Friday, October 31, 2008

The Dumb Supper

I'm making cornbread for the Dumb Supper, which some celebrate on Halloween--you put out foods for ancestors and departed friends and such, sometimes dining with them. "Dumb" has its archaic meaning of "silent," in this case. I usually do cornbread, greens, sweet tea and open a beer (this year two, one for my grandfather per usual and one for an acquaintance who left this year).

I got a New Year's card yesterday from a friend who can fly (Samhain is sometimes called the witches' new year), and it reminded me of her card from last year, which had a black cow and a white cow on it, and that reminded me of the artist Vernon Pratt, so on this Day of the Dead I'd like to remember him, too.

You could call his work conceptualist/minimalist, but since it gives you enough to think about for days, it's pretty maximal. He worked often in black and white--now there's something to get started chewing over. Where do they meet, where do they blend, when does it become "more black" or "more white"? For instance, one work was hundreds of marbles, black and white marbles in separate containers; one marble was dropped at a time into the other container.

Just think.

You can see his work large scale in Raleigh: The Education Wall.

I met him when I was 22 and had gotten a grant to work at an artists/writers colony, god knows how--you submitted your work w/o a name and the judging was very blind, indeed. (I wasn't the youngest ever there yet; that would have been my best friend at the time; he got in at 20, which is what gave me the idea to apply.) I was lonely and awkward and never knew what to say or do; we had to eat dinner in this big room and I felt like an idiot most of the time. Like when the director put me down in front of everyone for not having read Issac Singer.

Vernon was fun and kind and unpretentious in every way; he never flaunted his considerable intellect but was just curious and interested in everything going on around him. The colony was on a working farm that raised a black-and-white breed of cows; he had a lot of fun with that. He was also a musician and we talked alot about jazz. He had a car and I didn't, and he gave me rides to the nearby college in the mornings where we were allowed to use the pool and gym and we even went to movies in town ("Pretty in Pink," can you believe!). He was a straight man who didn't try to sleep with me; now, not that there's anything wrong with making a polite and happy attempt, but I say that to bring out how deliriously happy he was with his wife and family. He spoke often with pride of his daughter (who became Jane of Jane magazine), barely my age and already a star.

He died after a biking accident during yet another stay at the artists' colony. He gave me my first real painting by a real artist; it's one of a series of "scribble scales" he made, once again adding black gestures to white canvas. It's hanging above my altar room (aka closet) now.

Photo: James Stewart and Kim Novak in Bell, Book and Candle. Both such great physical actors, and the physical harmony and communication between them is so palpable. But of course the real reason I love this movie is for the witches and beatniks.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

"I Wanna Get Back to the Old Days When the Phone Rang and I Knew It Was You"

My daughter is sick again, which pretty much makes me crazy with fear and worry, which I smush down and stamp on and act natural so I won't be accused of being a helicopter mother, a tag I've fought since she was cut out of me. She's much more comfortable this time around then she was with the strep a couple weeks ago. In her case, they should call it "dancing pneumonia" instead of walking pneumonia, because she is performing the complete works of Miley Cyrus and Demi Lovato, with a little Jonas Bros (for this, she puts on a sideways ball cap and lowers her voice to foghorn pitch) thrown in. She has three notebooks open to jot down the songs that come into her mind as she performs. My favorite is "this is a rock and roll house, this is a bouncy bounce house," to the accompaniment of banging on a yoga ball. They say the antibiotics will clear this up in a day. We'll see.

One big privilege is getting out the big Real Artist Kit and using all the colors and different kinds of paints and pastels and pencils in it, like Real Artists, which means drawing fruit. Above, the baby pomegranate and the mommy pomegranate. She says mine looks like a pumpkin. I say hers looks like a heart.

Tonight is the new moon in Scorpio; I always do a new moon ritual, but this one may be difficult. I ran across this astrologer's website by chance and like what she has to say: "The Scorpio New Moon is a night to strip yourself bare and release your pretensions..." But hon, with all my pretensions, I'm going to be stuck standing around nekkid til the year 2525. Nevertheless:

"Scorpio is the sign that seeks deep truth in all things. The New Moon in Scorpio is the night to acknowledge the ways this questioning process manifests in your life. This is the most serious New Moon of the year. This is the night of truth and dare: dare to be truthful with yourself and you will greatly increase the rewards of this ritual."

