Her Bad Mother

Thursday, August 3, 2006

WTF Wednesday: Special Thursday Edition

Things are backed up here again. Blogstipation. A whole lotta blog fodder has been going in and I'm having trouble getting it out.

To wit, my blog to-do list:

1) A post on fear: why, when asked by Leah during my AlphaMom interview, if there was any question to which I'd been searching an answer, I responded, "why is motherhood so terrifying?" (alternate title: Why I Stood Up in Front of 700+ Women at BlogHer and said Hello, My Name is Her Bad Mother and I Find Motherhood Terrifying and Could You Please Help Me, Arianna Huffington?)

2) A post on why becoming a parent is like joining a secret club, and why that's not a bad thing.

3) The post that I have been struggling with for weeks, but feel ready to complete now having discussed it with Mary this past weekend, on babies and eros.

4) A post on being a mother and writer, inspired by my conversations with Liz and her post on same.

5) A post, further to #4, on how and why writing motherhood is a radical act, regardless of whether the term 'mommy' is ever used in that exercise.

6) A post on whether or not the presence of Weight-Watchers promotions, diet (ass) water and Tool Time girls at a conference that empowers women is at all ironic. This post, however, is unnecessary now that the brilliant I, Asshole has addressed the issue, and so should really be a post on why you should all read I, Asshole. (Thank you, Sweetney, for the heads-up.)

7) You should also read I, Asshole for her post on BlogHer haters. Because it's perfect. I love her.

8) A post on blog gangs, and a reflection on why the breakfast waiter at the Hyatt felt compelled to warn Liz, Christina and I that the windows in that room were not, and I quote, "bulletproof."

9) A reflection on the lesson in post-structuralism that I received from a burrito jockey in the food court at O'Hare airport.

10) An ode to my husband, on the occasion of his birthday. Because he deserves more than a litre of duty-free Grey Goose vodka to mark that occasion, and because I am too tired to wrap my saggy self in Saran Wrap and play Poke the Leftovers.

11) Maybe something about WonderBaby. Just to maintain my mommyblogger bona fides. Wouldn't want to have my membership revoked.


It's going to take a week or so to push these babies out. In the meantime, I offer you this exciting news:

You could be the next Pussycat Doll OMG!!!

I received, inexplicably, the following announcement in my e-mail yesterday:


I know. I can hardly stand it. But lest you assume that this is just all so much exploitative slut-mongering, consider the following:

"The Search for the Next Pussycat Doll (working title) features a group of diverse young women from all walks of life, who will learn to express their femininity with both confidence and poise through performance, and discover that in every woman there's a Pussycat Doll."

It's a confidence booster, people. Like learning to pole-dance. Every woman - not girls, women - needs to have her confidence boosted. Because how else are you going to discover the Pussycat Doll in you?


Cuz, me, I know my doll. She came out this weekend. She slapped pasties on her engorged breastses and gloried in being a woman, stretch-marked, stretched-out and stitched-up. Grown-up and flawed and beautiful. And she weren't no fucking Pussycat. That doll celebrated and lampooned and celebrated celebrated celebrated her woman-ness in all of its happy terrible messy glory, because that doll understands the difference between confidence - sexual or otherwise - and desperation. That doll's no pussycat.


I don't want my daughter to grow up in a world where ex-burlesque-troop-pop-tarts are objects of aspiration. I don't want my daughter to confuse self-exploitation for confidence. I don't want her to be a Pussycat.

I want her to be a tiger.

(And, no, not tigers as understood by Britney-fucking-Spears.)

What immortal hand or eye/Hath crafted thy vile pole-etry?

(I just harshed the flow of my own post with a totally unnecessary and yet totally unavoidable nod to Britney Spears and pole-dancing.)

(See? BLOGSTIPATION. I bring it on myself.)

(Need a drink now.)

Step off, Pussies. I bite.
PS We're crying it out in the Basement today...

