STICKY

PERHAPS WE LEARNED SOMETHING.....
…Perhaps we were only mildly entertained. Regardless, please enjoy these Reviews, Responses, Works of Fiction, and Retellings brought to you by one who hopes to someday join the ranks of those who have written something worth reading.
(Kaylia Metcalfe)

6. Cooking, Events, Writing....


Dear Baby,

We made the appointment baby, the appointment that will help us figure out a timeline for your creation. I’m excited and a little afraid. We have less than 2 weeks.

What else is new? I am getting more comfortable in the kitchen. I have made refried beans, English pasties, and lasagna…. Add that to my chicken recipes and I feel pretty domestic goddess like nowadays!



Daddy loved my lasagna. He said "Damn, honey, this is good!" Hee! It made me so happy. I love making lasagna, I anticipate many many more in our future.

speaking of him, yesterday Daddy and I spend the whole day together. We had coffee, we watched TV, we relaxed… It was lovely. He is such a great partner!

Oh yes, the Open Mic night went off with only one little hitch (a few people left during intermission). I am glad to know my event coordination skills haven’t rusted completely away. I’m glad. Now I get to start planning the Health Awareness Day for September at the center. I am really excited.

After the Open Mic event, Daddy and I hung out with our friend Keith and talked into the night. We talked about food, about how we were raised, about all sorts of odds and ends. It was so very relaxing.

The whole point of the evening was to celebrate the anthology Our Stories, Voices of the LGBT+ Anthology. I wonder if you will like to write as I do, little one. I wonder what your experience will be.

Grandma and Grandpa Lee were in Bend Oregon this weekend. They are retirement shopping. I hope they are still local when you are little, I want you to have lots of memories of them.

I am tired baby, my article for tomorrow was one of the hardest I have had to write. It was all about free speech and limits to free speech and the responsibilities of the influential and powerful to use their speech for good… I wonder if there will be any backlash for the article.

I need to get ready for bed, clean sheets and a new book await me… One Hundred Years of Solitude.

5. Aunts

Dear Baby,

I talked to your Aunt Gina last night. She is excited about her first date with Peter. I know it’s silly, but I couldn’t help but wonder if Peter will be a name you know. Will he be Uncle Pete to you or will the romance have spent itself before you are even aware, only to be dredged up by your aunt in one of those conversations of “there was this one time…” A conversation that you might have with her down the road when you need an aunt perspective and not a mom perspective?

I think that aspect of not knowing, that bit of potential, that bench mark HEREE where everything before is, before… and everything that comes from now will always be from this moment… I like that feeling.
Then I talked to Aunt Kristen. She is heading into her final year of college; I’m so proud of her. She squealed as if you were already created. She can’t wait to meet you. She is the first person I told about these letters. We have gotten closer than I ever imagine we would. She totally understood the point of the letters even if it is still a bit vague for me.

I guess I want a diary of what life was like for me before you. I would have loved reading something like this from my mom.

Anyway, these letters are my notes to you and to me. More than any other writing that I do, I want these to hold weight for you.

Speaking of aunts… I know you are going to love your Auntie Ree. She has been my Auntie Ree ever since I was a baby. See my mom, your Grandma and her little sister, called her “Rain” and as a baby I couldn’t say “Rain”, I said “Ree”. I call her my second mother when introducing her to my friends but to you she will be Auntie Ree.

Auntie Ree lives in Sacramento and teaches speech pathology to kids. When she was getting her Masters at sac State, I was there getting my BA. Study partner, cheer squad, laundry companion… even a short lived Bible Study group, she was always there for me.





At Base Lake August 2011


She is just another in the long line of people I can’t wait for you to meet.

The Hunger Games





You know how it is when everyone and their brother tells you to read/watch/eat/try/visit something and the more you hear about it the less you want to read/watch/eat/try/visit or even aknowledge the existence of whatever?

Maybe that’s just me being all contrarian, but anyway.

I kept hearing about this book and thinking “I don’t really like Young adult… maybe I’ll get around to reading it…” then I heard there was going to be a movie and I thought, “Stupid Hollywood having to remake something yet again as a sign of their shrinking originality…”

Okay, so I am more than a contrarian, I’m a snob and an iconoclast.

But I can also admit when I was wrong.

I was wrong.

I was wrong to wait to read this book because… because despite it belonging to the genre of “Young adult” it was a terrifically written book that dealt with adult themes in a compelling manner.

