Sunday, May 31, 2009

Social ME-ME-ME-dia, or, Prepare a Face

I have to talk to you about our cell phone plan. It is really bad. I need a new plan but it seems like every option requires me to submit more and more self to a subscription of surveillance.

I have no physical tattoos and I am not really into the digital ones either. Sure I blog and I've even begun my tweety bird phase. My intuition and the iPhone are hand in glove. But, still, I am sick of it. Sick to death of the options I have to submit more data about myself into the abyss.

I started on the Internet in 1986 and I cling to the classic I suppose. In my canon there remains a certain sanctity to dial-up. Network seemed nothing but a step into the Matrix. Cloud computing well yee-ha.

I look to my kids and wonder about the diffuse and selective identities of the children to come. The distance from their own privacy through avatars and handles. It is different no matter what the p-man says. I think we'll pray they need some great corduroy coat or velvet hat someday to scream me, me, me. It will harken us back to a gentler time when people talked to each other instead of to their cars.

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Thursday, May 28, 2009

52 Reasons: [Why] Are we [not] there yet [enough]

We have the parenting workshop at my house. We have our gaps in consistency. My cousin swears consistency is critical in parenting. I fear that constantly. The lack of shared minds, the differences in opinion the discord. Parenting the Thelonious Monk way! That's us.

I get mad sometimes. Really really really mad. I don't actually carry on about it, I mean that is what I have a blog for. So blog, I got really really really mad today. It was the same thing, a virulent shame. Angry, angry that I just cannot enunciate. I can't get it out, failure to elocute to simple tasks of family harmony. I have this image in my head of an superlative route from moment A to departure by X AM not to keep others waiting, with grace and ease and no peskiness, out the door laden with healthy foods, a perfect balance of nose-rags, spare underwear and a smile.

But that image NEVER materializes. NEVER.

We rush. I race. I blurt and the 3 perfect steps in my head are said but not heard. They are messed up in my 4 addendums and every other failing of the parenting workshop.

And that, my friends, slays me. White hot mad, ready to pin down and howl at a kid or pull my spouse's earlobes down to his fuzzy ass crack is the 'why don't you understand me!!!! Get this.' Mind the gap! I just bet if I didn't have a vision of how small the distance from here to perfect was life could be a hell of a lot more tranquil.

And then there are good blog posts.

Smiles everyone, smiles!

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Sunday, May 24, 2009

Stolen Notions

It's been so long since I've posted. I could trot out the usual excuses* for not posting but you, select reader, you deserve the truth: apathy. I have nary an idea to speak of, and no interest in typing until an idea occurs. However, under gentle pressure from my spousal unit, I am about to post, no wait, I am now in the process of posting, but you can't see it yet, but when you do, I will have posted.**

There is someone outside on the street talking to himself. Maybe he is on the phone. It is a bit late for phone calls. He should be in bed.

In any event. I have had to steal an idea from one who alleges to suffer some epic form of creative constipation, and he stole this idea, I don't know, from the skinny kid at school. Or maybe the subject was suggested to him. Like that. Name your ten favourite movie characters.

I haven't asked about the qualifications. Favourite likely does not mean the characters with the finest attributes. That list would contain three names: Jesus, Gandhi, and that cute little pig who talked. Not Wilbur, the other one. Also, these are all characters from movies I enjoy greatly.

Character Numero One: Jack Carter from Get Carter.

I could name many a Michael Caine role herein. He has been in 50% of all movies ever made.

No. Part Deux: Popeye Doyle from the French Connection.

He just wants to help. Gene Hackman has been in 50% of all movies ever made. Minute overlap with Mr. Caine.

Trois: Danny from Withnail & I.

He just wants to help. I am attracted to enablers.

Four, Five: Terry and Dean from Fubar.

Spreading the Deaner around one nut at a time.

Six: Uwe, from Enlightenment Guaranteed

This movie is very similar in theme and content to Fubar.

Seven: Grandpa, from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

Were it not for the fact that the kids love this movie, I could not inform you, dear reader, of my love for Grandpa, the clearly insane ex-soldier who is likely the only male (real or imagined) who complains more than I do - except for the part of the movie where he is kidnapped by the Vulgarians and is transported to that child-hating nation via a blimp while situated in what appears to be an outhouse, at which point he breaks into song: Oh the posh posh life/It is the life for me...

I am too lazy to find the video so here is something else which I love much less.

Eight: The Hanson Brothers, Slap Shot. Arguably 8-10. I don't care. Resistance is futile.

Neuf: Hrundi V. Bakshi of The Party. Inappropriate. I don't care. I love the invisible accompaniment.

Ten: Derek, from Bad Taste. I am no big fan of Peter Jackson the director; but of Peter Jackson, actor/director/writer/blonde alien, I am. He also plays the alien in the opening scene, some type of Platinum Blonde refugee. Anthony Hopkins, eat your brains out.

p-man out

* holistic detective work, anadromous salmon, penile occlusion
** why does it take me 1.5 weeks to write a post this boring? You don't have to answer that. Please don't, in fact.


