Friday, June 30, 2006

...And We're Done.

Not only is the class done, but, our days of leisurely meals, long walks with the stroller or carrier, extended periods of time for reading, and, even taking showers, doing laundry and loading and unloading the dishwasher are done. It's true: Bigfella is now mobile. No, he's not crawling at 4 months, but he is rolling. And, his rolling is with purpose and intentionality. And, more frighteningly, his rolling is actually an after effect of the true purpose and intentionality. Bigfella ends up on his back after working hard to get his knees under him to crawl. Or, when lying on his back, he swings his legs up in the air, brings them down firmly, and lifts his rear end off the ground in an attempt to sit or stand. Apparently, the boy has places to go and things to do, and, the writing on the wall is that his skills are improving each day. He won't sit in the stroller because he wants to work on his movements. The stroller, carrier, even our laps, is cramping his style and reigning him in from exploring the world and his own kinesthetic self.

But, the class is done. Now I just need to figure out how to write a paper about the experience and send it to the professor. I think that there is a real article in there, so I need to figure out how to write my reaction paper for him, and then expand it and make it more generalized and global, as well as polish it with the hopes that there might be a publishable piece in all this rambling...

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Today's Menu: Classism and Heterosexism

First of all, thank you, Kwynne, for adding to the conversation. I was beginning to feel like I was standing on a milkcrate, yelling my views on the subway. People were walking by, shaking their heads, and moving onto the next blog...

I wanted to clarify why I have focused so much on "white privilege" and race issues. At least in my community, which experienced a horrible, gut-wrenching racial conflagration last year, the wounds of racism are so raw and fresh that most White people quickly gloss over issues of race, and focus instead on attributing the oppression experienced by people of color as being related to class, education, sex, pretty much anything other than race. Having read so many legitimate complaints of people of color about the infiltration of the civil rights movement by white gay men and white women (both straight and gay) with no regard to the advantages they get from their skin color, I want to make sure I am not guilty of the same transgression. I do not want to gloss over the oppression of others by making this about my issues.

Today was classism and heterosexism. The classism exercise was very artificial, and somewhat hard to participate in. A few years ago, Dyke Two modified an activity she had seen done at a conference, and made it relevant and appropriate for teachers. She then shared it with her advisor (the instructor of this course) who watched her lead it once. In turn, he turned it over to his TA, who ran the activity never having participated in or observed the activity. I think it goes without saying that the activity was not the one Dyke Two created, and that many important details were lost in translation. I was unable to get inside myself for this activity, and observed it as an outsider while maintaining a guise of participation.

For the heterosexism discussion, we had a panel of gays and lesbians who answered questions for the participants. I agreed to serve on the panel since it would be harder to watch it without being a panel member. I am always surprised at how little some folks know about the lives of gays and lesbians. Things got a little touchy when Christianity entered the discussion, which I get to happily ignore. My favorite part of the panel was getting to hear the stories and experiences of my friends who served as co-panelists. Once you get out of your early twenties, you rarely hear people's coming out stories, or their internal struggles. I love having this forum each summer to hear these internal stories from my good friends. I answered lots of questions about Bigfella, and about being a gay teacher.

But I did realize that having a White man decide on the activities, create the message and set the tone of these encounters, perpetuates a very narrow and limited view. It allows people to learn enough to feel better, without causing the cognitive dissonance required for real transformation. As Kwynne pointed out, these oppressions are so interrelated, and to build on her point, by dividing them up into separate groups just splinters the efforts and creates artificial enemies. And, when the artificial enemies put each other down, as many others eloquently have pointed out, we lift up our oppressors.

I also realized that i am still not good at the emotional, messy, raw parts of this work. I still spend most of my energy on head issues, not heart issues. But, I also realized that I resent people who try to inexpertly delve into my heart issues without the training, intentionality or long term commitment that I feel is necessary. I feel it is manipulative as all get out.

