Home Again

Happy Sunday, everyone.

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NaBloPoMo Day 19

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Go Bears!

Even though we lost today, it was really great to be able to watch The Big Game from the bay again.

For those who don’t know, I went to Cal for undergrad, and The Big Game is when we play our rival across the bay, Stanfurd. (Football.) Whoever wins gets to have the axe, which is an actual axe that’s been made into a framed trophy of sorts. It has a whole history behind it whose details are fuzzy to me now. At any rate, towards the end of each Big Game, select members of Cal’s Rally Committee (yes those are a thing) gather and face off with members from the ‘Furd to exchange the axe should the noncustodial school win. In my day, I was part of Rally Comm, although I was never one of those select members I mentioned above.

Ah, memories. College was tough, but it was extremely fun. I joked to my parents tonight that watching college football now just makes me feel old and unaccomplished.

Lest I continue rambling…

GO BEARS!

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NaBloPoMo Day 18

Fill Your Bucket

This post I originally wrote on November 19, 2012 – almost exactly 5 years ago. While my life looks a whole lot different now, I still make sure that I fill my bucket. In fact, now that I have kids, it’s even more important than ever.


NaBloPoMo Day 17

Psychobabble

The other day, one of my clients started to ask me a personal question in the domestic violence support group I run.  I could feel it coming.

“Hey Melissa, I don’t mean to pry into your business, but I was just curious…”

My blood pressure started to rise.  I could feel my armpits start producing more sweat than usual, which meant that I’d soon soak through my shirt and be stuck to my cheap office chair until lunch.  My face started to get hot, and I knew, I just knew, that my face was starting to turn red.  I hate that.

So which question was it going to be?  Was I married?  Did I have kids?  How long had I been doing this work?  Do I know what it’s like to be a victim of violence?  Did I have to use a prescription strength deodorant?

“…how is it that…

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Snacks on a Plane

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We’re going home to California for the week of Thanksgiving and I’m all excited to BE there, but I am not at all excited to GET there.

Here’s how it’s gonna play out. I pack and worry and scream to try and make everyone be on time. Then I’ll worry some more about what we forgot and being on time. Dylan will break down in the security line and go to his dark place where he goes limp on the floor. Audrey will thrash so hard in the Ergo that she’ll ram her head on my sternum and make several bruises. And that’s all before we get on the plane.

On the plane there will be more thrashing and seat kicking and trying to reach buttons and wanting to crawl down the aisle. And the kids will act up too. (See what I did there? I’ll be here all week.)

Once we touch down in the land of milk and honey, we’ll be greeted by loving, rested grandparents ready to whisk our children away for stimulating play and healthy snacks while Brian and I fall asleep pass out for 5 days. Then we’ll wake up and eat turkey and mashed potatoes and go comatose for another 3.

Too soon it will be time to get on another plane and head back to Waterworld Oregon, where hopefully our cat hasn’t resentfully pooped on our pillows and vomited in our shoes. All the dirty laundry will steep in a small, smelly mountain in the hallway where I hope it will get so rank it’ll one day grow legs and walk itself into the washing machine.

I’ve decided that I’d actually like to enjoy our trip, so I plan to re-blog some of my favorite old posts while I’m gone, especially since I have some new readers and I’d like to share some pieces of which I’m rather proud.

Stay tuned, dear Psychos.


NaBloPoMo Day 16

My mood swings have mood swings

I got nothin today, folks. Not a real post, at least. (I often start out a post saying this, and then end up writing a post. This is now a post.)

Sometimes (most of the time) I feel like my husband and I are just scrambling to try and keep this household and our family running somewhat smoothly. We are stretched, our energy is so limited, and if something goes wrong – speaking for myself – I get overwhelmed very, very quickly. Today was one of those days where shit went wrong, but, miraculously, quality good times were also had. No wonder I feel like I have mood swings. My mood swings have mood swings.

The lows:

  • The weather suuuuucked today. Non-stop rain made me want to stay in bed.
  • Our furnace broke today, so our house is effing cold. I can’t stand being cold.
  • I want to strangle my cat, or at least forcibly remove her vocal chords. She wakes me up, wakes our kids up, and anyone who disturbs my sleep who is not one of my kids is DEAD TO ME.

