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On Housewifery

 

Figure 1. Probably the only tub I'd happily scrub.

Figure 1. Probably the only tub I’d happily scrub. But he’d have to stay in it while I was doing so, mind.

 

I am not a good cook. I am not a good housekeeper. I don’t decorate well. I don’t care if things are dirty.

I have house-pride but not enough to actually act on it.

I like good food but I find recipes onerous and don’t understand basic science necessary for improvisational cooking.

I don’t really cook; I heat things up and put them on plates. I can bake things. Kinda. Mostly when I bake things, it’s because I’m premenstrual and want some sugar, though. It’s not about feeding others. Not really.

But every so often, I feel this intense need to do home-keeping jobs. I feel like the neglect I’ve had for my husband and daughter in favor of my fake people means that I don’t love them and I feel this deep pull to care for them, when they are not around, by folding their laundry and ironing their dress shirts and going to the grocery store and wiping out the sinks.

I want to have dinner on the table when my husband gets home.  I want to have the sofa arranged with folded throw blankets and appropriately spaced pillows. I want to light a candle that smells good. I want to have my family marvel at how I scrubbed – with my hands and a spray bottle of bleach – our bathroom tile.

This kind of work is how I want to say that I love them. Tell them how much their comfort and care means to me. How much I want this space we share to be easy to move through. And pretty. And clean. And have everything they might need.

This is hard, lately, because our house is still is remodeling disaster. We live out of two rooms, smashed together precariously with all our stuff in weird locations, hanging from nails, haphazard in piles and baskets and bins.

This is hard, because I want to teach my daughter how to run a home system. How to fold and iron and sort. How to measure out detergent. How to make grocery lists and plan for packed lunches and find good spots for all of the things we use regularly or need to keep track of: scissors, tape, fingernail clippers, bills, pencil sharpeners, magazines, tin foil, twist-ties. When I do it all by myself, when she’s not around, there is no chance of showing her how this is done.

This is hard, too, because I know that I’m not just showing them love. I’m rinsing and sorting and sweeping my way through the problems of my fake people as well. I’m showing them love, too.

We all have to live in this house of mine, somehow. SIGH.

 

 

Book Release Day Recap: Sex & Violence

Figure 1: The Reedus eating a promotional cupcake. Capital idea, huh?

Figure 1: The Reedus eating a promotional cupcake. Capital idea, huh?

 

So, that was yesterday. It was a nice day for me. I did, as Blythe Woolston might say, squat-all.

Well. Not entirely true. I finished re-watching season 3 of The Walking Dead, so now I’m all primed and in the mood for season 4 on October 13. Gotta be prepared, you guys.

I also ordered launch party cupcakes (psst…yr invited!), washed and hung laundry on the line, cleaned the kitchen, scrubbed the bathroom sink, read fan fiction, chatted with a friend who’s been furloughed by our stupid-ass government shutting down, harvested a heinie-load of vegetables from the garden, talked to my dog, dorked around on Twitter, started reading the latest Victoria Dahl novel, viewed 476 million Norman Reedus photos and chatted with my in-laws. Also, waited for a new furnace to be delivered (which was not delivered…grrr…)

I’m sure I wasted an hour or two on Tumblr, as well. Full day, really.

Figure 2: Here is the point of Tumblr, as far as I'm concerned.

Figure 2: Here is the point of Tumblr, as far as I’m concerned.

 

Oh, and did a tiny bit of revision on Book #2 AKA Perfectly Good White Boy.

Lots of really nice people have helped get the word out for Sex & Violence. I need to make a list. It’s gonna be a long list. I’m really thankful for friends and readers and other authors who have posted kind reviews or Tweets on this book’s behalf.

I think the nicest thing about getting a book published so far has been the people I have met. They are so generous and so much fun to know.

Another thing that happened today is that the camper that was parked in my front yard (since August, when our remodeling began) left today. Our neighbors gave us shit: “Where did Unit B go? How sad! We don’t get a turn with it?” So now our house looks like a construction zone minus the squatters, I guess. Not a ton better, but at least we can see across the street again.

We still don’t have walls or a furnace and the roof remains undone, which is giving the mister some consternation. These things are above my pay grade, however, so I’m focusing on keeping us all fed and clothed and not losing my mind when Matilda dithers over distractions instead of her dumb homework.

I don’t know what else to say.

Figure 3: This is what the book looks like, just FYI. Isn't it fetching?

Figure 3: This is what the book looks like, just FYI. Isn’t it fetching?

 

Oh wait! I’m doing another GoodReads giveaway (which includes Canada & the UK this time around.)

Okay, now I’m done.

 

 

 

 

 

Fall Is Here

Figure 1: I'm just hanging around in my hoodie with my tousled hair and what not.

Figure 1: I’m just hanging around in my hoodie with my tousled hair and what not. Check out my chest and my masterful shoulders if you want. It’s no big deal. I’m very chill.

 

In July, I packed an entire cedar chest of sweaters away into the shipping container that now lives in our driveway. (It’s orange, in case you wondered.) I left out a handful of hoodies and some jeans.

The best days of summer are in September, I told myself. You won’t need any warm clothes, I told myself.

