Monday, December 31, 2007

Dissertation Karma

Hi folks,

You may know that Scully is in the PhD program. She's wrapping up her coursework and will be starting on her dissertation in the fall. This means we are participating in all kinds of surveys in the hopes of generating some dissertation-research karma. And I'm also passing this along.

Below is a survey for Asian/Asian-American/Pacific Islander women about sexuality. (Did you know that Saudis "count" as Asian? We do! Even though using this label is a bit of a flashpoint in Arab communities because it effectively splits us into Asian or African--as opposed to the millions of other splits, right? For the purposes of this survey though, i didn't sweat it. :) Hat tip to La Chola for the survey. So if you identify as API and if you identify as a woman, consider taking the survey. It only took me 5 minutes and you'll help a sister out!

---------------------------------------------------------------

Greetings friends and colleagues,
This e-mail contains a description of a study that I am conducting through the Rollins School of Public Health of Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. With the description is a link to the survey itself. Please forward this email widely and pass the information on to anyone who might be interested in participating. Thank you so much for your help, it is truly appreciated!
Sincerely,
Maria Luisa V. Tungol, MPH Candidate 2008Behavioral Sciences and Health EducationRollins School of Public Health, Emory UniversityAtlanta, Georgia


Link to survey:
https://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=qzCT6PUlv9vSDKDRtChzSA_3d_3d

What is this study about?
This study involves Asian American and Pacific Islander women and their experiences with their sexuality and being Asian American and/or Pacific Islander. It will take 15-20 minutes to answer questions about your thoughts and feelings surrounding your ethnic experience and sexuality. We are looking for Asian American, South Asian American, and Pacific Islander women who are 18 years of age or older. Participants must currently live in the United States. The completely anonymous survey is to be completed entirely online, so it can be done anywhere and at any time you are able and feel most comfortable.

Interested in participating?
If you are interested in participating in the study, please click on the link below to proceed. Participation is completely voluntary and you may withdraw at any time, though the more completely and honestly your responses, the more helpful your information will be to our study. Again, the survey is completely anonymous.
https://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=qzCT6PUlv9vSDKDRtChzSA_3d_3d
Also, if you know other people who might be interested in participating in this study, please forward this email and survey to them. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Maria-Luisa Tungol at mtungol@sph.emory.edu

Again, to participate, please click the link below:
https://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=qzCT6PUlv9vSDKDRtChzSA_3d_3d
Thank you so much for your interest, time, and support!

Sincerely,
Maria Luisa V. Tungol, MPH Candidate 2008Behavioral Sciences and Health EducationRollins School of Public Health, Emory UniversityAtlanta, Georgia

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Well I guess we just can't have anything nice

This was a constant refrain from my mother when she would take a leap of faith, purchase something nice and then watch it be quickly destroyed by her offspring.

My parents bought a new kitchen table & chairs (upholstered kitchen chairs--another leap of faith on my mother's part) and on the very day they were delivered my brother and i were playing. we were cutting dinosaurs out of paper and talking about how when we grow up we'll open our own business selling the pictures he draws and the poems i write. So we were playing on the new kitchen chairs and thought they were just the right height for us as we were cutting out these dinosaurs. . .with an exacto knife.

Yes, on the day the new chairs were delivered we split one of them straight down the middle with an exacto knife. . . unintentionally.

In truth, we were shocked that the chair was split open. It hadn't even occurred to us.

"Well I guess we just can't have anything nice." My mother tucked her steaming rage into that one tightly packed sentence.

It is the sentence I said to Scully this morning as I climbed back in to bed at 6 am. A police officer had been banging on our door and woke us up. I answered the door and he informed me that my car had been broken in to and asked if I would come see what was missing. Sigh. I want a garage.

Our cars (almost all the cars in the complex) were broken in to two years ago as well. They were grabbing change and taking trinkets and moving trash from one car to another. They broke the window in Scully's truck to get inside where they found $2 in loose change to swipe. The lesson I learned is to not leave anything in my car and to leave it unlocked.

"Well, thanks for making it easy for us!" Say the assholes this morning as they rummage through my car and from all appearances only my unlocked car. They left the glove box open, a copy of my much labored-over grant documents strewn about and swiped the loose change.

Someone apparently needed that $2 more than i do. i get that. i just hate the feeling that someone has been through my stuff. and i really hate the feeling that i guess i just can't have anything nice.

Housekeeping

I know we have all already agreed that google sucks balls and that all the cool kids have left blogger for wordpress and that a friend even offered to host me so i, too, could leave blogger and that despite it all i have decided to stay. with that preamble, i have a complaint.

Blogger has stopped emailing me when a comment is left on my blog. I have reset my comment notification and still nothing. When i leave a comment on my own blog, i get a notification. otherwise, zip.

Additionally, someone has been leaving comments about 50 paragraphs long about wwii conspiracy theories randomly on different posts. WTF?

In an effort to be a responsible blog/er, I am bowing down to comment moderation in the hopes they will actually send me an email to notify me and so i can screen out the wwii fetishists.

Please consider this an apology as i feel like its a bit obnoxious.

Just hang in there with me, eh?

Thanks!

Queer fruit for a fruit queer

Everyone should hop over to Sarcastic Mom and thank Lotus for dropping me a very sweet email with a link to this site. Then raise your fist in the air and shout "SUBVERT THE DOMINANT PARADIGM! FOR FRUIT!"





Friday, December 28, 2007

30 lbs later

In an entirely separate vein from my last post, I did have an amazingly successful visit at the fertility clinic. They have moved to a different building (different city, actually) but there was still plenty of nostalgia.

The rundown:


  • I am 30 lbs heavier now than I was last time. This is not great and it would be super for me to drop some weight. This is not news to me. They're not requiring me to lose the weight before trying, they just think it would be a good idea to lose some weight. This is not news to me.

  • They are going to let me start back at the same level of fertility meds that were successful in conceiving Khubz. (YEA!!!!!!!!) They are already calling the prescriptions in and we should have a box of crazy-woman-juice delivered to our house in the next week.

  • I missed my period in December (thanks a lot, Christmas cookies) but they're not too worried about it.

  • I got a prescription for metformin (i lost 10 pounds the last time i started on metformin) which is an insulin-regulating med. Some women with pcos get pregnant just from using metformin. Not me. But i think it helped.

This is all extraordinarily good news, also unexpected. I was thrilled and shocked that it wasn't a fight to get me back on the Bravelle. I can't believe we might start trying as soon as February!


Many thanks to folks for the encouragement, fertility boosting tips and mymonthlycycles.com There are so many things that are different this round, some things that are still there but altered and then some things that haven't changed a bit.


Totally different: The stakes. The very question before us. What happens next does not determine whether Scully and I will become mothers, whether we will get to parent.


There but altered: The process. We still won't have much control over what happens (all likely to still be crazymaking) but we have so much more information than we ever did before.


