Monday, June 24, 2013

Get Uncomfortable


Uncomfortable yet?  Good.  This recent Paula Deen debacle is boiling my blood.  Do I care she used the "n word"?  Do I care that her (god fucking awful) cooking led to her and countless others' diabetes?  For the record, I am white; half Italian, half Mutt and overweight, but not due to Deen's "food".

Making the blog and Facebook rounds today I was in kind of shock at the arguments put forth by my white friends.  One friend, who is white, male, and gay is more angry/concerned about how the black community should be upset Deen hid her diabetes from her followers and since a lot of African Americans are diabetics, "they" should be pissed off about that and not the whole "slang word" issue.

Um.  Where to begin...After my head stopped exploding, I asked well, wouldn't you be upset if someone was using a pejorative about your minority group?  All I got in  response all day, from people who should be pissed about language mattering, was "she's older", "she's Southern", "it's only a word", "who cares what people say in private", "she only used the 'n-word' when she was mugged", "it was a long time ago", "what about free speech", "diabetes kills, words don't" and other mind blowing shit.

These responses were from women, men, whites, homosexuals, some blacks.  Am I over-sensitive when it comes to language and labeling people?  I think it matters, it really, really, really matters.  Not because she is a public figure or because she's white or whatever lame excuse you can come up with it is because there are certain words that are heavier than others.

They carry with them a weight of history and of hate and of not just being an adjective.  These are the basest of words.  Do I have a sense of humor?  Yes, juvenile and gross mostly.  Do I have a sense of humor about hate language?  NO.  I have zero tolerance.

I am so angry and saddened by the people who are subjected to intolerance and to fear and to hatred on a daily basis just brushing this whole "slang thing" off.  Why are we willing to look the other way when it's "not me"?  If anyone thinks that "nigger" is just a word, how much wincing do YOU do when you read the above list of "slang" words?  I do not expect the whole wide world to be PC but Sweet Jesus, think before you open your mouth.  Words are powerful.  I spoke about this a little on my Ubercrummie post.

"We are what our thoughts have made us; so take care about what you think. Words are secondary.  Thoughts live; they travel far." - Swami Vivekananda

Sunday, June 23, 2013

T-Minus 10

10 more days until I hit the magical middle aged birthday marker of 40.  Why is 40 such a big deal?  I remember when I turned 30 and what a hard time I had with that transition.  Maybe losing the "coolness" of having a "2" in the prefix of your age is a lot more traumatic than rolling the tens position from 3 to 4.  The 20 to 30 leap is akin to mourning your childhood, carefree, young days.  When you're 30, you are already old in the world's eyes; 40 is just the next logical step I suppose.

I spent my 20s with all the life I had in me: the early part of my decade was spent with great decadence.  Like Caligula on perpetual Spring Break.  My mid-20s brought the death of my mother, followed quickly by owning my first house, a job change, moving in with my (future) husband.  I went from Jagermeister hangovers to lawn mowing and mortgage payments.  Maybe your 20s are where you practice being an adult and your 30s are where you apply all experience and knowledge to actually living like an adult.

It is a big mental leap.  You look around you and see a home you have financially committed to for 30 years, a person whom you have promised a lifetime to, and little persons you have given your heart to forever.  Gone are the selfish indulgences and now are the selfless imperatives.

Going from 30 to 40: you are already there.  You have been a decent adult for 10 years at the minimum.  What is the fuss about 40?  That the party is half over?  It's not though.  At least not for me.  It is another 20s.  Where 20s were the practice for the 30s, 40s will be the practice for the 50s.  Daughters turning into teenagers, making their practice for their 20s, preparing myself for their coming collective angst, college drama, first loves, possible weddings and the inklings of their children, my grandchildren, to come.

40 doesn't have me freaked out, it is simply what is coming next.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Tea Rex

I would never invite a T-rex to tea,
it would cause too much anxiety.

The tiny cups he would lose in his claw
so he'd have to use a bendy straw.

I would never invite a T-rex to tea,
he would eat all the doilies.

The thought of him
with clotted cream running down his chin
is much too grim
to bear.

I would never invite a T-rex to tea,
for fear he would eat me.

His arms are much too short
to reach the linzer torte.

I would never invite a T-rex to tea,
they are as foreboding as the sea.

He would be cute
in a navy sailor suit
and his cowboy boots.

So perhaps I would invite a T-rex to tea,
it would be an interesting opportunity.

-Jenn Mossholder, 31 and 3 Productions


Never say never writing prompt: First, finish this sentence: "I would never do [BLANK]." Then write 3-5 lines describing a situation in which you would, and why.  Oh, WordNerdGirl, you have made me think silly thoughts this Thursday!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Coffee and a Schmear

WordNerdGirl Prompt: "3-5 lines today describing your perfect morning routine. My must-haves include "a damn fine cup of coffee" & a crossword puzzle."