I know I'll be working for healing, because we've had enough. But it's also a good time to let go.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

"Have You at Long Last, Sir, No Sense of Decency?"

I was excited to see that a staged reading of "Trial of the Catonsville Nine" was slated for election eve even before I realized it's by a director I admire. And there's a chance I might even be able to go, because my in-laws have plans to steal my child next weekend.

Trial transcripts turned drama are an interesting case--you always expect a trial to be dramatic, but they don't usually live up. I've heard rumblings but don't know of any successful attempt to do anything with Brecht's HUAC testimony, which would be my top pick to see enacted. Maybe with some embellishments to make it even more "Duck Soup"-y.

Long ago, I saw a video of another Berrigan trial put to drama, "In the King of Prussia," about the Plowshares Eight, who in 1980 sauntered into a GE plant and beat on nuclear bomb parts with hammers--beating swords into plowshares--one of the few times when taking a biblical exhortation literally could rate a hell yeah from me. The video, by Emile De Antonio, was shot in two days, just before the crew were carted off the jail; Martin Sheen supported the production and also plays the judge, who becomes apoplectic each time the defendants non-ironically but certainly disruptively break into "Kumbaya." It's a quick and dirty job I wouldn't necessarily rush onto the Netflix list, but de Antonio's work (he also did films on the McCarthy hearings and the Weather Underground) is part of the roots to current political documentary making and deserves its props.

It was made in 1983, not pre-MTV but damn close, when artists were still arguing about whether video was worth anything. AFI used to be housed at the Kennedy Center, and they'd have a video festival each summer and I'd go and give myself a headache from nonstop viewing and no eating (KenCen then as now a wasteland when it comes to any nearby affordable food). Saw my first Nam June Paik installation; there was a Twyla Tharp piece with cameras mounted on the dancers that caused people to stand up and yell at her; and there were many complaints that "In the King of Prussia" was slapdash. The point was that video could capture this sort of thing in the days before the subjects would be sent up; it changed time and distribution.

I actually think that the longing-to-become-slick early-80s audience was just embarrassed by sincerity--going to jail for your beliefs was so last-decade. Such a showing today might touch off a "real Americans" vs. "domestic terrorists" cage match.

The tone taken by the Others in these last days before the election is scarier to me than the dire prediction of an "international incident." They're stirring up the ugliest, in code; Palin is sounding more like George Wallace in (overpriced) skirts every day. My comeback line, when people told me after 9/11 that I ought to move away from Washington, was: "Yes, we'll go someplace safe in the heartland, like Oklahoma." You know, you can't have a day care center in a federal building after that happened? You can't have on-site daycare. Parents, nursing mothers, have to walk out of their buildings and down the street to visit their children during the day because in Oklahoma, a clutch of our fellow Americans didn't want Their Taxes going to food and roads for Those Other People. That's just one of those tiny but breathtakingly horrible details from the act of domestic terrorism everyone seems to have forgotten.

So why am I not outraged that Bill Ayers is walking around free to eat mache and give pretentious lectures? Fair question, but you could ask it of anyone--as Dick Gregory has been doing: If we think he's an evil domestic terrorist, why are "we" letting him teach at a major university? Why didn't all these appalled people go in and bust him years ago? Gregory also adds in another factor that gives me pause, that he suspects plants inciting or even committing destructive acts, something that was common then. Um, or maybe not just then. (Paging Lucy Shoup!) The degree and intent of the damage, the times, the cause behind it, all make me want to think that one over a while more. There's a little teeny aspect of college intellectual boomers getting away with shit while farmboys don't that I don't choose to go into right now, either.

But it gets very complicated, doesn't it? If you break into a nuclear power plant to stage a pacifist protest and a security guard believes she's endangered and takes a shot and hits an employee, who is responsible for the harm? Where is the boundary between destruction of property and harm to humans? Who should be more free, a protestor or a police officer in St. Paul? Who's more endangered? Whose rights are more endangered? It's way too complicated for me. I wish I could turn on the TV and hear people debating these questions, but we're not allowed to talk about it--all we're allowed to say is "He's pallin' around with terrorists" or "He's just some schlump he knew on a committee once." We're under orders to keep it simple.

Photo: Martin Sheen in Badlands. Man, that Terrence Malik could pick 'em, could he not?

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Oh No, Must Be the Season of the Cinnamon Broom

Today's musings over the microwave minestrone...

