Friday, December 07, 2012


I was thinking I should write something, and now I am. 
Oh, the curse of the blank page!!!
 It’s so much easier when you’re writing to an immediate audience, don’t ya know.
So therefore, to market to market to buy a fat blog….

(moved from Word to Blogger) 

I just turned on Bob Dylan.
Well, I can’t be sure…
It might just be a banana in his pocket.
Or a guitar pick??
But seriously…I was in the mood for some soothing tunes and harmonica
Or a dude and his guitar,
Or.
Something.

What happened to me?
When did I tumble from cool/edgy/sexy into frumpy/insecure/static?
Or maybe I was never quite as cool as I thought I was,
And also, it isn't the “when” that I should be pondering,
But the “how”.
How, how, how…?
It’s like I’m the yin to my own yang
I turned inside out or upside down, but not both, no…
It’s too symmetrical to have been both.
Where once I was surging with need,
Now I am sated, a fat cat smiling with canary feathers floating slowly down through a beam of sunlight as I bask in the warm afternoon sunlight through a bay window overlooking…well, the ocean, because that’s what would make me happy, but probably a cat wouldn't care, so that analogy has broken down.

I’m pretty sure Pandora just threw me some Johnny Cash…a duet?
Indeed! With June Carter…aw…
(“If I Were a Carpenter”)
I smile sweetly because I was dreaming of my Love,
and how his glorious heart has transformed me,
and then a couple started singing.
Profound.
Back to my life ponderings, though…
Because I wasn’t done.
It is like I went from all sharp edges and intensity,
seeking, dreaming, needing, craving
To
Happy, satisfied, fulfilled—
So deeply and thoroughly that my motivation evaporated under the warming light of his love…hehe…cheesy, eh?
But I can’t help but feel a bit lost…
My identity was that woman, the one with a tattoo and a piercing and a sassy, sexy attitude.
The one who was driven to flash her best colors to every pair of eyes to wander across her refraction  hoping to attract The One.
And then she did…er, I did.
And that side of me, that version of me was replaced with a woman so intensely in love with The One that I transformed, oh my….like being bitten by a zombie or a vampire or werewolf or infested with brain bacteria that make me crave him...
I am now his acolyte.
I need to shake free of the haze 
that keeps me in this daze
And find a way…
To merge that kick-ass, fun, rebellious little chick
With
This happy, boring, lump.
It’s a puzzle I can’t solve just yet.
Because how do I find a new motivation??
I tend to let life drag me along, tumbling where it takes me.
Where to, next, Universe??
I want to continue to thrive with my True Love…I do not want to go back to that place…where I yearn and keen and claw my way through life,
But I’m just not used to being content.
It feels soooo nice…but it makes me complacent.
So how do I recapture some drive without losing what I have??
I guess I just need to remind myself that he and I will both be happier and even more thoroughly fulfilled if I feel sexy and alive/worthwhile again…
Because I am losing sight of that woman, that person I felt so sure I was.
And, of course, life is not a constant, life is undulating, ever-changing, tortuous in its path, so why do I find myself continually surprised by its dynamic nature?
Ah, well.
Here I am.
Wandering the pathways of my mind again…
Maybe I just need to do this more often.
Well, duh.
I've been saying that for years.
Have I been not blogging for as long as I've been blogging??
Wow…that makes me sad.
Not that I need to blog, per se, but that I don’t write on a regular basis anymore.
And maybe………..
Maybe I will, or maybe I’m chasing an unattainable dream.

Oooh, Neil Young, “Pocahontas.” Nice!

Oh. Duh.
The gym.
The answer is: THE GYM.
I smile, and relax a bit...

Stones, "Paint it Black"...yeah....
I will, dammit! I will paint that gym black!!!
Or my wardrobe...But not my hair.
I love black.
I guess I can't pull of black hair as a chubber.
And yes, I sure am one.
I have hidden within the security of a personalized fat suit for 3 years, 4?
And I am soooooo ready to unzip that fucker and step out of it!!!!!
(If only it were that easy, but oh yes, it really is, because I love a love a love the gym!)

