Scurlock’s Donuts in Jackson, Miss.

I meant to write about this, uh, a month and a half ago.

I was down in Jackson, Miss., for a business trip at The Clarion-Ledger, when I went across the street to get coffee and donuts at Scurlock‘s. I didn’t have cash on me and I wanted a dozen donuts (to ply my new business partners, of course) and a cup of coffee. The proprietor’s card machine was down, but instead of turning me away, he began to load the dozen donuts into a box for me. I fished in my purse for loose change and told him I was from out of town and didn’t know when I’d be able to get the remaining money to him. He was not concerned. “That’s OK,” he told me. “You’ll be back.” And I walked out of there with a box of warm donuts I had barely paid for. Talk about paying it forward. So I have been meaning to write about that and mail a check for decidedly more than the $4 or so I owe Scurlock’s. Just to say thanks.

Because how often does that kind of thing happen these days?

So if you’re ever down in Jackson and you get the chance, stop by and say hi. There are good people in there.

A new name for an old pursuit

New beginnings, I guess. I’m trying.

Theogeo Design & Photography was a cumbersome name so now it’s Eyedot Creative.

Here’s an explanation.

The Twitter‘ and Facebook changed, too, and did you know I have a Tumblr?

My oldest nephew graduates high school this year

That seems like an insane thing when it seems like he was JUST THISBIG. Like so (2007):

casey's birthday — June 30

He’s about to be a man now, about to bust into the adult world. Guh.

I got to shoot his senior pictures over the weekend. He wanted to have them done on the farm rather than on the grounds of the Pickwick Inn or wherever the standard Hardin County senior shots are done. We crammed the whole shoot into the magic hour and I had to call his brother a jackass to get him to smile showing his teeth so obviously it was fun.

He looks just like his dad but then you zoom in close to do some editing and suddenly you see my sister in all his facial features. It’s wild.

He’s a good kid and he’s got a lot of growing up to do but don’t we all?

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I used to have this perception of adulthood…

… as being this time of settling into wisdom and really coming into myself and becoming comfortable with this crazy thing we call life and getting to carve out time to be better and feel better and do better. But adulthood has been nothing but nonstop, exhausting insanity, like some fucked-up round of Whack-a-Mole that never ends, where the little dudes are not only popping up but popping up in flames that spread and the faster I thwack them, the more they spit fire at me.

Or like opening a vein temporarily that just ends up bulging and pushing and pushing and pushing because the needle is never satisfied and, oh, what is your other arm doing, because we’re going to need to use that one too.

It sucks. God, it sucks. And I am bad at it. And I want to stop doing it. Can I opt out?

In the weeds

I’m up way past my bedtime and I have had some bubbly and I’m feeling so full of the need to create that it nearly cripples me. I can’t wait for the job to level out, to get some Me Time back, to start making stuff again. I feel like I’ve been a mercenary in an unfriendly city for two months already and I’m not sure how that happened but I can’t say I didn’t expect it to a certain degree. Still, I want my life back and when I get it back it is going to feel like obscene luxury, I tell you.

8.5.12 and 9.5.12: Nine and Ten Months Old

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Baby Bear: The clock is spinning out of control and I’m trying to catch up. I apologize for my lapse in posting about your milestones but I am not exaggerating when I say that this is the craziest life has ever been and there just seems to be a lack of time every single day of the week. I am so, so happy your daddy and you are finally here in Nashville with me. Those first few weeks when I was without you were really, really hard and very lonely. When you first moved, before we got your room set up, all three of us slept in the bedroom and that was a CRAZY week or two. But you are here and we are learning all about our new life in Nashville. And you? You are learning so fast and really leaping from baby to boy at a pace that floors me.

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These days you are still up early, anywhere between 5:30 and 7 a.m. but most often right at 6, and you take a bottle and play in the floor for a good two hours while I snooze (if I worked late the night before) or hang out nearby. You really dig those stackable rings (especially when I put them on your head) and your little salt shaker. And there is this toy with four big wheels on it and bells inside. You love to shake that thing really hard. I feed you some breakfast (you really like banana raspberry oatmeal or any kind of fruit) and then you’re ready for a nap. You nap in your crib now (and lately you really love your mobile and you get so excited when we wind it up for you) for an hour or two and then you’re up and ready for lunch and more playtime. It’s around this time during the week that I have to get ready for work so Daddy takes over.

