4.28.2006

Photo Friday: ReflectionnoitcelfeR


Self Portrait in Elevator
Originally uploaded by Temmerling.
Good lord, I went CRAAAAYZEEEE with this topic. Took way too many bad pictures. Got laughed at by several of my coworkers who kept trying to use the elevator only to find a flustered me caught with my camera up trying to take this picture...

Can I take a moment and tell you all how much I fucking LOVE Photo Friday? I Loooooooooooooove it! I've always wanted to be a photographer but never had a kick in the pants to get started. Now, I am not saying that I am a decent photographer by any stretch of the imagination... but I'm getting better. And I feel inspired. And I'm thinking of taking a photography class.

Right now I feel like I'm in a period of dormancy in so many ways. Yes, I'm growing into a mother. And yes, I'm growing as a partner. And yes, I derive great enjoyment from watching Julia grow and expand. (cutest story I will try to blog over the weekend, but I forgot to upload the pic that goes with it, so it'll have to wait) But in so many other ways I feel dry and shrivelling. But here, here I am cracking and soaking and moving. I am adding a facet to myself that I always wanted to add.

So thank you, Calliope, for your marvellous idea.

Stained Glass on Clear Glass
Layers and layers
Flowers and Steel
Spectre of Fashion

4.27.2006

Ever have a day when you've just got nothing to say?


Showing me her cracker
Originally uploaded by Temmerling.
How about a cute picture instead? (She's waving at y'all in case you can't tell)

I'm thinking hard about drudging up the motivation to post another audio clip of one of my poems -- to mark the passing of National Poetry Month.

4.26.2006

Doin' it Bloggy Style*

*Oh, come ON! Every blogger is allowed to use this as a title at LEAST once in their blogging career. So stop moaning.

Have you all gone to the links I gave you last week and fallen madly, passionately in love? Good. Time to do it all over gain. Again, in no particular order of loveliness...

1) The bakers of Babycakes are Sacha and M. Though more Sacha than M, but that does not diminish my love of M. Oh, no, on the contrary, her rendition of the "shy and retiring" blog artist only fuels my love for her. I'm sure she's doing it just for that purpose, too. Babycakes is zesty and nutty. Like a vinaigrette made of citrus juice and walnut oil. Rich and springy. Oh, yeah, and earthy. Like that above-mentioned vinaigrette poured over young spinach leaves pulled from the garden and tossed, all unwashed, into a big blue bowl. There's a lot of excellent photography going on, some lovely menus hinted at, and a whole bunch of down and dirty details about trying to conceive. Plus, if you sift through the archives there are some jewels of hand-drawn comics by Sacha. Really, Babycakes is a smorgasborg of loveliness and delight. Go there, partake.

2) Decentered Doctrine is the on-line home of my good in-person friend, Jennifer. Jennifer is considerate and quirky and fun. And an excellent cook. Hoo baby, one of the great things in life is when Jennifer wants to "practice" a dinner menu on you. Then you get great food for no good reason, and that's the best reason of all. She makes expanding salads, and risottos with white truffle oil, and cooks things I only wonder about when I encounter them in the grocery store. AND she is the only person on earth who can make brussels sprouts in such a way that I crave them afterward. Jennifer's blog is full of poetry and recipes. Including the recipe for the World's Best Cake Hands Down No Competition EVER (except for my very own carrot cake, but then nothing can compare to my carrot cake!). And, on top of all that, Jennifer is just a great person. She doesn't post on her blog as much as I'd like (remember, it's all about ME) but that's because she's working on her PhD in Literature and teaching a bajillion classes all at the same time. Plus, you know, she has a life. Poo on her.

3) Nik at Otterbutt doesn't post recipes so much, but she talks about eating a lot, and I think that's a good thing. I love to read about people talking about eating good food. It makes me like them just that much more for having good taste. And I must say, Nik has excellent taste because the food she writes about enjoying is always scrumptious-sounding. Nik had an adorable baby just a month or so before Julia was born, so we have that in common, too. When one reads Otterbutt one gets the sense that Nik is a really vivacious, funny person to hang around. Her personality shines through her writing. Which isn't all that surprising, since, you know, she IS a writer. But when you read a blog and it feels like that person is right there, talking only to you (even if there are all those other commenters butting into your personal conversation) then you know the person behind that blog is pretty special. So go, let Nik chat at ya about steaks and wine and mushrooms and academia and teaching and kitchens and her baby and moving and stupid things that she does occassionally. You'll feel like you've made a new friend.

4) Speaking of friends, let me introduce you to Merr of Proud Prowsers. You first met Merr back in October when I talked about meeting my first non-crazy, non-bio mom in person. That wasn't Merr. That was her partner, but I do mention Merr in passing. She was pretty quiet that day. Since then Merr has gotten less shy and a bit more aggressive in cutting through my and Summer's chatter at each other, and I have realized that Merr is very fun, too. And she's got a wicked sense of humor. And will come out with the absolute most shocking things to say. Shocking even more since she used to be a nanny and now runs a daycare in her home. I just don't expect people who work with children to say such things! (though, FYI she never says stuff like that in front of kids). After weeks of my telling Summer and Merr about my blog, Merr finally got online and started reading it, and then went off and started her own blog. I guess that would make her my blog baby... The Prowsers have a little 2 year old cutie named Camden, and are currently working on getting a second little cutie. Keep your fingers crossed for them, they're in a 2ww right now!

5) Come swim with me and be my love. Or something like that. Mermaidgrrrl, of Salty Snippets fame, has been wooing me hard with murmurings of my hotness. Coming from such a hottie I think that's a major compliment and I am mightily flattered! (for all of you late to the game, getting yourself written up here goes smoother if you call me hot...) Salty is right, the snippets in La Mermaid's corner of the pond can be outright caustic. I loves me a grrl who calls em as she sees em! Mermaidgrrrl and her partner, Little Mister, are TTCers and Nurses, and Aussies, and Lessies, and Kombi Kampers, and fighters, and lovers, and sexy sexy sexy bitches. I also love how Mermaidgrrrl does not have a skinny body and yet takes and posts the most georgous self-portraits and snaps of her body. I love that. I need that. She is a rolemodel for me in many ways. Now if only Australia weren't so very very far away... (Edited because I had the link for Mermaidgrrrl wrong, it's all fixed now, though)

6) Now onto a blog that I discovered by way of Amy Kellogg**... My God, Utter Wonder: The Idle Thoughts of C. Monks is FUNNY! He writes letters to Star Jones that have me rolling on the floor, his escapades in rural Denmark with his new lover, Trinka, and her 3 half sisters, are just bizarre, and the way he trash talks poor, defenseless, elephants is just hilarious. But what really got me, and hooked me hard, was this post on taking his son to Toddler Sing. When you can be funny AND poignant then you can have me any way you want me.

There you go! Enjoy!

** Don't worry, Amy, I'll do you soon (I don't mean that as dirty as it sounds...)

4.25.2006

Lauri and Google Bringing Good Words to the People

Word of the (yester)Day:

rebarbative: repellent; irritating

COD also lists "unattractive and objectionable," with old French roots meaning "face each other 'beard to beard' aggressively."

I like the sound of rebarbative, flowing and rhythmic. Iambic dimeter? Sounds like repetitive, which lends a nice connotation of redundant annoyance. I like the word barb inside, a jab, an irritant that gets stuck. The whole word is like barbed wire, kind of long and pretty and twisting, a fluidity hiding something sharp.

That is all.

--by Lauri

(Ed note: Actually, though I like the term Iambic dimeter, I would consider rebarbative to be two feet: an iamb and a pyrrhic mushed together. Of course, depending on what immediately follows or precedes the word it could contain a dactyl or an amphibrach though the amphibrach seems less likely than the dactyl and they both seem less likely than my original iamb and pyrrhic combination. But then, scansion was never my strong suite. I mean, depending on context, it could be part of a three-foot phrase that could include two trochees and an iamb, (e.g. "A rebarbative man") and wouldn't that sound lovely? -- Trista)

I wasn't kidding

about looking for guest bloggers. Are you brave enough to step up to the plate? You wanna sit in this cushy pleather-lined captain's chair (ok, so it's more like a papasan, but, you know, whatever).