Ok, well.

yeah. 

I want to be Toni Morrison.




Wednesday, August 01, 2012


 So...tomorrow is a big day. I've been avoiding the thought, pretending it's no big deal. But as I watched my tall, strapping, handsome sons wrestling around and bouncing and laughing out on their trampoline...it hit me. My son, my first born twin, my darling child with all the fucked up health issues, will be under the knife again tomorrow. Almost exactly 12 years from the day they came home from the hospital. Almost exactly 12 years from the day the first neurosurgeon placed the VP shunt that they are finally replacing tomorrow. And I know it's a routine procedure. But it's still brain surgery. And there is still that chance...however small...that the boy I know will be changed forever. Just writing that makes me feel better, because my gut says he will be just as funny and cantankerous and wonderful as he is today. But. I cried over the sink full of dishes anyway.
And here is the essay I wrote 7 years ago, about the whole thing.

                   The Weight of Unheard Fears



It worries me. So much so, that I don’t allow myself to think about it often.  I know that this has the power to cripple me if I focus on it.  So I don’t.  One beautiful, matched set of baby boys was granted to me.  My body made a genetic anomaly, as the Twins Research Study pamphlet indicated.  I had never thought of it that way, but I suppose it is correct.  Anomaly or no, they were perfect to me.  And they still are. Beautiful, sweet babies, ruthlessly inquisitive preschoolers—most days lately it feels like I’m on “Larry King Live”, being drilled with hard hitting questions like machine-gun fire.  “What is lava? Will it burn you? Is it always orange? Do all mountains come from volcanoes?”, “Where do tornadoes come from?”, “How old is Grandpa? 70? That’s old…he must be really tall!”  They are amazing and wonderful in all of the ways a mother sees her children.

            My worry, however, comes from a condition that is common in premature babies, but causes severe brain damage in some cases.  I don’t know what the statistics are, but I do know that so far we are counted among the lucky.  The little one who needed brain surgery at 6 weeks old is as much like his brother as any twin would be. 

            I chose two names for them, and when they had filled my womb so tightly that it seemed they wouldn’t change position again, I slapped a name on each little jumble of limbs.  The one who seemed eager to crawl right on out of me would be Oliver, the first-born—the “oldest”, as silly as that is.  The one nestled into my ribs would be Max.  On the weekend of my 33rd week of pregnancy (7 weeks shy of a normal delivery date, 3 weeks before the date my doctor and I had chosen for doing a scheduled birth) my husband went camping with his five brothers.  Out of cell phone range, but with strict orders to check in from a payphone near their wilderness location as often as possible.  On their second day of family fun, two of the brothers got into a terrible argument, and my mild-natured husband decided to excuse himself.  He headed home to go golfing instead of listening to the foolishness of nearly 3 decades of rivalry.  He stopped in to get his golf clubs, and I sent him on his way with a chuckle—a family with six boys is understandably a bit of a powder keg on occasion.  Just as he was about to tee off, he got my phone call: the water had broken, I needed him to come pick me up and take me to the hospital.  I’m sure most people have watched enough TV to have an idea of that whole scene, but I will add my acquiescence that contractions are no fun and rides to the hospital are too long.  There was much swearing, though none of it directed at my husband—that part of the delivery cliché has always confused me.  As far as I know, it takes two people to make a baby. After the seemingly slow-motion-afflicted nurses finally prepped me for the epidural, it was like someone had flipped a switch: the sailor in possession of my mouth vanished and my manners kicked in: apologies were doled out like cigars and I noticed that my husband was in the room—and was actually glad for it.

