Friday, March 25, 2011

We We We Got Nothin'!


It's Friday.

We wanted to make a vlog this week.

We wanted it to be a gentle parody of the Rebecca Black song. (Not a parody of Rebecca herself, because she is just 13 and we not into that whole mocking children thing, unless they are our own children and they just pronounced it 'apodgement').

So we went into the bathroom and turned on the video camera and it turns out that on camera?

We not funny.




really not funny.

We awkward.

Excited came first.

Then was awkward and

dismay came afterwards.

So it turns out we are NOT the next Tina Fey, which came as kind of a shock as everyone kept telling us we were--like our mom, and that woman that stalks us on twitter who we think might actually be our mom.

Our endorphins are kind of low. Spring break is next week and you know what we have planned?

Dental visits and


Not work for us, but for the husband. As that woman who stalks us on twitter is fond of pointing out, WE don't have a job anymore, do we? It is comments like these, and the ones asking if we would tweet about our menstrual cycle at our boyfriend's house, that make us pretty sure the stalker is our mom.

We don't think spring break can be saved, but we're going to give it a shot and take a blogging break next week.

When we are feeling sorry for ourselves, we like to write haikus. Here is our haiku for lame spring break.

Cold wind. Dental pick.
Husband away and children
Don't know they 'aren't work'.

And one more:

Lame spring break means stress
eating and I taking our
hate sex? New level.

We are Vesuvius and this blog was written by Cylons who are also writing our book and raising our children.

I am Vesuvius and I am just joking about my mom, who has been really supportive about the whole 'no worky' thing, and who actually would want to know if I'd tweet like that at my boyfriend's house, if she could figure out twitter. Love you mom! Sorry I said 'hate sex' on my blog!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Sunny With A Chance Of Wonder


We're driving home from school and three minutes into the ride Ayla discovers that the 3D glasses that came with her book order book about sharks do not actually work.

"They don't work!" she said. "This book is stupid!"

The response I've always given before, to comments like these, is something along the lines of, "I'm sorry you're frustrated. I bet it's a really good book though!"

Ayla and I have this type of exchange all the time. Ayla gripes a lot. That's just Ayla. And usually, our conversations go more or less like this:

Ayla: "I have a problem!"

Me: "I am sorry that you have perceived something as a problem. Now I am going to distract you with talk about something else."

Ayla: "But mom! Problem. No likey."

Me:"Something else somethign else something else sunshine birds."


Me: "I am sorry you have perhaps incorrectly perceived this situation to be a problem when it actually is not a problem because of everything like such as. "




Me: "Don't worry. About a thing. Every little thing's. Gonna be all wine wine wine wine wine wine wine sleep wine."

I don't know if I'm making it clear, but that cycle wasn't really working for us.

So today Ayla said, "This book is stupid!"

"Yeah," I said. "Really stupid!"

Did you catch that? It went like this:

Ayla: "Mom, I have a problem!"

Me: "Yeah you do!"

There was silence as we both feel the beauty, the surrender, of this moment. It feels so good to Ayla to have her feelings validated, and not redirected. It feels so good to me just to admit it, to not fight her natural inclination toward dark clouds and stormy skies, to just go along with it.

"It's the stupidest stupid thing ever!"

"It's dumb!" I said. "It's stupid and dumb!"

Silence again as Ayla, now moved on from the glory of validation and back into her usual ornery, searches for a rejoinder.

"I'm not going to bring it to show and tell," she says emphatically.

Please note nobody is screaming or crying or begging the pagan gods to make it rain Malbec.

"You shouldn't bring it! It's a stupid book."

"Well I AM going to bring it." (Look, old habits die hard.) "But I'm not going to talk about the glasses."

"I don't blame you. I don't blame you one bit."

And then--Ayla cries out in delight. "Woah! Mom look at those clouds!"

They were really amazing clouds.

"It looks like a bunch of dead guys watching us!" Ayla says.

"Ayla, are you Hopi now?" I said.

"It looks like a hibernating bear!"said Indy.

"It looks like peacock feathers!" said Ayla.

The windows were down and the sky around us was about all we could see. And then Ayla says, more quietly now, It looks like god.

And Indy says, It looks like a boy and girl god.

The wind is in our hair and the sun is still strong.

Sometimes everything goes wrong. You gasp for air, you're exhausted like you've been swimming through muck, unable to pull your head above the surface. You fight. You fall.

