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Posts Tagged ‘Environmental Justice’

brunch

(Why am I naming days?)
10/18/14, Day 14,046 (Mercena Day 64): Got to Make the Bubbles Go Down

This day is so name to honor one of my favorite Mercena rituals. When she eats, she takes in some air that can be trapped as bubbles in her digestive system and cause her the dreaded gastro-intestinal distress. To prevent that, our ritual involves suspending her vertically upright with one hand under her chin and one under her butt while bouncing her gently and singing, to the tune of “Here We Go Round The Mulberry Bush”:

“The bubbles go down, the bubbles go down,
Got to make the bubbles do down,
The bubbles go down, the bubbles go down,
So [early/late] in the [morning/afternoon/evening]”

This jaunty tune has been seared into my consciousness through repetition and the hilarious looks on Mercena’s face as, milk-drunk, she endures the undignified bouncing. I laugh each and every time. Lately, she’s taken to raising her hands in such a way that makes it look like she’s dancing, which is even more adorable.

Something about the chill in the air and the leaves changing makes me want to set all these little details down now before…

Yesterday was another step forward. We took the bus to the chiropractor instead of a cab, and my back seemed to handle the walk fine. Then, both my back and our daughter slept quietly as Heather and I pretended like we were normal people and snuck in a brunch.

I also worked a half day remotely at TCG, trying to catch up on a bunch of small things so that I don’t lose sight of the big things we’re trying to move forward. I did some Flux work as well (we’re close to a more public launch of FluxForward), and was able to again write, play guitar and do my weird 9 Circles yoga-thingie.

Technique never stands still: it only advances or retreats…

Writing: 165 out of 214 days (New Year)
Spanish: 136 out of 214 days
Music: 65 out of 120 days
Yoga: 4 out of 4 days

What small things did I do yesterday to help build the Honeycomb?
(And what does it mean to “Help build the honeycomb?”)

  • Ate and cooked local, organic, vegetarian food, and used cloth diapers for Mercena;
  • Asked the EPA to modernize chemical safety laws;
  • Signed my support for the Pacific Climate Warriors;
  • Asked the Obama administration to condemn the war crimes of the Nigerian military and state-sponsored militia.

9 Circles:
(Um, yeah, so what is this again?)

Let me not be impatient with my recovery,
Let me send love to my Fluxers preparing for the Feud,
And a lion of courage to two friends mourning loss,
And praise to NYC fighters for housing rights;
Holler for the playwrights’ collectives getting it done,
And solidarity with the Pacific Climate Warriors;
Wonder for new primate-specific transcriptional circuitry regulating pluripotency (#amIright?)
And for dark matter from our bright sun;
And hey there, beautiful mystery.

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(Why am I naming days?)

10/13/14, Day 14,041 (Mercena Day 59): Back Monster, Day Two; or, Soft Launch of Flux Forward

Not to much to report from these past days. The back injury is not getting much better, even after a visit to the chiropractor. I’m heading back for a second visit today (a laborious and costly process of careful slow walking and green cabs), so hopefully we’ll make more progress.

This second day of back pain wasn’t unproductive; Chinaza and I were able to get all of Flux’s ducks in a row to soft launch FluxForward with our Friends of Flux (more on that soon). A production meeting and visit from Emily gave me some faces to say hello to before retreating to my pain cave. Truly, the hardest part of this is not being able to help with Mercena, who had some serious witching hour action once we fell of the schedule in the afternoon.

Heather has been amazing throughout all of this,  which is no surprise but I am filled with even more gratitude for my amazing partner in life.

10/14/14, Day 14,042 (Mercena Day 60): Back Monster, Day Three; or Chiropracting

It was a comical, slow-motion journey, but I did make it to the chiropractor yesterday with Heather by my side, and Mercena in the care of an angel friend. As I wrote above, hopefully the second visit to the chiro today will make more of an impact. But in spite of the pain, I was able to be productive remotely, getting a bunch of TCG work done during the day, and more Flux work at night. I haven’t been able to write since the injury, but I’m hoping to change that today.

Daily pain is a part of so many people’s lives, and for however long, it’s now a part of mine. All right. What’s next?

Technique never stands still: it only advances or retreats…

Writing: 161 out of 210 days
Spanish: 134 out of 210 days
Music: 63 out of 116 days

What small things did I do the past two days to help build the Honeycomb?
(And what does it mean to “Help build the honeycomb?”)

  • Ate vegetarian food, and used cloth diapers for Mercena;
  • Signed my solidarity with the pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong;
  • Signed a petition to make it more difficult for those who commit violence against women to purchase firearms;
  • Signed a different petition in support of Komen breaking ties with Baker Hughes, this time to the fracking company itself.

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Mercena collar

(Why am I naming days?)

