You can listen to readings from the book by clicking on the link below.
Austin Kleon’s ‘Steal Like an Artist is one of my favorite ever books about creativity. Here is Kleon talking about his process – take the pressure off and create when you can.
Brought to my attention by Fabeku Futanmise. Title taken from Austin’s site.
Karin Lisa Atkinson has a channel of Vimeo that I am enjoying. She’s curating some powerful, artistic, and culturally challenging content.
Here’s an example: Link to her channel is below the video.
Saw this on Facebook. Like so much about it!
Check out Ben Aaron LXTV NBC
How about a little off topic coolness on this, the 28th of February, 2014?
Stumbled upon this site that works to help first nations and indigenous people fight the “progress” foisted upon them by “well-meaning, profit-driven, capitalistic multinationals.
P.S. Watch Rabbit Proof Fence.
It was really only three minutes until the alarm was going to go off anyway, and I had to pee. They weren’t going to be good for sleeping with my bladder that full, so I figured I may as well get out of bed. Due to a perpendicular kid’s feet poking into my very gizzard, I was precariously perched on the edge. I swung my leg over to roll onto my feet. Just didn’t realize how close I was to the edge as the synergy of my voluminous butt meeting gravity pulled my carcass off the bed in a most unseemly manner. I threw out my right to the bed stand to catch myself. I threw my right leg out to brace against the wall.
That would have been a TREMENDOUS plan if the portable heater with the metal screen hadn’t been in the way, snagging my Morton’s toe in a death grip.
I limp-stumbled into the bathroom in the dark because only sissies need light to pee, and I was preoccupied with muttering profanity. From the unsuccessful sound of the flush, I could tell that something was wrong with the toilet. I flipped on the light and looked to see that whoever had diarrhea in the middle of the night had used a lot of toilet paper and had also not flushed. “Oh please, shit water, don’t breach the perimeter. Oh, gawd, please have a plunger in the garage, please have a plunger in the garage.”
(Nevermind one of my kids has diarrhea.)
The garage is not my favorite place since the rats have taken up residence and begun a comprehensive and systematic campaign against my pulses and staples. Their inherent stealth scares me, their turds remind me of existential failure to control the wilderness of life, and there is only so much sweeping of dried rodent feces one can do before the constraints of denial begin to crumble. But the threatening foam of shit-water and three-full-bladders about the awaken required the tactical flashlight and me to do recon. No damn plunger.
Sons just peed in the shower. Again. We got daughter to school early so she could go potty before classes.
I sat on the edge of my bed nursing my daft toe and sucking up to the wall heater when the girl child came in looking forlorn from a bad dream. She is in sixth grade and starting to wake up to stuff we’d both rather she didn’t have to. The weekend before, she’d been at her dad’s and called me crying. She wanted me to pick her up, but I wasn’t in town. My sister and niece picked her up and got her away from all of the “boy juice” that was bugging her. Further debriefing revealed that she is starting to feel the ickiness of being a second class citizen because of her girlness in a house-full of boys with a … well, we’ll leave the ex-bashing for another day. He has some great strengths as a dad, but navigating the emotional needs of women and pending women is not one of them.
She is realizing this, and it breaks my mommy heart. If I had chosen differently, I wouldn’t have a broken family, a mistrust of men that makes me guard with tines and vitriol, girl children looking for worth, and boy children I am trying to squelch paternalistic privilege out of. But man, these are cool kids, and they wouldn’t be who they are without him as their dad. Dose of mom guilt, check.
That I told her I was gripping about having to get my IUD taken out because I’ve been bleeding since months ago, probably didn’t help.
“Why do you tell me that stuff?” she asked.
“Because I am nervous, and I feel alone,” said the best mom ever. “Being a woman is glorious.”
Morning routine pretty normal, near vomiting from anxiety on her way to middle school. She hates using the school’s bathrooms because “They’re disgusting!” Bought a plunger with the boys before dropping them off, and immediately burst into tears on the way to the doctor’s office to get the bloodiest IUD ever seen removed from my baby basket. [The only reason I didn’t take a picture is because I didn’t think of it. You are welcome. (If you want some gross pictures – more gross than the featured toe above – click here.)]