Even if you don't have a blog of your own (ahem *cough*Lauri*cough*) you could try it out and see how you like it.

Just let me know. I'm brave. I can take it.

4.24.2006

Gray

Not much to say. Boring day. 24 days until our vacation. Or 3 weeks, 4 days, 8 hours and 49 minutes. Give or take a few. Not that I'm tracking all that closely. I worry that the more I long for our vacation the slower it will arrive and the faster it will spend itself. Time is shitty that way.

We should schedule some killer camping trips NOW so we have something to look forward to once we get back.

Things we must do before we leave:

Make our final decision on how best to listen to the iPod while driving
Get Kristin's car in for an oil and air filter change.
Sell a couple of non-essential organs so as to be able to afford the increasing cost of gas
Buy a travel high-chair booster thingie for Julia.
Get the dogs microchipped
Write up exhaustive housesitting/pet-caretaking notes for the housesitters
Buy a CF card with more storage for the digi
Get more of our CDs loaded into iTunes

I'm sure there's more. I'm sure I'll think of them the Wednesday before we leave. And so it goes.

What we accomplished this weekend:
Began the monumental task of recovering our yard from the wreckage winter makes of it.
We have 1 cubic yard of beautiful pink sandstone nuggets and 3 cubic yards of dark brown wood chips being delivered on Tuesday, (we accomplished the ordering of such loveliness) so we bought a wheelbarrow. Now I just have to put it together.
The only thing we did for the kitchen was buy the paint needed to cover the new arches and touch up the ceiling. Hopefully we'll get the walls textured and painted before the weekend.

This weekend coming up we will finally knock the hole in the side of the house. Happy times! I'll be helping my dad do that while Kristin works on the yard.

And that's it. That's all I have to say today.

Oh, one more thing. I've promised Kristin that the only reason I'm taking my lap top on vacation with us is so we can play music on it and I can move pictures from the CF card to the hard drive. In other words, I have promised her that I won't be blogging while we're on vacation. I may call in some audio posts, but that's it. Nothing else.

Anyone want to guest blog for me? You know, keep my seat warm? You don't have to do it for the whole time, if you don't want to, I'm willing to allow a team of guest bloggers to make themselves comfortable in my digs.

Think about it. Let me know.

4.21.2006

Take a Stand!

A friend of mine is a designer. The design he submitted for Utah's state quarter is one of the final three selected and you (yes you!) can vote on it!

http://arts.utah.gov/quarter/survey.html

His is the one with the trains (by far the most evocative and significant and beautiful -- I mean, a SNOWBOARDER?? Puh-lease!)

Go there. Vote for it.

Thank you.

Oh, and for y'alls amusement... a lovely little site that Estelle pointed me in the direction of.

Photo Friday: It's What's for Dinner


Last Night's Dinner
Originally uploaded by Temmerling.
Ok, I like to cook, but I'm tired. And Kristin was out last night. And I'm tired. So this is the gourmet feast that I whipped up for myself while feeding and entertaining and changing and putting Julia to bed.

Last night I ate 4 tater bars, crispy right from the oven, 4 frozen potato-pea samosas (also crispy from the oven) and 4 pieces of turkey bacon microwaved until it was the consistency of crackers. I added the bacon for y'alls benefit so you wouldn't think I was ONLY eating carbs last night. The green glop is mint chutney. Some of you may be the kind of people who put ketchup on everything, I'm the kind of person who puts mint chutney on everything. It is SO GOOD! White dollops are fat free sour cream with fresh cracked pepper on top (I do have my standards! Only fresh cracked pepper will do!)

And there you have it. My dinner last night.

4.20.2006

Does this frame make me look old?

I've spoken before about how I've been mistaken for Kristin's mother. Well, it's happened again.

There's this UPS guy that comes nearly every day. He's been the regular guy for months. We engage in chit chat as I sign his pad and accept the packages. I have 3 framed pictures on my desk. One is the one they took of Julia in the hospital. One is the cute one of her in her exersaucer. And one is our family photo. They've always been there. But Tuesday I spilled an entire Grande chai latte on my desk and so I take everything off my desk to clean it and perhaps when I put them back I set them down on a different angle or something, because when UPS guy came in yesterday he noticed them for the first time. And he said, "Oh! That sure is a cute baby you have pictures of. Is he your grandson?"

Is he your grandson.

Oh, there is just so much wrong with that statement. First off, I'm not so upset at the idea that someone could look at Julia and think she's a boy. I think babies are pretty gender neutral in their faces (hence the obsessive pink and bluing of babies). But I do object to the assumption of gender based on the fact that in the pictures Julia is dressed in bright, primary colors. Like only little boys wear red and orange and green.

But mostly I'm just pissed that once again I am related to the category of grandmother. And when I corrected him, "No, that's my daughter" he just looked confused -- not mortified. Confused like "How can someone as old as you have such a young daughter?" not "Oh my god, I can't believe I just called this young, nubile creature old!" And, of course, what I think was tripping him up was our family portrait. Heterosexism blinds many people to the possibility that a portrait with two women and a baby could be two mamas and their child. It must be some sort of other family configuration -- sisters, maybe, or mother daughter and grandchild.

but why why why must I always be the grandma? I don't look THAT much older than Kristin, do I?

It's my jowels, isn't it. You can tell me, I can handle it.

Maybe I should get a facelift...

4.19.2006

Lauri, if you had a blog, this post would be full of the love for you.

But you don't. So it isn't.

My blogroll is too long. I worry that there are people who are getting lost in it. Unnoticed. Unloved. I thought of breaking it down into categories for easier navigation. But then I (successfully) resisted the impulse to categorize people into one or two word descriptions. Plus, there are people there who just don't fit anywhere and that is why I love them. And there are a lot of lesbians who have/want kids in there and so that category would still be so large that I would worry that some wonderful women were being lost in the lists.

What I decided, in the end, was to write an erratic series of posts highlighting different blogs that I love. Eventually I hope to highlight everyone on my list. Since if you're on my list it's because I love you, I really do. I may not show it all the time, but that's because I'm emotionally shut down or something.

So, with no more undue ado I give you the first group of Bloggers You Should Fawn Over If You Don't Already (in no particular order of fawnworthiness):

1) Sublime. Sublime is divine. I used to check my stat counter religiously and I started getting intrigued when I noticed a reader from Mexico. And not just a surfer, but a cozy-up-and-read-everything reader. Soon my mysterious Mexican reader introduced herself as Sublime. And she invited me to read her blog La Sublime & Co. Unfortunately, my Spanish is extremely limited. All I could glean from her blog was that she seemed very fun and she had nice socks. When I told her that I loved her socks but couldn't figure out why she was posting a picture of them she went and started an English blog. Wow! Who can resist that? Even though I feel more than a little like an Arrogant American who will willy-nilly go off and visit other people's blogs without bothering to learn their language first, I am SO GLAD that Sublime started writing in English. I love hearing about her life, and she's got a fantastic eye for photography. She is loving and passionate and effusive and fun.

2) Charlotte. I first noticed Charlotte in comments on Babycakes. She was making all these amazingly insightful and considerate comments, and she had a profile, but she didn't have a BLOG!!! How was I supposed to get a hold of her? How was I supposed to get to know her? How was I supposed to make her love me too? Finally she put her blog together. And it was full of insightful, funny posts that related a lot to me. And, of course, the best way to make me love you is to be funny while making me think that you're just like me only better. Charlotte's had a wild ride in the few months since she started blogging, and she's thinking that maybe she's going to take a break from her own blog (while maintaining a presence by contributing to Culinarian) but I hope this doesn't happen. Cause I will miss her. In fact, I'm hoping that she will start writing on Dosmamas MORE about more varied aspects of her life. Not that I'm saying that she's narrow in focus, oh no, I just want to let her know that even the most mundane of things would satisfy and entertain me. And isn't that the reason any of you are blogging, to entertain me? I know that's why I'm blogging, to entertain myself.

