Soul Shattering Pain Broken By Moments of Indescribable Beaty

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on July 10, 2009 by Ms. Ex

Humans are a terrible invention, really. But there are moments when we make up for it.

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Barely Knit’s Innards

Posted in Embarrassing Moments with tags , , , on July 7, 2009 by Ms. Ex

Well, not my innards, exactly, but those of my purse, are featured over at Sweats Model’s blog.

Warning. Some of my fans have dirty little minds and are wreaking all sorts of havoc in the comment thread.

There, that’s my disclaimer. Now go, enjoy yourselves.

What I’ve Learned

Posted in Writing with tags , , , , , , on July 6, 2009 by Ms. Ex

This semi-hiatus has not afforded me much more time than I had before taking it.  One thing that has improved is the state of my home, but I can’t be too specific on that just yet.

I have learned a few things, and here they are, in no particular order:

1. There’s a reason writers say, “Write every day.”  It doesn’t take long for the brain to atrophy, and it seems the more I write, the more ideas I have for writing.  So I’m sorry to say it, dear family, but it looks like in order to write more I’m going to have to spend more time writing. I’ll miss you! Mostly.  And no, silly, I don’t mean you. I mean the other ones.

2. I get much validation from having my writing “out there” for others’ scrutiny and, dare I say it? I shall indeed: praise. I write for praise. It’s like working for food, only with less tangible reward. And since I haven’t been writing as much public material, I’ve suffered a downswing in my self-esteem. Yes, I realize this is unhealthy, but I have been amused and horrified at my desperation for compliments, and at least the experience has made me more aware of it. It is so very ugly when viewed on the page, in comment threads, that I intend to give it up much like I did smoking. By which I mean, quitting over and over only to start up again and then finally kicking but still dreaming about the day when I am close to death and will get to pick it up again.  Only thirty-two years to go.

3. I hate people even more than I suspected.

4. I don’t mean you, silly. I mean those other people.

5. Why I learned number three by not writing, I’m not certain, but I imagine it has to do with going to New Jersey. I’ll have to explore this more in the future.

6. GPS devices are useless. See, while we were on the road to New Jersey, I explained to four year old Ethan how they work. On our way back, in a coffee crisis, I typed in Starbucks and found the one closest to our route. When we arrived where the GPS said it would be, however, we were essentially in the middle of a field of tall grasses that looked nothing like dark, French roasted coffee. At that point, Ethan piped up from the back seat:

“That’s because there’s no such thing as a thing in space that goes around and around the planet and takes pictures and sends a signal to the GPS device! They’re not real.”

So this has been quite the educational experience for me.

Will Work For Just Long Enough to Demonstrate My Ineptness

Posted in Mental Stability, Motherhood, Why you should maybe rethink the whole reproducing thing with tags , , , , , , on July 2, 2009 by Ms. Ex

I have had many, many jobs.

I have been a gas station attendant, a dish washer, a car washer, a book store clerk, an art store clerk, an environmental department cubicle dweller, an analytical lab tech chemist type person, a butcher, a baker, a candlestick maker. But the last three I don’t get paid for, since they’re part of my wifely duties.

The thing is, I keep convincing people they should hire me, and these people continue paying me to work for them even after I demonstrate my total lack of common sense or normalcy.

I’m pretty sure if my husband wasn’t financially too invested in me he would upgrade, but I don’t know where else he’d find someone with such diverse experience.

Not only can I pump gas and wash dishes, but I can formulate scathing tongue lashings for the customer service reps that have screwed up our accounts, all while I’m on hold and playing Memory with the kids.  I can analyze our drinking water for lead and also sew buttons back onto pants. I can write copy so hilarious and captivating that it sells a cheap, fake engagement ring on ebay.  I can create truck routing schedules for hazardous waste pick-ups, a task that may seem irrelevant for a mother but believe me…it is not.  I can count minuscule dead minnows in the bottom of a beaker. I can breed actual sea monkeys successfully, and then feed them to the minnows that did not die.  I can fix Gas Cromatograph Mass Spectrometers that cost more than $100,000 each.

But now, my jobs seem so mundane. Wash dishes. Do laundry. Make appointments. Cook supper.

Where’s the glamor?  The money, the glitz? I was destined for greatness, and now I’m…what?

Now I’m a model. A famous woman who is clamored over and stalked and hears my name shouted from everywhere, over and over and over:

“Mommy? Mommy? Mommeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!”

Is Crazy an Excuse for Rambling?

Posted in A Bit on the Dark Side, Naughty with tags , , , , , , , , , , on June 28, 2009 by Ms. Ex

I plan to make this the world’s most poorly planned and quickly executed blog post in history.

I drove to New Jersey Friday while listening to Wigfield by Amy Sedaris, Stephen Colbert, and Paul Dilello, and found myself transported to a land in which, instead of passing big rigs with Jesus slogans plastered on them, I sped by things such as a “World’s Largest Mushroom Producer” truck with tremendous mushroom graphics everywhere.  There is something disturbing about a fungus that dwarfs your minivan.

Next up – “The Sons of Anarchy” rig, decked out in skulls and amazing tattoo art, or something. It was a thing of beauty, not least because I assumed it was a militia that was gathering a large following and obviously interesting many investors in its plan. What militia can afford an eighteen-wheeler like that? They’re normally too busy amassing weaponry and building compounds.

Since I don’t really believe there has yet emerged a group capable or truly willing to overthrow the government, I found myself getting really excited about the possibility that here was just such a group. Organized enough to have a name, to get the fancy truck with the gorgeous art, and to take their show on the road.  Alas, thanks to the wonders of Google, I now know that “Sons of Anarchy” is a fucking television show. And that about sums up my opinion.  I like my imaginary version much better, and have been busy writing up the vision statement for my newly formed militia, “Sons of Bitches and Daughters of Anarchy.”  Leaving a revolution to men is just so eighteenth-century.*

Finally, my favorite vehicle on the road Friday was the tanker truck reading, “Valley Proteins – Not for human consumption. Technical Animal Fat.”  I think it requires no further embellishment. I will just let the full impact of the possiblitites for the existence of such a beast to settle into your mind. And your stomach.

All in all, it was a delightful drive with only moderate screaming in the background, during which I just put both ear buds broadcasting Wigfield into my ears and turned up the volume. A lot.

*I have set up a Paypal account for receiving donations with which to pay for my husband’s defense when he sues the Department of Energy to have his security clearance reinstated. Fortunately, when Big Brother questions me about him, they don’t ask my views on government, so there’s a chance no one will notice my little leanings toward…let’s call it Extreme Libertarianism.  Nonetheless, your donations are appreciated. I will use them to buy a cool truck and get some new ink. Thanks.

Love Them

Posted in Motherhood with tags , , , , , , on June 24, 2009 by Ms. Ex

I’m referencing a post by my bloggie friend Betty, who inspired this response.

We all feel inept and bumbling when it comes to parenting, but most people are afraid to say it. We pretend we know “the answer” or “the way,” so that we can put our minds at ease that we will turn out people who follow our advice  but really we are all just floundering around here creating people who will one day do things that make us cry, or laugh, or tear our hair out, or wail inside with almost unendurable pain.

You have to create a way of living that will work for your family. I’m not saying it’s okay to treat children any old way, either. As the product of a destructive home environment and the survivor of some horrible events, I am know the mess that can make.

Yes, there are some absolutes: Don’t teach racism. Don’t beat your children, with belts OR words. Don’t leave them alone in the bathtub. That sort of thing. And yes, there’s even empirical evidence that breastfeeding is best, and attachment parenting can be really good psychologically. But that doesn’t mean it will all work out perfectly. I have almost never yelled at my daughter. I fed her organic, I wore her everywhere, I breastfed her and tried to do everything I thought was right, which is to say, everything I was capable of doing at the moment.  But she is nearly an adult, and she makes some choices that are unhealthy and self-destructive.

I like to quip to my friends that we all mess up our children. The trick is to give them good stories to tell their shrinks.

We could do this to ourselves forever, this throwing ourselves up against the wall of condemnation and inadequacy.  We can damage ourselves and ruin any chance of being even a remotely good parent if we aren’t careful.

What all of it comes down to is this:

Love them.

Validate them.

Love them.

Hug them.

Love them.

Let go.

Let go.

Let go.

The Incredible Shrinking Blogger

Posted in Writing with tags , , , , , on June 21, 2009 by Ms. Ex

Ha! Don’t I wish!

No, folks, I don’t mean my waist line.  That would be great, but I’m actually talking about the blog itself.

See, I have a problem.  I spend way too much time writing and commenting around WordPress, and not nearly enough time on other things. Like say, sleeping. Writing things that might make money some day.  Showering. You get the idea.

Plus Mr. Barely Knit Together is gone for three and a half weeks doing army reserves summer adventure camp annual training, leaving me in charge of a surly teenager, a large dog, and two small, rabid wombats.

So  I’m curious to know how few posts I can get away with per week.  How long before you grow tired of checking? Are we at that point in our relationship where I could take a week to go off by myself to that cabin in the mountains and not have you worry that I’ve found someone else?

And how about my commenting? Will you miss me, fellow bloggers?  Will I eventually be forgotten, replaced by some shameless hussy who steps in to fill my comedic place? (I’m keeping an eye on you, Claire Collins)

This is not to say that I’m even capable of showing any kind of restraint when it comes to…well, to anything really, but mostly to following all my amazing blogger friends and replying to my sarcastic, cynical readers adoring fans.

So what do you think? Can I take a whole week off?  Will my stats suffer? My god I’m obsessed with mice tats.  Uh, I mean my stats.

I would really like to hear from you. What would it take to keep you happy in my absence? Do I need to give away prizes or something? Make big promises of joy and money upon my return? I could just occasionally upload random photos of my exploits.  “Barely Knit Together makes her morning coffee!”  “BKT brusing her teeth!”  “Barely Knit herding cats!”

Maybe this will be good for me.  Maybe I’ll actually start to interact with real people whom I can see in real life and touch and hear and connect with.

Nah.  Forget it.