Wednesday, June 26, 2013

30 Years of Truth: Day 13

I think this is where this blog derailed. This question was so hard for me to answer that I just kind of dropped the 30 day challenge... like 2 years ago.

Day 13: A band or artist that has gotten you through some tough-ass days.

It's not that I can't think of any. It's that I can think of SO DAMN MANY, so many tough days and so many artists I have connected with along the way, I don't even know where to start, who to thank first or last. My musical tastes are SO diverse it's hard to narrow it down to a genre, much less an artist. For me, Miss DiFranco wins the honors because she has gotten me through tough days for so very many years, her music has become a real emotional touchstone for me. Her lyrics and subject matter have stayed relevant to me as her albums have followed my journey through young adulthood's righteous indignation, new steamy loves, what it means to be female in a "man's world," romantic conflict, searching for the meaning of my existence, growing awareness of political injustices, and even parenting in this day and age. I've seen her live a handful of times and it is always a thrill for me.

I can't even name a favorite album, much less a favorite song, from Ani's catalog, but a handful spring to mind as ones that have gotten me through some of the toughest days. Studying Stones? Dilate? Not Angry Anymore? Wish I May? Tamburitza Lingua? Knuckle Down? Present/Infant? I have yelled them all at the top of my lungs, sung them into the mirror, choked on them between sobs, screamed them from roof tops. I have whispered them into the waves, repeated them as a mantra to myself alone. Her music has been cheaper and more effective than any other therapy for me.

So thanks, Ani. If I had the opportunity to talk to you, I'd sure I'd be speechless. You've pretty much said it all anyway.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Tie Dye Personality Test

It wasn't MEANT to be a personality test. Or any kind of test for that matter. It was just meant to keep us busy for a while on a Saturday when Dearest had to be at work, with the slight possibility that an actual wearable product might come out of it. But expectations were pretty modest.

I had never done tie dye, not as an adult anyway, but the kit I ordered pretty much spoon-fed the technique, and the YouTube videos I got all exclaimed that "you just can't go wrong!!!" so I was willing to give it a shot. I did as much prep work as I could while the kids played elsewhere- set up shop in the garage, mixed dyes and prepped the dresses that the girls were going to add color to. And mentally prepared myself too, to let go and let them have this experience without me being worried about what the final product would look like. Not an easy task, but when things were ready Sophia and Olivia were chomping at the bit to try it!

First up was Soph. I explained to her that she could squirt the dye on or she could use the brush to put it on her dress. I told her she could use a little or a lot, and explained a bit about how the rubber bands would keep some parts of the dress white... she half listened, grabbed a dye bottle and started squirting. 

She went about her work with typical Sophia gusto. No questions asked, totally in the moment, ignoring my request that she pause to have her picture taken, and done in 60 seconds. Just done. "Was it fun?" I asked this poor child who had clearly inherited my attention span. "Yeah, Mom!" she called back over her shoulder, on her way to her next venture.

Up next was Liv. She listened carefully as I explained to her techniques and options, and had a lot of questions about "what would happen if..." and "why can't I..." before she even picked up a brush. She was thoughtful and meticulous about her dying, turning the garment over to be sure she had done a thorough job. A few minutes in, she informed me "I am Rapunzel painting this dress," not surprising as I get regular updates about who she is, usually involving a princess or a Star Wars character. (She also usually identifies Soph as her sidekick, as in "I am Ariel and Sophie is Flounder," and Soph usually plays along for a minute, or shrugs and goes about her business.) She clearly enjoyed watching the dye spread through the folds, and wanted to know if I thought she was done.

My yin and my yang. So incredibly different. Answering for all humanity the "nature vs. nurture" question. From their first breaths, these two were who they were. Sure, nurture played into it to some extent, but to a much lesser extent than I would have thought 5 years ago.

The funny thing is... despite their marked differences, the final products are both beautiful. 

And the dresses didn't come out too bad either. 

Thursday, June 20, 2013

50 Questions.

I literally LITERALLY do not even remember how this works anymore.  It took me like 10 minutes to find the "New Post" button. But here I am, back on the horse. Not making any declarations about what a great blogger I am going to be from here on out, but I will say that something inexplicable has been drawing me back to the blogosphere. So here I am. I'm gonna start out easy with a meme that my friend Genny did on her blog because it didn't seem too hard.

So, hi.

Here we go.

50 Questions! From Buzzingfridge.

1. When you looked at yourself in the mirror today, what was the first thing you thought?

Please understand that I have been sick as a dog all week so all of my answers are going to reflect that. Without that context you are going to really think there is something seriously wrong with me. The first time I looked at myself in the mirror today was after I took a shower at like 4 this afternoon. And what I thought was "I wish my stomach looked like this all the time and not just when I am recovering from being violently ill."

2. How much cash do you have on you?

I think I have about $20 in my wallet. I try to always have $20, just in case.

3. What’s a word that rhymes with DOOR?

Snore which is what this questi
on makes me do.

4. Favorite planet?

Earth? I haven't had the opportunity to experience any others. 

5. Who is the 4th person on your missed call list on your cell phone?

Blargh now I have to stand up and get my phone. I thought this was going to be easy.

My sister.

6. What is your favorite ring tone on your phone?

Marimba all the way.

7. What shirt are you wearing?

A blue t shirt with kind of rainbow palm trees on it from Target. They sold it as a pajama top but I wear it out all the time. F*ck the police.

