metaphortunate: (Default)
Rocket has started walking!

…and about half an hour after he started taking his shaky little toddling steps, we got the email from the daycare saying that his cohort is moving up to the next class. He was the very last one to walk. I think they were waiting for him. *facepalm* I feel kind of bad, several kids in the group were clearly ready to move up to more advanced toys and more adventurous activities a while ago. But kids gonna do what kids gonna do, you can't rush them.

Speaking of which, the Junebug was very seriously told to "Be yourself." by one of the extremely friendly homeless guys on the bus this morning. Which I thought was pretty funny. Of course a three-year-old is going to be himself. There is absolutely no one else he can be. Also, however, I don't WANT him to be himself. I want him to be someone who understands that if you accidentally poop a little bit in your underwear you should tell someone right away.

The homeless guys also gave him a lollipop. I was extremely conflicted about this. He was having a great time talking to them - they wanted to show him their rap sheets, and he wanted to point out that there was a "Police! That says police!" badge at the top and tell them about how Curious George got in trouble one time. And I want him to feel okay about talking to people. I mean, he lives in a city, he'd better. And I didn't want to be all AAAH DON'T TOUCH STUFF FROM PEOPLE WHO ARE WEARING HOUSE SLIPPERS CAMPING AND CUTTING EACH OTHER'S HAIR ON THE FREAKING BUS. I certainly didn't want to insult them. And, I mean, a wrapped lollipop. What's the harm? And yet if he should happen to get sick at all I can just so clearly see myself in the pediatrician's office going "Gosh, do you think maybe I shouldn't have let him eat the lollipop from the homeless guy on the bus?"

He's been told he can have it at the weekend. Possibly I will dead goldfish it before then.

Have been doing way too much Cannibal Corpse voice at the Junebug recently. :/ Trying to cut back.
metaphortunate: (Default)
From [personal profile] oursin:
When you see this, make a post in your journal or in a community. It can be anything: a crosspost something you've posted on Tumblr, a few words about the last thing you read/watched, or just a "Hi, how is everyone?" Then go read your f-list and leave at least one comment.
On the theme of parents helping one socialize with other kids, I just remembered that I do recall one example of my mother helping me do that. I may have posted this before. I was at the pool with my cousin one time, I was maybe in my tweens, just starting to grow leg hair, and my (male) cousin pointed at my legs and said "Why don't you shave your legs?"

Well, I didn't know. Should I be shaving my legs? Later that day I asked my mom, "Hey, why don't I shave my legs?"
"What? Why?"
"Cousin --- asked me."
"Tell him to go shave his ass."

And I did! It worked great, too!
metaphortunate: (Default)
Question for those of you who were once children:

Did your parents or other appropriate caregivers, if any, give you any guidance on wading into the shark-infested waters of childhood socializing?

I can remember about 30 bajillion instances of my parents, mostly my long-suffering mother, hissing at me to say hello to the adults of the house when we showed up, thank you when we got food, goodbye when we left, excuse me when I ran right in front of their feet as kids do, sorry for spilling things all over the carpet, etc. x infinity; but I can't remember them talking much about how to be with other kids. Maybe I have a faint memory of being told to say "Thank you" for presents at a birthday party? When getting into my teens I definitely remember being told not to let anyone pressure me into anything, which was good advice. That's about it.

And it's not because I was the suave little kid who didn't need any help. I was the kind of insufferable fat bespectacled nerdlette who would show up at your party toting a book called Facts About Whales. Seriously, that was my favorite book and for ages I carried it everywhere. Because I have always been committed to popularity. I am 40 years old and when I go home my parents' friends still laugh at me because I was the dork who always showed up at their house carrying some sort of nerdtacular book. And then would sit in the corner reading it while other kids played around me. And if my parents had somehow prevented me from bringing a book, I would FIND a book at the house we were at and read it while other kids played around me.

