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It feels like we are all in a bad mood all the time lately, which does not leave much to write about!

Let me see, what are some nice things? I have been slowly watching this year's Eurovision Song Contest. I DO NOT KNOW WHO WON! DO NOT TELL ME! Our partner & I watched the first semifinal together, but we could not find BBC video of the second semi, and for me part of the fun the snarky commentary. So we have skipped to the final (which has an even better snarky British commentator) and are halfway through it. I am not sure why but Eurovision is great, I love it. I wish my favourite acts from the first semifinal had gotten in, like the 'Bake a Cake' song and the cool warrior queen from Moldavia. Once I have finished watching it so I can search for videos without being spoiled, I will link some videos here. I am kind of hoping Austria will win, but I think my favourite song so far (that made it into the final) is Ukraine. Other people have other opinions. :-)

Also Cassandra has found a website where they are talking about our favourite anime (Shoujo Kakumei Utena) and got in at the very beginning of it. The guy who runs the website is watching one episode a day every weekday and posting his reactions to it (he does this as his job, isn't that amazing?) and then there is lots of discussion in the comments, which she is really enjoying. And also I think it is very satisfying for her, getting to use her mind and her sharp edges and stuff on something that is kind of objective and concrete so she does not have to remember to worry about the afterwards -- and since it is satisfying for her it is nice for all of my us.

Sean is drinking a beer while I type this. I mostly do not like beer very much, I think it is too bitter. But I had a very nice one when we were out two weeks ago to celebrate our anniversary with our partner, it was this Campfire Stout and it tasted like S'mores! It really did, smoke and chocolate and burnt sugar for the marshmallow. Everyone in our system was kind of rolling their eyes (in that nice family way) that I had managed to find a beer that tasted like dessert, but really it was good. Sean had a lot of other beers before that, she says she will write about them herself in her own post. So now I will let her do that!
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I am just so frustrated!

Right now my least favourite thing about parenting is how every day is like building a pyramid and if one thing goes wrong early in the day everything collapses and you have to start over. Our daughter threw a little tantrum about our partner (her dad) leaving for work, so then we were late leaving for school and missed the carpool hours so got there 40m late, and then she started getting upset again when it was time to leave, so we didn't get home in time for the baby to nap (he fell asleep in the car and is currently playing in his crib although I am hoping against hope he will sleep), and so that means no time when we're not parenting, plus we probably can't do gymnastics/library because if he does nap he'll be asleep so we'll have to rush home after school, and if he doesn't nap he'll be too tired to take anywhere that he can't scream at. (He is also cutting 4 teeth so he has lots of reasons to yell, poor baby.)

And of course this is just how life is sometimes. But with everyone still recovering from being sick, it has been like this all the time for just weeks and weeks and I am so bored of it all. And this weekend our partner is out of town Fri/Sat/Sun/Mon, so there will not be any breaks. I am sure there will be lots of nice things but right now I just don't care. I want 3 hours where I am not interrupted by anyone needing anything from me, even our very nice housemate without whom none of this would work, and then after I get my 3 hours other people want theirs. But instead I will go downstairs and someone will clean up from the morning and we will get the baby and feed him some lunch and then see if he wants to try napping again. Or maybe when I get up and go downstairs to look at the monitor he will be asleep! I am crossing my fingers.
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I have been trying to write just an ordinary catch-up post for what feels like forever, but we have been busy of course, and also sick again -- the sinus infection is mostly gone, but we got another cold on top of it. And we went out of town which was okay but very rushed, and our daughter is having a hard time sleeping through the night because she is still coughing and also she is struggling some emotionally with separation anxiety and other things. It is not unusual for her age but it is hard for the parenting. We are tired all the time in the body.

Then on top of that there is some shifting around inside which felt like it was just going to go on forever and be very miserable, but it has finally started passing.

I have been thinking a lot of things, about trauma and the past and the present and all. In the car driving Saturday morning (it was just us and the baby, everyone else went in another car) I made a voice note of them on my phone. So maybe tomorrow there will be time to listen to that and write about them.
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Seeing a pair of geese fly across the sky as I drove my daughter to school.