8. Do you label yourself?

Yes but many of the labels are conflicting. I will blame that on my Gemini-ness.

9. Name the brand of the shoes you’re currently wearing?

None. But the last ones I wore were my favorite Keen sandals. But I have not left the house in like 5 days, y'all.

10. Bright or Dark Room?

Bright. Unless it's night time. Then dark.

11. What do you think about the person who took this survey before you?

I love them dearly and I hope they know that.

12. What does your watch look like?

Silver Bulova. Simple and classy.

13. What were you doing at midnight last night?

Lightly sleeping and half listening for the sound of my children getting sick.

14. What did your last text message you received on your cell say?

"That will change soon."

15. Where is your nearest 7-11?

Wayyyy down by Target, I believe.

16. What's a word that you say a lot?

Probably "like." Also I make this grumbling sound a LOT which I was not fully aware of until Sophia started to make the same sound whenever she gets exasperated. Now I am aware that I make that noise way way too much.

17. Who told you he/she loved you last?

Sophie, I think.

18. Last furry thing you touched?

Coda the wonder mutt.

19. How many drugs have you done in the last three days?

Like I said, I've been sick. So too many to mention. On a normal day just my thyroid meds and my pill.

20. How many rolls of film do you need developed?

One, actually. In an underwater camera that I took last summer and never got developed. Because who thinks to take film to get developed these days?

21. Favorite age you have been so far?

Um, I usually like whatever age I am at the moment. I mean, I have liked different things about different ages. Except for like 13-15. Nothing redeeming there comes to mind.

22. Your worst enemy?

I... actually don't have one. I mean, there are some people I dislike to varying degrees, but no real "enemies." As far as I know. 

23. What is your current desktop picture?

A stock solar system pic that came with the computer. I don't even know how to change it.

24. What was the last thing you said to someone?

"Just wanted to be sure you are ok." to Sophia who has been upstairs singing to her stuffed animals since I tucked her in an hour ago.

25. If you had to choose between a million bucks or to be able to fly what would it be?

A million bucks because I could share it.

26. Do you like someone?

Lots of someones!

27. The last song you listened to?

This kid singing the national anthem (really well) before the Heat game.

28. What time of day were you born?

Around 9:30, at night I think but I'm not sure.

29. What’s your favorite number?

I don't have one. But I like to like 13 because I think superstitions are hooey.

30. Where did you live in 1987?

Hmm. Rockford, Michigan, I believe. I think we were in the green house by then.

31. Are you jealous of anyone?

Envious, for sure. Jealous? I don't know. Jealous sounds so ugly. I try not to be. Because the older I get the more I realize that what I perceive what other people have/are is not really superior to what I have and am.

32. Is anyone jealous of you?

I sure hope not.

33. Where were you when 9/11 happened?

Here in Orlando, in my old house with my first husband. I called my dad on the phone and neither one of us could believe what we were seeing. I remember the moment I realized it was not an accident. And I remember being terrified that, long-term, tourism (and my livelihood) would be impacted. And it was, but not as terribly as I thought it would.

34. What do you do when vending machines steal your money?

Pout. But usually try again. Because I'm an optimist like that.

35. Do you consider yourself kind?

Generally, yes, very kind. But I have a "mean girl" streak, if in the right company, that I am ashamed of.

36. If you had to get a tattoo, where would it be?

I have one. And I would not get another one I don't think. If I HAD TO, like gun to my head had to? Right on top of my first one, on my left hip. Maybe it would improve it.

37. If you could be fluent in any other language, what would it be?

Italian because it's soooo beautiful!

38. Would you move for the person you loved?

Absolutely. I love a fresh start.

39. Are you touchy feely?

I guess so. With my kids for sure, and I am not into PDA but I like holding hands with Dearest when the opportunity presents itself. With friends, not as much.

40. What’s your life motto?

"Bend like a blade of grass to the wind."

But I also like the Humans of New York lady with her "Be kind and thoughtful" platform. Some people make that more difficult than others.

41. Name three things that you have on you at all times?

iPhone, Sophia, Olivia.

Oh, THINGS? iPhone, package of wipes, sunglasses.

42. What’s your favourite town/city?

New York City. No contest. But Florence was pretty kick ass too.

43. What was the last thing you paid for with cash?

I don't even know. Maybe something at the Brooklyn Flea?

44. When was the last time you wrote a letter to someone on paper and mailed it?

Couldn't even tell ya. But we should do that. It's really nice.

45. Can you change the oil on a car?


46. Your first love: what is the last thing you heard about him/her?

Well I kind of have two people I could count as my first love. One was more a first lust. I hear he's sucking at life and that's fine by me. One was my first love, and I hear he's doing good, and that's also fine by me.

47. How far back do you know about your ancestry?

Ooh, I love the, and I went way way far back on my side of the family! We have pretty much been Americans for as long as there was an America. Before that lots of Irish and French.

48. The last time you dressed fancy, what did you wear and why did you dress fancy?

P.E.O. meeting, and I wore the dress I bought to wear to Pippin but couldn't on account of the deluge.

49. Does anything hurt on your body right now?

Actually... no.

50. Have you been burned by love?

I'm usually the burner, not the burnee. Which sounds worse than it is. I just mean I am usually the relationship ender. I have been hurt many times, but burned implies something more permanent and scarring. I'm pretty resilient, truthfully.