Tuesday, April 28, 2015


I don't do internet rants.

What I mean is, generally if someone says something stupid or does something stupid I roll my eyes and click away. I plan to this time as well--except first I have to say something about it because, quite frankly I'm annoyed.

Buzzfeed posted this thing. 31 images that will take you back to the moment you became a mother.

I clicked on it and all there were were women who have just (as in recently)pushed babies out of themselves. As Seinfeld used to say--not that there is anything wrong with that.

Well, except where there is. Except when someone believes that this is all that is required to be a mother.

I'm a mother and I have a problem with that.
I became a mother twice.
First in the office where I used to work when I saw my daughter's face for the first time.
Second--and most important--four months later when I was handed a screaming child. I grasped her and started to sing and she stopped crying and looked at me.

I became a mother that day.

But this isn't only about me.

What about the woman who becomes a mother when she opens her door to a sullen and terrified sibling group who are carrying trash bags (!) of their belongings?

What about the woman who becomes a mother in a courtroom after a long wait. A family erupts in joy and even the judge can't stop wiping his eyes?

What about the trans woman who is handed a child created by consensus and science and the child  grasps his mom's hand?

What about the teacher who brings a new pair of shoes to a kid who desperately needs them--but pretends they are old shoes to save the child's pride? She keeps in touch with the child long after the kids leaves her classroom and is invited to the child's wedding? Isn't she a mother?

What about the aunt who always listened and is woken up at 2:30 in the morning because her niece needs to talk and no one else listens like she did?  Isn't she a mother?

Mother is not only a noun-- it is a verb. One of those definitions is "to care for or protect like a mother."

Please remember it.

And now I will click away, turn off the computer, and go mother my child.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Microblog Monday--Long Term Unemployment Hell

I had an interview on Thursday.

It went well--at least I thought so. I coaxed a smile and shared laughter from what I am told was a panel interview. I was excited leaving it. I started planning for possible call backs and other things. Friday I got a call from the headhunter that set up the interview and was told they hired internally.

If they were going to hire internally, why bother interviewing me in the first place? I'm not saying it was a waste of my time, but it was a waste of my hope.

I've been over a year without a job. Unemployment is gone and I am eating rapidly into the savings I have. I'm lucky to have my safety net, but I need to be earning money. The hope was nice but knowing I didn't have it when I walked in is not.

Friday, April 24, 2015



If you watched Grey's Anatomy--you know what I mean.

Warning--this is full of Spoilers.
You've been warned.

Anyway--Grey's Anatomy.

A major, major, character was killed off.

Now the internet has exploded with people who are saying that they will never watch the show again.

Does this sound familiar?

Maybe right after the "Red Wedding" on Game of Thrones?
Perhaps after other books and tv shows were aired where characters died and the people were very upset.

We love our shows. I love my shows, and a main reason is because of the characters.

I believe it started with Colonel William Henry Blake on M*A*S*H. The actor wanted to leave the show. The show was set in wartime so they killed off the character. I was very young when I watched Radar go into the operating room with the devastating news. "There weren't no survivors." People got upset too. I believe it was the first time a character was killed off like that.

It happened with more frequency and now it seems it happens all the time. I don't like it, to be honest. I don't watch TV because I want to follow the character's deaths--I want to be part of the character's lives. I also don't like it when it feels like something patched together because the actor wanted to leave.

That being said, the amount of vitriol aimed at Shonda Rhimes is really astounding.

People watching a Shondaland production who are shocked and stunned that their favorite character has been killed off are the same people going to a Metallica concert and complaining that the music is loud.

This is what she does.

She creates these characters like no one else and she can kill them off. It is her right to do it.

But what about the FANS!!! I've been reading everywhere.

The fans are welcome to watch-- or not. If you don't like what you are seeing--we have no dearth of TV to watch instead. Or even shut off the TV and read a book. Might I suggest the Game of Thrones series by George R. R. Martin?

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Microblog Mondays -- You Came Back

We went to visit my in-laws. Lotus is their first and only grandchild. They couldn't get rid of us fast enough so they could spend time with Lotus without us interfering parents to get in the way of their spoiling. D and I hadn't been out alone together for some time.

We went out and had a nice dinner. We got back and Lotus wasn't asleep--we didn't think she would be. She came and hugged me and hugged me.

"You came back!" she said over and over. "Mommy comes back!"

It nearly broke my heart that she thought for even a moment that I wouldn't come back.
I tried not to be angry at the woman who didn't come back. I held her as she hugged me and told me she loved me. My heart warmed and broke at the same time. I hugged her back and kissed her over and over,

I'm now vowing to start taking very good care of my health--because I want very much to be sure that I come back.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

The 5 Books That Go With Me When I Run

It goes without saying--or at least I should think so--that if my house caught fire that I would grab my husband and daughter and get the hell out of it.

But if I had time... if it was an evacuation where I would bring other things I would most certainly bring books. Which books?

Well there is the question. I'm limiting myself to the books that are hard to get now--or at least difficult to get in the format that I love. I'm limiting myself to one book per author--and OH that one isn't easy. I'm limiting myself. However, if if push came to shove, and in no particular order.

1) Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

I've already discussed this book pretty much at length.  It is one of my favorites.  Why wouldn't I just get a new one? Well this is, I believe, a first edition with faces on the cover. It is bent in all my favorite places and this is the actual book that was pressed into my hand by a stranger.  It comes with me.

2) Magic's Price by Mercedes Lackey

At some point I will make a list of books to read after you've finished Game of Thrones.  That being said I would recommend this book be read before you start Game of Thrones. In fact--if you haven't read this series--and you like fantasy--you should drop everything and get this book now.  Actually not this book--as it is the third in a trilogy, but the first one--Magic's Pawn.