            The baby in position to deliver first was deemed to be in distress, so they rushed me into the operating room for a C-section.  I can remember feeling very numb at that point—physically, from the anesthesia, but mostly emotional numbness.  I remember lying there, hearing so many doctors and nurses around me, the peculiarly hospital-like smells and the bright lights.  I felt like I was at the end of a long hallway, with my uterus and the medical professionals at the other end.  A male voice saying, “This one’s not breathing,” has echoed through my mind many times since then, always followed by my gratefulness that the problem was soon corrected.  That was Oliver, and he was whisked away to the respirators.  A few minutes later I heard the sweet, fragile—but somehow very pissed off-sounding—cry of the second twin, Maxwell.  I still couldn’t see anyone else, but it felt very quiet around me; the action had clearly moved elsewhere.  My husband went with Oliver to the Newborn Intensive Care Unit and after a timeless number of minutes alone in that room someone brought my second baby to me and let me have a glimpse—no touching yet, no holding.  His little red face was that of a stranger, hooded in a hospital-provided receiving blanket.  I was still in a cloud of drugs and shock, and they let me sleep until sometime the next day, when I was plunked into a wheelchair and taken to the floor with the babies.  The whole hospital stay is a blur to me, but I remember that first visit very clearly.  That was my first meeting with Oliver, and my first chance to “hold” either of them.  They looked like aliens, with monitors and tubes poking out of them in every direction, their tiny hands moving like tired butterflies around their faces, their spindly little legs poking out of giant preemie-sized diapers.  I remember my confusion over which one to hold first, and the horrible feelings of inadequacy at all that lay ahead—knowing that I would have to split my time between two little creatures who each needed me every minute of the day was daunting, but we made it.  They learned to share from day one, and I discovered that I am a champion multi-tasker.  Before becoming the mother of twins, I thought the scope of my multi-tasking talents was limited to talking on the phone while baking a pie, or keeping an ear on the TV and an eye on my book.

            They were healthy little buggers and came home after just a few weeks of extra nutrition and careful monitoring of hearts and lungs.  We were ready for them—physically, at least, and I had recovered from the surgery by then.  Looking back, I marvel at how tiny they were.  The two of them, lying crossways in a single crib.  It looked enormous, and its match waited patiently in the nursery for the day we would finally believe that they could sleep through a night more than 3 feet away from us…it took five months, just for the record.  

During their first week home, I noticed that Oliver’s head was larger than Max’s.  It started out as a subtle difference but seemed to become more noticeable as the next weeks passed.  My sister-in-law is a nurse, so when she came by to see us, I asked her what she thought of his head.  She agreed that there was a difference and suggested that it might be hydrocephalus.  We took him to see the pediatrician the next day, and tests were ordered.  Her guess was right, and a pediatric neurosurgeon was lined up for the following day. 

Hydrocephalus is often referred to as “water on the brain”, although that is a misnomer.  Scientifically speaking, it is a condition where the spinal fluid isn’t draining properly from the ventricles of the brain, where it originates.  This causes brain damage in many babies but we were lucky.  More than lucky.  More than blessed, more than spared.  My superstitious nature makes me afraid to even talk about how it is that his run-in with nature was so mild, by comparison.

I didn’t call my parents, I didn’t even call that helpful sister-in-law.  I don’t think I took a breath until sometime in the afternoon when I had confirmation that my tiny little baby was safe again.  I didn’t even know him yet, but I knew that losing him would have ruined us all. 

            The surgery that saved his life is fairly low risk, but the tube is permanent, and will continue to drain the fluids that his ventricles are stubbornly hoarding.  He will not be able to play football or hockey—contact sports are out—but they say baseball, basketball and his father’s favorite, golf, are all acceptable.  I keep telling myself that he’ll be able to live a normal life, because so far he has. He developed an allergy to peanuts, and sometimes I wonder if this is the way I am reminded that he is more fragile than his brother.  It is a constant concern, to keep peanuts away from him, whereas the shunt is fairly easy to forget about.  It is a way to keep us alert, to remind us that he is special.  It is a much more visceral problem, if no less life-threatening. He knows that he is allergic, and he knows to ask before eating something unfamiliar.  I am armed with an epi-pen (epinephrine) and that gives me a sense of control.  If he experiences a head trauma, that life-saving shunt could become our worst nightmare.

