Friday, February 5, 2016

Old movies

Many years ago I wanted to make movies, so I did.  Here are the two that were seen to completion, back in 2005 (or so).  "Attack of the Killer Squirrel" is based on the kids' aunt, who encountered a scary squirrel while out on a run.  "Not 'Cho Mama" was just a fun movie about a time when the kids had a damn fun afternoon with their dad.  Hope you enjoy as much as we have...

  
Attack of the Killer Squirrel from Kim on Vimeo.






Not 'Cho Mama from Kim on Vimeo.

Friday, January 1, 2016

The New Year

I never make New Year's resolutions because I always feel that change should come any time of the year, not just when the year hikes up a number.  Having said that, this year will be different.  Not only have I made resolutions, I have set dates and written them down.  I have been stagnating for too long and now that the holidays are winding down, I feel it is the perfect time for me to piss or get off the pot.
   
One of my resolutions is to write more.  I follow a writing prompt account on Twitter, and I decided to dedicate time every day to writing from the day's prompt.  I feel it will be a good way for me to stretch my fingers and practice a little every day, much like Amanda practices her musical instruments.  Bottom line is, more we do it the better we get.

I also figured I could publish what I write if the mood strikes me, as it would be a good opportunity to get the blog running again, even if no one reads it anymore.  Just putting it out there helps me to feel a little more responsible with my writing.  So without further ado, here is today's assigned writing...

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Prompt:  A baby isn't quite what it seems.

A baby enters the world slimy and gross, sometimes bloody sometimes covered in white goop.  It is a useless glob of flesh unable to talk, walk, or even communicate other than to cry.  Even then you have to learn what each cry means - it could be hungry, hurt, tired, gassy, or just bored.  You spend your time learning the damn cries, wiping up copious amounts of shit and piss, bathing the helpless, slimy, wiggly creature, and waking up every hour in the night to feed it.  When you leave the house you have to make sure you carry a bag stuffed with every fucking thing you can think of - basically the entire nursery in a bag that can fit in the basket under the stroller.  Diapers, wipes, ass cream, at least two changes of clothes, formula, bottles, burp rags, a blanket, and toys. Sometimes you stay in the house for days because all the fuss and stress of a successful trip to the outside world feels too overwhelming and you’d rather stay home.
    One day you are holding your baby, watching a TV show about neglected orphaned children in Armenia, and you begin to cry.  You hold her a little closer, kiss her head once or twice, and crying turns to sobbing as you see images of eight-year-olds the size of toddlers because they have been ignored for years.
    Even though she wakes you up every hour on the hour during the night, you can’t sleep anyway.  You are terrified this tiny creature will stop breathing, will somehow roll over onto her side and suffocate, or will spit up and choke to death.  You find yourself rocking her at 2:00 in the morning after a feeding, sleep-deprived and sobbing because you don’t know how you will make it through the next eighteen years.    
    A baby is not quite what it seems.  It isn’t the wiggly lump of flesh you have to keep alive.  She is a portal to your vulnerability - the complete, unobstructed pathway straight to the core of the deepest fears you never realized you had.  There is no preparation for this understanding.  There are no explanations or warnings from mothers before you.  This is something that a mother can only learn on her own, after her own dip into the baptismal font of childbirth.
   Last night as my two babies, Amanda and Brandon, and I sat around the table to celebrate the change into the new year, it occurred to me that in three years, my eldest will be eighteen.  Fifteen years ago as I sat with her cradled in my arms in the middle of the night, sobbing about the terrifying prospect of eighteen years of motherhood.  I have since learned that motherhood will stretch far beyond the years of adulthood.  My babies will forever be that portal to my vulnerability; I will forever ache for their safety and happiness.  
   Babies are not what they seem.  Sometimes they are toddlers who need a sippy cup.  Sometimes they are third graders who need help with a school project.  Sometimes they are teenagers beginning to lose their downy feathers in preparation for the beautiful plumage they will need to fly away. Whatever their ages, our babies are the embodiment of our hearts, the personification of our deepest love.  


   


Saturday, December 26, 2015

2015

Here's a look back at this crazy year...







Sunday, November 8, 2015

Don't freak out

A long, long time ago in a land far, far away (for reals, we're talking Cody, Wyoming in the '90s), the kids' dad was a kitchen manager/cook in a restaurant where I was a waitress.  Whenever he made something delicious, which, quite honestly, was all the time, he would strut out of the restaurant kitchen and proudly say, "Don't freak out about the soup (or whatever fabulous dish he had prepared)."  This was his way of letting us know that the batch of soup he made for the lunch rush was so damn good we'd all freak the hell out, and that, regardless of how amazing it tasted, we should not in fact, freak out.  Just think of it as a cute passive-aggressive way of proclaiming that his food was hella good.  And it was.

I was never a talented cook, in spite of Dave's many patient attempts to teach me his ways while we were together. I didn't enjoy it, I didn't want to learn, I didn't care if I never learned, and why would I?  I was married to a fucking cook!  I prepared enough decent meals to get us by, and every now and then Dave would whip up a concoction that reminded me that my place in the kitchen was to stay out of the damn kitchen.

Finally about a year and a half ago, after eons of just getting by, I began to teach myself.  What it boiled down to was, I wanted to have things at home that tasted as good as when we went out to eat.  It was a lofty goal, but sufficient for me to get my shit together enough to actually take pride in what I served to the kids.  Feeding the kids meals I was proud of made me think of Dave and his comment about freaking out, so one day I decided to tell them about what he used to say when he made delicious food.

As I served them a meal other than boxed macaroni and cheese, I said, "Don't freak out over dinner," and explained what that meant.  After the first bite or two, each of us bellowed some insanely loud, obnoxious noise; we freaked out.  Ever since then, whenever a savory meal is served (which is most of the time), we each take the opportunity to freak out in our own peculiar ways.  Our usually very quiet home all of a sudden erupts into a several-second cacophony of the loudest, most obnoxious, most deafeningly ridiculous sounds, regardless of who can hear us and what they must think.

So if you ever have the opportunity to witness such craziness, understand that you have peeked into one of many sacred rituals that has woven its way into this tight little pack of weirdos we call a family.  Not only is it our way of expressing our gratitude for delicious meals, it's our means of paying homage to the man who started it all.






Saturday, October 17, 2015

Just let go

Last weekend I was halfway up a small mountain on the second day of a car commercial shoot, exhausted and bruised and weary from the work we had done running, crawling, and climbing our way through mud and rocks and wind.  We were waiting for the crew to set up the next shot, and in my worn and frazzled state I looked up to find that the few clouds above us had become the most beautiful shades of pink and orange as the sun began to set.

In that instant everything left my body, every ache and pain, every trace of exhaustion, every bit of irritation that had accumulated within me throughout the course of the weekend.  The sky in its warm evening colors drew me in and held me like a parent gently holding a child as she lay on her back in a deep pool of water.  I felt intoxicated by its beauty and weightless in its simplicity, hearing nothing but silence.

The beautiful sky held me transfixed but for a handful of seconds, long enough to fill me with a deep appreciation for the natural world which exists without worry, or stress, or fatigue.  It just does its thing and moves along in its own time and pace, heedless of the difficulties us humans impose upon ourselves.  Those few seconds are still with me, and as I deal with the bullshit of life, I remember that sometimes life isn't about the hard parts.  Sometimes it's about the handfulls of beautiful seconds that take us by surprise and fill us with such happiness and pleasure that we are transported to a realm within ourselves that only exists when we are simply willing to let go.

So let go with me...let go of the bullshit and let's watch the sky for a minute or two and open ourselves up to something amazing.