But, most importantly of all, have y'all seen Star Jones this week? We are watching Larry King Live right now, and for the love of all that is holy, she looks like a space alien, leaving The View to re-board the Mother Ship.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Sexism and Revisiting White Privilege

The sexism discussion didn't mean that much to me. So much of it focused on the interpersonal issues of men and women in heterosexual relationships. Honestly, the power dynamics between individual men and women are meaningless to me. I care a hell of a lot more about the systemic sexism that has the FDA approving medication for all people after drug trials on all-male test groups. I care a hell of a lot more about the insidious sexism that has little girls starving themselves to fit an unachievable standard of beauty. I care a hell of a lot more about the institutional sexism that has 3 year old "beauty queens" prancing around with pancake make up, teased hair and sexually suggestive clothing. I care about the sexism of our society that allows the president of Harvard say that women are biologically disposed to not pursuing careers in science and math. How the married couple next door makes parenting decisions or divides household chores is irrelevent to me.

But, this issue of white privilege has been under my skin for awhile. Considering that these trainings I have done are coming from the anti-racist movemet, I see too much racism still in the presentation of the material. This morning, as I took my shower, I experienced a moment of clarity. The term "white privilege" was knocking around in my brain. I have never liked the term, but have never quite known why. Today I realized the cause of my dislike.

Language is a subtle, complicated thing. Using the term "privilege" glosses over the reality of the situation. By calling it privilege, anti-racists give White people permission to maintain the status quo. After all, privilege implies that White people have something extra, something more than the acceptable minimum. Rather than admitting that people of color do not have enough, White people talk about the extra, nice luxuries that privilege gives folks with light skin.

In reality, White people do not have the privilege of access to medical care. People of color are denied the right of medical care. White people do not have the privilege of culturally relevant education. People of color are denied the right of education. White people do not have the privilege of safe and comfortable housing. People of color are denied housing rights.

But, by calling these things privilege, White people are glossing over the reality of the systematic denial of rights faced by people of color. If we were talking about the rights that go with Whiteness, the lack of rights of people of color would be laid out on the table. The term privilege allows White anti-racists to sugar-coat their oppression of people of color into something that is more palatable to their liberal psyches.

But, the real question comes next: if we do away with the term "white privilege," what term should we replace it with? And, as a white woman, what right do I have to coin the term?

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Blood, Sweat and Tears

First, the tears. So, they actually made me cry today. I thought that cynical me would find it all to be a boring, rote replay of all the sensitivity training I have done before. But, they got to me through my son. We did the White Privilege exercise with the list of Peggy McIntosh's white privileges. We circled those that applied to us, and then all stood up. We got to sit down as they counted down from 50, once they said the number we had circled. (My number was 31, by the way).

So, after I sat down, I watched all the Black women standing waiting for the countdown to get to single digits. I've done this before, and have come to terms with the fact that Dyke Two will always stand until very close to zero. I know this, and have worked through this. Obviously, I love her with everything in me. it pains me to know what she experiences. But, we have discussed this, and have created a truly mutual, equal partnership that is based in respect, love and honesty despite the fact that I will never stand with her through every single obstacle or incident.

But, today it struck me that Bigfella also will always stand longer than I will. My son, who grew inside me for nine months, who bounced on my cervix and bladder, and kicked my ribs, who shared my blood and nutrients as he grew, who I spent 23 long and arduous hours laboring to separate from my body, who I bring to my breast multiple times a day, will face a world I do not know. (I "knew" this before getting pregnant with a bi-racial child, but today I not only knew this in my head, but also in my heart).

I would gladly give up everything I have for Bigfella. For the first time in my life, there is somebody whose comfort, safety and success is more important to me than my own. (i am a very competitive person, so I have always wanted to be the one who was more successful). When he is hungry, he eats, whether I need to pee, or eat, or sleep. When he sheds tears, both my eyes and my breasts water in solidarity. If he needed one of my organs, I would give it to him without question. If there were any way to take his pain as my own, I would do it without hesitation. But, there is no way I can take this away from him, or experience it instead of him. In fact, I will be sending him out each day to face a world whose dangers and obstacles are invisible to me.

I thank G-d that my wife shares more than a birthday with my son, though I wish that this shared oppression were one that neither of them had to bear.

Next, the sweat: It is hotter than a closed up car on a summer day in the training room. Seriously, apparently the air conditioning doesn't work too well in the building. I leave each day sticky and smelly. And, the breastfeeding hormones only make it worse.

Finally, the blood: We had more blood in the diaper today. I thought I was being really careful, but apparently not. I think it was the goat cheese, even though I have read that goat's milk consumption by mama is usually OK for cow's milk sensitive breastfed babes. He also had eczema and a prickly looking diaper rash.

