Tuesday, September 29, 2009


I'm fairly accustomed to being a decade or so behind the times technologically speaking, always in awe of things like iPhones and needing Quinn and Reilly to help me figure out why You Tube is a stupid bi-polar bitch. Anyway, I love iTunes, and dig making hella compilations for myself and others, but my disk sleeve thing that hangs on my visor weighs like 749 lbs. right now and I still find myself nearly crashing off the road multiple times a day fishing for that one song...

Cut to me noticing that everyone I know uses his or her iPod in their car, and me feeling bewildered and jealous. I asked some pros at Fred Meyer, and some other people I know and they all said I need an "FM..." and then I couldn't hear anymore. I became Charlie Brown and they were all adults, "Mwa mwa mwa." So I plodded on in my rapidly outdated music ritual, with 35 disks falling onto the floorboard every time I reached for one.

The other day I went to Debe's, and she threw this javelin thing at my head, "Here bitch. Now you can use your iPod in the car." Okay. a) I am notoriously bad at receiving gifts, feeling a flood of gratitude but also embarrassment, and b) I had no idea what the fuck this was nor how to thank her for it. It was technological after all. But when I realized it eons later I was so elated all I could do was call her names and start whining for them to install it because hell if I know how to do that shit.

A few days later a friend got it all going, and despite not being able to find a radio frequency divisible by five, there are no words to describe how excited I am to have all 4,000 songs at my fingertips all the time, and how I can toss my compilations into the wind.

It's starting to get easier to accept random gift from friends, but I may need a bit more practice. :)

Thanks jerkface and Kris.

tickled pink

Thanks friend, this was an awesome surprise. Hence my writing on your car.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Friday, September 18, 2009

right now

I am grateful for:

-Healthy safe children, always. Sigh. :(

-Lists. Duh.

-The technology that enables me to chat not only with Mesina in the UK (though we actually use telephones), but Maha in Egypt. I've known her 15 years and it amazes me that we're chatting about tomorrow's post-Ramadan feast right this minute. Love you amazing lady!

-Red suede ottomans with secret compartments.

-Protein shakes.

-Kids who can set up a You Tube account for me and know everything about everything.

-Carmela's Honey Vanilla and Sweet Almond lip balms, which have saved my tomato-ravaged mouth.

-Tomatoes from the garden. Shhh...I just use extra lip balm.


-The best friends possible. Actual adults, who don't play games, whose motives are good, whose behaviour is constructive and consistent and doesn't change with the winds of drama, who are neither cruel nor in middle school, who will go along with the waitresses who ask us if we're twins (?) at Olive Garden, who will save me from the corn at night, and from the ridiculous fucking blue corset during the day, who always have Oriental Ramen, who will give me a rainbow 8 card when I turn 32, and who indubitably have my back, and are not talking behind it. Shocker, these people exist.

-Being in a position to help others.

-Seeing Sam jump 795 feet when a b-i-g spider fell out of a shirt at a swap. OMG it was the best! She jumps farther every time I remember it. (Just became 880 feet.)

-My new purse. Thanks to Emily for recommending the Queen Bee website. For any hypothetical catty bitches who care whether or not I'm passing this purchase off as revolutionary, I'm not. I'd never even heard of Queen Bee, and saw some people who had their products and ordered this. I got a wallet too. Yea for having enough room for 75 textbooks.


-Impending remodels.

-The return of Lost, which I await nervously as it is the last season and there are only a mere 384572348755 questions yet to answer.

-Karma, especially in the form of people who have been nasty bitches getting haircuts that are the spitting image of the hat worn by Cap'n Crunch. (I never said I was Gandhi.)

I'm also amused by people so driven by vanity as to end up shiny, over-plucked wax images of their former selves. (Gotta love the E! Channel!) See? It works both ways, I just sliced my toe open on the cupboard. I'm going to eat some Cap'n Crunch--all Crunch Berries.

-Caddies. Everywhere.

-Jon & Kate Plus Eight, and I will fight you over this.

-Sensodyne toothpaste. It was so hard to give up Tom's but after a new crown began hurting like a bastard, the dentist recommended this and it has worked like magic.

-Pedicures with my kids. (Quinn wasn't available to model.)

-QWERTY keyboards and unlimited text packages, right Sam?

-Long walks in the park with a bad-ass Democrat. I have never been one for nature but damn if health care reform and crackling branches don't soothe the mind a bit.

-The new comforter set I procrastinated about for seven thousand years. Thanks Debe for forcing my ass to stuff all the pieces into those bags and for driving me all around town for what would turn into the most scandalous and effing hilarious return in the history of the world.

-Pre-sale to tickets to David Gray! Yeah, I might die, but I couldn't say no, and what better way to die than to Babylon? At least I have a soul. How many times can one song ruin your fucking life anyway?

-Fun house by P!NK! OMG Raven thank you for that disk! It's almost the antidote to David Gray. Bring the Ram, let's do it! It's not a Delorean but we'll still have to hit 88mph.

-Coming down from the mountains hella fast, around hair pin turns, and being told by a male passenger, whom I was pretty sure was going to stop being my friend, that he has never seen such bad-ass driving and no one handles a Jeep like moi.

-Home schooling, finally. So many activities this year, I turned out to be a soccer mom after all. Minus the soccer, just the driving.

-Never having to embellish the good things in my life for appearances.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


This is Debe. You may have met her. But probably not. She is pretty shy, so it's likely you don't know that she is the funniest human being alive. She texted me this picture two weeks ago Sunday after a day that kicked my ass right to the ground, and I could scarcely look at my phone. She included a really resonant quote as well, our first non-sarcastic text.

Behind the anonymity of black and all the tattoos is a woman who is all heart (and thankfully, all mouth too).

Today she is enduring the unconscionable agony of delivering the baby she lost scant hours after sending me this picture. Friend, I would give anything to do this for you, and even those words are woefully insufficient. You are incredible, you are loved, and we will laugh again.

I know you'd kick my ass if I said I loved you, so: I love you jerkface.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

oh mr. postman

Dyan is one of my favourite of all time, and like many of my beloved bad-ass friends, she inexplicably chooses to live in Colorado instead of next door to me. (Hi Gail! Hi Pepper!) I met her when I was 16, she worked with my mom at the Women's Violence Intervention Program, and I immediately became enamoured of her scathing wit, jaded outlook, wicked intelligence, and heart of gold buried deep beneath a protective barrier. She looked past my braces, my pre-mousse hair (gasp!), and my infamous scowl, and we were instantly kindred spirits. In short, I love her. I reconnected with her on facebook, and she has brought a flicker of light to many a dark day with her shared use of hyperbole and a general hatred of douche bags. Plus she loves Pink's rendition of Me & Bobby McGee more than Janis', and that's a precarious club to which to belong.

The other day, I encountered this package. As I was not expecting anything, I assumed it was a bomb, naturally. Then I saw the sender: Dyan. I swooned, hella.

She had promised me some compilations in exchange for some I'd sent her, but unless she sent 7,000, there was more in this box. Now, I have made my affection for Dyan crystal clear, but she loves antiques and flea markets and shit, so I was totally prepared to find like a rusty kettle and a dream catcher or something. After all, we haven't gotten around to our preferred possessions, aside from weapons. So it was with great caution that I peeled each of several objects wrapped in tissue. The first one was something that may not have caught my own snobbish eye, but when I held it I started crying, it was so perfect. It fit in my life like another shirt from Old Navy, only I would never wear this:

Damn. Then it became christmas and I was tearing into shit with no shame. Next up was this, at first glance, an electric toothbrush for an elephant (um, thanks?) but on closer inspection it became (angels singing) a hand-held rotating electric deep cleaner. It's safe to say I became verklempt. I've never even seen such a thing. I'm still speechless:

And the accompanying note, ha ha ha!:

I was basically foaming at the mouth at this point, so of course the shit had to turn poignant and rip my heart out in that way only a dear friend can manage. I'm not typically a fan of weird little boxes, nor anything at all in my house, ever, but fuck me if this didn't have some healing powers:

And of course, the note:

There are no words to adequately convey the impact this had. Dyan doesn't know about my deep love for the UK, nor that my best friend (and now, wife of sorts) Mesina lives there, nor that I was supposed to be British, nor that I memorized all European capitals before US capitals. She knows Quinn answers the phone with a flawless British accent, and that's it. She also doesn't know that I quit cloves, but I would almost start again if a) they weren't outlawed, and b) because this box is amazing. Thankfully it alternate use is Xanax, which I will never give up. And the pound. Dear god. I was beginning to forget that some people are good. She couldn't have known what that meant to me. Only I suspect she did:

Next up was the compilation. Lord you have to be made of titanium to listen to three hours of Elliott Smith. It is most fortuitous that I am made of titanium, and goddamn can that lady make a compilation:

Once I was dying of sentiment I opened the card. I still can't stop laughing. For those of you who don't know, Debe gave me the same card a few weeks ago, which I featured in a blog because it's so effing funny and appropriate:

Literally RFLMAO!

Dyan, I already embarrassed both of us with my sloppy gratitude. You've always been one of my heroes, and you still rank among the highest on the ever-dwindling people I trust and cherish. If you don't hurry up and get your ass back here I will fully burn your house down and drag you back like a caveman. All in love of course. You made my day with these most perfect gifts, and I shall repay you by either buying you a proper nail file or removing them all from your house, depending on the day.


Friday, September 11, 2009

junior warrior

Just got home to this email from my Reilly, who donates regularly to Defenders of Wildlife, and is truly raising awareness:

From: fathom x

show details 3:20 PM (9 hours ago)


Did you know that right now an offshore oil drilling platform is spewing thousands of gallons of oil into the waters off Australia's northwest coast, threatening turtles, whales, dolphins, sea birds and other wildlife? Big oil is trying to bring more of this type of dirty drilling to America's coasts, but we can stop them.

I just took action to protect sea otters and other coastal wildlife, and I hope you will too. Please take action online at http://action.defenders.org/910seaotter.

Thanks again for helping protect our coasts -- and the wildlife that needs them to survive -- from dirty drilling. Together, we're making a difference!

With Gratitude,

Jim and the Defenders of Wildlife team

You go baby girl!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

better l8...

Last week when the sky was black with grief, I stopped by Jennifer's, as she was giving me something for Debe and Kris. As I drove away she said "And there's your belated birthday card!" I opened this ridiculous 8, and as I read it, I laughed so hard I started to turn left onto Commercial from Barnes = death. I loved the contrast between her keen awareness of my love for rainbows mixed with the whimsy of the 8, and the little jab to my OCD with the dreaded textese.

Jennifer, you are the gr8est. Thank u. Hope to c u soon. (Ouch ouch ouch!)

Monday, September 7, 2009


These are the ten funniest texts currently in my inbox, in no particular order:

-"Cammy says it is all night and I can still come but Papa is like no bla bla bla and I need to go!"--Reilly, trying to con us into taking her to Stayton for a slumber party.

-"Fuck the universe!"--Jennifer Ruks. Not used in a funny context but so out of character I've been given permission to use it.

-"They taste like ass. And not just any ass. Like the ass of a very large homeless man who has not bathed or been able to use a proper toilet in several weeks. That kind of ass, mixed with egg salad made with rancid mayo and a bit of chocolate meringue on top. Not so good."--Karen, saved from a few months ago, in response to my asking her to give me a reason not to buy cloves. Obviously I've neither smoked nor eaten nor walked downtown nor spoken to Karen since.

-"Ohmygoddddd I loves you the best and you know it bitch."--Debe

-"Abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz."--Reilly, trying to finagle some hella complicated plan. I asked why she wrote that and she said, "Because I didn't know what else to say." Ha ha ha!

-"Do it in person to maximize the awkwardness."

-"OMG matte finish. hahahahahejdrktfujdikjejrhufc! Don't fuck it up by eating fucking gross tomatoes later."--Debe

-"Hella flashing your grill in your robe. You so gangsta."

-"The running man!"--Emily

-"OMG I want a 7ft. Jesus in my house, how awkward is that?"--Debe

Friday, September 4, 2009

it was a village...


On this day, the three month anniversary of Persephone's birth and passing, and as we surround Debe, Kris, and Sorren with arms outstretched, I really wish I knew what in god's name else has to happen in order to mend this community.

In the past four days, I have driven close to 200 miles to pick up food from people I've never met, who have never met the Brookses, who greeted me with tears in their eyes, hugs, stares borne only of this particular sort of senselessness, and a love that can only come from the connectivity of mama hearts. Debe's home is filled with the love being sent along. I have retrieved cash from single mothers who have never met the Brookses, and their sisters, and have received meals and checks from almost as far as Detroit. Another single mom I know not only gave them her CSA this week, but also drove clear to Portland last night and went hella wild at Trader Joe's and we delivered the goods circa midnight. My broken heart is tempered by an anger at the universe over the losses of these baby girls, but this outpouring, which shows no sign of slowing, has rendered me awestruck and has reminded me what an amazing community this...can be.

