A lot has happened in the past three weeks, so I thought I’d draft a recap of recent events to make sure that we’re all on the same page and not just going along with “alternative facts”. After we anointed the Gray Champion (albeit his is more bleachy blonde against the orange than gray unless we’re talking about President Bannon who is gray all over and such a big believer in Gray Champions and the upcoming war that he made a movie about it all, but stay with me) to lead us through the Fourth Turning, a bunch of really pissed off people, mostly women, from all over the world, but mostly from the US, put on pink hats and went for a long walk on a cold Saturday while the Gray Champion went to the CIA and told them he needed bigger and better crowds, the biggest, the best crowds, at his events, all of them, even the ones that he was not going to, and to get to work on that because he didn’t want just any crowds, they had to be the biggest, and none of them could be Moose Lambs. Everyone clapped and wolf-whistled, and no one
I think we can all agree that by the end of 2016, we were done, and everyone seemed happy to part ways and welcome 2017. We were looking ahead with tentative hope. My green and pink Syds (a gift from a friend whose creativity, persistence and joy inspires my own) and my St. Therese vinyl are sitting at my desk, urging me to write every day, and while my Kraken word for 2017 is SMITE, my personal one is success. And then January happened. Well, it didn’t exactly happen in that it was bad, but it was more like the most WTF month I’ve had in a while, which doesn’t bode well for 2017 because my life is a series of WTF moments, and for a month to stand out? There was the spawn, with the MRSA, with the cast, with the eraser in it. I somehow became “The Hermit Crab Lady of Facebook” and Cheeseburger and Fries have fans. My drunk neighbor keeps bringing me spaghetti and meatballs and not speaking to me. I’ve written five chapters of my new book, and while I love the characters, I’ve lost sight of what they’re doing, so I think I’m just hanging out in
I’m so tired of doctors. So. Fucking. Tired. There they are bragging about their educations and fancy degrees and fellowships and awards and year of “careers in the field” aka “experience,” and have they cured me? Nope. Have they cured the spawn? Nope. Still with the thyroid. Still with the Ehlers-Danlos. Still with the migraines. They go off and make their speeches at their conferences and say they’re doing the research and all of the things. But I’m still not better, and he’s still not better. And I am, literally and figuratively, sick of it. I’m really angry. What am I paying them to do if not their damned jobs? Do any of them even work a 5 days week? And they are not doing their jobs because we are still sick. The whole freaking healthcare system is broken. It costs too much, takes too long, they’ve got these huge staffs of nurses and PAs and assistants and all, and in the end, we all end up dead one way or another anyway. The only question is when and how. It’s always just “try this” and “maybe that”, and I’m supposed to keep doing this same shit over and over
As many of you know, the spawn had a rough time of things between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and as people who love children know, when they are unhappy, you are unhappy. It’s just the way of things. So, with Christmas approaching, and the spawn sad and anxious and not really wanting to do much, I pondered what to do with the holidays. He’d opted out of Thanksgiving with the family because he was feeling overwhelmed, and he asked for a day at the movies and take-out instead, and I’d agreed. Dr. Strange and Fantastical Beasts were great. But there was Christmas, and Santa. I’d posted lightly about what was going on the Book of Faces, and a Friend from high school had offered to do Christmas for us because I couldn’t think a thought through. But I worried. And so, I said to Deanna, “What do I do?” And we thought. And she had an idea. She was in Gibsons, with her parents that weekend, across the border and the continent. But she told me that her aunt had a recipe box. It was old, and it was special. “What if we fill it with recipes for him?” she asked.
It’s about time someone addressed the very real and largely ignored issue of grizzly bears attacking and eating our children and their teachers on school grounds. It’s totally underreported by the biased mainstream media, but it’s a real and persistent problem. I read on some blog one time that 963 children died on elementary school playgrounds from grizzly attacks, and now, after this hearing, teachers are finally talking about how hard it is to avoid the bears while they are going to and coming from their schools and sharing their concerns about it. The threat is real. Has the do-nothing Congress even talked about it? No. Never. I’m glad that someone is finally going to start protecting our kids. With the guns. In the schools. From the grizzly bears. In all of the states.
