Tuesday, March 28, 2017

March Joys & Favorites | fart nuggets!

| March Joys | 1. Forcing the boys to pose for a Spring family portrait with me when I realize we've all dressed in plaid one morning. | 2. Our first trip to Goodberry's of the year. | 3. Followed, within days, by a morning snow fall that's completely melted by lunch, leaving no evidence it every happened at all except my photos. | 4. A new fairy house at our front door, with occasional gifts for the kids. | 5. Visits to the State Farmer's Market, when we can manage it, for tasty produce and handmade candy. | 6. Finally, after years of hemming and hawing, hanging a little gallery wall in our living room and then pausing to admire it with every free moment for weeks afterward.  

| Correspondence | I have loved sending mail out with these Star Trek stamps, as if I'm sending missives to the final frontier. 
| Garden | 1. Bought myself a little English Thyme at the farmer's market because I'm not growing nearly enough herbs. (Note the proper use of a vehicle's cup holders above.) | 2. My Albuca spiralis is in bloom, which may very well mark the end of its time in my window sill (these plants are annuals, and the last one I had that bloomed died promptly afterwards). 
| Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny | Rather than show you a trailer, I'm posting the opening scene of this flick, for the few of you out there who, like me, somehow made it this long without seeing PoD. A lot of the movie is the goofy stoner humor the trailer promises, but it is the musical numbers, scenes like this one, that make this movie truly worthwhile because they could probably be used as educational materials for non-metalheads about why metal matters so much (in short, it's magical and rad). Plus, I have to admit, I always find Jack Black endearing and I think he's a totally underrated talent, comedically and musically. | Other movies I enjoyed this month: Tropico, Nacho Libre, Batman: Mask of the Phantasm.
| Buddy Thunderstruck | If you're recommending any sort of media to me, you really only have to ask one question to know if it's truly my kind of thing: is it white trash? Buddy Thunderstruck is a new Netflix show for children (though I read on a parenting website the characters' choice expletive "fart nuggets!" is frowned upon by many parents), but the truth is that Wolfman and I love this much more than Mads. We also love that Ted Raimi voices Buddy's sidekick Darnell. | Other shows and specials I enjoyed this month: Donald Glover's Weirdo and John Mulaney's New In Town.
| Hammers of Misfortune | An aptly named band to be listening to in the midst of so much dreariness this month. This band sounds like everything that was the fairy tales that engaged me as a child, with a cool, angsty, demonic beat to it. (And, the band does have songs inspired by witches, trolls, bloody axes, and dragons in its catalog.) The proggy vibes of Hammers of Misfortune give me all the Ritchie Blackmore feels, but with a little more heaviness, which is great for driving alone at night. 
| Links, etc. | 1. Vintage Laura Ashley, INFP "mapping", tattoos by Kerry Burke, and more inspiration collected on Pinterest. | 2. Diemon Dave the West Virginia Ninja. | 3. Lidia Yuknavitch's TED talk "The beauty of being a misfit" | 4. Chris Crocker (particularly this video) | 5. The Dogist | 6. Atchoum | 7. Whitney Way Thore's video "Stop Telling Me to Smile" | 8. Missing Richard Simmons #trypod

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Madmartigan, 3 Years Old | you think my muscles are big? you haven't seen my brain

Mads got an at-home hair cut this month. During his bath one night, Wolfman took the opportunity to clip about an inch off the ends of his hair. As with that time I tried cutting some bangs on him to keep his hair out of his face (the summer he turned 2), he moved as scissors snipped through his hair, and the result was VERY crooked. The next morning, Wolfman and I stood in the hall bathroom with our boy. Mads was at the sink standing on his step stool while Wolfman and I assessed the damage and giggled. I attempted to straighten the cut, and then attempted to straighten that cut, and as a result, his hair is shoulder-length now. He's still a long-haired boy who is mistaken for a girl everywhere, by every one, but the difference is so obvious as I look at these pictures now. Mads, for the record, could care less. He can still head bang, so he's happy.
About Mads, 3 Years & 7 Months Old:

  • Mads is dressed as Batman, in his mask and cape, at least 50% of the time. When he's dressed like Batman, he is Batman. If I want a kiss, he will tell me, "Batman doesn't kiss," to which I must request, "Can Martigan give me a kiss?" Sometimes he will lift up his mask to kiss me, and sometimes he won't.
  • He describes potential wounds like so: "and then my blood will come out!" It's gross but also kind of funny.
  • Mads, completely on his own, has been diligently practicing his "s" sound, which he has a little trouble with in conversation. When he calls his bathroom stool a "tool," and I say, "Yep, we've got to move your stool," he stands on it repeating, "ssstt, sssttt, ssstt." 
  • We went to see The LEGO Batman movie this month in the movie theater, and he refused to wear his 3D glasses, the entire time.
  • Mads loves playing Candyland, Twister, and building towers with legos.
  • Mads also loves to create scenarios for his toys and make them talk to each other. He gives me and his dad elaborate conversation ("now you say _____"), as if writing a script. I've noted before on Martigan's penchant for story-telling and here is another layer.
  • Favorite toys this month: his large metal dump truck (a gift from Aunt Theresa) and his Batman action figure.
  • Favorite shows and movies: Ask the StoryBots and lots of super heroes (both DC and Marvel, in all sorts of variations)
  • Favorite books: Part-Time Princess by Deborah Underwood and Cambria EvansMercer Mayer's Little Critters books

Tuesday, March 14, 2017


Yesterday we said goodbye to our best pal, Lunchbox. He's raiding that big dirty laundry bin in the sky now, in Dog Heaven (the stinkiest of all the heavens). He'd been sick for about two weeks, in and out of the vet office. But, he never stopped wagging his tail, so we'd hoped he was recovering from a nasty kidney infection; what he was actually experiencing was full-on kidney failure. When it became clear he was in pain, we made the decision to let him go. We made that decision without consulting him, because he would've voted to stay by our side forever, whether he hurt or not. When I left the house for work each day, I'd tell him, "Take care of my men." When Wolfman left the house, he'd tell LB, "take care of this woman and my boy." Lunchbox took his job, chief protector and comforter, very seriously. He was 15, white hairs all over his face and paws, moving and grouching like a little old man instead of the young buck he was when I met him, but I'd still hoped (expected, even) we'd have a few more years with him.

We'd been fretting over him and shedding brief, panicked tears over him since his first somber vet visit two weeks ago. By last Friday afternoon, when LB's vet laid out the grim circumstances of his deterioration, I thought I was all cried out. Wolfman told me, "We have to put him down on Monday," and I didn't shed a tear. But, that same night, after Mads was in bed, Wolfman and I sat on the sofa with the dog between us and cried over him together, and laughed at all the stupid things he'd done, and reminisced, and loved him with our stories and memories and hands rubbing behind his ears and cradling him. We repeated that ritual Saturday night and again Sunday night and again Monday morning, sitting on the floor of an examination room as he went under and away from us. We brought his body home, and I stood in the cold to bear witness while Wolfman dug a grave for his companion, his first son, his best friend of 15 years.

In the course of our marriage, Wolfman and I told each other the story of, and thus created, a place we called Dog Spa. I'm not sure how it started, but in the eight years we've been a couple, we have often texted each other, or poked heads around corners to announce to each other things like, "at Dog Spa, there are squirrel pee facials." Or, "hot garbage juice saunas at Dog Spa." Most recently we added, "Used tissue hors d'oeuvres at Dog Spa." The point was to imagine what true pampering of a dog (by dogs) would be, while also grossing each other out as much as possible (usually, I won at being most disgusting; Wolfman is a classy gentleman, while I am a true Garbage Pail Kid.) If we are, indeed, co-creating our reality, then Wolfman and I have created a perfect, smelly, truly foul and nauseating heaven for our favorite beast. In Doghalla, Lunchbox is rolling in critter corpses as I type this. 
Last photos of Lunchbox, taken last week.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

February Joys & Favorites | my baby lives in shades of blue

| Joys | 
| Family Day | It occurred to me recently that Mads, Wolfman, and I didn't have a full day to spend together during the week, which I found wasteful and appalling. So, I rearranged my schedule and, boom, easy peasy, now we've got each and every Wednesday to ourselves, completely together, nowhere to be but with each other. To celebrate that first Wednesday, we took our boy to the theater to see The Lego Batman Movie
| In the Garden | All the trees are blooming outdoors, and even my indoor plants are confused by all this Spring-timing North Carolina's been doing this month. I'm noticing all sorts of new growth on my plants, including this bloom starting on my Albuca spirilis.

