Archive for February, 2011

mummumford and sons.

talk about food aggression. my dude has passion for everything he eats. and his sister? she simply never stops moving.

a video for your sunday.

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I love him so.

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care for a carmax update?

thanks for allowing me the space to publicly tell this story as it unfolds, all. if you feel inclined, please repost. and repost some more. i don’t want anyone else to be swindled like this.

i just got off the phone with carmax corporate relations. they say their outright goal is to restore our confidence in the purchase of our van. as of now, these are our options:

1. allow a 3rd party to look at the van and weigh in whether our little rust problem is
a. surface (ie within carmax guidelines for resale) or
b. penetrative (ie outside of their guidelines, and what our mechanic is insisting it is)

2. if the 3rd party says we only have surface rust, but our confidence in the vehicle is not restored, we can have it appraised for trade in.

my problem with option number one is that carmax will likely get to decide who the 3rd party is since they are paying for it…and i wonder just how objective this third party will be in its analysis? also, if it is decided that YES, we have penetrative rust, they still won’t tell me what their recourse will be. in essence, they refuse to commit to help. at all. or claim any ownership.

my problem with option number two is obvious: we lose. we lose our money and our vehicle.

also, it must be said that i am still livid that the service manager argued the definition of oxidation with h, and when i asked him at which point this pocked rust becomes penetrative in his definition, he replied, “i can’t tell you that. i’m not a metallurgist.”

so yeah, that’s where everything is right now. apparently, the lgm is supposed to call me tomorrow.

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just met with carmax.

and they made us cry.
they were condescending.
unwilling to talk straight.
did i mention unhelpful?

they wanted to charge us to even look at the thoroughly rusted out areas.
they argued the definition of oxidation with h.
they called our mechanic “mistaken”.
all while we stood under our van, watching the rust flake off when touched.

onward up the corporate chain. we’re not giving up this fight.

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5 months. wait. 5 months?

dear hip monkey of a son,

i wrote you a letter just over a week ago.
a whole lot has changed since then.

  • you eat food. you like food. you want our food.
  • you go days without pooing in your diaper.
  • you try to sit up while lying on your back and are constantly doing baby crunches.
  • you can–but mostly refuse to–roll over both ways now.
  • you can stand unassisted while propped up against something like a couch for minutes at a time.
  • you can pass items from hand to another, usually while growling.

one thing that has not changed at all: your utter deliciousness. i can’t get enough of you.

i love you and love you and love you some more.


Ice cube chomper.

Naptime at Claire's house.

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my webform complaint to carmax corporate relations regarding the 2003 honda odyssey we purchased from them last july:

At the time of purchase, we asked to see the mechanic report of all that was wrong w/ the van and what was fixed. What you showed us satisfied our concerns with the safety and condition of the vehicle. What you conveniently left out was the fact that the undercarriage is rusted through. We did not know this until replacing the brakes this week. (We were frustrated enough to find the brakes shot after 5 months.) Our mechanic was incredulous: this van has the same amount of rust as a 1981 vehicle. This van shouldn’t even be on the road. We are a cash-strapped family with two kids who just want a safe vehicle. We paid over $12k CASH! You stole our money. You violated our trust in your company.

I demand some sort of recourse. We cannot continue to put our kids in this van. And we sure don’t have the resources to replace the whole undercarriage of this lemon you sold us.

lesson learned: always have your mechanic check out a potential used car purchase. effing nightmare.

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left: jude. pears.
right: zig. avocado.

a comparative study of first food faces.

happy friday. xo.

