Friday, December 16, 2005

Difficulties of being a new mom:
Learning to type one handed.
Finding time to shower.
Carrying a stroller up and down stairs.
Trying to make new mom friends, because all your old friends are in different states/schedules/mindframes.
Not getting enough sleep.
Dealing with a baby who won't stop crying.
Being responsible for keeping a seven room apartment clean when I'm infamous for being a slob.
Trying to figure out how to give Christmas presents when I have no money 'cause I have no job 'cause I'm a stay at home mom.

Lot's of stuff to do.

I'm making holiday cookies, and coquito, a Puerto Rican coconut eggnog. I'm thinking about giving all the extended family tiny paintings on old playing cards-- they're called ATC's, artist tradin cards, I think. I used to give everyone framed paintings, but I don't have the time or focus, anymore. Sigh.

For the baby, I'm crocheting a red, woolen ball. So old-school, I'm hoping it will be meaningful. His first ball. I'm half done. I'd also like to make him some stuffed creatures out of old sweaters.
I've also bought him a few little things.

For Sean, I drew him a charcoal picture of Gabriel sleeping. I'll try to frame it. I'm giving him a photo album that I printed with Gabriel's foot. I found it at a thrift store. I'm thrifty like that. I also took some portraits of Gabriel with a real camera, not those crappy disposable ones, and I'm hoping they come out. What else? My one big expense-- a Band of Brother's DVD. I got the money for it from an old refund from my retirement fund. I haven't told him I got that, because then the DVD wouldn't be a surprise. (I hope he doesn't read this. I don't think he has the address. Gosh. I would suck if he did. Maybe I'll keep this entry as a draft until after Xmas.)

I like Christmas, but it's a lot of stuff that needs to be done. I'm glad I'm not going all commercialized. I never really liked that, although shopping can be fun. Well, I have shopping to do, but it's more like grocery shopping. Well, I also want to stop at Union Pool and make use of their photo booth. How wierd would it be to stop in a bar with a baby carriage?

Of course, I've been to bars with Gabriel, but not alone, and not that one.

I've gotta go and get some stuff done. Bye

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

This and That

Just learned a new mini factoid-- if you add soap to the water of your watercolors, the paper of a moleskin diary, and i assume others, the paper will not resist the paint. That was why I didn't use those journals. Huh.

Eh, I'll probably keep using my old black bound sketch books. I've been getting back into painting, drawing and collaging. Somehow, it seems more accessible than writing a huge project.

I'm trying a new thing-- typing with one hand while nursing. Not as efficient and Gabriel is distracted.

It would be nice if I could do an illustrated blog-- or an actual website with pictures and stuff. I like doing everything by hand, but sometimes it would be great if I were a little bit more technologically savvy.

Can you tell I am again trying to get back to the creativity thing? Maybe it's not an again sort of proposition, but a still, always, continuous sort of thing. I do know that I often look back at periods where I thought I was struggling creatively, and find I was pretty productive.

I guess being creative takes an effort... no that's not quite right... it takes attention, time, and action.

It also helps to be in the conversation. It's nice that the women in my mommy's group are creative types. And I've been looking at artist's websites... there's so much out there. I guess you just have to be open to it.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Looking for Abundance

Living in New York City is difficult, even living in Brooklyn, outside of the madness of Manhattan, is tough.

I've been a stay at home mom for 4 months now. More if you count the months when I was pregnant and unable to work. It's a really strange phenomenon for me. I haven't been this dependent upon another person since I was 17-- and even then I was bringing in a few bucks with babysitting or ushering or selling marshmallow treats to the highschool kids at lunch time. Now, if I want to get a coffee, I have to ask Sean.

It's so wierd. And money is tight, too. It's not like Sean is a doctor or lawyer or works on wall street with all those people, who, I'm sorry to say, don't really contribute much to the furthering of society. We make it week to week, and some weeks are tighter than others.

I just came back from the grocery store, and something about it made me cringe. Something made me feel poor. Not just broke, but poor. There's a difference. Sean gave me 30 bucks to go grocery shopping, which is not enough, wasn't even enough when I was shopping for just little old me. Not only that, but I spent about ten on lunch today at my Mommy's group. I needed to eat, you know? So here I am, trying to get basics to hold the house over until the next time I go shopping. I'm going for the cheapest rice, and just one head of garlic, skipped the fruit all together, because I can get Sean to bring some on his way home from work.

I put my groceries on the conveyer, and everything was white. White fish, white baby cereal, white rice, white garlic, white onions, white cheese, white pasta. It seemed empty to me, it seemed poor, it seemed like the way you eat when you have nothing but change for a bagel. Yikes. It gave me the willies. Of course, when I got the bill, it was ten dollars less than I thought it was going to be. (Probably because I left behind the cereal and ground beef, without subtracting the cost from my mental ring-up)

So, I'm walking home with my bag of groceries and my sleeping child, my boots soaking from the brief rainshower, and in my head, I'm thinking, I feel poor.

