Category Archives: My Life

Unique Wedding Readings

24th January 2017

evanybwahaha
Our friend Evany married us, and this photo was taken just as she muttered something about spinning wheels and our first born child.

We got married in July, and man is it a bear to find non-trite wedding readings. This is especially true when it’s not your first marriage and there are already kids in the mix. In case you’re curious, or looking yourself, here’s what we picked.

Here by Grace Paley

Here I am in the garden laughing
an old woman with heavy breasts
and a nicely mapped face

how did this happen
well that’s who I wanted to be

at last a woman
in the old style sitting
stout thighs apart under
a big skirt grandchild sliding
on off my lap a pleasant
summer perspiration

that’s my old man across the yard
he’s talking to the meter reader
he’s telling him the world’s sad story
how electricity is oil or uranium
and so forth I tell my grandson
run over to your grandpa ask him
to sit beside me for a minute I
am suddenly exhausted by my desire
to kiss his sweet explaining lips

An excerpt from Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird:

“E.L. Doctorow said once said that ‘Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can see only as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.’ You don’t have to see where you’re going, you don’t have to see your destination or everything you will pass along the way. You just have to see two or three feet ahead of you. This is right up there with the best advice on writing, or life, I have ever heard”

And finally, Brad is a big fan of Bob Ross and his happy little trees. We chose a bunch of his quotes together, and I arranged them into a sort of found poem. It was so simple, and true, and I ended up loving it:

Arranged quotations from Bob Ross

It’s so important to do something every day that will make you happy.

Just let go, and fall like a little waterfall.

That’s when you experience true joy. When you have no fear.

We’re gonna make some big decisions in our little world.

Don’t be afraid to make these big decisions. Once you start, they just sort of make themselves.

That’s what makes life fun. That you can make these decisions. That you can create the world you want.

Life is too short to be alone, too precious. Share it with a friend.

It’s life. It’s interesting. It’s fun.

Let it make you happy.

If you have good suggestions for wedding readings, please fire away in comments.

Let’s Catch Up

12th January 2017

I’m joining in Pip’s tradition of taking stock this month, and she has a blank list you can copy over if you want to join too.

Making : A New Year’s garland with tinsel tassel and champagne corks from celebrations in my life. All the corks were in a box with tags on them and it was starting to be less “celebration collection!” and more “why do you have this box of trash?”

Cooking : Vegan oatmeal, and peanut butter cookies. Brad is allergic to eggs and dairy, so I’ve been using flax seed as an egg substitute and soy products in my baking. I can’t tell the difference, and Brad is totally still alive thanks to hippie bullshit. Well done, hippies.

Drinking : Boozy root beer called Not Your Father’s Root Beer. It’s delicious, if weirdly named. Stereotypically speaking, old-timey dads were full-time drunk. Maybe the brewer is the son of a pastor or something? In which case I say, “Not your father’s root beer, dude.”

Reading: Atlas Obscura, a compendium of unusual places. It’s a delight, except it’s too big to read in bed. The corner of the cover kept digging into my temple because I was resting half the book on my face to ease thumb strain. So I ended up buying the e-book version too. It’s my first e-book, so mixed feelings.

Trawling: Junk shops for old hats. I’d like to be a not-crazy hat wearer. I feel the crazies have taken all the hat wearing for themselves, which is a shame because hats used to be so respectable and discreet. Now it’s like “Look-a me! I’m a’wearin’ a hat!” This is what I imagine your average modern-day hat wearer thinks to herself before she leaves the house to go anywhere besides a wedding. Is this how it’s going to feel to read real books in public twenty years from now? Futurism bums me out sometimes.

Wanting: Time alone. Always and always. Mothering a toddler is a contact sport.

Looking: At the People magazine the girl a few rows up is reading. I’m writing this on a plane. Why did I not buy a People magazine?

Deciding: On travel plans for next year. I prefer to be spontaneous, but it’s too expensive. A friend on Facebook recently mentioned that an airline was having a flash sale, and I scored $500 round trip tickets to Paris for our anniversary. Now I’ve vowed to sign up for low-fare alerts on everything and tell all my Facebook people too.

Listening: To Dan Auerbach’s “When the Night Comes” because @AnilDash asked Twitter, “What’s a song that was not a hit (or that hasn’t become a standard) that you wish everyone could hear?” and that was mine. Good thread.

Buying: Tiny things for the baby to clench in his fists while he bops around. Ozzy loves choke-ables. He’s kept track of this minuscule banana from a Minions Lego set for the better part of a year, and every so often he offers you a bite, then pretends to nibble it himself. I find tiny dog figurines pressed in his hand while he’s sleeping. They leave little dog-shaped imprints in his palm.

Watching: Divorce, the new Sarah Jessica Parker show. Pretty good.