And sometimes, you just let each other be. The updrift catches you and you surrender. You drive along through a gold and green afternoon, sharing the wonder of the clouds.

I am Vesuvius and I'm making this up as I go along.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

In Which I Develop Inexplicable Anger Toward A Dead American Icon


"Roses are red, violets are orange," said Indy. "That can't be true."

That's how I feel, Indy. None of this can be true.

I haven't managed to wake up on time once since the time change.

I hate this time change so hard. This time change is worse than the whole "Kara Thrace is really an angel" thing. That's how hard I hate it. I don't care what Benjamin Franklin said. I don't like his willfully oblivious, optimistic chirpings and I don't like his time change. Why are we all still doing what Benjamin told us to? He got our hundred dollar bills, isn't that enough? He even has a rap song about him. Now we have to let him in to our sleep schedules? Into our bedrooms? Isn't this one step away from Benjamin Franklin telling us how to have sex? Did Benjamin Franklin ever have sex? Listen, I wouldn't take his advice on 'bedroom stuff', and I don't like taking it on my beta rhythms either.

I used to wake up two hours before the Bird was due at school and now I wake up one. And can I just say that getting up at 5:30 am and going to work was a lot easier than getting up at 6:15 and getting the Bird ready for school? This is the Faustian I have made. In exchange for being a Kept Woman, one who works at coffee shops, confounding and annoying baristas all over Longmont, and not for pay, I am in charge of off to school duties. At Operation: Bookstore, you know what I did? I got up. Saw to my own needs which are infinitesimal in comparison to the needs of a 6 and 4-year-old. I drank my coffee while reading my blogs. Then I drove to work where I generally drank a lot more coffee, bought with my sweet discount thank you, listened to my ipod, and played with books by myself for three hours. Sort the books, alphabetize the books, put back the books. When that was done I would chat with my co-workers about Buffy and Mad Men and hate on Twilight. It was a sweet job. Why did I leave this job????

I miss you, Ira Glass. And I'm sorry.

Now I get up and immediately the goblins are haunting. They have needs they can't see to. They need juice, they need milk, but their cups are dirty, they can't find their cups. They need cereal, or bread toasted and buttered and jellied, they need lunches made. They need to fight over the tv, the remote, the blanket, the pillows, the names of the characters, the name of the show, who is Angelica and who is Sarah, what is the nature of the soul, can humankind ever really do 'good'? They need to cry over having their hair brushed, fuss over the toothpaste. They don't want to get dressed, getting dressed is for suckers, why can't we wear our underwear and cowgirl boots to school?

Did I mention that during all this I am trying to conceal my true nature as a Daywalker? I am sloughing off my identity as Mistress of the Night, and it's not easy nor pretty. I'm in a between state, my shape not fully shifted, and my 'Medusa is hungry for the life blood of children' voice is a lot more likely to slip out.

Listen, I just looked it up and you know what I read? Benjamin Franklin didn't "invent" daylight savings. Apparently, out of typical early American petty jealousy of the French, he satirically suggested waking Parisians up with cannons an hour earlier to conserve Parisian candle wax.

Seriously, what a cad.

What an enormous douche. Can't Benjamin Franklin keep his nose in his own candle wax? What's it to him, what the Parisians do with their candles? As long as they keep making chocolat escargot, they can do whatever the hell they want. Have you ever tasted the Parisian version of hot chocolate? I believe in God only because I have. These people know their shit. Benjamin Franklin was like the eariliest Felicity. Always sticking his nose in other people's business. Always making bad decisions with the hair. I don't care if he said something cute once about beer. He probably said it right before he turned around and told everyone else that they should really cut back on their consumption, they were getting a little fat.

Have you looked in the mirror, Benjamin?

I am Vesuvius and I satirically suggest that Benjamin Franklin can suck it.

I am Vesuvius and chocolat escargot is not chocolate snails. It is this:

Image Source

I am Vesuvius and chocolat chaud is not something you give as a joke at a bachelorette party. It is this:

Image Source

Friday, March 18, 2011

A Tale of Two Believers


There are two blogs I read, uh, faithfully. If you will.

One is by a woman who is devout and identifies strongly with her religion.

The other is by a woman who has left that same religion.

The Faithful Among Us says a lot of things I believe myself. Her writing resounds with me, and often I feel I learn from her. About the importance of choosing happiness, of introspection, of listening to the voice within your soul. Basically, she says "Heavenly Father" and I say "Hermione" but everyone knows we are talking about the same divine soul-vegetable.

