Saturday, November 10, 2012

Sucker Is Broken

Why blog?  Why bother?  Why write?  

Okay, I admit I have a problem of getting bored easily and this medium continually loses its appeal.  Blogging used to be a bit of therapy, a bit of a rush (ah, to self-publish and say "look at me!") and ultimately a way for me to share my new maternal world with my faraway friends.  Precisely one year ago I  mentioned that Facebook Kidnapped My Mojo (if there was any mojo to begin with - it was brief), and I think ultimately that holds true today.  I just can't kick the habit FB habit, despite the nasty ways FB has changed it's interfaces, how the ads are infiltrating my "newsfeed", and how I no longer manage to handwrite letters, or even call people on the "land line".  

Long ago there was a funny thing called Time... I used to know it well.  We were good friends and we got in SO much trouble together - like when we would stay up all night eating candy and finishing a take-home exam.  Or when we would totally ignore responsibility and bonk our boyfriend silly into the wee hours of the morning.  Yeah.  Time and I were tight.  I mean, we fought and all.  Like during my freshman year in college when I was all pissed off about how Time wouldn't add an extra day of the weekend for me (I wanted an 8th day desperately and Time said, "Sorry muthafuckah!" and laughed while I could barely wake up on Mondays).  I'm still having trouble forgiving Time for holding my twins in my uterus for 38.5 weeks - making me so sick - but perhaps that was really a blessing.  After having two infants, Time decided to warp itself - A LOT.  Payback... for not using Time effectively. 

In the eight years since my babies were born, we have gone from a world with some social media, to a world where not having social media in your pocket might seem empty or extremist.  (If you have not picked up a copy of "Hamlet's Blackberry: Building a Good Life in the Digital Age " by William Powers, I highly recommend it.  It touches on all of these points that I'm making really...) Today I am struggling to find that perfect balance for my kids (totally impossible) where they get just enough screen time, and just enough play time to make them decidedly "normal" - whatever the f that means.  

Actually, wait.  I'll be totally honest.  Screen time is pretty much my money in the bank for bribery.  It's like allowance money - do your part to help out in the house and you get your screen reward.  Ugh.  How did I become such a bore? 

I get antsy and irritated thinking about the responsibility of continually changing passwords and parental controls... and staying ahead of kid pace.  My brother warns me that middle school with girls is difficult to navigate, with continual texting and all kinds of social garbage that makes me feel gross just imagining it.  To make matters worse, the head of our kids' school just told us that by 2014 they plan to make the 5-12th grades BYOD (Bring Your Own Device): laptop or tablet to "enhance the modes of learning and sharing in the classroom".  I'm still thinking about my TI- 81 Graphing Calculator from 1993 that had such nice buttons to press... (Cue music: "Memory" from Cats.)

So why the smashed lollipop?  

It's a visual poem I wrote about damaged, sweet, beautiful things in the sunshine.


Sunday, May 06, 2012


I'm exploring the new blogspot image insert function... Funny how this technology keeps changing.  The second I think I know how to perform a task on the computer... poof! I am outdated.  This was pretty streamlined actually.  

On another note, how exceptional is the color of the inside of this shell?

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Number Monsters and a Baby




We spend a lot of time drawing on our dry erase boards. The twins tried to explain the intricate meaning behind their number characters but I only ended up confused because they couldn't get through their sentences without laughing. Surely an art therapist would tell me that Penny understands her role as the baby of the family? Well, I can assure you she is far from "baby" anything...


This particular photo will always hit me right in the chest. Knowing that she is my last kid gives me an extraordinary heart ache. Little Pen. She's already so wise and independent - and I try to coddle her here and there because I know I'll regret it if I don't. In this crazy world where (if desired) I can have a visual catalogue of every single moment in my kid's life drawn up on the computer in a flash of a second... well... as a parent it can be extremely sad to re-visit those images. Sometimes it feels easier on my constitution to try to forget how quickly kids grow.

Sunday, February 12, 2012


I was seduced by the "userfriendliness", so try to find me here instead?
If I'm feeling a little sad and nostalgic, perhaps I'll post back here every now and then. That might keep things nice and spicy. We all need a little change sometimes, no?

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Lost But Not Forgotten!


I collect too much. These fascinating characters were floating around in a bag labeled "ARTifacts" in my basement. On a sunny day they decided to tell me a story about what it feels like to be shiny.

Name them for me?

Monday, December 19, 2011

On Virtue


Disclaimer: US Magazine arrives in my mailbox addressed to the former renters of this house. I don't deny reading it however. It's like indulging in crappy candy bar: toothsome, high in nostalgia points, but overall too many stupid calories to waste on something so poorly made.

As a self-proclaimed Over-thinker Extraordinaire, I see crap like this lying around on my coffee table and I cannot help but stop and take a picture. I know it's not pornography lying on a copy of the Bible, but this contradiction of input in my life is precisely the reason I wake up in the middle of the night and ask myself, "What the hell is going on in this messed up world? How can I manage to be a decent parent when these opposing messages are floating around my home?" Then I try incredibly hard to erase the thoughts that follow, the ruminating, the catastrophizing, what to do about my inner inactive activist, amongst other textbook depressive thoughts. My poor mind lives in two worlds: one of deep existential doubt and grouchiness, the other full of light and love and optimism. I suppose I have to pay tribute to both halves... and it goes a little something like this:

"Kim Kardashian, I love to hate you. I love that we don't know one another and I can giggle about you and your emptiness and your bizarre lifestyle. I adore the fact that we can use you as everyday gossip. You are a prime example of sleazy convo filler that is welcome in a variety of social circumstances, and for that I thank you. Honest. (It's much easier to chit chat about you than it is to unleash any criticism about my peers, and when I read about you I have access to that part of my brain that is empty and shallow. I suppose that part needs nourishing too.) Every day that you maintain a sense of sanity under such intense public scrutiny is pretty heroic actually. Look at what Hollywood did to poor Lindsay Lohan... and she actually had some talent! I'm not tired of seeing your face on magazines yet so please keep up the good work. "