The highs:

  • Met a friend for breakfast and found THREE friends waiting for me at breakfast. It was a very lovely time out.
  • Snotty wet kisses from mah babes.
  • The boyman coming home from work in the middle of the day to troubleshoot the furnace issue.
  • Laughed til I peed borrowed diet coke about bible references and street names for drugs. (You had to be there.) We got matching shirts, we’re gonna study, and we’ll be back next time to kick ass and take names, PDX Trivia! Should my callsign be Turnip or Scalene?

Tomorrow is a new day, with its own highs and lows.


NaBloPoMo Day 15

90s Music Nostalgia: Peaches for me

It started with peaches.

I was feeding them to my daughter when I started singing.

Movin to the country, gonna eat a lot of peaches…

Dylan thought it was a funny song, a song about peaches, so we put it on.

Peaches come from a can, they were put there by a man, in a factory downtown…

We started talking about music from the 90s and how some songs can just bring you back…in my head. She’s lump, she’s lump, she’s lump, she might be dead.

It got me all nostalgic, remembering middle school dances and feeling socially anxious and awkward. Breathe in, breathe out, breathe in, breathe out, breathe in…

Most of the songs we listened to weren’t our favorites, but they were those songs that were always playing in the background. We know them, but may not know who sings them. We don’t know all the words, but just hearing the first few notes transported us back to age 15 or so, depending. And we hadn’t heard them for years.

We said, tell me all your thoughts on God, cause I really want to meet her. Ask her why we’re who we are.

And this is what s/he said: Well I guess what you say is true, I could never be the right kind of girl for you, I could never be your woman, I could never be your woman. (all you need to remember from this one is that high-pitched dee-do-dee-dee melody at the very beginning.)

But don’t worry about asking God, because we all know that goats go to heaven, sheep go to hell. I saw this one performed live on a sunny day in San Francisco.

I been downhearted baby, I been down, I been downhearted baby. Ever since the day we met, ever since the day we met. (for this one, the memory was just of the sound of the voice singing these lyrics. I’m not even sure I knew the exact words before looking them up just now.)

I wasn’t the coolest middle school kid on the block (hard to believe, I know), and I was very slow to catch on to all the hip music the cool kids were listening to. Music trickled down to me via my friends with higher cool factors or older siblings or both.

Just remember, Love will lead us, alright, can you hear the dolphin’s cry?

To end the night we can drive it home with one headliiiiiiight…


Did any of these lyrics jog your memory? All the band names are tagged on this post.


NaBloPoMo Day 14

There aren’t enough cinnamon rolls in the world

This is an exciting time, in a way. Exciting and disheartening to say the least.

(I have mixed feelings about trigger warnings, but nevertheless, here’s one for talk of all the sexual assault allegations in the media currently going on.)

So many survivors of sexual violence are coming forward to place blame, rightfully and publicly, squarely on the alleged perpetrators in Hollywood, in television, and in politics. I even hesitate to say “alleged” in that last sentence because people rarely lie about being victims of sexual assault. In my profession and my experience, I believe a survivor. Always.

I am so proud of all those survivors who have come forward, even when their perpetrator is famous, powerful, a dickhead, or all three. I know there are several times more survivors out there who haven’t spoken out, and those who have come forward give all the others strength and hope.

I feel a shift happening. Hopefully this is another wave of human beings rising up and making it normal to say, “Hey! You can’t treat people this way. We see you and your actions and you will be held accountable.”

I’ve watched the news as day after day, more allegations have come out and people are screaming for Roy Moore to drop out of his race. House of Cards was effectively canceled. Louis C.K.’s movie was shelved.

I watched an episode of Megyn Kelly’s new Today Show where she put up pictures of man after man accused of sexual assault and listed off what each asshole had been accused of doing. For once, the focus was on the perpetrators and not the victims. I felt a weird combination of….elation, hope, and disgust.

Elation – YES! We are holding perpetrators publicly to the fire and screaming that this behavior is despicable in a way that I’ve never seen before.

Hope – Maybe momentum will build. Maybe this is the beginning of something bigger. Maybe lasting change will happen.

