Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Obama answers MOMocrats questions

After being severely disappointed by the trivial questions asked during the last presidential debate, we decided to ask Senator Obama some of our own questions of substance and guess what, he's answered them. I am posting my question and his answer here and you can see all of the questions and answers over at MOMocrats now.

Questions we wished ABC would have asked:
1. From Jen: John Edwards spoke repeatedly about alleviating suffering and poverty for the poorest among us. With 46M people living in poverty and tens of thousands of homeless people in most major cities in our nation, what will be your response in addressing the lack of affordable housing in our nation?
Obama's answer:
Rising poverty is one of the most serious issues facing America today, and I believe that inserting simplistic tag lines or one-dimensional goals are unlikely to be helpful in meeting this challenge. As president, I will build off of my life experiences of fighting poverty and hopelessness as a community organizer, civil rights lawyer and elected official to make poverty eradication a top goal of my administration.

As President, I will increase the supply of affordable housing. In too many communities, low-income families are priced out of the housing market. Between 1993 and 2003, the number of units of affordable to low-income households fell by 1.2 million. I believe we should create an Affordable Housing Trust Fund to develop affordable housing in mixed-income neighborhoods. The Affordable Housing Trust Fund would use a small percentage of the profits of two government-sponsored housing agencies, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, to create thousands of new units of affordable housing every year. I will also restore cuts to public housing operating subsidies, and ensure that all Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) programs are restored to their original purpose.

In addition to addressing the housing crisis, my anti-poverty plan will significantly improve opportunities for millions of poor children and their parents by strengthening the economy for working Americans and providing additional resources to programs that have proven to be effective in reducing poverty. For example, my plan will expand the EITC, which is considered one of the most effective pro-work anti-poverty programs to date, to 5.8 million more Americans. Additionally, my EITC plan will increase EITC benefits for another 6.2 million Americans. I will also extend affordable, quality and portable health insurance coverage to every American and make significant investments in early childhood education to help low-income families. I will invest $1 billion over five years into transitional jobs and career pathways programs to engage more Americans into the workforce and help them succeed. I will also work to tackle chronic poverty in urban neighborhoods across American by creating Promise Neighborhoods in 20 cities to provide new hope and opportunities to residents of concentrated poverty.

Perhaps most importantly, my plan will only focus on strengthening and expanding the most-effective methods for reducing poverty - including taking steps to strengthen families by reducing domestic violence, rewarding fathers who do the right thing and giving parents the right to take time off from work to care for a sick child. That's why my plan includes expanding innovative programs like the Nurse-Family Partnership, a program that has nurses visit and train low-income first-time mothers, because it has been proven to have produced an average of five dollars in savings for every dollar invested and produced more than $28,000 in net savings for every high-risk family enrolled in the program. If my administration finds that one of its anti-poverty programs is not working, that program will be eliminated and funds will be routed to more effective uses.

Jen again:
This is the best, most comprehensive answer to the affordable housing crisis I've heard answered in the presidential campaign so far. This is exactly the type of dialogue we are hungry for so perhaps the mainstream media can take a page from our book next time they host a debate because no one and I mean no one should be asking about flag pins anymore.

If you want to see all of the questions and answers, head over to MOMocrats now.

Edited to say: We also asked the same questions of the Clinton campaign and have yet to hear back.

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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Power to the People

So in case yesterday wasn't clear these five lovely and talented sisters asked me to help spread the word about an incredible act of community service, of ultimate kindness, of gigantic deliciousness, otherwise known as the pre-Blogher party. The one with all your bloganistas in one room reunited and feeling so good. Hell, even if you aren't coming to Blogher you can still come to our party. I mean, it's free, and it's for you. For you and you and you and you. For anyone who wants to come.

So without further ado, I give you The People's Party, held on Thursday, July 17th at the Westin in the Elizabethan Room at 8:00pm till whenever someone sets something on fire. If that wasn't clear and you need it fancier, it's all shimmery below too. All that matters is that you join us. If you are interested you can RSVP in her soft and velvety comments section or just tell me here and I'll pass it along for you because I'm nice like that. Featuring Special Guest Che Bloggess and her Hairdryer of Power via Live Streaming Feed (and you know, live in person because she's tricky like that)

The People's Party is brought to you by:

Izzy Mom
The Bloggess
One Plus Two
Mother Bumper
Velveteen Mind
Oh, The Joys

And these cats were crazy enough to want to sponsor the madness:

Monday, April 28, 2008

be sure to wear some flowers in your hair

It's a game of sorts and you are at Clue #5. Follow the breadcrumbs 1-6 because we've got a surprise and it's for you, for every single one of you who wants to come. Go on now, clickety click. Put it all together and it'll tell you what's what.

