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Showing posts from 2013


I am in a public workplace which happens to be an academic environment where the faculty is half women, dressed as I wish, and I have barn-door-wide-open discourse on an uncensored Internet.

They haven't won. It's good enough for me.

Honesty is Such a Lonely Word.

Because I am weak, I bought the audiobook of Carry On, Warrior. Yes, I already own the Kindle and hardcover editions, but sometimes a girl needs to hear about child labor and fake-vacuuming with a doll stroller on the way into work.

This weekend, I listened to a chapter of the book where Glennon talks about a rough patch in her marriage. Actually, the term "rough patch" does not begin to convey the situation. Here, read:

Craig and I have two recurring problems in our marriage. I feel sad when I don't get listened to, and Craig feels sad when he doesn't get made out with. I am starting to understand that these two problems are related. They're both about intimacy. Craig and I lack intimacy. When we talk, we seem to miss each other; it's like we're communicating on different planes. I'm high and low, and he's in the middle. We don't connect. And when we have sex, we don't really connect either.
And that's not even the baldest the truth g…

Because Glennon Asked.

How am I, Really?

Better than I thought I’d be.

My daughter is an only child. I did not WANT my daughter to be an only child, but here I am. I cried a lot of the run up to the first day of kindergarten because that meant the world would get a slightly bigger share of my baby than it had had before, and I have no other babies to have for myself. Ultimately, it's a pretty selfish attitude, but what can you do? The heart wants what it wants and WHAT I WANT IS TO KEEP MY BABY GIRL SAFE FOREVER, THANKYOUSOVERYMUCH.

But the first day came, and she was so brave, and so smart, and so awesome, the pride just shoved the grief out of the way and hollered, OUTTA THE WAY! INCREDIBLE GIRL COMING THROUGH!

And that's how I am, Really. How are you, Really?

Finding My Thing

So, slowly but surely, 40 is creeping up. I was 39 and a half two Fridays ago. This is not news, because my knees and shoulders have been slowly but surely telling me for quite some time now.

Hey, are those stairs?


Is that an unreasonably heavy door in the workplace?


Congratulations! You're nearly 40!

Right, then.

So, a few of my friends have preceded me into fortyhood, or will, in a matter of weeks and months. The ones who seem to be smuggling the least amount of Rice Krispies in their joints seem to do some sort of physical Thing. A friendly acquaintance from college runs quite seriously. Another friend from college is into Tae Kwon Do. People I work with go to the gym and do the circuit, do pilates or play softball or somesuch.

I don't have a Thing.

I used to. It used to be martial arts, but I don't know about that anymore. It's not cheap, and because it's not cheap, it requires a commitment I don't know tha…

"Carry On, Warrior..."

So I just finished this book, Carry On, Warrior: Thoughts on Life Unarmed by Glennon Doyle Melton.

Holy crap.

Holy crap.

Holy crap.

I'm going to be responding to various specific essays and themes in the days and weeks to come, on and off, but, yeah. This one is dead on, even if you don't struggle with bulimia and alcoholism, even if you don't tangle with mental illness, even if you don't have kids. Glennon gets it. Whatever it is, she gets it. And then she shares it.

So, yeah. Watch this space.

The first step...

Well, I've done it. I've admitted I need help. I can't do this alone, and it's not fair to burden Tor or Cheryl with it. I can't make Herself live in such chaos anymore.

I've contacted a professional organizer. With G-d as my witness, I will never trip over my carpet cleaner again.

What did you think I was going to say? You'd think I had a history of dramatic announcements involving my mental health or something...

Introverted Mother, Extroverted Child

Okay, so it turns out that not all the girls I went to middle schools turned out to be total wastes of space. I've  wound up friending several of them on Facebook, and aside from occasional epic differences in politics (southern Maryland is The South, y'all, and don't you forget it). One in particular I've rebonded with is Erin Gross.