3) Plimco. Oh Plimco. What can I say about you? You thrill me. You chill me. From the moment you said my child was beautiful with avocado on her chin you had me. For all of you who haven't checked her out, why haven't you? Aren't you all intrigued by a blog named Bumbershoot Casserole? What planet are you from? That's just funny, funny stuff. I don't think there's a funnier word out there than bumbershoot. Unless it's casserole. Or perhaps platypus. Platypus is pretty funny. Plimco is an actor currently in a play that involves her character licking menstrual blood in a menacing manner off the finger of her best friend. And I don't care who you are, it takes balls to do that in front of your real-life father who is waving and mouthing "Hi Plimco" at you. Or maybe that was happening while describing in great detail exactly how she likes to masturbate. I get the embarrassing stories mixed up sometimes. Plimco's blog is an attempt to avenge the death of her pet rabbit named Simon. If you don't read her blog then Simon will have died in vain.

4) Bri is Unwellness. Bri is funny, urbane, witty, and bitter as soda. And she has a huge-ass heart. Which is, I think, the main reason she is bitter at times. It's hard to have a heart that big -- it gets squashed, bruised, banged-up, kicked. And yet, here's the thing, even at her most bitter, she's still so much more than that. She is still funny and thoughtful, and that takes skill, my friends. It seems to me that the bitterness Bri displays serves to connect her with people rather than pushing them away -- bridges of beautiful crystalline cyanide that we all walk on and admire and talk about, and look deeply into each other's digitized eyes and promise not to lick. Bri would like to be famous one day. And I truly agree that she should be. She's been at this blogging game for a long time and it is an injustice on a cosmic scale that she doesn't have more readers. Go read her. I swear, even though I've never been to New York, when I'm on her blog I can smell the Hudson (I really hope that in real life the Hudson smells good, because I'm not trying to imply that Bri stinks, but Dar Williams just wrote such an awesome song about the Hudson that I think it must be a beautiful thing, but in case the Hudson is stinky, why don't you just pretend that I just compared her blog to flowers growing in Central Park...)

5) J at Cheese and Whine is the kind of person that I would love to hang out with. I think we would have an amazing time. I could ask her all sorts of questions about what's it like to live in the other Portland -- you know, the not Oregon one. I could talk about the time I almost got a tattoo in Portand, Maine but the guy kicked me out of his parlor. I could ask her how she gets her spikes so high... I have a feeling J is a font of interesting information. And she always has a witty reply to even the most off-kilter of my comments. And she likes Cheese. That is always a plus. While I wouldn't go so far as to say that I automatically love anyone who loves cheese, it's always one of the first things I screen for. J and her partner are beginning the semen phase of their own baby quest next month (actually, it maybe just a few weeks, now) so be sure drop in and give them some love. Even if it works right away, as so many of you know, the TTC is a wildly emotional ride that is best done in good company.

6) Finally, I would like to mention the newest of my links. Anuenue Kauwahi. Some of you may have known her as Rae. She's gone through a lot recently, and in the interest of a new start, has started a new blog. I read her old blog, but I never commented because though I found it through other means, I stumbled across it during some of her hardest trials, and I didn't want to seem like a tragedy-attracted cyber rubbernecker. So I kept quiet and wished her well and a relief from pain. And here is her new start; on this I wish her company on her journey, as well as luck and joy and the abeyance of pain.

Well, I think 6 is a good start, don't you? Gives y'all plenty to read about, plenty to think on. If you were already familiar with these writers then you are among the anointed. If you weren't... you're welcome (God, aren't I just so arrogant you want to kill me?)

Lauri, you would have been number one up there...

The love nest


Zoe has a boyfriend
Originally uploaded by Temmerling.
Zoe has found herself a new beau. Meet Reginald, the Imperialist Tiger. Reginald is the strong and silent type. Loves to cuddle, is neat and tidy. And gives a mean eye when disturbed. Best of all, he isn't possessive and doesn't mind that Zoe bedhops all night long. By all accounts they're very happy together. We wish them well.

4.18.2006

These Flowers are for Lauri


Flowers for Lauri
Originally uploaded by Temmerling.
I wish I could give them, and a hug, to you in person.

Because I have no Time-Warp Tuesday, I will give you a Meme

This whole Time-warp Tuesday thing is not working out as expected. It's HARD to find and scan an old picture for every Tuesday. Really, I should just find a WHOLE BUNCH and scan them all at once and THEN dole them out like sips from the Fountain of Youth. Or just give up. Or just keep on intermittently as I am. I'll bet you didn't even know I had instituted Time-warp Tuesday, had you? Because that is how reliable I am.

Spin Doc tagged me last week. So here goes:

1. Who was your first Prom date? I never went to the prom. Not once. No one asked me. Seriously. It's true. It's not because they wouldn't let me and my girlfriend go and so I boycotted as a way of protesting the heterosexism of high school. No. I had no girlfriend. I didn't know I would like a girlfriend. Have you seen Napoleon Dynamite? In my high school life my very own Napoleon Dynamite in his very own lurpy way kept trying to ask me out but I didn't have a mom like Tricia's mom and so I never had to acknowlege his efforts. Unlike Tricia, though, I didn't have other beaus waiting in the wings. So. No prom. No Jr. Prom. No Sadie Hawkins (why put yourself out there and ask some guy who never bothered to ask you to a dance in turn?) no Homecoming. Aw hell. I was the girl that guys would ask advice on how to ask my friends out from... Shit, even though I'm a big old dyke now I'm all depressed about my undateable undancable ness. Great. Thanks Spin Doc!

2. Who was your first roommate(s)? My first roommate was a woman named Rain. I was 23 and running from the failure of my first romance. She had moved to Oregon the previous summer and she and her partner offered me a place to land. The spent several months courting me -- telling me how great Oregon was, how wonderful the job market was (what can I say, I was gullible), what a wonderful life we'd all have together. So I moved. With $500 to my name and no job experience other than as a preschool teacher. And within of week of my arrival Rain kicked her partner out of the house. Apparantly she had been waiting for me to come and rent-payingness to the household before breaking up with her partner. Nice. Still, I didn't want to admit defeat and move back in with my parents, so I stuck it out for 6 months before the Goddess told me to move back home, immediately. On the drive home (my brother flew out to accompany me) I fell very ill with Mono (thank Goddess he was there -- he had only come on a whim) and he ended up driving me back. I hope this doesn't sound too dramatic, but if I hadn't been home when the disease got bad, I may well have died. I had no health insurance and no money for doctors. We had no phone in the house. I doubt my roommate would have called my parents to tell them how sick I was, and I doubt she would have noticed when my tonsils swelled up and started closing my throat off. Still, I'm glad I went. I still LOVE Oregon (just not that particular city) and I learned a lot about myself and what I'm capable of accomplishing on my own. And I learned how much I love my family. Yay for painful growth!

3. What alcoholic beverage did you drink the first time you got drunk? I had been drinking for a long time before I got drunk. The first alcoholic drink I ever had was a sip of my dad's beer when I was 5. I hated it. When I was 8 my mom let me try her frozen Margarita. LOVED IT. Tequila is my hard liquor of choice. And when I decided that it was high time I got a drunk on, I made Margaritas and drank tequila straight from the bottle while I was running the blender. I got pretty happy drunk (which is impressive since I wasn't happy at the time, this is during the romantic relationship the end of which sent me running to Oregon see #2) but didn't get hungover. I don't think I've ever been hung over. At least not in the sick, vomity, headachy way. Sometimes I drag a little the next day after drinking too much, but that's about it.