9/27/14, Day 14,025 (Mercena Day 43): First Bedtime with Heather Away

Last night, Heather rode the subway for the first time in six weeks to check out 3 Christs by Peculiar Works at Judson (I saw it the previous night). Thyat meant that I had my first chance to put Mercena to sleep without the aid of Mom.

It went well, and now that she’s mostly outgrown her “changing diapers=rage, rage” phase, her major fuss-source is simply exhaustion. We still often assume that she should be awake longer than she really should be, extending our two-yawn rule to sneak in more with her when she has her eyes open. But if we don’t take the yawn as a cue, she is quick to marshal more persuasive forces to put her to bed. As soon as we do, she quickly quiets down, and, after a failed attempt or two at falling asleep, falls asleep.

It’s a good time for the three of us: no more reading every book and Googling ceaselessly to find new ways to deal with The Inscrutable Wail. And so it was a good goodnight for Dad Solo; though she fussed through Goodnight Moon, as soon as I sang to her and laid her swaddled self down, she was out for a solid sleep.

Which left me a quiet house in which to finish scene four of the still unnamed play about Taina and Marvin. I think I see how the play will end now, and I’m two scenes away from having finished two full-length plays in September. I don’t think it’s likely I’ll be all the way done by 9/30, but I’m feeling very grateful for this oddly productive month of writing.

Technique never stands still: it only advances or retreats…

Writing: 151 out of 193 days (Taina and Marvin)
Spanish: 131 out of 193 days
Music: 55 out of 99 days

What small things did I do yesterday to help build the Honeycomb?
(And what does it mean to “Help build the honeycomb?”)

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(Why am I naming days?)
9/21/14, Day 14,019 (Mercena Day 37): The Last Day Before Going Back To Work

In my mind, I saw this day going very differently.

I imagined we might bring Mercena to the People’s Climate March. When it became clear we couldn’t make that happen, I imagined us  having a peaceful day, building on the success of the past three days. I saw us playing cribbage on the terrace after she settled peacefully down for her longest sleep of the night. I felt confident that Flux Sunday would go well in my absence.

Of course, the Gods of Parenting humbled my brazen hubris. She took a big step backwards yesterday, fussing during almost every awake time, including some old timey meltdowns. She wasn’t able to fall asleep on her own anymore, with the pacifier an annoyance and the swaddle, her enemy. And, I completely let down my Flux Sunday team by forgetting to give them the most important thing they needed: the key.

While we came up with lots of theories as to why she took the step back, we know it could be all or some or none of those reasons. Babies are mysteries that keep changing their address.

Hopefully, yesterday was just a lapse, not a trend. I don’t know if I’ll be able to keep this blogging going now that I’m back at work; I do know it’s the next major change, and it will have plenty of unexpected challenges.

So here we go.

Technique never stands still: it only advances or retreats…

Writing: 146 out of 187 days
Spanish: 131 out of 187 days
Music: 53 out of 93 days

What small things did I do yesterday to help build the Honeycomb?
(And what does it mean to “Help build the honeycomb?”)

  • Ate and cooked local, organic, vegetarian food, and used cloth diapers for Mercena;
  • Signed 350’s petition in support of the People’s Climate March.

 

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mercena

(Why am I naming days?)
9/18/14, Day 14,016 (Mercena Day 34): Anniversary at The Witching Hour

For our third anniversary, Heather and I knew there was only one place we wanted to go: The Witching Hour.

This trendy FoHi restaurant comes to you, cooking whatever you have frozen in your fridge that requires the least amount of effort. Then, in truly theatrical dining style, the server pitches a rolling fussy meltdown that ensures the food is not only lukewarm, in spite of multiple reheating attempts, but that you never have the chance to sit down and eat it together. The attention to detail is stunning: just as you gaze into the eyes of your beloved and murmur an exhausted “Happy Anniversary,” the server wakes from her brief, illusory slumber to wail at a pitch both excruciating and somehow cat-like. What better way to celebrate three years of love together than eating a big steaming plate of the consequences of that love?

Yeah, so actually The Witching Hour is the name given the time from 5pm to 11pm when babies of a certain age have extended periods of fit-pitching, and our baby was pitching some real heat last night. But, it all worked out well, as she then had her best night of sleep ever. So did Heather, as I took my first shift at night with the bottle, which allowed her over five hours of mostly uninterrupted sleep in the early morning…which was probably the best anniversary gift I could’ve given her.

We also had a great visit from Sean Williams, and we traded many baby stories. While I have trouble with prescriptive advice, I love hearing about other parents’ experiences. I’ve learned so much just by tracking the narrative of each baby’s journey, and it’s one of the reasons why I’m doing so much baby blogging here, in the hopes it might be of use or comfort to someone else going through it.