Not a bit different: Their sensitivity. I met with a very nice nurse who started right after I got pregnant. Her name is Judy. She was great. Taking my vitals she said, "Oh I love your necklace. Do you go to a lot of renaissance festivals?" "Um, yeah, sometimes. But this is actually a lesbian-feminist symbol." "Oh really? Well you learn something new everyday. And that's just great, honey" all said in a sweet southern drawl while patting my shoulder "we love lesbian feminists around here so you just go and wear your necklace!" This was a pretty good (if funny) sign and she seemed very nice and with that accent she had me at "My name is Judy. Please get on the scale." But then I ran in to lots of folk who had been there when I was last there and I showed everyone the picture of Khubz. They oohed and ahhed as they should over my truly spectacular girlchild. And then Judy says, "well you have just got to bring her during one of your appointments so i can pinch those cheeks myself!" Nice sentiment. Meant to be welcoming. At the same time I wanted to say : Don't you know that you have a roomful of often traumatized women?? And while not everyone sitting in that room is on the verge of emotional crisis but at any given time there's a good percentage who are! And it doesn't make anyone feel hopeful to see someone with a babychild while you're sitting in the waiting room praying and begging your follicles to ripen. And it's really not hopeful after you've had a sonogram and now know that your follicles are not responding to treatment but you have to go sit in the waiting room before talking to the doctor because they need the exam room for someone else--it's really not helpful or hopeful then. So with all that in mind, I thanked Judy for complimenting my beautiful child and agreed that her cheeks are luscious. I think they need more information about trauma. I'm just not the one to give it to them.


Totally different: I know I'm not the one to give them that information. I know what supports I need in order to get what I want from the clinic even though they don't have all the knowledge I would like them to have.


There but altered: I got there at 2:30. My appointment was at 3 pm. The nurse saw me at 4:15. I waited some more. The doctor saw me at 4:45. What was altered? I spent the time looking at a picture of my daughter.


Not a bit different: I spent the entire drive from the clinic on the phone with Scully, my mom (my awesome mom who says kick-ass things like, "will they let scully be the one to inseminate you again?" I completely LOVE her!) and my sisters.


Totally different: I don't have to do a lot of the preliminary tests like the HSG test (if I'd had a c-section they would need to do it again) or take an HIV test or have Scully drive in for an HIV test. And we don't have go get "approved for parenthood" by that great big FUCK of a psychologist who makes a living gatekeeping for the patriarchy. (they had a stack of her business cards and I almost wrote on them, "you don't have to give this asshole your money! just tell her to fuck off!!" but I decided I needed to be a more compliant patient than that)


There but altered: I'm not writing crazy tomes of emails about this process. Now I've got a blog. :)


Not a bit different: I obsessively share details most friends would like to be shielded from. Look forward to blog posts like, "yes, in fact. gooey is an apt descriptor" or "so that's what Kirsten meant by egg-white consistency!"

My first "Fuck You"

Benazir Bhutto has been assassinated.

This isn't going to be a post with fawning over Benazir as the representation of all hope for pakistan. I know I don't understand enough about pakistani politics to even understand where the problems with her governance began or ended. But I remember when she came to power while we were in arabia. I remember being so proud of her and feeling like her presence proved something about us. And I even remember being surprised that I felt an "us" because I knew that as a Saudi I was not encouraged to feel commonality with Pakistanis (other than being Muslim.) I almost think that was the first time I felt a distinctly non-western womanhood rather than being saudi or even arab. Pakistan has a woman prime minister. Why hasn't the u.s. had a woman president?? I remember feeling proud about that question.

I'm not eleven anymore. Grownup life is complicated. Benazir was not the savior of Pakistan. But I still feel really sad about her death. She represented many different things to many different people. I felt inspired by her and also thankful, like she was my first "fuck you" to all the people who never talk about non-western women or certainly Pakistani women unless they're talking about a sexual assault case that reaffirms how fucking superior they are (see mainstream feminist blogs everywhere.)

(sigh)

Check out some good links via Problem Chylde

Monday, December 24, 2007

A quickie update

The girlchild is sick.

She has some sort of sore throat/persistent cough/mucus overdrive and has been put on an antibiotic because her ears are threatening to join the revolt. She is asleep. Scully and I took shifts last night, sleeping in the recliner so she could be semi-upright in our arms. It seemed to help.

Other than that things have been going great here in Texas.

Scully's sister, nephew & father have all arrived safely in Mexico (hamdillah.) I'm adding that whole story to my "must blog" list.

Tita (grandma), Scully, Khubz and I all went to the massive three-floor used bookstore. "Remember our goals" Scully reminded me as we all piled out of the car. "No debt but mortgage debt, right?" (This requires us to have lentils at least one night a week as there is $20,000 in student loan debt between us.)

Someone has put bumpersticker over the parking sign where we have parked. "LESS IS MORE." it pleads.

What did I put in our basket? Two books--both board books for Khubz. Scully did good as well and for the first time in our lives we left that bookstore having spent less than $40.oo. Kick ass.

Alas, I don't have a lot of words in my head right now. here are some reminders of stories to get to:
Explorations in Classism
More ttc nostalgia
American Family Values & Immigration Policy

Friday, December 21, 2007

How did you. . . ?

In Iowa a couple weekends ago. I'm riding to Target with a sister and her daughters. Her 7 year old, Dax, has some questions for me.
"Where's Khubz, anyway?"

"She's with her mama. They wanted to stay at home and play together."

"Why didn't Aunt Scully get a baby?"

"She did, Dax. Khubz is both of our baby"--- I am cut off, and quickly.

"I know that, Aunt FFemme." She is rolling her eyes at me, both literally and with her tone. "I mean, why didn't she get a baby in her body?" Duh.

"Oh. Well, some women want to be mommies but don't want to have a baby in their body. Other women want to be mommies and they do want to have a baby inside of them. Then there are other women who don't want to be mommies at all. When you become an adult woman, you'll get to decide what you want to do with your body." Good answer, right? But of course, we know it's more complicated than that. There are women who want to be mommies but can't or want to carry children but can't or want to be daddies but are told they can't be that either. And what if she doesn't grow up to be a woman at all what if this whole conversation was actually with my nephew Dax but I didn't know it yet? And what if my nephew Dax grows up to be a lovely man and then decides he wants to be a mom? No more time to expound on the multitude of gender/family options. Here comes another question.

"But how did you get the man-stuff in you?"

I grimace. Eckhh. Man-stuff. Just what I have spent my adult life trying to avoid. "Well. . ." I hesitate.

"You mean the sperm? How did she get the sperm in her? A doctor helped her." Says my sister who is in that moment helping me.

"Yeah. The sperm." Dax clarifies. "Where did it come from?"

Okay, sperm. There's irony there, too. (Purchasing at exorbitant prices something for which there is no scarcity. Really. And never will be.) But it's certainly better than "man-stuff."

"Well, there are very generous people in the world who know that some families can't have children without help. And they are very kind and they give parts of their bodies so those families can have children. And we will always be very grateful that people like that exist and were so generous."

Off the mark again, Aunt FFemme. "Where did the doctor get it?" Dax is now speaking to me in simple sentences.

"A laboratory." Her mom rescues me again. "The doctor gets it from special laboratories."

"Oh." Her satisfaction is so fleeting. Immediately she moves on to the next question. "But how did they get it in you?"

"Yeah, how did they get it in you?" My sister asks. "A syringe?"

A syringe? Are you fucking kidding me? "No, no. It was a tube--" cut off again

"Oh, a tube." Says my sister

"A tube?" Dax echoes.

"Like a giant straw." My sister suggests.

"NOT like a straw." I insist. Eckhh! "A tube. They just put the sperm in one end and Aunt Scully shot it inside me and then the sperm and the egg joined and then Khubz started growing inside me."

"ohh. . ." but still not satisfied. "Can I get a Bratz doll for christmas?"

"No." her mother replied.

All was right in the world.

The Kelly story

Thanks for the many fertile thoughts/blessings coming my way.