AND TO THE OTHER (more virtuous) HALF:

"(Post Post) Modern "Western Civilization" That Has Adopted a Quasi Buddhist Mentality- I love to love you. You are (besides my family) the reason I'm alive. You've taught me a lot about how we as humans matter and don't matter. It's pretty fucking cool, although it does make me feel sad when I'm shopping for cheap nail polish at Target or when I use plastic bags and paper towels. It's like I'm a Super-Bad-Cheater-Fraud in those dark moments... but at least you give me balance and perspective. Without you, my concept of world peace seems unattainable. You allow me to forgive myself and others for all of our vices, and you help me mindfully do the dishes and laundry when I want to say screw it and run away from home. Om Shanti."

Phew. Happy to have that rant off of my brain for a bit. Huge apologies to those of you who can't wrap your heads around what I'm talking about... consider yourself lucky maybe? Maybe you don't have children of your own yet - because that was the real turning point for me - especially when they learned how to read and listen to pop music. I have to ask though, what are these mediums saying and doing to their innocent minds? These little humans I created - they believe in Santa! Mr. MagicPants himself thriving in my children's thoughts... I find it absolutely endearing. If we can easily convince them that a fat bearded man gives loads of toys to a billion children around the world simultaneously, isn't that proof enough that their fresh and empty minds are so ready to be filled with the sordid messages of our INSANE world? I try so hard to keep it "clean" for them (the F-Bomb Mom has paid loads to the Foul Language Collection Jar recently) but I'm finding it borderline impossible on many levels.

I have decided, however, that I don't want to shelter my kids beyond reason. Eventually they will have to sensibly navigate the hectic input of media with an informed mind on their own and I feel I do have to give them a sense of perspective somehow (maybe we save the semiotics lesson for high school).

"That magazine is total junk," I've said over and over when they try to sneak away and inspect the "Who Wore It Best" section. And then I heard recently from Ruby, "If it's junk, why do you read it?" I explain to them that it's like having an unhealthy meal - if you consume too much of it, your body doesn't stay healthy.

What I haven't explained yet is that I also like to believe that the virtuous material almost (almost) cancels out the smut.

And the message is... eat the candy, go on a long run. Offset your carbon emissions. Is that what I'm saying? At least for now, this is the best I can come up with.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Comic Diving


This Thanksgiving holiday in order to mix things up a bit we took a trip to Rockport MA to see my cousin and his family. I think we amounted to about 30 people combined... and upon arrival my kids seemed very confused about these "new" family members that they had acquired.

"Mom, what do you mean he's your cousin?" I had to explain that this was my mom's sister who passed away's son. And then the other cousin... well, "That's the son of my mom's younger sister who passed away." Lots of thinking ensued. Their confusion was quickly forgotten with the arrival of a piƱata shaped like a turkey. (My cousin's daughter MOLLY has a boarding school roommate from Mexico who was in on the festivities.)

The entire experience initially felt a bit odd, as if we were hoping somewhere in the depths of our Pseudo WASP (a.k.a. assimilated Jewish) emotional past we could really feel some sense of family connectivity with people we rarely get together with. But when my cousin stood up and made a tear-inducing sober toast to the incredible power of love that has allowed our generation to heal the psychological scars of our ancestors– I thought I was witnessing positive genetic mutations in action. Shit. I mean, weren't we just a family known for our bitter sarcasm and our proclivity for excess? Do we not suffer from alcoholism, abusive relationships, vanity, obsessive compulsive disorder, unnecessary self-deprecation and a passion for butter and salt?

And then my 3 year old niece pipes in: "Um, who's that guy?" The room erupts in laughter.

We clink glasses, I stuff my sassy fresh vegetarian face, linger a bit and make "medium talk" with Stunning Mexican Roommate. Her eyebrows seem literally robbed from the face of a young Audrey Hepburn and I can barely pay attention to our topic, which has something to do with children being kidnapped in Guadalajara and the safety of life in America. I make a swift visit to the small half bathroom and I'm greeted by four large black and white photos of a "wacky" guy (think Fozzie Bear wearing swim trunks in Cuba circa 1937). I can barely take a pee.

Waka Waka Waka.

This man is my grandfather! Wait. What? All I knew of this human was that he liked to eat beef tongue and chopped liver. He was philanthropic towards libraries, cigars, Monaco, and Brown University– but otherwise did a great job embarrassing the hell out of his grandkids by treating his daughters and restaurant staff like slaves. (In many ways he was the worst side of that NYC Jewish stereotype.) I'm pretty sure I never got to see him with a genuine smile on his face, and and I always wondered if he thought his philanthropy would somehow buff out his cantankerous edges.

So back to Waka Waka... GRANDPOP!!! WTF was going on? He apparently excelled at this odd genre popular in his day referred to as "Comic Diving". And this made him smile. It made ME smile just looking at it 60 or so years after the act. Just when I thought the world was getting more boring than ever (a kind of boring only relieved by watching the creative genius that is Adventure Time on Cartoon Network) these photographic gems decided to give me a shake down.

Ugh. I have so much to learn about my family history it hurts. If this blog can help me, I will be doing the backstroke into the depths of my comic gene pool, with the hopes that my Lake Wobegon "above average" children will come to thank me for it when they reach the mental quagmire of middle age.

P.S. The title of this post was actually going to be "From Fatitude to Gratitude: The Truth About My Genetic Gravy".