I feel poor. I grew up poor, and with that came the shame of poverty, of not being able to afford simple things, of not having what others had or doing what others did. The shame of feeling like you somehow did not belong, and instead lived on the outskirts of the world, looking in. Walking down the street, I felt that shrinking feeling, that "poor" feeling, but I had to stop and really examine it.

I don't have a lot of money, but I have the opportunity to stay at home with Gabriel, to care for him and spend time with him, without having to scramble for daycare. I have a large comfortable home in a neighborhood that is alot safer than the one I grew up in. Sean and I go out often enough, for brunch or a beer at the neighborhood pub. I have the time, although I don't use it, to make art and write. And if I wanted too, I could get the money from Sean to buy my favorite fruits and veggies and fresh mozzarella and steaks, at least some of the time.

See the thing about poverty is that it is a state of mind. It's about seeing the lack, not the abundance. It's about feeling trapped, and not having hope. I could be selling my soul on Wall Street for 150 thou a year, and feel utterly poor. I could be making 15 thousand working on a farm and feel truly blessed. I know that there is actually more to poverty than just this, but it's a big component.

I really want to start looking at my abundance. I want to simplify and enjoy the life I have, instead of wanting more and more stuff that really isn't all that important.

I think it would be nice to feel that satisfaction.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

What is the best way to get inspired again? It's not like I can do like I used to and sequester myself with my journals and my paints and my books to write and paint and read the inspiration up. Nope, I've got the Monkey Man sleeping on the couch next to me, and I wince everytime he whimpers in his sleep.

(no, kiddo, no, kiddo, no kiddo, do not wake up.)

When I was a teacher, half of my job consisted of getting kids inspired to work. It didn't always work, but sometimes it did. That was in a New York City public school, and a lot of the kids had major issues. Well, that's kind of amusing. Am I assuming that I am issue free? Obviously I have issues, if I didn't I would be done with my current novel, seeing it published, and working on a new one. What a lovely picture I paint. Me, issue free. Maybe I should treat me like I treated my students, my fragile, struggling, alternately brilliant and doltish students. They were lazy, just like I am. They had dreams and dreams, just like I do, ones neither of us are completely convinced we can achieve, and which we might be terrified of actually achieving.

But considering a person (me) had the desire to write, what are the tricks that I used to help get up the inspiration. And beyond the inspiration, the habit of working.

Daily journal entries. That's right. Whether you wanted to write or not. I had a quote or a question or a prompt, and the assignment was to write for ten minutes non stop-- without worrying about what you actually had to write.

Brainstorming. That was always fun, and it pulled on the knowledge you already had. Put the main idea on the board or on a piece of paper, and then just spider web all the associations that went with it. Then you look at what you've written and you can actually see the thinking, you can catch the flow, the story, the meaning. Great way to write poetry-- just choose one cluster of the web.

Art Projects. A collage or a drawing might help you get a different perspective on whatever it was you were trying to understand or create. That works particularly well to help you understand the bigger/deeper ideas behind a complicated story. Also helped to build a personal connection to the material.

Choice. Honestly, giving the kids a choice of material helped them want to do things. It gives you a sense of control over what you are doing. And yet, the choice is limited-- you don't get to choose any old thing in the universe, but one of a selection. This is important, because the world gets so big when there are no limitations. How can you make any choices? So limiting choices, but giving free will among those really helps to create a focus.

Personal accountability. Checking up on them. Giving deadlines. Having high expectations, leading to a performance or presentation.

What are the ways I can adapt these techniques to my own practice?

Eh, looking for magic pills to solve all my problems. What I really need to do is just write.

Friday, September 02, 2005

It Is

This has been the hardest entry to write.

I keep wanting to talk about how I've decided to pay attention to all the good things I have in my life, instead of the things I am lacking, but every time I start, my brain can do nothing but whir around all the absences and failures.

Why is it so hard to live your life in blessings?

We've all got them, right? Maybe they're not huge things, but everyone can at least have a good cup of coffee in the morning, right? Or a butterfly fluttering about? Or a dramatic sunset?

How often do we ignore the things that make us happy, or could make us happy if we paid attention to them and gave them the value they deserve?

How often do we pay attention to our lives as they are, right now, this instant?

I know I don't. I pay attention only to what is missing, and it's killing me. I'm so freaking worried that I won't ever be able to be a writer, that I don't have the stuff, that I don't have the will. I'm terrified that I'm losing my identity in being a mother. I'm afraid that the task of being who I want to be is going to get eaten up by the niggling worries of washing the dishes and feeding the cats and sweeping the floor-- or more precisely, how bad I am at doing all those things.

My life has turned into this negative. My life has turned into this aching jaw full of tension.

And I'm missing out on this life that I've kind of wanted since I was fifteen-- being a mother.

I'm there for my baby, and I give him attention and love and all those things I need and want to give him, but I'm not there in the moment. I'm always thinking about what is next to do.

This isn't happiness.

But it could be. The elements of happiness are all in place. All it will take is for me to pay attention to this that is my life. THIS is my life. Not all the things I want but don't have. And certainly not the television playing non stop, a drug that allows time to pass without any effort on my part. No. This right here.