And yet, I don't remember my parents ever bugging me about it much. Maybe because reading was Officially Educational and they never stopped me doing anything Officially Educational? Maybe because, to do justice to my tiny nerdly social acumen, I had already worked out that nobody wanted to hear about any Facts About Whales, so at least it kept me quiet? I don't know, but I do know that they were totally right not to bug me: I made friends when I found people I actually liked, and I'm doing fine now. So, huh.

But I have no idea what I'll do if & when my kids struggle.
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Back to work. Nine glorious, glorious societally sort of approved hours in which I won't be headbutted, clawed at, screamed at, bitten, elbowed in soft places, have my eyeballs poked at or my glasses ripped off, or need to wipe shit off anyone. If I had just remembered my Sudafed, I'd be a happy camper.

My mom's all "What a shame you have to go back for just the one day! How stupid!" I'm like, you have no idea.

Of course the daycare isn't open yet so all honor to Mr. E who gets more vacation than I do: so is home with the little monkeys. Every silver lining's got a cloud.
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Okay, [personal profile] gabbysilang has got me concerned. Eyebrows? Of all the bits of my body that I have wasted my life fruitlessly wishing were smaller, higher, smoother, less painful, more functional, less hairy or stronger, eyebrows are like the one thing it never occurred to me to wish were otherwise than they were. They...uh, do their job, I guess? They sit on my forehead between my eyes and my hairline. I can raise the left one by itself, sort of! Is that not enough? Should I be demanding more of them? Is there a way to get them to pick up wifi?
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I now live and work in such a way that I have little to no professional contact with men; I can go entire days without having to consider what a man — any man — thinks of my work.
See, that's what kills me about this The Toast/The Butter thing. Mallory Ortberg wrote that but it's not true. Nick Pavich is the guy running the money behind the site. She's hasn't escaped working for The Man.

That's why Roxane Gay has to post these humiliating tweets about how she's doing what she can.

Oh Mallory, you told us you were the Queen of Misandry but you were sitting on a throne of lies. ;___;

ETA: thanks [personal profile] kate_nepveu for pointing out that Ms. Ortberg is not working for Mr. Pavich: they are co-founders, with equal ownership in the company.

Still. When you're a business owner but you can't alter your contracts without a man's buy-in, it is not true that you've substantially escaped having to care about a man thinks of your work.
metaphortunate: (uncanny kubrick creamsicle)
Why I am going to hell:

The Junebug has a child's umbrella, and I have an adult umbrella, which is bigger when it's opened but folds twice so it's smaller when it's closed. Today the Junebug was crowing that his umbrella is the biggest, so I explained to him how my umbrella was a grower and his umbrella was a shower.
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But tonight I'm not up with the baby! Tonight the baby's sleeping peacefully!

Tonight I'm up with a racking chest cough that's making it impossible to sleep! Isn't that funny? Isn't life funny? LAUGH YOU BASTARDS.


Hey, I've figured out what it is about Lana del Rey. She's like a goth, but just for heterosexuality!

You know how goths look at life and go "The thing about this is: death, decay, corruption, pain, despair, and also vampires. Let's have a bunch of songs called things like "This Corrosion" and "Bela Lugosi's Dead" and "Dead Stars" and "Stigmata Martyr" and "Now I'm Feeling Zombified". And we'll make them cool and fun and sexy!"?

Well, Lana del Rey looks at heterosexuality and goes, "The thing about this is: infidelity, exploitation, prostitution, domestic violence and statutory (maybe) rape! Let's have a bunch of songs about all of that! And I'll make them cool and fun and sexy!"

It kind of works, too.
metaphortunate: (rock's not dead)
We've had to get serious about the housekeeping since having the little monkeys. Crawling babies will eat anything they run into on the floor. AN. EE. THING. Do they take a moment to ask themselves, is this food? Was it food a month ago? Did it fly in the house a month ago? Is it bigger than my throat? Are mom and dad weeping blood and screaming "NOOOOO!" as they race my fat little fist to my mouth? Do they balls. Babies: masters of the fucks ungiven, so we have had to learn some cleaning tips and tricks! One of which I will now share with you.

