I have been shamed into updating my blog.

Thank you to Beth who has led the fight against the bare blog, and whose wrath has driven me to face my lonely blog and make amends. I owe you one.

Please enjoy the following pictures:


May 4th, 2010 – DeKalb IL

I walked out to my car after work that day and there were TONS of large birds flying overhead. Probably around 20, all looking like vultures or other large scavengers. It was really weird, so of course I took a bunch of pictures.


May 15th, 2010 – Somewhere near Winfield-ish IL

This is Atticus, son of Beth Of The Shaming. NinjaHusband and I went with the Atticus-Beth-Adam family to a park for a walk that day. It was a little overcast, so it wasn’t too hot and it was really great to get out of DeKalb for some delicious lunch and hangout time. Superawesome day.


May 15th, 2010 – Somewhere near Winfield-ish IL

Same day as above. While walking over a bridge I saw this pile of snail shells and pottery shards (?) that someone had created. It was so fun and reminded me of things I would collect in piles when I was a kid — putting different kinds of things together. I always imagined that some little chipmunk or cricket would come across the little piles and think they were exactly perfect for a new home. I have no idea why I thought that piles of moss or stones would make a good house for a wild animal, but there you go.


May 29th, 2010 – Sycamore IL

You do not know this man. There was definitely no drinking involved in this photo of the man you do not know. People who are thirty years old or more were definitely not involved, and you don’t know them.

So there you have it. One lousy month of pictures even though I owe the blog THREE months of pictures. It’s only because I’m lazy, not because I don’t like you. Look for more pictures soon. I feel an attack of POST ALL THE THINGS!!! coming on.

Always running late, that’s me.


April 16th, 2010 – Sycamore IL

I got my hair did. First time in my life I’ve gotten professionally done color, and I love it. My hair was getting long and … scraggly is the only word for it, really. It looked a mess, and then Joanne, my stylist, waved her magic wand and I look like a much better human being. Don’t you think I look like I could save the world, or at least hug it really nicely and pat its head?


April 21st, 2010 – DeKalb IL

Oh look, another picture of spring flowers. Don’t judge. I like flowers and tulips make me think of my sister Maribeth who loves them. This was exceptionally pretty, so there.

Foggy Bridge

April 24th, 2010 – Rockton IL

This is the bridge just west of Tall Oaks subdivision, where a bunch of my friends lived when we were growing up. The bridge and the mist and the green … so pretty. We were driving up to Madison this day, from my parents’ house.

CornBred and Grace

April 24th, 2010 – Madison WI

CornBred and Baby Grace regarded each other and found humor. This was one of the best weekends I’ve had in a really long time, and it was awesome to see all of these friends and their babies and hang out together. So good.

Dear Left Ovary,

So happy you are participating in this month’s round of Let’s Make A Baby. I have high hopes for us as a team, Ovary, and I’m glad you’re on board.

That said, and I realize this may be ungrateful of me, but could you tone it down on the OHMYGODEXPLODINGPAIN you’re creating over there on my left side? Even the smallest task, like standing up or walking without limping, is exceedingly difficult today. I realize it’s because you are enthusiastically releasing an egg, and while I want to encourage such behavior in both you and your buddy Righty over there, I can barely do my work today. And I need to do my work today, Ovary.

In conclusion, please accept my grateful thanks for your continued participation in this long process, but maybe tone down the OHMYGODEXPLODINGPAIN? Think about it and let me know.

Much love,

If my goal for March was to organize and execute a birth fair/expo and get MASSIVELY sick, then yes, I accomplished my March goals.

Goddamn the end of that month was hard.

I had a really great time working with a friend to put together the birth fair, but then I couldn’t enjoy the afterglow of our success because I immediately came down with the worst sinus/ear infection I’ve had in a long time. It was totally gross. If I say now that my goal was to produce the most snot ever produced by one person, does that mean I win? Because you guys, I totally did. I went through three boxes of kleenex in less than seven days. EPIC is the only word I have to describe my sickness.


I also took pictures during the month of March. Here they are.