We are heading to texas in the morning and I've promised to catch up on some stories before gallivanting off to the land of meat eaters and mega churches (okay, scully, so it is also the land of mesquite trees and tamales, so there.)

Kelly goes furniture shopping, takes a bath & does some laundry.

Kelly has five kids and a dog. Not just a dog but a lab. And not just five kids but five kids under the age of 9. And not just under the age of 9 but an 8 year old, a 6 year old, a 3 year old and 1 1/2 year old twins.

She's my sister (Kelly). That's a whole other complicated story, but just, for now, accept it. Kelly recently moved her five kids and her dog into a new house. Her husband is great and I love him except when he's acting like a schmuck (like during this move) but I don't have permission to tell that story.

So 2 days after moving her five kids and her dog and her husband into their new house they decide to go get beds for the twins. Previously, the kids all slept with kelly. They wanted to change that pattern and thought moving into the new house would be a good time to make the change. So, the last few nights Kelly has been sleeping on the floor in the twins' room with the twins and her 3 year old. On the floor. Um, yeah, let's go get beds.

And how do they shop for furniture? Okay, kids, everyone pile into the van! (This is how my parents used to go furniture shopping with the 5 of us. I still think they took us all along just to leverage some sympathy for a better deal on a recliner.) They all go furniture shopping. They drive across the city where they live and it takes an hour to get anywhere so it's already been an hour before they get there and then. . . the van breaks down. Her husband manages to get to a parts store where he's sure he can fix it. Eventually with borrowed tools because they'd taken the tools out of the van for the move, he gets it fixed. They're up against an icestorm now, though, the kids are done being patient and they decide to just head home. Enough shit for one day. Then they hit traffic going home and just 15 minutes away from home. . .fzzzzzz. . . .the van breaks down again. He gets it to another parts store where he assures Kelly he can fix it in half the time if only she'll take all 5 kids out of the van. So she does. She takes five kids including a 3 year old and two 1 1/2 year olds into a auto parts store where they can touch nothing, everything is either poisonous or a choking hazard or, in fact, a poisonous choking hazard. She does this. Let me say that again. She does this. He gets the van fixed. They load everyone up all over again and the van limps home. It has been four hours since they left and they have accomplished nothing. I could been in iowa by now, Kelly tells me over the phone.

Instead she is in her new house with her new whirlpool tub which all of the kids are dying to try. The icestorm moves in, the whole house is still in boxes so sure! Let the kids frolic in the whirlpool tub. And they do. And there is much rejoicing.

Finally the kids are all asleep and it is Mommy's turn in the whirlpool tub. And the water is hot and the jets are running and there really is much rejoicing.

Schhhkkkk!

A washcloth gets sucked in to the whirlpool intake.
Broken.
It is broken.
They just moved in and now the whirlpool tub is broken.
And mommy broke it.

fuuuuuck.

But she is unstoppable, my sister kelly. She finishes her bath and gets up to go unpack some more boxes. Before doing that she needs to start some laundry which means tracking down the laundry detergent. Bargain shoppers that they are (they are also a one-income family) they have the mammoth 5-billion-loads-of-laundry-in-one-bucket-of-soap container from the giant discount store. And it's laundry liquid so it weighs 5 billion pounds as well.

But Kelly really is built for birthing and hauling and accomplishing tasks and getting things done and always, always for perseverance. I know that entire description is actually just the trap of womanhood glued neatly together with the flypaper of motherhood. Just work with me.

She gets everything to the washing machine and she's hooked it up--correctly, thank you--and pours the detergent in.

What the fu--???

MOTOR OIL.

It was motor oil! Her husband had used an old detergent container when he changed the car oil. And in her exhausted, near comatose state, she has just poured motor oil into her brand new washing machine. It was time for bed. Way, way past time for bed. Lucky for her, the floor of the twins' room was looking very comfortable.

Unreal. I don't know how you keep breathing, I say to her. I don't know why you keep breathing, says another sister. Kelly laughs, secure in the knowledge that if it were any of us-sisters, we'd just never make it.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

drawing down the moon

Watching the moon
above me

waiting for blood
below me

will my body
again master
the secret of
a blood orange?


not just blood

but seeds

fruit

growth




i have an appointment at the fertility clinic for a consultation. we are getting ready to go again, inshallah. if anyone has a menstruation calendar widget send it my way, won't you?

Monday, December 17, 2007

Meanwhile in Kansas

I am back at home and what do I find waiting for me?



My baby girl has grown into a muppet.


Sure, the coat's a bit big on her. But don't the mittens make it look like she's one of those muppets performing puppets?

If you're looking for a more scenic view of the beautiful icestorm we had recently, hop on over to start here at Sabine's Thoughts. Her daughter Amanda took these photos and they're stunning.

As for Scully & Khubz, they had a great weekend. It made my weekend even better and I actually had a surprisingly low-stress, quite-like-it-was-long-ago sisterfest of a weekend. I came home to a totally clean house, however, which means that rather than blogging I should be doing the laundry. So no stories for now but here is another pic I've been meaning to post.

For Dia De Guadalupe we put Khubz in her Mexican finest. Nice, huh?



Saturday, December 15, 2007

blogging from iowa

I'm here in iowa without the girlchild.

Everything's okay. Scully wasn't about to let me abscond with the child during her first truly free weekend after finals. Kansas just got a foot of snow. At last report they were having a ball. (as in snowball)

This is just a quick hello and to remind me what's on my list to blog about.
Lots of other people's stories to tell like

  1. kelly buys a new house
  2. kelly goes furniture shopping
  3. and kelly does a load of laundry

She didn't ask me to tell any of these stories. But they're so f'n good that I can't pass it up. More later.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Dia De Guadalupe

Happy Dia De Guadalupe!

Whether you get down with a traditional Guadalupe





or a more modern manifestation


Or if, in fact, you rest easy with her in roses



We should all take a minute to thank this Goddess of the Americas.
She brought roses in winter
She preserved the Goddess in the face of a colonizing religion
She has brought me, personally, indescribable gifts. For that I thank her.


In other news, I have some others to thank as well.

With many thanks for the "gentle encouragement" from AMack, CutiePants and Rivolta, I should apologize for my inexplicable hiatus. Things are bonkers at work right now and frankly, things are so enjoyable at home that I don't want to retreat into the basement to blog. At the same time there's quite a bit going on in the world and in my world. Most of the time I have either an excited sense of "Oh, I am SO blogging this!" or a heavy sense of "Goddamnit, I'm going to have to blog this, aren't I??"

So I have a list of things spinning in my head but I'm not being particularly witty because I don't have much time right now. Let me quote a dear friend and superior blogger: "It's just that sometimes, I find myself giving in to the dominant linguistic and cultural paradigm, because I just don't have the creative power necessary to generate my own description of events without falling back on cliches." So rather than following her lead of being ridiculously intellectually lazy
I'll pacify everyone with a quick Khubz story. I'll get to the political ranting & ravings of Islam and violence against women, of receiving federally funded technical assistance about my lack of parenting skills, of the pure and utter freedom we have all felt since Scully finished her last final. . . But until I garner the creative power necessary just settle in with this: Khubz has learned to count to three.

Khubz divides the world into three categories.

1. That which is of the mommies. This includes the mommies themselves and anything they keep on or near their person. Cell phones, their hair, any food they might be eating. Anything which falls into this category is of goodness and should be shared one and all.

