must have been "a minute." My guess is maybe Friday evening, since I hadn't written much on the Saturday and Sunday previous.
  • At the time, we were pretty irreverent about Christmas. Not necessarily about the religion of Christianity, but Christmas in particular. So we had a not-too-flattering nickname for the day, the Professor and I, that I had made up. After MUCH deliberation, I've decided not actually write the nickname. I also decided though, that I would mention that there was a nickname. I guess because as I type all this stuff out in a public forum, I could NOT say anything at all about it, but I feel that at least mentioning it makes a distinction between how small a person's world can be, and how much you take in and think and hopefully grow as you age.
  • Lastly, and far more interestingly... the weather was BEASTLY that night, and not something I will ever forget. We were getting used to the cold. We were adjusting to shorter days. But that particular day a windstorm had kicked up that was not to be believed. As we were walking up the block to the IRT#2, the wind was howling down the corridor of 'Two-five with such force that the Professor and I were afraid we'd be swept off our feet. It was early evening, the stores already closed up (they closed early on 'Two-Five back then--it was like the Wild West) and so the metal grates were pulled down. We hung on to one of them for dear life, my mother swearing against the wind that it wasn't our holiday ANYWAY and Aunt Sinah was crazy and we were crazy for going downtown to the crowds and she really wanted to be home. My mother has a mouth like a sailor, as do I; something we've gleefully inherited from my Grandfather, rest his soul. I remember laughing, but still being fearful that we were going to be blown away.

    We made it to the subway though, and we made it downtown, and we found Aunt Sinah (can you imagine? In a crowd... before cellphones. How did people manage????) and it was crowded but NO WHERE NEAR as crowded as it would be today and we actually saw the lights go on. WOOHOO! And then we came home. I've never been to a tree-lighting since. You'll also notice the tree-lighting was IN DECEMBER... as opposed to the last day in November like it is now...


Tuesday, December 6, 1977

Psalm 40
Day 19

Got up late. Dressed. Ate breakfast. We went shopping. Came...

(I must have gotten distracted)

I ate:

  • Breakfast: 1 bowl oatmeal+honey

Wednesday, December 7, 1977

Psalm 41
Day 20

Got up medium. Dressed. Ate a bowl oatmeal+honey + 1 banana for breakfast. After washing dishes and getting our dirty clothes together, we walked Pops to the laundromat. Then Mom T+I looked around for an apartment. One super said to come back on the week-end. We shopped, then went to the drug-store. Came back. Ate, after I helped Mom with the cooking. For lunch we had: stewbeef+carrot+celery+string beans+sweet pepper+rice+cabbage+red kidney beansoup, pnuts, dates, figs, marbled cookies, raisin oatmeal cookies by Neighborhood. Put on pj's. Went to bag. Thank you, Mr. O.

"Neighborhood" was a local brand back then. Their cookies and pies were AMAZING. I wonder if they're still around? I have to look. Funny the things you forget about...

My mother was still under the impression we'd find someplace else to live. Ha ha! By the way, current day rent in this same area is EASILY 10 and 11 times more expensive than it was 30 years ago. And just as a point of reference... despite the Borg, some of the same people STILL try to hold on and live here. Hint: The people who lived in these tenements are NOT the same people who owned the buildings. Never were. But a good portion of the people either still own the buildings, or sold them to other people (still not anyone who actually lives in them) for huge sums of cash. And for the most part, the people who live in these tenements now are NOT the same people who lived here 30 years ago. Cuz those people simply can't afford to.

You do the math. And yeah, I'm pissed the fuck off. But anyway.

This day I was apparently experimenting with a new format in the diary. Rather than divide the section into two and listing the food separately, I wrote it into the narrative of the day. I abandoned that format the next day. I laugh as I remember that I got tired of separating the page, and thought maybe it would be easier if I just wrote the food out. Maybe I was being too anal about dividing the page. But the new format forced me to remember what I ate as I was writing, as opposed to finishing the story of the day and then going back to fill in the food. I remember, to this day, how cumbersome it felt. And it's funny, reading it 30 years later, it's more cumbersome to read this way. Strange little thing, that--useless tidbit of information, but just something I remember...