Pay attention, Rowena, to the baby sleeping next to me on the couch, allowing me to sort through all this in writing. Pay attention to the sunset lighting the tree outside my window. Pay attention to Sean, and his joy in his son and his family. Pay attention to how creating, whether in words or in pictures, makes you happy.

Pay attention to your life, and pay attention to all that it is.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

I Feed, Therefore I am

I've come to the conclusion that my purpose in life right now is to feed.

I feed the baby. I am the milk bar. Every couple of hours, he cries, and I wip out the booby.

I feed my boyfriend-- whenever he is home in time for dinner.

I feed the cats. Not as much as they'd like, but they'd like to be as round as piggies.

I feed myself. If I didn't I would have nothing to feed the baby. Plus I'd be mighty grumpy and no one would want to be around me.

I also-- and this is the most annoying one-- feed the mosquitos of Brooklyn. Good lord. Head to toe, and lots of places in between. Big pink welts that take turns itching me to distraction.

This has been quite a summer.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Return to the World of the Living?

Welcome me back to the world of the living. After however many months of allowing myself to be non-productive while I was busy reproducing, I know have a little baby boy, and the beginning urges to be creative again.

Now it's all sorts of other difficulties presenting themselves. Exhaustion. Screaming baby. Need to eat or feed someone or something.

I've decided to play a game with myself. Break up life into fifteen minute increments-- see what I can get done in those fifteen minutes-- whether that's a shower, or a meal, a painting or a poem, or maybe a blog entry... hmmm....

That's quite a distinctive wailing I hear.

This is going to be a challenge.

I'll get back to you.

Sunday, May 08, 2005


I never feel like writing. I never feel like drawing or painting. I barely even feel like reading.

This is a strange time in my life.

I am the person who writes/draws/reads constantly. Any blank moment is filled with one of those activities. The urge is almost unbelievable.

Except for now. Except for this pregnancy. I don't even want to write in the journals I've been keeping for, oh, twenty one years. All I want to do is lay around, watch tv, web surf, and fllip through magazines.

I suppose I have to chalk it up to being pregnant. All that creative energy is going somewhere else-- making a baby.

I have to say, that in this rational age of science and technology, that just doesn't make any sense. Why should the physical act of gestation-- with all it's attendant growth patterns and umbilical cords and oxygen transfers-- why should it pull on whatever it is that makes me an artist? And it isn't just a basic level of energy thing. There are times within my pregnancy where I have energy, but I end up decorating or cleaning--- nesting. And there are times before I got pregnant where I've had no energy, and I would curl up with my journal and paint a picture or write about how I felt. None of that now.

There's got to be something else involved in being and artist-- and making a baby, something that is shared. What is it? What could it be?

I don't know, but the idea comforts me, somewhat. A lot of my frustration right now is born out of the fear that maybe I won't be able to write and paint anymore, or even want to. Maybe my artist days are over. But if my non-productivity can be understood due to my re-productivity, maybe I can let go of that fear and frustration.

I even did one of those on line tarot readings. I actually read tarot cards for other people, but have problems reading for myself. Too hard to keep my desires and fears out of the interpretation, but the on line thing had interpretations already set up, which I could then understand in my situation. And frankly what it told me was that it was time to reconcile those parts of myself-- the mother and the artist. It also pointed out that what was truly mine could never be lost. Oh and all sorts of things that gave me faith in my ability to retain "the artist."

Society is wierd. It says all sorts of things about what a mother is and isn't. It's really easy to buy into that.

I am going to create again. Art, writing, not just babies. I am. I'm going to work really hard on it, because it's important.
But all I know is that, yes I am going to be a mother, but I am also Rowena, and that is who has something really important to give to her son. Not someone who has drowned herself in motherhood and her child. Just like in any relationship, a romantic relationship as well as a maternal one, a person has to keep her identity, right? Sure, change and transform along with life, but retain her individuality, right?

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Is This About Chickens or Is it About May?

I can't believe it's May. I think I thought Spring would never come. I think I thought it was the Winter that would never end.

Silly girl. No faith.

Spring always comes.

There are all sorts of cyclical turns in life. Day to night. Winter to Spring to Summer to Fall. Life and Death. The water cycle.

It's the circle of life.

You can't tell that I'm singing The Lion King.

But within the circle, there are also unpredictabilities. (Is that a word?) Who knows what's coming next. Who knew what happened would happen. Like my internet going down for a couple weeks. I had no clue that would happen. One day, I just woke up, and no internet.

But even the surprises in life don't come from out of the blue. Okay, sometimes they do, but even when they do, you aren't left hanging. Sooner or later, some sort of cycle, habit, pattern, understanding begins to come clear.

Good thing. Otherwise, we'd be running around all the time like chickens with their heads cut off, never knowing what to do next. And even the chickens kinda run around in circles.

Monday, April 11, 2005

So Tired

I just got home after nine hours of my crappy, tedious porn job. It's cold outside. After only two days, spring slipped back towards Winter. The wind was blowing and the walk to my apartment was so sharp. My back is still killing me from hours in a bad office chair. And everybody on the subway is just too stupid to lilve.

