pattie boyd, eric clapton, george harrison: a love story?
Oct 30th, 2007 by wrekehavoc

as luck would have it, the library came through with two books for me simultaneously: wonderful tonight by pattie boyd and eric clapton’s autobiography clapton. it was quite a treat to read them in close succession; in some respects, it felt like i got at least two sides of part of a fascinating story.

pattie boyd, for those of you living under a rock (or perhaps for those of you under the age of, i dunno, 40), is a very famous muse. know the beatles song something? or eric clapton’s layla? wonderful tonight? yep. those, and many, many other wonderful songs were inspired by and written for her. (in my more passive moments, one of my life goals is to be a muse. thus, i am in complete and total awe of pattie boyd harrison clapton boyd-all-over-again.) pattie writes a sweet account of her life. in spite of a very broken and screwed up upbringing, she lands on her feet, thanks to her beauty, and ends up married to a beatle. sadly, george harrison is not exactly the epitome of fidelity. he all but ignores her, particularly once he starts his indian period. and still, she stays faithful.

enter eric clapton, AKA G-d. clapton covets her from afar, then up close. his initially futile pursuit of her pushes him down a nasty trail of heroin snorting (with another woman, who ultimately dies from addiction) until the unrequited love becomes requited.

ultimately, it’s so sad reading the two accounts. they shared a great passion, dimmed by drug abuse, alcoholism and infidelity. it’s absolutely boring reading about clapton between about 1977 and somewhere in the 1980s; and this boredom in some way translates through to his musical output. he at one points notes that a major part of the attraction to boyd is that pattie was married to a very powerful man. caveman eric apparently wanted that for himself. gimme the trophy wife, it seems.  the wonder is that boyd stayed with clapton for much time — they were married thanks to a publicity stunt/joke — and it appears that he is pretty horrible to her — from his account as well as hers.

finally, of course, clapton gets help. clapton gets clean. clapton has an affair and a son from another woman, which ultimately ends the relationship with boyd. the son tragically falls from a highrise and dies. clapton writes an incredibly beautiful song for the boy.  incredibly, clapton does not drown his sorrows in alcohol. and ultimately, clapton finds a new soulmate, has babies, and is a happy guy who loves his hunting, his fishing, and his designer clothes. (there’s a very strange passage about all of his old rocker friends from the 1960s, like steve winwood and folks from cream, getting together and hunting together. like, would it be too hard to just get together and jam instead?) meanwhile, boyd has found a life for herself, alone.

and of course, sadly, george harrison died after finding love and family again.

a few things come clear to me after this:

1) clapton doesn’t really talk about the major impetus of his existence to my liking; that is to say, i really wish i knew more about his MUSIC from this book. you know, the whole reason for your being? it’s nice that he seems to remember every single guitar he has ever had, but it would be great if he would share more about how he created certain pieces. i loved hearing about duane allman and his contributions to Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs. and i enjoyed reading the genesis of wonderful tonight. but there’s so very much more that is lacking here. maybe it is lacking because the man was out of it so much of the time. pity.

2) maybe being a muse isn’t a good career move. clapton helps boyd keep a roof over her head (nice of him considering i don’t think alimony was terribly generous), and she is at peace with harrison when he dies, but in general, i think she is the one who ultimately had a wild ride with two extremely bumpy endings. in many ways, she fared the worst.

3) now that he’s a daddy of young children, there’s a point where clapton starts praising certain baby products in the book. creepy.

4)  the perspective of one person is particular is missing; and we cannot ever have it. george harrison’s views on all these goings on would have been quite enlightening. how on earth does one react when one’s good friend tells him that he is in love with his wife? and then they stay friends until death do them part? odd.

anyway, both are quick reads. i’m exceptionally pleased that he became and continues to be sober, but i’m embarrassed to report that clapton’s book gets less interesting once he is sober — unless you are really interested in recovery and rehab and 12 step thingies.  boyd’s book goes by far too quickly. and i wish both delved further into their lives in the 1960s.

but definitely some fun reads. can’t wait for ronnie wood’s and keith richard’s autobiographies, although i cannot imagine what on earth either man would remember from, oh, say, 1965 through about 2000.

