Cull It, Cull It Real Good

Squatting in a corner of my living room the other day, on Danger Baby patrol because my girl is a stunt woman in training, I googled “how to cull toys” on my phone.

Not “how to organize” not “how to cut down on”. I asked the all-knowing google how to CULL!

to reduce or control the size of (something, such as a herd) by removal (as by hunting) of especially weaker animals; also to hunt or kill (animals) as a means of population control. The town issued hunting licenses in order to cull the deer population.

 

Apparently, I wanted those bastards MURDERED. I must CONTROL the population. I must DESTROY!

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It’s how I’m feeling about everything these days. There’s too much and most of it is some sort of waste and the best thing to do is open a giant trash bag and shove it all in.

That’s why I had to stop reading one of the books I was trudging my way through. I’m seriously considering erasing the second from my Kindle cloud storage as well. Because they are a waste of my tiny precious reading time.

Zeroes by Chuck Wendig. I’m sorry but I do not care. I’m 70% through the book and I couldn’t POSSIBLY care less about what happens to these characters. What are their names again? Why shouldn’t I hate them for being mostly human garbage? What could I be reading instead of sighing and opening the book like it’s a toilet-cleaning chore?

Ishmael by Daniel Quinn. Yes, this is what I’m reading instead. I read this as a 20-something and it blew my damn mind. It is no longer brain-splattering revelation to me so much as proof that the world is bullshit but Daniel Quinn had no idea what kind of vapid corn puffs would pass for leadership in 2018.

Neanderthal Seeks Human by Penny Reid. “A smart romance” it calls itself. Dangerously misogynist, I’d correct identify it. Stupid girl with a penchant for Jeopardy-winning memorization of facts wooed by stereotypical rich white guy who “just wants to protect her” but, as far as I can tell, just controls her without her awareness of… like, anything, seriously. The main character is so unbearably negligent when it comes to personal safety which, I think, makes the author complicit in the perpetuation of patriarchal mistreatment of women as naive, self-conscious, entirely lacking in self-awareness, and helplessssssss. So helplesssssss. I hate it with a fiery passion and just now, I realized I didn’t even pay for this trash (I did pay for Zeroes so I feel like I have some obligation) so TO HELL, I say. I’m done. DELETE FOREVER.

Instead, I have to decide between Gone Girl and Wild. Either one backwards and upside down would make more sense than that “smart romance”.

Bad books, consider yourselves culled.

Now, what to do with all those freaking LEGOs.

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Come At Me, Aunt Ethel

I’m having one of those days where I can’t or shouldn’t say what I’m thinking to the person I’m thinking about saying it to so I end up having very intense fake conversations in my car. With faces. And gestures. And I’m either sorry for confusing my fellow commuters or graciously accepting their thanks for entertaining them.

These are the conversations that become the dialogue that we make our fictional selves say to our fictional antagonists so our real selves don’t get fired or arrested or knocked unconscious.

“Yes, Aunt Ethel, it’s true. My son is struggling with potty training a full year after your granddaughter gave up diapers for good. But here’s the thing, and let me say this loud enough for your daughter to hear: potty training a child is not an event in the Mommy Olympics. It’s not something you do to prove your own worth. I would rather treat my child like a real person with real problems and real feelings instead of as an accessory to show off to impress people. I don’t care if you’re impressed or not. I care about the health and well-being of my son, which seems to be something your daughter struggles with. And if that wasn’t obvious by her constant attempts to get away from her daughter or by the quick-fix schemes she’s always coming up with to make parenting easier for herself, how about the empirical evidence we are presented with right here, right now. Your granddaughter is currently trying to set flame to her napkin with the centerpiece votive and your daughter is too busy scowling at me to notice. Clean your own damn house, Aunt Ethel, before you come after me about mine.”

I mean… it could use some editing. And context. Some character description and grounding in a location.

But MY GOD, does it feel good to write it down.

 

 

Demi Lovato Has Feelings Too

Can we all just agree that the best response to “I’m sorry” is usually “thank you” NOT “that’s ok” because it’s usually NOT ok?

My boy was traumatized this week by another boy–a stranger at least 2 years and 12 inches taller than him–who got all up in his space before yanking off his hat. I took the hat back and led my son away from the other boy so I could soothe him and talk to him about what happened. Several minutes later, the other boy ran up to me, got in my face and yelled, “SORRY!” Then his mom gave a little embarrassed wave from further away and mouthed “sorry” as well.

