Tuesday, May 30, 2017


When Kip says 'Sylvia' it comes out something more like eea, with a slightly guttural sound before the e's and some other irreproducible vowel-ish sound before the a. It's a bit like when Sylvia says, 'no' these days, which is very much in the Adelaide style and sounds more like noe and almost has two syllables. 

The problem isn't the 's' or the 'l' sound; he's perfectly capable of pronouncing those sounds correctly in other words. When I try to reproduce the way he says it he tells me I'm saying her name wrong and shows me the correct pronunciation, and will only accept when I say her name correctly. I think it's pretty cute, but then I'm the mom.

That ended today. He looked at me while we were in the car driving to pick up Sylvia from school, and after pronouncing her name his normal way he said, "No, Syl-vi-a." Like a little language lightbulb went on in his brain, and now it'll stay lit forever.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Counting stars

Let's be frank. Most jobs are crap. Most jobs are pushing paper or managing other people, or dealing with the mounds of regulations that simply have to be dealt with. There's a certain satisfaction in all of them, but really, most of them just aren't curing cancer or fighting fires.

I don't think that's a bad thing. At all.

I like my paper pushing, regulation enforcing, people and stuff managing job. It's a great break from the caring for my kids job that takes up the remainder of my time and mental space. I feel relatively productive, I support other productive people and help them be more productive. I'm a force multiplier.

I'm also cheap.

I don't have to be expensive because DH makes enough to keep us financially solvent (and because we live pretty frugally). I've spent my entire adult life having really pretty crappy, poorly paying jobs that I couldn't support myself or my family (especially my family!) with, which is really a pretty privileged spot.

The thing is, there are a lot of people who are living on the equivalent of the crap, poorly paying job that I get to enjoy. Instead of getting to luxuriate in the joy of working just for the sake of working, they get to work much harder than me and then stress out because their job doesn't quite give them enough to live on.

The part that irks me most is that there's plenty of work to be done in the world--taking care of others, cleaning, making good food and art and other soul and body nourishing things--but people aren't willing to pay for that work to be done. It's like we really don't value one another all that much, you know?

We have a government in the US that's a democracy and so supposedly is us, but doesn't seem to serve the average and lower classes all that well. It's a longer conversation why we fail to value the humanity of the poor and even average among us, but I do think the government needs to be  heavily involved in the fixing of this situation in which we find ourselves.

I think it would do our country a lot of good if we were to fund the government at a level more equal to its importance to the economy (so, more than 20% of GDP) and allow it to hire the people that are needed by our society at large to do more of the jobs that need doing. We need more teachers, we need more street cleaners, we need more people working at national parks and at the DMV. We need more people doing the jobs that keep the country going. We need to pay more taxes to do that, but on the other end we'll have a more smoothly functioning country (I say, living in a country that has no idea how well things work for them) and, even better, more people who are employed in stable middle-class jobs.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

I am the highway

For the first four years of Derrick's and my marriage we spent anywhere from a week to a month driving around the southwest, visiting various places in the southwest, but always including the San Juan Mountains in southern Colorado. The whole time we listened to music--usually Derrick's CD's. Audioslave featured prominently in the rotation, and so now when I hear tracks from the album it feels like I'm listening to the soundtrack of Derrick's and my early travels together.

It was with great sadness that I heard Chris Cornell, the lead singer of Audioslave and Soundgarden, died yesterday. We've lost quite a number of musicians I grew up listening to, and those losses have hit hard in their own ways. The soundtrack of dead musicians from my childhood is growing so long, and will inevitably consume them all.

And yet there will is new music and there will be new musicians. There will be new people to listen and sing along, and more drives to take through beautiful desert vistas and flower-draped mountain passes. There are more words to sing and more dances to dance and words to write, only now by different hands and voices and feet.