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You’re sitting strong now (we graduated from the Bumbo for meals to the high chair!) and you even have finally started realizing how much fun it is to roll around. I was so surprised when I saw you do it for the first time. Sure, your dad had seen you flip over a few times over the past few months, but you never did it in front of me. And then one day you just went BLOOP and I did a doubletake. Now I go upstairs during your nap to check on you (yes, I still do that) and see that you’re snoozing on your tummy when I left you on your back.

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Your newfound mobility is showing itself in other ways, too. I see you sitting and reaching as far as you can. You are just on the verge of figuring out that you can actually make your whole body move forward. You are really into standing up and walking, although we have to hold your hands. You like to bounce your way from point to point and the cats like to give you some motivation to get moving by staying just out of your reach.

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We play a lot of games. You like when we lie on the bed under the covers and we play like we’re in a tent. Then we play peek-a-boo and you think that is pretty funny. One of the best things you do is your little wiggle hug. Daddy or I will be holding you and you will see something that tickles you and you’ll throw your arms around our neck and wiggle your body because you are just so excited. You also like to try to grab our glasses and the remote and many things we are eating. You take your Exersaucer bouncing time very seriously. Very.

You’re eating three meals a day now plus snacks. You mastered that pincher grasp everyone is so nutty about a month and a half ago and now you are a puffs-eating machine. OK, a dropping-puffs-everywhere machine. We got a little blender thing for you so Daddy can make you fresh food. I don’t bother because I don’t even make food for our iron adult stomachs. You love peas and green beans and sweet potatoes and all fruit and some meat, but you always gag when the food has little chunks in it. You’re starting to get the hang of your sippy cup and at dinner time, I let you drink out of a big boy cup and you make a huge mess but you LOVE IT. However, you could bite the cup a little less. Not criticizing, just saying!

Our new house has horses across the street and your daddy takes you down there sometimes to look at them. They run up to you and look at you sideways but you usually are more interested in watching passing cars. You love going to the park and going to the mall. Just as long as it’s light out and you have something to look at, you are totally cool. Daddy texts me pictures of you having adventures while I am at work, sort of like you are the gnome in Amelie. You’re saying Dada and Mama more and more with a purpose and my favorite word of yours is when you purse your lips and puff out your cheeks and blow as hard as you can. I have no idea what you are trying to say but you do that a lot when I’m changing your diaper and it cracks me up. Seeing you get surprised by the power of your own voice is still very amusing to me.

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You have grown this lovely crop of silky brown hair that is getting so wonderfully long in front. You’ve come a long way from your little rattail, Buds. You’re no longer bathing in your whale tub; you’re in the big-boy tub now, although you really hate getting water on your face and the sounds you make when I rinse your hair out and water gets near your nose makes me feel like I am waterboarding you. You like to grab objects and turn them over and over, back and forth, examining them closely. Your eyes have started to show threads of brown woven in the blue. You’ve now got four teeth — two up, two down — and that fourth one was a real bear.

Lately you’ve had a few grumpy days but I think it’s been part teething/part not getting enough sleep/part just you starting to show your independence and your will. As you start to realize how big and interesting the world is, you’re starting to want access to more and more of it. It’s scary but wonderful all at the same time for your ol’ Mama.

It's happening Look who's up at 1 am! Shades

I park next to train tracks every day

So, when I’m lucky, I get to see cool stuff like this.

Awesome sad train bird

Awesome train gorilla tree

Awesome train face

Spinning

Motivational poster

It’s 10 p.m. and I’m sitting at a blue plastic table, sipping a canned Coke. I’m surrounded by banks of whirring silver washing machines, and I’ve figured out that by sitting at this table, I can feel the blasts of cold air from the AC. It’s a nice counter to the heat radiating off all these dryers. This is the Wash Tub Coin Laundry, open 25 hours, according to a sign on the side of the building. I am not entirely sure that’s meant to be funny.

Visiting Laundromats every other week or so is something I’ve been doing since we moved. Of course, I should be doing it much more often than that but we literally use every piece of clean fabric in the house before I get weird about not having anything to dry off with after a shower, and surrender and load my car up with every rag we own.

Our landlords were kind enough to leave their washer and dryer in the house for us in case we wanted to adopt them, but they warned us that there was an issue with the washer that would need to be repaired. I tried to get a repair company to come out and look at it but they refused to do so since the house is rented. Besides, I think having the thing repaired to the degree it is probably going to need might cost more than I am willing to spend on a repair job. