Dear Little Sister,

I know I'm not alone in feeling that something seismic is happening. That all these horrible news stories - of gang rapes, slut shaming, reproductive rights under attack, are a sign of things getting worse before they get better. I have to believe it - for my friends' daughters, for the many little girls in my family.

I have to be honest though. It's hard to believe. It's all just too much sometimes. Especially when #WomenAgainstFeminism exists.

Then, Confused Cats Against Feminism happened. Rape culture isn't dead, the patriarchy still thrives but I smiled a little. The same day I clicked on that tumblr, someone tweeted that this blog:  I believe you | It's not your fault: Notes from your big sister  and said it was the best thing to happen to the internet since Confused Cats Against Feminism. I clicked.

I took a couple of days to read the entire blog and it's amazing. I cried a lot. I was sad and mad and maybe hopeful. When I read this, I just sat nodding my head: "during those moments of female bonding that always seem to happen when you get a group of women together—the Yes All Women moments that had been happening long before Twitter or hashtags." I've had those conversations. Too many and not enough, I think. We all have our stories and the (not so) simple act of sharing them helps. It makes everyone feel less alone. It can help restore hope.

Most of the time I am incredibly grateful that the internet didn't exist for me and my friends, that things would've been so much worse. But maybe, just maybe, this blog, this tiny corner of the internet will make things better for girls (and boys) now. Because they are not alone and we believe them. 

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word of the week

euphoria. a state of intense happiness and self-confidence.

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flying chicken

First, this happened:

Then, this: 

Now, this is happening:

  

I'll keep you posted on mail chicken's journeys. This was, of course, inspired by Kathy for sending it to me and Donovan for writing this post. Also, by my mail carrier because he had the giggles so bad when he handed it over. I want to give mail carriers everywhere the giggles.

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music monday

(from Danny Brito's Instagram - check him out!)

 

The new Jenny Lewis is so, so good and still streaming on NPR. Go listen. 

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Like, whoa.

This spring was hard work. I was sick for six weeks. I was practicing for my first dance recital in years. I had to get the garden underway. I had more ideas for embroidery than hours in the day. I got some news that I'm still trying to process but caused some serious writer's block. Shawn's gig schedule shifted from laid back winter/early spring mode to ALL THE GIGS, ALL THE TIME. There have been out of town visitors and things have just felt nuts. I hustled a lot. I forced myself to sit down and write when really, it was the last thing I wanted to do. I embroidered any time there wasn't something else to do. Yeah, this spring was hard work.

Last weekend, we got out of dodge. We went to the Redwoods with friends and while I wasn't feeling great part of the weekend (Hello, horrible hangover. Thanks for reminding me how old I really am.), it was definitely helping.

Then, Monday night, our last night there, we came back into range after being in the woods and near the ocean without a signal most of the day. My phone went nuts. There were 14 orders and so many convos and emails. I looked at Shawn and said, "What the fuck?" We figured it out quick enough, while the orders kept coming in. Three of my items had been featured on this list on Buzzfeed

Whoa.

I've had some nice press in the past but nothing like this. I freaked out a little. I am one person who makes everything I sell by hand. I pack every single order myself. I am acutely aware of how much I can do in a day without further damaging my right arm. I also needed supplies that were strangely hard to find locally. I had a lot of things scheduled for when I returned, and oh right, I was leaving town again the following week.

I need to say I am incredibly grateful for the Buzzfeed post. I don't want anyone to think I'm not. The orders were great. Also great? The reminder that I know amazingly supportive people. So many people said so many nice things. It felt like the work I'd done this spring paid off in the best possible way.

But, I've worked a lot since the moment we got back from the Redwoods. I haven't made anything new. I also didn't cancel any of my plans. After the first 48 hours, I felt on top of it and I know that when I'm feeling stressed, my friends are what I need. 

My birthday was yesterday. A few days ago, I asked Shawn if we could go to Voicebox for my birthday, reserve a room and invite some people. I am not really a karaoke girl but it sounded like exactly the right kind of stupid fun I needed, knowing that everything was going to ship today. I was shocked that I was able to assemble a group of friends, last minute, on a school night, for karaoke. It was fantastic. I was right - it was exactly what I needed.

This morning, as I put the packages on the porch for my mail carrier to pick up, all I could think about was this Kurt Vonnegut quote, part of which I recently embroidered:

"I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, 'If this isn't nice, I don't know what is.'"

Thank you all. Seriously. Because If this isn't nice, I don't know what is. Thirty-nine is looking pretty great so far.

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music monday

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word of the week

whatever. a response indicating a reluctance to discuss something, implying indifference, skepticism, or exasperation; used to emphasize a lack of restriction in referring to any thing or amount, no matter what; used for emphasis instead of “what” in questions, typically expressing surprise or confusion; at all; of any kind (used for emphasis); no matter what happens.

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word of the week

Mercurial. subject to sudden or unpredictable changes of mood or mind, fickle; animated; of or containing the element mercury; of or pertaining to the god Mercury; of or pertaining to the planet Mercury.

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i'm in

we've always travelled. when we were really young, we road tripped. all over the south, the southwest, up to michigan. i have picture of shawn from each of those trips. his face in profile taken from the passenger seat. he's almost always mugging for the camera but in one of them i know he was singing at the top of his lungs. that one is my favorite.

eventually, shawn worked for a startup, then orbitz, and both had travel perks. it was awesome. we went everywhere. i love planning trips. like really loved planning trips. i once found us a place to stay in florence that i could only correspond with by mail. it was the best.

then there were a few years where we only travelled to new orleans. sometimes we flew. the best times we drove.

after that, i don't know. my grandma got sick and i felt like i couldn't travel for awhile. after lucy was gone, we slowly started to travel again. for shows. to austin, to san francisco... that, was also awesome. go to another city, hang out with our friends and make enough money to cover the trip. so great.

when we moved to portland, we made big road trips of it and they were amazing. but it was, i don't know, disruptive? we were trying to start lives here, lay roots and we would just disappear for a few weeks at a time and then come back where we'd always say, "right, we live here now. how do we do this again?" we were tired. we needed real time off. we needed an adventure. but also, shawn needed to join a band or three. i needed to write. we needed to put down roots. literally. we planted a crazy high maintenance garden, which we love. and we have taken some short trips, some actual time off. they've also been awesome. really and truly. but i recently confessed to him that i am feeling wanderlusty; that i NEED A TRIP. i proposed a couple of destinations, he said he was in. last week, i fell down a rabbit hole on tumblr and kept showing him pictures of what was turning into a third option in my head. he just looked at me and said "i'm in."

this is 14 years of marraige. i'm in.  

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music monday

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