Monthly Archives: December 2016

Merry Kwanzachrismukkahstivus

Marble and I wish you a very Merry Kwanzachrismukkahstivus. I hope you had a good weekend celebrating whatever has meaning for you, be it stories from history, a baby in the straw, oil that doesn’t quit, feats of strength, or just being grateful for not doing anything. 

Mercifully, 2016 is coming to a close–we hope with no more taking of any icons, but don’t hold your breath. I remember a stand-up routine Steve Martin did many years ago, where he proposed this ritual to break up with someone. I’d like to perform it for 2016:

You say: I break with thee, I break with thee, I break with thee. And then you throw dog poop on their shoes. 💩

So there, 2016. We’re done.

Next week I’ll do my top 10 or 11 or 9 posts from the year, as the spirit moves me. Then I’ll be ready for 2017 with new words, a stout heart, a rapier wit (or maybe just the rapier–I believe flexibility is called for), some serious dance moves, and a case of wine.

We’ll find our way together. 

Sometimes Others Say It better

I came across this post last week from the very real and funny writer of “Renegade Mothering.” Her tag line is “Join me in the fight against helpful parenting.” What’s not to love? My kid is 17 now, but I so wish I’d had her in my corner when he was little. But the beauty of her writing is that it’s helpful even if you don’t have kids. Like this post below. I will be back in January, with humor, anger, and ready to fight like hell for all that is good and right. In the meantime, I hope you find this post about her son’s courage as helpful and inspiring as I did. I wish everyone happy holidays, courage, and love.


by renegademama

Last week, my 11-year-old son Rocket hopped into the car after school and handed me a piece of paper as he said, “I want to be in the school play.”

“Oh yeah,” I said, “cool!” But then I looked at the paper. It was a permission slip for auditions. My eyes widened.

“What do you have to do to audition?” I asked, scanning the paper, suppressing mild panic, then realizing: “Dude you have to sing a song!”

“I know,” he said, all casual.

“Wait. Do have to do it on a stage in front of PEOPLE?”

“Yeah, mom.”

“Well, awesome!” I said, and started driving to mask my vague horror at the prospect. (Motherhood protective reactions are not uniformly rational. I have realized this over the past 15 years.)

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It’s Personal

I’ve been struggling, I admit it. I have a bunch of posts in mid-creation that are unrelated to the current shitstorm. Posting them and avoiding the shitstorm feels like a cop-out, if that’s a term people younger than age 40 know; yet, addressing the ongoing nonsense means I need to find humor in it, and that has a been a stretch, even for my  comedic prowess. This shit ain’t funny, at least not to me, not yet.

My dear friend Mike told me I can just be honest and post what I need to post. So, rather than wrestle with the words floating around on my computer, I will say this:

I had a weekend of human connectivity. Imagine…humans…connecting! It’s batshit crazy, I tell you! Saturday I had tea and sweets at Becky’s and Susan’s house, and yes, there was post-election talk, but also simple gifts and life experiences exchanged. And also, their cat Chai made an appearance, sniffed at me, and made it clear that human worries are soooo 2015. She might be on to something.

Then Sunday, I took a Boston Harbor boat ride with Mike, his parents who are in their 80s, and our friend Jeff. Dubbed Cookies and Carols Cruise, it featured everything great about the season–friends, cookies, music, a bar, and getting to see Boston twinkling at night for one and a half hours. More human connection, go figure. I chatted with Mike’s parents who I never met before and who are absolutely adorable. What a treat to ask about their lives and live in their world for a while. It also didn’t hurt that the bartender came around to refill my drink. This is what life is really about, people.

Before this weekend, I was on the verge of taking an internet hiatus. Not from posting mind you, that keeps me sane, but from seeking out information. I’ve decided that I can find out important things from my friends and from the groups I’ve chosen to give my time and money to. I don’t really need everybody’s opinion about everything all the time. More importantly, I may not survive everybody’s opinion. I’m actually pretty happy with my own ideas about shit, thanks, but I’ll let you know if I need more info. And catching up with friends and the people they care about helped seal the deal. At some point, I will make this crap funny, I promise. It’s how I survive. But there may be a brief interlude where I’m just hanging with my peeps, and not paying attention to whatever the internet is spewing on any particular day, whether it’s in my camp or not.

To loosely quote Prince, “Let’s go crazy; let’s get nuts” and go hang out face to face with the people we love.Thank you Becky, Susan, Mike, Jeff, and Mike’s parents for reminding me of what matters–it’s personal.



First Snow

I woke up this morning in a funk that carried over from last night–kind of from the whole weekend, actually. I’d had an OK weekend, really, so it wasn’t obvious where the funk was coming from. As I was trying to pin down what it was so I could kid myself that I could wrestle it to the ground, I looked outside and saw it was snowing. Great. I usually get excited for the first snow of the season, but all I could think of was having to brush off the car and slogging in it.

I walked along to the train, hood up, shoulders hunched as if it were blizzarding; if I’d been a cartoon character, I’d have had one of those storm clouds hovering over my head. My brain was busy reviewing all the things that could be causing the funk–every new Trump pick for an important office tears the day-old scab off a wound that hasn’t even begun to heal, I have friends and family members who are struggling with various difficult personal situations, and I ran around during the weekend, but didn’t get as much done as I would have liked. On and on the brain whirred, feeling very useful and important.

And then I finally saw it. I looked down at a little patch of grass and saw how the snow was covering it just enough to be pretty, but not enough to impede me. The sidewalk was wet, not snowy. And then I remembered how I had the exact same thought just a month ago while on a hike in the White Mountains. Snow, heck even cold, can be a dangerous thing in the Whites. Just because they aren’t 10,000 feet high doesn’t mean they can’t kill you. I was hiking through a forest around a pond that could have been the location for Lord of the Rings, and it started to snow lightly. I was warm enough and could see it wasn’t accumulating on the trail, so I was able to open up to the magic that any moment a hobbit could appear on the trail.


I smiled at the memory, and then the whole world opened up. The city, in its gritty little concentrated way can be just as beautiful. And so I started taking pictures:


The beautiful strength of sweet peas still blooming from the unseasonably warm fall, and now holding court in an abandoned patch of land.


While this picture may not conjure up a hobbit poking his head out, a garden gnome certainly could.


Yes, Virginia, even sidewalk weeds can get a little magic from the first snow.



And, of course, there’s always cool man-made structures that can be made better with nature’s help.

Noticing the immediate world around me and taking the photos shut Busy Brain down, and I remembered that meditating on the train would be a good thing. Oh, Busy Brain put up a bit of fuss, “Hey what about our funk? We have to figure this out. You can’t just do nothing about this funk!” But by the end of the train ride, the funk was back where it belonged as a type of music to dance to. Brain was off pouting, and I walked the rest of the way to work feeling gratitude in the gentle little snow and keeping a sharp eye out for gnomes and hobbits.