2. That which is of nonono. This includes a wide range of things, many of which dangle invitingly on a tree newly erected in the living room. Tinsle, electrical outlets, remote controls--you get the idea. Anything which falls into this category should be secretly coveted until the moment is right.

3. That which is of bananas. This really just includes bananas but all of bananas: The banana itself, the banana peel, the mere suggestion that there might be more bananas. Anything which falls into this category must be devoured immediately and stuffed into one's mouth while demanding more.

I can't wait to see what happens when she learns to count to 10. Stay tuned.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Getting worse

And somehow, things got worse just by posting their stupid rating.

cash advance

<>

I get an "F" for Accessibility

I suck!

Sorry. I'll try to do better. . .

cash advance

A Post for the Posterior's Posterity

This is less a blog post and more a plea. Please post a comment encouraging Scully to make the only decent choice. Ask her to just let me take the damn picture.


Scully, it seems, is a bit shy. I should say first that it is her birthday--happy birthday, habibeti! And secondly, for anyone who worries about me on such occasions--i did remember & greet & treat her properly.
But so she's doing this whole "shy" thing. Now if you know Scully then you know that she is not shy. We can't run to the grocery store without me feeling like a politician's wife. We have to say hi to everyone and if we don't know them that's even more reason to strike up a conversation. She's like my dad that way. That's fine. It's just not who I am.
Back to her newfound shyness. So "you're not shy! why are you pretending?!" I ask her, exasperated. "What is you're deal with this oh, i'm too shy bit?!"
"You want to put a picture of my ass on the internet!" she responds.
"I wouldn't show your face" I reassure her, not so successfully.
"My ASS. You want to put up a picture of my ASS."
"That's stretching it a bit, yeah? Really, I just want to put up a picture of your bruise."
"The bruise that extends all over my entire left butt cheek. That counts as my ASS. No. No. Fruitfemme? NO."
(And before anyone goes & gets any ideas. I said I had a fruit fetish. Nothing else. okay? So put those nasty ideas away. I mean, come on. I don't even like my fruit bruised.)
Poor woman. She won't let me put up a picture of the bruise but it's bad. It is easily as big as my entire hand, fingers spread out. It is black with purple streaks. What happened?








Yes.

She fell down the entire length of the stairs. Hamdillah, Khubz was not with her. Hamdillah, she is alright and the only injury she sustained was a fairly massive bruise to her left butt cheek. And since she's going to be okay, and since we'll eventually repair the railling, and since we have already swept up the broken screws and chunks of drywall. . . don't we need a picture to remember the whole story best?!

Please, talk some sense into her. I can't.

p.s. Where was Khubz during this dramatic incident?

Reading my newly borrowed copy of Foreskin's Lament. Nice. Nice.


Saturday, December 1, 2007

How good is it to be home?

This good.

See that apple?

See that stem

snug & solid

surrounded by

that apple?

All as it should be.

Friday, November 30, 2007

heading home (soon)

Two more hours of this meeting. . . Just two more hours.
If Joe is reading this, don't be fearful that I'll go all poetry on your ass for too long.
It's just the place that I'm in now.


heading home
para khubz

heading home
with gifts
for my girlchild:
hotel soap
an individual
box of cheerios,
my arms,
my voice,
my presence,
my self



heading home
para Scully

heading home
towards my
woman
who held up
the sky &
held me
together
from so far
away.
heading home
to hold her.

heading home
para me

heading home
back towards
myself
i will rest
with my people
i will be close
& tired
& finally
finally
home

A bit better

Well, I've been learning from some challenging people today. One woman in particular cannot say anything without me feeling like she has just vomited on me, shit on me and then set me on fire. It's not her fault, right? She clearly has some communication problems.

But things seem to be a bit better. We had dinner with a woman (employed by the above woman) who does not shit on us, vomit on us or set us on fire. She sometimes says things like, "oh, vomit? I didn't even notice the vomit. You know, I don't think that's vomit at all, do you?" but tonight she said some things like, "yeah, i think I've sometimes smelled something like vomit. I've never seen it, of course, but I accept your perspective that the acidic, partially digested bile all over you is, in fact, vomit."

BTW, Rivolta has won her challenge. It is impossible for me to go 15 posts without using my "graphic descriptions of bodily fluids basket" label. She said I failed some 10 posts ago when I was writing about flatulence. Who knew she was such a weenie? So here is my official concession: "Sally, you were right. I was wrong. My name is the FruitFemme. And I have a problem with inappropriate communication about bodily functions."

So back to the inappropriate shit/vomit/fire story. I do consider it progress that she at least acknowledged the smell of the vomit that we had been subjected to over the course of this meeting.

One more fucking day. One more.

On a lighter note, I had my first phone call with my daughter today! Scully put me on speaker phone and Khubz said "Hiya uma!" It was so clear that I thought Scully was imitating Khubz, just to get her to speak up. But it was Khubz! And she said it twice!!

I was thrilled. So I recited Dig, Ivan, Dig and then Little Quack and told her I loved her. And then she began to wail and sob. At first I thought, "oh, she misses me! I'm coming soon, habibeti!" but then Scully let me know that she's really okay and was pissed because there's no more avocado. Ah. Ahem. That's okay. I wasn't sweating it anyway.

So how is the weaning going? Well, there are hot rocks in my sports bra that I have fastened as tightly as possible around my ever hardening bosom. I have always had a thing for butches that bind their breasts but I have a newfound appreciation for how uncomfortable it must be. Other than that, I feel moderately sad. But the poem helped and all the lovely supportive comments really, really helped.

Actually, this whole blog/community thing has really, really helped. And I do feel a bit better.

Thanks.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

weaning in 5 acts

Some poems are written in ink or out loud.
Some poems you don't whisper to anyone or even copy off scratch paper.

This blog occupies a space between performance and privacy for me
So I'm posting this anyway. You can blame mango tribe if you like.


i
my breasts are humming
full of milk
tender
sore
heavy

i am my own metaphor

ii
i am missing our ritual
where i nourish her
and she
me

she welcomed me
and i
her

warm milk for
a warm embrace

iii
when we began
it was constant
every hour
half hour
every minute
every cry

and then each whim became
a ritual
a greeting
a way to share certain moments
morning, naptime
a before & after dinner snack
a way to get through
long tired nights

then came teeth
cows milk
tugging at my blouse
and she learned to nap instead
with backrubs
while patting my breasts
nostalgically

and now even the morning
and the evening
are faced without.
without my milk.
without me.

instead she has
her own self
her own body
in this new &
brave way

iv
this is not our first separation
that was more dramatic

i pushed her out of my body

and i wept & i bled
gazing at her
with flooded feelings
of joy & fear

my pregnancy ended
my girlchild began

distance was required
to simply meet her

v
and now more distance

if motherhood is this process
of moving her into the world
i have just dilated to 2 centimeters.
there will be more
(like crowning)
but this is enough for now
frightening & uncomfortable & necessary
& not really the end of anything

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Really, I'm not making this up

Coming up on the door at the business center:

Two white women have been at the wrong door. A guy who works at hilton is showing them to the correct door. "Oh, thank you, thank you." they say "I can't believe we were at the wrong door. Thank you" they say.

"That's alright." He says, not with a st. louis accent. "I'll show you the way. See? I'm a black man but I'm nice to you. Just like a little teddy bear."

The white women twitter uncomfortably and go on through the door. I tilt my head with a question on my face and he turns to look at me.

"How ya doin, Sister?"

I smile my response.



