I wear my sunglasses at night

I thought my eye was cool but after mentioning that it was red and having a few people ask if I'm taking care of myself, I wondered briefly what it would be like to be blind and then went to the doctor.

This is a photo I took to prove to Halle that my eyes weren't bleeding:

I have this nifty trick I do in these situations, a guilt-inducing thing I got from my mom. It started when I didn't want to wear a bicycle helmet and my mom's response was, "That's just what I need. Two children with brain damage."


Helmet on head. Well done, mom. You have traumatized me into being safe. Very effective.

I wouldn't care well for Neill in our old age if I'm blind. He'd have his caregivers and I'd have my seeing eye dog and we'd be a big old mess together. We'd be roommates with Clarence, his wheelchair-bound roommate who he's lived with for over ten years, and it'd be a party every day. Actually it'd probably be awesome.

Regardless, I went to LensCrafters.

And I have an infection! So now I'm putting in drops to fix that and I can't wear contacts for a week. Which is totally fine except for the sun so I had prescription sunglasses made, too.

And for those two hours while I had sunglasses but no glasses I became one of those PEOPLE WHO DON'T TAKE OFF THEIR SUNGLASSES INDOORS.

I hate those people. They are shady, literally.

This is a photo of me wearing my new prescription sunglasses indoors:

Is it just me or do I look like I need an attitude adjustment in this photo compared to the one at top? I swear, wearing sunglasses indoors will make you act like a jerk. It's weird.

You also have to be careful not to bump into walls, counters, and other people.


Techno music + motherhood

Everything I did in the first ten days of May was in reference to Sunny's cervix. I made every decision after thinking, "What's up with cervix? Does it need me to be its doula before I do this other thing?"

I know that a part of Sunny, the non-cervical part that just read the last paragraph, is not happy right now and I sincerely hope that she did not drop the baby out of shock because Sunny does not like it when people talk about her cervix. She didn't like it when perfect strangers asked if she was dilated because dilation = cervix = other parts that we generally don't discuss with random people on the sidewalk.

Yet somehow that shit goes public domain when you get pregnant. Sunny, I'll say no more except that you know that I don't forget anything. You know how much I like to remind you of your old perm in elementary school and that St. Croix sweatshirt you didn't take off for like a year so you know how much leverage you've given me. Leverage that I will probably never use against you.

Though if you do try to pull a fast one someday, expect me to remind you of how I held your legs with Shane while you pushed a new human being into the world.*

*That was sweet of you to be gracious enough in full labor to tell me and Shane to "take our time" when we had to go sit down after both almost passing out. As Shane and I sat there, blinking furiously and taking deep breaths, passing a Red Bull between us, you and the doctor cracked jokes about how you brought your second string, the b-team. Hard labor, complications ensuing, and your sense of humor intact: you are amazing.

Today, three weeks later, I'm in another world but cannot get the first ten days of May out of my mind. I haven't stopped moving since I flew to LA and at night as I work in my hotel room, my brain saturated with numbers and figures and dates, I'll be suddenly struck with the fundamental enormity of birth and, more than that, of being a mother. Fully responsible for another life. So simple, so huge.

I flew to Detroit last Saturday. It was exactly a year since my first date with Matthew, when he'd skipped the Detroit Electronic Music Festival because I was coming home from Berlin and he wanted to take me on a date. We ended up at a Cincinnati Steak 'n Shake in the middle of the night where we drank a shake with two straws and made jokes about organ harvesting.

Last week I arrived in Detroit exhausted and frazzled. I'd slept fitfully on the plane, jerking awake in my middle seat to jagged turbulence. I hadn't slept well for at least a week, maybe two, and I was preoccupied and distracted. The first few hours at the festival I smiled thinly and followed Matthew around in a daze but slowly, eventually, I relaxed. For the next two days, I didn't open my computer once.

The last musician we saw on Sunday was set up on the underground stage under Hart Plaza. His music and his voice filled the cavern and I've never seen so many gloomy looking kids look so utterly happy, jumping around on the tips of their toes. I stood with one leg rocking, my head nodding, totally absorbed. I watched the musician, closed my eyes, and stared at the images projected on the walls as the beat thumped in my chest. It felt, actually, like Berlin.

And then suddenly I couldn't stop thinking about Sunny. Maybe because the music was elemental and what Sunny is doing right now is elemental and in my mind they became the same thing. And, I would like to be clear, I was not on drugs when I was thinking this. It just made perfect sense to imagine what Sunny feels when she gets out of bed to nurse Freddie in the middle of the night and sees a tiny hand, her daughter's hand, or feels the weight of her little body swaddled up like a taco. Feeling a thumping in her chest.


May, thou hast fucked with me

I wrestle with days on a regular basis but at the moment I'm in a full-blown spat with a month. May just pulled my hair and I spit in her eye. I thought I was preoccupied in April and I WAS but now I want to go back, cuddle with April and tell her I'm sorry for being such a bitch. Don't even talk to me about March. I'll go down on March.

I told Matthew on the phone yesterday that I'm usually all about the big picture. I like meta, knowing how it all connects, taking a step back and viewing from a distance. May, however, has just been putting one foot in front of the other.

Every three days this month I thought, "Is it May whatever date already?" Cue: incredulity and disbelief concerning time and space. Where I am? What am I doing? What am I SUPPOSED to be doing?

I talk about drinking and the special feeling Bud Light gives me but I'm not a huge drinker all the time. I mean, yes, according to Matthew the amount of recycling (bottles) that gets taken out to the curb at home has dropped dramatically since I left and I like drinking but I do it in phases. Having said that, I may be in a phase at the moment.

