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Showing posts from June, 2009

Badass Mommies Book Review: The Maternal is Political

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The Maternal is Political: Women Writers at the Intersection of Motherhood and Social Change
Edited by Shari MacDonald Strong
I was interested but somewhat skeptical when I decided to read this -- skeptical about any of it applying to me, anyway. I couldn't think of anything indicating that motherhood had turned me into anything much different from the same timid, wishy-washy, non-confrontational person I was before I gave birth.
The book is quite interesting. As is often the case with this sort of project, most, if not all, of the contributors are quite highly educated, politically aware and articulate, so the reader must be aware of a possible lack of range. However, the writers do include a physically disabled mother, a mother who has spent time institutionalized for mental illness, a Guatemalan woman who has witnessed horrific atrocities, and a lesbian mother trying to adopt her partner's baby, so clearly there was an attempt to achieve a variety of viewpoints.
The essays are …

Stop and Reflect (or the other way around)

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A friend of mine got a ticket for not coming to a full stop at a stop sign a couple of weeks ago. It was a stop sign at a four-way stop near my house. Around the same time, I was riding with someone who I noticed making full and complete stops at every stop sign. In recent years, I've pretty much become the queen of the rolling stop. I sort of resent the whole business -- if there are other cars around, fine, but if there's no other visible traffic, isn't it a waste of time to step on the brake until you feel that little jerk that means you are now well and truly stopped, then have to get going again?

OR is the fact that I think that just evidence that I'm buying into a fast-food, hurry hurry rush rush culture, too busy for courtesy, contemplation or correct behaviour? 

So I've been stopping for real at stop signs. Partly because I don't want to get a ticket, partly because it makes me feel a little smug (especially when I see the people behind me almost drive in…

You Are Here

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I turned thirty-nine on Monday. Really thirty-nine, as in next year I will, in fact, turn forty. I've spent the last couple of days in some cursory stock-taking. It would have been more in-depth stock-taking, but my husband's been in Tokyo for two weeks and we're in baseball playoffs, so instead of stock-taking I've been mostly not sleeping, stumbling through the day with Eve, weeping over grade three math homework in French, making dinner for four o'clock and rushing off to rookie baseball or minor baseball or baseball practice every. freaking. night.

Anyway. I'm pretty sure there are things I thought I would have done by the time I was thirty-nine. At one point I thought I would have finished my first novel by the time I was thirty. I know what it's supposed to be about, I can see certain scenes in my mind, I've made a few starts, but I'm lazy and easily distractable and prone to fits of despair, and therefore I have a few stranded chunks of text f…

At least I'm not usually naked

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I know I hide it really well, but I'm a fairly anxious person. I think this has always been reflected in my dreams. When I was a kid, I frequently dreamed about being behind the steering wheel in a moving car on a busy road. Sometimes I was alone, sometimes my little sister was with me, and it wasn't always the same road, but otherwise it was the same thing -- the car going faster and faster, up and down hills, and I was in a complete panic with no idea what to do. Sometimes I think I'd like to take the kids -- Angus especially -- out to the car, sit them behind the wheel, and at the very least show them the brake, so if they ever have this dream they can think 'no problem, I'll just hit the brake'. But it seems just a little too weird, even for me, to give my kids driving lessons for their future possible dreams.
Once I learned to drive, I didn't have that dream any more, which was a relief. The other dreams had less of a physical danger aspect and more of …

What happens when you give a fruit to a nut?

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I have a couple of reviews brewing. I'm reading The Maternal is Political and learning all about great mothers who move to India with their three-year-olds, engage their children in political debate and homeschool. I also need to review Sima's Undergarments for Women, by my friend-of-a-friend Ilana , who not only is younger than me and published her first novel before I've even finished one but delivers babies on the side. In the wake of all these inspiring women, what's been on my mind lately?
How much I hate my hair, mostly.
I know, I know. It's superficial. It's what's inside your head that matters. You don't change the world or get novels written by worrying about your looks. Still... why can't I just have normal hair? Even normal hair that doesn't look that good would be better. I swear, my hair spends all its time thinking up new and original ways to look dorky. Little bits appear from nowhere and stick out. One side flips out and gets fri…