Either start at the beginning or follow the tease (heh, who's stalking who now, dudes).

What? It's not clear yet? Then you'll have to come back tomorrow for the Full Monty.

Saturday, April 26, 2008


We overdid it a bit on our hike today. The 3 miles turned into 4.5 and the warm into hot. Poor M by the end was dragging, we'd run out of water and we had to take turns carrying her (this is starting to sound thematic and perhaps a sign that we are not actually responsible enough to take our child hiking). On the upside we brought one of those little magnifying boxes with us so we captured bugs during our hike and checked them out. Inchworms are pretty cool up close in case you were wondering and I know you were.

When we finally got back to the car she cashed out immediately and woke up grumpy. Luckily we have a fabulous friend who happens to like my kid and she came over and gave us a free pass to go to the movies while she and M and baked muffins. Muffins, I tell you. If that isn't a slice of Americana I dare you to tell me what is.

By the way, we saw The Visitor and it was really quite good. I'm quite aware that this post is boring at best and probably not worthy of hitting publish but I'm going to do it anyways because I'm lame like that. Here I go.

Friday, April 25, 2008

flags of our brothers

I was talking to a guy today, a vet in a wheelchair who has no place to live. He sells those tiny little flags and makes a little money, his wheelchair was laden with the flags and his belongings and I noticed one of his legs was a prosthetic although I'm pretty sure he still couldn't walk. He had all these bags tied to his chair which nearly doubled it's girth, some of the bags were taped and swollen and to be honest it was kind of a mess. I couldn't help but wonder what folks think when they come across him on the street, and if they knew how much it would mean to him if they bought one of his flags, how hard he tries to sell them and how little he actually makes. He told me business has been pretty slow lately and he's not sure why. I thought that if folks knew how hard he's trying then maybe they'd buy one, or if they saw where he had to sleep at night maybe they'd buy two.

But I don't know if folks can tell those things when they see him on the street, his flags and his leg and his chair and his stuff, all of it together in human form, maybe the eyes block the heart, the mind plays it's games and we turn away because perhaps we don't feel all that patriotic or worse because we just don't know what else to do.

(the picture is from the net and not of the gentleman of whom i speak)

Thursday, April 24, 2008

it's everything

Upon retiring for the evening, resplendent in her pajamas and a pink and orange party hat.

You are the sweetest little mommy in the whole world. I'm going to keep you forever.

I hope so, baby. I really hope so.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


I don't remember the day I was born but I'm sure it was swell.

When I was 8 I had a party, I dove in front of the pinata and got cracked in the head.
When I was 25 I thought my life was over, I cried the day long and had never felt so old.
But now I'm cool, 38 is only as old as I want it to be. So today I will only think of sweetness and light and wine and red and unicorns and sunshine and butter and candy necklaces and I shall remember that I am me and I am here and life is good and I am blessed and we are full of love.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

and the sky opened up

I've talked about my uncle once before, his life and his death both. But Jessica's post on understanding death made me remember it again. As I wrote before, I cut my teeth on his doctrine, the original Jesus Camp. He commanded your attention and would then reward you with scripture quoted in a booming voice that meant no fidgeting, no looking away and you damn well nod your head and you damn well better never say damn. He commanded his church with much of the same tough love: you can come in but you better find a bible. You can do drugs but you better be praying. You can sleep on my pew but at 6am you better be on your knees.

Because of the nature of his ministry he had a tremendous following, people who truly felt he'd saved their lives. Folks that ended up serving the church in a variety of ways, their gratitude almost cultlike, Pastor, they'd say with reverence and hands outstretched. Pastor, and he'd touch their hands or heads and they saw it as being blessed.

When he died suddenly and without warning everyone felt he did a great service by choosing to die away from the church. There was never any discussion, just Pastor decided it was time to go home. Dying away from the church meant no one saw it happen and the shock while brutal throughout the church and shelter was manageable until the day of his funeral.