I'd probably have a drinking problem if hangovers didn't suck so much. If I were one of those types who could drink slow and steady for hours I'd probably be either on a bender or blowing my nose into a Kleenex at an AA meeting right now. As it is, I drink two glasses of wine, polish off a big bag of BBQ potato chips in bed, and it's over. Crunch.

It's been a while but I have another drinking side which is reported to be entertaining and I'm told I seem either a) perfectly one hundred percent sober, just real happy or b) actively seeking trouble and then proceeding to get into it but c) it's all hearsay to me because my memory from those nights is patchy. Okay, I was in a total blackout.  I bring this up because since I've been working so much this month, I've remembered what appeals about drinking. I'm on the edge, on the edge, on the edge and then...sip...the edge has receded. It's way over there and not so steep after all. Everything is just a little better, a little easier, thanks to my good friend beer.

I'm all about balance, however, so I do what I need to stay even. Taking that sip before my working day is over would definitely not be in balance. Drinking so much that I want to eat a whole big bag of BBQ potato chips is not in balance. And for the record, working so feverishly that all I can do to keep from slipping off the edge is have a drink is not in balance either. But it's where I am right now.


internal bleeding vs. minor irritant

Today in a meeting Lindsay asked, "Why is your eye so red?"

 I was like, "What? Oh, I'm not sure why my eye's bleeding."

"Does it hurt?" 

"No. Well, last week it hurt," and then it spontaneously started killing me.

You know, it's one thing when you tell yourself that you're too busy to eat good food or write or email your mom but when you blow off the fact that your eye is bloody inside, you're just being a drama queen.


laughing quietly to myself

About how my female colleague keeps ALMOST closing her work emails to me with "love you" but then catches herself at the last minute.



There will be no photos here of Sunny before, during, or after the birth process because I know that once the narcotics wear off she would kick my ass and possibly walk away from our 30-year friendship.

But I'll say that there's a new baby in the world, a real looker named Freddie Jane!

And I'll post a photo from the morning we went to the hospital, when we cracked jokes and rolled around on the yoga ball and played hangman, 24 hours before Freddie was born or as Shane put it, back when we were young and naive.


Rock what you're wearing

I want to first put it out there that I am rocking my sweatpants, bandanna, and yesterday's shirt that I really need to change out of. None of that is rocking me. Secondly, Halle was featured in Berkshire Living!

What does that caption say?

SITTING PRETTY: Halle Heyman makes a fine first impression at Allium in Great Barrington, Mass.

If image is everything, I'm screwed. Sometimes it's hard to wear anything but pajamas; it's the glory and pitfall of working from home.

Anyway, a major theme of my friendship with Halle has been to think we met while restoring a salmon habitat!

Because at the Evergreen State College, new student orientations were hiking Mt. Rainier and crouching by rivers, doing something or other with sticks to help salmon swim back upstream to their native birthplaces. Not exactly the University of Minnesota freshman orientation I endured two years previous where I sat in a room with kids who cheerfully sang the Goldy the Gopher fight song at the top of their lungs while I quietly sank into depression.

Halle and I initially bonded on the Olympia riverbank over our Ohio heritage and later because we had friends, Renee and Jocardo, who worked in the same Cincinnati mall but, overall, because we both like silly shit. Every silly thing that has happened since 1996 has elicited our statement of gratitude to the salmon of greater Olympia, Washington.

What would our salmon make of Halle's style spread?

I love that Halle quotes her grandmother, "Rock what you're wearing - don't let it rock you" in the article. I remember her telling me at Evergreen that her grandmother said everyone should have a well-tailored well-made suit because it's classic. I probably stuck my hands in my overalls and twirled a bead on my hemp necklace and wondered what she was talking about. But now I get it and I know that Grandma's onto something.

Halle's onto something, too, with throwing herself overboard into whatever she does. She will think of something funny and she'll tell you about it or do a dance or she'll just cock her eyebrow and purse her lips and give you a look. Then she'll pick some tomatoes off a farm and you'll eat the whole box and wonder why you've never noticed such delicious tomatoes before.

Thank you, Halle. You are priceless.

laughing quietly to myself

About how I told Mandy that I don't understand wedding themes and she said, "How about garbage? Tell anyone who asks that your theme is garbage and you're saving up months of it to dump everywhere. That'll shut 'em up."

Nice one, Mandy.


beat off the winter blues with new warm-weather styles

OF COURSE Ali Schumacher sent me pages from the Indianapolis Star style section with notes attached to photos.

If I were able to go back and retroactively log all of the high school hours we spent making fun of stuff - at lunch, in the track meet bleachers, in physics class, as marginally useful "aides" in the gym teacher's office where we sat around and played records - I'm sure I'd be pleased that I used my time well by laughing a lot and not just bemoaning the fact that I'd never had a boyfriend.

Yes, picturing our chemistry teacher as a gangsta rapper with a Flavor Flav clock around his neck took some of that pain away.

That same principle still holds true although I can't remember what I was angsty about a week ago when I received Ali's letter and the newspaper Spring Fashion Jam. Perhaps I'd run out of Bud Light.

Ali: This may be the most unflattering photo ever taken. Me: The lady's face on the left makes me nervous. What does she see with the crazy blue eyes? Wherefore does she grip her clutch so desperately? Also, I do not believe that she is playing that tambourine.

Ali: This photo requires a comment but I cannot figure it out at present. Me: How about Nice Shoes? Period. Everything else = cringe. I just tried to imagine dancing around a studio, flicking a scarf between my legs, but I pulled whatever muscle is used in wincing.

There's another shot that Ali didn't flag but which caught my attention of the other lady playing a ukelele. Its photo caption referred to the compatibility of island breezes and ukelele tunes and I kind of want to say something about that but am starting to feel like a jerk so I'm going to shut up.