I'm so tired I could cry. That's all. That's all I feel, this exhausted simmering frustration. I can't imagine how I could have survived this pregnancy stuff while I was still waiting tables and bartending. I can't imagine what would have happened while I was teaching. I'm barely surviving this job, and I don't have to put out any energy except the energy to put up with stupid porn blurbs like this:" watch these Meatholes (AKA whores) be verbally and physically dominated intil their worthless souls are revealed in a cornucopia of sex, bottled up emotions, and semen guzzling." Yes, this is a quote that illustrated all that is wrong with the porn industry.

But I don't even want to talk about that. I'm just too tired and hormonal. I'm afraid it just gets worse before it gets better. And I'm even more afraid that it doesn't get better for years and years. But there's so much I have to do-- I mean in my life-- and I'm just so tired.

Definitely this is a quote that points out to me all that is wrong with the porn industry.

Thursday, April 07, 2005


I haven't quite figured out the cycles of this pregnancy thing.

A few days ago I was in a frenzy of cleaning (well, frenzy for me) and then I was busy with meeting a friend and wandering around Greenwich Village in the beautiful Spring-like weather. Okay, it was actually Spring, but it's been so cold, I don't quite believe it. I went ot a movie with Sean and stayed out late-- almost 10 0'clock!

A few days before I was in a funk. Just kind of pissed off, the kind where you growl under your breath at innocent people trying to walk down the street because you think they're taking up the whole sidewalk, or something stupid like that.

And yesterday, I was a lump. Couldn't get up from the couch. Gave up and stayed there, reading, napping, snacking. At first I was angry at myself, thought I should be able to get something done, but then I realized that sometimes our bodies tell us what we should be doing. Those are signals-- hunger, pain, exhaustion-- signs we need to eat, to rest, to sleep.

I am often angry with myself. I don't live up to my own expectation. I expect I should be perfect, and I'm not. Then I get angry and start beating myself up. I'm lazy, boring, irresponsible, stupid-- whatever it is that day that makes me less than perfect.

I'm still working on allowing myself to be human. Being human in general means that sometimes you are on top of things, and sometimes you are not, sometimes you fail, sometimes you do less. Does that mean YOU SUCK!? No, no. It means you're human.

And being pregnant it's almost like everything is heightened. I am even more at the mercy of my internal workings. Workings, I might add, that I seem to have no control over.

Maybe what I need to do, in life, as in pregnancy, is to learn how to just go with the flow. Whatever is, simply is. It doesn't mean I suck. Neither does it mean I am a good person-- because then I fall into the trap of sucking again, simply because I don't meet the next expectation. I really need to stop judging myself, and give myself the same leeway that I give others.

Maybe I should also stop trying to be in total control of me. I am a self control freak, and here I am, pregnant and at the mercy of hormones and food intake and sleep urges. I feel almost as if I have to yield myself to this new life.

A wierd idea. I've been so independent for so long. Is this preparation for the kid to come?

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

this is me Posted by Hello

A Calling

I feel wrapped up and tied tightly in all my multitude of thoughts like sticky strands of spider web.

I am in the middle of my "weekend." Which is to say, the couple of days off I have in the middle of the week. I always want to get stuff done on these days, but this week isn't looking very promising. Yesterday I was a lump, surfing the web and watching tv and reading books I've read a million times already. I also attempted to take a nap. I know that I have been napping every day since about October, but this week, that's actually stopped. No more naps. Does that mean the exhaustion has stepped back a little? In which case, as in my prenapping days, I only nap when I'm sick/getting sick. So the fifteen or so minutes last night, I figured, is actually because I'm fighting off a cold.

Why is this important? Well, if I really am getting sick, then it explains the last few days of doinng absolutely nothing of importance.

I'm getting nervous. I'm terrified that I won't be ready for when the baby comes. There's so much to do. There's so much to buy-- good lord-- baby making these days is an exercise in being a good materialist. I know my parents didn't obsess over getting all the things you "have" to get. The layette. The gear. The matching 500$ bedding set. More and more and more. I read all about it and start believing I really need all that stuff. It's freaking me out. We don't have the money for all that stuff. I wonder who exactly DOES have the money for that. Have we reached the point yet where only the rich can have babies in America. Of course we haven't. Maybe I'm just getting suckered into the consumerist society.

I have a couple of friends who are giving me a few baby things. They both say they are done having kids. One friend has already given me a cosleeper and has a pack and play and slings and play mats, etc. The other friend has baby boy summer clothes. The offers made me feel good for two reasons-- one, it makes me think maybe we CAN afford it, and two, it's nice to know I have friends. Sean, however, seems to be saying the only thing we need is a queen size bed and a bigger couch. He wants me to put them on the registry.

Look at me obsessing over all the STUFF. (and the money it costs.)

Maybe if I were to get up and start doing stuff I wouldn't feel this way. Maybe if I cleaned out the baby-to-be's room I would feel productive. Maybe if I started writing again I wouldn't feel like my reason for existence was simply waiting for the baby to be born.

But my thoughts do swirl around having a baby. Every once in a while, I just get the urge to hold the baby in my arms. And yet, there's no baby to hold.

