Wednesday, January 27, 2010

kung fu this

I signed M up for karate weeks ago and she's been over the top excited ever since. The class is offered at her school right after her class is over so as far as I knew it was settled, she was going from class to karate and I was going to the gym. With my mix tape.

So feeling spry and earphones in place take me down to paradise city where the grass is green and the girls are pretty I arrive at her school and head to the room. I was excited all day knowing she was finally getting to do this. So as I'm walking in a guy comes walking out and for some reason I had a feeling this was the instructor so I say, Hey, are you the karate instructor, I'm looking for my kid. Her name is M and he stands there looking perplexed for a minute and says, oooohhh...M? Yes I say and he says Oh, wow, I had so many kids I couldn't handle them all so I left her in her class.

You what? I say and he says he's sorry and for some reason I reach over and punch Karate Guy in the arm. He looks a bit taken aback by this but you know, whatever. Look dude, M's been looking forward to this for weeks, did you at least tell her why you weren't able to take her? Um, no, he says. So I punch him in the arm again. So you just ditched her, and now I get to go pick her up and have her cry?

I'm really sorry he says. Do you want your money back? No, dude, I want you to teach my kid karate.

He looks a little sheepish. There's too many kids, he says. I can't handle them all.

What do you need to do about that, I say? I need a helper, he replies.

Fine, Karate Guy, I'll be your helper. He smiles and reaches out his hand and introduces himself and I do likewise and for a minute I decide Karate Guy is actually okay and he's also really, really cute. And I'm surprised he is actually getting this close seeing as I've already punched him twice. But he does and we settle it. I'll do this thing. Not sure what this thing is, but I'll do it anyways.

I find M and when she sees me she breaks into tears. I didn't get to go to karate! she says.

I lean down and pick her up and hug her. Dude, I know. I've already told Karate Guy how lame he is and she starts laughing. No you didn't! Oh yes, baby, I sure did and I tell her the story but I leave out the part about hitting him twice and she's happy now, especially now that she hears I'm coming to karate too. I'm not sure what I've gotten myself into, but something tells me it'll be amusing at least. And I figure I could do with learning some karate too. Maybe it'll even take away the uncontrollable urge to punch people I've just met in the arm. Twice.

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Monday, January 25, 2010

i'm a mix tape in a sea of mp3s

I brought my ipod to the States but forgot my cord. I figured it didn't matter because I don't know how to download music anyways but then I started working out and holy mother I've been doing some long overdue rocking out and all the indigo girls in the world can't meet me there.

I was sharing my lament at my friends' this weekend, two of my most favorite people in this world. I've been hanging out with them a bit lately, my kid loves their kid and I love them and they are the only two people I know in real life who read my blog. So they let me borrow a cord and three hours of computer time later I downloaded all the stuff I liked when I was seventeen or twenty seven and while I am sure there is better stuff out there I dare you to prove it.

Bad Medicine: Who can't relate to this? Love IS like Bad Medicine. But we Like Bad Medicine. I actually saw Bon Jovi on my birthday one year, on a first date with an older guy (not usually into older guys) who showed up with a cake and champagne and good seats (let's hear it for older guys) and I thought it was going to be bad but the show was actually a lot of fun. Plus that singer, he's kinda hot.

Cum on Feel the Noise: There's really nothing I can say and even after 20 years I still smirk when I see the title, those dirty 80's boys. Again, I dare you to prove there are songs better than this. I think I was in 7th grade the first time I heard this and my friend's mom was gone for the night and someone showed up with wine coolers. Remember wine coolers? Those were awesome but probably not when you are in 7th grade.

Lose Yourself. I like Eminem. I know he's controversial and all that, explicit lyrics, yadda yadda but I've always liked him and I'm almost 40 so I probably always will. And nothing gets my speed up on the treadmill like this song does.

Why Can't I Be You? The Cure. 8th grade and it's 3am and I've been listening to Boys Don't Cry for 5 hours straight.I am positive I was wearing all black. Is there anything else I need to say?

Eye of the Tiger. If it's good enough for Rocky, it's good enough for me. Plus it makes me laugh when it comes on. The lyrics are so intentionally intense it makes me giggle. Just a man and his will to survive. That guy wasn't messing around.