maybe that coconut conked some memory back into keith?

moms gone wild
Oct 29th, 2007 by wrekehavoc

keep yer shirt on; we did.

i won tickets from our local radio station to see tori amos last week. at the time i won, i wasn’t certain whether i could even go, let alone ask others. see, i was scheduled for my IVIG that day, and after sitting with my IV full o’ love for 5 or 6 hours, i am usually wiped out. the thought of going to a concert is nearly laughable.

but i love the tori-grrl, and i reallyreallyreally wanted an evening as a grownup me. i have found that my friends and i never get the opportunity to go out just as grrls. we’re out with our kids, our partners, our kids AND partners. but never just as us. i have friends who live in suburbs, and i hear about how women get together weekly for things like games of bunco (what the hell is THAT) or other somesuch. (tupperware parties?) but around here, we don’t seem to do stuff like that. is it because we’re in an urban area? is it because we’re all unfriendly? bee-yotches with no time? who knows.

but luckily (or unluckily, depending on your perspective), the doctor’s office did not yet receive my IVIG. so off we went: me, kellyo, nylonthread, and kellyo’s friend sue. it was a night filled with teeming rain, swamped roads, and exhausted moms. but the desire to be out and about was so strong that off we went. nylon and i experienced mr. toad’s wild ride on the whitehurst; and we finally found a parking spot thanks to kellyo and her cell.

there was something so thrilling about walking in the rain without worrying whether little people around us were going to jump in puddle lakes or run into oncoming Connecticut Avenue traffic. the whole evening was ahead of us, and we revelled in the fact that we were out. hell, if i had been delusional about the ticket win, no one would have cared! we had drinks underneath the hay-adams and then walked over to DAR Constitution Hall for the show.

fortunately, i was not delusional about the ticket win.

we had great seats, almost exactly where BS and i had sat for tori amos about 10 years prior. (BS bowed out of the evening. i think he feared being overwhelmed by too much estrogen.) from our vantage point, i could see a woman with a baby in a carrier in the second row. being moms, we marvelled about the idea of bringing a baby to a concert. would the child’s hearing be damaged for life? was it too late to have a baby out? but once the show started, there was the mom, dancing while wearing her child. it was a wonderful sight.

but exhausted we all were. none of us stayed for the entire show.

nevertheless, i had a wonderful evening. and we have to make this a more regular thang. thanks, chicks, for the evening.

it’s a liberating thing to be just yourself once in awhile.

still looking for one divine hammer
Oct 25th, 2007 by wrekehavoc

…of course with my luck, i’d probably end up beating myself in the head. (actually, with my luck, i’d beat myself so senseless that i’d need yet more scans. i suspect i will soon hit the point that i will no longer need scans; they will merely darken the room and say: eureka! she has XYZ! i see it, clear as day, without machinery.)

but life will resume some peace and calm. today, as i mentioned in the last entry, we lost our field trip. we did, apparently, gain an extra shot today, to the tune of four shots. yes, four. BC did her best to completely freak jools out on the subject. oooh, they hurrrrrrrrt! ooooooohhhhh! i haaaaaaaaate shots!!!! waaaaaaahhhhh! (BC will cry early to avoid the rush.)

so i decided that we would make the morning as fun as we could to offset what i figured would be an afternoon from hell. first, we started to clean the inside of the fridge (woohoo! let’s replace the insulation next, or tackle plumbing!) until a shelf i washed and put back fell to the floor, resulting in a broken jar of applesauce AND a broken bottle of soy sauce. (see? even G-d doesn’t want me to be domestic.) i thought at first that i had slashed myself in the process, and i sat stunned for a second, trying to figure out whether i had soy sauce coming out of my finger or blood. i licked the wound (don’t judge me!) and realized that, in spite of the stuff that gets pumped into my veins every four weeks, i doubt i am starting to taste like a stir fry. as soon as jools looked concerned, i lightened up. noooo, mommy is okay. it’s only a flesh wound. (jools may be the only four year old who likes monty python.)

yep. we know us some good times around here.