4. What was your first job? I was a nanny-like creature. I was only 13-14 but every day after school I went to this woman's house, picked up her baby from the neighbor, unlocked the house and waited for her kids to come home from school. I watched them until all afternoon until the parents came home. I also watched them Saturday mornings. I liked the responsibility. I thought the little kids were cool. And I liked that they had MTV. I didn't like it that she kicked her husband out, got a divorce, and then skipped town one Sunday owing me a month's worth of wages. She sucked.

5. What was your first car? A 1978 shit-brown, solid steel, Chevy Monza. It was practically a two seater, and was SO FUCKING FAST! It was a practice car for my brother's high school mechanics class and so it always had problems, though. My dad HATED having to come home from work only to have to work on getting my car running again. Eventually I ran it out of oil (I didn't realize the indicator light had been disconnected) and blew the engine. Still, that car loved me. My parents lived in the middle of nowhere, and that car could have quit anywhere in the no-man's land that stretched for miles around my parent's place. But it quit right before that, in front of the house of a friend of the family, so I had a phone to call my folks from and a safe place to wait for them.

6. When did you go to your first funeral? Age 7, my grandfather. He had been murdered by his second wife. It was the first time I had ever seen my dad cry.

7. How old were you when you first moved away from your home town? 23. See #2. I was a late bloomer.

8. Who was your first grade teacher? Ms Turner, She was awesome! I think. I don't really remember it. I don't have any complaints, though.

9. Where did you go on your first ride on an airplane? Oregon, to visit Rain and check out the place she wanted me to relocate to. She was stable on that visit, so I went home and started making plans.

10. When did you sneak out of your house for the first time, who was it with? I was 10 or 11. My friend Lisa and I snuck out of our houses to toilet paper the neighbors. We were the Terrible Two. Unfortunately her mother saw her sneaking toilet paper out and told us that she would tell whoevers house had been tp'd that we had done it and that we would then be forbidden to play with each other (she thought I was a bad influence). So, instead of staying in and doing nothing, we stuck one square of toilet paper on one tree in every yard on the whole street. We thought we were being so clever, but not only did her mom not notice, but no one else did either...

11. Who was your first Best Friend and are you still friends with them? My first best friend was Lisa. Her mother was not happy with our friendship. She thought I was a Bad Influence. Especially because we were the only family on the street who were not Mormon. She was one of the mothers who reported my mom to DCFS as an unfit mother. She may have been right about me. Lisa was the first girl I fooled around with (at the age of 12). And she was my lieutenant in my underground porn ring. After we got caught her parents put their house up for sale and moved away. Their house was bought by someone who turned it into a rental and then rented it out to prostitutes and drug dealers. After that the neighborhood didn't think my family was so bad. I ran into Lisa when I was 16 at Mirror Lake, completely by accident. And we swore to write and maintain our friendship. But we didn't. I should look her up. Maybe she's a lesbian too!

12. Where did you live the first time you moved out of your parents house? In a small house on the banks of the Rogue River in Gold Hill, Oregon. See #2.

13. Whose wedding were you in the first time you were a bridesmaid/groomsmen? My friend Melissa. I hadn't heard from her in a few years when I got an invitation to a bridal shower. Then I got a wedding invitation. At the briday shower she said she wanted me to come to the wedding breakfast and that she wanted me to come to the ceremony a couple of hours early for pictures. I didn't want to watch pictures being taken, so I showed up an hour late to pictures but an hour early to the ceremony (thought I'd split the difference). Turns out everyone was upset because I was one of 2 bridesmaids. The other bridesmaid had turned up on time, but also hadn't known that she was a bridesmaid. Luckily our dresses didn't clash. Strangest situation I have ever been in. And kind of sad. I mean, we had been close in high school but I hadn't really seen her in a couple of years. Didn't she have any other friends to be bridesmaids? Had they all turned her down? I haven't seen her since.

14. What is the first thing you do in the morning? I head for the bathroom or I check on Julia or I let the dogs out. Whichever need is most pressing.

15. What is the first concert you ever went to? Dar Williams. She was promoting End of the Summer, her most depressing album ever. She was the last performance at this really neat concert hall called The Wooden Dog. Most of the furnishings and decorations had already been removed, so it was very bare bones. It was just her and her guitar, and when she walked to the stage, between the aisles, she walked so close to me the velvet of her dress brushed my arm. Dar brushed me with velvet! I think she did it on purpose! I was utterly in love with her. It was a magical night.

16. First tattoo or piercing? I got my ears pierced at the age of 8. Two women went to do it to me at the same time, but one was slower with the gun than the other and I flinched and so my piercings are crooked by quite a bit. When I was in college I finally went in and had a new hole pierced in the one ear so that my earrings would be symmetrical.

17. First Celebrity crush? Jem.

18. Age of first kiss? Age 10, I kissed Joshua N. in the planetarium during a star show. And then his sister and I (we were close friends) giggled about it in the bathroom. He was very perturbed.

19. First crush? Joshua N. I shoved him in the coat closed in the first grade and demanded to know if he loved me as much as I loved him. He was very perturbed (I perturbed him a lot. I'd like to use some different word to describe his consistent reaction to me, but there just is no better word for it) and told me that he didn't. I loved him anyway. My love is not conditional on such things as reciprocity. Reciprocity is for wussies.

20. First time you did drugs? I have never EVER done illegal drugs. Just say No! That's my motto.

Why am I surprised?


Winter, that cold bully, returns to kick Spring's ass
Originally uploaded by Temmerling.
This happens every year. But it usually only happens once. Not for several days... then, once the flowers recover and the next wave of flowers bloom, for several days again.

I just want to live somewhere snow does not.

4.17.2006

Our Easter Weekend


This is what happens when she eats sugar
Originally uploaded by Temmerling.
It was eye-poppin' fun!

Oooh, we had visitors. Yes indeedy we did! N of They who have Abandoned Us relented on her abandonment and was in town over the weekend. She spent Saturday afternoon with us eating candy and playing Starfarers of Catan with us. I lost. Again. I don't know how many times I can play this game with good humor. I hate games I never win. I am just that bad a sport.

But before N of They Who Have Abandoned Us showed up, Kristin's sister and our nieces and nephew came to town for a quick visit. The kids haven't been here since October. Julia LOVES her cousins. A Lot. Julia attacks her cousin in an overabundance of love We're hoping they come to visit again, soon.

So, ok, where was I? Sister, kids, love, N, oh yeah. Easter Sunday. We're not Christian, but we come from Christian extended families, so we celebrate Easter. It's good times all around.

This year our dinner wasn't super coordinated. Mom asked everyone what we wanted and then she made everyone's requests. All our favorite foods. There were no vegetables. No one requested them. For me she made creamed eggs and toast. This is her whisking the creamed eggs. Grandma in the Kitchen YUM! I'm eating them for lunch again today. For The Brother Just Younger Than I she made clam dip, for He Who Could Sell Snow to Polar Bears she made macaroni salad. For Sister in Law the First she made macaroni salad without onions, for Kristin she made mashed potatoes and gravy and ham. For Grandchild the First she made Strawberry Shortcake. For herself she made a turkey (at least I hope it was for herself... maybe I should ask). My dad wouldn't let mom make his favorite, Potato Salad, but he did let her buy some already made. Oh, and there were rolls.

What else... oh, there was an Easter Egg Hunt behind bars (in Grandma's Deer-proofed rose garden) for Grandchild the First. Easter Egg Hunt in JailAnd one on the grass for Julia. Of course, Julia was asleep so Kristin and I gathered up the eggs, and forced ourselves to eat all the candy so it wouldn't go bad.

There was much playing of games, particulary the old Simon game that The Brother Just Younger Than I found. Indoctrination Julia is a natural
There was much cuteness... Super-Cute Bunny

And, finally, there was much lying around and digesting. Grandpa and His Girls

All in all, a lovely weekend.