Is that hormones? Baby obsession, is that part of the process? Is it normal to be turned into an incubator? Is it normal to not be caught up in any of the things I used to do? Writing, painting, going out with friends, reading for intellectual stimulation, not just comfort and to pass the time? I feel as if I am wasting my time here. I mean I have all this time available. I have plenty to really get back into my dreams and goals and what I used to call my calling.

But my calling is not calling. Or maybe it is calling, but so quietly that the screaming, squawling baby making hormones are drowning it out.

What would happen if I sat for a while, maybe meditating, very quietly, and listened, listened really closely to the silence? What would I hear?


Saturday, March 26, 2005

Feed the Dream

Here I am at my porn job, waiting for my colleague to finish pulling dirty movies so we can stuff them into envelopes and sticker them closed.

It seems as if my life has taken a doozy of a swerve.

But then, all is not as it seems.

Strangely, I think I have somehow gotten back on track with the life I really wanted for myself, the one I had been planning, or perhaps not planning, maybe it was more a "dreaming of" thing.

I've always wanted to be a writer. I've always wanted to have kids. I've always wanted to have a home. I've always wanted to teach-- although the what and where, and to whom has changed.

When I pictured my life it was me, in a home full of plants and light, with the kids, and a partner, doing my writing, surrounded by art and music and pets and people who care. I dreamed of being published, not just my novels, but also essays, articles. I dreamed of people asking me (okay, paying me) to come and talk to them. I think I dreamed about being an authority, of knowing what the hell I was doing, and having people trust in me.

Right now, my life is wierd. I work in porn, for godsake-- but I'm realistic. Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do, and I needed to take this job. But this job does not take me off my path. Even though the pay is shit, and the business is wierd, and it's not gonna go anywhere, it actually is getting me closer to doing what I really want to do than teaching high school ever did.

Okay, let me qualify that. Teaching, and the masters degree that went with it, and the people I met, and the experience I got, and the research I did-- those all got me closer to being who I wanted to be, to knowing what I was doing, to being a grown up. But being an actual teacher was like getting sucked the wrong channel of a river. I'm still on the same river, but it is not going where I want to be going. I kept trying to get back to the other part of the river, but kept getting dragged back into the rapids and rocks of teaching. I spent a lot of energy fighting that flow.

Now there is no fighting the flow my life is taking me on.

The only fight is within myself. Which is actually a good place to be fighting if you're an artist. That's where all the richness is. That's actually why this blog is named Warrior Girl. The struggle to live into myself. To be the best me. To be creative and productive.

And I wasn't about to change the struggle just because I have a wiggly peanut growing inside of me.

Isn't it all part of the same thing? The same dream. Isn't being the best you the greatest thing you can do for your children, your family. I certainly know that when I am not creative, I'm not very much fun to be around. I'd rather feed myself so I have something to give to my baby when he gets here. And to my boyfriend, because he deserves to not have a dependent, boring leech sucking off his vitality.

I also can't let having a baby change my goals of being a writer-- an actual working writer, who publishes and gets paid, and someday does speaking engagements and teaches classes-- because, frankly, I gotta make some money. I may not get rich, but that's the way I've chosen to make my living. So I can not only feed myself and my family metaphorically, I can feed them literally, too.

Friday, March 25, 2005


It's late, but I just ate penne puttanesca, and I don't think it's wise to lay down and go to sleep. So instead, why not jot down some of the thoughts that have been going through my head?

I'm at twenty four weeks, and it's pretty clear that I'm pregnant, although I suppose with all the layers you need in the continuing cold weather, it would be easy to miss the bump. But even though strangers on the street might not know I'm pregnant, something's changing in me-- I mean, aside from the ever growing belly.

For the first time, I think I'm starting to enjoy being pregnant. Wierd. It must be those motherly hormones kicking in. I like my belly. I like the little tumblings and turnings. I may be over dramatizing my inability to get up from the bed so Sean has to help me. It will get worse, I know. It will all get worse, but perhaps I'm finally getting over the overwhelming exhaustion, and that alone makes me feel better. I hope it doesn't get worse in a way that flattens me like in the first trimester.

Saturday, March 19, 2005


I figured out what was going on right now with me was this struggle to keep my identity in the face of being pregnant. Everything I've read lately has either been in the goo-goo-ga-ga pink and blue mommy school, or the materialistic, class-conscious, nanny and million dollar uptown co-op mommy school.

I am neither. I want to be neither. I'm a jazz-hippie-punk-poet. I was raised this way. I was raised chanting buddhist prayers and listening to jazz and painting and writing, poor as dirt, but never poverty stricken, well educated, well read, creative open minded. My whole life I've been-- not a "hipster," that's a new thing and a lot more about being cool, but an actual bohemian. And I don't mean neo-luxe-boho, like in Vogue magazine. How can you be a bohemian and spend a thousand bucks on your jeans?

And here I am indulging in labels...

I don't want to be put in a box. Maybe I've been feeling the pressure to fit into some corner of society, now that I'm becoming a mother. You know, you have to be responsible. You have to drive a volvo. It's scary, because I don't even know how to drive. There's no place in my life for Talbots. (I got a catalogue in the mail. It asked "what kind of classic are you?" I found it all too polished, too conservative, bland, boring. I guess I'm no kind of classic. [I'm back on the labels...])