Highway to Hell. I saw AC/DC in concert when I was 20. Man, that was a good show. Those guys knew how to rock.

Sex Dwarf. I swear this is Soft Cell's best song, but I think I'm fairly alone in this thought because I don't even know if they released it in the US. I remember driving several hours to the one import store that had this disc and it was a whole adventure. Now we just press a button. Life used to be a lot more interesting. And this list proves I'm a bit twisted. Or at least kind of a loser. But that's okay, I'm comfortable with that. Round and Round, Love will find a way just give it time.

There's some more 80's rock, some rap, basically a bunch of songs you'd probably never admit to liking but you'd sing along to in a bar. So I love my music, it's about two workouts worth and I love it so much I keep the earphones in when I leave and sing really loud in the car. I think that may be against the law here but am not entirely sure.

So all in all this post proves what you already know, that I am a total dork. But I'm a fairly happy one, and I've decided that after 39 years on this planet I'll take a happy dork over an unhappy hipster any day of the week.


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Monday, January 18, 2010

civic dreaming

We talked about it, how our country used to be different, how Dr. King came along and said what a lot of people were feeling, how he stood up, how he had a dream and wanted more than anything for everyone to be treated equally no matter what color their skin. I show her his I Have A Dream speech and she actually watches most of it. She marvels at all the people who were there and we talk some more, one of those magical moments where she is really and truly listening. She asks if he's still alive and if we can go see him and I tell her what happened and she wants to see pictures of that too.

She can't understand why someone would want to hurt such a nice man, a man who just wanted everyone to be treated the same, the way we all do. I told her that he scared some people, some people were very afraid of what he had to say and didn't want things to change. That some white people thought white was the only good color and they were better than everyone else. She looks at me and starts laughing. Are you kidding? ARE YOU KIDDING? If I thought that way I wouldn't know X and X and X and X friends and I LOVE them!

And I smile at her and tell her I am not kidding but her saying that is exactly why Dr. King is so important. Because he helped change America. That because of him and others like him things changed and it was good. But she can't let it go. White people were AFRAID of black people? Yes, I say. Are they afraid of them now, she asks and I tell her yes, some people still are afraid of people who look different from them and she pauses for a minute and says are people afraid of Barack Obama? and I nod and say yes, I think some people are and she throws her head back and laughs out loud. Well that's just about the silliest thing I've ever heard she says.

Happy Birthday, Dr. King.



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Friday, January 15, 2010

toupatou

I sit and I sit. I keep crying. Like you are, like we all are.

Haiti. Mwen regret sa, Haiti.

Mothers.
Fathers.
Babies.

I sit and I sit. I go online and make a donation and I feel futile. I sit and I wish I could do more. M hears us talking about it and it scares her. Earthquakes. Can it happen here she says and I nod, I can't help it so I nod and but I also say but it wouldn't be as bad as there even if it shook as hard. When you are poor, when you are so poor, everything is harder. Buildings fall down easier. There aren't as many cars and tools and machines to help you.

Like the jungle, she says. Like if we had an earthquake there.

More like that, yes. It would be more like that. But it's still so much worse there. For as poor as the jungle is, this place is worse. Worse, she says. Like she can't believe it. This child who grew up on shelters and then the jungle. She's already seen what a lot of people might think was bad already and yet I see her try and dig down deep and figure out more. It must be really bad she says. Yes. Can we go there and help she says. I hug her, maybe a bit too hard. We would just be in the way, I tell her. They need doctors and nurses right now.

Mothers. Fathers. Babies.

Haiti. Mwen regret sa.

Kisa pi nou fe?

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Monday, January 11, 2010

one plus two minus one

Two weeks. It's been two weeks of this new way of doing things and so far, so good. My kid, she is amazing. She's embraced our new situation with joy and curiosity and already loves her new school. And they work her there, she's actually exhausted by the end of the day and her brain is full of new ideas. I think Five is the very best age so far. I am so in love with Five.

As for me, I am conscious every day that I am doing well in some ways and falling short in others. Without J everything falls to me and for the most part it's okay but his absence is a small ache, rising up on some days and quiet in others. We are only two weeks into this thing.

I have more to say but it will have to wait. One being in charge of Plus Two minus One means my math is off.



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