Oh, and NO work on the kitchen this week, either. We are bad, bad, bad. This thing will NEVER be done!

4.14.2006

Palm Sunday

Ok, I know it's a week late. And today is Good Friday instead of Palm Sunday. But I wanted to post this and today's the first chance I got.

Last Sunday the Minister at our Unitarial Universalist Church opened services with these words. Though Christianity doesn't really resonate with me, I was moved by these words and wanted to share.

Waving the Palms
by David O. Rankin

Palm Sunday is found:

whenever we are serving a noble and unpopular cause with selfless devotion, holding to the ideals of truth and justice;

whenever we are seeking to uplift the fallen, to comfort the brokenhearted, to strengthen and encourage the weak and hopeless;

whenever we are working bravely and persistently in the face of abuse and criticism to establish more equitable relations in the world;

whenever we are sacrificing our lives in behalf of what we believe to be the service of love for all humanity.

That is Palm Sunday!

Photo Friday: Just a Shadow of Itself


Jonquils in Shadow
Originally uploaded by Temmerling.
Because after last week's corporeality, it was time for something a bit more ephemeral.

Oliver, Smilingscrollwork

4.13.2006

And then a step to the right


first photo
Originally uploaded by Temmerling.

While we're on the subject of body image and just plain ole Trista craziness, I thought I'd share these picture. This here is one of the first pictures Kristin took of me. I'm standing off the side of the road out by my parents' house. It was January. We'd been dating a couple of weeks. I can't remember if this is the evening I introduced her to them, or if this is the evening that I kinda snuck her in and out real quick-like. (I was living with them at the time)

Anyway, she said she wanted to take a picture of me, so I, trying to hide my craziness and seem all, like, accepting of myself and shit, you know, and easy going and stuff, said "sure! that sounds okey dokey!" And I stood there in the cold and let her take pictures of me.

And then... and then a few days later I saw the pictures tucked in the mirror frame of her dresser. And I was so upset. SO upset. Because I had seen pictures of her most recent girlfriend. NAKED pictures of her most recent girlfriend. And that girl was everything that I was not. Short. Perky. Cute hair. Thin. She was sprite-like and lovely. And I was sure that if Kristin just randomly showed her friends my picture without them getting to meet me first they would express shock and incredulity that Kristin would be with someone like me when she HAD been with someone like her.

Of course I never told Kristin this. I never let her know how upset at the picture I was. Because the only thing I had going for me was that I was nice and easy-going and low maintenance and if I went all freaky on her ass over a picture and sweet gesture (because, really, it was a sweet gesture that she wanted to look at my picture every day while getting dressed and undressed) then she would realize that I was none of those things but, in fact, a big faker. And then she would dump me. And if she was going to dump me, then I would rather she dump me for being ugly and fat. That way my self-hatred would be fed and the world would right itself again on its axis.

She didn't dump me. In fact we went on a lovely trip to Taos together. And in Taos we took this picture of ourselves. And I hated it, too. Oh, I love her in it. But couldn't look at it because I couldn't stand to look at myself.
cute couple (click on it if you want to see it bigger). Now when I look at this picture I think I'm pretty cute. I think I look mischievous and fun. I think I look like someone you would want to know. Maybe even someone kissable. I feel compassion for this girl who can't love herself. And I feel compassion for the woman standing next to her who DOES love her, DOES think she's kissable, DOES want to know her and who will have her love tested, over and over, because of her girlfriend's poor self-esteem. Who will be kept at arms length for years because her girlfriend is afraid to have anyone really look at her.

I wish I could look at current pictures with the same compassion. I think I'm getting closer.

Finally, one of only two pictures of myself from that time that I liked. girl with camera The other picture is a picture of my shadow, which is fitting, because that's all I would let myself be.

This Timewarp Tuesday brought to you by, um, Thursday.

4.12.2006

Shocking!

And now it's time for another of Trista's crazy phobias:

I am deathly afraid that I will pull my teeth out by flossing.

It's true. When I go to pull the floss out from between my teeth, and the floss catches a bit, and I have to give it a tug, and then it makes a little clicking noise, I am certain that one of these days the tooth is going to come right out with it. Either the whole tooth or parts of the tooth. I have had many, many dreams where I'm flossing all my teeth away. And so I don't floss my teeth as often as I should. And when I do floss I am very, very gentle.

And it's stupid. Because NOT flossing my teeth is far more likely to make my teeth fall out. Especially since I have very little enamel left between my teeth because of a misguided orthodontic procedure performed on me when I was younger.

Anyway, what with that procedure, and the phobia of flossing, I usually tend to have many cavities. All the time with the cavities. And because I have so many cavities I hate going to the dentist. Because it's always bad news and impending shots and pain and exorbitant expense. Because I rarely have dental insurance.

It's a self-feeding, self-defeating cycle.

But now, with my fancy, dancy job. I have dental insurance. And one of those medical savings accounts. So there was no reason to put off going to the dentist any more (it's been three years since my last visit). I girded up my loins and marched into the dentist's office in my building.

And guess what?

NO CAVITIES.

I am shocked.

And shaken.

I mean, it feels a bit surreal. No cavities. What has the world come to? The next thing you know I'll be winning the lottery or something...

Hmmm. Maybe I should drive to Idaho tonight.

I didn't get off entirely unscathed. One of my crowns has cracked and should be replaced. So I'm going in in 2 weeks and getting that taken care of. And the dentist suggests I have 2 crowns placed on two teeth that are mostly fillings as a way to prevent future problems. And I just might do that. But we'll see. We'll see what my situation is...

4.11.2006

Fragments of Things Best Left Unsaid F5

this is an audio post - click to play

Fragments of Things Best Left Unsaid F4

this is an audio post - click to play

Fragments of Things Best Left Unsaid F3

this is an audio post - click to play

Fragments of Things Best Left Unsaid F2

this is an audio post - click to play

Fragments of Things Best Left Unsaid F1

this is an audio post - click to play

I am full of something

shit or secrets? or something else?

I don't want to share with the entire internet, but if you want to know what I'm full of, drop me a line or leave a comment here and I will clue you in.

If you know...


shhhh...

For National Poetry Month

And because Plimco asked so nicely.

I figured it out. It was far simpler than I thought. I had borrowed a digital voice recorder and downloaded some wave editor and was trying trying trying to get an audio post on my blog that way... and it turns out that all I had to do was set up audio blogging and call in my post from my phone. And I know that only because there was an audio post on Butch Baby Makin' yesterday. So thanks, Kwynne and Plumpbetty, for bringing that option to my attention!

Ok, I don't know if I'll do it all today, or drag it out over the next several days. But the five sections of my poem: Fragments of Things Best Left Unsaid will be appearing on this blog in 5 different audio posts. Though the fragments read nicely sequentially, there isn't really a narrative to them thus they can be read in any order at all. So don't worry about finding the "first one" to listen to first, though I will be posting them in the order they appear in my manuscript. In case you're interested, my master's thesis is organized around these five fragments and the (also fragmentary) pieces of my "No Normal Love: A Scifi Lesbian Pirate Bodiceripper".

NOT allergies


Allergy Eyes
Originally uploaded by Temmerling.
Our poor baby is sick, sick, sick! She ran a fever of 103 yesterday so Kristin took her to the doctor. He thought it was just a severe cold, but we're supposed to bring her back today if she's not showing signs of getting better. As of this morning she was not even the slightest bit better, so I'm thinking that a little later today Kristin will be taking her back to the doctor. I wish I had sick leave so I could be home with her, but she's in good hands with her Mommy.

At least it's not allergies. A cold goes away, allergies are forever...

4.10.2006

Women Named Jennifer are Generous

Back in February this Jennifer sent me luscious, lovely cookies. Kristin and I gobbled them all up within 24 hours.

Then in March, this Jennifer gifted me with a Flickr Pro account. I am still unbelievably moved by her gift.

