I love his granddaughter and I don’t want her feelings to be hurt by announcing on social media that I am expecting my first grandchild. She is 8 years old and knows that I am her father’s stepmother, but I still don’t want to hurt her. Whenever she comes over, my husband and I both spoil her (like grandparents should), but she has always favored her “Papa.”
The problem for me is that I am much younger than my husband, and I didn’t want my social media friends to think that I was old enough to have an 8-year-old grandchild.
How can I say that I am expecting my first grandchild without making her feel like she doesn’t count?
— Grandma to Be
Dear Grandma: I appreciate your sensitivity about this situation, but I have news for you — you are already a “Grandma.” You have been one for the past eight years, and for you to try to find a way to deny this now that you are about to have a “real” grandchild in your life is all about your own vanity.
Your young granddaughter wouldn’t be the only person surprised (and possibly hurt) by the revelation that she isn’t your grandchild. Her parents, especially the parent you “helped to raise,” would likely be quite wounded.
I could also venture a guess that the reason your granddaughter has always favored her “Papa” is because you are signaling to her in a variety of ways that she is a placeholder for the real grandchild who will someday come along and claim your heart.
I became a grandmother quite young — at least it seemed so at the time, because I wasn’t prepared for this life stage. But family comes to you in different ways and at different times, whether or not you’re ready (or “old enough”) for it.
And so now the thing to do is to take to social media to announce your joy at the birth of your second grandchild.
Me: NINE HOURS OF SLEEP, STEAMY SHOWER WITH PINE AND MINT ESSENCE, NASAL RINSE, SALT-WATER GARGLE, ANTIHISTAMINE NASAL SPRAY, STEROID NASAL SPRAY, CLARITIN, AGGRESSIVE TOOTHBRUSHING
My body: —look, forget i said anything, okay?
I refuse to get sick. REFUSE. R E F U S E. J has had a horrid cough for a week and is on antibiotics and prednisone (when they prescribe prednisone to the guy with insomnia, you know it's bad), X is wrapping up a course of antibiotics for a throat infection, and J had to do that for his own throat infection last month. So far I've been fighting off all the respiratory bugs Kit brings home from daycare, but I don't take my ability to do that for granted. And I can't take most antibiotics without serious mood effects because apparently I depend on my gut flora for emotional management, so I have to be extremely diligent about my preventive care.
I'm going to go have spicy curry for lunch and drink some ginger honey tea. Fuck off, germs.
It’s been about a week to the hour since I came home early from work. Greta got up to greet me. After I bustled around the house a bit, I noticed that she was standing in one place staring at me. I thought she wanted up on the couch but wasn’t feeling up to jumping so I lifted her up. She sat there for a minute and then oozed slowly off to lay on the floor and pant. Her tail never wagged when I said her name. That’s when I realized it wasn’t good.
I’m gonna spare everyone the hours of trying to get a hold of my husband while crying and then waiting for him to get home, all the while exchanging text messages with A. who had gone through similar stuff recently and was an excellent support. We got Greta to the emergency vet and they confirmed that her tumor had started bleeding into her abdomen. One overdose of anesthetic later and she was gone.
I miss her dearly. My house is too quiet while trash thieves and children on bikes pass unchallenged. My bed is too big, my couch too empty. There’s no (non-poop fountain) dog here to eat my carrots, cheese, and crackers. It’s been a rough, sad week.
I’m glad we have Zille here. Her solution to everything is “Throw a ball.” It’s a good distraction. And by god, she’s an easy dog, which is something you could never say about Greta. But I don’t think she could have taught me nearly so much about dogs as Greta. I’m a better person for Greta being in my life.
I’m going to end this three pictures that I think encompass how I’ll always think of her: Checking to see if the dinner I was eating was for dogs with her tail a blur of hopeful wags, snuggling with me on the couch, and telling boats to fuck right off. I’ll miss you, Greta-face.
It was the second act of vandalism in less than three months at the site, located in Carmen Park near historic Faneuil Hall.
Steve LeBlanc @ US News: Gov. Baker Signs Resolution Denouncing White Nationalism
BOSTON (AP) — Republican Gov. Charlie Baker joined with Democratic leaders to sign a resolution Thursday denouncing neo-Nazism and white nationalism.
ETA: Combined Jewish Philanthropies (CJP): Donate to the New England Holocaust Memorial
( Read more... )
(I thought I was all set to read it to the Pip, since Chad got to read it to SteelyKid! But, foolishly, since chapter 3 is pretty short, I let the Pip talk me into just a little of chapter four last night . . . without checking how much of chapter 4 was left, or asking Chad to save chapter 5 for me.)
