Tag Archives: Family

Looks like He’d Vote Republican. (For Margie)

Driving Charlie to the bus this morning, we were talking about the election, and I asked who he’d vote for.

“Whichever one is going to speed up global warming.”  He said.

“So, your main issue is?”

“I’m cold.”


Just yer 19th Nervous Breakdown

Most of the day was pretty good. I’m feeling a little sore throaty, and I’m not sure if that’s the clean sinuses plus the smoking, or the purge, or some combination of the two.

In my body I’m having weird things – neti pot related, I can actually FEEL the sinuses in my forehead and under my pituitary when I’m done cleaning them – purge related, I am losing an old sensation I get from time to time of having like, thick sludge in my bloodstream, and kind of feel tingly blood flow under my skin in some places. (My arms and face. Get your minds out of the gutter.)

So I typed up the days one through five entry, and then in the middle of it Scott got home and I was all of a sudden very very GROUCHY! Man, if he had set out to go to the store and buy every single thing I am not eating right now he could not have done one millionth of a percent better than he did not even trying.

THEN, oh, THEN, he decided that THAT? That moment right there? That was the moment that he decided it would be PERFECT to go over all the things you could recycle and how much you can get for recycled BRASS! COPPER! And Amy Amy Amy – Did you KNOW? Did you EVEN KNOW? That it is less expensive to recycle aluminum than it is to mine bauxite to produce it? And somehow he had misinterpreted Scott, I DON’T CARE, to mean Scott, if you keep telling me this then I WILL CARE, and the more I tried to explain him that no, I really didn’t? Well, the more recycling facts he pulled right out of thin air. And then my head exploded.

GAH. I was in this whole long rant of like – you didn’t even READ the labels and why are you feeding the kids all of the things I am reflecting on the utility of and OMG ICE CREAM IS NOT A FRICKIN NECESSITY. I swear on all that is holy he shops like he’s stoned.

Then I went off on a rant about how he NEVER supports me with the kids and, as if to prove my hypothesis, he got in the middle of something I was asking the kids not to do and explained why he thought it was an okay thing to do, (which, was, by the way, going into our room when we’re not home to make sure we’re turning all the electricity in the house off and OH MY GOD I JUST WANT SOME PRIVATE SPACE IS THAT TOO MUCH TO ASK?????)

Then I realized that I was very much reacting to the whole evening much like Charlie does when he gets angry or upset. Charlie’s a pretty laid back guy, but when he gets upset? He goes ballistic. Last year when we were driving to Montana he spilled a little peanut butter oil on the rental car seat and “Dammit, I spilled something” accelerated into “and what idiot INVENTED putting oil in PEANUT BUTTER ANYWAY” and “WHY WOULD ANYONE EVEN SELL THIS PEANUT BUTTER????” in a matter of seconds.

I think I might be experiencing withdrawal from something or other. Either that or it’s PMS. From hell. Riding on a tornado.

Boy, am I tired

So. This was a long week. A long week of speaking in support of something I care about. A long week of tugging on Superman’s Cape, spitting into the wind, pulling the mask on the ol’ Lone Ranger, and a week of messing around with Jim.

This week, an article about The New School appeared in our local paper. It was mostly accurate, mostly neutral, kind of cool. It appeared on the FRONT PAGE, for heaven’s sake. That was enough to send some people into a frenzy of twitchiness… MEL.

Then it started to get kind of ugly. Did you all know that there were some REALLY angry people on the internet? Seriously. Who knew.

When I was really little? My favorite music was from Man of La Mancha. Specifically, my favorite lyric? Was “to bear with unbearable sorrow, to run where the brave dare not go.” What this means is that, as a very small child, I had the combination of depth and idiocy that will likely carry me to my death. Seriously. I was probably three. It set me on the trajectory to weirdness.


So here’s what I tried with the angry internet people. Reason. Here’s how it worked. Not well. Angry people on the internet are very, very, angry. And they like it. So I would assume they were asking questions because they were interested. And so I would answer them. And they would say “WE WANT FACTS,” “YOU’RE IN A CULT,” “YOU HAVE DRUNK THE KOOL-AID.” And I would say, here are some facts, Kool-aid has refined sugar and artificial colors and it’s not good for you, stop calling me names, I’m not calling you names.

Then they would say “DISGRACEFUL” “YOUR CHILD’S LIFE IS WASTED” “YOU DRANK MORE KOOL-AID.” And I would say here are some answers to questions you’ve asked, here is why I decided on this for my child, I DON’T EVEN LIKE REGULAR SODA, LET ALONE KOOL-AID.

Finally they said, “Cult cult cult,” “disgraceful disgraceful disgraceful,” “How would a creepy internet person break into your child’s school?” I said – “Guess what? I’m Done. Nice talking to you. ” And another person said, okay, I’m going to try to answer your question, and they said “HA. GOTCHA AGAIN.”

Now there’s something new. And they’re being pretty openly threatening. HEY – they are saying – MAYBE WE SHOULD CALL THE AUTHORITIES ON YOUR SCHOOL. And I completely freaked and had to be talked down. And then I remembered I’m not doing anything wrong. But still, part of me? Is still in the corner in the Evil Miss MacNamara’s class, with Miss MacNamara in the doorway saying to the principal – This Is the First Girl I Have Ever Had to Put in the Corner. (And as an aside, even though Miss MacNamara is dead? Her zombie corpse is now invited to bite me.) The adult in me tries to talk the six year old off the ledge.