Tonight's assignment: What does being a girl mean to you? A woman? (for you heterozygous folks: what does being a boy mean to you? A man?) For the folks who don't fit neatly into the binary definitions of gender, well, apparently there is no assignment for you. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh. I am so not looking forward to this discussion. I hope the instructor will be including transgender and intersex issues. I so don't think they should be lumped into sexual orientation. I'm not writing anything, at least not tonight. There have already been plenty of discussions on so many parenting blogs about this issue.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Testing the waters...

Today was a slow ease in to the bigger issues. We did some getting to know you activities, all basically low-risk. One woman cried while sharing her name story. Tomorrow is White Privilege, with Peggy McIntosh and her invisible knapsack on the agenda.

The instructor, who is a close mentor of Dyke Two's made a comment I am struggling with. He said that one of the things that he feels is required in his classroom is that all opinions are valued, no one is told they are wrong, no one is silenced. That all seems good at the surface, but I sat there, thinking, "But there are times when I, either as a participant or a facilitator want to tell someone that their opinion is wrong." Dyke Two and I were talking about this as we drove home, and at the time the only example I could come up with was that of someone who says that homosexuality is wrong. I have heard this said in numerous situations where all other rules of PC interaction are in effect, but in the name of religious tolerance, I am required to accept this stance. This dangerous relativism was hammered home tonight as we watched a documentary on s*i*heads, which was followed by one on another three letter group that comes right before LLL in the phone book. (I don't want to attract this type of troll to the Ark, so I am going to leave it to your powers of deduction to figure out the subject of the documentaries). So, after watching these shows, I realized that they were an even better example. Obviously, you can't sit there and engage with this type of hate-spewing rhetoric in the name of tolerance, acceptance or diversity. (Or you can try, but if you aren't white, straight and Christian, they might kill you). Dyke Two has encouraged me to call the instructor on this tomorrow, and ask him if he truly means what he said today.

My big epiphany for the day came when we were discussing life here in Smallcity. A friend asked if Dyke Two and I have found a comfort zone within the Black community. I realized that we have. Once we got engaged, but even more so since Bigfella was born, people have been reaching out to us, offering support, comraderie, love and acceptance. Our two mommy family has not caused even the slightest ripple. Yet, despite my personal experiences to the contrary, I sat in that room today, assuming that the Black women in the group would be uncomfortable with my sexuality. Where does this come from?

I think we all know that there is a myth in the White gay community that Black people are homophobic. And, until today, I believed it, without one shred of personal evidence to back it up. I was a little embarrassed to realize that I took that baggage willingly and without question from various gay leaders, most of whom are middle-aged, upper middle class, White men. (Dyke Two did remind me of a particularly uncomfortable confrontation I had with one middle aged woman who happened to be black, but even I know better than to assume that she spoke for all blacks.)

Maybe this omnipresent, unilateral "Black community" (don't get me started on that idea) isn't actually homophobic. They just think the gay folks they know are assholes.

But the biggest news of the day is that Bigfella finally hefted his big self up off his quilt and rolled from stomach to back. He has kind of done it before, but only when diaperless. Today, he did it fully clothed. It is hard work to lift 19 pounds off the ground when your muscles are only 4 months old.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Someone's schooling, Lord, Kumbaya....

Bigfella and I are heading back to school next week. I am signed up for a 3 credit course on Multicultural Education that meets all day for the next week. I am also signed up for Part Two the week after the week of the 4th. (I may not take that one, thanks to the gallbladder surgery). Bigfella gets to come with me, so we are armed with all sorts of things to keep him quiet during the discussions. Because the course is very participatory, I wanted to offer you all a window into my experience. Throughout the week, I am supposed to write a one page reflection paper each night, as well as complete two assignments this weekend.