Set in a world not too unlike our own but far far in the future where the rules of society have changed dramatically, author Suzanne Collins creates for us a story that is intriguing, dynamic, and hard to put down.

A lottery type event leads to our main character having to battle it out Survivor style against other combatants in a last man (child) standing sort of competition that wis uses by the powers that be as entertainment… a sort of reality TV concept from hell where no one has a choice and the ratings mean life or death.

What could have been overly heavy handed with social commentary or boringly simplistic in a whittiling down of opponents is instead a riveting portrayal of character development. Collins does a marvelous job of creating her new world with enough detail to keep the eader engaged without going overboard with exposition.

The main character Katniss is one of those rare protagonists that carry the story without showing signs of the load. The twists and turns are almost all unexpected and even the slightly annoying teen angst is well played.  

(I abhor teen angst but thankfully this book managed to not over do it… the narration and excitement of the more broad storylines more than made up for it.)

All in all, well worth a read, and for those of you who have limited time, a quick read at that.






4. Oatmeal and Life

Dear Baby,

On the way to the community center for my shift, I talked to your Aunt Annie. She is excited too and immediately started to tell me all about the different vitamin supplements I should start taking, even before we create you. I’ll look into it for sure. Anything I can do to help my body be a better safer healthier place for you, I want to do.

I need to get my cholesterol down and I want to lose a bit of weight. This involves eating oatmeal for breakfast and not buying cookies. 

Baby, I hate oatmeal. Hate. But for you, I’ll eat it.




/gag/



Had a meeting today with other community leaders on how to help stop the spread of HIV in Fresno. 

Sometimes meetings like this make me wonder if I am being selfish even thinking about having you, about bringing you into this world. This world is dark, dear baby, and frightening.

Then, right before I left I took a phone call from an elderly lady who was so thankful for our outreach, so happy that her grandson would be coming out in a friendly place with people around him that could love him for who he is.

I remembered that the world being dark just gives us extra chances to bring light. Doing good matters. I am so glad I get to be part of the good in the world, even if it is only a little bit.

3. Telling and Home

Dear Baby,

I told your Uncle Mark about the fact that we are starting to plan for you last night. He is excited of course. He is in the process of buying a condo in downtown San Jose. I am happy for him, and a tad jealous. Daddy and I are renting an apartment here in Fresno, and while we like it and it has enough room for us and you eventually, we do hope to move somewhere a bit more family-like down the road.

It isn't that Uncle Mark is moving to a new place, it is that his new place has a sense of permanency to it that we just don't have. I haven't lived anywhere longer than a year and a half since I was 17, little baby. Almost half my life. I really don't want that to be your experience, I want you to have a sense of place, of roots, of home.

Someday we will move from Fresno and hopefully wherever we move to will be a good permanent place for our little family. In the meantime...

Today was a busy day for me and I didn’t eat as healthy as I should have. When Daddy is in the field, it is sometimes hard for me to make myself eat a good healthy dinner. I’ll try to do better tomorrow.

Daddy is gone this week. He misses home, and I miss him. Thankfully Olive the cat keeps me company. 



Tonight I played World of Warcraft and worked on my current crochet project: a little blue and green bag. I need all the crochet practice I can get if I am going to make you a blanket or a stuffed bunny or a little baby hat...

2. Buying a Pregnancy Book


Dear Baby,

I bought a book about pregnancy and read the first chapter. I guess I should have started with a book about getting pregnant, but I was just so excited. I’ll go to the library and get one on that topic next week. This might sound weird to you, but I bought the pregnancy book at Borders, a bookstore that is currently going out of business. Will there be bookstores for you to go to when you are old enough to go? I hope so. I love bookstores. I love wandering the aisles and smelling that very distinct new book smell. I like seeing tables piled high with new fiction, shelves leaning with the weight of discount coffee table books, the kids section always a bit messy…

Anyway, I was at Borders surrounded by Sale signs and it was a little intimidating. There are a lot of books about babies, having them, raising them, feeding them, creating them…. How to pick the right one?

And that is when I learned a secret that I guess was only a secret to me. Mothers want to instinctively help other mothers. I stood there confused for perhaps ten seconds before a tiny flock of mothers appeared and started giving me advice. After I picked out the book I wanted, and after I found Daddy in the Sci Fi section, we stood in line. One of the mothers from the Baby section was in line behind us and when our eyes met she smiled at me, a small, “we’re in this together” sort of smile.