then, i wondered randomly, as i looked in the cabinet for a fresh jar of applesauce — what can we do with a can of pumpkin? (note to self: are you a latent ADHD kinda grrl?) we found a recipe in one of my favorite bread machine books for pumpkin challah, so there went half the can. i used the rest in a pumpkin bean soup that no one save for me likes.

and then, it was shot time. i promised little man that he could pick a slurpee or nerds candy as his reward for getting three shots. unfortunately, when we arrived, we discovered that he actually needed his tetanus, too. four shots. woohoo. i put on the happiest face i could and told him that he could squeeze my hand as tightly as possible if he wanted and yell if he wanted. i braced myself to keep smiling and not cry. and i’ll be damned.

the boy did not cry. not once.

in fact, he made what i refer to as his lee harvey oswald face, then laughed between shots. i wasn’t sure whether to be overjoyed at this development or terrified that my son is a burgeoning psychotic. but 7-11, the magic you weave will never be forgotten in these parts. slurpee must be the elixir of life.

of course, now i’m reeling because my doctor’s office has apparently not yet received my IVIG, so i am not sure whether i am getting my treatment tomorrow or not. i should be secretly happy if it doesn’t arrive — i mean, i already had one IV this week, mr. vein needs a little rest. but there’s the trains must run on time part of me that just wants to stay on course.

but either way, it’ll be ok. i just won tickets to see tori amos. and reaction or no reaction, slurpee or no slurpee, hell or high water — i’m a’goin’.

don't push me cos i'm close to the…eddddddgggge
Oct 24th, 2007 by wrekehavoc

this starts with an apology to all the stay at home moms who manage to do this, day in, day out, with nary a complaint. i’m not worthy. really.

for the rest of you who are not candidates for mother of the year, pull up a chair. it’s:

incoherent rant-o-rama time!

every tuesday, jools stays home with me. i love our tuesdays together, and, since i know next year, he starts at the big school with BC, i won’t have a ton of tuesdays left. i love having a day when i get to focus on just one of my kids at one time. don’t get me wrong — i adore each of them with every beat of my heart. but when there’s more than one, you simply have to divvy your attention, your brainspace, your patience. and, with apologies to morrissey and marr, i just haven’t earned it yet (baby).

[neither has that guitarist. yet. but i digress. per usual.]

this tuesday, BC didn’t feel so well. her throat hurt, her ear hurt, and she was dead tired. so i relented. girlfriend stayed home with us and rested, and later that day, when she was swabbed at the doctor’s office and ended up with negative for strep, i thought, oh well, a mental health day for girlfriend. but her being home threw our little balance off. we couldn’t go out and do stuff. we just stayed in. and in. and in. nevermind the fact that girlfriend otherwise felt fine and frankly wanted to buy halloween stuff to “ghost” some of her friends’ houses on our street. (move over lourdes: make room for the holy miracle cure of Target.)

but we didn’t do squat.

then, last night, while jools soaked in the tub, BS yelled for me to come and take a look in jools’ ear. there was this HUGE white blob in his ear. and, according to jools, it was moving. in a word, EWWWWW. could it be a penny? a worm? jimmy hoffa? who the eff knows. i called our amazing pediatricians’ office, where they kindly let us bring him back in at 8:20 pm (yes, you read that right.) nevermind it was the same dr. who saw us earlier in the day and probably wanted to strangle my misbehaving kids. nevermind that poor man has a child sick with croup in his own home (which is no cakewalk, i assure you.) we all wanted to know what the hell had landed in jools’ ear and was making a home there. only, it was just massive amounts of wax and scar tissue from all the previous zillion ear infections he has had. once the doctor cleared it out and sent him on his way, all seemed well.

until this morning. mr. klingon wanted to stay with me. again. madame was fine for school, so i figured, okey doke: today’s half day elementary school in our People’s Republic; jools and i will run errands and have a laff. only, its raining, and while i’m thrilled to death it’s raining from an environmental perspective, it surely messes up all the day. and i’m single parenting for the entire day. can you say loooooooong day’s journey into night? joy.

and tomorrow. oh, tomorrow. jools was supposed to go on a field trip with his class, and i was going to chaperone. only, the class trip is now cancelled thanks to the weather, but the 3 shots that jools has to take in the afternoon are still on. the trip was the proverbial carrot for the medical stick that followed. and now, someone has TAKEN AWAY MY EFFING CARROT. ARRRRRRGH.

it all kind of makes me look forward to sitting with an IV in my arm for 6 hours on friday. sure. it will hurt like a mofo and be boring. but sometimes, boring is good.

