Tuesday, July 7, 2009

i'm actually crying with the FEAR of writing this. what a DORK!

i have to assume you are the ONLY person reading this, and i'm sure it's okay with YOU if i cry, and if i can't spell, and if i'm NOT FUNNY.

because you actually knew me when i was YOUNG. when there was promise. when we still assumed everything would be great. forget great...AMAZING. when the world... the woods, were ours. capture the flag and kickball and everything was MAGIC, and there was no question that we would SOAR.

and now. i'm not so much soaring. i could. i KNOW i could. but my heart is broken after so much SHIT, you know?

my kids are gorgeous. they're perfect, and SWEET, and healthy.

but their dad hasn't paid child support in THREE YEARS, and i can't even find him to get a DIVORCE, and i love my new man, but he's a TRAINWRECK, and i was laid off, and my daddy's gone and my family is definately crazier than yours.

my MOM didn't even call to check in on me after i lost my job. nice, huh?

i have the GREATEST fair-weather family. really. they're great. we have fun, we drink wine, we laugh our ASSES off. but when you actually need something...

and i need something. i hope to GOD what's happening right now, is that i am opening a door.

i PRAY that when i hit the 'post' button some cosmic rusted bolt squeaks open and a GLORIOUS beautiful ANGEL ushers me into a place at least a smidgen more PEACEFUL than the one which i now occupy.

that there will be some sort of REPRIEVE, and that i will STEP BACK into the possibility that we all BURNED with when we were 8. or 9. or even 10.

may it BE so.

starting over

i have to say, today, this feels really good.

my *ohm mane padme ohmmmm* guru blog mom at PIECE OF CAKE said it would, and she was right.
to re-member who i once was, who i actually am underneath the calcified shell that is an absolute must have fashion accessory if you are even considering spending your days and nights as a human being in new york city.

in bed-stuy, no less...home of lil' kim, smif-n-wessun (what?!!!), mike tyson, and frank mcCourt...ever read 'angel's ashes'?...

of all the god-forsaken, babylonian places on planet earth to raise your kids. i mean, seriously. what the h-e-double-hockey-sticks was i thinking? actually, i LOVE my 'hood.

but i digress.

as much as it felt incredibly satisfying to vent, to emote, to express some of my immense disappointment, as well as a little bit of hope, and have someone out there say

you're right

and it felt absolutely fantastic to successfully find and post pictures from the interweb, without the help of a homo sapien who, by the luck of the draw, happens to wear their gonads on the outside, what i am supposed to be doing is sharing this...

...my most recent attempt at starting over.

after close to 20 years of designing (somewhat frightening) novelty sweaters for other people, i am reinventing myself as a recession-depression entrepreneur.

so, what started as an occasional foray into embellishing sweaters and tee-shirts for birthday gifts is becoming a bit of a full-blown cottage industry; i'm boiling sweaters and making a line of toys (reCREATION), 'heir jewelry' (reADORN), bags (rePORTAGE), and costumes(reCOVER).

if only the faeries and i could keep the cottage out of foreclosure...

mother's day, 2009

these are not the dishes that my significant other washed while allowing me to sleep four hours longer than the rest of the family (in his stead. ahem).

i was awake by 6.15, and these dishes piled up before 9. and while they piled up i did what moms, what women have been doing ever since we were first dragged into caves by the weaker sex.

i created.

i learned something about my instinct to make pretty things last fall when i sat every wednesday with a group of moms from my children's school, working on crafts to raise money at our annual winter fair.

initially i simply thought it a good idea to learn some new techniques; i had never before felted, or made a doll.

about 15 minutes into the first session, a funny thing happened.

my shoulders began to drop
from their usual perch up around my ears, and my back straightened . i ceased thinking about how much time i was taking away from the office, or what form of torture my boss would have waiting for me when i returned.

i didn't think about laundry, or dishes, or taxes. and although we may have more cause than anyone else i know, for three full hours every wednesday, none of the mommies whined. do you know why?

because there is no whining in nirvana.

after six weeks of new projects, far too many all-nighters, lots of laughter, a few tears, and a whole lot of getting to know the people whose children spend their days with mine, i had made this..

after a successful fair my schedule returned to normal, as did the quasimodish curve of my spine. then one night it dawned on me. all those weeks sitting in that circle, sharing, creating... i didn't have a single negative, self-depricating, defeatist thought.

i had felt satisfied.

while promoting his most recent book, i heard michael pollan say something like 'if you do things the way your mom or grandmother or great grandmother did, you'll probably be headed in the right direction'. which might explain why i feel so okay when i am crafting.

you see, my mom makes pretty things. as did my aunties, and great-grandmom, and a whole host of women who came before them.

for ever and ever, women have sat in circles, cared for each other's children, laughed, cried, and made things...