The Dissident Daughter was raised in the same faith and has now abandoned it entirely. Occasionally she writes about the sexism, the guilt-mongering, the hypocrisy, the judgmental nature she sees within the church she left behind.

I relate to both of these women strongly. In one, I relate to the irreverence. In the other, I relate to the spirituality. One has great humor and perspective, the other brings the soul. If you put them together it might look like Tina Fey singing "Midnight Train to Georgia".

Oh, jeez. Let's pretend I never said that.

I keep thinking about these two women because together they illustrate how two different people can have two entirely different experiences within basically the same upbringing. Within the exact same religion. You can't just blame The Dissident Daughter's parents either, because she has siblings who are still devout believers. It's just that Dissident was born Dissident, and Faithful was born Faithful, and maybe there isn't much anyone could have done to change that.

I don't try to reconcile the two of these in me. I don't like hierarchies. Two of my favorite phrases are "too soon to tell" and "both are true".

Most things aren't one, or another. I think a lot of pain is caused from this belief.

I don't have to be just the good daughter, or just the wayward daughter, or just the prodigal daughter.

There is room for all of them in me.

I am Vesuvius and I think we all know I am the cocktail daughter.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

And To That Isle, One Day I Shall Return

Image Source
When I was a teenager I had this poster sticky-tacked to my bedroom wall.

This St. Patrick's day,
in honor of the Irish, I have liberated myself from tyranny.

The tyranny of corned beef and cabbage.

I don' t like corned beef and cabbage, I don't like the boiled potatoes and carrots, and yet I'd allowed them to ruin my only March holiday for years. This year, I declared: no more.

I told Mr. V I wanted something elegant.

For St. Patrick's day?!?! He cried in disbelief.

Pub food then, I answered. Fish and chips. With Guinness.

Fine, said he.

I declared I should bake us a chocolate cake with green icing.

Corned beef and cabbage has released its icy grip, and our hearts can celebrate the Irish once again.

My grandma always wears a "Kiss Me I'm Irish" pin and for years we thought she was "just joking". Then we discovered we really do have ancestors from Ireland.

I'm not going to get all smug about it though, because we also have ancestors from England. They came in the 1600's. Which means there's a good chance some snobbish Saxon grandfather of ours spent his days hanging "Irish Need Not Apply" signs in his pub windows.

When I was sixteen
, I landed in Shannon, Ireland.

We drove in a tour bus along the Shannon river. The bus broke down and we wandered around the most charming, perfectly Irish village you could imagine. Thatched roofs, cobblestone streets, and a pub bursting song and fiddle and clinking glass into the emerald and gold tinted evening. We bought Adidas pants with orange stripes down the side, they were uncomfortable but in that year.

Everyone called me "love" and I liked to fancy it was because I looked like them.

Ireland was stunningly beautiful and I felt those old pagan people in my blood the entire time we were there, listening to Natalie Merchant's "King of May" over and over again on my discman and letting my imagination take me on beautiful adventures in other times.

I turned seventeen in Dublin. I went into a music store and talked to a young Irishman about Irish music. It was brave of me, at seventeen I was afraid of boys.

Somewhere in County Cork, or maybe along the Ring of Kerry, I bought the claddagh ring that I wear today as a wedding ring, because my aquamarine wedding stone offered itself up to the gods of the Pacific.

Ireland was lush, tropical. There were palm trees and enormous flowering plants. I still don't understand that.

Once on St. Patrick's day
I went to Starbucks.

I was sitting by the door.

An older gentlemen with a white beard and a newsboy cap passed me. As he did, he spoke in a thick brogue:

"A redhead wearing green on St. Patrick's day! Takes me back to home." And he winked in a charming Irish way as he passed through the door.

It was way better than that time the homeless busker on the 16th street mall called me "little freckles" and said I was "looking good" mid-improvised song.

I was only eleven.

I am Vesuvius and I dream of everywhere, but today I dream of Ireland.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Revenge of the Rescued Daylight


Yesterday at school I said, "Oh look, Ayla. Brandon has a Woody, too."

We are resting today.

Making an appearance at Momology.

See you tomorrow.

I am Vesuvius and then I giggled.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

It's Tuesday Morning, Little Bird


She didn't want to read her Henry and Mudge book.

A stupid, boring book.