Oct 22nd, 2007 by wrekehavoc

…and this time, with no apologies to jimmy page whatsoever. (although you friends from miami are probably smirking at me right now. you can apologize for your smirks any time you want 😉

i’m currently radioactive. see, i had a HIDA Scan. the gastroenterologist is trying to figure out why the hell my abdomen hurts after certain things. like exercise. or eating certain things. and he doesn’t think the teeny tiny gallstone is to blame. i swear, i am going to change my middle name to no food or drink for X hours before the procedure.

(for those of you in the viewing audience keeping track, this will make five, count ’em, five IVs necessary within one month. that’s a personal best:

1) IV for endoscopy

2) IV for IVIG

3) IV for CT scan plus contrast

4) IV for HIDA Scan


5) IV for IVIG all over again!

woo hoo! all this scarring, and no IV drugs to show for it. life is unfair 🙁

anyhow, it took nearly two hours to do this one. the last time, the phlebotomist gave up after two tries and brought in another guy to do it. a saint of a guy. and after two tries, he got it in. this time, i told them up front that my veins suck. they brought in the phlebotomist they bring in when they’ve tough veins to tackle — and it happened to be the initial phlebotomist from my previous adventure. she saw the marks, still on my arm, from her adventures two weeks prior. i nearly burst into tears when i heard she was coming. but she just went straight for my hand. and, while it hurt like a mofo, it worked. unfortunately, they had the wrong type of plastic thingy (that would be the technical term) for the IV. she ran to find a good plastic thingy while my blood oozed on my hand. “don’t look at your hand!” she told me before she ran off to find the right thing. and she did. and i lived.

and then i had to basically lie on a table flat for 90 minutes. at one point, the nuclear med guy injected me with stuff that made my stomach feel just awful. parting words: make sure you drink a lot. you’ll be radioactive for a day.

hell. i’m from new jersey. i’m probably radioactive for life.

i saw my regular, normal, everyday primary care doctor last week. i love the guy. he has seen me through shingles, he has seen me through ITP, he has seen me through two successful pregnancies, he has seen me through basically everything over the past 11 or so years. i get a gazillion infections, and i try reallyreally hard not to go on antibiotics because the day may come when they won’t work. and i’ll be VERY screwed, to put it mildly. but i needed to get looked at because i just wasn’t fighting my latest infection too well. he always has such a wonderful sense of humor. i was complaining to him.

doc, i said, i see doctors so often, i feel like i must be one of those munchausen people. a professional patient.

he laughed and patted my arm. nope, he said, you aren’t. the difference, unfortunately, is that you really have the things you have.

shit. i’d rather get attention by winning the nobel prize or something. but no.

i’m just radioactive.

G-d and Death
Oct 21st, 2007 by wrekehavoc

as you can tell from a post or two, we’ve been struggling to understand the death of our five year old friend. BC and i went to a celebration of mason’s life yesterday. it was a lovely afternoon, filled with people’s remembrances of this little force of nature. i hadn’t even realized that he had met Queen Elizabeth II when she visited children’s national medical center, where the little dude got his treatment — the pictures are incredible. the most wonderful thing for me was hearing about the family’s life before cancer.

on a personal level, one of the hardest things for me as a parent is explaining to my child why G-d would allow such a glorious little boy to get sick and leave his family and friends at such a young age; honestly, i can’t even understand it myself. this morning, i saw our rabbi at hebrew school, and i asked her: what is the rabbinical explanation? cos i’ve searched and searched my heart, and i have a hard time telling my children that sometimes, G-d says no to our prayers. maybe i’m just a lax parent, but i really and truly want to believe that if there is some sort of Benevolent Being, that He/She would want to do better than that.

our rabbi, who i like very, very much, was so warm. yes, she said, there is a school of thought that feels that G-d is omnipotent and therefore sometimes simply says no. she, however, personally believes that G-d is omniscient, not omnipotent. G-d can’t change what’s happening; G-d can only try to provide us comfort and strength in situations that happen. G-d doesn’t make things happen in the world; G-d simply tries to support us.

at least, that’s what i thought i heard. i may be completely taking her out of context, in which case, i am soooooo sorry.

anyway, one of the loveliest gestures from the ceremony yesterday was receiving bulbs to plant in mason’s memory. and on the back of the instructions, there’s a quote from one of my most favorite books: St. Exupery’s the little prince. i’ll end with it since it makes more sense out of the situation than i or anyone else can.