When I was Single In The City my perfect Sunday was to roll out of bed and roll into some found clothing and make my way to the local deli.  I'd order my everything bagel, toasted, with a schmear, nova, tomato, onions, and capers.  Sipping my hot gallon of coffee while my order was assembled with practiced precision I'd browse through the Sunday Edition of the Philadelphia Inquirer; always starting with the Comics.  If the weather was good, I'd brown bag it and take my picnic to the local park and people watch.  If the weather was less than good I'd stay at the deli and do the crossword.  Always happy to battle with Will Shortz in pen I miss the smell of newspaper ink.  Things have changed since those bagel mornings.  With four kids and two dogs, it is early rising to dispense kibble and cereal.   Rushing about to get people to lacrosse, Tae Kwon Do, birthday parties, supermarketing - nothing patterned or predictable, nothing very quiet or relaxing.  There were those middle years; between babyhood and up to four years ago where weekend mornings involved a party of six, cuddling in one bed, prolonging the magic of the early morning hours before rushing about.  Someday I will return to a nosh and a coffee and a crossword and a silence but I cannot predict it will feel the same.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Haiku #2

on my iron horse
following curves as they come
leaning into smiles

-Jenn Mossholder, 31 and 3 Productions

*someone bought a motorcycle for her birthday

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Sexy Tomato

WordNerdGirl prompts us to write about a favorite food and share that visceral experience with our readers.   I am tending to a large vegetable garden this Summer and my favorite thing is eating tomatoes from it.  Enjoy.


with a gentle twist
and free it from its vine.

under the running tap
watching swirls go down the drain.

its ruby beauty and bruises
inhaling its warm dirt aroma.

its skin with sharp teeth
streaming forth juices on your chin.

the inner tender pink flesh
still warm from the Sun.

the sweet and the salty
fruits of your garden.

Body Heat

From WordNerdGirl: "A "Senseless" writing prompt today: 3-5 lines describing a rainy scene. Be detailed. The twist: No visuals. Describe your scene using only smell, taste, touch, sound."


It was a moonless night, dark and still and thick with humidity.  There was no way to mark the passage of time other than tossing and turning in the limp pile of damp sheets.  Left, right, back, left, right - sweat trickling down my skin but making little progress as even it was too exhausted to make the journey down my body.

The fan made useless movements against the tide, gently whirring above me.  The evening stretched on and on and when I had just about given up hope of any rest I felt the drapes next to me rustle.  Their crisp, cool cotton whispered of a hope of a breeze.  I could feel their dance intensify and started to smell a shift in the air.  The blowing increased and with it brought a faint tap-tap-tap of rain onto the tar shingles.  The smell of the sizzle the cold making contact with the still too warm roof reminded me of a sauna.

As the drizzle up tempo-ed into a shower I felt little compunction to leave my nest of a bed and lay there, listening to the pops and sizzles and eventually drum beat of the storm.  Sweet relief from my heat induced insomnia blew across my soul and I drifted into a peaceful, cool slumber.

The morning will be damp again but cooler, greener, and alive with possibilities.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

The Student Becomes the Master

I was driving home in god-awful rush hour traffic yesterday with two of my daughters.  We had some doctor appointments to attend and after we went to the mall (or as King of Prussia Mall  is known "The Mall" and a quick Chinese dinner. It was a nice day despite the traffic and torrential rain.

While I was stopped on the highway behind the man with no taillights or brakelights, again, I asked a general question of my kids.  "Do you guys think it's weird that my dad and I haven't seen or spoken to one another in a year?"  I could see the glances between them, calculating an answer.  "It's a not a trick question, ladies, I really want to know what you think."

The eldest, my 13 year old, hems and haws a bit but tells me this really doesn't bother her or the other three. I ask, "But don't I have some sort of obligation to respect my parents?  No matter how selfish and weird they are acting?".  She turns to me and says, "Mom, is he showing you respect by not calling or emailing or anything?  He is acting like a big baby."

She blew my mind.

I am going to be 40 next month.  Feel a little better about this than the 29/30 transition.  But this will be the first birthday ever I will not hear or see from my dad.  The best gift I have received so far is (aside from my motorcycle) the gift of perspective from my children.

Best gift ever.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013


From WordNerdGirl: "Today's prompt: 3-5 lines just describing your normal Tuesday. But the twist is... As many words as possible must begin with the letter "T." Take time to think it through!"


Tuesdays are a terrifically busy day on my turf.  Two daughters take Tae Kwon Do at the local dojang or training center.  It is also Trash Day; an excellent time to throw away trash and take care of the recycling.  Thoughtfully, the triplets gather the trash and take it to the garage.  Tonight, I shall take time to relax and watch some television.

Ergh.  5 sentences, 24 instances of words starting with "T".

Monday, June 3, 2013

Haiku #1

The heatwave (as it was, maybe four days of 90+ temps in the Philadelphia area) is broken today.  Looking at my vegetable garden a lot of things went a little brown except my hearty little sugar snap peas.  I saw them there on the trellis, damp with the morning dew and thunderstorms.  Decided to try my hand at a haiku since I did not do one during NaPoWriMo.


Green shoots from brown earth,
                 snaking and vining upwards,
                                reaching for the sun.

-Jenn Mossholder, 31 and 3 Productions