And she didn't like that kind of oatmeal, she just likes the other kind.

She can't remember which kind.

Children should eat what we give them, I thought. And then I thought, how often do I force myself to eat things I don't like?

She didn't have time to eat her dry cereal in the car because she was too busy being forced to read a stupid, boring book that she doesn't like and she doesn't get to pick which one she wants, like Zeke does but she doesn't.

By the time we pulled into the school parking lot, my Little Bird was rubbing her red eyes and in weepy tears.

"Give me a hug," I said. And then I said, "Sit back down. We are going to Starbucks."

She asked to be carried into Starbucks.

I thought of my mom, taking me to Arby's for curly fries and Jamocha shakes after the dentist.

And I thought about my Little Bird, coming everywhere with me for five years. Every trip to the store, the library, Starbucks. Little Bird my constant companion.

And I thought about how that time was over.

She picked a chocolate milk and the biggest scone.

She smiled and told me about the house they are building in Kindergarten.

It is made of mud and clay. It will have a paper roof. I think people in Africa live there. I think.

Then she said, "Let's go now. I don't want to miss P.E."

Yeah, I thought. I don't want to miss, either.

I am Vesuvius and I'm doing something right.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Saturday: A Tragedy


It had been a quiet week in Longmont, warm and sunny, when the family V got into the mini-van, and drove to Ft. Collins, where it was cold and cloudy.

V Baby One had always mistaken the words "Old Town" for "Apple Town", and her parents didn't correct it because they knew it was a sign of their daughter's above average intelligence and what had V earned an English degree for if not to raise children who were awkward and poetic? In Apple Town, the streets were swarming with beautiful families and bike-to-work types and wholesome college kids with dogs, all wearing what V considered a vulgar amount of green for almost a full week before St. Patrick's day. There had been a parade, they hadn't known. The other children, well groomed if somewhat mundane, carried balloons and clutched bags full of candy, proffering them forth like war spoils. No matter, they said. The Mini-V's were begging for whole-wheat pizza and educational video games at Coopersmith's. Because of the crowd, and the accompanying suspicious number of cars for all the people wearing green bike helmets, they parked four blocks away instead of their usual across the street. Walked shivering in the unexpected cold. It didn't matter, they were of good Viking stock, they were Coloradoans who wore sundresses on Christmas eve and Crocs in blizzards. But their restaurant, their own private, safe place where everybody knew their name, was filled to the brim with the green crowds, their shelter-rescued dogs, and their children whom, the family V saw now, were not only plain-looking but frighteningly misbehaved.

They waited for an hour, V and Mr. V. Debated back and forth between the packed seat yourself bar and the waiting-listed restaurant.

They grew snippy with one another.

Mr. V said "Do you want to split a burger?". V snapped "Fine". It was not what she wanted, but would she say this? No. Fine, Fine, everything was Fine. She drank her children's root beer floats when they weren't looking and sent mutinous glares at her unsuspecting husband, ignorantly playing tic-tac-toe with Mini V One.

The waitress, a fresh-faced, smiling college student who was studying non-profit management, worked with local troubled youth, and who would swear mightily when she later saw what kind of tip she'd been left by the family V, brought the wrong beer.

Don't worry, it was fine.

After lunch it was time to sell clothes at Plato's Closet, the local consignment store for hip teens and college kids who thrift-shopped because it was trendy. V had three bags full of old clothes she planned to rid herself of because it made her feel virtuous. She didn't want the kids coming in, knew no one wanted to buy clothes from a mother emerging from a mini-van that had stick figures drawn into the dirt on the back. She grew restless waiting at the store. The kids grew restless in the car and left for gas. At the hip consignment store, V waited one hour to sell six dollars and fifty cents worth of clothes. She resisted the urge to swear mightily at the 8-year-old working the counter who cheerily told her what they were really looking for was boyfriend t's. Does anyone know what a boyfriend t is, she wanted to scream. But she didn't, she was a woman now, a full-grown woman with kids and a mini-van and a well-meaning, clueless husband to prove it. She didn't swear at 8-year-olds in public, she only wrote about them on her blog.

The family V had not returned; she waited for them outside in the cold, jacket off for spite. Everyone staring at her with her two shameful Trader Joe's bags full of what she saw now were, unmistakeably, Mom Clothes. No self respecting "young adult" would touch a maroon Anne Taylor blazer with a ten foot pole.