March 10th, 2010 – DeKalb IL
These are raccoon pawprints in the cement of a sidewalk next to the St Mary’s parking lot on Pine Street. It had just rained, or snow had just melted, and the impressions caught the water in such a fun way.


March 18th, 2010 – DeKalb IL
Some delicious hummus prettily presented at The House Cafe. I love going there on my lunch hour (and it’s where we held the birth fair on the 27th). Everyone there is lovely, and beautiful things like this happen all the time.


March 18th, 2010 – Sycamore IL
I doubled up on the pictures for this day, which is something I hadn’t wanted to do when I started this project, but you guys, MY SOCKS! I finished them! And they’re so pretty! And they fit perfectly! I love them! SOCKS! I’m kind of chuffed/embarrassed because it took so long to finish them but they are so very awesome. I’m not sure I’ll ever love top-down socks, but these were not so bad once I actually kicked my own ass to finish them.


March 23rd, 2010 – DeKalb IL
Speaking of OMG PROUD, I freaking love this picture. I took probably 30+ shots when I was trying to get this one, with the pink/red in focus and the white of the church steeple in the background, against all that blue sky. SO COOL. I may have to frame this one just so I can gaze on it forever. I love spring.

Now that it is Tax Day and April is half over, I will tell you that my goal for this month is to get back into the gym regularly (because the Evil Plague knocked me out of my routine for a really long time), choose 12 pictures from last year’s Project 365 and print them out and get them framed, and update this blog at least three more times. This month.

Tonight’s goal: leave work on time, pick up delicious takeout food, and make some gin and juice for my drinkydrink. You know why.

To answer Carol’s question from the last post, I totally rocked my February goal.


There was one week that I only went to the gym twice (once to lift weights, which I normally do 3x a week, and once to do cardio), but the next week I went to the gym four times. So I’m calling it a win.

I’m not sure what I’m shooting for in March, but I think it’s going to be something house-related, like organizing favorite photos to put on the wall or put the budget in order (what?! too grownup!)

Speaking of pictures, here are four I took in February.


February 3rd, 2010 – DeKalb IL
This is one Atticus Huenecke, a few minutes old. I was with his completely amazing parents for labor and birth, and it was awesome. Thanks, Beth and Adam, for letting me be part of that.


February 7th, 2010 – Sycamore IL
I was making dinner and cut open a pepper to find… another pepper! That’s all I have as a description about this one. It’s not that interesting.


February 18th, 2010 – DeKalb IL
My sister Laura as Mary Todd Lincoln at the DeKalb Public Library. The Library hired her to do a historical presentation and I got to introduce her! She did a great job in character and then answered questions from the substantial crowd, when I took this picture. I liked the look of her old-timey costume against the library’s mural. Plus I think she’s awesome.


February 28th, 2010 – Chicago IL
On the last Sunday of the month NinjaHusband climbed up the Hancock building in the Hustle up the Hancock challenge with a team from his work, and he rocked it. I rode the elevator to the top and met him when he climbed the last stair. It was really cool, even with hundreds of people crowded into the bottom of the Hancock and waking up at 4am to drive in to make the start time, there was a big happy feeling all over the place and lots of positive energy. Big happies. And NinjaHusband rocked his goal time, so it was win-win-win. I took this picture of the shore as we were in line for the elevator to go back downstairs.

I’m not a big fan of New Year’s resolutions, mostly because I get all big with my ideas and decide I’ll run a half-marathon or take up watercolor or start a band. Those big ones go as well as you might expect – right into the “meh” bin. I even thought that challenging myself by telling the blog about them would kick my ass a little bit more, but alas. Not even the power of the blog is strong enough to dislodge my ass from the couch when I do not wish to be moved.

And that’s the thing, I have to want to do it (whatever it is) and not feel like I should aspire to something just because it’s January first. Duh, right? I seem to be a slow learner when it comes to really really simple stuff like that.