I am incensed to be witnessing the continuation of fucked up petty grievances in the midst of such loss. Frankly? No one I know is anywhere near over the loss of Persephone yet. She is spoken of constantly, partly out of the deep remaining pain, and partly with respect to the impact her passing had on our community. We all walked away connected that day, and personally, in the precious moment I was so blessed to have with her, I thought this immeasurable unity was her tiny legacy, and many echoed the same sentiment.


(Note: This is my blog. I have the right to say whatever I want, and I intend to, and if the truth hurts, leave or change.)

Within a month of that sweet baby's lost life, while many of us were still in a haze of disbelief, others, mothers, friends, trusted allies and supporters, ignited a spontaneous social forest fire that still blazes. It so happens that I was the target, despite so many crocodile tears wishing "this whole thing would simply end." The obvious answer is that if ruthless attacks and slander against someone who has wronged you in no way is uncomfortable for you, don't do it. But that's just me.

As an aside, the previous month "everyone" hated someone else. This begs the question: Was junior high school really so great as to sustain that hateful bullying mentality our entire lives? With everyone scrambling to be in with the elites? And when have the elites ever been the nice ones?

BABIES ARE DYING! Get over yourselves. I am appalled to have learned that certain mothers so determined to see my ruination, while never specifying my alleged wrongdoing, would not drop off food for Debe on the 1/1000000000 chance of crossing paths with me. Meanwhile, my beloved, scared, trembling, heartbroken friend was sitting at home wondering when is the right time to birth her deceased baby. That is my priority here, and I could give a flying fuck whom I see. I will pick up food from anyone of you, but you are too immersed in hatred to make this about Debe, and not your own social posturing. Shame on you.

Anyone who knows me will attest to the fact that I will always atone for anything I've said or done that has caused offense, pain, sadness, anger, etc. Always. I am approachable, honest, accountable, and also imperfect. But I was never charged with a crime. Just convicted. Like that. And that's fine. I've climbed out of the poisoned well and I am never looking back. There are some premium mamas around here, who have stopped everything to offer anything they have to Debe's family, and would never give a thought to whom they will see, the social hierarchy, nor who is facebook friends with whom.

Tuesday night I delivered some bags to Kris, while Debe slept inside. I've always had a joking relationship with him, and the depth of his seriousness was really more than I could bear. I started telling him who had given what, to which he replied, "Who's Jennifer? Who's Jacob?" I nearly lost it. It dawned on me that they are new here and don't even know the people reaching out to them. He was so humbled and surprised. He said Lennon had explained their options, being induction and waiting. I sheepishly, softly asked if they were leaning in either direction. (Deep breath.) This man, so strong, such a wonderful papa, devoted husband, looked at me with the thinnest-paned windows to his soul eyes, and said the most painful words I've ever heard in my life:

"I'm still waiting for a miracle."

This man has lost a daughter he wanted more than anything, whom he named immediately, and cannot grasp letting her go, let alone the bags of food he's holding, yet across town it's still very important to a select few that I know that they will not see me, that to them, a baby's death does not transcend icky, needless drama. What empty, cold lives yours must be. Kris broke my heart so deeply I could scarcely see through my tears to drive home, but I wouldn't have traded that experience for anything.

To those of you who have mailed checks, brought food, cooked, sent cards, and everything you've done and continue to do, I extend my most heartfelt thank you on behalf of the Brookses, and for restoring some of the faith I had lost in our community. You are the unsung heroes of this very dark hour, and you have eased some of the burden from this family.

And to the mean girls, whose worth and rank are more important than babies lost, to whom personal grudges, real or imagined, trump the efforts being made by the rest of the group to lift this family up, scant months after losing our first precious girl, there are no words to describe the disappointment I feel in you. You want to pummel me with lies and subject me to months' worth of slander and bask in your wonderful betterness? Knock yourselves out. To fail to see past this to support a mama who is carrying her dead daughter right now, as I type, because she can't let her go, is so egregious you are eroding this community. Right now, with your hatred, your desperation, your running to the open arms of your sworn enemies to make sure you will have alliances. Contrary to your bullshit, Cheyenne is not the one tainting this group, it is those of you who would not hand me a dish for Debe who are eroding its purpose.

To you, and you, and you, and yes, even you, if one of your children died, god forbid, I would be the first person at your door, offering whatever I could, my whole heart. Even after the things you've done. This isn't about you. It isn't about me. We are mothers. We have all lost these babies, and it is incumbent upon us all to infuse Debe, just as with Carmela, with as much love and strength and unity as humanly possible. But we can't do that if we're not united. Figure it out. We are being called to action.


You are loved and remembered.