One Copy of Punchkicker, Please

After lunch, we went to the Giant Robot Poop.

“Quick, do a feminist deconstruction of this book cover,” P. said, waggling a trade paperback at me.


The title read The Pretender’s Crown. It looked like your typical fantasy cover for a novel set in some vaguely Medieval time and place–big tits in a velvet dress holding a crossbow thingie. Surely the story would concern a plucky heroine who would cutely meet some rogue, misunderstandings would occur, and she would off some bad guys with darts tipped with poison that she had been trained from childhood to ooze out of her vaginal walls. Lucky for her, the rake was IMMUNE. There will be a sequence on a ship, a crusty father figure who will declare the heroine’s spirit untameable, and she and Rake will knock boots in the sequel.

Wait, did I just write a book there?

“Eh, it’s not so bad, actually,” I admitted. “You can see HALF her head, even. The model does not look ridiculously emaciated. It’s ooookay.”

“Look,” P. said, and showed me the giant dent in the spine that appeared to be evidence that someone had twisted or bent the book at some point.

“Hmm, looks like it got jammed into a bag or something,” I remarked.

“I dunno,” P. said. “I bet someone did that on PURPOSE. I bet this book is really really really really terrible.”

“Oh just GET it already,” I said.


We checked out and he walked me back to work in the mist.

“What if you picked this up and you got SUCKED IN and you COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN?” he said.

I scoffed. “I have already read that book,” I said.

“You DID? When? How is it?”

“Yes, it was a couple of years ago, and it was called The Princess Assassin then.”

“Oh, I see what you did there,” he said, and we had a laugh about it. Then he got quiet.

“Anyway,” he said. “It was called The DECOY Princess.”

“Oh, my bads.”

Lie Strudel Lie

“Mom, why do you tell me to ‘lie down’ and you say that you ‘lay stuff down’?” Strudel asked, while she was putting her boots on. I launched into a brief explanation of lie and lay as I was putting my laptop into my bag.

“Strudel, you mean you DON’T know the difference between the transitive and the intransitive? What ARE they teaching you at that school?” She shook her head slowly.

Suddenly, P. shouted from another part of the house: “GIVE HER A BREAK, SHE USES THE SUBJUNCTIVE CORRECTLY!”

There’s no map and a compass wouldn’t help at all

First things first: thanks for all the comments on my last post. I enjoy dodgy science SOOOO much, don’t you?

Second thing: with regard to my search for a calf’s head for an upcoming recipe, I must say: DUH. Of course no one wants to sell me one. Mad cow disease and all that. I am not interested in using the brains, however. AHEM. So I say to you, if you happen to have a calf’s head laying around that you are not using, I would be appreciative of receiving it for this other thing I’m doing.

Thing number three is Franny. Franny has been off-kilter and insecure for some time now…really since her father moved away a year and a half ago. Makes sense, right? When she opens up about it, she says things like, “I don’t think he really loves me.” I know this age can be very insecure, and she certainly has her moments where she cries that she has no friends or she has the WORST LIFE EVER, but the thing with her father is troubling because it’s a recurring theme.

And when she says it I feel this twinge, not just for her, but also because it echoes how I felt when her father and I were married. I really felt like he was phoning it in most of the time. It also makes me think of being her age and really wanting a father myself, instead of some psycho that my mother married.

What to do with this? I feel cheated. If anyone is going to mess them up, it should be me. There goes my ten year plan to give one of them an eating disorder and make the other one completely mental if she gets anything less than an a-minus on anything. Where’s my justice, universe? Probably behind the entertainment center again.

I thought about what I knew about people who were now adults who’d had surrogate parents in their lives–those people who actually gave a shit. I thought about those moments when adults stepped into my life and did not see me as some kind of alien, but as a kid who needed some care and attention. Someone to worry about them and to say, “I care what happens to you,” with the unspoken “even if it seems like no one else does.”

Then I thought seriously of her sister’s father. P. met Franny when she was two years old, when she used to follow me around at school when I was running errands or picking things up on non-class days. When P. and I got involved, he became a strong presence in her life–another adult who was looking out for her well-being and had a good relationship with her. Then Strudel came and he became her sister’s father, so was significant in another way. Pragmatically and coldly speaking, he is my babydaddy and he is not going anywhere. He is not someone who is going to skate on Franny. This is important. I am not ready for her to learn that even really cool people can skate yet.

