Thursday, March 20, 2008

ha ha heh

So, annually, I try to match my bff in birthday posts as her birthday falls just four days after mine. She's much better than I. She could write a birthday post for Pol Pot: she'd tell you about how he actually loved puppies and could make a mean curry and you'd want him to come over for dinner tomorrow, and babysit your kids, and you would so sincerely wish that you had your own friend like Mr. Lady's friend Pol Pot.

I can tell you that I think about Mr. Lady all the time, especially now that she's living so far away from me, and I miss her so sincerely it hurts. Driving to work this morning, I was thinking out the most beautiful post, where I would write about the random ways that I think about Mr. Lady every day, the things I wish I could tell her that would crack her up (and Mas Younon is so right, it's all about her laugh), the ways that she has touched my life and made my life better, well, you'd be sitting in a puddle of your own tears. You would be moved beyond words, the beauty of our friendship would blow you into heaven, you'd reach enlightenment, touch the sublime.

In regards to my literate, touching post, you would ask me,

"Be you an angel?"
And I'd Say, "Nay. I am but woman."

But, this is just a tribute. This is not the greatest birthday post in the world.

Just a matter of opinion.

I love you dude. Happy birthday. Thanks for sticking with me for these years, thanks for holding me up. I can only hope that I return the favor, because I only know the enormous difference you've made in my life.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy National "Make a Real Effort To Listen To The Pogues Day"

Happy St. Patrick's Day! Is it cheesy to say that I hold this day, personally, in high regard?

I mean, how many people have an actually holiday to point to, that is annually a "I will be nostalgic for college today" day?

I'm not so much nostalgic for the life of college, anymore, but I do miss those great people I met over there. I found this the other day:

My friend Dan, me, and Matt, another good friend, outside the Guinness Brewery in Dublin, April of about 1996. Great guys, I've essentially lost touch with both of them, and well, I hope they are doing well. We had good times. Cheers to them, cheers to nostalgia, cheers to Ireland.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

To create a little flower is the labour of ages...

In order to add to the continuing series, "things I've found in my mom's house," I came across this little calendar my sister Peggy made me almost 15 years ago. It was one of those things, made by hand, hitting my tastes right on the nose, loving my quirks and feeding my interests, that only the people who know you inside out can do for you... Well, here are a few pages:

Very few people know me so inside out. And apart from this being a sweet book of William Blake quotes, I have are hard time articulating why I think this truly is the best gift I've ever been given. Finding this again really made me smile. I'm so lucky to have a sister who has given me not only this gift, but the gift of encouragement in following what interests me, above all else. She's always encouraged me, and I think that's the key.
It's just love. Love and love and love. I love that I kept this to find, on my birthday, almost 15 years later.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Total Mysteries

Brought to you by site meter: Why is it that five people, in different places around the US, happened to google "Something in the way he moves me" between 6:42 and 6:53 this evening, bringing them to this site?

Brought to you by AquaNet: Did I actually turn around and play some soccer after taking this picture? Nice hair.

EDIT: Never mind, at least about mystery number one. American Idol, Catherine McPhee, which explains the change in gender in the song. I get it.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Sorry to the dudes who read this...

When I get an opportunity to talk about breastfeeding, well, I have to take it and run. My bff posted today, a wonderful document to the personalities of her children, that helped determined how long they were on the breast, as opposed to the bottle. And that is entirely true.

My story with The Kid is simple. I made up my mind, I was home for a year with him, and he nursed for 18 months. It was awesome. We suffered through some thrush, I had mastitis that sent me to the emergency room only to learn that ER docs don't know the first thing about breasts, I had a traumatic labor and it took a LOT of effort to get my milk in, and this was done with all of the effort I could muster, I was so devoted to breastfeeding, and once we were in, we were way in. The vast majority of our time nursing was wonderful. It was a bonding experience, it was sweet and loving, it cured boo boos, it helped us sleep, I lost my baby weight quickly. Also, The Kid loved my milk.

My philosophy on nursing is very laissez faire, but I'm not totally cool with 'anything you want to do, that's fine..." I have a major caveat.

