Thursday, April 26, 2007

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Are you thinking of me when you, well, you know…

I'm just loving the myriad ways in which this anthem of angst can be applied. This particular version makes me happy; no more anger, just a little natural curiosity and the unexpected thrill of gender reversal.

Thanks Heather, for the link.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Crazy Maki

Calder loves sushi. Nutritionally, this makes me very happy. It’s also nice that we’re often able to ditch the all-brown palette of most kid-friendly restaurant offerings (chicken fingers. chicken nuggets. grilled cheese. fish sticks. french fries. an item called the “magilla grrrrilla” which ostensibly is a grilled veggie patty, but which resembles nothing more than a flattened dog turd with hatch marks). Fiscally speaking, however, sushi is killing us. Much as any other 3.5 year old, Calder latches on to a food and then wants to have that food morning noon and night for the next month. I thought it was problematic when he went through a Parmiggiano Reggiano phase, but that was mere pennies compared to the wallet-emptying power of salmon sashimi and a spicy tuna roll. Once, under the guise of trying to bring a little culture to the toddler set, I told him that Japanese people ate fish and rice for breakfast (I may have been scarfing leftover fried rice directly from the fridge and wanted to give it a cultural slant....). Well, just call him Calder-san, because the little sakanaya thinks nothing of demanding his maguro while still pajama-clad. If we’re out driving around mid-day and I suggest that we should get some lunch, he’ll pipe up from the back seat “how about a little sushi, mom, wouldn’t you like that?” Dinner options have become limited…if I can’t bring the fish, he stomps around and then, with a dramatic flop on the couch, states “I’ll just have Cheerios then. I’m not hungry for anything else.”

One way I’ve found to ease the pain is to buy our sushi at Whole Foods — the selection isn’t spectacular, but the fish always tastes very fresh and when you subtract the restaurant extras such as edamame, miso, and those fabulous 20oz Sapporos, the cost savings is significant. We usually eat it right there in the store, squeezing little packets of soy sauce (“low sodium, mommy, not the salty kind that makes you crazy.”) into a communal dish and digging in. It’s a happy time, and I feel good about all those omega-3s the kid is getting.

The drawback to this plan, however, is that Whole Foods is no longer safe grocery shopping for me. No sooner do we enter the nirvana of the produce department then Calder is cajoling and pleading with me to just “look” at the sushi. If I dare to suggest pizza, or macaroni and cheese, you know, KID FOOD, I get not much more than a withering glance and the threat of a tantrum in the bulk foods aisle. This afternoon I was trying to turn a deaf ear to his majesty (we’re on day three of school vacation and it has done nothing but rain, so the ice is thin, very thin); I was perusing broccoli rabe and parsnips, when I dared mention what I thought was a shared appreciation for the beauty of the big purple eggplants. “Look Calder, look at how pretty the eggplants are, should we get one of these?” He threw his hands up in the air and hollered “AGAIN WITH THE EGGPLANT? BRING ME TO THE FISH!”

Current state: wallet light, belly full.


Please tell me.
How do I let my child out of the house now?
How do I send him to school?
How can I possibly explain this to him?

Monday, April 16, 2007

A certain kind of light

It's been out there for some time, but it never fails to make me happy.

See? Happy.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

That which I am

Back in January, I fell apart. Not for the first time, and I’m guessing not for the last, but it was a more dramatic and obvious sort of disintegration than I’d ever experienced before. There was a complete vicissitude in my thinking, my coping abilities. Depression has been with me in various forms for years, but this was the first time I ever reacted to it with irresponsibility (I got in my car without telling anyone and drove three states away), and seemingly irrevocable despondency (for real? I don’t know, but it seemed easier than waking up the next morning). In Prozac Nation, Elizabeth Wurtzel wrote of her depression: “I wonder if any of them can tell from just looking at me that all I am is the sum total of my pain, a raw woundedness so extreme that it might be terminal…what if I am stuck down here for good?” For GOOD. It was one of the most terrifying concepts I could imagine -- being forever trapped in a hell not necessarily of my own chemical devising, but one contributed to by the very real situation I was facing at home. A failure of my life plan. A hell that no doctor, no meds, no amount of meditation of yoga or prayer would improve. I sat in my car at the edge of the ocean in a little town far, far north of where I live, watching the shadows in the gloaming (were those angels or devils I saw beckoning?), thinking about what a fucking hot mess my life had become.

Drove home.

Intervention of sorts.

A week in the Caymans.


Tweaking of the meds.

Sleep. More yoga.




And now, for the first time in almost a year, spaciousness.

Look. This is your world! You can't not look. There is no other world. This is your world; it is your feast. You inherited this; you inherited these eyeballs; you inherited this world of color. Look at the greatness of the whole thing. Look! Don't hesitate - look! Open your eyes. Don't blink, and look, look - look further. — Trungpa

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

A nod to Mr. Ginsberg

Well while I'm here
I'll do the work.
And what's the work?
To ease the pain of living!
Everything else:
drunken dumbshow.

I was reading this (part of Memory Gardens -- Allen's eulogy for Jack Kerouac) last night, and thinking about the theory of "doing the work." Yesterday my therapist tasked me with acting "against my instinct." While this might sound counter-intuitive, it's designed to help me stop acting like a deer in headlights whenever I'm dealing with Matt. The demise of a marriage, especially when you're (I'm) not fully invested in it, has the unfortunate effect of making grown people (me) turn into babbling idiots. Yelling. Name-calling. Throwing of bananas. Evidently, this is not good for my image.

Therefore, I am now challenged with being agreeable. Being kind. Working smoothly toward compromise. Holding on to my integrity, no matter how hopeless and filled with despair I become.

Seems like a dumbshow either way.