Our Mad Man friend wrote a while back about an odd encounter with a tall, bony blonde in a grocery store. She helped him find a can of chicken broth, inquired solicitously about his health, and then, when he told her he was buying it for his fiance, who was making a special dinner, said he was a lucky guy. It was Ann Coulter. Doesn't that sound like one of those weird dreams you'd tell your shrink about? But it was real.

Latest Pew says 60 percent of women don't like Sarah Palin; the right says that's because we're just jealous that she's so pretty. Hon, that's the only thing about her I can stand. You know, in a bar, maybe, with the music too loud to hear her talk, well...I might sidle up. But $150,000 for clothes? Girlfriend is buying the drinks.

Full disclosure: I'm thinking my hair/makeup/clothing budget probably hits a grand, and that's including running stuff. I hardly ever wear makeup, but I'm so phobic I throw out all the (cheap organic) stuff every three months and replace it anyway. Most of it's the haircolor and waxing, which I pay an arm and a leg and an ass for. But it's worth it--the woman who does it, besides being really good at her job, is a former French literature scholar who left Iran and has lived all over the world, and she always has such interesting things to say. I thought Sarah P.'s highlighting job looked a little skunky under the debate lights. I really should find a way to get that number down from a grand. It's unsustainable.

I know I'm kind of tiresome with my constant foisting of astrologer Eric Francis on people, but he reran this piece that took me right back to Miami in hurricane season. A bare hotel room, a perfect stranger, a mirror, candles, a trance CD playing over and over, power down and a wind right out of Cuba slinging rain at the windows. Book me for that one.

Instead, I'm on the couch wrapped in a blanket, watching Countdown. And, goddess forgive me, House. Jesus. My TV consumption shot up to almost four hours this week. I'm a little under the weather. Bored. Microwaved.

And then there's the other side of Miami: An old friend formerly from there won a cooking contest with a recipe for "Pig-Wrapped, Pig-Stuffed Pig." He's a really, really good cook. And the video's pretty funny.

[I know, you're thinking lipstick joke, but jesus if you say it I'll virtually stab you with a pen, the way my Hot Friend E did a lawyer in her office the other day, because he wasn't listening. And he just shook it off and kept on talking.]

Photo: Muse Erato, from the muses sarcophagi in the Louvre, public domain.

Monday, October 20, 2008

I Read. I Smoke. I Admire.

That's Laura Bush's reply to her mother-in-law when asked what she "does," brought back to me in reading reviews of W (though they attribute it being said to a different character; no, haven't seen the movie, come on, babysitter?): "I read. I smoke. I admire." It’s so Whartonesque, and so sad; such a cave to the requirement that a woman in her position be ineffectual and decorative. I read—an independent act, a richly exploratory act, but a lonely and interior one; I smoke—again, independent, transgressive even, but in a way that harms only the subject; I admire—the only outer-directed action being that of a mirror, a springboard, a prop, in effect nonexistent until the real people come along and need you. She turned herself into a flaneur on an exclusive, stunted boulevard. And I’ve been there, even to the specifics on a lower scale: With my own family and the ones I’ve married or partnered into, I’m an outsider suffered a place at the table to the degree I can provide a charming reflection or render myself invisible.

And it’s a tiring state to maintain; you can hear the exhaustion in that laconic delivery, can’t you?

But this made me laugh: Daphne Merkin writing about Sophie Calle, relegated to the NYT Sunday Fashion Supplement (which I'm slavish about reading for the perfume reviews). She's the one who did the piece where a man broke up with her via e-mail, and she gave that e-mail to a wide group of women of substance, who then used it to create works of their own (a scholarly essay, poems, drawings, more). My favorite was by an editor who corrected the e-mail's grammar and wording. As Merkin quotes one academic: "it's rare in contemporary art to make people laugh." The title is the funniest part of all: "Take Care of Yourself."

Of course, there are those who pound on her "narcissism," a critic who calls her work "more in the territory of mental disorder than art," "soft-core identity politics to advance/indulge/realize herself." Oh lord, and more than a hundred years ago we have poets proclaiming "Nothing human is alien to me" and "I sing the body electric"; no quibble with a man seeing himself as the universal human, is there? But here's Merkin with the big finish:

"[Calle says] 'The way I use stories protects me from bitterness.' Which leaves her as she wants to be seen: as a lone ranger of a sort, a defiantly risk-taking woman in a man's world, making her mark, like it or not."