In the interest of full disclosure, I am very cynical about this type of course. Too often, I have seen that the goal of these programs seems to be that everyone will hold hands and sing Kumbaya. Dyke Two has been involved in the course for many years, and has admitted that there is a Kumbaya aspect to the experience. I have told her that I can tune up the old vocal cords if the singing is a step toward the greater goal, but that I might lose my shit if all we accomplish by the end of the week is a rousing rendition of "Someone's crying, Lord, Kumbaya." I hate, hate, hate when these experiences become an opportunity for is privileged white folks to cry about our unearned privilege, express our guilt and then go about our daily life with no real resolution or plans for changing anything. I know that acknowledging our shit is the first step toward change, but I have yet to experience facilitators who push us to change. They all seem happy just getting folks to the stage of admitting. In my mind, stopping there is the easy way out.

So, this weekend, if anyone wants to play along at home, the first assignment is to:

Write a story about your name. It can be in any format you choose from poetry to essay. It should be 1 to 2 pages long. Be as creative as you like.

Assignment Number 2 is:

Write your personal definitions for the following terms: prejudice, discrimination, racism, sexism, and homophobia.

Now, look the words up in a dictionary of your choice and write those definitions. Note the publisher and the publication date for the dictionary you used.

My name story and definitions are posted below. Feel free to add your own in the comment sections or on your blogs. Check back throughout the week and read and comment on my reflections as they get posted.

Assignment 2: The Definitions

My definitions are the first one listed for each word, the dictionary definitions are the enumerated definitions below mine.


The preconceived beliefs, both conscious and unconscious, which guide our decisions and actions
i. An adverse judgment or opinion formed beforehand or without knowledge or examination of the facts.
ii. A preconceived preference or idea.
iii. The act or state of holding unreasonable preconceived judgments or convictions.
iv. Irrational suspicion or hatred of a particular group, race, or religion.
v. Detriment or injury caused to a person by the preconceived, unfavorable conviction of another or others.


Actions by those in power based on prejudices
i. The act of discriminating.
ii. The ability or power to see or make fine distinctions; discernment.
iii. Treatment or consideration based on class or category rather than individual merit; partiality or prejudice: racial discrimination; discrimination against foreigners.


Actions by those in power based on racial prejudices
i. The belief that race accounts for differences in human character or ability and that a particular race is superior to others.
ii. Discrimination or prejudice based on race.


Actions by those in power based on gender prejudices
i. Discrimination based on gender, especially discrimination against women.
ii. Attitudes, conditions, or behaviors that promote stereotyping of social roles based on gender.


Fear or dislike of GLBT people that motivates heterosexist actions and decisions
i. Fear of or contempt for lesbians and gay men.
ii. Behavior based on such a feeling.

Source: The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
Copyright © 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

Assignment 1: The Name Story

I love baby names. I spend an inordinate amount of time on baby naming websites, reading name books, and participating in the naming polls of complete strangers. My fascination with names started during my pregnancy with our son. Even though I love the communal process of naming babies that occurs, when we named him, we didn’t ask anyone for advice or input. His name came to us pretty quickly, and with no hesitation. We wanted a name that honored family members, identified him with his ethnicity, and wouldn’t fade in the wash. He ended up named Big Fella One-Two. Big is my great grandfather. Fella is in honor of my partner’s grandmother. One is my last name, while Two is my partner’s last name. Bigfella does have a Hebrew name that we chose: Moshe or Moses. We wanted to give him a name that connected him with the man who led the Jews out of slavery in Egypt, both to instill in him our commitment to social justice and to commemorate the enslavement and subordination that is part of his experience as a Black Jew in the US.

Ironically, the names we chose have little to do with either of our ethnicities, since our families both have a long history of assimilation. My parents, however, went through a similar process when they named me. My name: Dyke Girl One has a similar reason behind it, though it also ended up “whitewashed” by the nature of the decisions of previous generations.

One is my father’s last name, but it has not been the name of his paternal relatives for very long. When they arrived at Ellis Island, they were eager to shed the weight of Eastern European anti-Semitism. In 1906, when my great-grandfather, Big, became a naturalized citizen in Chicago, his last name was still OldName. By 1945, when he used his skills as a tailor to aid in the US war effort as a parachute mechanic, he was a One. Family lore is that when my grandfather and great-uncle enlisted in the Army, they were turned down because of their “Commie” last name. According to my father, the truth is that when they applied for medical school and law school, boys named OldName were subjected to the quotas of the 1940s that were designed to limit the number of Jews in higher education. When they changed their last names to the WASPiest thing they could think of, they were granted spots the following year.