In one of the stars I shall be living,
In one of the stars I shall be laughing,
And so it will be as if the stars were laughing
When you look at the stars at night.
You, only you, will have
stars that can laugh.

Seven Random Facts About Wrekehavoc
Oct 19th, 2007 by wrekehavoc

I, too, was tagged by a very cool blogger for this meme. The rules are:

  • Link to your tagger and post rules.
  • Share 7 facts about yourself, some random and some weird.
  • Tag 7 people at the end of post and list their names.
  • Let them know they were tagged by a comment on their blog.

1. I look down when I walk. It’s probably a self-esteem issue, but it once resulted in my finding $100 on the floor of Ballston Common.

2. I was in law school. Yes, I really was. For a little over a month. I thought I could become a lawyer and save the world. In a sea of mid-1980s preppies, I had spiky hair; and I hated that my fellow students were stealing or hiding the textbooks we needed to read in the law library. I finally had an epiphany one Sunday morning that I didn’t need to be around such hateful people, all to end up in the yellow pages under Divorce Attorney or somesuch. It was one of the most expensive lessons I ever had, and it took me years to pay it off.

3. The first concert I ever attended was Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band in November 1980 on The River tour. My oldest brother — you know him now fondly in this blog as BTD, or Brutha the Doctor — lobbied my mother hard to let me go with him and his then-girlfriend. I didn’t like Bruce at all then — but after the show, I was converted. And I never looked back.

Thanks, big brother.

4. When I was young, I liked to mix my tuna salad with applesauce. BS thinks this is probably the most revolting food idea in history. But every now and then, I do it when he’s not looking 😉

5. I was a three-time Jeopardy! winner back in the early 1990s. They made me stand on a box so that I was equal height with the other contestants. And I don’t think Alex Trebek liked me all that much. But that’s a whole other story.

6. One of my geeky friends informed me that my children share the names of two Star Trek characters. This is purely unintentional; I was not channeling the spirit of Gene Roddenberry. (And no one is named Spock or Kirk.)

7. I grew up in what was once a smaller town in NJ, a place that’s now extremely huge and populated. One of the theories is that it’s named for Thomas Luker, a farmer who happened to be BS’s great-grandfather back 10 or so generations (hence, jools’ middle name is Thomas.) I hated the place, feeling constrained and much the outsider. I suspect I’d still feel like an outsider if I returned there, but I lovedlovedloved growing up near the ocean. I loved summers when I’d prowl along the Boardwalk and stare down the bennies, tourists who came from NY or Philly. And, though I’ve grown to love my newer (ha! nearly 20 years I’m here) home, I must confess I have never gotten over the fact that it takes at least three hours to hit the ocean. And now, when I go back to the Jersey Shore, I’m probably considered a benny, too.

I’d love to tag people but they’re still smarting from the last tagging. But anyone who wants to pick up the cause — just let me know in the comments.

bridezilla strikes again
Oct 18th, 2007 by wrekehavoc

your life must be really, really sad if you feel you must sue a florist for extreme disappointment, distress and embarrassment over the flowers from your wedding. apparently, there goes another person bringing down the legal profession because her flowers weren’t the right color. she wants more than her money back (and who the hell spends $27,435.14 on flowers alone???) — she wants revenge. if i were someone who provides services in the bridal industry, i would politely refer lawyers in love to other people. sure, i’d lose money, but a whole lot less than this.

in my humble opinion, she should perhaps get her money back (i’m sure she had a reasonable expectation that she should get what she paid for, so fair is fair), but nary a penny more.