Photo: Another enigma that splits the prodigy/late bloomer mold: Jean Rhys. Brilliant youthful work, silence; terrifying midlife work, silence; and as an old woman, one of the greatest novels of the last century, Wide Sargasso Sea. In between, she had husbands and children and lovers and drinks. Her letters are terribly moving; in one, she advises her adult daughter to go the chemist's and get vitamin C and calcium powder for her children, that that was one of the things she did for her daughter when she was little, during the war, and she grew up healthy and tall.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

"We Are Ugly, But We Have the Music"

Seven things that made me burst into tears in the past seven days:

1. Esperanza Glass is in her 40s.

2. High school bullshit never stops, even when you're in your 40s.

3. High school bullshit dogs one to the assisted-living facility, if one isn't lucky enough to keel over on the 18th hole before that point.

3. High school bullshit actually starts in elementary school.

4. My daughter is not after all showing signs of being as big a social tard as I am. She is also, entirely objectively speaking, beautiful, and she has a naturally long, lean physique. These gifts may allow her to glide past the high school bullshit present and future like a mermaid over a sewer pipe. Beauty generally frightens bullies (who are usually ugly, if you look hard enough, and who as unfair as it is nonetheless sometimes have the music).

5. Amid the deafening silence of the week, I heard from an old, old friend. And a new one.

6. My Hot Friend E left a wise, two-call-long message on my phone that I want to try to save forever. Or at least as long as the high school bullshit lasts.

7. I ran Billy Goat Trail B and C today through blazing trees and a river just high enough to talk. I've been in a low-boil depression for a while, doing the things I need to do to roll through it to the other side. One of those things: Working a ritual with Oshun, Orisha of love and beauty and in a deeper sense, renewal, and running by the river is part of that, as she is a river goddess. I have always been moved by the story of Oshun and Ogun. Ogun, the maker of tools, and in a deeper sense, perpetual creator of what humans need to live and keep going--he works unceasingly--became disillusioned and exhausted, feeling as if his constant work was for nothing. So he quit. He went to the forest to hide. For a while, no one noticed, but soon there was fear and chaos. People and Orishas alike called through the forest, telling him how much they were suffering, how he couldn't behave this way. Oshun quietly slipped into the forest, wearing five yellow scarves and carrying a gourd of her sacred honey. She wandered silently until she sensed Ogun behind some brush, watching her. She didn't say a word, but began to dance. Ogun crept closer, watching her dance. She dipped her fingers into her gourd and quickly reached out and brushed his lips with honey. He came closer, and she fed him again, wrapping him in her scarves.

He agreed to come back to work.

So I run into the woods, but have to send a part of myself after me, must gather my own honey, must try to tempt myself back to work, without any of her conviction that it's worth the effort. The answer to that is always the big, brick-wall question: What's your alternative, hon?

Friday, October 17, 2008

The Hamster Wheel of Necessity

My friends, please represent and support the American Center for Sarah Palin Inspirational Limericks, my friends. My friends, I know you can show them the best. Oh, that goes for my enemies, too. Thanks to the most voracious poetry blogger on earth for the tipoff.

And for this one, too. Someone's hip to the fact that my prodigious output is part of the plot to bring down the system, man. An apologia for the poetry bailout:

"The crisis has been precipitated by the escalation of poetry debt—poems that circulate in the market at an economic loss due to their difficulty, incompetence, or irrelevance. What began as a subprime poetry problem on essentially unregulated poetry websites has spread to other, more stable, literary magazines and presses and contributed to excess poetry inventories that have pushed down the value of responsible poems."

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Brazen as the Trees

Autumn in DC. Why does it seem so...depressing? It'll pass. I just have to get out of the conference rooms and onto the Gold Mine Trail this weekend.

Malcolm Gladwell's look at prodigies vs. late bloomers posits that the latter are "experimental innovators" who, awwww, love the journey more than the destination. Tell that to Cezanne, throwing his paintings up into the trees in fury and frustration. Examples of women artists are conspicuously absent in the piece, as well, perhaps because the reasons behind the caesauras in their oeuvres tend not to fit the theory.

And there's nothing anywhere that explains the impulse of a foolish woman to start at the age of 46 cranking out poems, clueless about their quality, entirely unconvinced of their use, and helpless to stop. It's been a year now since this madness struck me.