My first name, Dyke, was carefully chosen to reflect the Jewish heritage my great-grandfather tried to obfuscate. Dyke is one of the matriarchs of the Old Testament, from her lineage, the nation of Israel was created. While the name with a different spelling is common in non-Jewish families, my parents chose to spell it D-y-k-e as an immediate signifier to others that I am, as Jewish women are described, a woman of valor.

My middle name is a family name. Girl is the name of my mother’s mother and my mother’s grandmother. Both of these strong, independent women were still alive when I was named. While Jewish tradition is to name children after deceased family members to make sure everyone has their own identity and spirit, my mother’s family is Protestant, so both the name and the naming pattern reflect my Christian background. In an interesting parallel to the Jewish tradition, my grandmother, known to this day to family members as “Little Girl” did tell my parents to use Girl as my middle name, because she wanted me to have my own name, rather than be relegated to the nickname “Baby Girl.”

Friday, June 23, 2006

Seems like an epidemic going on

In recent weeks, I have read many posts on various blogs about folks going to their 10th college reunions. We can add me to the 10 years out set. Bigfella and I went to my 10th reunion over Memorial Day. A great time was had by all. There were eight of us in my house senior year, and we were all together for the first time since graduation. Of course, one of the eight is my first girlfriend, who dumped me the following year for the woman she is still with. They had their second son two months before Bigfella was born. I had a lot of anger toward both of them for many years, even harboring some during our 5 year reunion. (At our fifth, I told First Girlfriend that I had forgiven her, which was a lie, but I needed to say it so that eventually I would forgive her. She responded by saying that she hadn't forgiven herself). As I moved through my years as president of the education association, travelled around the country meeting other LGBT educators, gave presentations nationally on gay issues in the schools, got appointed to the board of our state gay rights group, and started my doctorate last fall, I began to realize that professionally, my life had developed perfectly. When I met Dyke Two, got engaged, bought our house, got pregnant, got married and had Bigfella, I realized that I was happier now than I ever was with First Girlfriend.

But, back to reunion. We went out for delicious food, hung out with the babes on the college green, stayed up late talking, drank lots of coffee, went to our favorite old haunts. All in all, a very nice weekend. I thought that First Girlfriend and I had a very good time together. I even thought that her partner enjoyed our time together. The best part of the whole event, as I remarked to one of the housemates as we drove to our hotel, is that the weekend crystallized to me how happy I am with the path I ended up on. Reunions seem to be a time when you get to stop and visit with the various potential selves you could have become. When I visited with those potential selves, I had no regrets. I do love the person I have become.

Yesterday, we finally got it together to send photos to each other. I opened First Girlfriend's website and realized that, in her archives of the event, Bigfella and I did not appear once. Not once. There is no photographic evidence that we were there. We aren't in any reunion pictures. We aren't even in any of the pictures from the wedding the weekend before. There are photos of the rest of the folks at our table, but it is like the end of the table where Dyke Two, Bigfella and I were sitting didn't exist.

I can't help but think that possibly First Girlfrlend didn't experience the same peace when she visited with her potential selves.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Father's Day

Friday was my dad's first day of summer vacation. As a teacher, he has always enjoyed the yearly ritual of sending off his graduating seniors, grading exams, completing report cards, and packing up his classroom for the summer. For 34 years, he has gone through the procedures of closing out the school year, only to wake up the next morning to a summer of lazy days stretching in front of him. Friday when he woke up, it wasn't just a summer that was stretching in front of him. It was the rest of his life.

My dad retired this year. One of the events Bigfella and I attended while visiting family was my dad's retirement dinner. In honor of Father's Day, I want to recreate the speech I gave. My dad is Bigfella's only grandfather, and therefore, will be the recipient of future daycare crafts, handmade cards and poems written in honor of "dad." While Bigfella is precocious, he wasn't quite able to create his own tribute this year, so I'm doing it for him.

So, without further ado:

During my years as president of our local education association, I was often asked to give speeches and soundbites to the media. When my father asked me to be his speaker tonight, I didn't think anything of it. But, it turns out this is the hardest speech I have had to write. I mean, how do you sum up the career of a teacher like my father in the three minutes allotted between drinks and salad?