Marvelling: I literally learned on this trip that people in snow scenes in the movies breathe into their hands not to warm them, but to warm the air they’re breathing. Because the air gets so cold it hurts to breathe in, which is not a thing I had ever considered. I had this experience and did not know what to do, until a nice Muslim cab driver who was originally from Africa (where it is much warmer) explained it to me. Helpful. Then we discussed how he had two wives in different countries. He was the first real, live polygamist I’ve met and I was very excited. I said “YOU HAVE TWO FAMILIES! WHAT?! Please tell me all the things.” And then he did, and I refrained from asking inappropriate questions, because respect for other religions is the cornerstone upon which our country is built, and because most of my real questions were about sexy times.

Cringing: Because I said “you too!” twice to different gate agents who wished me a good flight.

Needing: A good puffer jacket that doesn’t look dumb. Minneapolis was cold AF, and I know nothing about dressing for inconvenient snow. Suggestions welcome.

Questioning: Whether I have enough spouses.

Smelling: Everyone else’s breath. And Pringles.

Wearing: Compression socks and this dress that’s actually giant cozy sweatshirt.

Noticing: That the girl next to me accepted the middle seat when some dude took her window. Then she spent the rest of the flight pretending to read while he tried to chat her up. They both speak Spanish and all she’s saying is “Ah. Si,si,si,si.” with the occasional “Claro.” thrown in for variety. Sir. Shut up and enjoy your stolen seat.

Love,
Maggie

Thursdaaaay, Links!

8th December 2016

Ha. Money-face challenge.

Christmas Tree Alternatives, in case you don’t want to cut one down. Our favorite tree farm lost a lot of trees to drought this year and had to truck them in. It felt so foreboding.

Isn’t this little fig ornament so pretty? Figs symbolize peace and plenty.

Some numbers on harassment triggered by the election from the Southern Poverty Law Center. Scroll down for info graphics.

Lots of new contributors to Shop Blue, a gift guide I made to support stores owned by dems who are minorities or women.

Mint is a gadget that tests whether you have bad breath and gives you a grade from A to F.

I’ve always wanted a pair of blue suede shoes.

I think this cat mug is funny, which was unexpected.

I didn’t realize beauty advent calendars were such a big thing. Huh.

I got you guys something.

Sleep Tight

4th December 2016

Toddler wakes at 4:40 a.m., and dad brings him into bed. Little guy struggles against sleep for half an hour, whispering “play” and “oh hi!” every few minutes. Finally he drapes himself over my neck, one knee in my right boob, and konks out. I’m laying here trying to decide whether this is more or less comfortable than being nine months pregnant.

Taking Stock for October

1st November 2016

Pip posted a new taking stock list, and it hit me just right. She included a blank list so we can play along:

Making : So much! As you know, I’ve been doing a lot of election projects. We sold out of most of our I’m With Nasty merchandise, and made a $2K donation to Hillary. And I edited the interviews for Helena’s The Pussy Project. Man, I’ve missed editing.

Cooking : Brad is allergic to eggs, so in the mornings, I fry some onions, garlic, tomato, basil, and ground turkey or beef to make a meat scramble. It’s really good, and easy for the toddler to eat. We call it Beefy Crumbles, and there’s a little song to go along.

Drinking : I just restocked my tea pantry, and it feels so lux, ahhhhhhh. Right now, I’m doing an experiment to see whether I want to stick with my regular Earl Grey, or start brewing a pot of black tea and adding drops of Bergamot oil to taste. Are you on the edge of your seats, my bookish friends?

Reading: I’m skipping between three books written by friends, Grace Bonney’s In the Company of Women, Luvvie Ajayi’s I’m Judging You, and Jenny Lawson’s Furiously Happy. Also, just started on The Paris Wife, which one of you recommended, so thank you!

Trawling: Sites of people I like and admire, like Tina Roth Eisenberg, Jessica Hische, and of course Pip. This joint needs a redesign like whoa. And speaking of work I admire, I’m officially a patron of Kottke.org.

Wanting: Colorful clothes. I finally have time to be interested in clothes again, but most things in the closet are residual pregnancy and postpartum clothes, which means grey and stretchy. They don’t put nearly enough of the “ho” in “ho-hum.”

Looking: At this baby. All day every day. You know that thing where your kid gets old enough to walk without danger of falling, and you tilt your head up for the first time in years? We’re not there yet.

Deciding: What to make for Thanksgiving. I’m still perfecting my forever menu, but this sweet potato recipe is incredible. Also, I’ll take a ham over a turkey any day. That bird is such a pain in my ass.

Wishing: I could spend the night in a bookstore. Can I spend the night in your bookstore?

Enjoying: Our new glass house. Once a week or so, we all bunk in the one enormous room with lofted beds, and everything gets so quiet calm when the kids go to sleep, and you can even hear them breathing, and then when Ozzy burbles around 6:30 and we all pile into one bed and doze all mushed up together until the sun fills the room. I wish we were there now.

I need some sleep, so I’m skipping the rest of the list, but if you’d like to do it, leave yours or a link to yours in the comments. Full list on Pip’s site.

Speaking His Language

24th June 2016

fartypoop

Ozzy is out of reach, crying in his car seat.

“Say something nice to your brother, Hank.”

Hank leans in to gaze at Ozzy, caresses his cheek.

“Farty poop,” Hank coos. “Faaaarty poop.”

And Ozzy laughs.