Listening to music I have not heard in a while, mostly quite familiar music. Listening to it again and again, each day, letting it sink back into my bones and also rise from them. Artists I have loved for a long while: Shriekback, Brian Eno, Bob Dylan, Jane Siberry. 10,000 Maniacs, in their Natalie Merchant days. And some new music as well, a beautiful song by Tom Waits, and more new songs to be discovered.

My daughter, asking me if when she is grown up, really grown up, not just for pretend but for real, she can marry her best friend at school. Yes, I say, of course. If you both want to. She says yes, they are best friends, they would like to live in the same house together. I like that she thinks of marriage as this thing one does with the best friend. Why not?

My son, learning to walk, each day taking more steps on his own. And he has discovered books, and demands them with a passionate insistence, becoming quite irate when he wishes to be read to and nobody obliges. Nothing else will do, he wants with his whole self, he cannot be distracted, he will scream for 5 or 10 minutes until someone understands that they must read Moo, Baa, La La La to him. When the duck comes he quacks; when the horse comes, he neighs.

The hills, the green faded to pale gold, straw-colour, but also many coppers and reds, and rising above them trees in blossom, so a field of reds and golds spreading out to masses of white trees with hints of green. An alien landscape, beautiful.

A sandwich with peppadew peppers chopped up and mixed with the mayonnsaise, and avocado and turkey, a delicious combination of sweet and spicy and crunchy and that luxurious feel of the avocado with it all.

David's cat, small and not actually white (she was when a kitten, but now only her stomach; the rest creams and ivorys and greys and black) and blue-eyed, coming and lying in my lap and sleeping as I watched television, a decent show about a detective during the second world war, solving crimes in his small part of England with the whole backdrop of the war behind him. It is only decent, it is quite cosy, but enjoyable and with the cat, more so.

Sitting with Dominic last night, little space to talk, but much to feel, and the together of it. I usually do not speak of him, but as I write this list I think of him with each word, and so, yes.

Tomorrow I hope to make the deacdent cinnamon toast, with the butter and cinnamon sugar mixed with vanilla and spread on very thick and then ten minutes in the oven and then under the broiler properly to crisp.

Now I will sleep.
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Really we are supposed to be going to sleep, and we are quite tired and still sick and it is needed, but oh this week. It has been rough! And so instead of going to bed when Cassandra said we were going to, I took a peek at The Toast and commented some on the Cocktail Hour open thread, and now I am all buzzy and energetic although it might just be the incredibly tired eating its own tail, who can say?

But I like talking to people and listening to people and getting to do that (when the people are not either under 5 or cranky spacey sick people) makes me want to bounce around and do it more.

So -- this week! It is ridiculous. It is all normal stuff (mostly) but it is just too much of it. There is still the coming out of May, well, that is going fine. David got very upset about things which really came down to he does not like reality and does not want to hear about it, but he is trying very hard to live with it, so I am not trying to be mean to him. It just took up lots of time and space and made inside things weird because he was flopping around like a fish in a net some. Our partner is having a hard time of year, and he has a lot of extra work so we are having to do a lot of the driving he does, and now he is getting sick too with what we and the kids had last week -- and actually we are still sick, it has been 9 or 10 days now, we have antibiotics but we just started taking them, because! We have had all sorts of paperwork problems, with the insurance (now resolved) and our driver's license (cannot be resolved for weeks), and we still need to enroll our daughter in kindergarten, and oh yes our daughter had a string of days in which she had the most major destructive terrifying (to us and to her) tantrums, over and over and over, and we were all exhausted (especially the grownups, especially I guess Cassandra because some of the people in our space were not helping) and thinking that we had read Sid and Nancy at an impressionable age but still, our beautiful baby girl was going to end up dead in a hotel room and it was all starting now. I know, it was really, really silly but emotionally it was just terrible; it is hard to sit still for a small person to vent their rage on you and try to figure out safe ways to keep them from hurting you and yourself, especially when there is just no script for it, when the script is to hurt her back. I will write about that part another time, maybe. Maybe. I actually think we did very well with it, and we have started a bunch of new behaviour stuff, and she is working hard to control her temper, and it is all going much better now. But oh, on top of the paperwork and being sick and all the internal stuff, and our partner being spacey and stressed and triggered by the time and also by our daughter, adding in all of that, it was just... a lot.