Thursday, December 8, 1977

Psalm 42
Day 21

Got up medium. Dressed. All 3 of us went down-stairs to get the Amsterdam News. Then came back. Ate breakfast. Then all 4 of us went out. Went to Roberts' and Woolworth's. Pops went to Aunt Sinah's. Mom+T+I went to Daitch (Shopwell Supermarket). Came back. Drew a little. Helped Mom cook. Ate. Put on pj's. Pops came back. Ate snack. Going to bag. Thank you, Mr. O.

We ate:

  • Breakfast: Raisin+oatmeal cookies, chocolate chip cookies, 1 cup honey tea, pnuts, 1/2 lolly-bubble-gumdrop pop
  • Snack: 2 sour apple+honey sweeties, pnuts, figs, dried apples.
  • Dinner: Brown rice, onion, egg-dipped+corn meal mix fried eggplant, cabbage, carrot+celery+onion+sweet pepper (steam) 1/2 oatmeal raisin cookie, pnuts, figs, prunes.

Woolworth's was prime-pickin' for candy back then. They had a whole section of those open, plexiglass candy bins, and it was big store and not a lot of security or sales people walking around. After awhile, I graduated from stealing candy to stealing nail polish, but we kept Sabbath School and read the 10 commandments (which I still know by heart) every week, and pretty soon the guilt weighed heavily on my heart. About the nail polish--not the candy. The rationale was that candy was food... although a treat. And we were hungry. And God doesn't punish the hungry for stealing, and in fact, Leviticus 19:9-10 specifically says that when you harvest you're not to "glean to corners" of your fields, so that you leave some for the widowed and the orphans.

I can rationalize anything.

Monday, December 10, 2007

And Now, Back To Our Show...

Thursday, December 1, 1977
Psalm 35
Day 14

Got up medium. Dressed. Mom+Pop fussed - because the water went off. The water came on. Pops made hush puppies. Ate. Then pops dressed and left for his interview at Sarah Lawrence college. We snacked, I crocheted and drew. Then later ate salad and cooked. Ate dinner. It's about 7:45. Mom told us a story. I told a story. Rested. At 10:00pm Pops came back, not too pleased that we were up. Put on pj's, got in bag. Thank you, Mr. O.

We ate:
  • Breakfast: Aunt Jemima's corn meal mix hush puppies+honey, 1 cup honey tea
  • Lunch: Carrot strips, celery stix, mustard
  • Dinner: lettuce+celery+carrot salad with mustard+honey+garlic+herbs dressing, egg noodles+macaroni, vegetarian beans +carrot+potato+tomato paste+1 poached egg sauce.

Friday, December 2, 1977
Psalm 36
Day 15

Got up medium. Dressed. Ate breakfast. Worked on "Nubbin." Then all four of us went walking. We went to Mom+Pops old friends, the A_'s. We played with their grand-children and met their daughters. Then went shopping, had a free sample. Came back.

I ate:
  • Breakfast: 1 bowl grits+egg+pepper
  • Lunch: pnuts, 1 beef hotdog,+mustard, 1/2 biscuit, 3 shaved beef+cracker snacks
  • Dinner:
Saturday, December 3, 1977
Psalm 37
Day 16

Got up medium. Dressed. Had Sabbath School. Then Mom cooked. We ate. Rested.

I hear Poppy's been reading my blog. The other day--Saturday--when I called to talk to Bigbear, Poppy was wistfully remarking in the background that we never used to cook on the Sabbath. Poppy is quietly disappointed that we (the Professor and I) don't keep Sabbath as strictly as we used to, but to give him credit he just rolls with the flow. He's very forgiving and tolerant of us--not as all rigid as one would think. Well, about certain things. Bigbear was saying that back then we had the luxury of being more pious. If we lived in a community where everyone worked together and helped each other out and nobody cooked on the Sabbath, we too, wouldn't cook on the Sabbath. But given the economy and the way things work in the everyday world, it wasn't practical. Or something like that.