The thing about P. is that he has always been super respectful of the fact that Franny has a father already. He and I spent a lot of time figuring out how to negotiate our new family–how would we fit, what were the boundaries? He bosses her sometimes, like any adult might, and teaches her things and they have conversations and he genuinely LIKES children, which is something I found appealing about him. I have always felt that he was a worthy and strong man to be in her life.

“So,” I said on the bus to P. the other morning. “It seems like Franny is kind of losing her father to his other family.”


How do you say this to someone?

“Would you…could you be more of a father to her?”

“Yeah, I can,” he said.

I rattled on about how great I thought their relationship was, and how I felt he had never overstepped. I said how I see Franny watching him really care for Strudel, really fathering her, and I could see the longing. A witness to what having a father is like at both houses, and not really feeling it for yourself.

“I don’t know what you can change. Maybe hug her more and tell her you are proud of her and stuff,” I said. I know he is proud of her and he does tell her. “Does this all sound horribly fake?”

“Well,” he said. “You fake it until it becomes real.”

This sounded harsh to me for a second, until I thought about when I met Franny. Jesus Christ, I thought, what was I supposed to do with this baby I had pooped out? I don’t even KNOW you, I wanted to say. Who are you? I kissed her head and hugged her and joggled her and talked to her so she wouldn’t grow up to become Charles Manson, and one day, I won’t say how long it took, it became real. I really did feel like I knew and loved her. P. loves Franny, I know he does. I am hoping that taking it up to the next level is easy, or at least doable.

“Don’t let the spike hair fool you, like I’m not a bitch.”

P. and I ended up on the bus together today.

“What did you get up to last night?” I asked.

“Oh, I stayed up WAAAAY too late…knitting,” he said.

“WOW! Wild times! The party train never stops!”

“Shut up,” he said.

I told him People Who Know said that if he goes on Ravelry and says he has a peenor he will gain legions of fans.

“I dunno about that. My name is all generic and my bio is too. It says ‘Insert bio here.”

“You should insert ‘PEENOR,” I said.

Posted in P

Royal O’Reilly Tenenbaum (1932-2001) Died Tragically Rescuing His Family From The Remains Of A Destroyed Sinking Battleship

For the past few days I have had the (mis?)fortune of commuting with P., who will take up the entire bus ride with whatever his obsession of the moment is. I admire him a lot of the time, because he takes a more scientific and curious view of the natural and historical world, whereas I am usually hovering somewhere between shadenlulz and Machivellian on the What is SJ Up to Today? chart. Lately he is thinking about math. BARF OUT. Did I tell you I did 5 years in algebra with no time off for good behavior? In the end I knew the system. I was on light laundry duty and I even had copies of the keys. They had to let me out eventually, though.

So yesterday, on the bus.

“I was thinking about the quadratic equation,” P. said.

“Noooo,” I said. “Just no.”

“Well, what I was thinking was about how it originated, like how it was originally compiled and I…”

“Oh my GOD,” I interrupted. “I forgot to tell you. On the way home yesterday, I could not believe it, there was a BASKET OF KITTENS on the street!”


“Yes, and the bus driver did not notice and he RAN THEM OVER,” I continued.


“YES! And most of them were squished and you could see their little guts in the road all pink and smashed, and kitty heads, and THE SCREAMING OH GOD THE SCREAMING and the worst part is that SOME WERE CUT IN HALF AND WERE STILL ALIVE OH GOD I CANNOT LOCK THESE CAPS ANY HIGHER!”

“Oh Jesus,” P. said.

“Yes,” I said.

“I feel sad and nauseated now.”

“Well, that is how I feel when you speak to me about math,” I said.

En D’Autres Nouvelles

I am going to see Binary Star with Ruby on the 17th! I got into them about a year ago and then sort of wandered off. I think they’re great, though. I am surprised they are not touring on an album. When I heard they were coming, I assumed this was Splashy Comeback, but maybe they are ramping up. I love their sound. They really should have blown up when they put their albums out ten years ago. They really have that Midwest/Detroit sound, which makes me think of Eminem when he was all ye olde rap battle guy, but in a good way–there’s something about the cadences and rhyming patterns. The best part is that it is walking distance to my house, woot. I’m certain it will be better than Warren G, because really, a poke in the eye will probably be better than Warren G. Ruby won a concert package for the whole year, so she is making me Official Hiphop Ambassador on her tour. (I am the best she can come up with, heh heh.)

So, I think she is launching a blog, which I will link here, but I am thinking about giving my take along with her. This might call for a new category.

News I Have News Pay Attention OK

I started a new group blog over at The Queen’s Scullery. Check it out, Victorian nerdery ahoy. You are invited, if you want to be.