Wednesday, August 2, 2006

It's Time to Play the Music

Everyone's home, everyone has posted. We're all laughed out (sort of), and cried out (mostly), and anyone who wasn't there is probably well and truly sick of hearing about it.

So I won't say anything more about it. I reflected on my feelings about leaving it behind, and that's enough. Others have done amazing, link-rich recaps, and I couldn't possibly add anything to the reminiscence other than to say: you were all wonderful, and amazing, and there's now a little empty space in my heart that can only be filled with daily infusions of your words.

You were, you are, all rock star bloggers, rock star women, rock star people, my friends. All of you.

What hasn't been said enough - that that 'all of you' includes the many, many women and men who were not there. That you were none of you forgotten this past weekend. That your names and your words floated through conversations like so many bright and buoyant balloons (none of which bore corporate logos, by the way. Just wanted to use this picture). And that it was a sweet sweet pleasure to come home and sit in the quiet of my home while WonderBaby napped and open my laptop and find you all there, continuing to weave your, our, tapestry of words. Continuing to write this vast, communal book.

Such a comfort.

I had meant to do a big linky-love post covering all of the Great Mupproustian Interviews while I was at BlogHer, so that you all would be linked up during all of the frenzied BlogHer surfing, but I was distracted. Really distracted. And, at times, a little bit drunk. For this negligence I am sorry.

So, in a lame attempt to make it up, I am sending out the linky-love now. A day (or four) late, and a dollar short, but with love. Go, read these interviews, and acquaint yourselves with these wonderful writers...

In the very small corner of the world that is Toronto, we had a round-robin interview par-tayJana (SomethingBlue) did MamaTulip; MamaTulip did Kittenpie; Kittenpie did Sunshine Scribe; Sunshine Scribe did MetroMama; MetroMama did BubandPie; BubandPie did MotherBumper; MotherBumper did Scarbiedoll; Scarbie did PenelopeandBumblebee; Penelope did Jana. Aaaand... in addition to all that circle action, UrbanMommy did herself, as did Krista and AC and Christy. You can read a summary of their interviews, with links and pictures, in the not-so-secret Toronto mama blogger clubhouse.

Marla (with special appearance by Boo), Brenda and Andrea of Beanie Baby did their interviews after the Toronto round-up had been posted, but they are no less special for this. (They will, actually, be extra special, because I will profile them at the clubhouse. Soon.)

Individually, all of these women are lovely people and wonderful writers. Together, they're kinda like the Electric Blogger Mayhem of Canada. (And no, I'm not sayin' who's Animal...)

But wait! There's more! The Great Mupproustian Interview Experiment could not be contained by free-trade agreements and long border-crossing line-ups...

Amy of Binkytown overcame a big fat I'm-not-going-to-BlogHer sulk to do her interview and made me only slightly nervous with her statement that she wished Carmela Soprano had a blog (just for the smack talk and the recipes, Amy? Or for taking out hits on BlogHer blatherers? Hm?) So, for being funny, and for scaring me a little, Amy, I think, is a little bit Phyllis Diller circa 1976...

Amy tagged Lynsalyns of the delectable Chicken-and-Cheese, who expressed the wish that Scarlett O' Hara and Martin Scorcese had blogs. Which, yes, would be interesting - especially if they ended up doing a BlogMe tag and interviewed each other...

Scarlett: Whatevah shall ah do? Whereevah shall ah go?

Scorsese: What the fuck does that question mean? Where the fuck's my Oscar?

... or not. Anyway.

Lynsalyns, you're Gonzo. Because it's so easy.

Amy also tagged Mommycakes, who is kick-ass funny and who proved it by insisting that it would be fascinating if Santa had a blog, if only so that we could know whether we are on his list and find out what Mrs. Santa gets up to while he's delivering presents. 'Cause, duh - if Santa had a blog he would not post his list. Which means that he also wouldn't have a blogroll and that he immediately become less interesting. Although I imagine that the comments would be interesting (Dear Santa, All I want for Christmas is that fucking Oscar, Yours, Marty S.) And, hello? You want to find out what's on Mrs. Santa's mind? Read the Basement. She's posted there. Special prize if you can guess which one.

