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A List. No. A love letter to Maira Kalman.

And the Pursuit of Happiness by Maira Kalman, The Principles of Uncertainty by Maira Kalman, Food Rules illustrations by Maira KalmanMaira Kalman’s illustrations are some of my favorite things.  I like them better than when my cat is scarprised, and he jumps backward at least a few yards.  This says A LOT, because I think the only reason I have a cat is for these scarprised moments.  Let’s just leave it as Maira Kalman is a boss, and I’d like a take a moment today to appreciate her.  I cry every time I read, “Fireboat.”  You can watch this TED talk by Maira Kalman from 2009, or you could just browse her website.  I can’t believe it took me FOREVER to find out that beneath the book jacket of “And the Pursuit of Happiness” is some incredible lettering and a doodling homage to Lincoln (as pictured above, awesome right?).

I think it’s safe to say I would read ANY book that Maira Kalman illustrated.

Books that I would cherish, if Maira Kalman illustrated them:

  • The mating rituals of the Three Toed Sloth, possibly titled, Slow Sex, and the look of confusion when people realize this is NOT the book that they were expecting.
  • The history of dentistry.
  • An illustrated encyclopedia of weapons from World War II.
  • Snooki’s biography.
  • Contemporary Hip Hop Culture. (I think this would be a great pairing, and sincerely hope it happens).
  • A book about grammar.  I kid.
  • The history of the New York Stock Exchange.
  • Obscure sports.

I feel like this list will never end, please never stop making awesome books.  I love your stories.

Let Freedom Ring, Every Morning, 7 a.m.

It’s seven a.m. my cell phone alarm rings a sweet marimba tone to remind me it’s time for my daily contraceptive. The sun is rising, I can hear the cars passing beneath my windows as responsible Americans commute on their way to work. My husband has a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice at the ready to accompany such a delicate pill. A quick wink, and I toss the pill into my mouth; my husband shouts a countdown as I throw down my OJ while pumping the other fist high in the air.

We high five, we chest bump, we invite the local high school pep band to play, “Eye of the Tiger”as we celebrate our victory over unprotected sex. We celebrate my victory over agonizing menstrual cramps and occasional break-outs, and we celebrate our victory to responsibly plan our family. I am filled with joy, throwing handfuls of tampons and maxi pads at the crowd that has gathered to share in this historic event. We parade through the streets as people cheer. My husband is overcome with our victorious achievement, he runs up behind me and showers me with a cooler of gatorade. The endurance boosting drink runs all over my body, I’ve never felt more alive than this moment right now. I’ve got an interview to give. I answer a few brief questions, “Yes. Every morning, 7 a.m.,” thank my OB-GYN, and my insurance provider, along with a shout out to Planned Parenthood from back in the day when I didn’t have insurance but still had a place to responsibly learn about my reproductive rights and choices. No more questions please, I’ve got so much more to give today.

My heart is full with the amount of freedom and joy swallowing that one little pill provides. After all the celebrating, I take a quiet moment on the balcony and sing a trill arpeggio to match my light spirits. A chickadee flits by and matches my soprano with its sweet song. Another bird joins and pretty soon we’ve got a small avian choir singing the joys of contraception. I spread my arms and take in their sweet song as my spirits are lifted. A ring of birth control pills appears in the background, an emblem of my reproductive freedom. I feel as regal as the great bald eagle, wings spread, proud and intelligent, shouting from my second story balcony, “Let Freedom Ring! Let Freedom Ring!”

A small crowd has gathered below. One person begins clapping, slowly, but firm in her support. Another joins in, the beats becoming closer together. Each person in the crowd looks at one another as their claps unify and crescendo into a wild eruption of support. I back flip off the balcony and am carried away, surfing over the crowd. A woman grabs my hand and shakes it, our eyes meet and we weep. We know we have experienced something truly special this morning, and every morning, right at 7 a.m. when that sweet marimba tone chimes in and reminds me once again just how freeing contraception can truly be. 

Pigeon Badges!

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My library had a Mo Willems inspired craft party (this is where I should clarify that the party was FOR CHILDREN) so I had my OWN craft party and made these awesome Pigeon badges.  I made these for my children (read: myself) to wear to the party.