And then today we saw a car accident happen right in front of us, the woman driving nearly hit our car, and by the time her car stopped moving it looked like she was unconscious. Which set off some of the little kids again. We are keeping an eye on news feeds and I think if she had actually died it would have shown up by now but they are kind of frantic... less so right this minute because when I have lots of energy it is easier to help them ground. But really, I would like to go do something FUN right now. Right now!

Instead we will go to bed, because it is late and we need to get up in the morning and make the good space for both our kids again, probably by ourselves because our partner will still be sick and letting him sleep will help. Of course it is not really by ourselves, our housemate is amazing and incredible and has been really stepping in as a parent and a partner in ways that are amazing. But it would be nice not to need to ask him for so much help; after all he did not exactly sign up for that. (But he still cleaned the bathtub for me tonight since the cleaners could not come today after all and earlier in the week our daughter decided to smear poo all over it, like really all over it. I think it started as her being too angry to follow the rules, and then she got very into it as art, but oh it was gross. And then even though we cleaned it we kind of know in a deep sense it is dirty, and the little ones do not think anything we clean is clean. So he cleaned it instead because then a grown-up did it and it is done.)

Nicholas is going on about how this is why we do not get chai lattes from Starbucks at 2pm and I think he is right, oh dear. But I do feel better getting this out.
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When I was a teenager in the body too, I discovered superhero comics and read them and loved them a lot; I am not sure what about them made them so special to me, but they really were, and I got a little bit crazy about finding & reading all the X-Men comics I could find. (This was a long long time before the movies and everything, which I mostly have not seen because the stories in my head are still what I think of as the 'real' story about the X-Men. But maybe I will watch them someday. I was never a DC fan so I can see those movies whenever I find the time, but time is hard!)

Anyway I read all the old X-Men I could find, and started buying the new ones, and started reading the related series, and meanwhile some of our older friends found out we liked comics and loaned us the Dark Knight Returns (Sean loved that one) and Watchmen and V for Vendetta, all the 'important' 80s ones. And some that were not important that I still liked, Camelot 3000 and um there was a series called Psi-Force that people really fell in love with because it was all about working together to use your psychic powers against evil government agencies and people actually died and stuff. Then much later on, in high school, other people got into a different set of comics because of the boy living in our house (oh that is a long story) and then we moved across the country and got given a whole set of Sandman (!) for Christmas by our boyfriend at the time -- thank you former boyfriend! And a little later still we started reading manga but it was really hard to find it in translation so we just read whatever it was we could find even when it was about Japanese economic policy (I am not making this up) and then that started changing and now there is tons of manga in English, lots more than we have time to read. So thinking about it like that we have been 'visual literature' fans for a really, really long time now.

But all of it began when I started reading X-Men on the top bunk of the bunk bed at the Haven, issue #213, when Psylocke who is a beautiful British woman is by herself and a big scary guy shows up to try to kill someone and she has to use her psychic powers and nothing else to defend herself and maybe some other people. I don't remember very well because it has been so long, but if that explanation is very confused, well, that is how I felt reading it! I didn't know who any of the people were or their relationships or anything, and that is how it was for a long time, I just read whatever issues I could find -- a lot of my older friends had them but it was never organised, and then one time I was babysitting and the kid I was babysitting who was like 7 had some so we sat down and read them together him & I. I liked puzzling out who everyone was and how they were related and what their pasts had been. It was a lot like being multiple some ways, all these people who had relationships before I was there, trying to figure out how everyone had gotten to the place they were at in the timeline when I started reading, all these little hints and clues and everything.

Since I have come through the door I have not read any American comics although our friend Carl recommended some which I am going to borrow if we are ever not sick & can see him. But I read a really neat interview with Brian Michael Bendis who is the guy who writes Spider-Man, and it had this great bit I am reposting because it made me happy:

I think that a huge problem is people who read comics and don't understand the point of superheroes, which is to be the best version of yourself. You love Captain America? Well, you know what Captain America would never do? Go online anonymously and shit on a girl for having an opinion.

I would like there to be more of a connection between why people read these stories, and how they act. You should see Peter Parker and then want to act like Peter Parker. You shouldn't want to be Peter Parker because you want to sling webs and punch people. It should be because you want to be someone who lives with the idea of "with great power comes great responsibility." And that means that the power of the internet and the power of your ability to interact with people, should be treated like a power. You should treat it like a responsibility.