Most days I don’t think about it.  Most days I run around like a one-armed paper hanger, trying to keep up with the messes and the questions of two extremely active five year old boys.  I shrug and say it’s because I’m tough, and I don’t like to wallow in worry.  This is the biggest, fattest, most puss-filled lie of them all.  While it’s true that I am tough, and truer still that I don’t like to wallow—in anything—the real reason that I don’t think about it is because I can’t.  I purposely shove it out of my mind and into a dark corner of some far away attic because the “what if”s have the power to bind me.  Imagining what our lives would be like with Max as the constant reminder of what we lost would be like a cruel joke.  They look the same, their gestures and mannerisms are the same, even if their personalities are so different it makes my head spin.  Where one loves order and numbers, the other loves imitating accents and describing dreams.  They are two halves of a whole, in a way that I never realized twins would be.  Their entire sense of self has grown from the other, has been shaped by the other.  I know that they are separate people, but they are only just learning that. To have that experience derailed would be another sort of tragedy.

I have no proof, but as a parent, I have attempted to blame myself.  This is counter-productive, but I’ll keep it tucked away until I need it.  Until something goes wrong.  It’s easy to keep that particular worry suppressed while everything is calm and cool and sane.  But if our worst fears come to be, then I will no doubt waste some energy dwelling on what I could have done differently to prevent the infection which most likely caused his hydrocephalus.  The doctor told me the infection wasn’t my fault, that it’s just something that happens during pregnancies sometimes.  But I am fairly certain that I could convince myself otherwise if I needed to.  It’s better than having no one to blame.  The hurricane-sized ball of fury will have to be directed somewhere…

I must force myself to acknowledge these possibilities, at least enough to further cherish these precious days with my sons, these days of their equality.  I hope (with all that I am) for that qualification to never change.  But I know that it might.  I know that any parent would share my worry—to have a child lost (either in part or in whole) is the greatest pain a heart-driven human can know.  It’s something that is against nature, against the grain of the circle of life.  Just writing these words, I feel the blue demons of fear churning through my middle.  I can see his big eyes and his still-spindly little legs, I can hear his jokes and his laughter.  I want to pad silently up the stairs and go slip into his bed and hold his little warm self close—and tell him he’s safe, so that I will hear the words and believe them. 

Let’s be the Bonnie and Clyde of authors—

Would that be Bukowski and Sylvia Plath?

Or maybe Hemingway and Virginia Woolfe?

But I’m the orphaned love-child of Bukowski and Plath,

A seed planted in the Bell jar that stood beside the bed

Covered in tangled sheets and sweaty limbs,

Grinding groins and panted meter.

So I guess
we
can’t be them…
because I already am.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

I should...

Just title this blog, "Whining, by Lisa"
because
that would be so much more appropriate at this point.