They made me laugh.. but they both had a point. I reminded them though, that in Jamaica we didn't cook on the Sabbath, because it WAS work; we had to lay a fire, maintain the fire, schlep food back and forth from the kitchen to the firepit, and it was hot, laborious work. But once we got here, we did cook on the Sabbath, mainly cuz it was too damn cold not too.

Sunday, December 4, 1977
Psalm 38
Day 17

I didn't write anything... and the weekly summary only says "A good week".

I'll continue to catch up later on... just in case someone cares. Actually... it doesn't matter if anyone cares. Reliving this has been interesting for me.

When I get to the end, I wonder how I'll feel?

Sunday, December 9, 2007

So I finally did it....

I created an online store. I'm a real idiot sometimes... I wonder why it took me this long. Of course, like any crazy person it suddenly dawned on me to do this at about 5pm yesterday evening, and I sat up all night long and did it.

So now I'm going to catch some zzz's... but I hope in the meantime you all will be checking out my store. I think it's actually kinda cool... and like any geeky artist I need love, so feel free to post some comments about what you think. Only nice ones though. I can't handle any negative feedback on no sleep.

If you order today, it's the last day for free shipping on orders over $75... (not that I expect anyone to buy that much stuff AND it's too bad it's the last day, but there you have it...)

I have more things to add, especially posters, but I really need some sleep...

Support This Site

Saturday, December 8, 2007

It Must Be Winter

cuz the Bearmaiden is hibernating. Fat and tired. Really tired. So tired that I sit in front of the computer at night, fully intending to write something, and the next thing I know it's 1AM. And where other times I get that second wind and can be up to listen to the night, it takes all the strength I have to brush my teeth and crawl into bed.

Lots and lots of things swirling around in my head; lots of conversations with myself. Random rages at life and the unfairness of it all, but some of it is so far above my head I can't even begin to grapple with it. Too busy grappling with the everyday shit.

There are other blogs that deal with politics, and social injustice or point out environmental concerns. It's not that I don't think about those things because I do. It's not that I don't care about them, because I do. But I can't say anything pithy about anything because I don't have the time or the luxury to formulate long diatribes. When you're in the trenches you don't have the time to debate... you barely have time to dodge the shit.

But there are a couple of things that have made me stop to wonder lately:

Dunbar Village Gang Rape: This horror show completely escaped my notice... and I was IN Florida right after it happened. I freely admit to being wrapped up in my own shit, but this is ridiculous. I'm ashamed that I didn't know about it. I'm ashamed of the people in that project who think that "rape is no big deal". I'm ashamed that in certain places, you know what? Compared to what else can happen, it isn't a big deal. But the horror of it is unimaginable. The only way I found out about it was thanks to What About Our Daughters, which I learned about through the Fat Lady. And while other stories have also disturbed me, I'm ashamed that certain types of people get way more airplay than other types of people.

For Instance:

What happened to Stacy Peterson? Personally, I think her husband did her in, but that's just me. There are so many things wrong with this picture, I couldn't even begin to say. I saw him on "The Today Show" and I couldn't watch him. His cockiness and charm are scary. And no doubt... Stacy's story needs to be told, but really... how come I know about this and not about Dunbar Village?

Then there's the NYC School Testing fight, and how it affects this stupid report card the bureaucracy has come up with. And I could write about how very badly this is affecting our kids, but I've been falling asleep over this post for about 3 hours now. But take a peek over here, at Timeoutfromtesting.org. Because this could come to a hometown near you.

And I need to continue with La Vida Low Budget, and update my Heroes obsession, but I'm friggin tired so I have to leave it alone for another day....