alphabet blocks, the circular saw, the dishwasher, the elevated railway, the fire escape, the medical syringe, the windshield wiper, and most importantly, the chocolate-chip cookie.

all invented by women

so this mother's day instead of sleeping in, getting my toenails painted and going to brunch, i woke up early and i made this robot...

then i made breakfast, let the dishes begin their steady march toward the ceiling, and made this tea party hat...

and my shoulders relaxed, my back straightened, and i didn't even hear my kids whining.

because there is no whining in nirvana.

hope you had a very happy mother's day...

this'll be a piece of cake!

i'll start with a friendly reminder...just two more days til friday... which means time is running out for your name to be entered into the great cupcake give away!

that's right. our lovely laura from PIECE OF CAKE came up with the brilliant idea to send this 'a blog is born' treat to one of you lucky blogettes. all you need to do is post a comment...

laura knows you all (too) well, but i am a quick study. hence, i have come up with a brilliant idea of my own..

tell your friends about my blog, the giveaway...if they mention you
in their comment , your name will be tossed in the hat as many times as i see it!
hey, we know how to throw a paaaar-tay here in brooklyn.


i didn't make anything today. it was far too beautiful, far too perfect to sit behind a sewing machine. but i didn't want the day to pass without putting some energy toward my sprouting uh..sprout. so...

since we already had a playdate planned after school pickup, i strong-armed mama andy (i brought out the big guns. you know, cheese, olives, chips!) into donning some 'heir pieces', hoping to get some good shots for my website.

this one in my favorite...
i know, i know. doesn't so much showcase my work. unless my work happens to be raising a delicious little sunbeam. which it is not. my work happens to be raising two delicious little sunbeams. here is the other one...

yeah, i didn't actually sew today, but i did drop the kids to school. and i picked them up. not only did i pick them up, but i was there early, and got to show my face... be a bit of a presence at my children's school...i couldn't do that two weeks ago, before i was laid off of my 9-5.

time with my kids? after years of feeling like i was the most horrible of all creatures..an absent mom... that is a ray of light..

oh, yeah...then of course there were the two lords of the flies that somehow found their way into my back yard.

is it only my kids who wind up in some state of undress at every playdate??
? anyone?
we did finally manage to hose them down and corral them inside for some aaarrrrg...

Italicpirate's booty before c.p.s. was called. phew.

for charlita

it was one of those days when i don't so much feel like it's earth that i'm traversing, but something a bit more...inchoate...nebulous? and it's not air that surrounds me. it's swampy. like i'm moving through water.

...i'm swimming today. i'm leaving everything half finished.
things are a bit
as if i'm peering through the veil

i can't quite hear correctly and my responses are slow. it started yesterday. okay...first the alarm, breakfast, teeth brushed, lunches, etc, etc, etc. completely mundane.

i walk out the door with the two 5-year-olds on our way to school, la la la. there are two girls on their way to school looking over their shoulders sorta funny at the tree pit in front of our house. and when we get to our front gate, i see that there is a pit bull curled up, sleeping maybe...twitching definitely.

in our tree pit

of course i'm scared to get too close. i don't want the kids to get hurt. i want to get them
out of harm's way...i want to get them to school. so i wake up the man (who is of course still
sleeping), and ask him to please call 311.

i return home after dropping the kids off and there are a cluster of neighbors in front of the house, commiserating, keening, performing various elegies over this dog that certainly seems to be leaving this dimension, and they are talking about how they they heard the dog wailing after getting hit by a car last night.

you didn't do anything, call anyone, step outside to take a look when you heard the dog, get hit,
last night, and now you're moaning about it?

excuse me?

i'm completely rattled and convinced this is some sort of horrible sign. i pull a book off the
shelf and look up totemic dog references...well...uh, judaic mystical...oh man...my brain is leaking out of my ears. just trust me. i look up 'dog' and this is the first thing i read;

'our sages taught-when dogs howl, the angel of death has come to the village.'

what?! didn't i just say my brain is leaking? i'm tired. i'm too tired. i don't want the angel of death.

a few hours later i realize.. this murkiness is just how i felt when daddy died. well, not just how i felt...

the insupportable sadness...the sense that the plates have shifted under my feet. one false move could have me careening into some dark chasm...the upending that occurred when one of the most basic elements upon which my universe was balanced was simply, well...


these feelings have receded. but the swamp...it's still here. i'm wading through it.
i'm struggling to swim.

then this morning i open my email. charlita's mom passed away yesterday. oh god. as the angel was howling outside my door my friend charlita was waking up only to discover that

the sky is missing.

and suddenly rivers are pouring, i was weeping.

like i am weeping now.

how often is it that an angel taps someone on the shoulder and they simply roll over and go back to sleep?

i know you are not reading this, just as i know several moons will wax and wane before this sentiment could possibly complete the journey from my heart to yours, but

Dearest Charlita,

In these moments it is difficult to find words, because there really are none.
I never met your mother, but so fresh in my mind is the warmth and compassion
with which you enveloped me when we got our own sad news that cold morning in New Orleans.