(Last time I read even-numbered chapters through chapter 12, then Chad read chapters 13 & 14 together, so I did odd-numbered from fifteen on; which, to be fair, now that we're back on me doing even-numbered, means I get to do the spiders and Smaug again, which were great fun. Still! "Riddles in the Dark"!)
And they signed love back.
Kit: [earnestly signing love at the camera]
My baby told me they love me. I'll just be here in a little melted puddle forever.
Uncanny Magazine -- whose editors have personal relationships to disability -- picked up the mantle of "create a wonderful anthology themed by marginal creators" from Lightspeed.
Even if you can't contribute money, Uncanny is posting free essays from SF writers about the connection between SF and disability. The essays are wonderful, and I've learned something from every one of them.
I kept meaning to post a highlight entry, and wowza beatrice_otter has done it for me!
So, go read this post and read wonderful essays
I'll leave you with this handy keyboard tip.
When I realize I want to delete a lot of text in the middle, I start a new line before and after. That way I can use the triple-click or keyboard commands without fussing with selecting between words.
Contains: shame, sexual violence, shame, internalized misogyny, eating disorder, shame.
I don't know if I'll ever be able to finish it.
DEAR MISS MANNERS: My stepfather’s grandson’s wedding is black-tie optional, and my stepfather’s children are renting him a tux. My mom, who is 90, thought she would wear a nice pants outfit with a dressy jacket, and is resistant to buying something new. She has been through a lot this year (treatment for lymphoma, cancer surgery, and she recently fell and broke her pelvis, so she is in a lot of pain).
I and my three sisters (my mom’s only children) live on the opposite coast, but we are now being pressured by the mother of the groom (my stepfather’s daughter) and my stepfather to see that she is outfitted appropriately -- not just for the wedding, but also for the rehearsal dinner (cocktail attire) and the wedding breakfast to be held the day after the wedding.
They have also expressed concerns about the shoes my mother prefers (very safe, comfortable, but not at all dressy). My sister even heard my stepfather tell her that if she doesn’t get something new to wear, she can stay home and not attend the wedding or other events.
My mother doesn’t stand up for herself, unfortunately. Two of us will be traveling to see her soon, and plan to take her shopping. My sister is even purchasing a few things for my mom that she will bring with her, in the hopes that maybe something will fit and work for this event.
Personally, I think it is extremely superficial of them to dictate what she wears (especially since the wedding is six months from now!). If it were me, I would just be thrilled they are both well enough to attend, regardless of how they are dressed.
Is my mother wrong to resist the request to buy something more formal? Or should the step-family back off?
GENTLE READER: What happened to the “optional” part?
While Miss Manners always advocates dressing properly for the occasion -- and generally abhors “optional,” as it just invites chaos -- the particulars of your mother’s dress seem to be unduly fixated upon here. There is certainly a lot of undue angst being put into this poor woman’s wardrobe that seemingly requires three separate outfits and uncomfortable, possibly dangerous, shoes.
If your mother can reasonably be jollied into the shopping expedition or accepts one of your sister’s choices for one new outfit, fine. But if not, please talk to your stepfather about “backing off.” Surely this cannot really be worth all of this fuss.
Yeah. I said cheap and mass produced. These statues have neither artistic nor historical value. “Why did the statue go down so easy? Many “Lost Cause” era C monuments were mass-produced in the cheapest way possible for mass distribution. There wasn’t even a layer of the most basic mortar holding the pedestal to the base. Gravity was enough for granite. Cheap, tacky crap.”
Antonia Noori Farzan @ Phoenix New Times: Activist Turns Confederate Memorial At Arizona Capitol Into Participation Trophy
She immediately got to work crafting two banners that say "2nd Place Participant" and "You lost, get over it."
David Krugler @ the Daily Beast: America's Forgotten Mass Lynching: When 237 People Were Murdered In Arkansas
What made 1919 unique was the armed resistance that black Americans mounted against white mobs trying to keep them “in their place.”
Ken Schwencke @ ProPublica: Service Provider Boots Hate Site Off the Internet
“This is fucking serious. 8/12 changed everything,” tweeted Pax Dickinson, a lead technical voice for the far right, referencing the Charlottesville rally.
Nicholas Fandos, Russell Goldman, & Jess Bidgood @ NYT: Baltimore Mayor Had Statues Removed in ‘Best Interest of My City’
History could not and should not be erased, [Kaylyn Meyers, 29] said, but men like Taney did not belong on a pedestal in a nice public park, either.
siderea: [US] Fwd: New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu's Address of May 19
Starts good, gets great: New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu's magnificent address of May 19 on the removal of the Confederate monuments from New Orleans. It's 22 minutes long, and, Americans, it's absolutely worth making the time. Beautiful, firey, and uplifting, it's worth hearing it delivered rather than reading a transcript.