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

The Neverending Story Part Deux

> -------Original Message-------
> From: tf
> Subject: Re: [The Sun]

> Sent: Dec 05 '07 9:21pm

>
> No agreement .

>

No problem.

I meant to blindcopy Lawyer but instead I sent it to her as well.

My bad. I guess this means our friendship won't be rekindled.

Hey listen people. Word of advice. Should you ever find yourself knocked up by a crazy person (hey, it can happen... it's why they tell you you shouldn't drink and drive) do NOT, I repeat, do NOT encourage him to acknowledge paternity. Just let him be. "Bastard Child" does not carry the same stigma these days as it did back then. It will be OK. Your child will not be "fatherless" or considered a "Love Child, Never meant to be." You'll save yourself YEARS of torture and you will never be asked "Why did you pick him to be my father?"

Or maybe I'm just overreacting.

The Neverending Story

-------Original Message-------
> From: tf
> Subject: [The Sun]
> Sent: Dec 05 '07 4:35am
>
> First things first, I have thought about The Sun's Grandfather's name to
> replaced his other grandfather's name but you didn't explain much about his
> relationship with your mother ,all you said it was strained. It is great
> that the Sun got to meet him and spend time with him but I don't agree to
> giving my son a name for a man who turned his back to his own child. It's
> great that he had some great success in his life but if he didn't care
> enough to be a good father then his achievements weren't that great. I want
> to just remove his grandfather's name because of the reasons i shared with
> you ,because the Sun deserves better. i can send you a copy of the name
> change form and if you agree ,sign it and i will send it in and request 2
> copies of his new certificates.
> I have other thoughts i was going to share but it's late and i'll e-mail
> you another time.


With all due respect, my mother's relationship with her own father is her own business. However, in his later years they did do much to repair it, and as I said previously, we went out to see him several times before he died. We all enjoyed our visits very much.

But ultimately, the relationship in question is between the Sun and his great-grandfather. I can assure you I did not suggest the name to him, it was the Sun's idea entirely and I wish that you would respect your son's wishes. Although he is eight years old and cannot make all of his own decisions, he has a very strong mind and I feel that he is capable and entitled to make this decision. In fact, the reason the judge granted the visit to California is because when she interviewed the Sun personally, without me there, she was impressed with his thoughtfulness and the fact that he is able to be firm about what he wants. I wish that you could do the same.

The only way I will agree to changing his name on the birth certificate is if the Sun gets to choose his name. And this is the name he chose.

I swear. Need I say more?

And he STILL WON'T SIGN THE FUCKING VISITATION AGREEMENT.

Fucker.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Mondays Suck

Even when you're not working. Actually, Sunday sucks. At least for me. I always feel like I'm running out of time. And if I run out of time on Sunday, it screws up Monday. And the rest of the week falls like dominoes.


Saturday we went to the book fair. I'll post a picture in a little while. We had fun... most of the school turned out, as well as freinds and family. I meant to take Treo video of the percussion performance, but they were so good I completely forgot.


Afterwards, I spent money I didn't have on books... but I got some cool books. I love books on graphic design.


Shoefly, who had come down with the Moon and a freind "EnergizerBunny" from WAY back when we were all single and she was the only one with a kid, came down with her two kids. They missed the kids playing, which I was a little bummed about. But then afterwards Shoefly was hell bent on getting to Dylan's Candy Bar.


Now, don't get me wrong... it's a cute place. Bright lights, a catchy soundrack playing in the background (all kinds of songs from all genre's of music that have to deal with candy or sugar or chocolate), cute T-shirts (I LOVE t-shirts) but in my opionion.... way way WAY overpriced. And not at all unique. The same crap you can buy at the big Toys R Us in Times Square, but at what seems like twice the price. And Toys R Us is more fun, in my opinion because there are at least toys. And it's not as crowded with overindulged yuppie children wearing $100+ shoes. What small child needs $100 shoes when they will last all of a few months??? I, being unemployed and watching the budget ovah heah, was mildly annoyed.