So what I’ve decided to do for 2010, my thirtieth year (I’m feeling very into proclaiming my thirty-ness at every opportunity), is to set a goal for each month and see what happens with it. Ideally, yes, I’ll reach the goal and triumph over my laziness, but I’ve failed so many times that the “let’s see what happens with the goal” feels so much more comfortable.

January’s goal was to complete my doula certification portfolio on time, without asking for an extension. And I totally kicked that goal’s ass, you guys. I cranked out all five essays and completed all the paperwork and sent it off within the deadline (thanks to Margaret, who let me hang out with her and her daughter while I wrote parts of it). JANUARY GOAL: ACCOMPLISHED

What I intend to do in February is go to the gym three times a week for the whole month. Who hasn’t heard this song before? But seriously, three times a week for the month of February – that’s only twelve times. I have all kinds of reasons to do this, my health being the biggest one, and it’s just time to do it. I’m not deluded enough to think that I’ll get my 17-year-old high school trackstar body back, but I do want to see what I can do with myself at 30 (THIRTY!).

The rest of the goals for each month are a mystery. I don’t want to set a goal now, in February, for myself in July; I’d rather see where I am and what sounds good to me. Maybe in March I’ll clear out my office and install some shelving. Maybe one month I’ll knit myself a sweater. I know that travel will be part of my plan in the early summer. I’ll just see where the year takes me and set myself a goal for a month, hopefully reaching it but ideally I’ll learn something from it.

A leftover picture from January. Me and Ayden. Maybe one month’s goal will be to see this sweet baby before he turns two years old.

Project 48: 1-4

I loved my Project 365 experience. I loved it tons and tons, and am both happy and sad that I’m not doing it this year. It’s seriously hard work to remember a picture every day, and to make those pictures interesting because of course you’re putting it out there for the internet to see. It is also seriously awesome to see your skills and your eye develop.

Referring to yourself in the second person is such a weird thing, don’t you think?

I realized that I can’t put the camera down, not even a little bit, and have decided to put up four pictures for each month of 2010. I don’t want to bog myself down in taking a picture every week, so just four pictures every month hopefully in chronological order, because having a photographic and semi-journalistic record of 2009 has been so valuable.

Here you are, then. January’s bit of Project 48.

January 1st, 2010 – Ypsilanti MI
Amy alerted me to the amazing patterns Jack Frost had left on the office windows on New Year’s Day. I used the last of the camera’s battery and the last of my ability to stand (my hangover was epic, and boy those don’t get better with age) to take this picture.

January 6th, 2010 – DeKalb IL
My friend Christine and her son came to visit, and after dinner we drove around town because Ayden likes to look at the Christmas lights, and I thought I’d show Christine where I work. Ayden loved the toys in the children’s section, and I loved playing with him.

January 13th, 2010 – Madison WI
Elena is singing! Or at least that’s what I’m calling it. Margaret invited me to stay with her in the second week of January and I had such a good time hanging out with her and Lainie (Margaret, are you spelling it like that, or like Laney? I’m sorry!). I learned that Wee Miss loves her swing, that chocolate should be had once a day, and that American Idol is crazypants.

January 18th, 2010 – DeKalb IL
We had a stretch of “freezing fog” for a few days, which made NinjaHusband think of fog that just crystalizes and falls to the ground. I don’t remember if I had ever experienced freezing fog before, but it made the whole area really pretty. This is a twig that got encrystallated (what? like you don’t make up words), in front of the NB&T building on 3rd and Locust in DeKalb. I love the way the ice piled on top of itself to make this pretty picture.

Okay, one-twelfth of the way there. Woohoo!

all ignorance toboggans into know
and trudges up to ignorance again:
but winter’s not forever,even snow
melts;and if spring should spoil the game,what then?

all history’s a winter sport or three:
but were it five,i’d still insist that all
history is too small for even me;
for me and you,exceedingly too small.

Swoop(shrill collective myth)into thy grave
merely to toil the scale to shrillerness
per every madge and mabel dick and dave
–tomorrow is our permanent address

and there they’ll scarecely find us(if they do,
we’ll move away still further:into now

by e.e. cummings

I discovered e.e. cummings in high school, just when I was bubbling up with angsty ridiculousness and writing my own (bad) poetry. I wrote a term paper on him and his poems and learned a ton, and never stopped enjoying his work. The typographical experiments, the use of dialect in his poems — it was all really exciting and new to me and really struck a chord, apparently.