I have a friend who had her first baby in August. She wanted to nurse, and she did. Her baby was a total champion nurser, and my friend was a natural (whether she wants to believe it or not). She had family*, though, that bugged her about how gross it was, how annoying it was, how she didn't know if the baby was getting enough--even though her diapers were full--and how generations of kids in this world were just fine getting bottles, why go through all this exhaustion and work just to breastfeed.

This is my beef, and I want to state clearly that this isn't the stance of a militant breastfeeding advocate (against other moms, angry at bottle feeders and Carnation and Nestle), but the stance of a woman who wants a different society. Our culture is sick. I know a lot of moms who would love to have breastfed their kids longer, but because of their jobs, their jobs allowing them time to pump, or access to their babies during the day, they dried up before they were ready to stop. Our culture has sexualized the breast and alienated our normal bodily functions so severely that moms who are demurely breastfeeding in a corner of a restaurant, public library or mall are asked to leave or go into a bath room. We have raised generations of women so disassociated with their own bodies and the purposes of our bodies that we think nursing is 'gross.'

My friends who have had to go back to work, my friends who could not handle a vegan diet to keep their babies from projectile vomiting, my friends (who are also saints) who got pregnant again only a few months after having a baby, I have no qualms.

For women who are so out of touch with their bodies as to be uncomfortable with or grossed out by nursing, I take issue. Think hard about how we got here. Think hard about how long we've had formula. Your boobs, ladies, are designed to lactate. It's only gross if you think your boobs are only for people to oogle.

We are lucky to have formula. It fed The Kid for his first week of life, when I had no colostrom nor milk to give, through a Lact-aid, a kind of "IV drip" tube that you stick on to your nipple, and then allow the baby to latch on. Using that, my milk came in eventually, and we had a long healthy run.

I don't propose to say that The Kid is smarter because we nursed, that also bugs me. I didn't manage to prevent any his disabilities. I do think it should be a preferred practice here, though. And I think our employers, our public establishments, our families and our culture should support women to succeed with breastfeeding.

EDITED TO SAY: Dear Friend of baby born in August: I hope you don't mind me using your family as an example. You know I love love love love your family, but their attitudes were things we discussed, and were an impediment, and caused you stress. It's only an example.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

It's amazing how quickly life can change.

On January 6, my mom had retinal detachment surgery. This was her seventh surgery of this kind, five having been done on her right eye, which was eventually lost completely to blindness. This surgery was successful, but at some point, shortly after the surgery, she told us that everything was dark, that this time was different from all of the other recoveries from this kind of surgery that she's been through, that something was not right. Her gut feeling was right: on the back of her eye, her retina, a blood clot had formed, blew, and has rendered her almost completely blind. She can only see a little bit of periphery, just around the edges of her retina that was not effected by the blood clot.

As a result, The Kid and I are moving in. It's not a hardship to do this, but it is an enormous change. I've been busy getting ready to move, cleaning out spaces in the house to fit my stuff, cleaning out my house to hopefully free myself from the five years of crap I've accumulated in my house. The Kid is having a harder time, struggling with the rules of my home being imposed in the usual lap of luxury that is, by definition, the way a grandmother's home is run.

So, I don't feel like writing much lately. Go figure.

I have, however, had a blast looking through my old stuff, my mom's stuff, my family's stuff. And so, in attempt to get me back to writing more often, as it is a kind of therapuetic thing for me, I want to show you all the stuff I've been finding... It's great fun.

First up?

A Postcard.

I picked this postcard up in a bar in Dublin in 1996. I decided to make this quote my mantra for all of the things I chose to do that year: break up with my boyfriend of 3 years, finish of that second bottle of wine, make out with that British boy at that party in Wales, travel throughout Europe, drink it in, live deep, suck marrow, carpe diem.
12 years in, I not only don't regret a thing, I'm incredibly grateful that I did have a big, wide open life. Because now, I have a small life. Home and hearth, taking care of family. It's what I do now. And like that Italy/Holland poem, it's not a bad place to be, "it's just a different place." I'm glad I've had it both ways.