Mommycakes, you're Fozzie-Gone-Grinch. I mean that in the best possible way.

Lynsalyns tagged Sandy of SuperMommy, and I'm so glad that she did, because she is way funny and gave one of my favorite answers to the question, what real or historical figure (var. fictional character) do you most wish had a blog? Her answer: George W. Bush.

Tracy at Maternally Challenged (who I just met through Devra, and who is really, really funny. After you read her interview, you must read the post entitled Lardbutts. That's an order) gave the same answer. And it's really such a good answer - don't we all wish that we knew what was going on in that head? Problem is, there's a very good possibility that there is absolutely nothing at all going on in that head and so a Dubya blog might very well turn out to be one long rumination on Cheetos. And, I have my doubts that he could manage the spelling.

Sandy and Tracy, you can fight over which of you is Statler and which is Waldorf. I'm not callin' it...

(Okay, so, I would totally give a prize to anyone who could compose a post in the style of Dubya. Hell, I’d give a prize to anyone who did a post in the style of any character of fiction or real or historical figure. The prize would probably be along the lines of WonderBaby choreographs a dance performance with her troupe, in your honour, but still. It’d be cool. Think about it.)

Mayberry, who did go to BlogHer and graced us all with her loveliness, said that she’d like to see an Jane Austen character with a blog. Me too. I’d like to see Lizzie blog about mommying the Darcy family. I’m willing to bet that Mr. was a bit of a slouch on the diapers, and that he insisted upon CIO, and that this maybe caused a bit of tension in the Darcy hizzouse. Which, come to think of it, might also have been a series of Basement posts...

(Ms. Mayberry, my friend, you're totally Very Special Guest Star Julie Andrews, making all the monsters go gushie and soft.)

Heather of Cool Zebras (cool name) is calling for Mama Berenstain or Caillou's mom to start a blog. Which raises the question: when cartoon characters blog, do they blog in animation? And, more importantly, would they feel set apart from human mommybloggers? Would they resent the term 'mommyblogger' as being both disrespectful of their writing and unnecessarily anthropocentric?

For raising such important questions, Heather, you get to masquerade as the woman who brought motherhood to cartoonish heights and who would have been, in her day, the ultimate mommyblogger (if there had been computers waaaay back then, in da olden days, that is.)

I haven't spent nearly enough time at Under The Ponderosas, but that's gonna change. She lives in a small town near the mountains in Oregon and you can practically smell that sweet, woody mountain air in her prose. She calls for an Ursula LeGuin blog, which, yes, would be cool, but given the recent forest fire troubles in her area, I'd be calling for Smoky the Bear to start an Only You Can Prevent Forest Fires blog.

So, um, yeah, this is predictable, but you gotta be the Bear.

WAYA stands for Who Asked You Anyway?, which may very well be the most appropriate title for a blog, evah. And, as it happens, I asked her (via a tag-prompt from Heather at Cool Zebras), and she said this: Tom Cruise. To which I can only say this: if Tom Cruise had a blog, I would totally become a blogtard and snark him daily. But he wouldn't have a blog, because blogging almost certainly causes one to become overrun by Thetans.

And speaking of not-so-heterosexual alien space-freaks, WAYA, maybe you'd like to play dress-up as Elton John? If only for the shoes and killer shades?

(Ba dum DUM!)

Thanks for playing, all. 'Twas fun, and if I'd had a drink in each hand and pasties on my boobs I might almost have imagined that I was reliving BlogHer while writing this post.

Anyone out there who still wants to play, you can find the questions at the end of this post.

(Long sharp toot on kazoo.)

Now, excuse me while I go wilt.


Happy Birthday, Mo!!! XOXOXO

(K, you'll get yours. Be patient. I need poetic inspiration to do it up right...)

Wigs are inspiring.

(Yes, it's a recycled photo. Told you: wilting in heat and lacking inspiration and today's diaper editorial just didn't cut it. Deal.)

