Or My Day Told in Reverse.
Do you ever watch a movie or listen to music and find your reality transformed, just a little?
I remember the first time it happened to me. I was twenty years-old and had just moved to Boulder. I saw My Own Private Idaho by myself at the theater on the Hill (I can’t believe I can’t remember the name).
I remember walking into the theater and it was day but by the time I got out it was night and The Hill was alive with activity. There was a drum circle going on somewhere, I could hear music coming from The Fox Theater, people were milling around Espresso Roma and outside The Brillig and it was a warm bohemian evening.
It was like I stepped out of the film and into a world that was a continuation of the movie. It was like it happened yesterday.
I have been binge watching The OA on Netflix and it is just so fucking weird.
It’s kind of like The Fountain only not annoying. And it’s only like The Fountain in one part, but it’s the closest thing I can relate it to. I’m into it. The main character is blind and there is some really interesting sound design. It’s a subtly heightened sense of sound that makes me feel like I’m in an altered reality.
I had a big day today with the boys. We went snowboarding for the first time together at Eldora. They’ve taken group lessons before but I wanted to give them the chance to get the basics before they endure the
child abuse beautiful gift that is me trying to teach my kids anything.
There was the good and the bad but ultimately I was really happy to be outside and on the slopes with them. It still feels like just yesterday when they were babies.
We were all really tired and lying in bed watching a show was the best I could do after doing three loads of laundry, making Swedish meatballs over home-made spaetzle, repacking our snowboard bags for our next trip, walking the dogs, etc. etc. So no, I didn’t feel bad about watching two episodes in a row.
After finishing episode four (yikes) I went into Scratchy’s room to turn off his light and my footsteps, the sound of the switch on his desk lamp, TFC’s soft purr and warm cat tummy smell emanating from his bed – it was all so vivid and distinct. Lovely. Eerie. Wonderful.
TFC is poofing out these days, her fur is magnificent even though she hates me. She might actually be a runty Maine Coon. I reached up to the bunk to pet her and Scratchy said in the most serious voice, “She has a horrible case of feather nose.”
Good lord I love that child. He is truly mine.
I took Scheissehund outside to pee before bed and mused over Scracthy’s choice of words. Feather nose isn’t a thing we’ve discussed but I know exactly what he’s talking about. I love words. I love creating new phrases to describe completely inconsequential observations. Loony loves it too which is why I love him.
Winter has finally come to Boulder and it has warmed up since the Polar Vortex of last week when Scheissehund was too cold to go outside.
To poop. Or pee.
Thus necessitating me putting him in a diaper. I ordered an “escape proof” doggy diaper because he has a huge dong.
There, I said it.
No mere belly band will keep that monster at bay but the dog diaper thing was so damn ugly, not to mention that all the adjustable straps and harnesses made it resemble fetish wear rather than something a cute – yet very naughty – Chiweenie should be sporting. So I designed this.
He has them in many colors and prints, including a turtleneck Christmas sweater, houndstooth (har), a trout print, lumbersexual and mid-century modern.
Don’t. Say. Etsy.
I can’t blame him for not wanting to go outside when it was literally zero degrees out. He would immediately start crying even though I bundled him up in a fleece and a jacket but no, I don’t have boots for him because his paws are the size of dimes and I would lose a $40 set of dog booties immediately. And he would never cooperate.
We are back to square one with potty training but at least he can’t get pee all over the house. At least it’s warm enough that he can go outside before bed to drain the old weasel while I contemplate the sounds of the night.
I love altered states brought on by art (back to my first point before I took a trip down my stream of consciousness). Not that The OA is art per se, but it is something. It is a vision. Someone was thinking about things, I dig that.
This morning my neighbor (Hi Lynn!) said she hasn’t seen a blog from me in a while and was wondering if I was okay which makes me feel like sometimes the internet isn’t ruining our lives.
My blog lets my neighbor know how I’m doing which might seem strange because why not just talk in person?
Because I don’t say the things while passing her porch while on a doggy constitutional that I say in my blog at one in the A.M. and I’m on fire. But she knows me better than she ever would have otherwise (yet still talks to me which blows my mind) because of technology and when she doesn’t hear from me she checks on me in person.
See? Maybe technology can help.
But then there’s Black Mirror, my new favorite show that I watch while toiling on the spin cycle at the gym.
It pretty much sums up every single anxiety I’ve ever had about the internet and technology. I heard about it on NPR, you can listen to the piece here.