A mighty, mighty tree has fallen.

Your mother had to have been a remarkable and deeply loving human being to have raised such an exquisite woman as yourself; lovely, and strong. She will continue to walk with you, as she is woven into your soul.

I am so sorry, my friend. I embrace you and your family.

so, this post is for charlita...

...and daddy. may our parents rest in peace and in the knowledge that they have done splendid

congrats, ty!

congrats, ty!

my first week in blogland has been a too much fun.

like a seasoned veteran i have stayed up too late, neglected my children, and cursed at my computer

you have welcomed me, left me comments, and added me to your blogrolls...although no one has sent roses or added me to their will as our dear friend requested (after all, it has only been one week)

the faeries and i, nonetheless, hope you have perhaps been inspired. we send a gargantuan thanks and ask that you please keep coming back because

we have no intention of shutting up (or shutting down) anytime soon...

ty..send an address and your cupcake will arrive on gossamer wings...

she-devil, or not she-devil

i know i am completely biased, but with kids like theseshould i be surprised that nearly every day someone, somewhere asks me if i have ever tried getting them into modeling? now, bear with me...i am not boasting. after nearly 20 years in the fashion industry, and having spent some of those years with a firm that produces fashion shows, i have no illusions about models. or modeling. or maybe even beauty (yeah...right). nor do i feel even slightly responsible for the genetic luck-o-the-draw that created
these little wonders

so, depending on my mood, how much of a hurry we're in, the phase of the moon(and how said phase is effecting my estrogen/testosterone balance), i give a short answer

yes, no

or a long one

well, it really is a full-time job and i already have one, the payback is often minimal considering how many go-sees you must endure before you get a booking, blah blah blah

inevitably, the conversation ends with the well-meaning (albeit nosey) stranger saying something like "anyway, you do have two beautiful girls", at which point my kids giggle, and naf'tali turns to me

"mommy, should i tell them?"
"sure, nai"
"i'm a boy"
every single day

he doesn't get mad, he doesn't cry, he doesn't get into arguments with the big kids in the playground who won't drop it..."you're a girl! you're a girl! you're a girl!"...nice, huh?

given that he's gotten so much attention (which he loves) for having tresses of
truly golden locks
...that would have rumpelstiltskin dreaming of finally being able to retire to that condo in boca...

i must admit i was a tad surprised a few weeks ago, when upon receiving his goodnight kiss, he whispered in my ear

"i want short hair"



that's what i thought to myself, but i pulled my 'never let them see you sweat' trick out of the hat and said "it's late, baby. we'll talk about it in the morning."

the next morning, he didn't bring it up.


two days later, however..."i want short hair, mommy"

"yeah? you do? well, we can talk about it after we have some snack. okay?" and a few days after that...

"i want short hair. sebastian has short hair. and eli. and jack and walker and kainoa. even cyrus' mommy cut his hair".

this goes on for three weeks, when finally

"if i have short hair, then people will know i'm a boy"

oh crap

okay, look. i'm not trying to torment my son. i don't want life to be any more difficult than it has to be, because lord knows it's already a mixed up, mungled up, shook up world. but i'm a bit of a weirdo. and i don't make light of the magic in everyday things. like hair. we all have it (at some point), right? but at the same time, every single culture has stories...has mythology, traditions, surrounding hair
every culture recognizes the magic in our locks

on one hand, there are the traditions that consider a boy's first haircut a necessary and blessed rite of passage. in Hindu tradition, the hair from birth is associated with undesirable traits from past lives. so at the time of 'mundan', a child is freshly shaven to signify freedom from the past and moving into the future.

in a ceremony called boabeylun (sounds suspiciously like 'babylon to me, but i digress), maliku babies' heads are shaven and the hair is weighed against gold or silver, which is given to the poor.

and like contemporary american culture, polish boys once marked the coming of age and a transition to the world of men with the ritual of the first haircut. none of this sounds bad. but then, there is always the other hand...

in many cultures, wearing your hair cut short is a sign of mourning or devotion, i.e. submissiveness(not exactly my cup of tea)

it is said that boys should not have their hair cut before they reach their seventh year or they will lose courage. hair is said to be the center of life and soul...it circles the head; if it is yellow, gold, or red it is an image of the sun's rays and thus

connected to the heavens

in greek mythology, both kings nisus and pterelaos were said to be invincible as long as their magic locks were intact. like samson of the hebrew scriptures, each were conquered when some she-devil shaved their heads while they slept. nice.