And now, just last week, a package from Am*zon.com arrived on our doorstep. This Jennifer* bought The Three Incestuous Sisters for me. Just to make me smile.

I feel very supported and cared for and blessed.

And that's on top of all the wonderful and supportive and caring comments left on this blog every day.

Thank you. All of you.



Especially if your name is Jennifer.




*she thought the gift would be anonymous. But I (clever, clever I) cunningly read the invoice that was included and deduced who had sent it by the fact that her name was on it.

Weekend Roundup


New Do
Originally uploaded by Temmerling.
1) I got a new haircolor. It's a bit lighter than I expected but (I think) lovely nonetheless.

2) We did not. I repeat: Did NOT work on our kitchen this weekend.

3) Saturday late afternoon we (Mamas, baby, dog pack -- the cat refused to come) took a long walk to Old Sugarhouse (SLC's own little bit of transposed San Francisco beautiful freakiness) got some serendipitous free Italian Ices and walked back home through the park. I forgot to grab the camera.

4) From this walk we suspected that Julia may suffer from what used to be called Hay Fever. Our suspicions are heightened when we spend most of Sunday afternoon at a park and she is watery-eyed, runny-nosed, and miserable by the end.
Allergy Eyes
5) Kristin and I hosted the Gay and Lesbian Parents of Utah's April activity. We did an Easter Egg Hunt and Picnic at the park and were told by several people that it was the Best. One. Ever. We are Super Cool. And Flush with the Power of our Triumph. Super Mom
6) While moving some pavers that were stacked by the side of our house I found my diploma. The original one that had been mailed on 12/27/2005. It was wedged in between the pavers and the wall of our house underneath the old mail slot. We don't use the mail slot because our Mailperson (normally) refuses to enter our yard because of the dogs. Though it's been outside during half of the winter, it's in better condition than the one I received a few weeks ago that was bent in half.
7) And, finally, we worked a bit on Julia's potty training. Diaperless by a year, here we come! No. But I have noticed that when I notice her trying to poop, she has an easier time with it if I take her diaper off and place her on the toilet. Easier for her to get them out, less mess for us to clean up. I forget how tiny she is, though, until I see her in a picture like this...
Potty Training

4.08.2006

Skin Sells

Who'da Thunk?

In the 24 hours since I posted it, my picture Skin-shot has gotten more views than any other of my pictures that have been up for MONTHS. It is my Most Viewed picture. And yet, no one counts it as a favorite. I'm not complaining about that, by the way, I just think it's interesting.

Who are all these people looking at my nude body? Is it many people looking just once and then quickly away? Perhaps they're disappointed there's no glimpse of nipple or shading at the junction of my thighs. Perhaps they're shaken, disturbed, determined Never to Return and let that scene Sully Their Sight Again. Maybe it's just a few people looking over and over and over. Maybe it's just one or two frantic flesh fans with the rest of the views made up of polite peeps who quickly look and look away.

I'll never know. It feels strange. I hate my body. I think it's not worth looking at. AND I hate pictures of myself. And so generally pictures of my body are at the All-Time Top of Trista's Most Hated list. But in the last few months I've been making an effort to come to peace with my looks, peace with my body. In working on the massive Print All Our Pictures Up and Put Them in Photo-Albums Project I realised that pictures that five years ago made me cry for my ugliness now don't seem so bad. In fact now I can almost admit that in certain lights and certain poses I looked almost slightly kinda cute. And yet I feel like I look the same. I feel the same level of cuteness that I did then, except now I think I was cuter then than I am now. Pictures of me now make me cry just like pictures of me then made me cry then; but now I think pictures of me then are fine. Even the really bad ones. Obviously something has changed through time. Now I'm hoping to affect that change through will and exposure. So, more pictures of myself shared with other people. That's why the skin shot.

But it still seems so strange that people would want to look at any part of my body. Any part at all. I have mind-movies where I say to someone: hey, wanna see my breast? And they reply: Oh my GOD! Put it away! THE HORROR THE HORROR, MY EYES!. And then they run away, gibbering and aesthetically scarred for life. So you can see why I'm a bit taken aback by the views this picture has gotten. And I'm talking SHOCKED that more than 50 people have looked at it. And I want to just dismiss it as being the inevitable result of partial nudity. The fact that ANY nude body will get attention, even mine. Or it could be the result of the interest many people display in the grotesque. But you know? I'm going to consciously work against that. It may be prurience that motivates most of those clicks, but there doesn't seem to be mockery behind it. I haven't yet gotten a "hey fatty, you think you're hot stuff, huh? Well, you're not. Hey, Moby Dick called: he wants his blubber back!" comment yet so there's gotta be something of beauty there. And you know what else? I don't think I will get a comment like that. Because only I would be motivated with enough hatred for myself to leave a comment that mean. No one could possibly be meaner to or more critical of myself than I am.

4.07.2006

Photo Friday: Pieces and Parts


skin-shot
Originally uploaded by Temmerling.
The assignment: photograph your favorite body part and post it, along with a love letter to it. Love your body.

This was the most difficult assignment so far. I spent the week pesting Kristin to tell me what her favorite body part of mine is. Because I don't really like ANY part of me. I was looking for ideas. She refused to help me with this assignment, said I needed to do it for myself.

So, I thought hard about the parts of my body that aren't disappointment and pain. I thought about what I enjoy doing with my body. I thought about what my body gives me. My flat-out favorite body part is my hand. But we've already done pictures of hands. So I kept thinking. And after many days of thinking and pushing down the body-hatred that kept rising, I ran a bath, dropped some bath salts in it, and bathed with my camera for company. I wanted a picture of my skin.

It took me a while and a lot of laughs before I got a shot that I loved. But I do, strangely, love this shot. Am I skinny in it? No. But I'm not nearly as fat as I think I am, so that's gotta be a good thing, I hope.

You can read my love letter to my skin if you click on the picture.

After the bath I decided to take pictures of the other two parts of my body that I don't completely hate and include them, too...

A sea of eyes

many lips

(click on the images if you want to see their accompanying letters...)

4.06.2006

Wow. This is interesting. I am hoping that I don’t offend any of my Christian readers here, but I just had to share this. I also want to point out here that I am not Christian, I am Wiccan. So, really, my knowledge of this is all very half-fast and outsiderish and not meant to be a challenge to anyone’s beliefs or faith.

When I first entered the MFA program, my very first poem written was an exploration of the motives of Judas Iscariot. He fascinates me. Betrayal itself fascinates me. Probably because of the times that I have betrayed people I love. Sometimes I do it to help them in the long run.

Anyway, when I was thinking hard about Judas and reading the passages in the Bible which related to him and his actions, it started occurring to me that Jesus’ sacrifice could not have occurred without the betrayal. I started wondering if it was all part of a plan. A divine plan. If Judas had to betray Jesus, for the greater good. Jesus knew who would betray him, and yet did nothing. Judas knew that he would be the one to betray. And yet, they loved each other. And after Jesus was crucified Judas killed himself. The Gnostics and some early Church Heretics thought that perhaps Judas had betrayed Christ thinking that Christ’s arrest would force his followers into acting and starting a revolution, that he never thought Christ would be allowed to be crucified. But what if he did? What if he did know the crucifixion would happen, and that, furthermore, that was exactly what was supposed to happen, and that he was to be instrument for its beginning?

Anyway, so I wrote this poem. And it didn’t go over well. So I rewrote it. And it still didn’t go over well. And, truthfully, I’m not certain that I like this poem. I’m not certain it says what I want. I’m not certain I want to say what it says. It’s much different than others I’ve written since I approached it in a “top-down” sort of way rather than the “bottom-up” way that I normally write.

Then, now, today, this story comes out in CNN that says that the possible Gospel of Judas has been found, carbon-dated, and translated. And in that partial new Gospel it seems that Judas betrayed Christ as per Jesus’ request. As a way to liberate his spirit from his flesh:

“The key passage comes when Jesus tells Judas "you will exceed all of them. For you will sacrifice the man that clothed me."…This indicates that Judas would help liberate the spiritual self by helping Jesus get rid of his physical flesh, the scholars said.”


