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juillet 2014

Lies my Mother Tells

Milk & Whiskey

We may have touched on this a time or two, but my mom is a goddamned liar. I mean that in the nicest way possible, but that lady can tell a whopper before she even realizes she’s talking.

My husband knows this better than most.

I will accost him with some new and interesting piece of information like, « Hey, Did you know that pine nuts actually come from inside pine cones? That pine tree in our backyard is lousy with pine nuts. I can make pesto! From our TREE! »

To which my husband will reply, « Did your mother tell you that? Because you know she lies. »

Every. Single. Time. And he’s right, gallingly enough (though not about the tree. I got that shit from a book).

When mom was in school, she told a handful of people that her sister had a metal plate in her head. There had been a terrible accident…

Voir l’article original 555 mots de plus


A Goode One


I am freaking out.

It snuck up on me, I swear.  I knew it was coming; it shouldn’t be a surprise.  I’ve had plenty of time to prepare, to wrap my mind around it, psych myself up for it.

So how the hell am I so unprepared?

My class reunion is less than two weeks away.  My thirtieth class reunion.  A reunion that was supposed to be really really special for me, because I was going to show up all slim and successful and in-your-face about how great my life is going.  Instead, I’m fat, unemployed, newly divorced, and scrounging returnable pop bottles for the gas money to make it to Kalamazoo for the big event.

Well, shit.

Some of you may be doing some quick math in your heads.  Yes, I am 48 years old.  I’ve been coy and evasive about my age up until now in my blog…

Voir l’article original 907 mots de plus

‘Key skills I’ve developed as a career criminal’


There’s a constant flow of those cliché, common sense Linkedin style articles floating all over the internet with titles like, ‘skills you should put on your CV’ or ‘skills you develop from University’. ‘Does a degree really help?’. ‘how can I use my past job experiences?’, ‘what recruiters look for’…

I could go on but you know what I am talking about, it’s almost impossible for us to escape these rather passé pieces. I’m so sick of all of these articles so obviously I am going to join in because if you can’t beat em, join em. 


‘How being a criminal has given me key skills’

 Past Experience – Career Criminal


Goal setting
Employers want motivation and commitment. Are you ambitious and driven or the type to give up easily?

I am definitely ambitious and driven; it’s not easy being a career criminal, I set myself specific…

Voir l’article original 540 mots de plus

Something Simple, Courgette + Feta Salad

The Man Booker Prize Longlist 2014: Where Are the Women?

The Writes of Womxn

In 1996, Kate Mosse established what is now the Bailey’s Women’s Prize for Fiction in response to the 1991 Booker Prize all-male shortlist (this was prior to the release of longlisted titles) in a year when 60% of novels published were written by females. Since then, the prize has been subjected to criticism over the decision to make it a women only award, criticism that has only increased in recent years as Hilary Mantel and Eleanor Catton have gone on to win the Booker from shortlists which had gender parity. Unfortunately today’s longlist has demonstrated exactly why the Women’s Fiction Prize is so important.

Let’s start with a positive and offer huge congratulations to Karen Joy Fowler for the wonderful We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves (a novel overlooked – in my opinion – by the Bailey’s Prize earlier this year); Siri Hustvedt (one of the first Americans to be…

Voir l’article original 937 mots de plus

What People Think When You Have 4 Kids

The Perfect Dad

Sunset crazy kids

I will soon have four kids. Therefore you assume that I:

1. Am Mormon or Catholic

2. Like to have sex but don’t know how to use birth control

3. Have plans to start my own farm and therefore need a cheap/free child labor force

I know you’re thinking this because I have thought these things. There is no reason to have more than three kids. TV has taught me this with all-American shows like Modern Family, Roseanne, Different Strokes,The Simpsons, Family Ties, Family Matters, and Growing Pains. These shows illustrate three is the normal number for a family. If you have more than three it’s the whole premise of the show (see The Brady Bunch or the ever expanding Duggar family).

The lesson is clear: Big families are freak shows.

The only explanations for having a big family are the ones I listed at the top of this…

Voir l’article original 597 mots de plus

A Simple, Intense Tomato Soup with Maftoul

Making the Cut


You’re young, and your mom cuts the crust off

your peanut butter and jelly sandwiches

and then you’re old, and the director is yelling « cut »

and it’s all over.

We can talk about a life cut short but

I’d much rather talk about cutting across the dance floor

in the arms of someone who thinks

you put the stars in the sky.

We can talk about the economy and « cutting corners »

but I’d rather mention shortcuts through

forests that take you to the stream.

Yeah, there are words I omitted saying here,

lines that didn’t quite make the cut,

but what about cutting class

to go to your favorite author’s book signing?

Yeah, I did that, don’t talk to me about

having your ideas cut down, say something

about lawns and fresh-cut grass.

How do you prepare your vegetables and your children?

Do you cut fine or do you cut…

Voir l’article original 202 mots de plus

Refugees and Conflicts Are Our Problem


The last week’s news cycle has included crises of breathtaking magnitude: Congress has contended with the influx of tens of thousands of children from Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador, while the world has watched as Israel has pounded Gaza with missiles, killing Hamas militants, but also dozens of women, children, and other bystanders. Yet the responses I’ve seen in the mass media and on social media has been overwhelmingly about the « rightness » of Israel to destroy sites that have included a mosque, a center for the disabled, and a cafe where people were watching the World Cup; also, about the « illegality » of children fleeing the extreme violence and poverty of their home countries, and how expensive it is to feed, house, and otherwise help children in crisis–and so we talk about rapid deportations, not resolution or care. Hamas isn’t relenting, so people seem to feel that the murder of innocents is somehow justified…

Voir l’article original 1 081 mots de plus

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