Sunday, April 1, 2012

Spike the Ball

Are You My Mothers? is back after a three year hiatus in which this writer was living high in the Himalayas in an ashram. I'd wake each morning and do a sun salutation, meditate, sip organic tea, and then write for six hours straight without interruption or the little voice in my head texting, "OMG that is so not worth finishing! U should vacuum the entire ashram instead."

My first order of business is an angry little rant because I am just so pissed at Spike Lee.
Spike Lee, a successful African American with some semblance of influence and power, responds to the Trayon Martin nightmare by sitting on his arse in a cafe sipping a lowfat-decaf-half soy-latte and forwarding erroneous tweets suggesting the home of the sick and tragic Mr. Zimmerman be mobbed, and oh BTW here's his address. Only it was not the correct address it was the address of an elderly couple with the same name. Rather than chartering ten comfy buses in every major city in the country, filling those buses with angry, change and justice demanding young people, and then driving those buses to Florida so those same young people could picket the governor's mansion and the Sanford Florida police department until the truth of the Trayvon Martin case was revealed, justice won, and all lying covering-up officials resigned, Mr. Ding Dong Ditch endangered the lives of two more innocent people and then issued this statement, Oops, sorry. Or something like that.

Nice use of fame. Nice role modeling. Nice addressing the issues of racism and gun control.

Ding dong.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Earth Acne

My girlfriend and I have a theory about the earth, that it is much like the human body with hotbeds of eruption and then landscapes of inactivity, that the body's greasy, sweaty areas of glandular excitement like the base of the nose with its blackheads, whiteheads, and pustules, or the tushy/vagina/penis region with all of its discharge, can be likened to those places on earth that host war and mayhem generation upon generation. Maybe there is some barometric hormonal earth thing going on that just keeps everyone in those regions all whizzed up.

This theory came about as we lay in bed and discussed Palestine and Jerusalem, the middle East in general, northern Ireland. The earth's equivalent of the back of a nostril, the mouth, the forehead, places always festering and in turmoil. And then there's Scandanavia. What goes on there? Scandanavia is the back of your hand, a thigh, a smooth and effortless place with nary a zit or boil.

I'm a Jew who certainly does not want to ever experience a genocide or pogrom or even a Bernie Madoff, on the other hand killing can't ever be right. Just as in a family in which hitting is never the answer, how can bombing alongside a school be the answer.

Then again, I'm too much of a Freudian to believe there ever will peace on earth. The earth will bubble over with aggression so long as beings inhabit it. The best we can hope for is to slow it down. Who knows. I am no politico. It just doesn't seem right. This violence. Violence begets more violence, does not make the world a safer or better place.

Meanwhile we have such a kitty saga going on. It will take days to tell. Until I begin that story I highly recommend eggplant parmesan with goat cheese instead of mozarella.

And Newman's Limeade mixed with Seltzer.

And warm sake.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Peaking Out From Behind the Curtain

Oh yes. We're back. Me and my arrow. Blogging got drag so I left it for a bit. This morning, 1000 lightyears from the last post I woke up with something to say. I think this blogger needed to disconnect from: the gig that made me think all I could write about was parenting; the people who know and love me and read this blog regularly and then call me to ask if I'm in a bad mood; myself. My readership is now down to one - me. So here we go...

Despite the freedom of content a note of course about parenting: we have a friend who is mom to an 8 year old girl and when her daughter is angry this friend gets so freaking angry herself and then it's a screaming match and everyone is out of control, which got me thinking that my daughter's anger definitely does not anger me. I don't get angry when she's angry. But I do get really angry sometimes at weird other things like: when she steps on my toe, doesn't swallow her saliva and begins talking as if she has a cleft palette (I want to shout SWALLOW!), when she trashes her room, when she dawdles and we're running late. These things make me nuts. I don't lose it but I clench my teeth and then daughter says "Mommy you're tense" which makes me even nutsier. But flat out rage on her part, screaming at me, never upsets me. I think good for her and I hope she is okay.