This is just felt + embroidery floss and some Mo Willems pigeon inspiration.  I don’t have instructions because WAIT FOR IT . . . I just WING IT as I go along.

Hello WordPress

You know how you overcook chicken because you’re so freaked out that your entire family will get “undercooked chicken disease” if you don’t cook it thoroughly so you end up cooking it like twice,  well I just did that when I transferred this blog from Tumblr to WordPress.  I was all paranoid I didn’t transfer the whole thing over, so I did it again, but turns out I wasn’t preventing anything detrimental from happening only just wasting time.

God? Speak Up! It’s me, Margaret.

Are you there God? It’s me, Margaret.  It’s been forty years, and Janie’s you-know-what finally grew.  I don’t think YOU gave her those C lumps, and I doubt she’s still doing her exercises.  God, does Janie have a surgeon?  Please help, God.  We both know I finally grew, but it’s not so much the growing anymore, just the long-term maintenance.  Rather than standing out on their own, my breasts have been snuggling down to my torso these past few years, generating a sloping ski jump from my neck down to my thighs.  Please God, does Obamacare cover breast lifts? 

Are you there God? It’s me, Margaret.  Nancy said she’s started a fabulous new society.  We’ll meet on Tuesday afternoons for our senior discount at the grocery cafe.  I bet Nancy will get the motorized cart; she always does, says it helps show off her ankles.  Please God, I can’t even see my ankles.  I can’t believe I brought up my ankle, I’m so sorry about the tattoo.  Nancy told me it meant ‘faith.’  God?  Can you remind the cafe staff to restock the Splenda?  I don’t want to be the first one to get diabetes.

Are you there God?  It’s me, Margaret.  I went to our first PMH meeting.  We’re the post menopausal hotties.  God, is it true that fifty is the new forty?  And just where does that put sixty?  Gretchen said we should all wear Spanx, but I’m worried I might break my hip trying to pull those on.  Where’s Cougartown?  God, I hope they have air conditioning in Cougartown, because I can’t stop sweating. 

Are you there God?  It’s me, Margaret.  The cafe staff remembered the Splenda, but Janie complained that they didn’t have Truvia.  Now I don’t know if I should be using Splenda or Truvia.  We found out that Freddy Barnett has diabetes.  I feel terrible.  I am so thankful I don’t have diabetes.  Do you know whether Freddy uses Splenda or Truvia?  Thank you for the normal blood sugar levels.

Are you there God?  It’s me, Margaret.  I know it’s late, but I can’t sleep.  I hope you’re up.  God, do you know what a hot flash feels like?  Do you know where the thermostat on my body is?  God, I need some just right little bear magic, cause I’m tired of everything being either too damn hot or too damn cold or too lumpy or too big.  I don’t think bears go through menopause.  Sometimes I wish I was a bear, I bet hibernating feels just right.

What’s In My Bag?

You guys, earlier this week I was (and still am) using an old Target plastic shopping bag as a purse. This is a new low for me, so I decided to start a Tumblr blog to document the current state of my life. As an introduction to this over-sharing cluster fuck I thought I’d start with a, ‘What’s in my bag’ segment so we can learn about each other. Mostly so you can learn about me, and I can learn that you like creeping on the internet. I considered making this into a video, but I’d have to edit out all the times my children run screaming through the background. Kids are assholes.

purse contents

  • Plastic bag from target, free with purchase.
  • Burt’s Bees Chapstick, I stole this from my mom, so it was also free.
  • My keys with ironic compass key chain, which I also stole from my brother-in-law.
  • Didn’t realize that kleptomania was such a big issue until now.
  • Emergency tampon, also doubles as self defense.
  • Emergency bobby pin, also doubles as emergency tampon. Just kidding, that’s gross.
  • Plastic cards that makes things happen, like debt.
  • My Little Pony fruit snack wrapper. These taste awful, I buy these for bribes.
  • Cheese stick wrapper. Mmmm, cheese.
  • Scrap paper note from work.
  • Hand lotion, handling books all day ruins hands.
  • I need my work ID so my co-workers don’t hate me.
  • Bic pen from work.
  • Phone headphones, just figured out how to properly use these, and it was life changing.
  • Oil absorbing sheets to mask the butter face.
  • Coin purse to feed the meters.

What’s in your bag? Please, I know it’s not all designer make up. What’s in there for real?