I am happy.
But.
I am also lonely and _________.
So many different words could fill in that blankety blank blank right now.
But they won't.
Because I can't even say them...just...
Don't want to give in to the sadness.
I'm sure half of this is hormonally motivated, or what, is it like...a full moon or some shit??
But the bare bones truth of the matter is that I am alone
all
the
time.
Sure, it's summer now, so the kids are technically here all day.
But they're like, ya know, TWELVE now, and they've always needed each other more than they needed me.
Or maybe "liked" is a better word than "needed."
They love me, but they prefer each other's company.
I don't blame them...I am the Mom, they are the Twins.....and they are friggin BOYS, to boot.
They don't want to watch Anne of Green Gables and dream of princes and play Barbies--
I'll assume.
And so we have little in common.
Since I don't shoot air soft guns or enjoy video games of war and such.
I feel like such a misfit sometimes...I thought being a Mom would be so fun...so natural.
But instead, I constantly feel left out and confused and out of touch.
I don't get to be the soft-sweet-singing-giggling Mommy, I have to be the no-stop hitting him-don't-touch-that Mom. I have to remind them for the 4 millionth time to CLOSE THE GODDAMNED SHOWER CURTAIN or whatever the hell is the cause of the fucking drenched bath mat/2-3 towels after every shower I have to force them to take.
Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck.
I need a fucking girl's night out, the only problem is that I live in fucking Iowa now.
I am acquainted with precisely 2 women.
They are each the wife of one of my husband's co-workers, and I don't get the sense that we are destined to be friends, not all together, at least. I think I will be friends with each of them, separately. They don't seem likely to mix. But I could be wrong. Either way, the fucking point is that I don't really have the option and I just miss my friends, and I miss my Mom and I am mad at my Dad, but I miss him, too, and I worry about him in the fucking Philippines and I worry for Oliver's surgery on Thursday and I am just tired.
But I shouldn't be tired, because I don't DO ANYTHING.
Well, maybe some laundry, dishes, baking, cooking...but, like, way more Castleville than I would admit to if the proof wasn't splashed all over Facebook.
I feel like I'm fighting off a tsunami of emotions with an origami sword and shield...
And I kind of feel like just crawling into bed and waiting for it all to pass, but that is THE OPPOSITE of what I feeeeeel like doing!!!!
I am sick of doing so much NOTHING.
I am sick of the self-indulgence with which I pass my days...I feel guilty and panicked because I do so little.
I read
a
lot.
And play the aforementioned annoying and embarssing game.
But I don't WRITE.
And I don't create.
And I don't explore, exercise, examine, exult..............
I need stimulation, dammit!!!
I need to register for classes and power through these last free days of summer, then put my nose to the grindstone.........
I just hope I don't drown in my own paddling pool of self-pity before then.

Good lawd, I'm dramatic today.
Here's hoping this little therapy session helped me find steady ground.
And maybe I will tap into a little momentum and rock my way out of my rut tomorrow....

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Long Dark Shadow

Life is beautiful
But sometimes,
the long dark shadow that follows me
sweeps around and kicks me—
hard
—in the chest.
And for a little while,
I can’t breathe
(but I do),
And I am filled with the cold
That comes from the toes
Of that dark shadowy beast,
Still lodged in my chest.
I push away,
Push at my Love,
Accusing him of causing this
dark
shadow.
And then
He melts through my lightly icy
Walls of defense,
standing steady and solid,
Warm and unflappable beside me,
Until I sigh and lean into him,
Smiling sheepishly.
And, wordlessly,
I acknowledge
that the long
Dark
Shadow
Sprouts from within
…Me.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Home again, home again, jiggity jig...

Because apparently
Iowa
is home.
For now.

Yup, still in denial! :)

I spent 6 weeks traveling, which is swell,
but just sort of left me feeling more topsy turvy than ever.
Definitely made me crave coming "home,"
which felt good because I need to start considering this home.
I just don't.
And probably never will.
Which is also ok.
No hard feelings, Iowa.
Nothing personal, Midwesterners.
I'll never hate this place like I hated Utah (though I miss it now, for the wonderful chunk of family that I leave there),
and I'll never love anywhere like I love Maine.
It is nice here, pleasant.
I just want to be in Maine.
Duh...are we surprised??
This little housewife has always whined about going Home.

So, apologies.

I had a lovely time in Florida, then flew to Maine where I fell into the river of my sister's vacation and enjoyed the time with her very much, then drove to Utah (4 days in the car with my Mom, and we never ran out of stuff to jabber on about), where I spent some quality time with family and reunited with my kiddos.
That had to be written as one sentence because it felt like a long one...
I didn't really have control of anything on the majority of my trip, which was kind of hard...
but I tried to just let go and enjoy it.
I generally succeeded, but it is nice to be home again, and Master of my own fate again.

It is.
So. Hot.
Here.
It makes me want to stay inside
stay inside
stay
inside.
Grateful for air conditioning
and ice cream.
Grateful for my Love.
Grateful.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

I'm still in Iowa,
for anyone out there keeping score.
I've taken on a hobby--
going to job interviews
just for someone to talk to...
Then turning down the jobs
because they suck.