apollo, considered one of the most important olympian deities, recognized as a
god of light and the sun
truth and prophecy
archery, medicine, healing, music, poetry, and the arts
and has a twin sister
well, his greek titles mean 'golden haired' and 'never shorn'

so, now i'm a she-devil...some kind of gorgon? chopping off the magic locks of my first born, my only son? causing him to be susceptible to the world's poison arrows and evil schemes?


like any reasonable, logical, educated parent, what do i do at this point? duh! i pour myself a glass of wine, take a few ever-so-delicious bites of the wild mushroom salad that my friend alice dropped off on her way to tea, and i consult the faeries.
, they can braid their own hair to make golden fishing-nets to catch magic fish. if you put these nets on your head they become crowns

they also said that the vily (their slavic cousins) are eternally young, their long hair is usually fair or golden, and their life and strength are believed to depend on it. if the fairy looses even a single hair, she will die.

die? oh crap

however, there's some debate about that. some folks assert that a vila will
show their true shape
to anyone who succeeds in cutting off their hair...

"right! if i have short hair, then everyone will know i'm a boy!"

but your my little boy. my baby boy, and i don't plan on having another. i'm not ready, and this hair is gorgeous. i mean, have you seen these perfect ringlets?!!
when i consulted with my big sister, she said 'oh, adrienne. just cut it. honestly'

and you know what else the faeries said?


and i only shed
to the
first day of the rest of your life, naf'tali...
after all, it's not the first time i've been called a she-devil...

we're not in kansas anymore

this is how i feel today...

here's hoping tomorrow finds trouble melting like lemon drops way above the chimney tops...


oh me, oh my.

1. my computer is beyond ill. it is, well, dead. may it rest in peace. i am still (quel surprise) not in the position to run right out and throw money at the problem. ahem.

2. there is an alarming situation rearing its beyond ugly head within my community, my circle, the place to which i have gone for refuge for the last two years.

3. and then, i heard the news today, oh boy; haiti. all i can say is haiti.

so i dug in my old bag of tricks, and found one of my favorite oldie-but-goodies. a tear-jerker perhaps, and yet a salient reminder that i am blessed. we are blessed. although i don't think it reasonable to dismiss my own issues or sweep today's challenges under the rug, reading this reminded me (reWINDed me) that at least i have a roof over my head, and over the heads of my dear children.

please share it. be well. be blessed.

there are a lot of articles and posts on the web today reminding us of the original
meaning of memorial day; although i am not the person one would describe as a patriot,
i agree it is most important that we think of all those that have given their blood, sweat,
tears, and lives for this illusive, intangible thing we call 'freedom'.

although i didn't dive head first into a full-blown weekend extravaganza, and
there were still dishes, laundry, and screaming kids, i did manage to enjoy my
memorial day weekend.

friday night i went to a barbecue in honor of my friend denise (yeah denise!), who
completed her master's degree in education at colombia university last week.while we enjoyed a candle lit bed-stuy throwdown, i prayed for the souls of all those
who have given their lives in one war or another.

saturday i took the kids for a playdate in beautiful prospect park.
can you imagine this, right here, in the heart of brooklyn?
while my son experienced his first-ever-solo-kite-flight

i prayed for all the little boys who spent the weekend wishing their father were here to fly
a kite with them one last time.

while amzi played fairy paper dolls with her friend ada,
i prayed for all the little girls across the globe, who have lost their moms to war,
and must dress younger siblings instead of paper dolls.

and while she sat by this water fall
i prayed for all those whose wells, streams and lakes have been made impotable by war

this morning we woke up and made beignets. i brought back some mix from
new orleans. as the kids rolled out the dough,
i prayed for the children of the lower ninth ward, whose homes are still a pile of rubble,
although the golf courses were reopened faster than you can say 'laisez les bon temps

and as we pressed out stars with our cookie cutter
i prayed for all the little ones, who right now are looking up to the night sky, and
instead of the magical glitter of the firmament, are witnessing the rocket's red glare

and while mine experienced holy deeeeelish!

i prayed for the far too many children who are hungry, with no food in sight.

as i enjoyed the quiet of my house today (the tall person person with the penis who
lives with me took the kids out for the whole day!)

and i experienced my first moment of peace in what felt like a very, very long time, i
thought of my favorite (yet virtually unknown) verse of the song sung by school children
from sea to shining sea...

o beautiful for heroes proved
in liberating strife.
who more than self their country loved
and mercy more than life!
america! america!
may GOD thy gold refine
till all success be nobleness
and every gain divine!

and now as my children sleep i pray, with every cell in my being, that they and every child...

american iraqi
israeli palestinian
pakistani indian
african colombian
black white
brown yellow

...every child, wakes up tomorrow to find that while they were sleeping we grown-ups
figured something out

this memorial day, i pray for peace