“This seems like an awkward social moment,” I said to the doctor as he stuck his torso into my vagina to do a pelvic exam. He and the nurse laughed, presumably at my ice breaker, so at least the audience was friendly.
“I’m used to it,” he responded.
Bully for your team!
I didn’t cry quite so much on the way home. And why would I? I left there with Rx’s for valium and vicodin and a four-step plan to circumvent a bazillion year old evolutionary plot to reproduce – nature’s way of taming the divine feminine energy using sleep deprivation and interminable laundry. So imagine my surprise when, while bent over the toilet sucking the now largely encrusted ick back up so that it would flush, I discerned the rapid and smooth scamper of a lush dark brown pelt somewhere to my left.
ONLY because of Ratatouille did I not have heart attack. I transported to the door by the garage to see if it was open (none of the doors in my house open or close with particular ease.) It was just a bit open, like enough for a smallish brown and well-fed rodent to scootch in. We danced a bit, the luxuriant rat, nourished by red lentils and TVP, and I – through the bathroom, the laundry room, around the perimeter of my kitchen, until he threw himself at the door which (he thinks) should have been opened and, in a feat that ordinarily requires opposable thumbs, probably had been by him. He ran behind the stove. I opened the door. Out he ran. Bastard. Fucker.
The rest of the day was fairly uneventful. I dragged my tired-ass, emotional self out of the house to watch my niece’s high school orchestra concert. It was a good move as my daughter is in band and has been squawking about wanting to quit. It was an evangelistic event for her for which I am grateful. Did you know that kids who learn instrumental music for the four years of high school are 75% more likely than their non-instrumental peers to get bachelor’s degrees; 58% more likely to get master’s; and 32% more likely to get doctorate’s?
Here’s the takeaway.
I have toes, a bed, a garage, money for a plunger, food to feed rodents, a car to drive to the doctor, medical care (for now), kids, healthy kids, healthy kids who are processing life and doing a pretty good job of it, a plan to make it so I can have sex without having more kids, sisters, a niece, a niece to be able to show support for, a niece who loves music and rescues my daughter when she is sad and who is a good example, older daughters who are also processing through stuff and able to help the younger kids which in turn helps them, gas to drive to a concert, and a great bed to come home to.
I want to live a life of abundance. This requires re-writing stories and remaining present, neither of which are sissy-friendly or one-time activities. If we lived in vacuums or at yoga retreats, progress might be faster, but sometimes it’s just one broken toe at a time.
Because this is how it would go if we date:
You are married.
We have arrived at this awkward place because I naively thought your marriage made you entirely safe and therefore I was comfortable being myself without much of a mask. At some point, the tension will become too much and you will say something suggestive to which I will respond.
We will have a steamy time of sexting banter and you will develop this conviction that I really am what you have always wanted and all that you are missing in your stagnant marriage. I will try to point out that you are in the middle of a very intense guilt fantasy, and I am simply the object of your midlife angst. I will be convinced and convincing. At first you will deny this and try really fervently to show me this is not the case. I will actually begin to believe you just about the time that you realize that it is so.
You will become conflicted, begin to backtrack, panic, and blame me. You will disappear, go dark. I will go into retreat mode after a very short period of trying to keep communication lines open. When I realize that is fruitless, I will lock you into a very tiny dark place in my heart and I will lose a long weekend to being completely overwhelmed by negativity and self-loathing. By Monday I will be pissed and filled with a renewed sense of fuck you, and I will begin to recover and wonder why I let myself get off my own life and wrapped up in the idiocy of your guilt fantasy.
You will eventually miss me to the point that you will make contact. We may or may not have a flare up, but I am done with you and am comforted only by knowing that you wake up and go to sleep thinking about me.
If you are kind of married: long strained, separated
You are the worst kind. See above but add in the feverish manner in which you will attempt to convince me that the only reason you are still with her is convenience for kids or logistics or health insurance. You will be struck by my intelligence and attention. I will be struck by what I wrongly perceive as emotional intelligence by your ability to diagnose the strangely textured mess that is your marriage.