So smug. Because, hello: Fall is here, man.

Also our house hasn’t had a furnace since August. We’ve had some very cold wake-ups this week.

Fall is here. Which means:

— I have to wear socks again. All my socks are packed in the shipping container. I’m wearing The Mister’s man socks.

— No more raspberries or mowing the grass or watering anything.

— Summer is gone. School has come. Which means, a pile of deflated beach floaties in the backyard. Which means bonfires in the yard and pots of soup and going to bed early. Which means fighting at bedtime and fighting in the morning.

This is not specific to fall arriving, but I have to stress this: I miss our television. I miss our sofa in front of our television. I miss lots of things from our pre-remodel life, which are all living in the orange shipping container.

I miss the stairs leading into the basement, for example. Now, in order to do my beloved laundry, I must slip through two support beams and climb a ladder down to the lower level.

I miss my flip-flops.

But I’m glad fall is here. It’s really the best time to be in Minnesota. I don’t like being sweaty. I like wearing jeans. I don’t like shaving all the time. I like when all the cold temperatures kill the mosquitoes.

I think I am ready to go inside and stay there. To zip up my coat. To roll all the patio furniture into the garage. To shut the windows, haul my books out of my backpack. To put on my slippers and get to work.

 

 

Our Tiny Life

Figure 1: Probably you should not smoke cigarettes.

Figure 1: Probably you should not smoke cigarettes.

 

Would you like to know all about my life lately?

Too bad. I’m telling you anyway.

So, first. It’s September which means our long national nightmare of summer is done. Or near done. Whatever. I am very pleased for two reasons. First, Matilda’s a 5th grader! And her school day was lengthened by 15 minutes so that kids wouldn’t choke on their lunches and could go outside and run around for 11 extra minutes. Great luxuries here in the 55421, I’m telling you.

Second, Adrian’s starting a one-credit graduate seminar today and by the end of term, he’ll have his Master’s in Mechanical Engineering. Which has been plaguing him for about a decade.

Third, I just paid 64 bucks to reinstate my teaching license. I’m legal to teach Spanish to grades 7-12, yall.

So basically, we’re a whole family of brilliant geniuses, which is very nice. (Except for Pablo. He’s just average.)

Unfortunately, our Genius Family is living in what would be called ‘reduced circumstances.’ Which means we have no furnace or insulation or walls. Or sofa. Or television. Or stove.  It kind of looks like a big bummer but you know what? It’s not. It’s kind of exciting and cool.

Figure 1: Our gutted house.

Figure 2: Our gutted house.

 

In other news:

I’m having a thing about researching the Ye Olde Economist John Maynard Keynes. Anyone have a recommendation on a biography for him?

Here’s my Sex & Violence Launch event. Yr invited. Come on over and enjoy yourself.

Here’s a review of Sex & Violence on Stacked, plus a Twitterview of me. (Twitterviews = hard.)

Here’s a self-satisfied take on slut-shaming girls/protecting precious itty baby whiteboy sons that makes me want to claw my eyes out. Do us a favor, lady: ease up on the sugary-sweet-yet-cunty admonishment and maybe teach your boys to respect others without making anyone into a villain. And I’d like to think that your boys aren’t animals you need to restrain. Give them – along with womankind – a little fucking credit. (I feel a strong STFU,Prudes post making its way into life…)

Here’s a list of things I currently find fascinating:

  • bisexual men
  • people who own less than five pairs of shoes
  • why everyone else’s morning glories are blooming except for mine
  • Adrian’s changing view of his enlargening muscles
  • models of economic efficiency
  • whether Matilda is an introvert or an extrovert
  • Dot Hutchison’s A Wounded Name
  • Aaron Hartzler’s Rapture Practice
  • the general oeuvre of Eloisa James
  • Jennifer Lawrence (cannot.stop.staring)

 

Birthday Recipe

Figure 1. Matilda Maude Anoush Cutieface My Favorite Girl Ever

Figure 1. Matilda Maude Anoush Cutieface Chubby Cheeks Best Favorite Girl EVER

 

 

Yesterday, in preparation for my birthday, I did the following:

– cut out a bunch of Adventure Time paper crafts with The Matilda

– went shopping

– bought four new fly-swatters and put them all around the house (home remodeling leaves a lot of windows & doors open, thus, fly vectors)

– read romance novellas about pirates (one which featured a dude who was BLIND & then regained his sight via power of vadge, which, I can’t even tell you how many times that’s happened to me in my own personal sexual life, you guys)

– read part of a romance novel that featured steampunk, vampires, thralls, etc., plus a VIRGIN WEREWOLF GUY. He was the sweetest Virgin Werewolf Guy ever, yall.

– cleaned up my whole messy insane house

– sent out some teaching proposals

– sent 99 thousand emails

– bugged Adrian about dumb things (“Do you like my braids?”; “Isn’t it hot? I hate this so much”; “Come look at how much ass I kicked cleaning the whole messy insane house!”; “Where’s the goddamn stapler?”)

– told Pablo “yr such a goooooood booooooy” 27 times

So, clearly, now, today will be an excellent day.