And I have friend who hits her child. Enlightened lesbian Boston where everyone recycles and saves flood victims in New Orleans and donates to homeless shelters and supports Obama, JFC if you know what I mean. Hitting is never okay. Some people will disagree and frankly I don't care to hear from them, which I won't because now I am the only reader of this blog. How do you teach your child not to hit by hitting them? How do you teach them to control their aggressive impulses when you yourself don't? Model the behavior you want.

Maybe I will only write when I am angry. Maybe I should rename this blog Are You My Angry Mother?


Monday, June 16, 2008


Lambchop has gone off to Poodle Rescue and I am so sad. Could she have been trained not to lunge at children? Should I have waited it out longer? But if she had bitten someone it would have been curtains. Of course there is no easy answer. It's just sad. And I miss her. I had grown accustomed to her following me every where I went, greeting me at the door, taking her for a walk.


I had not anticipated such a heavy heart and suspect it's tickled the scars of other losses, all the recent lettings go. And having a dog felt like home.

I tell myself there will be another dog some day, but not before Bets can be left alone in the house. Single parenting with a child who cannot be alone for 10 minutes while you walk the dog is too difficult and rescue dogs really just can't be trusted 100% with small children.

Meanwhile I distract myself of course, and today's topic are gun-owners who suddenly are all over the media saying they want to expose their guns, wear them so the whole world can see. Well I cannot be alone in my opinion that gun in this context (in almost all contexts) equals penis. Try this, below is a letter to the editor of the Boston Globe about exposed guns. Read and substitute the word penis for gun.

IT'S TIME for gun (penis) owners to come out of the closet ("In public, weapon owners no longer gun-shy," June 9). Many of us own guns (penises) to protect ourselves and those around us from criminals. Yet too many of us hide this fact by carrying handguns (penises) concealed. Open carry is a growing movement across the country among gun (penises) owners who choose to carry openly, both as a deterrent to crime and to educate people in their communities. In Manchester, N.H., most open-carry activists live in Ward 5, near where Officer Michael Briggs was killed in October 2006. These are people who, by carrying their firearms (penises) in plain sight, make the statement that they are willing to risk their lives to ensure that violent criminals will not kill a police officer or anyone else. People who choose to carry their firearms (penises) openly deserve our thanks, and those gun (penis) owners among us who still carry concealed, or do not carry, should consider carrying openly.

Still I'm sad.

Cross your fingers Lambchop has a future ahead full of love and good treatment. Cross your fingers gun (penis) toters will keep it in their pants.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Doggone It

Now where'd she go? Life has been a mix of poodle-mix and work and child and sweltering heat and springtime rain and here we are in June already. Where'd May go?

I told you so. I told you so. I told you so.

Feel free.

Life with a dog is super wicked hard and this dog in particular has a problem. She doesn't like small children. So now I have a problem and it's wrapped in blonde fur with brown eye bows and a cotton tail. Lambchop has bonded to me in a way that belies the past abuse it's pretty clear she's suffered. I am her savior. I could take food out of her mouth. I could share her favorite bone. I could wipe her tushy with a paper towel, and have had to. She only looks at me with her poodle-mix eyes and waits through the indignity. But small children scare her and bring out some inner wild beast. She barks and lunges for them teeth flaring.

This means Bets and our seven and three year old upstairs neighbors are enemies, threats and this of course also means Lambchop has to go, which breaks my heart. I am determined to find her a new home rather than put her in a shelter. In the meantime she lives in a crate in the dining room when Bets is about. When Bets is out, Lambchop can roam free. This weekend Betsy and Faith are in Chicago. Lambchop happily lies at my feet and gives me kisses, takes walks on the leash, wags her little cotton tail.

If Lambchop is free of her intestinal parasite she can be fostered by Poodle Rescue. They have made a space for her. Thank you Poodle Rescue, thank you. I just have to take a doody in tomorrow to be checked. If we're coccidia free, Lambchop leaves. Talk about bittersweet. Talk about heartwrenching.