So maybe you've had dinner. You're cleaning up. You wipe down the table and briskly go to sweep up some of the steady shower of food that falls like plankton rain from the incompetent hands of toddlers. Hold on there, cowboy! Not so fast. See, if you try to sweep the food up right away, if it's something like steamed cauliflower, it'll squish to the floor and all over the bristles of your broom. What you want to do is let it dry out overnight, so you can easily sweep it up in the morning without getting down on the floor and scrubbing. Timesaving! That is just one of the many classy touches that keeps our house so sparkling tidy. Yeah, I'm pretty sure I'm ready to take over Hints from Heloise. Next week: why sterilizing your baby bottles is a myth!
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"Wildest Dreams" is Taylor Swift's Lana Del Rey moment on 1989. (I almost just wrote "Lita Ford moment". I want to hear Ms. Swift's Lita Ford moment.) At first listen, lyrically, it seems to be a bog-standard "Think of me when our affair is over" kind of thing.

Say you'll remember me
Standing in a nice dress, staring at the sunset, babe
Red lips and rosy cheeks
Say you'll see me again even if it's just in your wildest dreams
And then I realized the last verse begins:

You see me in hindsight

Tangled up with you all night

Burnin' it down
So it's not that the narrator wants her lover to remember her. She knows he's gonna remember her. Fucking. And she's telling him to remember her with her clothes on and her makeup unmussed (red lips and rosy cheeks,) on her feet, looking away from him. It's the cri de coeur of a control freak who obsessively curates a virginal persona. Which I understand does describe Ms. Swift; although, to be fair, considering the way the media wants to report on female musical artists, it's hard to blame her.

And the name is hilarious. No one's wildest dreams are of someone else standing around looking at a sunset, no matter how much The One That Got Away or whatever. I don't know if any of this is on purpose or not. But it makes me like the song a lot more!
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Rocket is so close to being a toddler. He's basically got standing down. He goes ahead with the controlled fall forward. But then he fails to put out a foot to catch himself so he just goes back down to hands and knees. And from there he crawls to wherever he's going.

I swear to god his ears smell like sweet alyssum. We have some in the backyard, I would know. I'm sure that fragrant earwax or whatever is going to turn out to be the symptom of some horrible disease, but in the meantime, the one bright spot of the teething midnight wakings is that when I cuddle him I get to smell his little head. Why are babies so delicious.

Rocket himself has chosen to cope with his teething via cannibalism. You laugh, but he has all eight needle-sharp little front teeth, bottom and top, already, and he opens his mouth like a shark and lets his entire ten pound head fall directly on your chin. Or arm. Or his brother's back. Ow.

He can say and/or sign: no, milk, more, water, all done, Mama, Dada, book, & ball.

The Junebug was so punchy tonight, I nearly killed him trying to get ready for bed, and then I had a stroke of what I will modestly describe as genius. After potty, he announced that he was a duck, instead of pulling his trousers up and moving on to handwashing and so forth; and, sick of arguing, I started quacking at him. Well, this was the funniest goddamn thing that had ever happened, and he started laughing too hard to fight me anymore, and as long as we communicated via quacking and hand gestures, it went smoothly from then.

I posted that thing and suddenly the Junebug has become a hug monster. He is ASKING FOR HUGS. He is spontaneously giving hugs and kisses! I don't know what's happening, but it's wonderful.
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Ah, parenting small children on this particular Thanksgiving morning. Lazing about in bed, cuddling, being a wrestling referee ("NO BITING!") explaining that people want to shut down the Thanksgiving parade because the police keep killing black guys, explaining that their parents are sad and what death means. Relaxing!

And Rocket is cutting FOUR molars, poor little thing. No wonder he's been so fussy and demanding. I keep trying to tell myself that there will come a day when no one wants any of my time, and I probably won't be happy about that either, so I should try to enjoy this while I got it. True, I don't really want two or three decades of that, but could I have like a weekend of it right now, though?