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Nonlinear Babies Shower: The Day the Babies Crawled Away

The finest blogger on the subject of picture books has to be the Mad Hatter. She has more than earned those stripes. When it comes to a present for the Nonlinear Ones there is something I learned from Mad I wanted to share. It is not just the book itself but also the place of the poignant, prescient picture book post. I have said before:
I want to write about all the people who have given us books. The feeling it gives me to be with the books and my children. It always seems to me like about five hundred souls are all crowded in a little child's room filling it with love and thought. Authors, illustrators and the gift-givers piled high enough to fill the room.
That's what I want for you Nonlinear Girl as these days come with the babies. A literary dogpile of all of us who look and read your dear, wise, giving stories, a little something to give back. You are a special girl and mama too. It has been a bit getting here and so much ahead, showers of happiness upon you all. As you can imagine for me it is always tough to single out certain books. Allow me to share with you the result of my torture. Here goes...

For my recommendation I insist you get a copy of The Day the Babies Crawled Away -- if I haven't already foisted one upon you. This book is many things. It is a loving tale of a mother in conversation with a curious and intelligent child that makes me think of Ada at times, gotta love a link even when it's old fashioned. It is a fine poetic text with superb image value and direction just like you NLG! It is a book of community -- something you ooze out through the blog from your communities virtual and concrete. The aforementioned oozing really defies blogging logic, I challenge any of us to demonstrate how clearly we love our local, physical communities they way you share yours with us, Nora.

This book is at its heart an adventure which more than seems a fit. But, yeah, there are lots of babies so maybe the multiples thing is my impetus for the choice? I mean I just as easily could have picked Little Rabbit's New Baby or the best book ever, Flotsam.

My knowing of this book comes to us thanks to a distant an unexpected trust in a lucky find of a blogger-mother. Someone I have come to adore and rely upon in some small way. I know from those days of second pregnancy and the babyhood after I needed those connections their intimacy and their distance. I wanted to bundle a reminder that when everything else is going crazy you can still have so and so to click at in England or on the East Coast or downtown from you. And, we will still click at you. IRL support is fantastic and though I have not said it till now, I will tonight, the online fills another need, different and important. My shower gift is a little a push on that and a lot of reflection on your thoughtful exchanges with us all this while. Nora you are one of the most generous bloggers I know. Thank you.

And, when -- or if -- you get that more children less blog feeling: we know. Go with the mama flow. Congratulations and good luck with your babies our hearts are filled with gladness for you all.

"You are our hero. Have some pies!"

From - The Day the Babies Crawled Away
by Peggy Rathmann

Want to write a post like this? Here's the deal.

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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Nonlinear Babies' Shower Book Reports

Very soon our dear Nonlinear One will be eyeballs to eyeballs to eyeballs with BABIES! Time for a celebration!!!

As a librarian I was blessed with two book showers for my babies and that's what I propose for NLG and family. I've heard reports she has enough socks. So if you are a friend of Nonlinear Girl (or if you want to be and my oh my don't ya?) here's the virtual baby shower plan.

Let's write NLG a booklist. For those of you with second (and third, and fourth) children I think you might agree with me that in those in early days it's crucial to have great stack of books to look through while you -- and the new big sibling -- deal with all those feeds and all that getting to know stuff.

To give it a bit of a challenge I have some rules, feel free encouraged to break them. Please post something about a book, a book you do, or don't, recommend; a story that says something special for you about the early days with infants or nascent big sibs; or, any and all other manner of message you might want to make to the Nonlinear family we all know and love so much.

1. Make it a picture book. I think there is a need to emphasize the visual with an image-impeccable specimen like NLG; I will be posting on my choice, The Day the Babies Crawled Away, in a couple days.
2. Books can be on any theme although books that are about boys and girls or big sisters or new babies or HATS!! might be especially fun to track
3. Send me an email at motherwoman04 AT by May 25th and I will post all the links for Nora's easy reading. Let's face it, at this point the little ones are makin' her tired all over.
4. Post the button on your own blog and link back in the post so we may effortlessly enact the more the merrier model.

When we're done we will have some lovely suggestions for trips to the library and at least one new book too. Knowing the Nonlinear Family is a fan of Powell's Books in Portland I think their inventory of extra-special books will help me supply a book drawn from among the titles posted.

And, an extra prize for the first poster to guess my 'tired all over' reference. (p-man is NOT eligible for that one.)

The Posts are coming in:

mama without instructions' Books for Babies
the host post The day the babies crawled away
the cheesefairy Babies for Nonlinear Girl
sarah got twins?
Slouching Mom Favorite
Mayberry Mom Gruffalo Twins
MadHatter Pure Poetry

... and we're getting lots of nice suggestions in the comments here too. Thanks everyone I think we are all excited about the 2! 2! who came in month 5! to make The Nonlinear quantity a new and exciting Prime number. And, I 'm just really hopeful this is going to lead to actual post from Nonlinear Papa. No pressure.

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Sunday, May 17, 2009

Looks can be everything

So as someone who works for a school board I always worry about how we're doing. But after reading this I think we all might as well give up. The end is now.

