Living.

I’m sweating like it’s July, which makes me really glad that I did what I did today, instead of in, say, July. Because if it’s 80 in the sun in mid-March, I don’t even want to think about life two months from now. (Thankfully, at least, we’ve secured that pool membership. If we can do nothing else, at least we can submerge ourselves in water with 400 of our neighbors.)

Anyway. What I did today fills me so much I-am-woman-hear-me-roar pride that I just want to write it all down for the three of you who read this. First, yesterday, I moved a leather-and-steel, double-reclining oversized loveseat from our living room to our porch. Alone. Then I rearranged the entire living room and hauled an extra large, heavy duty file cabinet to the basement (along with assorted other things: table, barstool, returned-to-me baby gear that I loaned out, which is is soon to be re-loaned to someone else. I love being the pregnancy Fairy Godmother.) Then I accepted delivery of the new couch. (This required, as you might imagine, very little from me aside from sitting on the old couch and sipping an iced coffee.)

Today, I drove an hour and a half round trip, procured a sizable refund of delivery cost, and hauled home the big leather ottoman that the delivery people forgot yesterday. And then — because I am either a glutton for punishment or energized by how cool this room is going to look when we’re done — I stopped at Home Goods and bought a 7′ x 10′ rug. I just WonderWomaned it all inside myself (with the exception of the little bit of help I received from a kind, strapping passer-by) and as soon as I stop dripping with this is-it-even-Spring-yet sweat, I’ll unfurl the rug, roll up the old one, tighten the legs on the ottoman, and bask in the glory of the singlehanded transformation of our space. (Although, in the name of credit where credit is due, m* and I did pick out the couch together after two days of sitting on  — and hauling ourselves up off  — almost every piece of furniture in the tri-state area.)

I had anticipated spending this day grading on the porch. Alas, I’ll have to get to that tonight, lounging all over all the new stuff in here.

To-Do.

I hadn’t painted in a long time and I missed it. And then when I got this little handful of orders, I kept putting it off. Because I am me and that’s what I do. Oh, hi, Me. I see you have a shit-ton of things to do. What’s say we just lay around and watch TV every night and spend all of our free time at Panera. Wanna? That’ll help the shit-ton of things get done.

Tonight, because the first thing I had to paint is “due” on Sunday (having already been granted an extension on the one that was due tomorrow by a gracious and forgiving friend) I holed myself up in the basement with Vitamin Water (or, as The Who calls it: Lello Juice) and the trusty Netflix. And, as always, once I was in the throes of designing and painting with episode after episode of Parenthood playing in the background, I found my mojo. As soon as I finished that project, I immediately wanted to paint another one (which I am ultimately too tired to do) and I am reluctant to leave my cozy basement studio (despite the cold cement floor and rumbling of the water heater.) (Of course, my reluctance to go upstairs may also have something to do with the mouse we semi-discovered** in our house the other night, but it’s also totally because I am still grooving on the feeling of having accomplished something. Accomplishment with a side of creative release. I’ll have two of those; one for here and one to go.)

I need to clean off The Who’s art table, which is right beside mine, but covered in my crap. I want to make this space more inviting. I want to spend more time down here with him and have it be a space where he can come spend time on his own. Perhaps that will be my summer project: create an actual studio for us. Line the walls with shelving to hold supplies that he can have easy access to. Put up a decorative screen to shield our Happy Place from the rest of the basement storage. Lay down a rug. Set up an iPod dock. I’m doing it. I’m totally doing it. As soon as I get to the rest of that shit-ton of things.

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**We didn’t actually see the mouse. We just discovered his droppings on the counter (ew, ew, EW) two mornings in a row. We imagine he came in through one of the holes that were in the wall when we were having some electrical work done a couple of weeks ago. Orkin’s coming tomorrow. Because Mama don’t lay traps.

Hate it.

There are a few things that I really hate. Here they are:

All things Disney. Here’s the gig with Disney: In college, I took a class taught by a radical feminist/socialist. An entire section of the course was devoted to an analysis of Disney movies and how they were sexist and racist. Probably classist too. And ableist. And all the other ists. I bought it all and although I had been a big Disney-lover up until that point, I denounced it. Since then, I have fallen out of touch with all of the things we studied and I can’t necessarily put my finger on the specific examples (if I tried hard, I could. But we are such a Disney-loving culture that it’s a constant battle to try to explain my position to my fellow moms.) But also since then, I have become more and more enraged by the insidious ways in which the Disney corporation infects popular culture. It’s just everywhere and it’s such a money-sucking scam. I especially hate the ways in which Disney aligns itself with McDonald’s. Every other Happy Meal is paired with some plastic cheapo Disney toy that kids are just clamoring for. It feels so gross to me. So yes, Disney. I hate the princesses and their near-synonymy with little girlhood. I hate the not-at-all subtle messages that the “classics” send (e.g. Beauty is supposed to love the Beast despite his “hideousness.” And when she does, she is rewarded by his “handsomeness.”) And, above all, I hate its ruthless business practice of capturing very young children before they have any opportunity to make their own informed decisions. I do not plan to take my child to Disneyworld. I do not encourage Disney-themed toys or character-emblazoned clothing. I try to steer him away from Disney Channel shows (although he really loves Handy Manny…) and I will not step foot in the Disney Store. If you ask me why, I will refer you, from now on, to this post.

Plastic toys. They’re very hard to avoid and I’d be lying if I told you that we don’t have any plastic toys in our house. In fact, we’ve got lots, but they are not my favorites. First, there’s the whole lead-paint-from-China aspect. Plastic toys are covered in that crap. Second, plastic toys are cheap. When they naturally wear (as well-loved toys are wont to do) they crack and break and drop paint chips. I much prefer (and have been endlessly mocked for preferring) wooden toys. Have you seen a wooden toy wear? It gets soft and faded. It looks loved instead of broken. I’m very lucky that Melissa and Doug exists and is so readily available and affordable, but in large part, wooden toys are hard to find and cost a jillion dollars. We were fortunate enough to get gifted with some beautiful stuff when The Who was a baby, but as his interests grow, it’s harder to sate his desires with wooden toys. I still try, though.

Food. All goodamn food because, unless you grow it yourself, it all sucks now. Even the supposedly wholesome, delicious organic things are now laced with arsenic. Red dye makes kids crazy. Hormone-injected milk gives girls breasts at age three. Vegetables are all bathed in neurotoxins. Meat-fed meat is all fatty and horrible. I try to feed my family well on some semblance of a budget, but it just keeps getting harder. I don’t even have anything else to say about that.

Also, in no particular order: light-up sneakers, scratchy polyester jammies, “Trix” flavored yogurt, and Fruit Roll-ups.