Mr. V arrived at last with a minivan full of fancy coffee. She was mad, yet how could she be mad? Mr. V had brought her a latte, something she always wished he'd do. He'd saved it for now, he'd done it on purpose, knowing this was a time when she wanted to be angry, deserved to be angry. He'd brought the latte just to spite her. Usually Mr. V snapped back when she was like this but now he didn't. "I thought you were tired. So I got a grande. I thought it would be better," he said quietly. The nerve of him. He was the most decent husband on earth, to question the fact that he'd driven off and left her to wait ashamed in the cold for 30 minutes could not be brought up by any woman but the greatest harpy.

"It is better," she admitted grudgingly. How had he known to do this? Had they taught the men to diffuse wifely anger with passive-agressive treat-buying and consideration at that non-denominational Christian church he'd been raised in? Would this have happened if he'd been confirmed by Pastor Ingqvist?

In the car back to Longmont, the sun returned. Garrison Keillor came on the radio. She turned it up. Even now, after all this time, she liked her weekend evenings with the Prairie Home Companion. Mr. Keillor sang, his voice comforting like an old hymn, honey could we ask for more? Guy Noir asked a man if he was depressed.

"Well I'm Catholic," said the man. "So how would I know?"

"Speaking of Catholic," said V. "Did you read my blog?"

"Yes," said Mr. V. "It was a little aggressive."

Oops, she thought. She'd been going for Woebegon.

But, thought Mr. V. I like her best that way.

I am Vesuvius and I am strong, Mr.V is good looking, and all our children are above average.

Flash Week starts tomorrow, as it turns out.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Happy Awaiting Spring and Renewal Season!


This is a flash blog. For Friday.

Not that kind of flash.


I was going to give up guilt for Lent. Then I remembered that the whole purpose of Lent is to feel guilty.

When I was a kid, we went to church on Ash Wednesday and the pastor put ashes on our foreheads. It was really awkward having the pastor touch you, and having to pretend like it was normal to be walking around with the accessory of death and carnage on your face. You spent years memorizing John 3:16 and constructing lambs out of cotton and now they give you this? I was always glad to be a Protestant who went to church in the evening like a respectable religious holiday observer. Those Catholics had to walk around with the smudge on their foreheads all day. They had to wear it, like, at the mall.


Last year I resolved to make a King Cake and I never did.

It's ok, because I'm not Cajun.

My parents did their best to raise me right. The Lutheran church is funny because, other than the Soup And Salad Supper, it doesn't have many ceremonies or rituals; and those it does are all a little hush-hush, preformed in silence and nobody look at the pastor in the eye. This is due to our fear of becoming like those gaudy, histrionic Catholics. Unless we are talking about the traditions of "don't flash your underwear to the congregation during the children's sermon", or "don't mock the pastor when he gives the benediction", those traditions are actually pretty fun. I never heard of anyone 'giving anything up' for Lent until I was in high school, and then all the girls were really doing it to lose weight. We're not fooling anybody.

My family viewed most displays of religious enthusiasm with mild disdain. We are Lutherans, we do not raise our hands, we do not even clap for the children. In case you didn't know, it is the 8th cardinal sin. Not that we believe in cardinal sins. It is ok to laugh when you think the guy giving the reading has just proclaimed "Jackass!" in church, but nobody better even think about mentioning the influence of that namby-pamby Holy Spirit. So the rituals were few, and those that we did engage in, we never discussed. (Above all things ,we must not be mistaken for Pentecostals). As a result, I am repelled at a gut level from talk of typical religious expression (giving up for Lent, fasting, praying) and attracted to less typical, slightly pagan forms of ritual (labyrinth walking, meditation, lighting candles, baking cakes).

I don't know why I'm telling you all this except maybe to avoid that awkward moment when you ask me what I'm giving up for Lent and I raise my glass and say, "Not drinking wine on Tuesdays".

I am Vesuvius and this was supposed to be shorter.

I hope you will join me next week when I am challenging myself to write a week's worth of true flash blogs (not that kind. Not yet) of 350 words or less. I realize this is an extremely boring challenge to everyone except me. You probably just fell asleep and banged your forehead onto your keyboard and sent that sexy email to your mother-in-law on accident. Sorry about that. You perv.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

I'll Give You Something To Feel Guilty About

Indy and white blankie, in happier times.

When I was pregnant with Ayla, my old college roommate hand-knit us a blanket. It was beautiful. A creation of soft, fluffy, pale lavender wool, and love.