I own at least four volumes of his work but haven’t read them in a long time, and when the Silent Poetry Reading came up again I went looking for this one poem of his that of course has no title and of which I only remember half a line. Awesome. Naturally, I couldn’t find the poem I was looking for, so I went through one of the volumes (that a friend in high school gave me as a birthday gift) in search of something to add to this event. There are so many great poems of his that I love and had forgotten, and re-reading them put me in a bit of a pickle: which one do I choose? Humanity i love you, and “next to god of course america i are brilliant, but I didn’t want to put a bunch of grumble up today. This poem feels like this moment to me, and there you have it. I hope you enjoy the Silent Poetry Reading happening all over blogs near you.

Huh. I went and got older while the blog wasn’t looking.

Some observations on being thirty years old:

1. My metabolism seems to have run off somewhere far away from here.
2. New grey hairs are bringing their power to the party.
3. My Mom now has a 30-year-old daughter. HA!
4. I’m starting to care less about those spooky and ubiquitous societal expectations.
5. I feel much more comfortable swearing in public.
6. I catch myself grumbling about “kids these days” and instead of horrifying me, it cracks me up.
7. The acne! Why do I still have it! Argh!
8. I’m oddly more mellow and more likely to start a fight now. It’s a weird mix.
9. I feel the need to read all the classics of American and world literature that I have never read.
10. My ability to keep my houseplants alive astonishes me, and gives me hope.

Happy February, everyone. Next time: I give you more pictures.

Today is the 37th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision (read the whole thing).

I’ve been thinking about what I would write for the last couple days, and other than incoherent ravings I didn’t think I had much to say, mostly just bullet points. But the incoherent ravings are huge. And frothy. I froth at the mouth when confronted with injustice.

A lot of the things I want to say are pretty inflammatory if you’re on the other side. Words like “forced-birth” and “fascist state” come to my mind, but I don’t want to use them because they don’t get my point across. That’s not true. They get one of my points across, but not in a way that accomplishes much.

Abortion has been legal for my entire lifetime. That’s a really hard sentence to follow — it’s been legal for my whole life. I’m about to turn thirty next week and that whole time this medical procedure has been legally available to women. Is that amazing to older feminists? It’s something I think I’ve taken for granted, so much so that the whole abortion/Baby-lies-to-her-Dad part of Dirty Dancing completely went over my head. What was the big deal? Baby didn’t lie to her Dad, after all. Wait, you mean this was illegal once?! My adolescence right there.

There are so many facets of this issue to talk about: how it’s actually not accessible by all women, thanks to the Hyde Amendment of 1976; how the granting of personhood to fetuses reduces the personhood and civil rights of the women carrying them; that the current attack on abortion rights seems to stem less from concern about unborn children than from a deep desire to keep women from attaining complete bodily autonomy WHAARRRGGARRBLL.

Ahem. dabs froth daintily from corner of mouth

The part of reproductive choice that I am most involved in is the choice of women to decide when, where and with whom we will give birth. The ‘when’ kind of encompasses most of the pro-choice argument, but the ‘where and with whom’ is part of my doula/labor and birth support activism. I am an advocate for a woman’s right to decide where she will give birth (at home in a pool for a natural birth after a cesarean, in a hospital with the Cadillac of epidurals) and with whom (do you want your whole neighborhood there? Just your partner?) because this is part of the whole package, the whole reproductive choice issue. The right to privacy and bodily integrity was a focus of the Supreme Court decision in 1973, and in 2010 that right is vanishing. If one part of our ability to self-determine is taken away, others are sure to follow and what will be the end result? Who benefits from that? Clearly not the women who are not allowed to decide for ourselves what to do with our bodies.

I’m a pro-choice doula, likely an unpopular stance in my profession (I haven’t met many of us yet), and I trust women to make our own decisions.