The Junebug verbally asked me for a hug the other night, for the first time ever, though. It was wonderful, although also pretty funny, because I think the cunning little bugger played me. We were out getting burgers for dinner, and he went to grab my arm with his greasy little hands, and I said "DON'T touch my sweater with your greasy hands, you know the rule!" And he said "Mama, can I have a hug?" And I knew this was manipulation and you know what, it didn't matter. When they offer you the bait you want just that much, you see the hook and you take it anyway. Because it's worth it. Didn't even hesitate; hugged the crap out of him and he hugged me right back and I'm pretty sure I got grease and ketchup all over my sweater and in my hair and I didn't even care.

To be fair, it's not that he doesn't ask for cuddles. It's that the way he does it is, he says "I'm the lobster and you are the shark that ate me." - or the lion that ate him, or whatever. This means he will curl up on my lap in a little ball and I will wrap my arms around him and tell him that he's in my tummy and he was delicious. This is because no matter how Freudian my life gets, parenting is one long streak of the universe telling me it's just not Freudian enough yet.

Got to see some friends last weekend that I don't get to see nearly often enough, which was wonderful. Why is distance? :(

Rocket got his first haircut and I held him on my lap and he did not even cry once. He's a hero!

white sons

Nov. 25th, 2014 06:39 am
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I wrote this whole long post about what I am committing to doing, and saying, in my effort to not raise another Darren Wilson or George Zimmerman. About how I don't even know where to start with some of it, and, though it sounds obscene to say so when friends last night were having much harder and scarier conversations, still the thought of setting out to make changes to our lives seems scary and hard.

Then I saved it and did not post it. Instead, last night Mr. E and I talked about what we should do. I think maybe as non-Black people this is a good time for us to have awkward, difficult conversations about race in our own families rather than in social media.
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Was talking on Twitter about how unfortunate it is that retail therapy totally works. :D: Only saving grace is that, at least for me, it's so much more helpful/satisfying if I'm filling a real need with whatever I'm buying than if I'm just impulse picking up some random crap.

For example, last week I bought a watch and a desperately needed new pair of work trousers. Behold, getting dressed in the morning is easier at least one day a week, and that is valuable to me. And the watch: I know people say watches are obsolete because now everyone has smart phones, and all I can say is, these must be people who don't walk around outside a lot or take public transportation. There are at least a couple of times almost every single day when I want to know what time it is and I really don't want to pull out my cell phone. Now I can!

In general, I am honestly a big fan of material things, as long as they are the right material things. Material things that are sort of what I want and sort of not just pile up in the house and make me miserable. Material things that are perfect give me a shot of genuine happiness every time I experience them or use them. Like:
  • The gorgeous coat hooks on our stairs that Mr. E and I picked out together and he installed one day to surprise me and which mean that we have a completely convenient place to put jackets and hats as soon as we come in the house and which, incidentally, are great looking
  • Chanel Cuir de Russie, which smells like old lady right when I put it on and within about 20 minutes has transformed into this rich, smooth, work-of-art leather aroma, so that for the rest of the day, no matter what kind of mess I look like, I smell like subtle, complex, recondite pleasures; and it makes my entire day better
  • My purse, which took me forever to find the exact right one, and which is exactly big enough for my wallet, coin purse, sunglasses, phone, iPod, headphones, small pocketknife, tissues, hand sanitizer, pen, lipstick and enough room to pull one thing out without knocking everything else out, and not one bit bigger or heavier or more awkward
  • Our drinking glasses, which are blue and have this smooth texture which is a small pleasure to touch every time I get a glass of water
  • Dried persimmons, for obvious reasons!

What are your favorite material things?