Why shouldn't it be possible to stay who you are and become a mother? Why do we always want things so easily definable? We can't all be June Cleaver. I think we've come to the conclusion that June Cleaver wasn't June Cleaver. Now we've moved on to "SuperMom."

I still wan't to be an artist. I still want to be a writer. I still have a pierced eyebrow and a tattoo. I'd like more tatoos. I feel like I'm being judged for the life I want to live. I feel like some of my friends want me to go back to being a teacher because it's secure. Does it matter if it was crushing my soul? Does it matter if I was pouring my heart out into helping my kids, and leaving nothing for me, for what I wanted to do in my life, for my art?

I don't know what's going to happen. I know things will change utterly. I'm okay with that, but that doesn't mean I have to transform into a yuppie or a guppie. ("Guppie?" I don't know, it rhymed. Kinda gives the impression of something soft and mushy. Goo-goo-ga-ga? I'm going with it.) Maybe I can be a bohemian mama. Why not? My mom was. Maybe I can be a jazz-hippie-punk-poet mama. I like the idea.

Hmm... maybe I can toss out all the labels all together... I don't know.. just be? Kind of spooky.

Like life, huh?

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Little Monkey

A few days ago, we went to get our sonogram. Sean actually came with me, although he grumbled and complained about having to go. It's funny, but, at the beginning, he was like, "no way. That's woman stuff. I don't want to have anything to do with it, it's your job." But either that's just his hair trigger response to anything feminine, and he thought better of it, or he's getting advice from all the guys at work, all of them family men. Chances are it's a combination of both.

So we saw the little monkey on screen. They always talk about how you may not be able to see anything, it's just a blur-- but for us it was crystal clear, right away. Wierd. There's a baby inside of me, not just indigestion. Right away there was this great profile shot, as if the kid was saying, "hi there, take a picture of me." You could see fingers and toes-- ten of each. Everything looked in order.

More than the still shots, was when the technician ran the wand over the baby, and you could see everything taking form, like when you have single shots in a cartoon and they flip together to make a moving form. With this, as the wand went over all the 2D images, they blurred together leaving the impression of a 3D form. Cool. Strange. It's amazing what technology can do.

Then the technician asked if we wanted to know the sex, and I looked at Sean. He'd been dragging about that, changing his mind a couple of times, even though I wanted to know. But again, he said okay, and she told us it was a boy.

First thing Sean said was, "the next great Yankees center fielder."

So what I was convinced was going to be a girl, is actually going to be a boy. I'm glad we found that out, because I was really uncomfortable with the possibility that my certainty would be wrong and I would be bonding to a supposed girl until a little wiggly popped out. Then it would just be wierd.

Okay, so I didn't mean to do all the gushy-girl pregnant lady stuff, obsessed with babies, but there was a point to this. See, somehow, once I'd had the sonogram, I guess something clicked. It might have been that we found out everything seems okay. I can't actually believe that this whole process is going the way it's supposed to. I couldn't believe that I actually WORK.

I started going on line for baby supplies, starting a registry. I don't know it may just be playing, pretend shopping, kind of, but just looking at baby boy clothes and cribs and toys and all that makes it more real. I also finally sent out a mass email to all the people I'd lost contact with, told them about moving in with Sean, being pregnant, having a son. Fifteen minutes after I sent it, I got a phone call from one student, and then another, and then later that night a whole bunch of emails from friends.

See-- I do have friends.

So, maybe one of the reasons I have been so out of touch with everyone was because I was actually in a holding pattern. I know that early on, I didn't know if I would end up carrying to term. Who ever does, and that was one of the reasons I was holding back. Later on, there was always the "what if". What if there was something wrong? What if I had to... well, not have it? And maybe I was also trying to comprehend for myself that there was someone completely separate from me growing inside of me.

I'm telling you, I find it hard to comprehend that women have always done this. It's bizarre process. Something from nothing. Some alien being sucking energy from your body. Who invented this? Wouldn't leaving a clutch of eggs under a leaf make more sense. We could come back when the kid was ready and pick it up. That would work just as well, wouldn't it?

Monday, March 14, 2005

Pregnancy and Pervology II

I've learned a few things since joining the porn industry. I've learned that Mondays are the busiest day. I've learned that the L.A. office hires pretty porn-type girls who give more attention to their cel phones than to their labelling and sorting, whereas the N.Y. office (ours) kicks ass in getting the mail in and out, its strongest workers being a shrimpy Jamaican kid and a knocked up 34 year old.

I also have learned that there is, in fact, a genre of porn for pregnant women. Apparently it's pretty popular and pretty rare. They have a hard time getting women to star in pregnant porn. (Surprise! Surprise!)

I have learned this because I was actually asked if I wanted to do a pregnant porn movie. Yes. Yes I was. He said I could make a lot of money. He said I could do it with my boyfriend, it didn't have to be some stranger. I wasn't sure if it was a joke or not, but he brought it up three or four times so I don't think it was joke.