I sort of wish I could have spent more money on books while we were there… There are so many I want you to have!

You, little baby, are going to have a lot of books if I have anything to say about it. And we will be frequent visitors to the library. I can’t wait to read to you.



Life is about changes.. and also about accepting that somethings don’t change.


Things that Change:
My mood regarding the Maifan-san being out of town. Sometimes I relish the alone time and the freedom, but sometimes I am horribly lonely and can’t wait for him to come home.
My appetite. Sometimes all I want is fruit and bread, other times I crave popcorn and can’t even think about eating anything else.
My crochet project: At first a blanket, then a scarf… now I am working on a bag. I really need to learn how to read patterns.
My nieces. They keep getting bigger! My nephews do this as well, but I have ben around the nieces a lot more lately and the changes have been huge!

Olivia (5) and Bailee (2)








Noe (8.5 months)


Things that Don’t Change: 
My weight. Nope, I am stuck at the same weight I have been for months now. I am starting to get really frustrated because I honestly am not sure I can reasonably work out more/better or eat less/better.
Kids needing help: Every time I have a shift at the Community Center I encounter a youth-sort who needs guidance, support, a friendly ear… I am continually glad that we are here to do what we can.
My devotion to Star Trek. TNG is now streaming on Netflix. And…. I LOVE it. I can’t get enough! It doesn't matter how many times I have seen the episode, my eyes are glued to the screen!
My temptation to spend money I don’t have. This one is a no brainer. I keep seeing things I want to buy! Curses on this materialistic streak in my soul!

Oh, and one more thing that doesn’t change… the crazy people who get into politics in this country. From Michele Bachman to Rick Perry… Sometimes I just want to hang my head and move to Canada.



1. We Decided

Dear Baby,

Or rather, baby to be, someday, maybe. Daddy and I had a talk yesterday, a big talk, a talk in a long series of talks. We decided that for right now we are going to plan on having a baby (you!) We don’t know when we will start to try to create you, or even if we will be able to… but we have a plan, and for now, that is enough.

I am going to go to the doctor in a few months and find out what our timeline whould be, for now though, we just relax, enjoy the idea of you and get ready.

We both have lists, little baby, lists of things we want to do before you arrive. Some are things we want to do before you are even created. I’ll tell you all about them later. 

Right now, I want to enjoy the vague possibility of you.

I decided to write you these letters while I was drying off after my morning swim. It was hot and I knew I couldn't stay out too long, but I love the feel of the sun on my legs.




My legs in the sun.
Your daddy taught me how to swim, I'm sure he will do the same for you someday.

Moving Forward


On the treadmill
Of life
Not a real one, I have a busted knee
Pushing and straining, hoping and, yes, sometimes praying.
I doubt it will work but occasionally feel like hedging my bets
Or at least going through the motions
I want someone else to be responsible
Or capable
Or, maybe just aware.
The scenery doesn’t change
Everywhere sort of looks like everywhere else
At least, the places that I go
There is a Wal-Mart nearby
A gas station
A place to buy milk
And it is always hot
The timeline in my head
Babies
(Correction, Baby, just one)
Marriage?
Moving
… The when and if of it all
Sometimes more than I can handle
So I tread
In the water walking floating pushing and not sinking


What it is, Is

It isn’t in the words you say
Or even, the ones you don’t
What it is,
Is
How you know
When to touch my hand
Reach across the couch, the front seat, the table
Skin on skin reminder

It isn’t about the gifts you give
Or the things you let me get myself
What it is,
Is
How you care enough to care
Folding the laundry in ways that make me smile
A lightening of the load

It isn’t about the time you spend with me
Or the time you let me be alone, no guilt
What it is,
Is
How you make me feel
Heart alight and soaring, beating in reflective time
Shared breath and goals and hopes



Today

I swam this morning, in the deep end.
Back and forth, arms pumping, legs kicking, trying to keep my breathing regular.
Not going anywhere, but trying anyway

I read tables and charts and figures.
HIV cases for my area.
Thirty new cases in the first three months of the year.
Ten of them are “youth”
(aged 15 to 24)

I jogged today, in the shallow end.
Back and forth, arms held high to increase blood flow, toes scraping the bottom
Trying not to slip.