I hope Captain America would not go online anonymously and shit on anyone for having an opinion; I do not like the 'a girl' because it makes it sound like, well, you don't do that to girls but other people it is fine. But still it is a good quote. Having kids is an awful lot of power and responsibility; I wish more people wanted to be super-heroes as parents.

haste haste

May. 4th, 2014 03:28 pm
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This is super quick because I should go get the baby.

We are still sick! It has moved from being fever-and-aching (which is awful) to all in the sinuses, which is also awful but differently awful and much more managable. But it has been four days now so I am really ready to be all done with this.

I have been reading The Toast a whole bunch and I am loving it. So are some of the other teens although I am not supposed to say any names. :-)

Our kids are also still sick, but getting better, but somewhat miserable. Despite this our daughter & our partner went to the farmer's market today and brought back 6 pints of strawberries (I already ate one) and a really truly ginormous cauliflower, it is like as big as my head -- okay, that is not saying much, I have a little head. But it is huge! He is going to roast it, I hope tonight, because oven-roasted cauliflower is yummy. Also oyster mushrooms, so we can have oyster mushroom & bok choy stir fry for dinner. Also coffee so we do not have to use the emergency freezer coffee which is not as good as the locally-roasted stuff.

I would like to sit here and write more and I think other people might too but we will get the baby from his super-long nap (he woke up like 20m ago and is busily pulling clothes into his crib so he can play with them) and see about feeding him and maybe doing some gardening. Cassandra really, really wants to garden but even she admits that it is hard to do when leaning forward causes coughing/sneezing fits because of our sinuses.

Hmn... I am suddenly starting to wonder if I had a birthday without knowing it. Does it even work like that? Well, maybe it does! Hee.

May

May. 2nd, 2014 08:32 am
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Look, it's May! And nobody is dead! (Yet.)

(Yes, that is mostly a joke.)

It is kind of an annoying May so far; we had to cancel our trip out of town because both kids are sick and we are also sick, the running-a-fever kind. Although the baby is better this morning. I am not sure about our daughter because she is just now waking up, which is very unusual for her, but we had to give her cold medicine in the middle of the night because she was coughing so much so her schedule is all off-kilter. And yes, we are very sick too in the body, although the worst day was Wednesday; yesterday was a little better and today although the coughing is very bad, we do not seem to have a fever, which is nice.

Also our laptop seems to have broken again, maybe this time for good since we cannot log into windows without the Blue Screen of Death. It is very unfortunate but, well, it is something like 8 years old and was a gift anyway, so if we have to finally buy one for ourselves that is not so bad, just inconvenient.

I (or someone) should go make coffee and figure out what to feed the kids for breakfast, and feed ourselves too I suppose.

Icons!

Apr. 25th, 2014 11:04 am
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Okay, I have fussed and fussed and fussed and finally found an icon I am personally happy with, and other people can find their own if they care enough. Hah! I was not happy with the old one and then I tried some others and they were pretty but not me-me. But I like the way this one looks on the page.
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May is coming and it is in my hands and wrists a lot, and in my legs a little. Not mine-mine but ours, this us. It is annoying but well there is nothing really to do, it just happens. Last night we took a very hot bath, as hot as we could stand, and that helped a lot, and then afterwards we drew some, more Fai than me but I did a little. It was nice, kind of cosy in a very weird way because we were fighting a little but it was our kind of arguing and well, cosy and May are not the same time at all but it was still. I liked it. I hope we can do more tonight.

We have just made strawberry muffins with our daughter and they came out well even though I think we should have added the brown sugar to the milk instead of to the flour, despite the recipe, because it is brown sugar and the recipe said white. But I just took a bite of one and it is good! Sweet but not too-too sweet and it really tastes like strawberry, not just the chunks of strawberry in but also the bread part, I think because we used the strawberry extract. But it is not that weird taste when there is a category error (Sofia says that is the word), it is just yummy soft bread that tastes like breathing strawberries. I guess because it is so much in the aroma?