Life without wheat is going okay. We made a run at this a year ago, and sort of backslid on it. In theory, Franny’s father is taking this more seriously now after the hospital thing. In reality, there are cracks in the system, of course. Franny saw pics of my English pudding that I made for Christmas, and she said she had some at her dad’s house, but said it did not look as nice as mine.

“Really? Pudding?” I said. “Did you get a stomach ache?”

“No,” she said.

“That’s good.”

“Oh, there’s something else though, Mom. The other day he was trying to talk me into eating this granola bar thing. He said, ‘Come on, a little won’t hurt.”

“Well,” P. said. “Every time anyone tries to talk you into eating wheat, offer to kick them in the nuts first, so they can be in pain with you.”

“If it is a lady, offer an eye poke,” I said.

Franny spends a fair amount of time now mourning her departure from gluten. She sighs over things she cannot eat, and we are finding the balance between making substitutes, like gluten-free scones (bleah) and just eating other things. She was bonkers over some shrimp and spaghetti squash I made, because it was “just like noodles” as if we do not have soba and rice noodles on the regular.

I am very excited to get back into our regular non-holiday routine tomorrow, which includes me being done working my second job. Yeah!

Fangsgiving for Farging Iceholes

Happy Fangsgiving! I hope your day is going well. I am up to something! That something is bacon-infused bourbon for old fashioneds.

So far I have poured bacon grease into the bourbon, which I poured into a big pitcher first. Then I put it in the fridge overnight, because the pitcher did not fit in the freezer. This was a mistake. The grease did not congeal enough, really. I strained the grease out and bumped the bourbon in the microwave so the fat would remelt, since it was all in separate little globs. I am hoping it makes one big lump this time around. I may have to pick up some cheesecloth when I go out to get oysters.

I am not making Fangsgiving dinner this year, for the first time in eons. I will tell you why, straight up. P. and I had a row last week in which he told me that he was “not really into Thanksgiving and all the trimmings.” This is like telling a devout Catholic that “that Pope guy is okay, I guess.”

It wasn’t really spite that made me pull the plug, honestly. It was more an overwhelming since of “meh.” Why bother? I said this aloud. My feelings were hurt that my dinners that I work three days on with scratch broth and stuffing and the brining…that they were so take-or-leave. FNIF. ~dramatic violins~

“I will just make whatever then, and treat it like any other day,” I said. I had a notion of getting half a turkey breast and just slapping a couple of things together like a normal weeknight.

“I have always thought we should make something besides turkey,” P. declared.

“If it is not a turkey meal, then it is not really like Thanksgiving,” I said. “It is another fancy meal that you can have any day of the year.”

“Oh, well, if you are not going to cook, I will,” P. declared. And it was on like Donkey Kong.

“I think I will make a brisket,” he announced a couple of days after the Incident. I don’t even know what animal that comes from.

“Okay,” I said, resignedly, and with some attempt at actually being supportive. I tried not to think of gravy and cranberry and stuffing. I tried not to think about how much I enjoy planning menus and CHOPPING and getting the timing just right.

A couple of days after that, and it was a different story again.

“I’ve been thinking,” P. said. “It is just not Thanksgiving without a traditional meal.”

“Oh,” I said. “What a completely original thought that I have never heard come out of anyone’s mouth, especially not mine four days ago.”

“Yeaaah. So I am making a turkey.”

And he is. I am sitting on my ass. The world’s gone mad, I tells you.

Also, Halloween pics are finally up, if you’re interested. And Egg and I are podcasting tonight, if you have a last-minute question.

Dear MF Diary, Today The Boy I Like Said Hi To Me In the Hall.

Me: What are you doing with this bacon grease?
P: I dunno. You want to cook with it or something?
Me: NO! I am vegemetarian now, remember.
P: Yeaaaah.
Me: Well? Can you cover this stuff up so it does not become DUSTY GREASE at least? SHUT THE LID.
P: We can save it and rub it on the foundation in case there is a flood or something.
Me: …
P: Heh heh.


This parable, which is not a parable at all, is an illustration of how we never fight about anything important anymore, but only about insignificant shit. Because we are both FIGHTERS, for now and for always. At times we fight about if we are actually fighting. The girls don’t even blink. It’s nice that it doesn’t really count anymore. Sometimes I wish we would have gotten to this stage without breaking up, but that’s life.

The chickens are molting like whoa. Death Ray is nothing but some blondey fluff right now. I can really see new feathers on her.