Enough complaining. Here's the mix: Could I Be Your Girl, Jann Arden; Stoney End, Laura Nyro; Next Time Round, Elvis Costello; The Infanta, the Decemberists; Love and Anger, Kate Bush; Me, Erykah Badu; Wichita Lineman, Cassandra Wilson; Spirit, The Go-Betweens; Gamma Ray, Beck; Holding on to the Earth, Sam Phillips; Get it While You Can, Janis.

"I'm no trouble...nothing like the trouble that I used to be when I was somebody's double..."

Photo: Louise Brooks, acting prodigy, writing late bloomer; and what happened in between was between her and the bedpost. Again, no permission. They'll put me on home detention for these copyright crimes soon. UPDATE: Had to fix--bad photo--instant karma? Thanks, whoever you are...

Monday, October 13, 2008

Make Them Open the Kimono First

Back in town from Mommy's Special Camping Trip with a big haul of poems. I keep thinking I'm never going back again, but as my acupuncturist says: "There aren't many places you can get that many insights in three days without destroying your marriage or your job." I'm speed-dating the cosmos. For all the discomfort and awkwardness, it's still the greatest place I've found yet to wander around drunk with gratitude toward people you don't even know. These are just fast snapshots written on the drive home and between loads of laundry. I would love to hear whether they work at all for people who don't know the setting.

Irish Pub
No one would ever swing from that chandelier.
That’s reassuring. Two melody lines
From the fiddles entwine in the warmth,
And nobody minds when the singer forgets
A few lines—“something about knife,
Something about wife”—because
We’re all fucking family here.

Camp Sexy
Most people want it in the morning, but
They get to it in different ways. Some use the scent
As a cue to speak their aubades, an excuse to roll
Out of the tumbled blankets and ease down the road.
Others stumble out alone and shivering, chasing
The promise of warmth. Then there are those
Who ignore the call and turn to one another,
Not minding the salty lips,
Or that there may not be any coffee left
By the time they get there. When I went
To get my cup, the sugar was gone,
But there were many other kinds of sweeteners offered.

Tower of Power
It’s all in black and white on the screen,
Sharp as a tuxedo at 9 p.m., cool
As the condensation on the shaker.

“I am like an island adrift that would like to unite with a continent.”
--Carlos Fuentes
Maintaining the border matters. Two saguaros, once stately,
Now sagging, hold the line, their strange and dangerous spines
Suspiciously like bars. Beyond them lies a nation
Of fast patter and shifting images. You only get a glimpse,
But the people in the pictures look happy.

Whiskey and Whores
So a woman walks into a bar,
Takes a seat, asks the bartender for a light,
Pulls something out of her bag. One cowboy
Jackrabbits to the couch, grabs a snoozing blonde,
Tries to dive into her mouth for cover. But the Woman
With No Name just passes it around, and everyone takes a shot.
The men tell stories other people made up, in other places.
They’re all accustomed to taking the spin, the chance, and the consequences.
Outside, a turtle lumbers down the dirt road,
Stops to feed on a wilted rose, its jaws snapping the stem,
Working its way to the bud.

Then the Mariachi comes strolling by the bar,
Armed with nothing more than ordinary guile.
Long shots from three points of view, and some
Rapid-cycle close-ups on the eyes.
The Mariachi speaks three short, honest sentences
And sweeps the Woman up in his arms and carries her off.
Her pleasure makes the lantern sway on the pole.

Zelda’s Inferno
The caravan stopped here and spilled its cargo
Of quilts and cat-eyed poets. Cardamom scents the air
From the bubbling samovar at the next camp.
Parti-colored flags flutter above a pair of reclining lovers,
As a flame-haired woman reads aloud
From a book of prophecy.

Bright tangles of candy twine,
Candy jewels awash among the flotsam—
What’s dropped at the amusement pier
Piles up around the jetty’s sturdy legs.

Holding the long line, they pull together on the canvas
As one, tugging it over the dome and lashing it to the poles.
What will happen here requires that the circle
Stay in close contact with the earth. It may be
It would like to float away like a big balloon
And take its cargo back to Kansas.
What you learn here is that there is always
Another way to get home.

Photo: Don Draper gets hip to the beats. Permission? I don't need no stinking permission.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

What. Not.