Category error food is like garlic sushi... the combination of tastes is not actually bad but it is just too confusing. Bread that tasted like orange juice would be the same, that's a good example; the taste of orange juice is a liquid and having it in a solid would be really weird.
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I got ribs Thursday, from a place downtown. They were fantastic, and I ate them with our partner, and drank a lot of beer -- some Boatswain one I don't really remember the name of, and then Monk's Blood, which despite the uber-gothic name is just a dark fruity kind of thing. They were both pretty good, but the ribs were the star of the show. We watched Foyle's War with it and chilled out and I enjoyed being almost-drunk and relaxed and not having to deal with anyone's BS for a while.

Friday I saw Avalon briefly but there was other drama, since her step-father & mom were having some issues, and we stepped in to make sure it didn't go pear-shaped. Which might not have been necessary, but it's tough to say. Her step-father is one of those guys who gets weird when he's angry. Lack of positive male role models, I say sagely, and then duck before he throws something at me -- except he's not spontaneous enough to throw anything, he'll just make a mark in some mental book and five years from now I'll find slugs in my bed or something.

I'm feeling a lot less pissy right now. It was a good Easter, here, our daughter had a great time dyeing eggs & then hunting them, there was some candy, there was a good dinner, everything got done that needed doing without fairly minimal stress and arguing, and there's a huge pile of leftover ham in the 'fridge. All good things.

I'm thinking a lot about identity claims and other stuff like that. I mean, am I really an athletic extrovert? Extrovert I'm pretty sure about, I really do like talking to people, even though it's often a pain. But the body stuff is tricky. I could have gone skating last week and I decided on ribs and beer instead, and I loved it, and yah, one thing does not make anything, but athletic isn't a funny hat you wear, it's something you do, and it's not something I really do, it's just a way I think of myself, part of the design documents. Having design documents is a pain in the ass, I think that's my pithy summary for today.
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If three things make a post, what do three posts make?

It is strange how the push to talk comes, all at once from underneath, and then suddenly this space which is usually only Bryn's becomes all of ours, briefly. I think, perhaps, the seder last night left us all hungry for speech; it was a very good time for David and his family, as Bryn said, but they had most of the words. Watching Marai delight in the ritual and the questions -- in the shape of ritual to ask questions, a framework for digging into thought and symbol -- that was lovely. I was glad to sit in my own space and drink a glass of wine in the best of company and watch her glow. But yes, today even I feel like writing here in the public, where everyone can see.

I am thinking a great deal about narrow places after last night, Mitzrayim, what it means for my brother (that is David), what it means for me. To walk out of a narrow place into a broad one. To be walking towards, not only away from. But towards what? I do not have religion, I dislike it, although I am reluctantly and with much anger and sorrow reading Pema Chodron and finding much that speaks to me in her work. For David the towards is shaped by his Judaism, but for me, I am discovering that it is simply forward. Away from the past, yes, and the self I made then, but only walking away is not enough, it is not enough to step out of the bonds, that is a type of freedom but to walk into a future is better, and for me best, I think, if I do not demand to know the shape of it. I know my own shape, and for the moment that is enough . I told Dominic last night, I am my own home, I know that now. And I do, even if I do not always feel it so strongly and clearly as sometimes comes.

This, yes, is just what annoys Sean. I understand why. She will find her way with it, I think. Avalon said once, of their system, that they push each other out of comfort. I think I may give that something of a try myself; it is not as though comfort is serving her well right now. But also I think when she and Fai shared the space yesterday (they had been going to eat the ribs together, and Sean quite likes Bourdain herself) she felt how very alike they are, and it troubled her.

Now I must get my son, who has woken from his short nap and wishes to be fed.
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I feel for Bryn; it's a pain not getting much downtime, and there's always someone who Really Needs It (or so it seems) so there's not a lot of space right now to just spread out and relax. And unlike most of us, she doesn't remember the horrible time crunch when our daughter was this age (around 18 months) so while we're all promising her it'll get better soon, the gut feel is that she will never have fun again.

As for me, my first attempt to join a roller derby intake team failed on my contact person never responding to any emails after they got my (legal, very common) name spelled wrong on the insurance paperwork. But tomorrow I'm going to try going to the 80s night at the local roller rink and see if I actually really do still like to skate... or if I end up pushed out of the way by hordes of kids who are reliving our glorious roller-skating youth. Either one would be cool, I think. If I have a good time with it, maybe I'll fill out the intake paperwork again and see if whoever my contact person is this time actually stays in contact.