In related news a seam came out of p-man's new pants a few weeks back. He took them back to the damn tailor's where he got them. They told him it would be 2 to 3 weeks. I flipped out. What are they doing??? Sending pants to Puerto Rico for repairs?? I was already to start the 100-mile haberdashery movement!... But then they returned the pants in good time.

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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Forget you Nick Cage

I am convinced I don't speak about my son enough. His freakish capacity to operate an iPhone. His love for his sister. The way he passes up cartoons to make muffins. How he says "I sad about you at bedtime when you go out for dinner."

The resemblance he bears to Derek Zoolander

How often I wish that Paltrow woman hadn't scored the name Moses two months before he was born. His is a natural Moe.


Oh Baby!


I love you.

But I think you know that. Don't you?


Ya think, ma?

She writes, with three good posts stuck inside her and no sign of the energy to execute them.

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Friday, May 08, 2009

Recommended title: Elsie Piddock Skips in Her Sleep

Elsie Piddock skips in her sleep / illustrated by Charlotte Voake.
by Farjeon, Eleanor, 1881-1965

Candlewick, 2000.

Subjects Rope skipping -- Fiction ; Fairies -- Fiction ; England -- Fiction

ISBN: 0763601330 ; 0763607908

This simply and beautifully illustrated skipping story lays plain the history of the oligarchy's corruption of the natural world while remaining an exceptionally fun, albeit long, read. Try it! And, if you are a Canadian who has ever heard Alan Maitland read the Gift of the Magi or the Shepherd on CBC radio tell me, can you read it in your own voice? I simply seem to automatically channel the storytelling spirit of Fireside Al as my own version of a Sussexian accent.
Sugary CANdy
French Almond ROCK
Bread and buttER for your suppER's
All your mother's got.

-- for Elsie, a born skipper.


Tuesday, May 05, 2009


Wow I have a cough. I am all The Penguin and no Batgirl this week.

And, with the Swine Flu fears deep and rich in our busy busy city everyone stares, my co-workers are annoyed. At the risk of sounding trite I will say I have a whole new appreciation for gay men and people of colour. Can't remember the last time I had such power to make people uncomfortable simply by being; maybe never.

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Sunday, May 03, 2009

Go Canucks Go

P-man's office gets the hockey seasons' tickets. I tried to go to a number of games this year with him but mostly stuff came up; sick kids or no babysitters. Too much disruption already in a week or some other mother-woman voodoo meant I would remain unaware of the true beauty of a Kyle Wellwood pass. But I went to the game last Thursday and it was really a good score (made even more so by the deplorable Vancouver loss yesterday). It was a great game.

But it was not for its greatness that I fought back tears. I have a tough time at playoff time because of John. John was my co-worker, fellow Library Clerk at a smallish City library branch 15 years ago. He was amazing. Well-read, kind to a FAULT, a gifted pianist who could knit beautifully. Boyish and dear, always a beautiful girlfriend not far off. John was my friend and an exceptionally special guy. Likely a baseline in my ongoing expectation that my work include lots of lovable aspects. We worked for a year and a half closely and remained friends after that. A happy time for sure those very early twenties of ours something embodied in our plastering the branch in Canucks paraphernalia in their race to the cup 1994. The whole city was as one at that time didn't matter a jot the little piece of this boy from small town New Brunswick and me in the scheme of it all. But I remember the fellowship in general and this demonstrable mischief of ours that made us more the pair we carried on as 35 hours a week, each week.

Made. And was. And after that. For after that year we had another and a few but within 5 years the cancer came. I looked into my nurse mother's eyes hoping for glimmer of hope when I reported its location and my dear friend's overall strength and remarkableness. Hoping in my self-absorbed way that my image of him would hold back a tide of fate and fact and outcome when cancer gets into your heart. Six weeks before the October would come when we would both turn thirty he was gone.

I always resented that loss. The loss of thirty. Why do I do that? I always felt it was something that would have made him a bit 'old enough' to have died. A bit 'old enough' to have counted as lived? Shame. What a nightmare of mistake that part of me inhabits. His was a life full and well-lived ten times over in less than thirty. I remember so much so what am I to say of years. A limerick contest he ran for the whole library system, paying for prizes himself just to do it while he lived in that little basement suite. The time he ran out of that basement suite to report the fire and free all the inhabitants from death or injury. The fact he began contributing to foster parents plan when he was about 19 long before globalization had cachet. Every kindness he showed me. The camaraderie of 25 back pages of the Vancouver Sun with Player of Day from the Vancouver Canucks stuck high in the windows, walls and on the book stacks of the library sticks me with his oddly over-sized head and bushy -- near Lorne Elliott -- curly hair til I cannot help but tear.

We have of late discussed with our kids the plan that we will do all we can to preserve our bodies and live as long as we are able. We promise to die a due and timely death once our dear ones are older themselves. I only wish as much had been so for John's folks.

In related news I ate popcorn at the game. I got quite a lot of it stuck in my teeth. Is it ok to pick your teeth at a hockey game? What about elsewhere? And, how do you pick your teeth?

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