In this scenario, I get suckered in by your explanation and the attention that you are enjoying showering on a woman when actually what is going on is that I just haven’t quite made it to the part where I realize probably the reason your wife isn’t responding to you is that you are a boy in a man suit and she has figured this out. You still love her but you miss her attention. Soon you will realize that I am an actual person with actual children. You will begin to think that I am after you for your resources and you will begin to do the math on the cost of being involved with two households. You will also begin to realize that now that you are considering making a real move, you might as well figure out if I would be the right person to do this with.
You will begin to backtrack and though I will save myself the embarrassment of finding that your dating profile is re-activated, I am pretty sure that it is. You will start to ask me questions that are designed to instill doubt in me, but I won’t have quite figured that out yet. When you test me with the idea that you may never divorce, and I respond very rationally with the scenario of my life energy going toward what takes best care of me and if I am on my own financially, how is that going to feel when my efforts come before you, you are slightly offended.
When you suggest maybe I just like you because you have a good job, I will hate you from my core and know that you understand nothing about me. I will be too passive to break it off right then, but I will lock you into a very tiny dark place in my heart and I will lose a weekend to being completely overwhelmed by feelings of rage and hatred. By Monday I will be pissed and filled with a renewed sense of fuck you, and I will begin to recover and wonder why I let myself get off my own life and wrapped up in the futility of being your toy.
Your wife will eventually get her sense about her and leave. You will eventually date other women and realize what an idiot you were. There will be no flare up. Linking my willingness to trust you and let you in to me wanting you for your money was a bad, bad move.
If you are single
I will make it very clear that I have three kids half time. I will explain that I am volcanic financially, and I’m not in a position to rush into anything. We will be struck by each other’s witty banter and business acumen and we will end up sleeping together way too soon.
I knew this was a bad idea, because you will begin to backtrack and panic almost before morning hits. Though feedback I’ve received would indicate this is not a lack of skill in the intimate arts, I am beginning to wonder. I am not going to rush you into a dark box because this is new territory. Maybe single guys are different than married guys.
At least you answer the phone when I call and ask, “I just want feedback. I’m not trying to stalk you.” You explain that I have three children and am financially volcanic. Most of a Saturday blown out, but mitigated by a text from the married guy who assured me I am still desirable. Whatever.
When you call back months later to ask me for help with a writing project and ask if I’m still sexy, it takes great pains not to tell you to go fuck yourself.
If you are single with kids from five different women
You are such a sweet guy. You are kind, you listen, you tell me I am amazing and you clearly enjoy being around me. You open doors and hold my hand. And then I find out that you would really like to get custody of your youngest daughter and you think I am just the woman to raise her.
There are two reasons that I am not gay. The first is that I am not physically attracted to women. The second is that if I were, women have the same baggage men have.
I lose far too much time wondering why we humans need contact when it seems to be such an impossibility. I lose far too much time wondering why I still want connectivity when I see little evidence of its existence. “Just take your mind off it,” people say, like I’m 13 and having my first crush. Understand this, I’m 46. I get that it doesn’t happen when you are looking for it.
My fear isn’t that I can’t find guys who find me attractive. Shooting fish in a barrel. My fear is that I am creating a decision point somewhere between my head and my heart where I am trying to kill my desire for it. I find myself getting bitter and having a really short leash on anything that smacks of doubt or rejection. I am fighting the belief that I must be somehow defective. If for no other reason than because I don’t even want to try with single available men.
I wonder if distrusting men is in my blood and I am acting out some karmic debt. It makes me sad because I’m kind of fun to be around and I am a generous soul.
Dear Stupid People who swim in a mire of ignorance, racism, paranoia, and religious fervor,
Get off of the Interwebz. Or, stay on the Interwebz, but quit posting content to the Interwebz.
I’m probably just cranky because I found out I’m a man today. I don’t want to be a man. I like men, but I don’t want to be one.
Though my breasts nearly melted off my body from yesterday’s hot yoga class, I do have breasts. I have birthed three children, and though it’s no concern of yours what I do with my vagina, I assure you I have one. (Spoiler alert: the following video does not contain my vagina.)
Unfortunately, however, I am a man because (and the computer graphic in the embedded video says so) my index finger is shorter than my ring finger.
I am not alone though. I share this fate with “Mechelle Obama,” according to the fount of ever-living truth which is the YouTube source for this revelation.
If you want to know more about “God,creation, and where you need to be,” you can track that down through the YouTube link.