I haven't told anyone, especially not Sean, because he might get really mad. But then again, he might not. He might leave it to me, knowing that I can handle a silly request like this. All the guy can do is ask, and then I say yes or no. Anything else coercive I have the sense to get out of myself. Not that there's anything coercive going on.

It's so funny. It really is a boring, repetitive job, in a tiny, cheery office. There's very little to do with actual porn. I don't even have to watch the movies. So I go in, bring my decaf latte, sort the mail, watch Ellen's talk show and a couple of sitcoms. Get some lunch, label some envelopes, listen to music, watch Oprah, stick the envelopes in a basket and leave.

But everyonce in a while I am reminded that this is indeed the porn industry.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Who Has Taken Over Rowena?

I went to sleep last night at nine p.m. That's still in prime time. Before Seinfeld and Blind Date. And it wasn't just me. Sean went to sleep, too. Passed out, the both of us. We slept all night.

Actually, by the time it was near dawn, I was having a hard time sleeping, as my hip was hurting again. My hip hurts a lot. Most often after a few hours of laying on my side. Something to do with the joints stretching.

A strange thing, this pregnancy.

You spend all your life being a human being. Not just a human being. Being an individual, doing things, living your life, trying to make it meaningful and fulfilling. You're even a feminist, believing in a woman's power to do anything in life that she sets her mind to. You are in control of your will, and your body--you are in control of your destiny, even if you struggle occassionally to be that kick ass warrior queen that you're aiming to be.

And then you get pregnant and your body is not your own. And not even in ways that you expect. I mean, you hear all about it. You've read Our Bodies, Our Selves, you know what a uterus is and what it's for. But none of that reading prepares you for the wholesale change in... you.

I've always been someone who needed my full night's sleep. Eight hours, nine if I could manage it, and somehow, I've always thought that it made me more productive than those who slept six, or five, or four hourse. The way I could focus on projects or put my all into things. But now, here I am, sleeping nine or ten hours, sometimes more, and that is not enough. I simply collapse in mid afternoon. Like today. That much sleep and I tried, I really tried not to get so sleepy by noon-- even took a shower to try and wake up, but I just ended up nodding out on the couch. I wanted to get stuff done. I wanted to write or paint or something like I used to do, but there was just no help for it.

At least I managed to get a little house work done today. So bizarre. But nowhere near as wierd as the first three months, where I just did not know where I had gone. Nothing but sleeping and staring off into the emptiness that is t.v.

Now I'm just sleeping, not in that strange non-place that I was before, but I still have the knowledge that inside this body that has always been mine, just mine-- is someone who is not me. Not at all.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

I Think This is an Ode to the MTA

You know what's cool? Standing in the subway station, waiting for your train, and looking across the train tracks to see falling snow sift through the sidewalk grate onto the tracks below.

Fresh snow always seems so pure somehow. It always cleans things up a little, gets rid of the noise and the dirt so that you can breathe-- so that you can be the you that is underneath the running around and being crazy of New York.

Even just that one little fall of snow underneath the streets... it kinda snaps you out of the hustle. The subways are noisy and dirty and crowded, even dangerous, but they are also beautiful. Am I the only one that sees it? The shadows and scaffoldings. The way nature takes over in these tiny pieces-- like water dripping down the tiles to turn it all shades of rust and green.

You know I think I have had some of my most transcendental New York moments on the subway-- music echoing down the tunnel, so many times, so many different kinds, so many different moments. Or the way everyone on the subways kind of let down their guards, just for a moment, in the days after the World Trade Center. You saw the real, naked New York in their eyes.

And all that is not even taking into account the freedom that the subway provides. Anywhere, everywhere in New York, you can go, for two bucks. You don't realize how amazing it is until it breaks down. Then you miss it, the freedom, the ease.

Don't think I'm forgetting the melting pot that is the subways. I'm not, but everyone always writes about it.

I do however wish that people would remember that there is an etiquette to riding the subways. Don't stand in the middle of the doorways-- let people off before you get on, move in, so others can get on. And for god's sake, apologize if you bump into or step on someone. Very simple, but it makes everything go smoother.

But not to end on a sour note, when I was a teacher of English and writing and poetry, I had this little subway exercise I used to practice. I had a really short ride, so not really time for quality reading or writing in my journal, but I would give myself the task of writing a poem between one station and the next. One minute, two minutes, even three minutes, tops. Maybe they weren't great poems, but just like everything in life, the more you practice, the more you work at a thing, the better you get. So my mini poems were like warm ups. Creative power brain food.

I wrote one. I need it. Feed me. Feed me.

First Ave to Bedford

Falling snow. Winter's last breath.
I am hungry
for new.
I'll let go the stillness of
icy purple skies, and down comforters, hot cocoa,
closing my eyes not to see.
I'll Give it up for the thunder of Spring.
Storm and ozone. Birth.

What has taken root
in this long season of

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Poppa Bear, Momma Bear, Baby Bear

Yesterday, Sean came home and said he had a present. He pulled these army green satchels out of a plastic bag. They reminded me of the army/navy bags that the girls used to carry as purses, when I was in high school. Or the character in my novel, who uses one of the suckers to haul her art supplies around. One, two, three packages, he pulls out, then he says, "I got the family pack."