I tell myself I fostered a dog, saved her from fleas and the kill shelters of the south. I tell myself I did a good thing. But such a month it's been. And this poor little abused dog. Why do people abuse dogs? Why do they abuse other people? Why are some folks so gosh darn f--

But none of this compares with Lucy who had a coyote in her house today! After hearing a plaintiff howling from her porch, the kind of howling that causes you to look deep inside your soul and contemplate life and death, Lucy stepped outside to find a funny looking dog howling and eyeballing her kitty. The odd dog left the porch when Lucy went out but then the kitty - in an act of incredibly poor judgment - went after the funny looking dog and a big old fur-flying brawl ensued. Lucy - it must have been judgment free Sunday - jumped in to rescue the kitty, and managed to scoop the cat into her arms. But as she opened the door to her house the funny-looking dog forced its way in where he or she freaked as if never having been inside before. The cat took off, Lucy tried to nudge the dog (no collar, no social sense) out the door. Somehow it left. Lucy at first assumed it was her neighbor's ill-mannered dog come a calling until that same neighbor said no her dog is small and by the way she thought saw a coyote on the block today.

All this in the city of Boston, within city limits. It's like rural America or 1864.

There's a great article on parenting in today's NYT Sunday Magazine.

It's GLBT pride month.

Betsy has graduated kindergarten and is officially a first-grader.

I'm about to be dog-free again and doggone it I'm relieved.

Lucy has been advised not to let any more coyotes into her house.

I'd say it's time to move to Manhattan.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

To Hell and Back For A Poodle

We have our dog and now I am mother to three creatures: child, kitty and a 12 1/2 pound mixed breed stray from Georgia with fleas and a gastrointestinal parasite. Our puppy's name is Lambchop and she came to New England via the freedom train, i.e., a farkakta van ride that lasted close to 30 hours.

Lambchop was supposed to be a fully vetted 2-year old Cockapoo who is sweeter than life. Well, she's the most important one out of three. She is most definitely one of the sweetest dogs I have ever met. But she's got fleas and parasites and is 5 years old according to our vet.

Lambchop, let's call her Chop for short, is sadly confined to a crate in my dining room until she is flea-free. The last flea and its offspring should be kicking the bucket on Friday morning. We were going to have an uncrating celebration until we learned of the parasite which according to veterinary assistant "Margaret" is contagious to humans via poop and saliva. I almost shat a parasite right then and there.

I've got a 6 year old I said. The dog has kissed me on the face I said. She licks her self and then will want to sit on the sofa I said. When will this parasite be gone?

Two weeks.

I'm thinking of course I was nuts to adopt a rescue dog sight unseen except that she is the perfect dog. She is house-trained and crate-trained and loves people and could care less about the cat. What's two weeks in a crate in the dining room?

Betsy is a mess. She is so happy to have a dog and wants to hug her and hold her and put her in a baby carriage and tie ribbons in her fur, but she can't and mom is vacuuming like a lunatic and washing her hands like an obsessive compulsive and the dog is skin and bones and there is all this talk about bugs and pills. Bets just lay on the floor this evening and sobbed.

Of course she doesn't quite know why she is so upset. "I never get to see you," is what she said to me mostly because it gets the biggest reaction out of guilt-ridden me who is juggling work and dog and freelance writing and laundry and my little bottle of apple cider vinegar and water which I spray all over the furniture because apparently fleas don't like apple cider vinegar. Who knew?

And kindergarten is ending and that has Bets in a state. All we wanted was a dog to ride with us in the car for school drop-offs and pick-ups and to hug and to hold and instead we have - for the time being - pitiful Pearl.

I'm sure she will be perfect. I'm sure she and Betsy will love each other like nothing else. Soon. Soon. Until then we have 9 days of pills, two more days of flea quarantine, and two weeks of poop-panic to go. Oh and did I mention Lambchop only eats ground beef and rice, sauteed in Canola oil and sprinkled with kosher salt?

Thank goodness for those sweet brown eyes.

Oops, gotta run. I'm pretty sure I feel a parasite in my arse.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Who's Your Mama?

You’d think Mother’s Day among lesbian moms would be an awesome, Doublemint occasion – double your pleasure, double your fun. After all, Mother’s Day is not even a Judeo-Christian/Hallmark creation. It actually was birthed in the US some 150 years ago by Appalachian mom Ann Jarvis, who wanted to raise awareness of the poor health conditions in her community. She called it “Mother’s Work Day.” So for those vernal equinox lesbians more inclined to celebrate the cycles of the moon than the Old or New Testament, Mother’s Day is perfect. It’s pro-mom, pro-woman, pro-justice.

