I was part of a movement of "dinosaur moms" when I lived in Maryland (Astrodon Johnstoni is the Maryland state dinosaur.) Which is nothing more than this -- dinosaur moms delight in the half-feral nature of the beasties they parent, even as they whisper Shakespeare and Kierkegaard in their ears at night.

Saturday, May 24, 2008


I am no longer the angriest dog in the world. But I do have the blues. Oh, for every reason and no reason, like that time Lisa Simpson jammed with Bleeding Gums Murphy.

I guess I'm probably where I belong -- being in business for myself, I mean. I have a little bit of a problem with authority. And the arrangement gives me the flexibility to do stuff with the kids. But business is slow. So, that's great that I can take time off every now and again, but I'm scowling and preoccupied when I do. Girl has caught me a few times having arguments under my breath with people who aren't there.

Plus, with money tight, we're looking at a backyard sprinkler summer break for the kids. In another time, this would bring out the pioneer spirit in me -- Oh good, then we'll have time to go to the program at the library and finish that latch hook! But in my present mood, it just brings into sharp relief the limitations of our transient neighborhood and the kids therein.

So it was no good my checking in on the blog of my college bud Jenn. Jenn has real problems. She'll break your heart telling you about her real problems, because, unlike me, she's a real writer. I mean it. Check out her writing. Guarantee, it will @#$%!# you up. She is, to me, the Baudelaire of the mommy blog.

Reading her, I feel like, what I'm going through -- I've been telling myself it's PMS or anger or stress -- something that resolves or diminishes -- but it's not, is it? It's the times. I mean, our generation, but also our stage of life, but also where the country is -- it's hard. I mean it may be 100 degrees on my thermometer, but I'm here to tell you, it's winter.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Illegitimi Non Carborundum

I am ordinarily a zen person, but have been giving in to self-doubt and self-pity lately b/c I have a client in detention with very actively involved family. They expect progress and nothing I'm doing for her is working.

So, this season of end-of-the year recitals and awards ceremonies, which should be celebratory, has felt to me only like more obligations. Oh, let these kids just finish up already.

And then there is paperwork due on the girl scout troop that I lead. Not rocket science, but I chafe at too much paperwork (I'm in the wrong field, obviously), so I am pretty much perpetually in the doghouse with these people.

So I was planning to cram together my paperwork to turn in at this meeting when my beloved took me under receivership and redirected me to the Jonathan Coulton concert at The Brickhouse. This was just what the doctor ordered. A little beer. Some nerdy, snarky goodness. Stare my husband in the face ever... It's all good.

Nihilism pisses me off

Last Sunday, for a variety of reasons having to do with being on point and everybody being sick, I was especially raw when suiting up for battle with the beastie boys of the UU church. I've taught UU Sunday school before, and faced a lot of cheekiness. I've told myself, UU parents are anti-authoritarian, and that's a good thing. You can expect the kids to be high-spirited, but they grow into the kind of teenagers who give punk concerts to raise money for Darfur, so it all works out in the end.

Well, this day I faced outright declarations of war on me and the other substitute and I lost it, rooting the kids out of the bathroom where they were hiding out, confiscating skateboards and physically shoving them into place. I finally cracked and let them out, not because we were done but because short of actually locking them in the room I didn't think I could hold them any longer.

So then I went back over to the church to catch the tale end of the coming-of-age service, which is like UU bar mitzvah where early high schoolers develop their spiritual bearings. The one girl was up there saying that her philosophy was why be a good-goody. Why, for that matter, spend her days participating in a church program. Why think about money. After all, if you spend your time studying to be a doctor or something, you'd get to be a rich doctor but you'd have missed the best years of your life. Just have a good time. [Polite applause].

I was the angriest dog in the world. After all, the main argument for us even joining this smarty-pants church is to give the kids a respite from the nihilism that reigns in their lawless school. And then to find it rampant here. I was sputtering.

And then Jones threw up in the Sunday school room. Shoulda just. stayed. home.