Monday, July 31, 2006

Dared to Eat a Peach

San Jose and BlogHer seem, now, a world away. Well, 24 hours away, anyway, 14 of which were spent in airports, on tarmac and in the air. You heard me. 14 hours of air travel, only 5 of which were actually spent in the air. And the last hour was spent cursing the trio of middle-aged hippies who rushed past me in their Birkenstocks and straw hats at 2 a.m. to steal the last cab in the airport taxi line-up, leaving a pungent trail of patchouli-tofu stink in their wake.

But that wasn't the best worst part. I cursed American Airlines, and the hippies, and I cursed them long and hard, but they weren't the worst part of yesterday. The worst part was leaving San Jose.

To be clear, I don't wish that BlogHer could have gone on forever. I don't wish that it had gone on for even a few more days. I was anxious to come home. I missed WonderBaby so hard that my bones ached. I needed to get home.

But I left behind something else that I think that I am going to miss almost as hard - the me who was happy and fulfilled in the absence of the loves of my life. The me who could assimilate the quiet ache that is that absence, the pressing ache of those missing limbs, into another kind of energy and move, happily, despite that ache. The me who felt both quieted and stimulated alone (sans child, sans spouse) in the company of other women, other writers, other mothers who, for a moment, put the activity of motherhood or whateverhood aside and said, now, what about me? What about us?

I will miss the me that felt at home among my own kind, among a kin that I can only, for the rest of the year, carry with me virtually. I will miss being me among women who, most of them, are trying to be fearless - or at least, know how to not be cowed by fear, even as they quake with fear - in the most important moments of their lives. Among women who are, like me, trying to use found moments of lived fearlessness to navigate the murky waters, the frightening waters, of new motherhood and new writerhood (here be monsters, here be monsters. We know this. Still we fly our sails). Among women who are willing to say, out loud, that they don't know how to always be fearless. Among women who walk with fear, but who carry wit and intelligence and charm and strength as rods and staffs for comfort.

Women who walk with babes in arms or babes in tummies or aches for distant babes in hearts (and some, even, without babes, happily without babes), who are fierce and indepedent and determined to carpe the diem despite their fears. Women who work a room like red-hot real estate agents in pink lace pasties. Women who stake their claims. Women who speak their claims. I love these women. I loved being one of these women.

I know, I know. I am, still, one of these women, and all of these women continue to walk with me. This is, first and foremost, a virtual community. A community of words is always virtual. I will write and read and virtually walk among these women daily. But for a few days, I walked among them for real. And I walked among them as a friend and a writer first, a mother second. The face that they saw when I approached was mine, the arms that embraced them held no child. And it felt good, powerfully good, in a funny kind of way that both held the ache of being a mother-missing-child and let that ache go.

Now, I'm curled up at home, writing these words with a WonderBaby rolling about at my feet. Her Bad Mother is most fully Her Bad Mother when she has Her clasped to her side. And I love this. I wouldn't trade this, not for anything. But I also love that, for a few moments, I was Her Bad Mother, fully Her Bad Mother, on my own, with WonderBaby clasped only in my heart, and I love that I loved that alone, that stolen slice of alone. And that I loved it, that 'alone,' without fear. I loved it without fear. For a moment.

I miss that moment already, and the women with whom I shared that moment (you know who you are), and the women with whom I did not get to share that moment. I miss it all.

So all that there is to do, now, is keep it alive, in words. Until next time, and beyond.

Mommy went to BlogHer and all she brought me was this Fussy t-shirt


All you fabulous writers who have been doing the Mupproustian Interview Experiment? I'm reading your interviews, and I'll be Muppeting you up and spreading the linky love really, really soon. Thanks for keeping the love alive out here in the blogosphere.

And, Toronto Mamas? Getting together soonest is now of paramount importance. Check our space later today.

And, all... please do keep visiting the Basement. Someone's hanging there right now, and could use the company. Bring cookies, and all of that BlogHer love.