As I struggled to get my thoughts and feelings crystallized, I spent some time looking for quotes that might be appropriate. I used quotes as a springboard for my students' daily writing assignments, so I have amassed quite a collection. In the end, I found two.

The first is by Lee Iacocca, who once said, "In a truly rational society, the best of us would strive to be teachers and the rest of us would have to settle for something else, because passing on civilization from one generation to the next is the highest honor and highest responsibility anyone could have."” Clearly, Mr. Iacocca has never met my father.

If he had, he would know that the best of us already are teachers. It's true. My father represents the best of humanity. He is patient, compassionate, generous, committed, professional and humble. Very, very humble. When he was appointed as state teacher of the year last year, he wrote a speech about his students, taking the opportunity of his new role to dispel myths and destroy stereotypes about urban students of color. When he was awarded an honorary doctorate this spring and gave the commencement address at a local university, he took the opportunity to talk about gay rights and the Constitution. The audience was moved to tears as he talked about my son--that same fussy little baby who was just removed from the room by my stepmother. My father is a humble man, with a strong vision of social justice. If only the rest of us had half his integrity and vision.

The second quote is from my favorite singer, Catie Curtis. She has a song that has always reminded me of my father. A couple of years ago, I saw her perform the song, "Dad's Yard" in concert, where I learned that she wrote it and first performed it at her father's retirement party, as he retired from a 30 plus year career as a teacher. "He can see the beauty beneath the dust and the grime. He can see potential where the rest of us are blind. He will polish the grey until it shines clear blue, and if you know my dad, well, he won't give up on you. So if you need something when times get hard, you can probably find it in my dad's yard. And if you need love, if you're coming apart, you can surely find it in my dad's heart."

So what did Bigfella do on his first of many Father's Days? Well, we let Dyke Two set the tone. Most of her life has been father-free, and since Bigfella's birth, her feelings toward her mostly absent father have changed from "live and let live" to lots and lots of anger and confusion. I figured Father's Day was going to be a lot harder for her than either me or Bigfella. So, Bigfella cooed at Grandpa over the phone, took a bunch of naps, and had his first trip to the swimming pool. Despite photographic evidence to the contrary, he seemed to settle in and enjoy himself.

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Friday, June 16, 2006

Doctoral Studies

Last week, Bigfella went to the doctor. He weighed in at 19 pounds, one ounce, 27 inches long. His head was 17 and a half inches in circumference. So, he is still off the charts in height and weight, but, in comparison, his head is a wee peahead at the 75th percentile. The doc said nothing about starting solids or giving supplements. He told us to just keep breastfeeding.

Earlier this week, I had a doctor's appointment. i am having the old gallbladder out on July 6th. The surgeon wrote a prescription for a double electric breastpump for me, though I don't know that the insurance company is going to cover it. They said they might, but that they only automatically cover them for latch issues or if baby is in the NICU and mom gets discharged.

But, after spending the better part of the day on the phone with the insurance company, the lactation consultant at the hospital told me that even with general anesthesia and narcotic painkillers, I can breastfeed as soon as I am out of the recovery room. I didn't believe her, so I called the ped's office for a second opinion. The LC there backed up the hospital LC.

But, the important thing is that the morning of my doctor's appointment, I was coordinating a Day of Action for gay rights and left the house at 6 am. So, Bigfella stayed home with Dyke Two. The two of them met me at my appointment after having breakfast with a friend. The nurse brought them into the exam room, and Bigfella was wearing a pair of socks that I haven't seen in well over a month. The heels of the socks were resting comfortably on the arches of his feet. I took him out of the stroller and looked at his outfit. He was wearing cute striped pants and his HRC baby onesie. I did a double take. His cute little pants were so small that they were actually a pair of manpris.

But Dyke Two was so proud of her baby-dressing skills that I just smiled and said, "Where the hell did you find those pants and socks? Didn't you notice that your son was wearing clothes that were too small???"

Friday, June 09, 2006

An Homage to Shel Silverstein...

If you have to make your coffee
To save a buck or two
If you have to make your coffee
To keep blood from baby's poo
If you use your stove top maker,
And it explodes across the room,
Maybe you won't have to
Make your coffee anymore.