I wrote
Word and phrases
Building, or attempting to, a story
Something new, relevant, worth reading.
The backspace button is too easy of a tool, suddenly the words are gone.

I went back to the pool.
Another thirty minutes on the timer,
Keeping my head afloat

Water splashes
Or tears
Hard to tell when you are swimming
In the dark.
Ahhhh August. Month of back to school sales, last ditch summer travel, and warm warm weather.

Of course the month is also going to start out with the Maifain-San out of town for a night and the car still needing a bit of work.

And then there is the dentist appointment.

Those of you who read here semi regularly might remember my last horrifying dentist appointment… the comedy of errors that still haunts my dreams . I sincerely hope this one goes better. (How could it go worse?)

But before that adventure can happen I must share another one of those “aren’t you glad you aren’t me” stories.

I was on the bus the other day… (why do these stories so often begin this way?)… heading to a wedding of all things on a Thursday morning. It was to be a county clerk’s counter sort of wedding so my dress, while nice, was more sundress than formal. I also had a hat and, I have been told, looked a bit 1930s.

(I would insert a photo but alas, I ened up taking most of the photos at the event, so just use your imagination.)

As the bus barreled along, stopping ever blessed twenty feet to pick up more and more passengers, I suddenly became aware that one of the many conversations going on around me that I had been attempting to ignore, was actually about… me.

I can’t tell you specifically what made me realize this… a lot of “she” and “the hat” and “dress” words probably. Anyway, I glanced behind me and my suspicions were confirmed.

“Ahh! Now she pays attention to us!” crowed the man on the left. He was a big guy, in his 50s, greasy hair, ball cap, scruffy and blessed with one of those mouths tailor made for chewing tobacco and yelling red neck yodels.

“Yep.” Agreed the man on the right, younger, much more clean shaven, a large toothy grin and a cowlick coupled with the polo shirt and, I kid you not, a child’s lunchbox on his lap. His voice is semi child like.
I turned back toward the front of the bus.

“Now, don’t be like that, “Scruffy said, “We was just being conversing with you.”

I remained silent, trying to remember specifically what I had over heard.

“She’s ignoring us again!” Polo Shirt explaimed in a tone of mild wonder.

“Well, that just sucks don’t it. That just makes my ass twitch! Gimmie that pen.”

Pen? I swivel back around.

Scruffy is holding a ballpoint pen and pointing it at me.

”Wooo, oh yes, now you look. Nah, go ahead, turn back around I’m a gonna draw a spider on the back of your neck.”

Polo Shirt laughs happily, “A spider!”

“What?” Me now, trying to figure out what is going on, “No…”

“Yep.” Scruffy grins, his teeth are dark yellow, “A spider. It’ll really sex up your outfit.”

“Oh, umm, no thanks.” My neck hurts but I can’t bring myself to turn back around.

“Oh….” Polo Shirt is disappointed. His lower lip quivers. “It’s just a spider.”

“Yeah,” Scruffy is twirling the pen now, “Come on, it’s not like I was gonna charge you or anything.”

“No really,” I’m trying to stay breezy, “Thank you but no. I don’t think it would go with my dress.”

“Sure it will, spiders go with everything!” Scruffy throws his head back and laughs.

The bus slides to a stop and the riders begin the uncomfortable dance of standing, switching seat, moving from door to door. I take the chance and grab my bag. A few rows back, where the duo is safely in front of me and I am much much closer to the exit door, I sit back down.

“What? You moved!” It is their turn to crane their necks, and scruffy is belligerent, “Why’d you do that!”

I am silent, holding my purse, counting the stops until freedom.

“We was just being polite, stupid cow.” He frowns back at me.

“Cows, not spiders!” Polo Shirt has regained his sense of humor and is grinning again.

Eventually they turn back around and what follows is an indepth converstion about exactly how and why unicorns are magic, what the purpose of their horns are, how they are used in fights, and different ways to know if a unicorm has been present.

The diatribe is carried out mostly by Polo Shirt with Scruffy asking leading questions and generally encouraging the topic. I am very glad to be two rows back.

The thing is, after I got off the bus and my heart rate had returned to normal, I found the funny in the situation.

Well, a bit anyway.

Not to start a whole new “elevator” debacle, but here goes… Hey guys, Please don’t offer to draw spiders on the back of the necks of women you don’t know. It is creepy. Thank you.


And again, Happy August!