I had this conversation with my kids today.

27 03 2012

Me: Hey, Margie! Elliott! Guess who I love!
Kids: Us!
Me: Oh. Well. Um. Yes! Of course. But I was going to say the Doctor.*
Margie: Mo-om.
Me: But you know I’d probably choose you over him.
Margie: Oh, mom! I love you!**
Me: Hey. I just said probably. Don’t get too excited yet.
Margie: “Probably” is pretty much “yes.”

*What? I’m a loving mom in all other scenarios.
**See? She understands what a complement that was.


7 Days: Day 4 (Through the Viewfinder)

27 03 2012

7 Days: Day 4 (Through the Viewfinder)

On Tuesdays the kids have Junior Theatre classes in Balboa Park and while they are learning to sing and dance, I sit with the other parents and drink coffee and sometimes knit or take pictures. Last week I took the Harry Potter camera and got some great shots so I thought I’d bring it this week, too. But it is, like, crazy hard to take self-portraits TTV and there weren’t a lot of (clean, shiny) reflective surfaces around. I considered heading over to the Lily Pond for a shot, but glanced down and saw this and loved the idea of TTV a slightly different way.

Remember how yesterday I was wearing my rain boots? Naturally today would be flip-flop weather.

7 Days: Day 3 (Romana Bubbles)

26 03 2012

7 Days: Day 3 (Romana Bubbles)

In which I show off my shiny new car.

My poor old minivan (Natalie Bubbles) was old. And poor. So early this year (the earliest – January 1st) I brought home a new baby we’ve named Romana Bubbles (because, apparently, they are related). Romana is a Prius V and we lurve her very much. Here’s a picture of her whole self.

One of the ways in which I love her? A fancy backup camera so I’ll never have to run over the kids who play in the parking lot. Also I thought this would make a really awesome picture idea – posing behind the car and taking a picture of the picture – but I was foiled again! We did come up with this one which is kind of ominous (who is that scary gang standing behind my car and where did I put my mace?) and this one which gives me the giggles but is not a picture of me.

So while getting gas I decided to just snap some pictures in the various reflections while I waited for the (small! fuel efficient!) tank to fill. This picture was the result. I love all the various funky reflections.

I’d end this more gracefully, but the season finale of Alcatraz just started and I cannot multitask. So excuse me while i go nerd out.

7 Days: Day 2 (Light)

25 03 2012

7 Days: Day 2 (Light)

Earlier today I decided I’d try painting with light for today’s theme. I don’t have any flashlights that turn on and off with a button (they all twist, which is kind of awkward when you want to turn it off smoothly and quickly) so I started thinking about other options. My iPhone has a flashlight app with a few different light options including one that changes colors, one fading into the next. So I figured I’d go into the bathroom, turn off the lights and try to paint a heart or a spiral.

And then I saw Bethany’s photo.

I wasn’t surprised that she’d had the same idea I did. We do that. We do that a lot, actually. Now we tend to just shout “BRAIN THING!” at each other and we know what it means.

She said I should try my idea anyway, so I did. But it turned out really stupidly difficult. For one thing, I couldn’t figure out how to make the colors change, producing the rainbow effect I’d imagined. I did, however, accidentally stumble upon a way to make it look like an actual rainbow, all the colors there at once. And a rainbow shape would be even easier than a spiral!


After about 30 tries, I came up with one that was only OK. And this happy accident I’m using as my official photo for today. I accidentally took a photo of the phone’s LED light while I was trying to set up a shot, but it came out beautifully, I think. Clearly The Universe had this one planned. Clearly The Universe is planning another free ride on Star Tours or something else awesome.

7 Days: Day 1 (Sometimes I Make a Terrible Girl)

25 03 2012

7 Days: Day 1 (Sometimes I Make a Terrible Girl)

I went to get sized for a bra today. Which I thought would be like, “Oh, let me measure you. OK, you wear bra size [INSERT HERE]. From now on, you will go and buy that bra size and your boobs will look like miracle boobs no matter what because you know your bra size and you won’t ever even have to try on 600 different bras in one day just to find one that works.”

Sometimes I’m really bad at being female.

Instead it was more like, “Here try on all these bras of all these different sizes and THERE’S NEVER GOING TO BE A RIGHT ANSWER TO YOUR BRA SIZE SO JUST GIVE UP NOW AND BURN THEM ALL.”

And the lady DRESSED ME. Like I was on Downton Abbey n shit. That part I liked. Getting dressed by myself? Lame. Where can I hire someone to situate my boobs for me every morning?

And then did I buy any bras? No. Partly because the prices scared me. And partly because I think maybe Nordstroms doesn’t carry many bras in my size (whatever that is) so there wasn’t a lot of selection. But mostly because when I put my old bra on (by myself. laaaame.) the Heavens opened and the angels sang and I realized maybe I shouldn’t buy bras unless I hear angels first. Or maybe I’m thinking of realizing that I should take meds when I hear voices. Whichever.

At least I got a nice nudie picture of me for 7 Days. You’re welcome.

This is what I was doing while my kids were taking a theatre class.

22 03 2012

It’s been awhile since I played with the Harry Potter Camera.


and then i realized how scary the virgin mary is

People Like Me

18 03 2012

Last weekend 20/20 aired an episode that included a segment about children of hoarders. It’s funny how when I was growing up I felt so utterly alone, and once the shows about hoarders started to air I had something to connect to. And that felt freeing. But I’d never seen anything focusing so specifically on the children who live with hoarders and how it effects them. Through the show I found an email list specifically for adult children of hoarders. And holy mother of god. I found people like me.

Labels can be amazing things. I had no word for my life when I was a child. We used the word “messy”. Which. Honestly. It’s hilarious how much of an understatement that was. And confusing. My friends never understood why they couldn’t come over or even see inside – after all, their houses would get messy sometimes. But now everyone automatically knows what I’m taking about when I say my mom was a hoarder. Which is such an amazing feeling that I cannot find the right words for it yet. My whole childhood I suffered in secret and now it’s just a part of everyday vocabulary. It makes me want to dance. (Which I now have room to do in my beautiful home that has FLOOR SPACE.)

The thing that really struck me the hardest, I think, was the term “doorbell dread”. The second I heard it I knew exactly what it was. You don’t spend your entire childhood living in the dark, holding your breath, pretending not to be home at every knock without knowing that term. For years and years even after I moved out and lived in a presentable home, every knock at the door would strike me with anxiety and send my heart racing. Honestly I think it’s been only the last couple of years that I don’t feel that anymore. I am comfortable with having people over now, but I have to be emotionally prepared for it. I so want to be the house on the block where all the neighbor kids play, but I am just so not that person. I’m conditioned to be extremely private and anything else takes varying degrees of emotional energy.

And yet, even for all the things I have in common with these other people, there’s a deep chasm where we differ. My mother’s hoarding was caused largely in part by the fact that she simply ceased functioning. She wasn’t one of those who was afraid to throw away any junk mail or piece of trash. While I do have a reflex to throw things away secretly for all the times I was yelled at for getting rid of the wrong thing, I at least knew my mother loved me deeply. It seems many hoarders cannot express that for their children, and the kids are pushed away by the sea of trash and junk into a place where Stuff really is more important than they are.

And as I reread that paragraph, I see that I clearly have some redefining of my mother’s mental illness to do since that’s a really weak argument up there for why she isn’t the usual kind of hoarder. I wonder what I’m holding on to with that ideal?

Anyway. It’s been a big week. I’m not alone anymore. I’ve shared stories and common thoughts and fears with people who understand in a way that I need to be understood. I’ve listened and talked and offered my thoughts and experiences. And all that is kind of incredible.