It’s some seriously necessary commentary and something everyone should watch … but you might not want to start with episode one of season one because it is really, really, really hard to watch.
It’s brilliant and on point but could scare you away like episode two of Breaking Bad almost permanently scared me off … but not quite. Thankfully.
Black Mirror has only steeled my resolved to stay the fuck off of FB (it’s been over a month and-a-half, woot!), Twitter, Tumblr, Reddit, etc, especially when I saw the Most Hated In The Nation episode. Good fucking god.
My blog autoposts to FB and Twitter but I don’t ever log in. I don’t care about the comments or likes enough to risk getting sucked back in so if you are reading this and want to say something to me, say it in the comments on this blog. It’s fucking poison. I look at Instagram once a day because I see beautiful things like this …
and maintain some kind of presence with my far away friends, but I stay the hell away from politics, hashtags, and pretty much anything that can be misconstrued, especially after I posted a funny video of Loony about to get his ass handed to him by Mr. Bates because he was trying to brush his teeth and someone flagged it as abusive towards animals.
Next thing I know there will be some kind of internet fatwa put on me for just being my stupid self.
It’s scary out there. I’m actually scared.
Ooh, a feather from my comforter almost landed on my nose. Feather nose is real!
So yep, I’m scared of the internet. I’m scared of being out there. I’m scared that anything I say can and will be held against me in a court of public opinion which is ironic because I can’t say that there is any dirt out there on me that I am actually ashamed of that everyone doesn’t know about already, but a careless photo could get me on an internet sic-list.
Embarrassing? Sure. But I can deal with that.
Also some crazy shit went down with a friend the other day. It scared the crap out of me and really shook me up. My kids didn’t know exactly what was happening but they could feel my anxiety, they strained to listen in on my conversations with Loony, they knew how upset I was.
It’s why I stay away from (I don’t want to say toxic because it’s sooo dramatic and trite and victimy but I don’t know any other quick way of saying it) toxic relationships. Everyone in my family pays for my sketchy friends in some way or another, even if it just means that I can’t face making dinner and Loony has to cook (aka make spaghetti).
It had me locking my doors and bringing all the dogs to bed with me.
I also had the most remarkable conversation with Scratchy that very same night. I’ve never seen a kid as brave as him. He told me all the things he was scared of, all the fears, anxieties and worries that CENTER AROUND FEAR OF DISPLEASING ME.
It was a punch in the gut if you can imagine ever really wanting to be punched in the gut. But because my worst fear is that my kids will feel scared and anxious about me the way I felt about my mother, it sucked to hear him articulating the very same feelings I had about my mother as a child … feeling criticized, judged, unworthy, not deserving to ask for anything, worrying about her not liking my friends, not approving of me and the things I enjoy, that awful feeling that I was constantly in trouble, not doing well enough in school, that just about everything everything everything about me was inadequate and scowl worthy. Always walking on eggshells.
Oh god to hear him say those things to me.
I was nothing but grateful and proud and in awe of his bravery.
I once screwed up the courage to stand up to my mother when I was in the 7th grade. It wasn’t earth shattering, I confessed that it is really hard for me to hear her speak poorly of my father, they had a terrible marriage and divorce. She made it clear to me in no uncertain terms that I better not do that again if I wanted a roof over my head. I’m pretty sure that’s the day she starting disapproving of me.
So here’s where the path splits. I held my son, I praised his honesty, I apologized for being more apt to scowl than to look in his eyes with compassion. I owned the parental work of letting go of the small things and focusing on all the good choices he makes. It is my job to pick our battles.
I made him promise to never stop talking to me. I thanked him. I made sure he knew that he did not choose to be born, I chose to be a parent and he has every right to ask for what he needs and wants (and I have the right to say no because I am the grown-up but it he shouldn’t be afraid to ask) but I’m going work harder at keeping my judgements to myself when they don’t matter and remember what it feels like to be a scared kid who is full of anxiety and the desire to please. I want to be vulnerable with them and own my feelings and be real about them.
My kids teach me so much. I desperately don’t want to fuck them up. I don’t want to be a best friend – not now – but I want us to enjoy each other, like we did today for a few minutes. Being critical comes easily to me. Too easily. I forever walk that line of wanting to raise well-behaved kids without being a drill sergeant.
I fail every day. I’m glad I have kids that are braver than I ever was.
Ok, I HAVE TO GO BECAUSE LOOK WHO JUST SHOWED UP!
It is time to make beautiful woman/cat love.