Then why the angst? Why does this lesbian mom secretly dread Mother’s Day? Why do I sadden rather than rejoice when approaching this women fest (an event even bigger and more far-reaching than the Michigan’s Women’s Festival?)

Because in addition to amplifying the joy, Mother’s Day in two-mom households also can shed light on just how complicated it is to share the role of “mother.”

Never mind who gets to be called “mom”, who gets to sleep in?

Who takes care of dinner and makes a cake?

Who gets the card made from glue and glitter in kindergarten?

Judeo-Christian/Hallmark marketing has co-opted Mother’s Day and turned it into yet another celebration of the hetero-nuclear paradigm. Any and all advertisements for Mother’s Day hoo-ha consist of precisely one woman receiving one bouquet of flowers or one diamond necklace or one tray of coffee and toast in bed from her one husband and two children.

It’s enough to make you feel like you’re faking it. Yes, despite it all (birthing, nursing, carpooling, making lunches, tushy wiping, comforting, band-aiding and singing to sleep), a lot of times I feel I’m faking it in the parental department, playing at a game I’m not really at liberty to participate in.

Even though after Ms. Jarvis there was Julia Ward Howe, Boston poet and suffragist (her best known work: the lyrics to the “Battle Hymn of the Republic”) who believed mothers “bore the loss of human life more harshly than anyone else,” and so called for a day during which mothers rallied for peace.

That’s no diamond ad. That’s no perfectly made up mom in bed while her husband balances coffee on a silver tray.

In the early years, before I had regained enough consciousness to feel like an imposter, when my c-section scar still tingled on rainy days, the post-partum skin on my stomach had not yet figured out what to do with itself, and I was up three times a night nursing our daughter, I wanted Mother’s Day all to myself. I didn’t even want to consider my partner (we since have split) a mother. I could as much imagine treating her to breakfast in bed as I could picture myself replacing the brakes on my car. I wanted to be the one who was taken care of and indulged à la Hallmark. Hadn’t I earned it in that Hallmark way?

If you stick to the Hallmark scenario, there’s only room for one mother, and it’s a fight to the death to determine who that will is. Anything different from that is not real motherhood. Hence my conflict.

In 1905, after Ann Jarvis died, her daughter, Anna, sought to honor her mother’s work and lobbied businessmen and politicians to assist her in the creation of a special day to honor mothers. Said Anna Jarvis, “There are many days for men, but none for mothers.” After years of Anna. determinedly distributing white carnations each makeshift mother’s day to the boys in Washington, Woodrow Wilson signed a bill declaring Mother’s Day a national holiday. This was 1914. It wasn’t long before religion and marketing got involved and turned Mother’s Day into the exact opposite of what it’s supposed to be: a day that causes me to doubt my credibility as a mother.

The Jarvises would roll over in their graves.

Of course, no mother is faking it. The problem, I remind myself, is not being a lesbian mom on Mother’s Day. It’s being a lesbian mom in a culture that crams a narrow and ridiculous image of motherhood down your throat: one mom per household, with hair highlighted and makeup on.

How then to embrace the day, to do justice to the Jarvis’ vision and to our family, to reclaim my role as mother rather than deny it?

Some lesbians divide Mother’s Day: you get from 7 a.m. to noon, I get from noon to 7 p.m. Some divide the years: 2008 for me, 2009 for you. Some offer up Father’s Day as Mom Day #2. In our family we ad-lib. One of us races off with our daughter to make something for the other, while the other makes plans to do the same.

It still would be great to have a day all to myself. But I’ve learned that this has less to do with me being more of a mother than my ex, and everything to do with me being exhausted.

Anna was so pissed at what happened to the Mother’s Day of her dreams that in 1923 she filed a lawsuit to prevent a festival she believed was endorsing greed and profit over the memorialization of motherhood. She even got herself arrested once for disturbing the peace. Just before she died in 1948, she admitted to regretting having started Mother’s Day.

Well, I say it’s time to take back Mother’s Day. Lesbians moms, straight moms, caregiving grandmothers, aunts and sisters, in honor of the Annas, may we all sleep in.