I mean, it was pretty obvious that the other boy was on the autism spectrum, that personal boundaries aren’t terribly clear to him, that he definitely didn’t intend to do any harm, and other than being a little overwhelmed by the experience, my son was fine.

But I still feel like the right response to their “sorry” was “thank you” but it wasn’t ok. My son was scared, he had his space and property violated and he deserved an apology. Which he got. And we appreciated. So… “thank you”.

Saying, “that’s ok” to someone who apologizes for hurting you dismisses the hurt and absolves them from wrongdoing. And if you think of apologizing as a way of asking forgiveness, saying “that’s ok” sorta denies them that as well.

It’s a compassionless response. “That’s ok. This behavior is ok. Hurting me is not a problem and neither is your guilt. Let’s all just rush back to a level feeling of okness instead of acknowledging everyone’s feelings.”

But “thank you” is acknowledgment. You made a mistake, it hurt me, you feel bad. “Thank you” is for admitting your mistake, for recognizing my feelings and “thank you” because in light of that admission, I forgive you and we can all move on from this.

Whew.

All that being said, “it’s ok,” I said to the barista who apologized for not having the sandwich I ordered. She wasn’t really that sorry (it wasn’t her fault they were out) and I wasn’t really hurt (I can order something else). No harm, no thank you.

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What’s the right response to sorry not sorry? Probably an obscene gesture. 

Am Reading, Not Writing

This is how it is and how it’s been with these NaNo adventures: I write like crazy pants for a month and then I spend the next month doing ANYTHING ELSE.

This month, I’ve been reading, cleaning out closets, and redesigning my work website. I don’t believe in that whole A WRITER WRITES EVERY DAY thing. A lawyer doesn’t lawyer every day. A scientist doesn’t science every day. And sometimes, you just need a freaking break.

So here’s what I’ve been reading:

The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom. I don’t know what I believe about an afterlife, if anything, but books like this make you feel like you don’t have to worry about that so much.

 Talking As Fast As I Can by Lauren Graham. I love reading memoirs of women with hustle because after I feel super lazy, I feel super motivated.

Zeroes by Chuck Wendig. I haven’t finished this yet because I almost always read several books at a time and this is the one I’m least invested in but only because I don’t care about hackers. I do care about Chuck Wendig and I like his writing style but perhaps I picked the wrong book for my first encounter with him.

Love and Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch. Reading this now. It’s ok, I guess. I’m not far enough in for a real opinion but I keep reading it so it obviously doesn’t suck enough for me to put it down.

Let’s Sign, Baby! by Leo Landry. Reading this nightly with my preschooler who 1) had no interest in signing as a baby and 2) has an incredible vocabulary and command of syntax so I think maybe he’s just trying to challenge himself?

Feminist Baby by Loryn Brantz. My baby girl could have been the model for this book. She also says NO TO PANTS! But I read it to both of my children because rigid gender roles are bullshit.

Be a Star, Wonder Woman by Michael Dahl. My kids just got this as a gift but we love it! LOVE IT! We can all be heroes with the right attitude, ya’ll.

The Berenstain Bears’ Trouble with Money by Stan BerenstainJan Berenstain. I bought this for my son last week but haven’t read it to him yet. Kid needs to chill with the constant requests for toys but this book mentions allowances which, if I even want to do such things, we’re not ready for yet (like, DAMN kid, Mommy only works part time right now. She ain’t GOT money for herself, never mind to be paying you).

 

Up next in my Kindle queue, I’ve got Ishmael by Daniel Quinn which I read a long time ago and it was a perspective shifter to say the least but now I can’t remember anything about it, and Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow by Yuval Noah Harari which I read a good review of and then impulse purchased when it was on sale.

Goodreads deals are legit, ya’ll. Make sure you fill up your “Want to Reads” because those lovely people will email you when a book on your list is on sale. Same with Amazon wish lists. Discount books are what I spend my allowance on.

 

 

Tracy Says Slow Down

Between finishing Camp NaNoWriMo and realizing that Wynonna Earp season 3 started a couple of weeks ago, I haven’t been writing much. Also, those children. Those children take ALL my time. And work, I guess. Not sleeping, so much. I don’t do much of that.

But I had an idea for a something new–which always happens before I actually finish most of the old–and since the process of writing is a lot more fun than the process of editing or self-publishing, I think I’d rather dive into that than finish anything else.