Today I wandered all over Wallingford running errands. Did you see that they are remodeling the QFC? When I first moved here it was still Food Giant. I hope they keep the Wallingford sign that QFC transmogrified it into.

The roses are having their last hurrah. I really like this time of year before the heat goes on, the summer flowers are having one last push, and you can put in fall flowers. I put mums in the front beds this year, and I am just going to leave them there instead of treating them like annuals. My pansies are in place as well, and they will last through the winter, which is an awesome thing about Seattle. Who can complain about year-round flowers? ASSHOLES, that’s who.

Today P. is decorating practice cupcakes for Franny’s birthday. This is her golden birthday so she gets gold cake. I will post the results later. I am trying to decide what kind of gold presents to get her. Strudel is VERY ANGRY because her golden birthday isn’t until she is twelve.

There are more pics on AssFlickr if you are desirous of more rubbernecking.

The Scarlet L

JESUS CHRIST I am freaked. I was leaving the house this morning when I noticed my head was a little itchy, so I scratched it, and something was there. I pulled it out, and it was a LOUSE. It looked all clearish, too clear, really, but it had that louse shape. Do you remember last winter when I had lice? When one more thing could not possibly go wrong and then it did and it was LICE? Looking back on those posts I realized I only wrote two about lice, when in reality I used to lay in bed and say OMG I HAVE LICE I WISH I WAS DEAD. Okay, not that bad. But it sucked until I found out about the Listerine thing.

I need a slap or a pat, people. Can you have a one louse on your head and it is a coincidence? All I can think of is that I have been pulling out old sweaters from last winter, but someone told me the eggs die in about a week. P. checked my head quickly before I left and saw nothing else, and I checked him, and he checked Strudel. Franny is off at her dad’s for one last hurrah before school starts. CAN THERE BE JUST ONE? Am I the luckiest person because I caught the one? It looked too clear, could it have been something else??

All I can think of is the pain and the burning and the wasted money on the drugstore stuff and I lost so much hair due to those little useless combs and the PICKING, my god. I got to be a pro at pulling them off Franny. I don’t think I told you I went to a job interview with lice, because I had to. It was four hours and six people. I found my first full-grown louse on my head THAT morning, and I think my hair was even all pulled up professionally and shit. When I got out of the interview I got a phone call saying that Franny’s grandmother (my mother-in-law of 8 years) had died so between the interview from hell and her death I actually FORGOT I had them for a couple of days. Well, it might have been denial also.

I was looking at pictures of lice on wikipedia and it made me ill. I was queasy also after P. checked my head and I left. It’s not the SHAME really, it’s the hours of work and laundry. And school is about to start. Also I must confess that part of me wants to call SeaFed and part of me wants to let Franny be a vector. I have considered this–if I call him and tell him she has it, she will come back with it still anyway. Might as well let her spread it around. Oh yes I did.

P.S. If anyone has any big food blogs that are vegetarian-recipe-oriented with kind of a weeknight minimal fuss spin, I would love to get my mitts on them. I love tofu and seitan, but am not so big on the whole It Are Shaped Like a Meat But It Are Not a Meat. I don’t need a food dildo. Assume I know nothing, even if it is like the most popular blog ever. Also I am loving Tastespotting lately, which is not veggie. Thanks!

ETA: I will leave comments open for about a week as I always do, then I will make a round up of sites. I don’t think I was clear enough the first time–I am NOT going vegan, and I, personally, am almost physically incapable of enjoying food that does not contain butter or cheese or the tears of clubbed baby seals. I am going to continue to use dairy and my chickens’ eggs. HOWEVER, I’m sure that someone will find this useful. So thanks.

In Which I Advocate For Sparkly Girlparts

The girls are going camping for two days with Strudel’s father and her grandfather. HOME ALOOOOOONE. Home alone. I dreamt I called in sick and did nothing, which I will NOT do. I had my vacation and now will Be Responsible. Plus I am going to Portland this weekend so there is my carrot. Confession: I used to fantasize about separate vacations and now I have them. Oh yes.

“They should take a shower before they go,” I said this morning.

“Really?” P. said.

“Yes, because they probably won’t get one while they are there. But they have to if they swim in a lake. Lake itch!”

“There is no lake on the island,” he said.

“Oh, right. Well.”

“Bay itch?” he said.

“Protect the vulvas!”


“PROTECT THE VULVAS!” I said. “They are little girls and you have to think about this!”

“It’s just two days and the bay is salty and…”


“Okay, okay.”

I am the Cassandra of vulvas.