We got there early and still had to park blocks away. The church was overflowing with scores of street people and the elderly, kids and their moms. Every color of the rainbow and every walk of life, languages from all over the world and the church packed to the rafters. They still had to lodge some speakers in the windows to accomodate the hundred and more people filling the street.

My uncle was laid out up front, his casket closed. Folks were weeping and using their programs as fans. Being family I was in the second row and watched his son give the eulogy, tears coursing down his cheeks. The choir broke down in sobs in the middle of their song. It took forever after the service for everyone to walk by and pay their respects at his casket, lines streaming from outside the church. One woman literally threw herself on the coffin and had to be pulled off and away and I can still recall her wail. Men were weeping. Women were in the basement making a humble meal, a meal he'd approve of because everyone was convinced he was still paying attention. My uncle see, he didn't mess around.

I didn't know death until that day. I didn't know that my heart could feel the depths of sorrow and fear of loss itself, the man we circled our lives around and broke bread with, who ministered and raged and guilted and scorned and forgave and loved and who never, ever would listen to an opinion contrary to his faith. And I cried that day, sitting amongst the street folks and the dealers, the thumpers and the old grandmas with no teeth. I cried great buckets of tears because nothing made sense, the man who spoke to God was dead and I feared him and I loved him and somewhere in between I found my own way.

Monday, April 21, 2008

get on the bus

Den spent hours re-working my blog and giving it a facelift this weekend, and he didn't even seem to mind when I was IM'ing him every six seconds. I really like it. Den, you are the real deal, brother. Thank you. The bus in the header was a picture I'd taken out of a front windshield in El Salvador as we were winding our way through the country, what's missing are all the guys with guns.

I'd never seen as many guns in my life as I did during that trip. Everybody had a gun, and everyone used their gun (generally an enormous machine gun type gun) in everyday activities. We'd ask for directions, folks would gesture to the left with their gun that way! We'd walk in a door and there would almost always be a dude sitting near the entrance either holding a gun or with it propped up next to him. We'd drive down the street and men on horseback with guns slumg over their backs would ride the other way. It felt like the Wild West with all those guns. Their Civil War only ended in 1992 after decades of lawlessness and strife. I'd imagine folks were pretty used to defending themselves and old habits must die hard.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

adieu (the path)

I've talked before about our new neighbors, they aren't so new anymore. They are not so new anymore and now they are leaving. Their first year as parents. It's been hard on them, hard on them in a way I understand as if looking through a window. Maybe into a mirror. They are moving back to where they came, the hope is things will feel more normal there. I don't question this and yet I doubt it, wiser only by a few extra child years and nothing more. Silence.

We offer to take them to the mountains and join our weekly sojourn. They agree, treasuring their last california bits, the sun and heat and dry and sage. We hike, four big and two little people and we talk, four big people and two little people in various stages of enunciation and sound and gurgle and sighs. We don't talk with our souls but occasionally with our hearts, our brains and we see with our eyes and it still matters. They were our neighbors for a good while, a decent enough side trip on the road of life that could have gone on for a few more days. We talk of gathering again but it's that kind of talk that means well and will surprise you later if it comes true, not for any other reason than life itself. I will miss them.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

moving on up

You might notice some blog-struction this weekend going on over here. The ultra fabulous and talented Denguy has been working diligently to pull one plus two into the 21st century. See you on the more modern side, and soon!

Friday, April 18, 2008

lie to me

Are sweet potato frites from Trader Joes the same as feeding your three year old vegetables? Can it serve as an entire dinner if you include ketchup?

It can, right?

See the post below for the ever growing number of sister soul windows.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

seven windows of my soul

edited to say: there are many more views linked below.

1. The view out of my Bangkok window that cloudy morning after arriving in Asia for the first time.
2. The window facing the garden of the coffee plantation in the hills of El Salvador.
3. The view out of our Phnom Penh guesthouse watching the congee stands opening at the crack of dawn.
4. The view of the hospital parking lot the morning I gave birth to M.
5. The overgrown weeds outside the first shelter I worked in, the dew on the weeds mixed with trash and the sun bouncing off a dirty sill.
6. The beach cliff and wide open ocean out of the bedroom window in Mexico where I first fell in love with J.
7. Nursing M while watching the toucans sitting in the tree outside the sliding glass door in the Belizean jungle.

Where do your soul windows live?

If you want to write your own post send me the links and I'll add it to the list below. Feel free to take these to add to your post too.
jen with seven windows of my soul
Jessica with Eleven windows
Tracy from Tiny Mantras
Defiant Muse from Musings...
Kaliroz with windows
BarrenAlbion with seven windows of my soul
Arwen with windows to my soul
Somewhere in the suburbs with windows
Karen with eight windows
Jennifer with Seven views
Magpie with windows
Katy with windows
Mary with seven windows of my soul
BA with come to my windows
Slouchy with there are places I remember
Urban Urchin with Eleven windows of my soul
Ivy Brown with windows
Motherhood101A+ with Memories of my life
Kevin with though dates had little meaning to me
Dragon Woman with seven windows of my soul

Monday, April 14, 2008

ding ding ding

It's been so warm, warm enough to crack a beer in the middle of the day. I never drink beer in winter, that alone must mean a lot. So I sit with my cold beer and the windows wide open and the sun is setting and life is good.

Today M and I went to her friend's birthday party today at one of those all encompassing child play centers with loud blinking lights and roaring sounds and little people climbing all over the place. I don't know that I was looking forward to it but once there I realized it's a hell of a lot of fun. They had all those stupid games that give you tickets when you win and those tickets get traded in for little bits of crap. I don't care about the crap but damn if I don't like getting the tickets. So M and I took a ton of tokens and went crazy much to the dismay of probably every other parent there. We whackamoled and dumptrucked and threw balls and made frogs climb and then she bought a bunch of temporary tattoos and little bracelets and pranced around like a rockstar.

It's shifting again, this mothering gig. I find myself finding new ways to love her and learn about her and teach her about me. I am tremendously, tremendously moved by her spirit, by her wide open heart, by her boundless joy and rapid fire smiles. I never knew she would exist and now I can never imagine her not.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

into the wild

We've intentionally started hiking every weekend. We found a book with kid friendly mountain hikes and let M choose each time, a choice she bases mostly on the interesting names. She doesn't know it but we are doing this on purpose, teaching her to love the simple act of walking where there is nothing but nature to entertain her. Teaching her it's okay to be tired and hot and even how to pee outside if she must. She has a hard time at some point almost every time, boredom or she's tired or THERE'S A BUG A BUG THERE'S A BUG NEAR ME or she's simply being three so a meltdown inevitably ensues and partially ruins the day. We've noticed that if we work through it she comes out better on the other side, stronger and a bit more adventurous. So we push on, knowing it's okay and knowing we are trying to broaden her comfort level, something she'll need more of in the months to come when life starts to look nothing like it does today.

Yesterday's hike was especially tough, the book downplayed the arduousness of it (You bastard you said this was perfect for kids and yet it was hard for me let alone her you dumbass hiking writer and if that was only 100' of altitude change then smack my ass and call me Sally) and we weren't planning on so much heat. We ran out of water and it started feeling really hard when we still had a ways to go. We took turns carrying her and making up stories, anything to occupy her mind. She was terrific and we made it and I lifted her high and whooped and whooped We did it girl, we did it and she threw her head back and laughed and screeched wildly yes we did mama yes we did.

Friday, April 11, 2008

clearly gone round the bend

Life got all crazy busy for a few days and all of a sudden there are 162 unread posts in my reader. What's wrong with you people? It's sunny out. Go outside already.

In other news, my kid told me today that she's tired because she's got a baby in her tummy. Where does that shit come from? Because it's not coming from me.

In other other news, I applied to be one of the four people Barack Obama had dinner with last week. Guess what? He didn't pick me. He's clearly missing out. What are you, Obama, afraid to hear someone rant on and on about folks who need housing? Not man enough for that? Just kidding. Love you. I'd have made a hell of a dinner guest if I might say so myself. Call me or I'll sic Jenny The Stalker Bloggess on you. Dude.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

March Just Posts

Sometimes change starts with one. Sometimes it starts with one joining another and agreeing to agree and allowing others to agree too. But I think it always starts with one in the brief moment where fantasy meets reality and we decide to leap. I've been watching one sister blogger leap this week, a dream for her and for another and for children across the world. Jen Lemen is on a journey, she asked our community for help and our community is answering. I don't know Jen aside from her blog but I read her and I feel joy. I read her and I want to see her get on that plane to Rwanda. I read her and it feels like hope.

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has. Margaret Mead

The March Just Posts
Beth with Have you gotten greener?
Beyond the fields we know with Thursday Poem - Testimony
Bob Dylan with Arbor Day
bon with In Praise of Universal Health Care
Carrie with People are people
Chicky Chicky Baby with Both ends of the spectrum of animal abuse
Daisy with Stranger than fiction, my job is, Teddy bear, teddy bear and Politics as usual - or not
Fretful with Sense of pride
Gary in Thailand with Free Tibet
Gina with Three trillion dollars, four thousand dead, five years, one man and Not your sweetie
Girlgriot with Believing the hype
Heart in San Francisco with What art is not
Jen with My sad lament and Unhappy Anniversary
Julie Pippert with The United States: it's okay, it's an easy mistake to make
Kelly with Anti-poverty protesters shut down city council meeting
Kevin Charnas with Running to save
Kevin at Life has Taught Us with Olympic Spirit and Is this the Olympic Spirit?
Kyla with What would you say? and The Interview and Where I'm Not
Lost White Kenyan Chick with Food for thought for International Women's Day
Maithri with Beyond borders
Mary with Five years forward, a thousand years back
Mir Kamin on BlogHer with Attention 8-Year-Olds: You Should Be Pampered, Primped, and Hairless
Mother-Woman with Where Was I?
No Caption Needed with The silent costs of war
Pixiedust with Great-full Friday: Community
Reluctant Housewife with My Gayest Look
Sandra with I am not an aboriginal woman
Superlagirl with The drymouth will fade, but the involuntary movements are yours to keep forever
Susanna's sketchbook with We can do it
Susanne with Body image, or Would you recognize your own belly button?
Suzanne Reisman on BlogHer with Legalize Prostitution
The Expatriate's Kitchen with Is it just me
The Elementary with Everything we have , One for the road and No man is an island
WhyMommy with One regret
Some of the Just Readers
Don't forget to pop over to Mad's, Hel's and Su's and see what they've dished up for the Roundtable this month. If this is new to you we are here every month featuring posts about social issues and justice and all are welcome to join.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

The Bloggess is totally stalking me

I don't know if you happened to notice her comments on my post yesterday but I think it's time to let you all know that Jenny The Bloggess is stalking me. You may have heard of her but it's hard to say given how obscure her little site is. What, she blogs for a couple other big time publications? Bloggessed is in the Urban Dictionary? She can't be stalking me because she's already stalking that Kawasaki guy? Pfffft. She's crafty, that Jenny. I see she's got you all fooled.

Let me give you the facts and then you can decide:
1. My name is Jen. She calls herself "Jenny". Hmmm.
2. I have a daughter. Now all of a sudden, she has a daughter. And she's ridiculously cute. Everyone knows kids that look like that don't really exist.
3. I went to Blogher last year. I turn around and SHE'S at Blogher last year too.
4. I'm going to Blogher this year. Now SHE'S going to Blogher this year too.
5. She's suddenly started posting at MOMocrats and calling herself a pundeet.
6. I have a blog, she has a blog.
7. Again, my name is Jen. She's going by "Jenny".

Everywhere I turn, she's right there. I put a post on my blog, she puts a post on her blog. I link her to the last few posts, she comes over and comments on them. Uh, wait. Forget that last one.

I'm afraid to open my blinds for fear she'll be right outside in her snappy little heels and photographic memory. If only I knew how to code those little blog buttons, I'd make one that says "I'm being stalked by The Bloggess and you're not" but thankfully I don't know how to code those little blog buttons.

What do you think? Mere coincidences? Am I making too much of this? I think not.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

her future includes either a nobel peace prize or ongoing psychotherapy

M: Everybody likes me.
Me: Huh? Everybody? Who is everybody?
M: Everybody I see likes me.
Me: What about you? Do you like everybody?
M: I like everybody in all the different countries.
Me: What about this country?
M: I like them too. I like everybody and everybody likes me.

In other news, I'll never be a trailblazer but I can make a hell of a good stalker. Besides, I really wanted one of Jenny's buttons. Altop invited me to join their site (what, I only begged a little) and so watch out blogosphere, I'll be nationwide before you know it. Being home sick has it's benefits if one uses the time wisely.