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talk to me.

i’ve been reflecting a lot lately on my own coming out experience. i knew i was gay by the time i understood what it meant–somewhere in my middle school years–but i lived in a very pentecostal environment, and in my family, we didn’t even talk much about interracial dating, on account of the ensuing throb of a vein in my father’s forehead.

the wall of denial was so impermeable that i did not utter the words “i think i’m gay” out loud until i was 24! that was only eight years ago!

as i’ve become a more whole, self-integrated person, i realize that SO MANY of my adolescent and teenage self image issues (ahem self hate anyone?) stemmed from the disconnect of who i was and who i begged god to let me be. and now that i am a mother, i grieve for my kid-self. if only there had been somewhere for a girl like me to go for help then, a safe place to examine and explore my sexuality as i grew into it. but. in erie, pa, without the internet, circa 1992, i couldn’t fathom a resource. i didn’t know to even look for one.

readers, i put this question to you: if you knew young teen me now, if i somehow confided my secret to you, where would you refer me? for education? solidarity? peers? faith and sexuality reconciliation?


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do you remember this story about my dog, charley? how about this one? yes, i remember those stories too.

all has been mostly well in our home for children and pets. until last month, when jude fell off a chair and onto a sleeping charley, who snapped with the instinctive reaction of an alpha dog who is frightened, nicking jude on the cheek–too damn close to her eye. to be fair: charley did not bite my child in the face; my child’s face happened to be where charley’s snapping mouth was. the bite didn’t break the skin. jude did not think it was a big deal.

it was an accident. but it was a last straw.

what if charley had snapped at someone else’s kid? what if she’d gotten jude in the eye? and, despite the YEARS of training, what if this is the best charley is ever going to be with children? she is always on guard, always nervous, and now she is outnumbered by my kids. i may love my dog, she may even be my soul-dog, but i have to protect my babies.

and so. i began in earnest to look for a new home for charley: craigslist, petfinder, facebook, twitter, etc. a month into the search, the only responses i received were from people with children who didn’t read my ad specifying the need for a kid-free home, and from scammers. in the meantime, we subtly kept charley and jude separate. jude didn’t really notice; charley simply was where she wasn’t. the whole situation broke my heart.

one night, when charley and i were alone together, i told her what was going on. i explained that when her teeth made contact with jude’s face, she’d crossed an irreversible line. i told her that i loved her very much, and that i hated how the story of our lives together was ending. i had always assumed that charley and i would be together her whole life. i couldn’t even fathom the reality of a final separation like this. she stared unblinkingly into my eyes as i spoke. she understood me. i fully believe she understood everything i said.

two weeks ago, i once again reposted the craigslist ad. and omg! a response! immediately! no kids! no desire to sell my dog to a pharmaceutical company! just a kidless couple, new to town, who desired a dog–a dog like mine. i told them about every weird issue that charley has, and they still wanted to meet her.

two weekends ago, this couple–m&r–came to our home and spent a whole afternoon with charley. she warmed to them immediately. they walked her, cuddled her, and she fell for them immediately. within minutes, she lay between them under our diningroom table. yes, yes, we want her, they said.

this past saturday, i gave charley a bath, trimmed her nails, forced heartworm meds down her gullet, and brushed her shedding coat. i took her on a final walk, just the two of us. and then i packed her up in my car–she got to ride shotgun–and i took her to her new family. [m&r, incidentally, have become our fast friends, and promise to keep me posted on how charley is doing.] as i drove, i rested my hand on her back and she leaned into it like she’s always done. i didn’t need to use words then. my calm hand thanked her for seven years of companionship, healing and protection. i told her how much i love her by rubbing her ears and patting her head. she looked straight ahead the whole time, anticipating.

and then we arrived. walked up three flights of stairs, and entered her new home. i stayed awhile, chatted with the delightful m&r, and said my goodbye. and then i went home.

i am grieving. i feel like something is missing, wrong. i am weepy. but i am also relieved. for years, our lives have been structured in such a way as to prevent fights between lucy and charley, to keep jude from doing something to scare charley, to keep charley safe at home when we travel, etc. suddenly, i am free of my worry for everyone’s safety. my body feels shaky with such an exhale. i know i did right by my dog. i am at peace with the end of our story.

us: 2004.

us: 2011.

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my first valentine.

jude made this for me, and made a point to use every single sticker on the sheet: an act of ultimate toddler selflessness.

hope you all feel as loved as i do. x

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