What is going on here????

the word from st. louis: Baaaaa

There's quite a bit to catch up on. I am stuck in a hotel in St. Louis with shitty overpriced wireless access. This means I am in the business center with too many white men and I'm on a computer with a mandatory logoff in 25 minutes. Damn.



Today was my last day of nursing Khubz. Ever. Ever. As in. . . Ever. More on that later. Or not.


I hate flying southwest airline.


My niece broke her arm right at the end of thanksgiving weekend.


I ate a crappy, overpriced dinner at the hotel restaurant while having a difficult conversation with a woman whose adult daughter was nearly killed by a batterer. There was shitty response from law enforcement, legal aid, DV advocates, mental health. . .everyone. She is telling me about a particularly shitty response from law enforcement and asks me if I'm shocked. "I think that is absolutely horrific and also not unusual." So we talk about that, how uneducated people are, how unhelpful, how they don't recognize the safety issues for the woman, how they blame her, how they operate with so much bullshit, shame and misogyny that many battered women won't even try to talk to someone about what's going on. Then this woman talks about her frustration with how her daughter has responded to the batterer and more recently, her frustrations that her daughter has started dating someone else. "Oh. . . And what else?! This one's also black--so you know that just ups my anxiety!"

Hmm. "What does that mean to you?" I ask. She immediately tells me that she's not racist, of course. A friend at the table tries to smooth things over, "It just means that she has to worry about her daughter facing racism as well." Ah. Sure. The woman goes on to say that her daughter has such low self esteem she won't even try for a white man. She doesn't even think she's worth that. Ah. Sure.


My one sister and my other sister have some stuff going on. It hurts my heart.


A different sister altogether also has quite a bit going on. Ditto above sentiment.


I cooked like a mad woman yesterday and this morning. When questioned by my loving partner I replied that I wanted this week to go easier for her and for Khubz. ( I get back home late late on Friday.) She reminded me that she was 29 when we got together which meant she had plenty of years of cooking for herself and she promised not to let the wee one starve if only I would sit down with her and watch A Christmas Story. "I know. . .I know. . .It's just going to be such a crazy week for you and I think having dinner ready to go each night will be one less thing for you to worry about." Nice. Altruistic. Caring. Nurturing. Bullshit.

Because reading this required me to reexamine the above statement with a bit more truth. What is up with Two Shews anyway? Even while medicated and recovering from pretty major surgery she is making me reflect more honestly on my own crap.

Okay, let's try again. "Actually, honey, I know you're totally capable of taking care of things. I think I'm cooking like a fucking mad woman because I can't stand the idea that our household can function perfectly without me. Or even worse that things can not function so perfectly, perhaps everything might even go to hell, and there's still nothing that I can do about it. So I have to create some sort of mechanism that will facilitate more denial so I don't go completely fucking nuts while I'm gone."


Every single person who assisted us getting from point A to point B today was Muslim. The shuttle driver, the guy taking bags at the airport, the woman who checked us in to the hotel, the maintenance guy who brought me keys that actually open my hotel door, the cab driver. Salaam. It's weird. I sort of feel like we're family. With all the familiarity and distance that word carries. But, really, salaam.


I called while our good friends were babysitting Khubz. She was having a great time, delighting on her second piece of Rudy's pizza. Scully is going to call me when Khubz finally goes down for the great sleep. We're not sure when that might be, because, you see, Khubz took a four hour nap at daycare today. Great. Thanks. Thanks for that.


Overheard in the business center, "The critical thinking is just not there. . .I mean, people just don't. . . " "I know, I know, I know." "They just don't even think about what they're thinking." "Really, I know, I do. It's amazing to me." "They just don't have any critical thinking, no original thoughts of their own." "Uhhuh. It's shocking." "They're just sheep." "I know, sheep."

I am going to be on the receiving end of their training. If not tomorrow, then the next day. I promise to never, ever again say "they just don't know how to think." because actually (being on the receiving end of such a statement) I have complete clarity that it is a wholly unhelpful thing to say.

Baaaaaa.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

this is so totally right

But then, you already knew that.



What Muppet are you?
You are Kermit the Frog.You are reliable, responsible and caring. And you have a habit of waving your arms about maniacally.FAVORITE EXPRESSIONS:"Hi ho!" "Yaaay!" and "Sheesh!" FAVORITE MOVIE:"How Green Was My Mother" LAST BOOK READ:"Surfin' the Webfoot: A Frog's Guide to the Internet" HOBBIES:Sitting in the swamp playing banjo. QUOTE:"Hmm, my banjo is wet."

Khubz makes her first joke

Everything is a dog.

Bears, cats, moose, raccoons, skunks. . . Almost any animal that shows up in a board book can be greeted with a "woof!"

As we walk home from daycare we pass homes where dogs bark. Khubz replies, "woof!! woof!" The train roars by and we hear the whistle. Khubz replies "woof!"
In our living room, Scully chases Khubz around on her hands and knees. Scully roars as she rambles after Khubz. Khubz stands her ground with a firm, "woof!"

Between her love of dogs and my love of children's books that are not insipid, we do a lot of reading of Dig, Ivan, Dig! It is one of our favorites. So we open the book up yet again and I ask, "Que dice un perro?"

Her eyes move from side to side as if she's surveying her audience to see if they're ready. Khubz smiles, slowly. Like she's really enjoying this moment, the moment when she knows what I want hear & she just wants to hear me ask again, nicely.

"ya Khubz, what does a dog say? Que dice?"

Smile gets bigger.

"quack."

That's it

Forget it. Instead, enjoy this picture.





Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Well hell I don't know

What's going on around here? Does it suck? I can't tell anymore.

Keep your hardhat on.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Caution! Construction Zone

I don't want to hear it.

I am a bit bored with the dark dots and there is no reason to feel stodgy when shaking it up only requires patience and a bit of html code.

So hang in there with me. It'll get better. And worse. But hopefully better again.

Really, A Mack, if you're worried, just blame it on "Those Who Know Best" and bring me some more gum.

What would you do?

So I get this email from a dear beloved person in my life. If I told you who she was, she would only have to kill you also. I'm already risking all in posting this. I feel compelled (I can't help it!) because it is just too fucking funny, so absolutely funny that to not post it would only be inviting the universe to give me such an experience all because something like this simply must exist in the blog of record that operates as my prosthetic memory.
Just for the record, however, this is not from Scully. I think that's pretty obvious from the voice of the email but I think she'd like me to state that just to ensure everyone knows: THIS IS NOT SCULLY.

"Oh my gosh, Jannie, I am so embarrassed I want to die! Call me when you get home because you know when you have those moments when you are so entirely humiliated? Like say, FARTING not once but TWICE when you are talking to the Princess??? Oh my God. I didn’t know what to do! It just came out! LOL. Twice! And she tried not to smile and I kept talking but oh my god, she is typing it outto the others in her clique right now and seriously, all I want to do is say, I quit. No actually, I want to kill her so she doesn’t tell anybody!! Isnt’ that sad??! Like, why didn’t I just say, oh my god, I just farted! Instead I kept talking like it didn’t happen!! And then it happened again!!! Like, where is this coming from??? LOL. I am laughing right now because I don’t know what else to do. Seriously. I was talking to the CM that goes by “Princess.”

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

A Checkered Evening

We keep a pretty busy pace around here at the Fruit Basket so sometimes we have to take care of chores when we have to take care of them. We cannot always take care of chores when we want to take care of them. Sometimes we have to take care of chores we may never want to take care of. Other times we have to take care of chores we might otherwise actually enjoy except that the timing of it all makes it a bit of an, um, chore.