Nov. 11th, 2014 09:42 pm
metaphortunate: (I'm tasty)
When you get a wild hair to look up old fave comfort fic in a pre-AOOO fandom

and everyone's deleted or locked
metaphortunate: (uncanny kubrick creamsicle)
Camille Fournier tweeted about the high-quality writing being produced, for free, by Kathy Sierra, who recently left Twitter because of renewed harassment. One of her examples was "Your app makes me fat", an essay about how poor user interface design, whether through incompetence or exploitative user "engagement", is a drain on users' cognitive resources that has real effects on our lives. The title comes from a study showing evidence that people doing mental work choose to eat more calories: hence, your app makes me fat.

Which is fine as far as it goes, but also makes me think about the reverse. Whether or not your app makes me fat, I can guarantee you that my diet makes me dumb. Thinking about this recently because of this stupid antibiotic blocking me from eating for hours. Let me tell you, when I'm hungry and I'm not eating, my entire brain is thinking about not eating. I'm supposed to be drawing up something, or coordinating different disciplines, or writing some thing up, but am I? Balls I am. I'm thinking about food, and how it's right there, and how I am not eating it. How long till I can eat? Wow, is that familiar. Wow, do I remember this from weight-loss diets I have been on. Wow, is it nice that most of the time in my life now I just notice "Hey, I'm hungry," get a snack, and then blissfully not think about food for a while. That is mental energy that I can spend on my job, my kids, my training that I'm doing, whatever; maybe even an app that I'm trying to learn how to use. And I'll always be happy if that app UI is designed better, but honestly even trying to learn how to use an app is probably a more productive use of mental energy for me than just grimly using that energy to not eat.
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Someone recently linked to Now You Have Dunnett, which is a great blog because I love Dorothy Dunnett and her language and her lightning-fast characterization but wow, do I not have the kind of intimate knowledge of Renaissance-era Scotland that you kind of need in order to keep track of what the fuck is going on. So when I read her first I want someone to help me remember who the Protector is and who are all these women named Mary and why the queen of Scotland is French and when someone says "Pinkie" the correct response is not "Pie" but "a shitload of people just died there" - or possibly "a shitload of people are about to die there", because I don't remember, and that's exactly the problem - and so on. And then I want someone to talk with about how great that shit was we just read, and the blogger is doing that as well, so that's fun too.

So it's got me rereading Game of Kings, perhaps a little more fruitfully this time because 1) I've read it before, and it's actually more fun when you know what's really going on, and 2) the blog and its helpful reminders. You know what's weird, though? I want fic I want about this book. This is quite unusual for me, normally I get into fic by finding writers I like, canon sort of optional, rather than by wanting fic for a particular canon. And I haven't been reading much fic lately - and I've basically been reading no sexy fic at all. And yet, I'm reading Game of Kings, and there are two fics that I kind of want to read now, and they're both sex scenes.

1) Agnes Herries' wedding night with John Maxwell
Eeeeh, starting off creepy unfortunately, because the poor girl was 14 when she got married. But the thing is, these are historical characters. Not, like, characters in Historical Ages where everyone knows girls got married as zygotes, and what everyone knows is usually wrong: actual people in history whose dates were recorded. So that's my excuse, and presumably Dunnett's. But I don't insist on sticking to the canon or the history; the age isn't the key, anyone could age her up if they liked, only to the point that she's still Dunnett's ugly, vital Agnes, with a strong personality of her own and a head full of romantic daydreams; not having quite reached the bitterness that she was on her way to developing.

What I'd like to see is fun, loud, dreamy, ugly Agnes, well intelligent enough to know that her land is what the men want, not her self - canonically, she has "a face like a pound of candles on a hot day" - going to her wedding night with a man who has, more or less, sent her extravagant poetry and brought her a perfect rose and praised all those characteristics of a heroine of romance that she knows, somewhere deep in her squirrely little heart, that she hasn't got. But that she wants to marry him for anyway.