Hmmm. Maybe I was onto something. Maybe I’m prophetic. Or maybe I’m just not as original as I thought, and some first-century writer already spun their fantastic tale of agreed-upon betrayal for greater good…

Since it’s National Poetry Month, here’s the poem. Enjoy!

PS – more poetic enterprises to come as soon as I figure some technology out…


ISCARIOT
Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly.
Now is the Son of man glorified, and God is glorified in him.
(John xiii, 27, 31)

I

Thousands of particles pierce him
and pass through. He is full of feathers,

light, stones and carbon. The ground pulses
and he is down. He has done as he was meant.

The bees are compelled to wake
in darkness and seek the flowering.

They swarm toward him.
They drink from his eyes.


He is so swollen and burnt and dazzled they can’t help
but make honey in his hands.

He took the silver but never counted it.

II

It was out among the rabbit brush,
yellow brooms glowing, that the sky

moved left and I was thrown to ground.
I finish my part by hurting

you purposefully and walking away.
I cry and do not relent.

And if later I try to open my throat
and take those wounds back

It will not undo the brush
of gold, the left of sky,

the sipping of a hundred score bees.

Gratuitous Cute Baby Pic of the Day


Julia in the Sunshine
Originally uploaded by Temmerling.
Because today it's blizzardy and I want to remind myself that Spring really IS out there somewhere...

4.05.2006

So, go find your local school librarian and give that librarian a big hug

Today is Thank your School Librarian Day. As well as Culpe Libris day. Sieze the book! Thank your librarian!

So, to all of my readers who I know are librarians, and especially those who are school librarians, and to those of my readers who are working toward becoming librarians...

Thank you. You're awesome.

No, really, you are.

Even if I forgot to link you here or you don't have a blog to link to.

On ignorance

Which sounds like it has something to do with ignore and something to do with ants. As if one is ignoring ants who, though insignificant, have big things to say about major stuff. Or something. Maybe it's just that I feel like an ant sometimes.

Or maybe it has something to do with dancing. Ignoring through dancing. Dancing around things that you never want to step on, never want to talk about, never want to know.

The process of ignoring. Ignor-ance. Whatever.

As if knowing how or why it happens could stop it. And maybe it can. Or maybe it would just make it that much more frustrating.

A recent post of Betsy's struck a chord with me because it's similar to something I've been wanting to blog about. She talks about how a colleague of hers who is going through a divorce has decided never to marry again. She'll just live with her next boyfriend. Betsy points out that there are legal rights that this woman might want to try and recreate should a live-in turn into a life-partner. Important things. Yes, important even to heterosexual folk. Like my Aunt who lived with a man for 8 years, until he was killed in a airplane accident, and after his death his children took everything from her in a bitter court battle. They took everything including the house she got from her first divorce. These are things that heterosexual people don't think about until they're caught by it and queers can't stop thinking about because it's always looming.

"these were intelligent people. one a lawyer. and they had NO idea. it’s not the first time i’ve had conversations like this with straight friends. they simply never put enough thought into same-sex relationships (why would they?) to grasp the fact that our rights are not the same as theirs."

The depth of ignorance blows me away. Always. Even though I know better. I am just that self-absorbed. I think that everyone knows the legal constraints I live with. I mean, how can they not?

They can. If one doesn't have to live it, it is so easily danced away from. So easily ignored. Not (normally) in a "I'm going to ignore this until it goes away" way. But in a "that's sad, but it doesn't really have an impact on the immediacy of my life so what can I do other than feel sad and keep on keeping on and then it just disappears" kind of way. And I know all about that. I do that all the time with issues like the environment or immigration or any number of isms that I don't percieve as directly affecting me. Yes. I do. I know that I do it and I know that even if I don't percieve them directly affecting me they do because we're all connected. And yet still I keep doing it.

This is not a bitch post. It is a hmmm post. A "how can I complain so much about this when I do it myself" post. A "practice talking about this so I can be a better educator" post. A "lay pieces of the problem out so I can look at them better" post.

One of the most surprising things to me is the question that most often gets posed to Kristin and I when people who are not super close to us try to figure out our family. They ask us: "Did you adopt her?" They ask this because her skin is a different color than ours. They ask us this because they really can't see how else two women could get a child. Sometimes, after we tell them that Kristin birthed Julia they repeat the question to me, sometimes putting it in the future tense: "so, are you going to adopt her?"

And each time, each time the question surprises me. Because it normally comes from a liberal, educated adult. And they have no idea, or don't remember, that it was only 6 years ago that gay adoption was made illegal in Utah. Only 6 Years Ago. And yet, so many liberal, educated adults who have lived here longer than 6 years have forgotten it entirely. And I have to re-educate them, every time. No adoption. Not here. Not now. This is why we have to move. And yes, the people who voted for that law are still in office. Because educated, liberal adults keep voting for them. Or not voting against them. Or vote against them but never talk about why, never let others know why. So that others, maybe not so liberal but not so bad, don't know that there are reasons not to vote against them, too.

But the forgetfulness. The ignor-ance of this particular, recent law. There were protests. There were flurries of Op-ed pieces. There were speeches and stumps and rhetoric. And our legislators voted against alternative families. They voted against the best interests of children in favor of the best interest of popular opinion, popular psychology. The law in Utah reads that no unmarried, cohabitating adults may adopt. That means even straight people who are partnered, but not legally married, can't adopt. That means that if you are roomates with another adult, but not romantically involved -- maybe just wanting the company or needing the rent money -- you can't adopt a child. And so many people don't remember this. Or don't realize the ramifications. And it's funny, because this law actually makes the marriage-rights fight in Utah that much more pointed and poisonous. Because the ban on adoption, the protection of children, isn't based on sexuality but on marital status. If we could get married in Utah, or get married outside of Utah but have it recognized in Utah, the adoption law wouldn't need to be changed. We could adopt, simple as simple. The web of laws that governs us is devious, circular, self-supporting. We can't be allowed adopt because we aren't married; we can't be allowed to marry because then we could adopt.

And the circle goes round and round and round. And people get lost in what is real law and what are real threats and what is only rhetoric and bluster. And when you're dancing like that it's just easy to get lost in the music or the metaphor and mistake bared teeth for smiles and smiles for bared teeth...

This is a "post that rambles and doesn't have a real ending or pithy point" post.

4.04.2006

11 months later...


trista grad
Originally uploaded by Temmerling.
Ok, I know that I've been going on and on and on about this to the point where my readers are all wondering why they bother to click over here if all I'm going to talk about is how pissy my higher education turned out and shit, but jeez, man!

Ok, so last Spring I decided that I was going to walk for Graduation. Or walk to graduation. Or Walk in Graduation. Whatever you call it. I was going to put on a funny robe and hat and sit somewhere and listen to people talk about the future and shit. I was mostly doing this for my parents who have always felt cheated that I didn't walk when I got my B.S. But I was so disillusioned about my degree when I finally (after 6 years) got it (hmm, maybe it's not them, maybe it's me?) that I didn't want to have anything to do with any pretending that I was happy to have it or that it represented some sort of accomplishment on my part (by that point I felt that they owed me a degree because I'd finally paid enough money and blood to them). So I didn't walk. And for years (years!) was treated to the whole our-oldest-daughter-graduated-college-and-didn't-care-enough-about-us-to-let-us-see-her-parade-around-in-a-stupid-gown-and-hat-she-must-not-really-love-us-after-all speil so that I promised them that if I ever got another degree I'd let them watch.