There was a guest post on Chuck Wendig’s blog recently about the thrill of a new idea and slowing down when you have no deadline. It’s good advice from someone who wrote/designed “Iron Edda” which, honestly I have no interest in other than it sounding like the me I imagine myself to be every time I do three push-ups. But it’s a good reminder to the self-published and the hobby novelist that if this writing thing is for myself then I should just do what works for me and to hell with all expectation.

So I’ll just let those other projects simmer, especially the two super personal ones I’ve written in the last year. Let’s start something new for funsies and see where it goes.

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A long time ago, in a suburb far far away…

Now… time to research some weird shit like… who invented mowing lawns and why?

People Who Thrive on Routine

I love a good routine like I love a good Writing Rule, following it only as far as I need it to take me and then bending and changing and maybe even breaking it outright if that’s what’ll work.

You know who that doesn’t work for? Preschoolers. You know what a preschooler does not thrive on? Changing the routine for no reason. You know what my son’s preschool did today? They started lunch 15 minutes early which is 5 minutes before I arrived which was 10 minutes early.

My son usually leaves before lunch. Mommy comes to get him BEFORE lunch. So in child mind, when lunch started and Mommy didn’t show up…

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Thanks preschool. Way to exert your expertise in child development.

Write Another Day?

I am just over 9,000 words away from meeting my adjusted Camp NaNo goal and it… doesn’t… look… good.

Unless I can write half of that today, in under 3 hours while multitasking some actual work stuff, I won’t make it.

So the question is: Readjust that goal again or take the fail and know that when my children get older I WILL have more time for writing again?

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**UPDATE**: I wrote 4,339 words today which is almost half! This race ain’t over yet!

Little Girl Got Some Big D Energy

I’ve been reading quite a bit about BDE* this weekend and I would like to nominate my daughter as the next big thing.

 

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*I’m looking forward to the KidzBop version of this because it’s got a great beat but a bit too explicit.

 

Just a few moons shy of a full year old, my daughter can’t even really walk yet but she’s climbing things like she’s got places to be and people to look down at and wave to.

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My son has a Planes scooty thing with little wings that fold down on the side. Baby girl not only got herself two feet up on the seat but stepped out ONTO THE WING while holding the coffee table. She tried to get on the coffee table from there but I felt like that was a step further than I was willing to allow.

And yeah, I let her climb up there. I want to see what she can do. More so, I want HER to see what she can do. And if and when she falls, I’ll be there to catch her.

I feel like if kids got the itch to climb, they’re going to climb and the least I can do as a parent is teach them how to do it safely. I did the same thing with my son and no major injuries yet.

Then again, he never even considered some of the daredevil stunts my daughter gets into.

Plane Wing Stunt

PROOF!

From My Cot in the Laundry Room

I just now realized that today is the first day of Camp NaNoWriMo and I have absolutely no idea what the hell I’m doing.

Part of the reason I’m distracted is because I’m mad at my spouse.

And I just saw an ad for a real book written by a fake character on a show I like which is just… not fair. It’s not fair that fake people get to make real books.

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I hate her simpering smile and her stupid face. 

So the obvious solution to all of my problems is to write a much less sexy, much more sad establishment of a Space of My Own story about how I too would like to take a vacation from my marriage but I’m not a rich selfish bland self-righteous jerkbitch who would ever leave her children so instead I just stay late at work and take an extra lap around Target for some Me Time before returning to my hermit corner to write something that’ll inevitably be ignored into obscurity on Amazon.

Obviously a best seller. Super talented. Feeling like a winner. Definitely not the saddest sack of potatoes in this cellar today.

 

My Nightmares Are Real but not for me

I’ve written about this before and I’m sure I will again because “worst nightmares” tend not to be passing fads you mention once and then move on from.

Having to leave my children somewhere they can’t be comforted and not being able to get back to them is my biggest fear. In the deep recesses of my most hyperbolic mind, it’s because of the apocalypse but even when I dropped my son off on his second day of school and none of the teachers were available right that second to comfort him counts.

So this bullshit with the border? I can’t even. I can’t handle it. I cannot believe they’re just… shrugging their morally corrupt shoulders and calling it someone else’s fault.

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

The US Isn’t Just Separating Children From Their Parents. It Also Has No Plan To Reunite Them.

 

 

 

 

 

Old white church men are angry! I mean… if you get the old white church men angry on behalf on non-white people, you are doing something WRONG.

Anyway, here’s a link to a Stuff You Can Do article.

I can’t get to Target without a lot of difficulty so protesting is not an option for me but I’ve got enough crap from Target. I’ll donate some of that to help STOP MY NIGHTMARE from happening to other people.