at the risk of sounding ungrateful, i don’t even remember my wedding. well, not much. i remember being happy that it didn’t rain so that we could marry outside. i remember bees attacking my bridesmaids. i remember putting a “no madonna” clause into the DJ’s contract. (this was 1990, and i was not having any voguing at my party.) beyond that, though, the whole day is blurry.

and that’s why i marvel that people spend sooooo much money on absurd things. weddings are lovely, but why do people go overboard on a day they may not even remember? i love flowers, don’t get me wrong. but nearly $28,000 worth? some people don’t even make that in a year. set up a foundation, people. give it away charitably. if you’re so inclined, you can work it so that you get a tax break. but jeez — $28k for flowers? obscene. $400,000 for emotional distress?


better health through pat diNizio
Oct 17th, 2007 by wrekehavoc

okay, okay. pat diNizio has not, in fact, become my workout buddy (though if you’re out there, pat, c’mon by. we’ll swap some of that nasty exercise drink crap for something more motivational. like a mojito.) its just that this morning, i had a minor revelation, and it happened while working out and listening to the smithereens on my mp3 player.

see, yesterday wasn’t the best day ever. yes, i spent the day with jools, which always ends up being fun in a mommy gets to hang out with her little boy and do things she didn’t always get to do when SHE was 4-sort of day. other than a big bottle of gold glitter glue developing a HUGE hole on the side (i was so sleepy that i watched the glue ooze, caterpillar-slow, into a blob that ended up all over my hand. i didn’t mind having a sparkly hand for most of the day.), it wasn’t too eventful until the evening, when i went alone to mason’s viewing.

mason looked beautiful and serene, surrounded by things he loved and people who cherished him. he and his family have made a definite impact on our community, incredible considering they’ve been here for about a year and a half. i never know the right things to say in these situations; i only know too well that there really never are right words. words can’t reach into the places where you want to be, places that somehow make the pain a little less stinging, hollows where people’s hearts seem to have deflated. and you just want to give them air, and light, and love.

but the things that come out my mouth are so limited and pathetic. i just wish i could do and say more. give like he gave me. see, as i started my treatments, i would look at this child, this incredibly intrepid being, and realize — he’s going through something 100 times tougher. if he can be strong, i surely can be strong. and every time i saw him, my little superhero, i quietly cheered for us both. i remember how elated i felt when his eyebrows started growing back, gentle peach fuzz.

i’ve been struggling with this.

and so, this morning, i decided i need to do something. i need to get strong. really, really strong. see, there’s this drug-resistant staph out there, thanks to all those people insisting on using antibacterial everything coupled with purell and antibiotic abuse. (i wonder if we could start a campaign to get those things off the shelves?) and that’s especially scary news to people like me, who have compromised immune systems at the get-go. i wash my hands aplenty (howard hughes would approve), and i try to teach my kids decent health habits. i’m on antibiotics again thanks to another infection, and it scares me to think that a day could come when that won’t work.

so i’m determined to do what i can since there is so much in the world that i simply cannot control, cannot contain. i’m working out.

and there i was, on the elliptical, when the smithereens came on my mp3 player, which i let chug along at random. alone at midnight. and it all came together in my head. the epiphany. i need to do this. i need to do this. i can’t control the fact that i’ve CVID, but i can control my weight, my food, my health to some extent.

and i’ve got to. too many people depend on me.

i may never be as strong as a certain special little boy, but i’ll honor his memory by trying to be.

oh mercy, mercy me
Oct 15th, 2007 by wrekehavoc

with sincerest apologies to marvin gaye.

today is blog action day. because i’m a lemming because i’m a bit distraught over the weekend’s events, it comes as something of a relief to write about something like the environment (which tells you how awful the weekend truly was)… although there is a part of me that wonders whether we are adding to the pollution in the blogosphere.

but i digress.

clearly, we need to use less, as my dear pal kellyo notes beautifully. i’ll try to tackle another piece, however picayune, of the puzzle.