So. Last April. I'm on track to graduate. Successfully defended, passed all my courses, blah, blah, blah (this is before the Epic Struggle to Ensure That the Titles of the Poems in My Thesis Were All Exactly The Same Space Down From the Top of the Page and Not (As Some of Them Insisted Upon Being) Off by ONE MILLIMETER -- I kid you not. One Millimeter. The Thesis Editor had to hold the pages up to the light to point it out to me. This first epic struggle was the first thing to delay my graduation, but, as I said before, this story takes place before that...) I had made certain that my name was listed on the graduation program and that it was spelled correctly. I was ALL SET to graduate. Even though I never received any information about graduation or what would happen that day. Even though the only way I knew that I had to order my cap and gown was the big sign in front of the bookstore that read "LAST DAY TO ORDER CAPS AND GOWNS" I never did order any personalized annoucements. The (non-personalized) ones I did buy I didn't bother to mail to anyone. I handed a few to my parents as souvenirs.

I invited my parents to commencement. I didn't know when or where it was, but I told them they could come. They wanted to know if they should let my Grandparents and Aunts and Uncles know. No, I replied to them, this is not a big deal. It's not like I'm getting a Ph.D. or anything... ha. hahaha. ha.

Like I said, I never received anything in the mail about the specifics of graduation. I did get an email from the Graduate Assistant from Slothville asking me if I wanted her to invite any of the faculty to be at graduation for me. I wrote back to her to ask: "why would I need to invite faculty to be there? Wouldn't they be there already? Was there some special reason I needed faculty there?" "No," she replied, "just if you want to make sure that faculty you care about are there to see you graduate..." Huh, well, if there wasn't any specific reason I needed specific faculty there, I wasn't going to bug them into attending if they weren't already planning on it. I hate to inconvenience people...

Luckily Lauri (who was NOT set to graduate) received the information about when and where commencement would commence. And so she passed that info on to me who passed it on to my parents. Who asked me (again) if I wanted them to pass it on to any of the other family members. Again, I told them it was No Big Deal.

The day of Commencement I put on my funny robe and Kristin and I and my parents (and my 2 year old niece) go to the University. I leave them behind and make my way down to the floor where the other Masters candidates are. And there I learn of my folly. I had thought that there was nothing substantively different from an MA and an MFA in terms of graduation. Not so. Not so at all. In fact, it is quite different. And it is only because one of the busy people fluttering around trying to get eveyone into their correct spaces overheard my talking with Jennifer about my MFA that I ended up in the correct place. See, I don't know if it's this way anywhere else, but at the U, MFAs sit with the PhD students. In fact, MFAs get treated EXACTLY THE SAME AS PhDs. In other words, as we walk, some high-uppity-up reads a lovely little paragraph about our accomplishments, our Thesis, our committee, and then we are hooded just as if we are receiving a PhD by our committee chair. Yeah. The Committee Chair whose presence I didn't know I needed to request.

I sat there, furiously scribbling on a piece of scratch paper my paragraph for the upppity-up to read, while the assistant person tapped his toe over my unpreparedness, and quietly panicked.

A searing, searching glance through the assembled professors was enough to tell me that no, no member of my committe had decided to show up to graduation on a whim. Jackie Osherow, the woman who had encouraged my application to grad school, who had been the closest thing to a mentor I had (though she was on leave when I had to put my committee together) WAS there, but was too far away for me to get her attention or shout my need for a hooder.

My anxiety grew as I realized that this was a bigger deal than I had prepared for. And I was going to be the only person-to-be-hooded without someone special to do their hooding. I imagined the confusion in front of the podium as I stepped forward to be hooded and no one was there to do it. I imagined how I would look around at the assembled masses and triumphantly TRIUMPHANTLY! hood myself.

In fact, I was so worried about this, that I missed the cue for me to get out of my seat, and I actually had to run to get into position for my triumphant march toward hoodiehood. In fact, I stumbed on my triumpant march. I didn't fall, but I was considerably less graceful than I had planned.

And as I was recovering from my stumble, and had a sinking feeling about how my whole hooding myself thing wasn't going to look so cool after all, Kate Coles stepped forward to hood me.

Bless her.

I had had one class with her and adored her. I hadn't met her when I had to put my committee together, but after I did meet her I regretted not having her on it. She is the sweetest person. And there she was, stepping forward automatically, a big smile on her face, to hood me and give me a big hug. And just after that this picture was taken.

And then...

I got lots of crap from my grandparents about not inviting them to what turned out to be such a Big Deal. And I got lots of crap from my parents for downplaying the whole thing so they didn't bring their camera.

And I swore that I would make certain that all my other MFA friends would know that graduation was a Big Deal and they need to have their Committee Chair there. And I swore that if I am ever a professor and I ever sit on some person's committee, that I will find out the specifics of that University's graduation procedure, and let them know what is going on. And I will always make certain to attend the ceremonies of my students.

You all know that I didn't graduate in May, and so even though I had paid for these pictures, they never arrived. And they didn't arrive when I didn't graduate in August either. But I didn't care about pictures by then, so I wrote them off.

And then, just last week, they arrived. Out of the blue.

I guess they weren't allowed to send them to me until I had really graduated.

Because, Lord knows, a picture is proof of a diploma.

4.03.2006

"What were we thinking?" Weekly update #3 -- Stasis

Nothing to report this week. No wacky pictures to share. We've smoothed some dry mud, splashed on some more wet. We have one more sanding spree and then one more coat of mud to apply. And some texture to do. And then some primeing and painting. We'll see how much of that we get done this week. I hate painting. Oh, and I hate drywalling and tiling, too. In fact, I just plain hate remodeling. But it'll be great when it gets done.

And the winner is... (good lord, I hope the links work)


Mr. Peanut is a rat bastard
Originally uploaded by splashandwally.
Mr. Peanut is a Rat Bastard. It's true. I heard it direct from the source. Mr. Peanut's mama is a nut and his no-good, lying, sneaking, dead-beat daddy is a rat. A real, honest-to-god rat.

So there. I was moved by the plight of this picture and so since I spent days crying over the missing Cheez Balls, have no choice but to pick it as the winner.

However, I have some honorable mentions to give out...

For sheer whimsey, this photoby Puppysmama takes the cake.

For best use of a pan, Sublime's entry The Making Of...

And for The Most Compelling Use of Color in a Snack Photo, Calliope's Snack2 wins hands down.

But they were ALL wonderful. And, I must say, HD, if the popsicle had been lime you totally would have won. What can I say? I hate banana and I'm a corrupt judge.

You may all commence complaining about my choices...

4.02.2006

soulful

You Are a Visionary Soul

You are a curious person, always in a state of awareness.
Connected to all things spiritual, you are very connected to your soul.
You are wise and bright: able to reason and be reasonable.
Occasionally, you get quite depressed and have dark feelings.

You have great vision and can be very insightful.
In fact, you are often profound in a way that surprises yourself.
Visionary souls like you can be the best type of friend.
You are intuitive, understanding, sympathetic, and a good healer.

Souls you are most compatible with: Old Soul and Peacemaker Soul
What Kind of Soul Are You?


Earlier today I would only have agreed with the negativity part of this evaluation. Connected? Spiritual? Insightful? A good friend? Fuckwash. I am a beast. I hate Sundays lately because all I can think about are the hours spinning away till I have to be back to work. How's that for in the moment? Poor Kristin jumping through hoops to make my Sundays better. But now... now maybe I can see the rest, and if I can see it, maybe I can get back there...It's daylight savings, and I love daylight savings. Loooooooooooooove it. I love it so much I want to marry it. That's how much I love it. And today, today the sun is shining for the first time in weeks. So that, as I sit here, by our big picture window there is blue sky and golden light. We went to a birthday party at a park, sat Julia on a blanket on the grass -- this was her first time on grass and she loved it -- and soaked up sun. And even though the warmth of the sun increased my overwhelming exhaustion, it seemed that I soaked up some happiness and connectivity, too. I feel more at peace now, even with the work week looming large, than I have in a long time. Even though Julia is a supreme joy, it has been a long, dark winter, my friends. I'm ready for some sun. I need some clear yellow light in my dark corners, I need to expand.

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