And then the adult in me fantasizes heavily about making a new user name, with no association to the school, and pointing out to these people how absolutely teensy weensy their penises must be. And the six year old in me kinda goes, HELL YEAH.

Mi Familia

We made it home from The West a few weeks ago.  Things got busy at my Mom & Dad’s pretty quickly, and I had to stop posting.  (again)

The trip was really wonderful.

My Dad is that Dad that never really took much time off, never relaxed.  I think, in retrospect, that his idea was that he would work really hard and then, when he retired, he would have all the fun he’d put off.  In retrospect, I kind of thought "Fat Chance."

But damned if he isn’t doing it.  The family togethernessfest in Yellowstone was his idea, and his gift to us.  I had a great (albeit long) walk, that started out as a walk with Charlie & Scott & Mom & Bridget & Dane and Dad, that turned out to be a walk with Dad, 2.5 mile to a geyser that Mom wanted to see, and that we all missed actually blowing.  He told me stuff about his work, and about his retirement, and was as open and talkative and cool and wonderful as I’ve ever seen him.  Relaxation actually suits him, which, I guess, makes sense, given that he’s procrastinated it his whole life.

It was fun to see my mom, and to have Scott beat her more than once at Scrabble, which served her right for all the times she creamed me at Sorry when I was four.  She’s busy from dawn til dusk, attending to most everyone else’s needs.

My younger sister Kate is just plain kind, and a wonderful, doting Mom.  Sam and Ella have really distinct personalities, and she delights in them both.  I don’t envy her that little kid stage, but she just seems to thrive on it.  She’s married to the magnificent Dan the man, and through any ups and downs, they are a great match.  She is also very girly, and bound and determined to girl me up, as a care package full of dresses proved.  And, actually, I love them.  I do fear that the next care package might be makeup!  She invited me to go a-waxing before we hit Yellowstone, which, thankfully, having seen the results, I’m glad I declined.  Because ouch.

One of the high points was getting to know Will, Peter’s oldest, who, by now is five.  It was hard to get a good photo of him because HE DOES NOT STOP, but he let us take him out to dinner without his Mom and Dad, and he did come knocking on our door a couple of mornings, quite early.  Peter is raising him to be a phenomenal fisherman, and, of course, the one time my camera caught him still, he was fishing.   Speaking of Peter, I am blessed with a really terrific sister-in-law in Bridget.  She is as down to earth and straightforward a person as you could ever meet, and she is really great with her kids, and, totally due to her patience, Willy will eventually be able to be still long enough to have his photo taken.

Kenny, the little one, has the dryest and pointiest wit.  He’s fun to be around, and I won’t flash the picture of him in his long johns in reaction to his telling Kate that he thought they were the only two with fashion sense in our family.  Unless, of course, you want to look at my flickr page.  I’m worried, because he wants to go into the military, and I hate the military, and the war, and war in general.  And the military.  I wish he’d go to law school instead, but I guess a lot of people hate lawyers too. 

We stayed, in Yellowstone, near Old Faithful, and millions of geysers.  There was one that only blew in the middle of the night, and Charlie really wanted me to get up at 1 to see it go.  But I didn’t.  There was fishing.  Scott and Charlie went in a couple of rivers, and then we went up and met Peter and Dan and Bridget and the boys at a lake.

There were buffalo (a word Ella picked up on day one) all over, including in our camping area, and Charlie was fascinated with the marmot around.  Okay.  So was I.

Yellowstone did not explode while we were there, and for this, I was thankful.

Pete brought a grill and did much cooking for all of us.

Dad wore a cap and smoked a cigar which, with his beard made him look like Castro.

And it was all over too soon.

Coming Home to Roost

Every once in a while, someone has just the child they deserve.

When Kate was little, maybe two or three, I remember scolding her for something (as I was the older sister, and  knew all the rules).  Her reply: "That’s just the way I live my life."  It’s funny how people are who they are who they are who they are.  Were I to pick an epitaph for her, that would be it.

Miss Ella Bella Portabella seems to be cut from the same cloth.  Darling, and in charge.


It appears to be impossible to take a bad picture of Ella.


Like her brother, and, incidentally, her mother, Ella’s language skills appear unstoppable and advanced for her (15 month) age.  By the time we left on Monday, she was saying "Amy", "Scott", and "Charlie" appropriately, and with ease.

Scott and I went by yesterday morning to help Kate with some last minute errands (on accounta she now has zero hands).  When we got there, Ella was at the top of the stairs, and I helped Kate get her other foot into her pjs, and zipped her up while she squirmed into and out of Kate’s lap.  When we came down the stairs she bounced over and said "HI Scott!" before plopping herself into her car seat.

It’s just the way she lives her life.


Sam and Charlie share a sense of humor.  They played for quite some time, at sword fighting.

And decapitation:


Friends and Relations

The hardest thing about being so far away from my family is missing the day to day growing of the new human beings.  Since my last visit, both my sister and brother have grown whole new human beings.

I talk to Kate frequently, which means I get to talk to Sam frequently.  On Monday we went by Kate’s to see Sam, and meet Ella.  Kate was away having carpal tunnel surgery when we got there, and Dad was babysitting for her. 

When we first got there Sam was a little shy, Ella, not so much.  Finally I asked Sam if he knew who I was, and he shook his head no.  When I told him I was his Aunt Amy, his entire face lit up, and he said "I know you.  You’re my friend."

Then he reached into my chest, pulled out my still-beating heart, and stuck it in his pocket.