The reports look at the impact of technology on society. They're piecse extend beyond the gee whiz to always consider technology's political impacts as well as social justice concerns.
What initially caught my eye is their sensible assistive tech reporting. No inspirational nonsense, no "this one gadget will change everyone's life!"
( two samples that spoke to me )
I find their weekly newsletter handy, as it's got has just the right amount of teaser text plus links to the full stories.
1. I swung by the cobbler's on my lunch break in hopes he might do leather repair other than shoes (the stitching attaching the shoulder strap on my beloved black handbag unexpectedly gave way yesterday). He initially said no, then changed his mind to yes when I showed it to him, and he did a gorgeous restitching job in time for me to pick it up on my way home.
2. The leftover carrot-zucchini cake I made for the friend who runs my D&D group (in honor of his birthday, and last night being the last D&D session of our current arc) was enthuastically devoured by my coworkers.
3. I had chicken dumpling ZOMG-so-much-spinach soup for lunch, and it was good. (I finally made the damn soup Monday night, after two weeks of stressful waffling on when exactly I'd get to it, so to have that done, and to move on to the simple pleasure of enjoying it, is very good indeed).
I'm pretty sure it's impossible for me to get everything I have to get done at work this week before I leave early Friday for a few days of vacation, but I've already managed more than I'd thought I might when pulling a 12hr work day Friday wasn't enough to whittle it down to a reasonable amount.
One day at a time is enough, betimes.
The HIV Crisis In The Deaf Community
This excellent article highlights big troubles.
Just one story:
A gay Deaf man new to DC attempts to set up an interpreted appoint at a queer friendly clinic; after waiting for 45 minutes he's escorted to a room with a video relay interpreter:
Some context: Since Washington DC is home to Gallaudet University, they have a very large and skilled interpreter workforce. ( Two videos with ASL, captions, and audio )
All I wanted to do was to set up an appointment at a later date with the doctor and a live ASL interpreter. That’s all I want.
She looked at the note, smiled, and wrote, “We don’t do that here. ASL interpreters are expensive. This is a cheaper alternative.”
I looked at the note, shook my head, “No.” I got the feeling that this was not going to be a “Deaf-friendly” nor “Deaf accessible” and got up and started to leave when she grabbed my arm. I looked at her quizzically with her writing furiously on the note. She wrote, “You do qualify for our services but you have to understand, we can’t afford it.”
I looked at her disappointedly and wrote: “I find it ironic that the HIV-positive community is knowledgeable with the ADA law and uses it to the betterment for the community and yet can’t provide for their own.”quote ends
Concentrating on my breath helps me relax and it also reminds me that everyone on the planet is also a breathing body. This commonality calms the terror attendant on our current moment. My ideology, my fears, my impairments aren’t magicked away, but I am always a breathing body, just like everyone else.
It’s called meditation practice because that concentration is a skill. While I’m meditating I find myself thinking about the past or planning for the future. This is the magic moment. When I notice I’m thinking, I softly name it, and then return to my breathing.
I learned to meditate via an 8-week MBSR class, mindfulness based stress reduction, offered by my therapist. Since then, I’ve loved using Insight Timer, the meditation tool for iOS and Android. You do have to create a login, but they haven't spammed me. Insight Timer has tons of useful features, but at its most basic it’s got a great timer, with lovely bells, background white noise, and finely adjustable intervals. When you’re online, Insight offers hundreds of guided meditations, including introductory lessons for absolute beginners. (Other audio available: yoga guidance, Dharma talks, affirmations.) Excellent search functions let me bookmark (for example) just the 10–19 minutes long, secular, male voice, meditations designed for pain.
All of the audio content is also available from this web site.
I downloaded a couple to take up north with me when I disappear at the end of the week until September.
Correctives to an article that, I admit, I shared at first: smartphones aren't destroying a generation from Slate and Psychology Today.
Oops, this mobile puzzle game Humble Bundle only has a day left: I've played and liked klocki, Hook, and Deus Ex GO, and I'm in the process of playing Zenge.
The Secret Life of the City Banana at the NYT; I love logistics-heavy looks at ordinary things like this.
Tag yourself, I'm X (that's a legible text version of this tweet).
A minute's worth of zoo animals escaping the heat; I think the last bit is my favorite.