Erin is a totally fun blogger and a wicked writer. She's fun, and funny, and made a hell of an Ebeneezer Scrooge when we put him on trial for a book report project in the eighth grade. She is also, emphatically, an extrovert. Her son, it turns out, is an introvert. She has been completely, and sometimes painfully, honest about her quandaries about how to raise a person with such different needs from herself.

This is where I come in.

I am an introvert. Wow am I an introvert. I need a day off to recover from family dinners involving more people than my immediate family. So, when Erin would make a blog post about her son Tank's intro…

That was... odd.

So I finished Murder Comes to Pemberly the other night. It was... odd.

You see, it's not a mystery, as most mystery readers and enthusiasts think of the term. It's not a procedural. P. D. James walks us through a situation. She provides the reader with all the clues he or she would need to figure out the solution, but the characters, from the master of Pemberly Mr. Darcy himself to his retired coachman have really no interest in investigating the crime. The reader is a silent voyeur peeking over various shoulders, seeing reactions, but the pace is slow and the book seems somewhat aimless without a character for whom it is imperative that the mystery be solved. To be sure, we're pretty much sitting with the Darcys and their friends and families waiting for the whole dreadful business to be over.

So, if you're interested in a return to the world of Derbyshire, Elizabeth Bennet Darcy, the Wickhams, and Lady Catherine, this is a pretty good read. But if you're expectin…

Step 9

About four years ago, he contacted me out of the blue.

I am still friends with several people I dated before I got married, but only one is, well, not. We are not friends. I called to check on him in the aftermath of September 11, and I ran into him about a week later, because we lived in neighboring buildings. But aside from that we've had no contact since.

So, four years ago I get a phone call in the middle of the day from the woman who was my best friend in college, and who is still a very good friend today. Now, at the time, I was a stay-at-home-mom with a sideline in adjunct and online teaching, but I did remember that it's odd to get personal phone calls in the middle of the day from people with office jobs.

"Who's dead?"

No one, she assured me. But she had a Facebook message from Jeff1.

Jeff? Jeff Who? Bridges? Goldblum? The guy with the puppets? Who?

Nope. Jeff. She paused to let it sink in. Jeff Jeff. Ohhhh. Jeff. Crap. He had asked her for my contact in…

Miss Knight's Voice

Those of you who know me pretty well know that I am an inveterate Jane Austen fan. I can recite whole swathes of the books, I'm a complete pain the backside to see a film adaptation with (unless you've got the 1995 BBC Pride & Prejudice miniseries on DVD or the 1999 Mansfield Park with Frances O'Connor), and I am a horrendous pedant when writing about her work. I wince to call the woman "Austen." She should be Miss Jane Austen, and never just Miss Austen, as her older sister Cassandra never married, and thus never relinquished the title. I have read sequels. Some are all right, some are horrendous; Mansfield Park sequels seem to go better than Pride and Prejudice  or Emma sequels for some reason. Perhaps it's because everything in those two books wrapped up just so perfectly. There are no loose ends for a sequel to attach itself to.

That being said, I am currently about a third of the way through P. D. James's Death Comes to Pemberly. I'm finding …

Yeah, so all that happened. But what I really want to say...

Yay, I have a job! No, I'm not going to blog about it, because I'd like to keep it, thank you so very much. But it's a good fit, and I'm very, very happy and fulfilled

But that's not why I'm here today. I followed a link on Facebook tonight to one of those Crunchy Mama blogs. Now, I'm not a Crunchy Mama. Hell, there are days I'm barely Cream of Wheat Mama. But this woman spent a whole post speaking at length about how just because she was pro-baby wearing, -breastfeeding into toddlerhood, anti-vaccination, -rice cereal, etc., it didn't mean that she was putting anyone else down. I don't agree with her parenting philosophy much. Who am I kidding, I don't agree with her parenting philosophy at all. But the fact that she felt the need to spend 1,500 words apologizing for speaking her mind on her own blog is just wrong.

A writer's blog is his or her castle. It's the one place you never have to apologize for being yourself. It's okay …