We used the blanket with Ayla, but as these things go, she became attached to a yellow blanket from Target made of silk. Ayla is six years old and still sleeps with that blanket, which didn't even have a hole in it until Indy, fingers itching and no hair left to cut, carved one into it this week with a pair of safety scissors.

It was a good thing Ayla bonded to yellow blankie, because when Indy was born we were free to use the hand-knit blanket for her. And we used it all the time to prop up her bottle. We were on WIC at the time (formula is expensive), and I had to drag the girls in for monthly fascist check ups. These people mean well but boy oh, does that program need some reform. They told me Ayla was too skinny--my Ayla, who's been along the 10th weight percentile since she was born. Fearing having my formula-buying assistance revoked (that stuff is EXPENSIVE), I, against my better judgment, did as they suggested and started feeding her lots of butter and cheese and eggs fried in butter and topped with cheese. Which would, eventually, lead to our kindly and pragmatic German doctor informing me that Ayla had high cholesterol but ve should not vorry, and me never returning to those WIC offices again.

Anyway, every month at WIC they would say "Do you ever prop the bottle?" And every month I would smartly reply "No". Then I would take Indy home and prop the bottle with the hand-knit blanket. It was so fluffy and full, it did the best job.

Indy's best memories of infancy involve the feeling of that blanket against her cheek. It was there when she took her meals and her afternoon tea, there when she woke up from nap with her face pressed against the crib mesh and the late afternoon sun pinkening her cheeks. It was there when mommy rocked her and sang "Sweet Baby James", when daddy gave her eskimo kisses each night before bed. It warmed her during stories. Waited patiently on the tiles during bath. Daddy could make it into a hammock and swing Indy around. Indy could drape it over her head or shoulders and become a super-hero, or a ghost. It was, without a doubt, her lovey. "White blankie", she called it, because by the time she could talk it had faded to nearly-white.

Indy and white blankie were meant to be together.

The blanket went everywhere with us. Indy learned to walk and dragged it along behind her on all her little adventures. To the store, to the park, through the rain puddles, through the grape bushes that overhung like a ladies hooped skirt. It tattered and began to rip up the middle, but Indy didn't mind. The blanket survived three trips to California. Comforted her on the plane. It came to the beach and tasted the salt of the sea. It enjoyed outings to the zoo and the cherry creek mall. It spent countless hours pressed up between her cheek and the car seat during trips to Grammy's house. Christmas morning, Easter morning, up at three am and puking mornings, white blankie saw it all. For four moves and four years, that blanket went with Indy everywhere she'd go. It absorbed stains and tears and mild abuse like a good-natured mother. One who'd waited over two years for the right child to come.

And then, sometime last September, Indy asked for white blankie and we couldn't find it.

We looked everywhere.

We called both grandmas.

We drove to both grandmas' houses and looked ourselves. Under beds, in basements, under couches, inside old boxes and drawers that hadn't been opened for years.

We couldn't find it.

Indy kept asking for it. "I miss white blankie," she'd say before she went to bed. "Tell me if you find it."

If Ayla had lost yellow blankie, we could have driven to Target and bought a new one. But white blankie was one of a kind. Irreplaceable.

I thought I had sent Indy to grandma's house with the blanket and Indy had come home without it. But after several thorough searches at the house yielded nothing, I began to question my own memory. So I went around to every grocery store in town, looking through lost and founds. At one store I was so cruelly, evilly tricked by something that LOOKED like white blankie from afar, but wasn't. I checked at Target. I even asked at Starbucks.

No one in Longmont has seen white blankie.

Indy is pretty even keel. She doesn't whine or complain. Doesn't throw tantrums. But once a week or so, she sighs and tells us that she misses white blankie. Have we found it yet? she asks.

Oh Indy.

She misses it like a best fried. Like a fifth limb. A sensory doorway to many precious memories.

There is not yet a happy ending to this story.

If the person who has White Blankie is reading this, please know we love White Blankie with all our hearts. We want it back. White Blankie belongs with us.

It's not too late to do the right thing.

I am Vesuvius and there's little I wouldn't do for White Blankie's safe return.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

International Guilt Trip Day

It's International Women's Day and I, appropriately, am celebrating it by feeling guilty.