Monday, April 07, 2008

i dream of india

on those days, especially those days when everyone is sick and you are sick and you think perhaps just perhaps after a long weekend of sick you are going to have the house alone, deliciously alone because you are too sick to go to work come Monday and yet you find your child is also still sick and unable to go to school and your fantasy of lying on the couch all day alone, deliciously alone with the remote and your laptop and you watch it puddle on the floor and try as you might to catch it before it swirls down the drain, the dirty drain it slips past you and you find yourself on the couch decidely un-alone and you sigh and you realize it's nine am and you've got twelve hours to go before it's done.

it's then i dream of india, the heat and the diesel and the smells and the colors you've never seen and so desperately long to see and you'd give anything to be wandering the streets of a foreign city alone in the distant fierceness of your youth.

it's like that almost exactly.

today's the last day to send me your Just Posts, the Roundtable is coming up on Thursday. you can send them to girlplustwoATyahooDOTcom today and if you are kind, so very kind you'll also send me the perfect babysitter and a one way ticket to the east.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

clearly i am spending too much time at the grocery store

I'm walking down the dairy aisle when she runs smack ass into me. She hits me with her cart and then looks at me and literally pushes my cart aside with hers (and no, I'm not blocking the aisle people). I'm not one for getting all balled up but you know, fuck you.

I totally understand why you might not believe this given my Duncan folklore of late, and to be honest, I've been at the grocery store way more than usual which has clearly upped my odds of crazy, but still.

So she's a little scary, this chick. Scary fierce in a bit older and perhaps may well be off the rocker sort of way. So I pause for a minute before saying um, seriously? You are okay with this? And she whips around ready to snarl. What did you say? Er, wait. No, fuck it. I'm tough and I can throw cheese blocks if that's how it needs to go. I said, I can't believe you are okay with what you just did.

I'll sleep just fine, it's your ass that needs to get out of the way. And off she goes. I stand there for a few minutes, another shopper glides by and shakes her head. I should have grabbed the cheese.

It's funny, because for all my smack talking, I'm kind of a chicken shit. So I don't say anything and she keeps going. But I spent the rest of the time coming up with multiple crafty, witty and piercing comebacks, none of which I said.

Such as: My ass or your face, bi-yotch? Or, I'll get my ass out of your way in a way you won't forget (now who's the big talker!) But sadly, I left the store feeling largely unfulfilled. And where is she when I need her? Or her? Someone who'd actually be able to kick some ass?

Me and grocery, we are officially on a break.

Friday, April 04, 2008

and this is how she slays me

Mommy, you are the best mommy in the whole world. When you are happy I am happy too. I love you every day. And daddy too. And then she hurtles her little self at me and hugs me with all her might.

Now that's good, baby girl. Really, really good. And ooof goes my heart.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

maybe his name was duncan

Sometimes I'm a total weirdo. Like tonight when I was drifting up and down the grocery store aisles (no one was going into labor you suckas) and I notice this dude wearing standard youngish-white-dude-at-a-desk-job-attire, khaki pants and a blue shirt. He went and put that icky pimento bologna fake meat crap with green pieces in his basket. I mean, who buys that shit? Who is this guy? So as I'm pondering that we cross paths again on another aisle. Now he's buying the most cardboardish health food cereal possible. So cardboard it doesn't even come in a box, it's in some sort of free range bag or something. He's an enigma! He looks European. Is he from Sweden? See, I'm weird.

Speaking of Sweden, er, I mean Holland, I just finished reading Infidel. Have you read it? Ayaan Hirsi Ali is an extraordinary woman with an amazing story. It's worth the read. In fact, if you want me to send it to you let me know in the comments and I'll send it to the first taker (and as soon as I can get my ass to the post).

Speaking of amazing, have you met Defiant Muse? She's this hipster chick living up in the woods who's travelled all over and has this lovely defiant (hence the name) soul. I really dig her. I think you would too.

Speaking of dig, it's Just Post time again. All you have to do to participate is to send me posts about social issues, social justice, activism, ponies (kidding on the ponies unless of course it's about freeing ponies from those bastard pony rides and then it definitely counts) from the month of March. It can be yours or someone elses, everyone is welcome and you can send the links to me at girlplustwoATyahooDOTcom. We host the Just Posts on the 10th of each month on four separate blogs in four different countries. We're international, people. And there's no pimentos whatsoever.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

nobody told me there'd be days like these

So it happened right there in the baking aisle. I see her as I'm pushing my cart around the corner, she falls grabbing boxes on her way to the floor. I abandon my cart and run down the aisle. I slip as I get close to her, BAM, my ass hits the floor.