There is a good example of the last such type occurring right now: baby in the bath. Khubz usually adores bathtime. She gets to play with her patitios (rubber duckies), her dinosaurio (you can figure that one out) and she even gets to pee in the tub with immunity since I'm rarely in the tub with her anymore. But right now she is shrieking as Mama scrubs her clean. Why? Let's consider the evening in light of the opening paragraph.

I pick Khubz up from daycare about 5:30. She's had a great day, they report. Only one thing. . . She didn't take an afternoon nap. Oh. Remember that Khubz has a great need for sleep. She is the child who slept for 15 hours straight as an 11 month old when she was not sick & not medicated & the dr. simply chocked it up to her "growing." So Khubz missing a nap requires some sort of intervention. But no time for that now. We had to take care of a chore: getting some groceries for the week.

It is about 10 minutes across town in which time, Khubz falls asleep. This is really, really bad! A micro-nap for Khubz may as well be what listerine is to an alcoholic. You know you have a really, really bad problem but the listerine isn't going to help one bit. It's not going to give you what you want, it only demonstrates the depth of your problem to everyone you encounter.

So it is that child that unwillingly settles into a cart. With no seat belt. So I trade out carts once we're at the store and she refuses. Arching the back! Arms flailing! Legs kicking! Alert! Alert! Danger Will Robinson! Danger! She is screaming and not one person gives me the "oh, haven't we all been there" smile. Anyone who turns to smile or scowl is greeted with one-working-nostril flared as Khubz screams. The other nostril has been sealed shut with mucus. But, I forgot, I can't use that tag anymore. . .

Okay. You win. (always a good mommy strategy, right?) So I'm carrying her around while bitching in a nicey-nicey tone of voice. "This could take us 15 minutes but since I'm carrying you I guess we'll need to be here all evening." "We could zip right through the store, you know, Khubz?" And we walk in to the produce section where it dawns on me.

I am an idiot.

Khubz looks out upon piles and piles of apples, bananas, cucumbers, grapes and a lot more food she can't even recognize and signs "EAT." "EAT PLEASE." "PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, EAT, EAT, EAT!" Her facial expression is not demanding. It is blatantly desperate.

What did I expect? This is the girlchild who is the first one at the table and the last to leave. The child who likes to have a pre-snack snack. The child who asks to eat before I kick my shoes off once we're home from daycare. I have brought her to the land of milk & honey and I am saying, "sorry, sweetie, we don't have any food."

Because we didn't. Where are the cheerios? The cheerios we never, ever leave without? They're gone. The blame game doesn't even matter now. They're gone. Gone forever. And we're all going to have to move on & pick up the pieces.

The crisis quickly escalates. We'll just get what we need for tonight and tomorrow! It'll be okay!

We grab some cheese, some tostada shells and race to the check-out. Where everyone else in the world is waiting with us. She sees the cheese in the cart and begins to panic. Mommy's cruelty knows no bounds. "PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE" points at the cheese. points, points, points.

I worked at Wal-Mart for 7 years, ya'll. Did you know that? 7 years. We had words to describe the people who didn't even wait to pay before opening up packages of food. And yes, those words were disproportionately used in reference to very fat women with crying children who only had the proper use of one nostril.

I love my daughter. But I will not be that woman.

Once we're in the car, however, it is a different story altogether. She endured the torture of being buckled into her carseat and let loose the ear piercing SHRIEK!!!! once we're in the car. It was quite a site: me driving out of the grocery store parking lot while throwing fistfulls of shredded cheese into the carseat behind me. She'd quiet down for a moment and I'd think, okay. We're okay. I'm not going to throw any more cheese back there. She's okay and I'm the mommy. SHRIEK!!!!! Cheese! Cheese! Cheese! A flurry of cheese thrown blindly behind me as I drive down the street.

Because I'm the mommy. I exude authority and calm. Authority. And calm. And shredded cheese.

Thank god Mama got home sooner than expected. I'm heading back out now.

Wish me luck. I've got a lot of cheese to clean out of the car.

Monday, November 12, 2007

poop central

You asked for it, Rivolta.

If you only click on one of these links: please, please, please let it be the first.

A Braden A Day: It All Went Terribly Wrong

Mama Bear: The Mommy Hat or Too Much Poop Talk?

Crazy Beatties: Where Did The Poop Go Mommy?

Poop or Chocolate? : The Mommy Dilemma

Jess & Chuck: Poop Stories

Tiny Farm Blog: Manure Spreading Action!

Caroline Jou Armitage: Real New Mommy Fashions

Skt Baker: Poop Talk

Moore Dorks: Another Poop Post

Mystic Wicks

Don't be sad. . . Only 15 posts to go before I can use the "Graphic Descriptions of Bodily Fluids Basket" tag. Stay tuned!!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

The Big Eight

You can all blame Veronica for my participation in this meme. Enjoy!

8 Things I am Passionate About



  • My family: Scully, Khubz, my Iowa family, my Texas family, Missouri & Colorado family and family in a few more places besides
  • Anti-racist parenting: Seeing all these ISMs play out in Khubz's world makes me think about people who challenge power all the while knowing that their children will be punnished for their transgressions at the same time knowing that their children's lives and possible lives depend on such transgressions.

  • Being conscious of how we spend our money: Money is your values laid out in numbers, right? And sometimes this speaks well of the decisions we make and sometimes this speaks to the difficult options/practical realities we all face (are we back to talking about daycare again??)

  • Encouraging broad & fluid ideas of gender: Yesterday Khubz went to daycare in overalls with a button down flannel shirt. "It's dress like a dyke day at daycare!" I proclaimed. "Wouldn't that be everyday?" Scully counters. Some folks misunderstand butch/femme as rigid roles but that's not what the dynamic is between me & Scully at all. Even though some things fall down that way (I do most of the cooking, she does most of the home-repair) lots of other things don't fit in those boxes at all (she does all of the cleaning/laundry and I forget important anniversaries.) I hope she learns there are a million way to be a woman or a man or both or something entirely different.

  • Ending violence against women: This doesn't show up so much in my posts but it is definitely more than my day job. You'll just have to trust me on this one.

  • Sharing food to build community: This has looked a lot different since Khubz has come along. In my pre-Khubz days I was known for doing "drive by fruitings" or spontaneous deliveries of fruit to friends' homes. Now it's much easier to have people come by but I try to always have something to share.

8 Things I Want To Do Before I Die

  • Have more kids. Four would be nice but I'm not sure my fairly infertile body will support this goal. Stay tuned.

  • Stay at home with Khubz and anyone else who comes to us and my sisters kids (all of this would be happening in Iowa, to complete the fantasy.)

  • Learn Spanish. This better happen long, long before the "when I die" stage.

  • Take Scully and the kid/s to some Araby country. I used to want to go to Algeria but I think Kuwait might be as close as I could get to showing them what I remember.

  • Learn to make my own cheese. And yogurt. And pasta.

  • Own property in the country that operates as a retreat site. It would be fully accessible (like wheelchair access on the playground, menus for people with diabetes or celliac diseas or low carbers, multilingual signage, all of that!) It would be affordable for everyone (low cost access for women raising kids & living in poverty or for non-profits--at least the ones that aren't shitty & oppressive.) And it would be sustainable for us & the world (local, organic and homegrown food; recycled building materials, slow growth to make the project low debt.) Tall order, but this is a wishlist (sort of) right??