But anyway.


When we got home later that evening, I made sure the Sun called his dad, so that he could tell his dad how the performance went, and that indeed, he did hang out with his friends. His father's response was "I don't care." No, really. He said that to a young child. So when the Sun didn't want to call him on Sunday I didn't force the issue. Screw him.

Last night, when the Sun spoke to his father, he asked if the Sun wanted to "ever" have his dad come to the Big Apple again. The Sun said yes... but later was asking me how to spell various things. He was apparently trying to text his father that no, in fact, he *didn't* want him to come back, ever. Luckily, the Sun doesn't spell well at all, and lost the text several times. This prompted a discussion that although he's upset now, he won't always be, and there will be times when he enjoys his company. I told him not to burn his bridges with his dad just yet. I told him it wasn't worth it to take him on. The Sun seemed to want to spoil for a fight, but I think it's just youthful machismo. I also told him that while I had my own issues with his father, I only told him to things to explain the larger picture, and not to have him take sides, so that he shouldn't take my feelings as his feelings. He pretty much said he has his own feelings (the other night he said to me that his father yelled at him way before I told him how he would yell at me... which is true), but he backed off the text message. *whew*.

Yesterday I got involved in family bullshit for which I'm really sorry I did. It's why I selfishly make a policy to not get involved in family bullshit and keep my peace out on the rock far away from everyone, as much as I love them. But that's all I'm going to say about that.

So now it's Tuesday. I'm thoroughly annoyed by life and issues and people and the lack of funds, and since I have the time there's all these freaking things I'd really like to attend to... and I've accomplished nothing. Well, coupla things... I filed my forms so my medical expenses will be reimbursed from my former job's FSA (whew! Thank God or I wouldn't be able to pay the bills--freaking medication co-pays are a BITCH. Why do we even HAVE health insurance????) as well as my Transportation FSA (whew! Thank God or I wouldn't be able to buy my Metrocard for next month). I found out that my Private Student loans are FINALLY... after two months of trying to navigate the stupid process on their way to being consolidated.

So lets talk about Heroes, shall we? I still haven't processed a lot of it. The genius who leaked "Exodus" was giving us a snow job, eh? But I still love that Adam really wanted to be a god. And I LOVE what Hiro did to him. I like Hiro. I love that he's slowly growing. True, as the Fat Lady pointed out, he may not get to be cool FutureHiro since the bomb *didn't* go off... but he's still maturing. And even though he tends to err on the side of caution instead of rushing right in the way Peter does, he accomplishes what needs to be accomplished. I wonder if Adam is gone for good. I did think it was a little lame that they didn't SHOW Hiro get Adam into the coffin... I would have LOVED to see Hiro get into a little action...

HRG IS BACK, BABY! And now that he's let his family go--at least for now... how dark will he get? To attempt an assassination of Petrelli (shades of the Kennedy's, eh?) was pretty dark. And Sylar. Oh, not good. But Wait! Maya survived! And she's PISSED OFF!!!! AND.... she can control her power. You see, the quiet ones... don't sleep on the quiet ones!!!!

I wonder too, if Nicky is really gone. She had no powers. Truth be told she was wimpy without powers. But I wonder (without having done any spoiler-searching) if she can survive... if the company only THINKS they can control powers with the virus? People with multiple personalities, for example, can learn to live with and control when the personalities appear... but the personalities don't ever quite go away. So maybe.... maybe under duress someone else will emerge and get her out of there? And if not... will losing both his parents piss Micah off?

Well, there'll be more when I'm home and surfing all my Heroes links, but right now I'm killing time in the Sun's school, and need to run a few errands until it's time to pick him up, so off I go...

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Dodged a Bullet...

The Sun: Mom, I have good news and bad news. What do you want first?
Me: Bad news
Sun: OK. Bad news is he's not coming next week.
Me: And the good news?
Sun: He's not coming this week either.