Holy Shit, I think her waters have broken. I'm sliding on amniotic fluid. She's on the floor, her face in a grimace. I think I'm in labor, she gasps.

Holy Shit. Call 911! I yell and no one comes. Call 911! I yell again, a woman walked around the corner, walked past. What the hell, I think. What the hell?! I make a mental note to find that walker byer and give her a piece of my mind.

You need to go to the hospital, I say. No, she says. I've got to push right now. She asks me to sit between her legs, by now there are several folks gathered around and at least two of them are calling 911. Is there a doctor in the house I say, feeling slightly funny but also sort of psyched that I get to say such a thing out loud.

You've got to hold on, if you water just broke there's no way the baby's coming yet I say. Bitch, she says, you don't know what you are talking about. I've had three other babies exactly like this. Alrighty then, you cow, I think. Deliver the kid on top of Duncan Hines himself for all I care. But I choose not to say any of this out loud.

She tells me I need to help her, that the baby is coming and I need to help. Uh uh, I think, I don't even know your name and yet I dutifully assume the position. She hikes her skirt up and starts screaming. I start screaming too, along the lines of where are the goddamn paramedics! and the other customers are running around back and forth, one of them rips open a package of dishtowels and hands them to me. Another is holding her hand. This is freaking insane.

We hear the sirens so the ambulance must be close. But not close enough. I glance down and see the head, the baby's head is coming out. Holy shit I say out loud, here it comes! And pop, a shoulder, then two, and out slithers a...wait for it...ah, a baby boy!

A boy born in the baking aisle. Mom is done screaming and the paramedics come running down the aisle. I hand them the slippery dishtoweled baby and they shoo me out of the way. Some thanks I get, I think and move to the side and look for my cart. My purse is still in it, that makes me happy because you know, it could have been stolen in the the ruckus.

As they are taking the mom away I run up to her, name him Duncan! I say and she looks at me sideways as if we've never met.


Once upon a girl I rocked April Fool's Day. I was the practical joke queen, I'd staged walk outs on the job, announced teen pregnancies, staged a fake accident (I really got in trouble for that one). But the best, by far the best was the prank I pulled on a boss more about 15 years ago.

My boss then was a fiery guy, he'd yell at us all the time. He'd get so nutted up his face would get red and he'd sputter and throw things around. I was in my very early 20's, I didn't know enough to know it was wrong but I certainly found it funny and a bit inviting in the he must be knocked off his uptight little pedestal sort of way. So as April 1st rolled around I came up with an idea.

I'd called a stripper's agency and arranged for a stripper to come to the office under the guise of applying for a job interview. He and I shared an office at the time and I often scheduled his appointments, so it was nothing strange when I falsified a job application and showed it to him and scheduled an interview for noon on April 1st. I'd let most of the staff in on the joke and when the stripper arrived one of them came to get me. I snuck out to meet her and fill her in on what I was hoping she'd do.

I asked her to go in as if it's a normal interview and then midway through the interview pull one of the "it's sure hot in here" and unbutton her shirt and then do the old "I'd do ANYTHING for this job" with a hand on his leg. I asked her to drag it out as long as possible, the joke was in him not knowing it wasn't a real interview for as long as possible because I wanted him sitting there going WTF, WTF, WTF inside his head. We'd stashed a stereo under the desk at her feet so when she was ready she just had to hit play, the music would come on and I'd open the door so everyone could witness the end of the show and he'd realize it was all a big joke.

There's probably a million reasons why that was the wrong prank to pull on that sunny April day so long ago. But when the door swung open and she was rocking the dance I laughed my ass off and thinking about it now am laughing again. He saw all of our faces peering through the packed doorway and found mine and he yelled you are dead, Jen but was grinning and I think appreciated the elaborate gesture in the end. His wife (did I mention this was a little family run business?) was not nearly as amused and didn't speak to me for weeks. But all in all it was one of the funniest pranks I'd ever staged. The next year when I had everyone who worked for him resign every hour on the hour all day long was not NEARLY as funny, except to me because I couldn't believe he was gullible enough to fall for another prank the following year. By the end of the day he had his head on his desk and he was about to cry, and when I said April Fools I thought he was going to wring my neck.

Somehow I still managed to keep that job for another couple years. Go figure.