One & Done

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It’s almost Easter again. The purple tips of the blossoming magnolias, the moist scent of last winter’s dog poo awakening in the sun. Also, everyone’s pregnant with their second child. And by everyone I mean my next-door neighbour, 97% of the girls in my mama group who popped with their first within the same few months as yours truly, and – most importantly – my sister.

My mother is about to come stay with us for two weeks and she’s on a mission like one of those groggy police negotiators who take jumpers down from the edge of buildings, unharmed, unsplattered. If I want to survive the upcoming holiday, I need to prepare to fend off the numerous, unrelenting conversations about this epidemic of second human conceptions that’s holding me under siege. Continue reading

Things I Should Be Doing Instead Of Writing

I am a TWAHT mom.

And by TWAHT I mean Trying to Work At Home with Toddler (mom). My line of work is writing and I do it whenever my young offspring is asleep (god bless naps), whenever it’s a weekend and he’s out with his Papa, or in the bath, or at night when I need to write so much that I can’t sleep. Currently, my life mission is to utilize every possible scrap of spare time to slide any of my writing projects forward, even if it’s only by one paragraph. Sometimes, I write even when I’m not writing: under the shower, scrubbing potatoes in the kitchen sink, or chilling on the rug while my son launches his toy train off the couch’s edge.

Writing is my work, but it’s hard to consider it a job. Also, it’s hard to have those around me understand what it means to me, this invisible passion. Writing is my art and my calling and I do not think I need to earn money on my words in order for me to be legit. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t, but as long as I write I am legit. This very moment, this drowsy afternoon while the dishes downstairs are not yet done and I’m trying to type as many sentences as possible before my son calls me from our bedroom, right now, I am as legit as I need to be.

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Every Holiday Season is always spiked with hurdles in the form of uncomfortable questions from friends and family and strangers alike. Their inquiries and conversation starters will all be tentative paraphrases of the same thought – What is it exactly that you do? Every one has a clear opinion about what I should be doing instead of writing, and by everyone I mean my mother, my next door neighbor, and helpful strangers on the bus. Continue reading

Book, Interrupted

I have finally started bringing out of the garage some of the boxes with books I’ve not yet unpacked since our move to the new house four months ago. This past weekend, I found a bunch of special books which are close to my heart in a peculiar way. Their story is what you are about to read, I call them The Interrupted.

Like many other bookworms out there, it’s quite hard for me to read only one book at a time. Usually, I have an average of 3-4 titles in progress on my desk, bedside table, and toilet sink. Many of them, eventually, meet their destiny and get read till the end, but there is always a small percentage which remains stuck at some level and lingers for months and months in this halfway state between the unread and the finished until I get tired of seeing its cover catching dust, I force myself to make peace with the thought I will not see the end of this story any time soon, and I finally archive the title on The Interrupted Shelf.

Yes, I have an Interrupted Shelf. I also call it “The Limbo Shelf”, a name that wants to express empathy for their stuck and unfinished state of being. I have feelings and respect for my books, even those I will probably never read till the end. That’s why I would like to introduce to you nine of the most egregious Interrupted titles, celebrate them for a moment, before they slide back onto their shelf and deep into this reader’s oblivion.

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1 * THE NEW YORK TRILOGY * Paul Auster

Interrupted when and where: sometime in 2009, on page 129 of 308. Reason for the Interruption: as the title suggests, this is a collection of three stories. I read the first two, City Of Glass and Ghosts, and stopped right before The Locked Room. Why? Although I am a big Continue reading

In Which I Sell My First Guitar For A Ferry Ride (To Finland)

Previously on my Tale Of Three Guitars: I actually start with no guitar but singing in a church choir and not wanting to play the piano. Then, I become a rebel and buy the ugliest bass you’ll ever see, start a band only to watch it come undone after the first gig. I have more luck with my second band, thanks to which I have my first lick of rockstardom, until high school ends and I have to leave the country. Next is the story

In Which I Sell My First Guitar For A Ferry Ride (To Finland)

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It’s 1997, I’m 19 years old. I leave my parental nest and move 1256 kilometers North, to Poland, to study cinema. (My) luck wants that the city where the Film Academy is located is also where my maternal Grandmother lives. My parents find this marvelously convenient and it’s agreed that, until I figure out whether or not I am fit for this film life, I’d stay with her. Trying to describe my Grandmother’s persona in a sentence or two would be unfair to her great complexity, but because this story is not about her let’s just say that If Gary Oldman as Nosferatu in Coppola’s cult-ass Dracula had a female version of himself, that would be my Grandma. Only, with much less hair and absolute zero sex appeal. She’d torture me by waking me up at unsanitary early hours (6 am on Sunday morning!?) because it pissed her off that someone was asleep in the house when she had already risen. She’d prepare meals for me then sit and stare at me making sarcastic remarks about how ugly I look when I chew. Needless to say, she did not allow any bass-playing in her house and as it was not easy to take my guitar and amp out for a jam, for the first whole year of studies there was nada Rock’N’Roll.

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I Took A Bath

A few days ago I read a mighty entertaining story written by Jill from The Jillist for Mamalode about how NOT to take a bath. It made me laugh and slap my forehead in so many ways, but it also made me realize one very important thing.