And John, who Sybilla says, and if you can't believe Sybilla who can you believe, is "clever enough - and kind enough - to preserve the fantasy, or at least let her down pretty lightly." But who's not interested in playing up the fantasy as Francis might be: when Francis is writing his love letters for him, John warns him to "curb your mad, antic mind, I beg you. I've no heart to spend myself sustaining what you are creating for me."

So, what do they say to each other, what do they do with each other that night? A girl marrying a man dressed like a dream and a man in a poorly-fitting dream costume marrying a girl whom he believes will be "an excellent wife" if he treats her right - in addition to all her money? And there is evidence that they get it right. After the marriage, when Francis is captured, John visibly takes no hand in the matter, but it's pretty clear that he sends Agnes to help him escape; not something he would do unless he trusted her. And Agnes is "jubilant" to have accomplished her task; she seems happy and competent, well settled into her new life. Transformed, as Dunnett says, by "the dignities of happiness."

So it went well somehow. But how did it go?

2) Will Scott and Francis Crawford's third, non-canon visit to the Ostrich
Well, and this is the most obvious, the one everyone wants. Richard ships it! Everyone ships it! The second time Francis takes Will to the Ostrich, he allows Will to think that he's taking him to a room upstairs to fuck him. Will's reaction: "When Will Scott got to his feet, his heartbeats were behaving oddly, but he was not slow in following the Master…" Of course, when Will enters the room he discovers that Francis has actually brought him upstairs to meet the John Maxwell above mentioned, and has allowed Will to think otherwise, probably as part of a general policy of always keeping him off balance, and also for his own private amusement.

So obviously, if Francis and Will ever went back to the Ostrich, during the offscreen time before the gang got disbanded, Will would be a little smarter this time, looking for the connection to be made, the guy to be met or captured, the contraband or message to be passed or intercepted or overheard. Francis would take him to an empty room and Will would be wisely expecting the message under the water pitcher, or the contact hiding outside on the windowsill, or something. He wouldn't believe the cover story was the only story until Francis pushed him down on the bed.

Better yet, what if there was sex and some kind of ridiculous triple-dealing spy business. You know there would be. Man, somebody write this.

metaphortunate: (wonderful)
Rocket knows words!

- He makes the sign for "milk", and he uses it both for nursing and for cow milk
- He makes the sign for "more"
- Yesterday, he held up a book and said "buh"

metaphortunate: (Default)
I have to take these antibiotics 4 times a day and I can't take them within 2 hours of eating or 1 hour of going to eat. I think these stupid drugs want me to lose weight.

But I don't even care, because omg I'm so grateful. Today I dragged my sick ass to work only because we had a deadline and I had no makeup and experimental hair and jeans and the repulsive raggedy old sneaks that are what I can lace over my two - two! - MAD SEXY ankle braces, and I still felt like cutest I have felt in maybe months. Because that is what not feeling like a disgusting disease-ridden sack of pus will do for you! When you move on up to merely a slightly defeated sack of meat with just disease sprinkled on the top, it's like a million bucks! God, antibiotics, how we're going to miss you.

Also someone seems to have replaced my regularly scheduled Junebug with Junebug: Snugglebug X-Treme version, at least for him. I have gotten hugs! And blown kisses! And Mr. E has gotten kisses hello and goodbye! I don't know what's going on here but I LOVE IT.

And, I got to binge-watch OITNB while I was home sick this week. I haven't seen the season finale of S2 so don't spoil me, but damn. On the one hand, show I love you. On the other, did we really have to have a fake rape storyline? Really? In a women's prison? Why is that…why. Oh my god, I hate that so much. Also, I love Vee as a character so much, and I love watching Lorraine Toussaint just Cersei her way through everything and everyone without so much as pulling her hem off the floor, but I am getting just a little creeped out at the constant tradeoff between Good White Mother Red and Bad Black Mother Vee. But, of course, that is the great thing about having more than one black woman character in a show: she doesn't have to be Black Women, she can just be Vee, because there's also Taystee and Poussey and Cindy and that one Golden Girl and etc.

Also, Red's not that great, so there's that. :D


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