I mean, I should be spending this day doing one of the "Meet me on the bridge" events for Women For Women International, a cause I believe in. And instead I spent it at the dentist, trying like hell not to terrify her with my mouth full of old silver-plated horrors. Luckily she was strong of stomach. Then I spent an hour running around town paying our car registration late, and paying the ticket we got for the late registration, also late, both with added fees. Bill it to my guilty conscience. After that I wasted a good 45 minutes mentally ripping my hair out fretting over what to do for the girls for school next year. I went to a coffee shop to work on my book, where I sat feeling guilty about spending money on coffee, for working on something I enjoy when I also have things I need to do that I don't enjoy clogged up in the queue from here to the moon, and feeling bad about my writing, which seems downright Dickensianly-wordy, and my plot, which seems Interceptionally missing.

I came home where I felt guilty for not keeping my kids' room cleaner, for buying stuff to make sloppy joe's at the store yesterday (what the hell was I thinking? I feel sick just writing about eating sloppy joe's), and for the window and the oven door, both broken by my husband, both seen by the new owner of our rental property today. On a pop-quiz visit. I read an article on the internet that managed to make me feel guilty for feeding my kids apples and salmon. APPLES AND SALMON.

All this when what I should be doing is standing out on a bridge somewhere with my fellow sisters, raising money I guess or hope or attention for a cause that I actually, truly, really do believe in.

Or couldn't I at least muster an angry feminist rant? I muster them daily just overhearing Max and Ruby, yet for IWD I got nothing?

I say it like it's all just Twister and Puppy-Chow, but seriously guys: can you think of a better way to commemorate female-ness than by giving yourself a massive guilt trip? Isn't this the very essence of femaleness? Feeling bad about stuff that isn't our fault? Can we all just blame our mothers? Or can we subvert the gender binary by blaming our fathers? Their paternalistic, disapproving grumblings over late night Budweiser and David Letterman?

I'm just kidding. My dad fell asleep on the couch reading Updike. He also only drank Coors. My mother never makes me feel guilty except when I don't call or when I get tipsy and refer to Martin Luther as "The German Merman". (It doesn't make sense when I'm tipsy either).

Listen: It's International Women's Day and I'm going to celebrate it the only way I have left: by putting the kids to bed early, drinking a cheap boxed Malbec and eating chocolate ice cream and M & M's for dinner, and spending the dark hours with my BFF laptop reading Supernatural fanfiction.

And no I won't tell you who I slash.

Vive la femme.

I am Vesuvius and I feel guilty about this blog.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Meta Blog

I am really sorry about this blog.

Inspired by the meta-meta episode (look, I don't know if it was actually meta-meta. The show was aware it was a show, but was the show within the show aware that it was a show within. . . yeah, I don't like where this is going) of Supernatural, I thought I would do a meta blog.

So here is a blog about blogging. OR IS IT?????

Uh-oh!You've been Incepted!

First of all, blogging is very hard work and I take it very seriously. Usually before I blog I brew a cup of fair-trade, shade grown coffee and light a candle to invite the muse. I might do some deep breathing or repeat a mantra. I've been working with an expert--someone who also watches Oprah--and together we have lined up my chakras with the perfect mantra for my energy, which is: "Best Blogger Alive!!! Now Tunin' in to the Muthaf@&%g Greatest!!!!".

Yes my guru is Jay-Z.

Seriously though, after I light my candles and do some deep breathing to center myself, I am now ready to blog. I enter in by the Way of Peace:


Personally I think I am at my best when I'm being religiously irreverent (yeah, just forget all that stuff from the first paragraph. I like to be irreverent about other people's religions, not my own). Being irreverent makes me feel like a naughty school child. Here's how I looked forming that joke about how drums don't belong in MY praise music! Oh no I didn't!

Edgy ex-Lutheran girl who wore a promise ring in da house!

(You might not think the drum thing is funny, but I saw someone wearing a shirt that said that once and that is really not funny-er).

Sometimes I take a break during writing to peruse my comments. Now the thing about you poor saps who read my blog is that you are all really mean. I'm not going to name names here, but you guys keep coming round and saying things like "This was a really good one!" or, "haha!lol! *I* *TOTALLY* *KNOW* **WHAT** YOU** **MEAN**!", or even, I'm not making this up, "this blog was really touching today". (I'm looking at you Dalley G.) I am a very evolved being but it's still hard not to let these things get under my skin. So when I'm reading a comment from Dalley G, or any of the rest of you bastards, I generally look like this:


Another thing I do on this blog, because the Muse told me to, is always make a startling revelation. Something that really cuts to the quick of the human experience, like "Mothering is hard!" or "Wine". If nothing deep has happened to me that week, I totally just make stuff up.