recycling is a topic near and dear to my heart, especially on tuesdays when i start getting cans, bottles, cardboard, and the 57 editions of the washington post that BS has left under his chair ready for our friends in the recycling truck on wednesday. i dare not take them to the bins for fear i’ll get chastised by the Woman Who Haunts The Recycling Bins, she who informed me one day that some of my cardboard was not, in fact, cardboard. she wasn’t wrong, and i was chagrined, and now, i am pretty well informed about my paperboard and my cardboard. i’m strongly against segregation, but in this instance, i’ll try to keep the twain from meeting, so to speak. nevertheless, i’ll let my friends in the blue truck help me out in case i’m mistaken one day. i don’t want to be wrong on that and enter recycling hell. more importantly, i don’t want to eff things up and actually create more pollution than i would have if i left things well enough alone.

so i thought i’d share some of my favorite recycled products. just cos.

littlearth license plate handbags. i have been jonesing for a jersey plate handbag ever since i first laid eyes on one of these things on my thelma-n-louse trip to arizona with my pal murph. see — recycle license plates and make them a fashion statement. they should get prisoners working on THESE. correctional centers would actually MAKE money. (note to BS: the ho-li-days are coming…)

recycled aluminum wall clocks. these are SOOO cool, if you like mod-ren sorts of artsyfartsy stuff. which i do, of course. of course these look more like a craft i can take up one rainy day with the kids… speaking of the kids…

junkyard cats. these pups (no pun intended, though they also have dogs and other critters) are made from scrap and rejected garden tools, farm machinery, bicycle and auto parts, which is nice because it keeps them out of the junk heap. [note to self: contact them. your garage alone could furnish noah’s modern ark.]

laptop lunches lunchboxes. not just for kids (or vegans) only! do you have any concept of how much waste is created every day because we all use those little plastic bags or buy individually-packaged cookies or hohos or whatever it is you like in your lunch? yes, these lunchbox systems are made of plastic — it’s recyclable, although at this price, there ain’t no WAY you’re recycling it anytime soon. and they are so gosh-darn cute! if i weren’t afraid BC was going to lose these, i would snap one up in a second. instead, i am trying to reuse some of the little plastic containers i have amassed over the years to pack her lunches. inside a cute, tween-approved lunch sack, of course. (GAWD, mama, you embarrass me!!!) but one day…

now, since i’m just chanelling the hints from heloise chick (for the insane parent-set), some more recycling tips for you moms, dads, and caregivers out there.

1) you know how sometimes, you end up printing more pages than you wanted to off your printer or fax? stop telling the computer to piss off and save those pages. your kids can draw on them til the cows come home. don’t let that tree die in vain.

2) hey you working parents: you know how there’s always some forgetful person at the office who also prints a bajillion pages of things and then leaves them at the printer for a few days? i say, after two days, the statute of limitation ends. if the paper(s) hasn’t been claimed or put in a recycling bin, take THOSE home for your kids to use. my kids thought it was hilarious when they wrote official “mail” that had my company’s logo on it. i just resisted the temptation to actually mail that stuff…

3) all those little bits of crayon you have lying about, naked and too small to be held by even the tiniest preschool hand? make homemade crayons. jools loved coloring with his — it made automatic rainbows.

4) there are tons of things you can make from old computer stuff. i’m hoping i can get BC to make me a disco ball. hell, i’ll hang it from the rear view mirror of the Prius.

5) this one from BS, who has never considered himself terribly crafty: take old CDs or DVDs you don’t want. buy round cork, and glue it to the backs of aforementioned disks. Voila! you’ve got coasters. (and yes, we really, really DO have such coasters in our home. pity we’re so uncivilized that we hardly use them.) BS is such a dark horse. he’s crafty!

6) recycle clothes. (hint: they’re found at rummage sales, jumble sales, goodwill, garage sales…). organize a clothes swapping party with friends. (one of my clever friends does this. there’s always wine, so i’m always there.) i’m thrilled i have friends who take the clothes off my hands, and my friends seem happy that there’s less stuff to buy. happy happy all around. if you want to make money off them, then send them to a consignment shop. but the pain and heartbreak of that process sometimes is not worth the trouble. donate. it’s good for the earth, it’s good for your karma, and hell, it’s so freaking easy. (just don’t donate the things that are permanently covered in vomit. use those as cleaning rags.)

ok. all politics is local. all betterment starts with you. turn off your computer and change the world.

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