Seriously, folks. In an attempt to be frugal, I decided to feed the coffee monkey on my back (he found me again while I was staying with my parents--bastards make coffee multiple times a day...) by making coffee at home. After all, not only would I save money on buying the coffee at my favorite coffeeshop, I would also be able to use rice milk (better for me and Bigfella) without carting a box of the stuff with me all over the place. (I did find rice milk in 8 ounce drinkboxes, but only really want about 5 ounces in my biggie jumbo vat of coffee, which left 3 ounces of rice milk wasted or consumed separately. It also tacks a dollar onto the cost of the cup of coffee.)

So, yesterday I decided to start being virtuous. I started the coffee in the espresso maker, visions of cappuccino dancing in my head. If not cappuccino (who knows if the rice milk would steam properly) at least I could have a nice iced latte. I poured my rice krispies, sprinkled them with blueberries, added rice milk and poured a glass of OJ. I went into the living room, where Bigfella was happily hanging out in his exersaucer (don't tell the physical therapist police that you know) and Dyke Two was watching The People's Court (don't tell the Good Taste police that you know). After a few minutes, I went into the kitchen, where I was greeted with this:

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and this:

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and this:

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After I finished laughing, Dyke Two and I ventured closer to the stove top, and discovered this:

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"Honey," I said, "I love you."


"Just think how lucky we are!"


"Bigfella and I could have been in the kitchen when this happened! We were both saved from being scalded." (I was really scrambling there to come up with a silver lining to this cloud.)

"Dyke One, sweetheart, from now on, I want you to buy a cup of coffee anywhere, anytime you want one. It's just not worth the time it takes to clean up your coffee making mess."

So, this morning, Bigfella and I went to the coffeeshop and bought a cup of coffee.

And, just to indulge my Bigfella obsession, here he is, helping me create this post:

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Don't laugh at a boy, just because he has to wear a bib to contain the drool. Teething is hard work.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Little girls grow up and marry their fathers...

I have heard from various people that women end up marrying men who are like their fathers. I just assumed that this phenomenon didn't hold true for lesbians. Until tonight.

My father has always been convinced that the night air gives him asthma. Seriously. The night air. Asthma. In fact, while staying with my dad and stepmother for those two long weeks in May, the nightly argument between my father and stepmother was whether or not they were going to close the windows. My father is convinced that sleeping with the windows open makes him wheeze. Not allergens in the air. Just the air. Once the sun is down, it settles in his chest and the allergies just go crazy. He is a smart man. He has a doctorate in education. He has received numerous awards for his teaching. He has published multiple articles and textbooks. But, he is convinced the night air makes him sick.

So, tonight we were putting Bigfella to bed. I turned on the ceiling fan and put a small fan next to his crib. After all, it was 75 degrees outside and muggy. We haven't cleaned the filter in the central air yet, or else I would have turned the air conditioning on. It is hot here in Red State. Bigfella was whining and fussing, but finally settled into a fitful sleep.

Dyke Two came out of the bedroom about 20 minutes later and said, "I turned off the fan next to the crib."

"Why?" I asked.

"So he doesn't get sick."

I must have had a quizzical (read "What the fuck are you talking about??") look on my face because she tripped over herself to explain further.

"You know, from the moving air."

I couldn't help myself. Dyke Two is a smart woman. She has almost completed her doctorate. She is hired to do workshops at a daily rate that rivalled my former monthly salary. She holds down a high level job in central office. But, she is convinced that sleeping with air blowing on you makes you sick.

And, me? I guess even lesbians can end up marrying their fathers...

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Back in the saddle again

We're back from a two week trip (I hesitate to call it a vacation) in the North. We visited family, attended a wedding, went to my college reunion and I spoke at my dad's retirement dinner. Dyke Two and I drove up together for the first weekend and attended the wedding. I then put her on a train home, and Bigfella and I remained behind for another 10 days for the rest of the visit.

A good time was had by all, though I have never been so happy to return home and sit on my furry futon, play with my sweet pets and sleep in my own bed.

Bigfella's allergies seem to be under control, with only one flare up of bloody diapers, and a few flare ups of eczema.

My gallstones behaved themselves for the most part, though I did spend a night writhing in pain and puking bile in my parents' guest room, while Bigfella slept peacefully beside me.

I have tons and tons of stories to share, though the pile of dirty laundry is more pressing.