As is probably coming across here, I'm not in a great mood. Mid-April, ugh. System politics (or lack of politics), ugh. Relationship stress with our partner, ugh. But despite being set to a default of 'pissy' things are pretty good... I'm just not in a place where I can appreciate them. (And how much does it annoy me that Cassandra is? That, like, she is turning into some sort of Buddhist zen person who floats through the days in a cloud of peace or some kind of bs? You have absolutely no idea how much this annoys me, trust me. Unless you're Lexi.)

We had another playdate with the woman who does not talk. She did talk a little more this time, mostly at the beginning, but the responses were still way off normal. Probably not neurotypical in some form or fashion, which is just fine for the occasional playdate, but I don't think we're going to end up friends; I am an athletic extrovert in a system of artistic daydreamy introverts, and I don't have the energy or interest to try to make a relationship when it's going to be a constant uphill push.

Let's see, what else? I want ribs. We tried to go to the midwestern rib food truck yesterday -- well, we did go, but when we got there they were out of ribs. I sort of threw up my hands in disgust (not a good trait, I think I need to work on that) and Cass ended up out and then she & Fai got poutine and had a bizarre conversation with the woman working in the truck who had awesome electric blue streaked hair and had decided that because we were reading Anthony Bourdain we would be the right people to taste-test her panna cotta and opine. Fai was totally delighted, sort of sideways in the space with Cass steadying him, she was talking but he was scripting, if that makes sense. Good for him, good for them. But I still want ribs. :)
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Lots of things and no time today, a lot of driving the kids around and being annoyed by other people being disorganised and more being vacant at the computer than I would like, but oh well, every day is not going to be perfect. There is nothing bad, just a lot of tired. David had a Passover Seder online last night which was really lovely for him and his family but it meant we were up a little late and the body is tired.

Fai is reading a book by Anthony Bourdain and really liking it. I finished the 3rd Jo Walton book and now I am not reading much of anything, well a little bit of one of Cassandra's (it is by Jane Duncan) but nothing I am excited about.

The baby is not napping so I need to go decide if I am going to do anything about that. I really, really wish that our life right now was more plannable, that I could know I would have time to do something when I want to do it, and I am frustrated it is not, but everyone says it does pass, it is just the harder time now that the baby is not really a baby any more and not so predictable. And I know when both of our kids are in school all day every day I will really miss getting to spend this time with them.

shoes!

Apr. 9th, 2014 02:23 pm
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We went to H&M and I bought shoes! 4 pairs of shoes! It is kind of ridiculous, who needs that many shoes? But I am really happy. We tried to go last night with our partner but the traffic at the outdoor mall was so, so, so bad, we were both getting stressed, so we just turned around and went to the coffee shop instead -- it was going to be our 2nd stop but it was clear that if we did shopping there wouldn't be any time. So that was fine, and today our housemate watched the baby while I showered and then I went with the kids and bought the shoes, and bought also a pair of very very silly shoes for our daughter -- they are glittery and have Hello Kitty on them. She says they are going to be her 'slippers' and she has agreed that she will finally start wearing her new crocs outside which is good because they were meant to be her outdoors shoes for summer. Also I bought her two cheap little dresses both with butterflies on them, which is silly because she has lots of dresses and hardly ever wears them, but they are light cotton jersey and seem like they'll be good for summer too.

Did I buy the leggings we were there to get her, which she actually needs? No, no we did not. Oh well, we can go back!

I will take pictures of my shoes when I can and post them here! I got red flats, and dark blue flats (those are really for Cassandra), and a pair of red canvas shoes kind of like Keds, and finally a pair of pink flats that look like ballet slippers because I have wanted those since forever. They do not look very good on my feet, really, in the body my skin is the wrong colour for that pale powder pink and anyway, it is not a colour I really like, but it is the right colour for ballet slippers, and I am really happy to have them.

Oh, I had a good idea -- I pinned them here: http://www.pinterest.com/brynplusplus/shoes/
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Spring break was last week and it was very fun but also tiring, our body has just been fighting a lot lately about sleep and stuff, so we did not have as much energy as anyone hoped. But still there was colouring and the zoo and some good playing. Too much media, everyone thought, but you know, we do the best we can with it, and we can always try to do better. I was not around very much, I think all those big emotions can be like stones weighing me down and when it is like that I do not feel like doing anything or even really being. But getting upset about it and then writing about it made them move around more so now I feel like I want to breathe again.