What if you knew that the people in charge of your government were good--beyond any shadow of a doubt? You knew this because the head of the government is Chosen by a big white horse called a Companion (capitalization intended as per the book). If you are Chosen by a Companion, you are now a Herald or perhaps a Herald Mage.  Magic exists in this world, and the Heralds are the chief users--except for the people who aren't Chosen.

Into this is a beautiful young man, Vanyel, who discovered that he was gay and in love with a Chosen trainee. On a horrific night, his beloved commits suicide and Vanyel himself is Chosen. This trilogy is the story of Vanyel and his world.  This book is the third of the trilogy and my favorite.

Gossamer Axe by Gael Baudino

Chick with a harp.
That's how the book begins. How you are introduced to Christa, a centuries old woman in the body of a 25 year old in the late 1980's. She and her lover were imprisoned by the Fae. Christa is a bard and was able to escape the Fae's world 200 years prior--but had to leave her lover behind. Now she thinks that she can get her back--using the rock and roll of the 1980's as a weapon.

This book is out of print--and doesn't seem to be available on Kindle.  One of the reasons that it will come with me as I run is that I don't know how I would get it again.  The other one, the main one, is that I, as a child of the '80s, adore the idea of someone using that music to save lives.

Legacy by Susan Kay

Do you like The Tudors? The Other Boleyn Girl? Wolf Hall?
Do books about the Tudor era make money fly out of your wallet?

If these are true and you haven't read Legacy--you're missing out. It is the story of Queen Elizabeth the First.  Beginning shortly before her birth and ending with her death. These historical characters leap off the page and into your brain. The setting is so clear that when you close the book you think you should be blowing out a candle instead of shutting off electricity.

Really this is a toss-up. If I titled this "Six (or Even Ten) Books That I Take With Me When I Run," I would add Susan Kay's Phantom to the list as well. That being said, Legacy is an amazing, amazing book and I highly recommend it.

A Kiss of Shadows by Laurell K. Hamilton

I have a lot to say about Laurell K. Hamilton's books but I will save that for a separate post. I should note that for a while she was my favorite author. I broke my "don't ever buy a hardcover book" rule for her more times than I can count.

However this book is in paperback. I had to be cajoled into reading it as it was the start of a new series. And I love it.

It is about Merry Gentry--a real Fairy Princess, but this is not the world of Tinkerbell. This is scary ass stuff of all the kinds of creatures you were terrified were hiding under your bed.  I love this series and the early work of this author.  Why this book you ask?

Simple. It's autographed.

There it is; my top five.

You might wonder why not Nora Roberts. Simple, really, I can fairly easily replenish my collection of her books, while most of these I can't.

What books would you grab if you had to make the choice?

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

An open letter to Nora Roberts

Dear Ms. Roberts,

This thank-you letter is a year overdue. It's been a rough year, but I thought better late than never.

I'm sure you get thanked for your writing often. I want to add my voice to the chorus. Your stories take us away from the scary and lousy stuff going on in our own lives.  It feels so comforting to go into the lives of the characters you have created when my life is a little too real.

This was never more true than last year.

Last year my mother was diagnosed with stage 4 uterine cancer. She immediately started a course of radiation and chemotherapy. The radiation and chemo left my vibrant mountain-goat of a mother barely able to lift her head.

But she could lift her hands.  And she could lift a mass-market paperback book. The books she lifted were yours.

Mom and I always loved your books. From Honest Illusions, the very first one we read, to The Witness, the very last one she read and we shared.  We would sit and talk about the decisions the characters made. We would say what we thought would happen next. I remember Mom crowing when Chesapeake Blue came out because some of her predictions were right. My mother put my very first books in my hands. When we got to an age where we read the same things, some of our warmest times together were when we were discussing books.

Towards the end of chemo,  Mom's thin frame dropped weight rapidly. She felt so bad. She wanted to build memories with my newly adopted daughter, but it took all her strength to just sit up in bed. I sat next to her and we discussed The Witness. What she thought was going to happen, what she thought about the characters. After she finished it, we talked about what kind of life the characters would have after the end. Then we revisited some of her favorite books--most of them written by you. We talked about how many kids the sisters of Montana Sky had by now. We wondered if Nathaniel Nouvelle Callahan wound up becoming a cop, or a magician, or perhaps both.

Talking about the characters you created helped my mom forget how much pain she was in. Revisiting your stories helped keep her mind keen, even as mom's body betrayed her.

Mom lost her battle to cancer last April. In the months that followed her death, I couldn't read. I couldn't focus on the words on the paper.  When I finally could read, I found myself rereading all your books and then, finally, starting your new books.  You have helped me get through the hardest year of my life with the people and worlds you have created.

I wish I could say it better--but all I can say is, Thank You.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Microblog Monday--Meditations of the Highly Carbed

Yes I'm back.
In the past two weeks:

We hosted a seder--13 people.
I had an Easter Egg Hunt for Lotus.
I observed the anniversary of my mother's death.

I observed Passover.

By observed passover, I mean I observe it in a way that seems right to me.  I abstain from all bread and pasta products. I still eat corn and rice because that's what I do.

It still is hard. Matzah with butter and salt taste amazing on the first night of passover.  Matzah with butter and salt taste absolutely disgusting on the seventh night of passover. By the fifth or sixth day I want pasta with all the desire of someone who wants to win the lottery. When passover is over we go to our favorite Italian restaurant and I dig in and it tastes amazing.

I don't know why I do this though. My parents never kept passover. They were accountants and ridding the house of leavened items right before April 15th was going to make them go insane. I know I tried it on a dare from a frum (religious) former co-worker. I liked it. I kept at it.

I don't like it now. I mean, I do it but I kvetch about it.

How many things do you do with no knowledge of why you do it and complaining all the way?