  • Write more poetry that make good performance pieces

Things I say often

  • "Abre tu boca!" Usually when Khubz seizes upon a cheerio or pinto bean of unknown age or even better when she finds an all together unknown thing and stuffs it in her mouth.

  • Inshallah, Hamdillah & Mashallah. 'Nuff said.

  • "I love you." This has multiple meanings. Joyous: I love you! Thrilled: I LOVE YOU! Wrapping up a phone call: Okay, I love you.

  • FUCK. Way, waaay too many meanings to detail in this humble post.
  • "Donde esta tu lengua?" Khubz generally does a quick assessment to see how badly I want to impress the person before us. Anytime I seem too anxious to show her off she keeps her tongue firmly hidden behind her mouth, coyly kept closed.
  • "Before you sit down. . . " or "While you're up will you. . ."

  • "What is their fucking problem??" quickly followed by "Who the fuck do they think they are??"

  • "Next time, I'm going to. . ." I don't need to elaborate on that one, do I?

8 Books I Have Read Recently

  • The Memory Keeper's Daughter
  • Little Quack
  • The Hard Man by Penny Jordan (yes, yes, I am ashamed)
  • Baby Palabras
  • Conquest: Sexual Violence & American Indian Genocide
  • The World of the Forsythes
  • Good Woman: Poems by Lucille Clifton
  • Tightwad Gazette

8 Songs I Could Listen To Over & Over

  • Swan Dive by Ani Difranco
  • Henna by Cameron Cartio
  • Would You Harbor Me? by Sweet Honey in the Rock
  • 18 Wheels by Trout Fishing in America
  • Jig of Life by Kate Bush
  • Almost any Dresden Doll song (thanks alot Rivolta)
  • Prospero's Speech by Lorena McKennit
  • Remember the Tinman by Tracy Chapman

8 Things that Attract me to Good Friends

  • Kindness & a willingness to give me grace for all my imperfections/failures/bad days

  • A world view that the world works and looks differently for different people

  • Recognition that motherwork is real work (undervalued, joyous & crappy, life-changing, world-changing political work.)

  • Willingness to challenge yourself & me & others around the ISMs we have all been bombarded with all our lives

  • Love or at least respect for feminism while at the same time critiqing the white, middle-class lens that too much feminist theory suffers from.

  • Curiosity, sarcasm & wit (in equal parts)

  • Adoration of Khubz, of course!

  • Authenticity, not in representing your designated group identity, but in actually being who you actually are.

8 Ways to Shake Up a Meme

  • Take out the tagging of 8 other people--my track record on my last tags is not so good, you know what I mean?
  • 8 Poets Everyone Should Check Out: Lucille Clifton, Audre Lorde, Pat Parker, Cherie Moraga, Kate Rushin, Mango Tribe, Essex Hemphill and me!
  • 8 Things I Love About Blogging: It's gotten me writing again. I've met awesome people I never would have otherwise met. There are people I have met that I've gotten to know better and grown closer to through their blogs. I'd never actually keep up with a scrapbook on what Khubz is up to. It's given me something else to feel proud of. It is a public outlet for my fruit fetish. I don't have to feel guilty about not emailing out regular updates to family!
  • 8 Fun Words that Feel Lovely in One's Mouth: Ankh. Pumpkin. Zipper. Pantriculation. Sigh. Knead. Starfruit. Flame.
  • 8 Essential Items In Case of Emergency: Cell phone. Cheerios. Diaper. Wipes. Gel pen. Change for the soda machine. Keys. Kleenex.
  • 8 Numbers that come before the number 8: 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
  • 8 Ways to screw with people who demand meme compliance: end your list of 8 things with a list of 7.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

In the Interim

While everyone slogs back through their archive of blog posts looking for pooh, please enjoy an animated representation of my daughter & thank that fabulous A Mack for sending me the link!


the poop scoop

Ah. . . I have been issued a challenge (several, actually)

First: Scully is taking in the cosmopolitan sights known as Little Rock, Arkansas and so Khubz & I are hanging out by our lonesome. Except, I've guilt-tripped all of our friends in to coming over this week and babysitting me. For real. Every night Scully is gone. Awesome friends. But the challenge--the challenge was Khubz drop-off at daycare. I have never dropped her off at this daycare and we all remember the challenges Scully faced in getting Khubz through the transition. So I was expecting something pretty bad as having me drop her off is a significant change in the routine. It was. . . okay. There was crying and a bit of clawing at my leg but no shrieking and I didn't even look back to see her banging on the door. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.

Second: I have been tagged with a fun but extensive meme . This challenge doesn't involve as much crying as the first challenge but it does involve some time. So please bear with me as I consider this MISSION STILL IN DRAFT FORM.

And finally: I have been asked to prove my competence as an intelligent adult capable of blogging for 15 straight posts without using the "Graphic Descriptions of Bodily Fluids Basket" tag. Rivolta, I accept your challenge! To get it all out of my system, however, I thought I'd showcase some of the valuable, hilarious and downright intelligent kinds of posts we'll be missing out on here at the fruit basket (for 15 posts anyway.) My plea to all gentle readers is: SEND ME YOUR POOP! (not literally, please) and check out all the blogosphere has to offer relating to young children and the waste matter they excrete. Feel free to drop your links in the comment section. Rivolta, just for you, this MISSION IS IN PROGRESS. I'll do a poop round-up before undertaking my fast from "bodily fluids basket" posts. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

fresh perspective

A change of perspective always helps, doesn't it?

For example, if you've been working on two documents since, oh, say, JANUARY and someone comes in and tells you that they're crap and the reason the documents are crap is because you DON'T CARE ENOUGH ABOUT WOMEN. . . A change of perspective might help, right? Right.

So let's turn to the masters of new perspective--children. In this case, Khubz.

Food, for example.
Food can be understood as vegetables, legumes, protein, fats, fruits (of course) etc.
Khubz would say that food can be understood as

  • makes hair spike upwards (refried beans)
  • makes hair clump and start to smell sour (cottage cheese)
  • makes hair green (guacamole)
  • makes hair shorter (gum) --okay, i made that one up.

Poop, for example, can be categorized a number of ways.

Khubz helped me expand my perspective tonight when

  • she assumed a position like she was making a difficult shot in a croquet game
  • she didn't move a muscle so as not to interrupt her concentration
  • she grunted like she was imitating a wookie
  • I heard the velcro-y tab of her diaper begin to loosen
  • I picked her up and felt the heat radiating from the new deposit in her pants

I would have had none of these considerations on poop, were it not for her.

Although, on second thought, I might have had a better understanding of poop after my call with that above unmentionable person.

Monday, November 5, 2007

A few pics

Here's Khubz walking at the ranch with her grandmother and her Mama. Both Tita & Scully asked me to edit out their asses which is the only downside to getting such a cute "walking away" picture.

Here's the disasterous cake I made for the cake walk at Khubz's daycare (they had a carnival.) It was so horrible that I had to run to the store for rice crispies so I could try to redeem myself.
I think I did!





Sunday, November 4, 2007

Look at that!

I've just been tagged with a meme. Luckily, Scully has taken Khubz out to the women's basketball game so Mommy time is officially at hand. . .

This meme has been described in a couple ways.
Check out Alex Year One for details.