See, I didn’t always love baths. For most of my young years I’ve actually been a shower person. Many aspects of the whole bath-taking process used to irritate me way more than relax, like having to wait forever for the tub to fill up, or almost always ending up with a full bath of water which was just a bit too hot, or too cold. Once I consumed the time-frame of three showers to just get the thing ready, I would finally submerge myself only to jump the heck out of there after seven minutes because I’m hot, sweating, and from the way my veins pulsate on my temples I’m afraid I could be on the verge of a heatstroke.

Also, what the fuck am I gonna do sort of floating in soapy water for longer than that? Read a book? No, because what if it falls in the water. Scroll through my social media? Even more no, I’ve got too many pictures not yet posted on Instagram to risk having my phone take a bath with me. Reenacting Breaking Bad episodes with my toy duck?

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Mind The Nap [Sammiches and Psych Meds]

During the first year of V’s life, countless times I found myself wandering the streets like a ghost stuck between limbos trying to have him sleep in his stroller. Often, I was also so tired and angry I would run hate-rants in my head like hypnotic anti-lullabies to keep me awake while I walked. Sometimes, I felt frantic and abandoned and it blew my mind that no-one out there paid a spit of attention to me, my bloodshot eyes, and the baby I was rocking to sleep.

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So one day I wrote a thoroughly sleep-deprived open letter to all those childless suckers making noises on the street while I tried to get my little one to finally nap and the hilarious and juicy Sammiches and Psych Meds decided to join my cause and publish it on their site. It goes a little something like this: Continue reading

Jeans’ Blues

Shit just got real in the Blues’ household.

A few days ago, while squatting to fish out from under the couch two rogue nuts trying to escape my TV-Drama binge session, it finally happened. The right leg of my favorite jeans ripped in that notorious spot on the thigh where I don’t have a gap. Where I have a cute meat bun who loves to rub against his twin brother on the other side and so rub rub rub, sooner than later, fabric disintegration will always set in.

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Normally (and by “normally” I mean before pregnancy and 14 months of motherhood), I would just be cross, toss the darn trousers away, wear any other pair from my small but juicy collection and go out for some well-deserved shopping. This time around though, the lesion in the jeans’ tissue proved to be much more than just a hole in a pair of old pants. It initiated a vortex of a butterfly effect with wings big as a cinereous vulture which sucked me into a spiral of discouragement and gloom.

In order for you to grasp the scale of it, I have a confession to make: Continue reading

The Great 2015 HoROCKscope

I love the beginning of each New Year. It’s a shimmering time made of bubbles and shivers of blind hope. One of the things I love best about the New Year is the sudden deluge of all kinds of horoscopes appearing on the covers of everything.

I love to read horoscopes: traditional, Chinese, Celtic, of the Trees, of the Angels, Tibetan, whatever, doesn’t matter, I read them all, they are like pimped-up movie trailers for the months I’m about to live. It doesn’t matter if I forget about whatever prediction has been drafted for me immediately after I put down the magazine, I don’t have to know if the forecast will prove accurate or not. Reading horoscopes brings me an instant gratification completely devoid of consequences and I like that.

So this year, for all of you out there who have been reading this staggering blog of mine and have encouraged me to go on, I want to give my own version of this innocent moment of astrological oblivion, as a present. To achieve that, I prepared myself a huge pot of Raspberry-and-Peppermint tea, lit a red candle, pulled out my deck of Tarot cards (yes, I do own one – surprise?) and what came out of the combination of the above mentioned ingredients is:

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Happy Birthday To Me

 

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One week ago today my Little Man accomplished the first full year of his breathtaking little life. There have been balloons and window festoons, cakes candles and bubbly wines. The event has been celebrated thoroughly. Mama even played “Happy B*Day” on her bass to accompany the choir of teary aunts and proud grandpas: everything has been lovely and emotional like no other occasion I can think of.

But they say that when a Child is born so is a Mother, and therefore one week ago today the disheveled New Mom that I have become accomplished the first full year of her breathtaking and somewhat erratic little life, too.

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A Trip To Neurodisney

Last time I told you the story of how the love of music awakened in me and how, on a sweaty teenage afternoon, I came to the conclusion my life would *have* to be about playing the bass from that moment on and forever.

[ In case you missed that post, no worries: READ IT HERE ]

Quite a few months went by from that day of awakening to the moment I actually held a bass in my hands. Months that I spent in lucid daydreaming of how incredibly cool I would look on a stage, how confident and mean, rocking the shit out of them strings. How I would pinch them, pick at them, slap them furiously and pace like a wild sexy thing across the stage, adolescent mojo oozing out of my every pore. In my daydreams, the guitar I was holding was black and shiny, fierce, scary, something that only a tough and mighty girl could know how to wrangle. Something like this:

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[ This is Melissa Auf Der Maur – she has it all ]

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Parenting Life Lesson #2

*   BABY STEPS ARE GOOD FOR YOU TOO   *

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[If you think the term “baby” doesn’t fit you because you are all grown-up already, you may want to call it “Task Micro-Fragmentation” and if you think it’s easy, you’re probably wrong. Going slow, accomplishing one small increment at a time is very difficult because you will think it’s not enough and you will want to do more, faster, sooner – which will most likely get you stuck before it gets you anywhere else. Continue reading