I've been feeling guilty about being so distracted by the election "and whatnot" that I haven't been writing much. So I forced myself to come up with a poem today while running.

Carolina, My Ass

Something in the way
It sounds makes you think
You've heard it before. But you're lulled.
The voice, rich and reedy at once,
Diction a mix of precision and drawl,
And that fingering, sliding
As if the strings have been lubricated.
But they still ring out plucked steel;
There's nothing sloppy about it.
An intake of breath and he constructs
A country in his chest, pouring it drop by drop
Into your ear. Ain't I weak, he sings.
That's when it falls apart. Now you hear
The junkie whine behind the words,
And the only hardness is that of a heart
That takes what it wants and turns away,
Then turns back to ask for more.

I should make myself do it every day, like the rock and roll poet, who filled out almost a whole month last month. Check out the one for David Foster Wallace--it's stunning, I think, and could apply to almost anyone, like the one above could, except it's shorter, which is always better.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Kinda Mainstream Racism

Well, several nights free of trouble, and a daughter dancing and singing all over the house in her usual fashion. Life is good again, and giving mommy plenty to feel sick about. From the Post:

"Worse, Palin's routine attacks on the media have begun to spill into ugliness. In Clearwater, arriving reporters were greeted with shouts and taunts by the crowd of about 3,000. Palin then went on to blame Katie Couric's questions for her "less-than-successful interview with kinda mainstream media." At that, Palin supporters turned on reporters in the press area, waving thunder sticks and shouting abuse. Others hurled obscenities at a camera crew. One Palin supporter shouted a racial epithet at an African American sound man for a network and told him, "Sit down, boy."

"...Palin, speaking to a sea of "Palin Power" and "Sarahcuda" T-shirts, tried to link Obama to the 1960s Weather Underground. ... "Kill him!" proposed one man in the audience."

At least that paper's still managing to get the reporting job done, despite being cut to skeletons and spending all its money on interns testing cosmetics. Sunday, our Times wasn't delivered and my husband went out on an errand, leaving me with the newspaper dregs--including that egregious banality, the Sunday Source, in which I read that for "retro curls" I should spread between my hands "an egg-size amount of voluminizing mousse," which sounds kind of sexual? Maybe that's just me, and in which someone actually got paid for putting this subhead on a sidebox: "Teach Your Children Well." Gag me with an egg-size...well. That's enough of that.

But it's got ELECTROLYTES!

Photo: Idiocracy. Permission? What's that?

Monday, October 6, 2008

Hugs and Drugs

Like the prospect of hanging, having a sick child concentrates the mind wonderfully. (Course he also said that no one but a blockhead writes but for money, so what does that make me?) I don't give a shit who dives out of Wall Street windows; just gods, gods, gods, make her stop waking up crying at 1 a.m.

She askes me these scarily grown-up questions in our rocking late-night encounters, ones that run through my own mind as well. So perhaps that means that my questions are simply childish. You be the judge.

"What if this never stops?"

"It'll get better, baby, I promise."

"I'm so tired of being awake. I want to sleep. I never want to wake up at night again. What if I never sleep?"

"Remember last night? It started feeling better and you got back to sleep. You will. You just have to give it some time. Give the medicine a chance to work."

"What if this never goes away? Will I ever be able to play with my friends again?"

"You will. I promise. We'll make it better."

"But I'll still remember what this feels like. I'll have the memory of this and it will never go away."

"The memory will go away, too. You can help make it go away."

"But if I make the bad remembering go away, will the good memory go away too? How can I keep the good rememberings?"

"You just keep putting the good thoughts in instead of the bad. Who's the boss of your mind? Who's the queen of your mind?"

"I am."

"You are. Right. We'll all help make it better together."

And on and on, over again. I have no idea what I'm doing. This line of questioning isn't supposed to start until the college years. I want to punch doctors who are reassuring, yet am stuck with nothing more than being able to be reassuring myself. (BTW, it's nothing horrible, don't worry; just very, very uncomfortable and difficult for her, between medicine and side effects.) And I don't, don't, don't want to be at work (where I'm sneaking this in while waiting for a late client because if I don't write something real I'll go nuts). I passed a store window with a t-shirt on display: "Lucky Mom, 24/7" and about lobbed my coffee cup thru the window. If I were 24/7 mom none of this would happen, she would never get sick, the world would be peaceful, the market would be humming, right?