I'm a little unsettled about the whole thing. Couple reasons...

1) I know how I feel about him being here. It's just stressful BUT
2) Once I get used to it, I'm into the flow of it. Now I have to change direction again. Dammit!
3) Lately, because TF has given the Sun some grief, and because the Sun is a little older now, I've told him more about what his dad has been like, so that he knows it's not him. That's just the way his dad is. But after YEARS of being aware of and fearful of the term "Parental Alienation Syndrome" I'm usually extremely diplomatic. And I'm very conflicted because on the one hand, there are certainly examples (usually extreme) of one parent badmouthing the other. Certainly, it has an effect on the kid. But on the other hand, there are often real reasons one parent is afraid of/doesn't like the other parent. I'm always very careful to stress that his father does love him, and I try to focus on the positive times the Sun has with him. But the more honest I am about what his father has been like through the years, the more stories come out.

Like the other night, the Sun tells me that when he was in California, as they were on their way to Lego Land--which is THE ONE PLACE the Sun REALLY wanted to go to out there, his father carped the entire way about the directions. "Oh Lord", I said. "I'm sorry. I've had rides like that. But why didn't you say anything before??? Why didn't you tell the Law Guardian?" and he only shrugged. In my experience, when TF was held to a promise, or had to take someone someplace THEY wanted to go to and not him, he would frequently bitch or have a 'tude or just generally go out of his way to make your time as unpleasant as possible. But if it was someplace HE wanted to go, he'd sing and whistle the whole way and be as agreeable as pie. Lego Land was the Sun's idea... Disney was his. So I understood. But I'm concerned that The Sun tells this story now... and I wonder had I been more honest before, would he have told more? Did he only "go along" because he felt he had to? But if I had been more honest and less diplomatic, it would have been extremely easy for the Law Guardian or anyone else to accuse me of turning the Sun against his dad.

4.) I heard TF ask The Sun "Don't you want to know why I'm not coming?" "Oh God here we go" I thought to myself. The Sun got really quiet and said "yess" a lot, which is what he does--emphasizing all the consonants--when his dad is giving him a lecture. Turns out TF said something about "I didn't give you enough notice and you already had plans". So of course my guilt kicks in... but on the other hand, I tell myself, we were talking about a few hours here... Would he really throw over an ENTIRE weekend because he can't share his kid with the public for a few hours??? Yup! AND, he DIDN'T give us notice. So now, next time he does... hell and highwater will have to part for him or we'll never hear the end of it.

The Sun however, was fine. When his father was telling him he wasn't coming this weekend we was doing that handpull thing people do when they say "YES!". So I'd mouthed to him "Is he coming next week?" and that's when he asked his dad... I would have, as I had emailed him, re-arranged plans for next week but I'm glad I didn't have to. Shoefly and I were talking about going to the NY Anime Festival next week. The Sun doesn't know yet.

5.) So when WILL he show up???? The weekend after that I'm OK with... matter of fact the next few weekends I'm OK with. But he's NOT supposed to have him over the Winter Break this year... according at least, to the agreement he hasn't signed.

But watch him try to come up then... And I probably shouldn't stress about it... like my Lawyer reminded me, I have custody now, and there is no visitation order. He hasn't signed it. And like the Fat Lady said to me this evening when we met as we retrieved our children from Percussion practice, children begin to know who the sane parent is and who the crazy parent is. She made me feel so much better by saying that at least the Sun lucked out in that the sane parent as his mother and the one he lives with. How sane I am is debatable, but it still made me feel a little better.

At least I don't have to deal with it this week. But I feel like I'm going to be waiting for the other shoe to drop... or is it merely my own issue, my own PTSD?

Content, the Sun curled up on the couch with me and watched half of the DVD "Bowfire" (which came in the mail today, along with a slip saying the tickets are on the way) until he fell asleep.