I have just printed out star charts for me and our daughter; she gets stars for cooperating with sunscreen and tooth-brushing, and I get stars for putting on her sunscreen and for brushing our own teeth. And when they fill up we are going to go buy more nail polish. :-)

Hmn I thought the baby was ready for his nap but he is definitely not sleeping yet. It is really hard guessing when to do what for him.

What else? Oh, I finished The Prize in the Game last night, Jo Walton's 3rd novel. I liked it but not as much as the first two, it was not as well written, I think. We had never read it before so it was nice being surprised, and I liked the characters a lot, but of course I already knew what happened to most of them, that is the weird thing about prequels. Next will be the Victorian dragon one which people have read but nobody really remembers, and of course I have not read it myself, but first we have to find our copy of it. In the meantime people are mostly reading boring things, mysteries and books about Chinese propaganda posters (which are very interesting and odd I do think but I would not read whole books about them) and poetry and stuff. Maybe in another mood it would seem more interesting but right now I kind of want to just read some really bad book, like David Eddings, except I think that because it is all the same brain I would not enjoy David Eddings any more. Like taste buds, I do not think I could eat a lot of the stuff I liked when my body was 13 because my taste buds know better now even if I still feel like it ought to taste good -- that but with books.
brynplusplus: (Default)
This is the sort of post people might find triggering so if you are worried about that you can decide!

One thing Cassandra and her boyfriend (whose name is Dominic but ohhhhhhh it is hard to type that, I am doing it anyway because he is lots more than just her boyfriend if that is even the right word, he is himself and he has relationships with all sorts of people here and in his own system and in his life with his sons and everything... but when someone is important we do not say their name usually so it is just another thing to try) -- anyway, one thing they talked about last year sometime I think is how sometimes with trauma things are very clear, like the bullet pattern on the glass, and you can just talk about that and feel about that, and sometimes it is all interwoven in everything else so that all the 'normal' parts feel just as awful as the 'trauma' parts. (That is not how they said it I think but it is how I remember it, so.)

And for us, that is very true with when we were really young, because we did not understand why anything happened, and our mother was very loving and very neglectful and very abusive, all three, sometimes at the same times and sometimes at different times. So remembering anything from then is hard because it is just swamp, like waiting in the car at the liquor store (because kids could not go inside) feels the same as looking up at the high shelf where the Christmas presents were hidden and feeling guilty because we had found them, and that feels the same as stepping on the nail and trying not to cry and walking back to the house hoping we could find someone to help but not really expecting to (we did that time), and it feels the same as seeing the scalpels in the doctor's case and falling down the stairs and the orange cat they took away and the skeleton on the door that was so wonderful for Halloween and getting fucked with someone's fingers and crying because we had a babysitter and tasting guacamole which was yucky and getting burnt by the sparkler after they promised not and... everything. It is all the same sort of feeling, even the really good things (the skeleton!) and even the things which were just normal (like waiting in the car or being sad that we had a babysitter, or even the sparkler that was just an accident), it all feels big and electric and terrifying. Because every day even when it was a good day and nothing bad happened at all, underneath all of that was knowing how bad things could be and that it was not predictable. So underneath everything all the time, being afraid, afraid, afraid, and knowing that is just how it was forever.

(Some people are saying, no the skeleton was just good, and so were the girls on roller skates. I think maybe the roller skates were just good, but the skeleton was at our house so you could see the wallpaper too, so not.)

So people are feeling that. I do not think there is anything to do about it, but it helps to write it down. And on top of that I am feeling May. Which is kind of dumb, it is only the beginning of April, and anyway it was a really long time ago. But the two years the beginning of May was really terrible were bad, and then the third year when it was not was even worse because it meant alone. Right now sitting here in this nice messy house with the window open listening to the birds singing and smelling the fresh air, it is hard to imagine what there is to be upset about, but last night I cried because of it. I think this is more of the catching up part, and right now I do not like it at all.
brynplusplus: (Default)
Ohhhh this manga made me so mad! I am not even going to try not to spoil it so if you care about spoilers and think you might want to read it (don't!) you should not read this.