Ten Literary Ladies & Trans Folks I Would Greet with a Bottle of Red Wine and possibly with a Mystery Package with a Return Address Marked "Open Enterprises"
  1. Jess from Stone Butch Blues by Leslie Feinberg. I know s/he wasn't totally ethical through the whole book but s/he was in the midst of seriously fucked up shit and I think things would be quite different now. I'd at least enjoy the cuddle.
  2. Idgie from Fried Green Tomatoes by Fannie Flagg. Come on. I know she made your list, too.
  3. Shug Avery from the Color Purple by Alice Walker. I hope she'd sing.
  4. Gilda from the Gilda Stories by Jewelle Gomez. I have always had a thing for vampires.
  5. Lilith from the Bible. Bad, bad woman. Good, good time.
  6. Geraldine Granger from the Vicar of Dibly. Really, I'd take Dawn French just about anyway she'd like to come.
  7. Lois of Dykes to Watch Out for by Alison Bechdel. Maybe Hillary, too. Definitely Jezzana.
  8. Medusa. What can I say? I love the very idea of a dangerous, angry woman who won't let men even look at her.
  9. Jack Sparrow in Pirates. He may not be a fag, but he is definitely a gender bender. And he'd make such a pretty girl.
  10. Nacha from Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel. She was the one who taught Tita the recipes & magic in the first place.
  11. Scully from X-files. Okay, I don't really have a thing for Gillian Anderson. There is another Scully, however, for whom I would definitely break out the red wine.
  12. (oh yeah and--late addition) Viola/Cessario from Twelfth Night. Here's my favorite part when Olivia asks what Viola would do if Olivia refused her: Make me a willow cabin at your gate, And call upon my soul within the house; Write loyal cantons of contemned love And sing them loud even in the dead of night; Halloo your name to the reverberate hills And make the babbling gossip of the air Cry out 'Olivia!' O, You should not rest Between the elements of air and earth, But you should pity me! For real, peoples, wouldn't you open a bottle of red wine on that one?

What fun! Thanks!

So let me tag The Fledgling Lesbian & Two Shews & Rivolta (who better list weirdo Mulder on her list.) And don't worry. You can list boys (if you must.)

Called By a Higher Power

I have been called to be on a jury pool. I'm supposed to call in the weekend before (it will be in December) to see if I'm needed. The timing isn't great (when would you have two weeks where nothing else needed to get done?) but I am excited about the very possibility of being on a jury. In true fruitfemme fashion, I am exactly who I think should be on a jury!

On that note, let me retell my best "worst juror" story ever. I was with a woman in the courtroom and we were waiting for her hearing (she had been charged with assaulting an officer--she spat on him.) And this woman is in front of the judge (who shall not be named but who I think is heinous) we'll call her judge martin (wink, wink.)

So the woman before judge martin had been on a jury in judge martin's courtroom. The trial was 3 days along when the woman stood up and stomped out of the room, disgusted with the whole thing. Judge martin sent a bailiff after the woman. She took off, got in her car and went home. So they sent a sheriff deputy to her house to bring her back. And she HIT HIM. So now she was in front of this same judge for contempt and assaulting an officer.

At least I know not to try anything like that. I hope they pick me. (I hope I don't regret hoping they pick me.)

On another note: The Spanish Story Hour at the Library mentioned in a previous post.
So Khubz & I get there about 15 minutes early. There's one woman (her name is Berta) with her 5 month old who says something to me in Spanish. I freeze. All my spanish flees from my mind as suddenly, I am 5 years old and trying desperately to talk to my uncle in Arabic. She was saying things like, "My baby is 5 months old." I've said this sentence in Spanish when Khubz was 5 months old. Nothing, nothing, nothing--"uh, que?" So there was this nervous tension anyway, coupled with the strange energy anytime you interact with other adults as parent at these kinds of things.

So we get over that and her English waay outshines my Spanish and we exchange pleasantries about problems sleeping, joys of babbling and talking etc. etc. So at some point we trade names of the kiddos and hearing that my daughter's name is distinctly Mexican she asks, "are you teaching her Spanish?" this was said with some level of fear, surely, as she was currently experiencing my finesse with the language.

But it leads us to that moment. I'm not here with Scully. There's nothing obviously queer about me & Khubz here at the library. I'm clearly not ashamed of my family and yet it is hard, hard, hard to come out to Mexicans and I simply won't come out to Arabs. And it's not that homophobia is more present in one patriarchy than another. It's that I need something different from Arabs than other folks and this seems to have spilled over into Mexicans when it comes to Khubz.

So that's going on. This is also my opportunity to prove to Khubz that there's nothing wrong with her family. And frankly, this is my opportunity to practice so by the time she picks up more on nuance I'll be more smooth.

With that thought, I forged ahead. It was not smooth.

Me: Um, su mama es Mexicana, es de Tejas.
Her (deeply puzzled expression): Su mama?
Me (looking right at Khubz): si. Su mama.
Her: Su mama?
Me: Si. Es mi compaƱera.
Her: Tu compaƱera??
Me: Mi novia.
Her: Tu. Novia.
Me: Si.
Her (in Spanish & English): Oh, I thought, you're not her mama?
Me: Oh, si. Si. I'm her mommy.

Pause. (actually, there were lots of pauses all through.)

Me: Tiene dos mamas.

Stunned silence. A long moment later,
Her: She no have a dad?
Me: Nope. No dad. (sing-songy, looking only at Khubz.)

More silence.

Well, this is about over, isn't it? I think. When will the story time actually start? So it can end! Storytime starts with me, Khubz, this woman & her son and random kids who were already at the library. The facilitator does a great job reading the story in spanish and talking the story through in english.

Five minutes into the first story, Berta jumps up. She thrusts her son into my arms while quickly saying something "I've got to go! I've got to go!! You hold my son?!" Sure, I take her son all the while glad that I didn't have incontinence anywhere near that dramatic after giving birth. The facilitator tells us all that she had forgotten her cell phone on the bus on the way here. The bus is back so this is her only opportunity to get her phone. Okay.

So it was all good for about 2 minutes.
After that, her son (5 months old, remember) noticed that he didn't see his mom, he didn't see anyone he recognized, and this person (me) now clearly identified as a stranger was holding him. He begins to wail. WAIL. To the point that every librarian in the children's section comes over at one point or another to check on this clearly overwhelmed mom. Khubz, for her part, was not about to let me hold some newcomer while she was on the ground. We eventually found a compromise where I held the boy and she held my pinky. We walked back & forth, we looked out the window, we rocked--nothing.

5 minutes pass.

5 more minutes pass.

Is she coming back? I begin to wonder. Of course, as soon as that thought occurs to me I follow it out to it's il/logical conclusion. The frantic nonsensical musings included, "there's no WAY I'd turn this little boy over to the state!" and "what do you supposed Scully would say if I came home with a 5 month old?" and finally, "that's one way to get out of more fertility drugs"

This is all funny because, of course, she did come back. To her red faced boy gasping for air between wails. Pobracito. Poor little thing.

So we finished out the story hour and she thanked me again and said she hopes we come next time so it's not just her and her son.

Doing my best I try to tell her "see you later" which would have been 'hasta luego' but it comes out like this: "Hasta manana--ah, well, probably not tomorrow, but, you know, hopefully, next time."

WOW.

So the long & short of this (long) story is sometimes there's just an element of surprise, a need for an awkward moment to understand because the world doesn't teach people to expect an arab lesbian with really pitiful Spanish and her Saudi/Mexican/American daughter at the Spanish Story Hour in KANSAS. And, sometimes, once you get through that moment, that surprise you can carry on with the business of getting to know someone.

Stay tuned. We'll be back at storytime next week.