So I got a hold of one of the packages and started looking at them. It was this kind of snout thing, made of heavy rubber with bug eyes and an attachable canister. A gas mask. Sean brought home not one, not two, but three gas masks. Poppa bear, momma bear and baby bear. I didn't even know they had baby sized gas masks.

How bizarre. What the hell am I doing with a gas mask? Not to mention a gas mask for a baby that I haven't even had yet. It figures that one of the first pieces of baby equipment I would get would be to be used in the case of traumatic emergency. I mean, is it even really useful? Think about it. What are the chances that we have the things available exactly when we need it? What kind of world is it that we live in that we would actually need to own gas masks?

It just might be the most frightening present I have ever recieved.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Pregnancy and Pervology (edited to change a title that brought too many pervs to my blog. )

So here I am, in 2005, pregnant and working part time in the porn industry.

What?! Is it a new sub-genre?

No, no. I'm working for a mail order DVD company. I sort and label porn movies so they can go out via snail mail to horny folks all over the country.

It's kinda wierd. I don't really know what to think about it, except for the fact that I need some money, even if it isn't very much money at all.

Usually, I don't even pay attention to the fact that what I'm sorting is pornography, but then the guys I work with will start talking about it. Nothing graphic, but it just reminds me. And then there are the titles, and the DVD covers. "Barely Legal 39" "Asian Street Hookers 16," "Brazilian Booty 27" And those are the not-raunchy titles.

I might be getting porn brain. Not the sex acts-- I don't actually watch the movies. I don't actually want to, but it's just the descriptions on the labels. They get my brain going. Like, I saw a preview for this new reality show, "Super Nanny," where some Mary Poppins goes into out of control families, and says things like, "You've been very, very naughty." In a proper English accent, of course. All I could imagine was the nanny in thigh highs and stilettos, holding a riding crop. "You've been very, very naughty. You must be punished." A new film called, maybe... "Super Dirty Nanny."

I have to laugh some times. It's funny. I work at a porn company. I work at a porn company. What the hell am I doing there? Oh yeah, trying to keep Sean and I off the street. At least it's an intriguing job. Well, no, I lie. It's boring as hell. Repetitive. I've only been there three days, and already I'm as fast as the other guys. My eight years working in school libraries have apparently served me in good stead. I can put things in numerical order!

And yet, I can't help wondering about the women who would star in these movies. I don't think girls without serious issues end up doing porn movies. I just don't. Maybe people like the idea that the girls are just sex crazy, it's certain more pleasant to believe that than to face that most of those women have been neglected, abused, raped, whatever.

I'm working there because I need money. I'm working there because I can't bear to go back into the restaurant industry-- I've realized I'm done with it. I can't go back to teaching because that will be it for my life, just teaching. I can't even substitute because I know I will get sucked back into teaching because it's safe and because I care too much. I'm working at this wacko shit job because I need to be a writer. I need to focus on it. I need to be real. I can't be distracted by any job.

Ofcourse, I don't need a job to be distracted. I can distract myself single handedly.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

I Don't Wanna Sleep Through Life

I'm trying to get my life back together. At least I'm awake through the whole day-- both physically and mentally. Finally. Sleeping through my life is not really what I want to do.

I was offered this job opportunity today-- which is good since I've been unemployed for three months-- and it's a lousy job, but I'm just looking for something to tide me over until ... until... until I have a baby? Until I find a real job? Until writing takes over and I can make money with that???? Until something starts working right? I basically just need money right now. I don't have anything. I'm on an allowance. Not really, but I have to ask Sean everytime I need to refill my metro card or get a carton of milk. Not a situation I like. Not a situation I've been in since I was fourteen. I can't believe I've been able to go this long without bringing in even a little bit of money. Then again I was pretty near comatose for most of it.

Here I am, sick of being poor, yearning to be able to go shopping again or at least go sit in a cafe and write on my laptop, and I am actually considering taking this job.

So what's the big deal about the job? Well, first of all, the job is as a mail sorter. Woo hoo. Exciting. But then, that's not such a big deal-- sitting around for a while being mindless. It's not taxing. Make a little money. Go shopping. Fine. So where's the problem? Aside from pride?

Problem-- I would be sorting mail for a porn company.

I don't know how I feel about that. On the negative side-- ick. And the fact that I'm a feminist and as a feminist I kind of have a problem with most porn. Then I can't get over that it really doesn't pay that much. Three negatives.

On the plus side-- a little money is better than no money, it's a kooky job description to add to my list of life long jobs, and then, I don't know what it could lead into-- not that I want to get into porn, but, you never can tell what doors can be opened by taking a chance.

If I get a real job, I'll never commit to doing something as scary as being a real writer. I'll always get busy with whatever requirements my job asks of me. And thinking that in six months I'm gonna have a baby to commit to... I've got to do this thing, this writing thing, or it won't ever happen. I don't know if I can live with my ambition-- my dream for the last twenty years-- folding and collapsing around me just because I didn't make an effort.
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