Once upon a time in September 2006, I gave birth to a baby boy. And while I cannot say that I immediately fell in love with the rather huge human who was screaming his head off about being prematurely awakened and suddenly having to breathe and eat on his own, I did feel an overwhelming sense of protectiveness. The falling in love with him over and over every day still happens, but then? No. Instead, in an instant, those Nat Geo shows where the mama lion rips the arms off of a passing monkey who glanced at her cub all made sense. Yes, mama lion, yes. He was looking at your babe; of course, violent, bloody death is the only answer. I got it. Maybe a little too strongly, but I understood. I also understand that zebras are typically not violent animals, and none of that has to do with public schools, but bear with me. I’m going to tell you how the Kraken came to be. As he grew up, I noticed that my special snowflake wasn’t exactly like the others. I couldn’t put my finger on what it was, but my background was in Educational Psychology. And folks,
I have to say, that as years go, this one is off to a less than stellar start, though it’s better than last year when, on January 2, all of the pipes burst in the middle of the night and there was The First Great Flood of 2016, which was quickly followed by The Cat Bite That Went Septic. The spawn has two broken bones encased in a half-arm cast insufficient to the task of keeping them stable and painless, we have a jackal foster puppy who is now biting us, we have a cannibal hermit crab who ate its friend’s legs, in front of the screaming spawn yesterday, and I’ve got a to-do list that I’m going to throw away and start over because there are least six things are now past the point of doing. And given all of this, I made the questionable decision to go to the Costco today during the free-lunch rush. Obviously, that was going to end well. You’ve probably all heard the saga of how I developed a heel spur in August, then fractured said spur in late September doing yoga to stretch the foot. The giant shot of cortisol into the foot did
I gave it a lot of thought. I did. And I decided that The Kraken’s word for 2017 is going to be SMITE. I think it’s what Krakens do. It’s certainly what I do often enough. I’m going to collect instruments of smiting, read about smiting, maybe take a class on This History of the Smite, and go about smiting injustice and unfairness and bugs and laundry and whatever else, really, annoys me or seems unfair. So, SMITE it is. And yes, I know it’s an incredibly popular video game for Xbox One, and no, why would you think I just learned that searching for this meme? Sheesh people.
I am lucky to have a bunch of cool, smart friends. And one of the coolest and smartest is Deirdre. Beautiful inside and out, and a talented musician and songwriter, she is all things funny and savvy and thoughtful. And so on this last day of 2016, my way to repay her for over thirty years of friendship is to unabashedly steal her thoughts about New Year’s Resolutions, and how they suck, and how to do it different and better. You see, a few years ago, Deirdre wrote on Facebook that New Year’s Resolutions set you up for failure, and they give you permission to drop the ball as soon you fail. Planning to go to the gym three times a week? Yeah, well, when you miss that target two weeks in a row at the end of January, it’s easy to let go of that resolution. You’ll feel bad about yourself (again), and it’s another reason for some pretty negative self-talk, and then it’s forgotten until next December, when you do the same thing all over again, and hope to have different results. And we all know what that’s the definition of, right? Deirdre proposed that instead of making
We spent last night in the Emergency Room at Paoli Hospital. It wasn’t our first visit, and it won’t be our last. But each one, in its own way, both strengthens us and defeats us a little more. Spawn has a somewhat complicated broken arm. I think he’s had 5 broken arms since the summer of 2013, on top of stitches, sprains, strains and scrapes. He’s had MRI’s and IVs and a host of other medical procedures. Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome is a beast. No matter what happens, though, we’re the ones laughing in the waiting room, or pulling the door closed in the examination room so others in pain don’t hear us carrying on. But last night, it felt like our spirits were broken, too. I’ve been wishing 2016 away for some time. The summer was hard, and fall was a slog through thick muck. While I was worried sick about our finances, a job, the election and myriad other things, the spawn was battling his own demons, and he spent some time out of school working on ways to combat the depression and anxiety that accompanies an incurable disease that causes chronic pain and keeps him from doing things he