"This stuff about humanity being like a bunch of fluffy kittens with snowflake-shaped hearts who need to make their own love music is STELLAR!"

I'm also really fond of doing this--here's a blogging tip from me to you: You say "The Truth Is" and then you make up some sad story with a happy ending or just plagiarize directly from O magazine. For instance (plagiarized parts in bold): "The Truth Is, I Martha Beck am Getting Fatter And Shoes for a New Year New You and Nate Berkus is Coming To Your House to Make Sustainable Banana Bread and Criticize Your Wardrobe! Every Buddha Gets An OWN Network!".

I mean, were you not just reeled in?

When I say "The Truth Is X" I'm usually feeling really self-satisfied I mean very deep and connected and not at all self-satisfied and so of course I look like this:

"What can I say? It's the truth."

So you can see here, guys, that blogging is a lot of hard work. It's a calling, really, and when I'm sitting at Starbucks drinking an iced mocha and totally not flirting with that barista who I thought was really in to me cause he kept complementing my purse but turned out to be trying to convert me to Mormonism, I'm not having any kind of 'fun' or 'relaxing'. I am slaving away here. (And really "Mom", I don't appreciate your cruel remarks, bloggers have feelings too). So, at the end of a hard day of slaving over my keyboard and chugging organic fair-trade shade-grown bird-of-paradise friendly coffee, I like to sit back and reflect on all the deeply meaningful, insightful, revelatory, straight up Great American Blog blogging I have done here.


Like that time I wrote about a mint plant.

I am Vesuvius and Now You Can have Dr. Oz's Ideal Body with Hasidic Jewish Yoga and Fashionable Winter Boots!

**mint plant post here, in case you don't believe me.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Peas Ask A Valid Question


"I really wanna be a Catholic!" said Indy, emphatically like she says everything. "But daddy never lets me!"

"Don't worry," I assured her. "Mommy will let you become a little papist. Mommy wants you to be whatever you choose."

Then we had a long talk about patriarchal tyranny.

This morning I fastened pipe cleaners into Ayla's pigtails for Dr. Seuss's birthday. She asked for green eggs and ham tonight, and so I'm making them.

Best mother alive.

I worked for a few hours this morning and then Indy and I headed out for ham. The storefront was bursting with beautiful tulips. I've walked past them a hundred times before, wishing. I'm only French in a few corners, I can't actually buy flowers before bread. I can't afford tulips.

"I'm buying the tulips," I said. Hungry for self-granted power like Scarlett O'Hara. I told Indy to pick whatever color she wanted.

Indy carried our purple tulips back to car. Liberated to spend money on joy, like me. Her short hair white like the clouds, she looked like spring incarnate. At preschool drop-off, she and her classmates ran back and forth, up and down the sidewalk, one great train made of arms and legs and a beautiful array of shades of skin and hair.

I wrote a few weeks ago about a failure of self-confidence, about approaching 30 and feeling more insecure than ever before. And now, for now, I've shed it off me. I feel it in moments of bright clarity. Thoughts like sun through shards of glass. I see what's best for me, what's best for my family. Unburdened by needs to please people, to make people like me, to appear a certain way.

Sometimes the clarity goes away. I don't panic. I know it will come back.

Moments that say things like, You don't have to make sure those people still like you, or Next time you get soused off one lemon drop martini during the Oscars, maybe don't go on Facebook. They come with a smile. Without guilt or shame.

I feel like I've aligned my energy behind the right things.

I am highly susceptible to cheesy. Last night I nearly cried at a commercial on tv.

Not an ugly cry. This cry that is a laugh as well. I read somewhere that on a basic level, we can only interpret events and emotions as large or not large. Our brains won't automatically label something as happy or sad, by emotion, but only as overwhelming or small. By degree.

"Is it ok that I like where is the love by the peas?" I texted Mr.V.

"No. That one is not ok." he texted back. I laughed even harder.

The thing I'm learning about me is I'm never going to be particularly stable. My emotions, my moods, are always going to swell and fall like the sea. I can't change that. It's just a matter of learning how to ride them.

Anyway, can you tell: Spring is in my heart.

I am Vesuvius and I prefer the Glee versions of all the songs, and that's ok.

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