Disgust – For there to be so many, SO MANY survivors, there are tons of perpetrators out there. I admit, I’ve had feelings of deep disappointment to find out that people whose work I enjoy and admire have been accused of sexual assault. This SUCKS. Why do so many men think this is ok and think they can get away with it?! (#patriarchy)

Tonight, I was eating some leftover cinnamon roll when I learned about allegations against Louis C.K. I was shocked, disgusted, and disappointed. At a loss, I started shoving more cinnamon roll into my mouth. It seemed like the right thing to do.

My husband and I joked that there aren’t enough cinnamon rolls in the world because all this feels like too much.

Maybe one day we’ll have more than enough cinnamon rolls because people will remember to stop sexually assaulting other people and then lie about it. That sentence made sense in my head, but I think you get my drift.


NaBloPoMo Day 13

 

All the hot girls wear glasses

I recently got glasses.

And not just new glasses, but glasses that I have to wear all the time now. People have asked me if I just wore contacts before, and the answer is no, before I was just blind and didn’t really know it.

To be fair, I’ve had glasses for driving and movies – distance stuff – for about 12 years now, but the problem was just that – they were 12 years old.

And it turns out that my second pregnancy really did a number on my body in many ways (another blog post entirely), and one of those was further killing my eyes.

It’s so wonderful to be able to SEE, you guys! I’ve never had this experience before. I drove to a friend’s house and was elated to tell her that I could see the individual leaves on trees and I could see the sharp outlines of the clouds against the bright blue sky. I even saw music, but I think that was just the LSD. It’s been glorious!

…except that wearing glasses kinda sucks when you’re a mom. I was planning to write this whole post on the many, many ways it sucks to wear specs while wrangling kids, but the list ended up looking like this:

  1. They’re constantly dirty.
    • Finger prints, boogers, sweet potato puree spat in my face. I mean, I’m supposed to wear these things to be able to see, and I’m still seeing the world through a gloopy mess. All. The. Time.
  2. Children like to rip them from my face.
    • All. The. Time.

/end list.

In closing, I’d like to point out that the addition of glasses is furthering my integration into life in Portlandia. Here’s how I look:

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And here’s how I think I look, right at the 1:20ish mark:

 

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….yeeeaahh!


NaBloPoMo Day 12

Happy Blogiversary to Me

I don’t know what to write today.

Usually when that happens, I write a poem. I scrape together some stream of consciousness and parse it into lines of prose.

WordPress reminded me that today is my blogiversary. I’ve been blogging since 2011. Six whole years. That’s nuts.

I am a very different person now than I was then. That was before I became a licensed therapist. Before getting engaged, promoted to running the therapy department at my old job, married, quit job, moved, pregnant, house, baby, then one more baby. I wonder if all that is reflected in my writing? It’s hard for me to tell.

But I’m still here and I’m still me.

I’m proud that I’ve kept this up for so long, and through everything that’s happened. It’s sad that the vast majority of the little blogging community I was a part of when I first started has disappeared. I miss them. I miss reading other blogs and getting comments and feedback from them. I felt like I knew them. I wish them well, wherever they are and whatever they’re doing. I wonder how long the average blogger lasts?

Here’s a pic of yours truly from 2013, in California, post licensure, promotion, and engagement, but pre-wedding and everything else. I was reminded of this pic when I wrote my poem from yesterday (except it’s totally not raining, I know, but the way I felt was the same), but in my haste to post I forgot to search for the picture to accompany. Enjoy.

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aaaaand now it took me so long to find the picture on my computer that it’s after midnight so I technically missed posting for Day 11. FML.


NaBloPoMo Day 11 because I say so, dammit.

Rain

cheeks are red

ears are hot

the rain sizzles to mist

when it hits skin

 

lungs deflate

shoulders lower

water runs down my back

tributaries coming together

forming a river down my spine

 

arms fan out

fingertips float up to the heavy clouds

I spin

as if

inside a lazy tornado

 

hair whips around

drenched.

smacking the side of my face

sticking.

 

chin tips up

eyes flutter

dodging the drops

 

tears wed the rain

and they dance down my body

as one


I wrote this while listening to a friend of mine play the most divine improvisational piano music I have ever heard.  I also wrote this poem the last time I heard her play.


NaBloPoMo Day 10