Lots of travel plans to sort out for the summer...
Nothing set in stone, but I'll keep y'all posted.
Yeah, I just said, "Y'all."
I regret it.

Life is good.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Today.

Is one of those days.
For no reason,
(or maybe some reason)
I am growly around the edges.
Headachy, too, but I'm not sure they're connected.
Maybe I want to bite other people's heads off in the hopes of finding a cure for the pain inside mine.
Eh, it's not really pain, just ache.
Run of the mill headache.
But.
I have had more headaches in the last 3 years than in my whole other 33 years combined.
Which I should find odd, but somehow...don't.

I hate a whiney blog post.
Sorry.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

I'm going on a trip, and I'm going to take...

An armadillo
a barbeque grill
cookies
dandelions
an escalator
a fart vacuum
gas
ham
iceskates
jeebus
kitties
lasers
ahem...you get the point.
We drove 25 hours over two days to Maine,
and 23 hours over two days back to Iowa.
The first one included a slight detour to stay the night with good friends in Pittsburgh.
Yeah.
So.
That's a lot of driving.
With two restless 11-year-olds in the backseat.
They rocked it.
And my favorite part of the whole driving experience was around 2am on the first day of driving on our way back to Iowa.
The kids had been sleeping off and on all day, so were wide awake for the after-midnight stretch of driving that took us to our just-past-halfway goal for the night.
I roped them into playing that game, and it kept me awake through the hardest part of the night.
We laughed and laughed, and they would have lost very early on, but I coached them because I didn't want to stop playing.
Good times.
The visit to Maine itself was fast and furious, filled with friends and...fucking cleaning. Sorry, I was on an alliteration roll, there...
We finished things up at our house and brought the camper back to Iowa with us.

So anyway.
It was surreal to be there...
everything has always felt so right, so perfectly aligned there, so comfortable.
And I just wanted to stay.
I wanted it more than anything.
So it's good to see that some things never change, right?
I guess I found my answer: too much contentment isn't good for my creative process.
And I guess I should thank Fate or the Universe for pushing Maine out of my reach instead of Michael...
that would have been far more devastating.
I would write, alright, but it wouldn't be anything worth reading...
it would be, like, Edgar Allen Poe meets Adele or something. :)
Soooooo.....here I sit, in Iowa.
Trying to convince myself that I do, indeed, live here.
And that I may not get to move back to my beautiful Maine any time soon.
And it just sort of leaves me depressed.
But I think if I keep pushing, and keep trying, I will find a way to accept this place.
This too-nice, too-boring place.
Somewhere with nothing dramatic in the landscape, nothing daring in the fabric
of its citizens, just politeness and pleasantness and NO SWEARING and
Christianity preached from billboards and bumper stickers.
How the fuck am I going to survive this shit????
Writing.
yes.
Always writing.
But....I don't think I have the energy to push against this place like I did against Utah.
I'm tired.
I'm basically happy.
So.
This time...will I join em, instead of trying to beat
'em??
Maybe.

Monday, March 12, 2012

The Bored Housewife Chronicles, at last

I've spent some time editing and arranging selected Fantasy Friday posts, regular posts, and short stories from the Bored Housewife years into a collection, and it's for sale on amazon.com as an e book. Shortly, it will also be available in paperback.
Mostly, I've done this as a way to inspire myself to continue writing, and to memorialize the time I spent here in Blog Land...it feels like a whole separate lifetime.
I used a pseudonym, in the hopes of maintaining some sense of anonymity, but I'll probably end up telling everyone I know, anyway...ha.
Here is the link, if you want to see my (pen) name in print!! Kind of fun...
Not trying to hawk my wares, so to speak, but would really love if anyone wants to leave a review. You've all read it already, no need to buy.
(yes, I'm whatever the inverse of "natural salesman" is, why do you ask?? haha!)
(and definitely weird to see a pen name instead of MY name. Might have to change that...)
Happy Daylight Savings to you all...grumble...yawn....