One of the biggest challenges we’ve had is accepting that she needs to be put down for naps earlier than we think. Part of it is we want to play with her while she’s awake, and part of it is that she isn’t very good at falling asleep without the aid of being totally milk-drunk or exhausted. But, when we follow the Two Yawn Rule–by the second yawn, she’s on her way to the bassinet–she’s much less fussy, both during that time period and cumulatively throughout the day.

What’s crazy is how hard is for her to fall asleep for those naps: the pacifier helps, singing to her helps, but even with all of that, she still manages to nearly fall asleep and then pop back awake for sometimes as long as an hour before she finally nods off. We’ve been experimenting with bringing back the swaddle with success for very fussy periods, and maybe we’ll want to use it more broadly, though she’s been very resistant to it in the past.

Technique never stands still: it only advances or retreats…

Writing: 146 out of 184 days (Untitled New Play)
Spanish: 131 out of 184 days
Music: 51 out of 90 days

What small things did I do yesterday to help build the Honeycomb?
(And what does it mean to “Help build the honeycomb?”)

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Flux Season Vote

(Why am I naming days?)
9/17/14, Day 14,015 (Mercena Day 33): Mercena’s First Flux Season Vote

After feeling overwhelmed on her 32rd day, her 33rd day marked a big breakthrough. She became markedly more comfortable with the Eat/Activity/Sleep pattern laid out by The Baby Whisperer, and within that pattern, she had much more happy, engaged awake time.

And that was a very good thing, because we had scheduled the Flux Theatre Ensemble season vote for 6:30pm at our co-op. If we had a struggling baby in the middle of a meltdown, it would makes things very difficult. But after a period of happy awake time, she quickly fell asleep, waking once during the meeting to peacefully eat before returning to sleep.

Oh sure, she had a major meltdown from 2am to 3am, but yesterday was a very positive step forward, and I’m grateful for it.

I’m also supremely grateful for the quality of the discussion we had regarding Flux’s next season. It was honest, generous, difficult at times but always positive, and we wound up with a way forward that could be transformative, in spite of some major life challenges buffeting our ensemble over the next few years.

For those who don’t know, Flux votes on our seasons, with all eleven Creative Partners having an equal voice, and eight votes needed to move forward. The season discussion can be grueling, but it is also tremendously rewarding and one of the things that really defines what is most Flux-y about Flux.

All in all, a great day, if an exhausting night. And now I have to go, as our baby is having a hard time falling asleep…

Technique never stands still: it only advances or retreats…

Writing: 145 out of 183 days (Untitled New Play)
Spanish: 131 out of 183 days
Music: 50 out of 89 days

What small things did I do yesterday to help build the Honeycomb?
(And what does it mean to “Help build the honeycomb?”)

  • Ate and cooked local, organic, vegetarian food, and used cloth diapers for Mercena;
  • Signed my support for the Greenpeace activists facing ten years in jail for trying to protect an Indonesian rainforest;
  • Asked retailers to label Monsanto’s GMO corn (I’m not necessarily against GMO products, but I do believe in transparency);
  • Asked the AFL to boycott Brunei’s Airline until they end their violent, anti-LGBT laws.

 

 

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bottle

(Why am I naming days?)
9/16/14, Day 14,014 (Mercena Day 32): Rain, Library, Bottle

Yesterday marked another milestone: the transition to feeding her Heather’s pumped breast milk in a bottle. For those who have never pumped milk from their breasts, you might be surprised how comic the machine is: it looks how the future looked when people thought of the future in the 40s (wires, tubes, and a freaky pumping machine sound).

She didn’t take to our first attempt, sandwiched as it was between two poop-inspired meltdowns, and I experienced my first real frazzle in some time. I recovered, so did she, and she ended taking the the bottle just fine (we’ll be using pumped breast milk sparingly, anyway).

People talk about sleep deprivation, but for me it’s her cry, the way each meltdown costs a little of your wall of strength until eventually and inevitably a live wire is at last exposed.

But the rain was beautiful, and we walked to the library, got our cards and saw the great children’s section they have, which we’re sure to use early and often. And we had a lovely visit from Anna Rahn, spending healing time out on the terrace.

Technique never stands still: it only advances or retreats…

Writing: 144 out of 182 days
Spanish: 131 out of 182 days
Music: 50 out of 88 days

What small things did I do yesterday to help build the Honeycomb?
(And what does it mean to “Help build the honeycomb?”)

  • Ate and cooked local, organic, vegetarian food, and used cloth diapers for Mercena;
  • Signed my name on Hilary/Emily List’s petition for equal pay for women;
  • Asked Fred Upton to donate some of the 2+ million dollars he’s been given from fossil fuel company to the clean up effort of another spill in his district;
  • Signed another petition asking Congress to at least debate the proposed third war in Iraq.

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