| Favorites | 
| Wolfwardrobe | My sister found this Alex Kim cardigan/jacket for Grandma who let me borrow it. I've come across Alex Kim in my resale work, but had never bought a piece--resisting my deep-seeded penchant for eccentric granny wear. I love the off-kilter embroidery and beading of Alex Kim, but the boxy shapes are not typically flattering on my body. However, I think this sweater achieves more of a slouchy feel than boxy (I hope), and I just love these colors. I want to wear this on the beach, just one morning on the Outer Banks, headed out to breakfast in this sweater and jean cut-offs.
| Stationery | There's a World Market around the corner from my workplace, which is dangerous for my wallet. I bought these hand-made paper notecards and wrapping paper on clearance for less than $5 each. Also, have loved and used up all my National Parks stamps.
| Gifts | 1. For Valentine's Day, Wolfman bought me a print by our friend and favorite artist, Sheila Holden. This is our second print by Sheila. Our first (another redhead, this one a warrior with sword and shield) was a gift to Wolfman from Sheila after he played music during one of her art shows and hangs in our living room. This sorceress, however, will live in our bedroom above our altar space. I also am lucky enough to own of of Sheila's hand-painted t-shirts. One day, I'd like to have one of her original canvases.  2. For no reason, Wolfman bought me this octopus mug. I'm carrying it to-and-from work with me. I've already stained the inside with coffee.
| Product | We burn a lot of Satya incense in this house. Previously, other than the traditional nag champa, my favorite scent has been "midnight" (Wolfman likes sandalwood). Wolfman picked up this English lavender, which we hadn't yet tried. I burnt it at nights after putting the kids to bed, when Wolfman was at work or recording music. Wildberry's "Blend 22" is still my incense for doing magic, but Satya's English Lavender is now my writing and tea-sipping in the evening incense.
| Movie | There are two types of really good movies for me: the ones that speak to my heart and the ones that worm into my brain. The Double was of the latter category (though I carry a heart-on for its director, Richard Ayoade, one of my only real celebrity crushes). I felt, watching The Double, that I was seeing something truly unique and masterful. I felt claustrophobic and uncertain, thoroughly tickled and a little bit sad, wrapped up in creepiness and whimsy (my favorite kind of knit), and I think I finally really get Jesse Eisenberg. I feel like this will be one of those movies that makes its way onto important lists in the future--you know, the, 'you're a serious cinephile if you watch this' kind of lists. | Other movies I liked this month: Deathgasm, Bonnie and Clyde, Shark Attack 3: Megaladon, The Lego Batman Movie
| Music | In 2012, I fell hard and fast for Lana Del Rey. I blasted "National Anthem" while vacuuming our newlywed bungalow, and tears streamed down my face as I listened to "Ride" on repeat riding city buses. In 2013, I gave birth to my son, and that put a bit of a kibosh on the luxury of listening to songs until they became imprinted in the grey matter of my brain. I missed a lot of Lana Del Rey in the intermediate years. As a valentine to myself, I tried to play catch-up with what I'd missed. I only got as far as Ultraviolent, because I fell head-over-heels in love, again. In particular, I love "Shades of Cool" and "Brooklyn Baby," but the whole thing is just the dreamiest, most genius confectionery-laced-with-arsenic I've ever had the pleasure to stir into my bitter black heart. Stay tuned next month when I make such genius observations as, "Holy shit, Honeymoon is also really fucking good!" | Other music I enjoyed this month: Rob Zombie's The Electric Warlock Acid Witch Satanic Orgy Celebration Dispenser, Brownout Presents Brown Sabbath, Kvelertak

| Links, etc. | Beyonce's pregnant, ya'll. | In an attempt to better mingle with my co-workers, I've been watching more stand-up comedy, though my favorite special so far, Simon Amstell's Do Nothing, is probably not at all the same kind of stand-up my co-workers watch/listen to/laugh at, and so, once again, I am a failure. | These two Twitter feeds, @NatureIsWeird and @NatureIsScary, have provided endless amounts of entertainment in slow moments at work. | I have not gone to see Get Out yet, but I will very soon, and I loved this essay about horror movies and race. | I also have not seen either of the John Wick movies (I know; what am I doing with my life?), but I will very soon, and I loved this essay on The Grace of Keanu Reeves.
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