Sunday, February 23, 2014


  • I miss writing.  I've stumbled on seven or eight articles and posts lately on the joys of writing, how to write, how not to write, how to avoid writing… I think the universe is sending me a message.  It's nice that the message isn't catastrophe and mayhem for once.  

  • The last few weekends have been chock full of various fun outings - cousin's birthdays, playgroups, & boy scouts.  Makes me feel like we're doing more than just dragging the kids along behind as we lurch from disaster to disaster.  There's a slim chance I might be exaggerating the level of chaos around here but it seemed rather grim there for a bit.

  • The polar vortex finally broke, mere seconds before it broke us, and we went outside.  The fresh air and seeing the kids enjoy the fresh air was downright life affirming, even if the pictures are blurry.  

  • I have amended my position on the boy scouts:  I resisted for years because I considered them a homophobic para-military organization, recruiting hordes of child soldiers minions with outdoor survival skills, but The Boy's BFF is involved and BFF's mom is a den mother and we need more low cost activities so I caved.  En route to our first event I gave The Boy the same speech I've given him about the Church which runs the school he attends, the gist of which is that they do some good stuff but they are wrong, really really wrong, about others, and every person should be able to marry anyone they want.  And it's not about religion but fear of the unknown and of difference.  I've been watching closely but there have been no overt attempts at brain washing and meanwhile we've built catapults, Pine Wood Derby cars, seen science demonstrations, and the boy is going bowling today.  (Maybe this is how the lure you in & the propaganda starts next year?)

  • The girl deleted Proloquo2go off her iPad at school.  The teacher was very apologetic but NBD, I had backed up the extensive modifications we'd made, right?  BWAHAhahahawhimper.  I'd thought about it.  In that way that I think we'll eventually get around to refinishing the wood floors, but Apple has not yet figured out how to read intent so I'm going to spend my afternoon reprogramming the damn thing.  And backing up. 

  • This is old news but have you seen this Micos***t commercial from the Superbowl?  This deserves a separate post but I am very, very slowly coming to terms with the fact that my little girl is not going to be a talker.  As in not talk.  That Proloquo exists to be deleted off her easily-carried iPad, that it may allow her to move thru the world even without verbal skills, floors me.  I don't give a flying fuck if it's inspiration porn or an overtly cheesy attempt to shill for some corporate behemoth, I get teary. Every time.  Same way I get teary when I think about the millimeter sized piece of GoreTex they used to fix my girl's heart.  Some things are just GOOD, y'know? 

Thursday, February 6, 2014

The Old Man and the Sea

Almost immediately after his mom (Gigi) died, my dad left for the sea.  He'd bought an older sailboat about a year & half ago but family shenanigans ensued so it's sat in various shipyards across Europe ever since, getting cobbled back together as time & money allowed, and while on breaks from taking care of Gigi.

But then she died and he sailed from somewhere in Spain to the Canary Islands, to Cape Verde, and then finally west across the great blue ocean.  He was supposed to be emailing coordinates daily (Technology!) but one day Matt pointed out that we hadn't heard from him in a while.  We proceeded, as people under stress are wont to do, to argue about whether we should, in fact, be worried.  Really argue.  Which was asinine because either one is or one isn't, much as my dad was either afloat or not, and there wasn't a whole hell of a lot we could do about it ten thousand or so miles away.
Cape Verde
I confirmed he'd actually left his last port and wasn't languishing in a Cape Verdian hospital or ditch, then decided he'd either lost the damn phone overboard or was just being uncommunicative.  A day or so later he emailed and was fine.  Technology glitch.

Oh.  OK, then.

The very same day he wrote, a friend of mine called - she knew my sister went to Purdue and had I been watching the news?  Noooo, I was home with the kids on one of the 256 snow days they've called this winter.  There was a shooting.  Another damn shooting.  I called my sister, the phone picked up, and there was crackling - like little firecrackers (or gunshots).  Then the line went dead.
I died.

No, actually, that's not true - in one of those surreal, slow pan, rising music moments I actually thought that there was no fucking way THAT just happened, so I texted her.  She wrote back immediately - and the world kept spinning - she was in class and couldn't talk because even though the building was on lock down her professor was plowing forward.  Linear algebra is important, yo.

Oh.  OK, then.

Exactly one week later my brother received a clearly auto-generated text with coordinates and this mysterious line, "Accuracy Horiz: +/- 8 m Vert: +/- 32 m".  Thirty two meters, for products of this great American school system, is about 105'.  A hundred foot wave would be…. something.  But even if they weren't Perfect Storm big, a 210 foot "accuracy" swing certainly suggested rough seas, right?  And why the auto-text?  One island couldn't be reached, we assumed because of the storm that had just passed thru.  My brother swung into action, various nations' Coast Guards were notified and a pleasure cruiser was even diverting.  I spent all morning at work trying to figure out how to confirm his Epirb had, actually, gone off.  This time I thought it was real and I tried to imagine what a little boat might do in 100' seas.  So this is how it happens.  

And then he called.  Guess what he just figured out his sat phone can do!  Auto-texting!!

Oh.  OK, then.

And these are just the highlights.  There has also been car drama, the aforementioned 256 snow days, the resulting employer dissatisfaction, plumbing trouble (and not the fresh-water-from-the-shower kind), and GI upsets. There has been too much eating, not enough running, not enough pictures, and not enough wine.  Never enough wine.  (There was quite definitely too much coffee.)  There has obviously been no writing.  I'm not unhappy but I am so, so very tired.  Tired of the cold, the angst, and of my pathological inability to balance family, work, and me.

But there have been lots of snowy PJ days, movie nights, and hugs.  There have been stars rendered in Play-Doh.  And, at one point after we were washing the dog and the carpet and the child, who had all intersected in a Bermuda Triangle of Poop, I started to laugh.  What else can you do, right?  

You can go sailing.