Usagi Drop starts off as this very nice story which is pretty realistic about a 30 year old guy who goes to his grandfather's funeral and discovers to his shock that his grandfather has a 6-yr-old daughter. Nobody in the family knew about this and they are all surprised and angry and resentful and there is lots of discussion in a tone I recognise about how much work it would be to take her in and how she is not cute and so forth. Like she is not a good product so why do they want to buy her?

And the 30-yr-old guy gets really mad about this and tells them all off and takes the girl home and sets off to do his best to be a father to her, and that is the first few volumes of the manga, them figuring out how to become a family, all from his point of view, and him realising all the sacrifices parents make and also how they are not exactly sacrifices because it is reciprocal. It changes his whole life, his career and everything, but he feels it is worth it even when it is really hard. It made me think a lot about parenting and be sort of glad that while I am a parent to our body children when I am front (because that is the rule) I am not a parent all the time. And the way I feel in my heart is maybe more like an older sister? But I am not sure about that because I do not really understand about siblings.

Anyway, that part of the manga was really great and then it skips ahead to high school and it gets sort of boring because Rin (the 6 year old who is now 16) doesn't care about anything or like anything except being kind of a housewife to the guy who is her adopted father. She was good at art as a kid and is good at sewing and design now but she doesn't care, and everyone wants her to go to college because she's good at school but she says she just wants to stay home and live with her dad and work somewhere. And then she decides she is IN LOVE WITH her dad ((who it turns out is not a blood relation after all) and she wants to marry him! Which is really weird but I kind of, kind of see it, because she is scared to leave him, growing up is scary. But why would she think that was being in love?

So then he finds out about all of this and is upset and disturbed... and then he decides it's okay and the end of the series is them planning to get married and have kids. I just cannot say 'eww' enough to that. And not only is it totally disgusting but it just is not true, none of them are those people. Because really the sort of hurt you would need to be to be so scared of growing up that you'd rather marry your father instead and have babies with him ... I mean I think I know something about that (although I find that idea about my own dad really horrible and gross) and I think also we know something about how hurt a grown-up person would have to be (and a lot of things other than just hurt, like immature and selfish and dumb) to think it was a good idea and go along with it. And while I do not WANT to read a story about people who are that hurt and selfish and everything, there are people like that, that is a real thing. But THESE PEOPLE in THESE BOOKS are not like that, so the things they are doing are just lies that the author decided on for some reason, and it makes me want to throw up because it is so stupid to think that people like them could do this, it ignores what really happens in the world. Like it erases the sort of real people who really do decide that this would be okay. And it is clear to me that the author did not think about it because none of the other characters in the book think there is anything wrong with it or that they should not do it, Rin's childhood best friend who is in love with her is cheering them on!

I know it is just a book and bad stupid books do not erase real people. But books do change how people think about things and there are people out there reading this going 'Oh it is true love that is so wonderful'. I just want to rip the books up or something but they are not ours so instead we are giving them back to the person who loaned them to us and I think we will tell him how much we hate them. :-)
brynplusplus: (Default)
This week is spring break, so we are home with our daughter all the time. It is actually going very well, we have been busy some every day with good things, the time is not going too slowly, but there is not any time to ourselves; after she is in bed we are always doing relationship things. There is going to be time tomorrow night but I think it will not be home in front of the computer, there are like 3 different things people want to go do.

Anyway, that is why I am so quiet!
brynplusplus: (Default)
Today is the first day in a while which has just felt normal; I think it is the combination of our housemate being back and us getting enough sleep last night -- well, and the baby is not sick any more, and our daughter got off to school in an orderly sort of way. So there was the time this morning to eat and drink a cup of coffee with too much cream (well too much for me but Cassandra liked it) and read and practise French for a little bit and some other things, all of which is very nice. And last night was also nice, Cassandra took a bath and relaxed for a little bit before we made her get out, and then she had time alone and that is nice for us too because it is hard always talking to people. It is nice just sitting and not having to talk to anyone. That is one thing I had never thought about having kids, that there are people who want you to talk them all the time and listen to them all the time! Of course not all kids are like that but our daughter is very much an extrovert so far, and with the baby we try to talk a lot so he can learn to talk too.

Now I am going to read more and make some tuna salad for lunch!
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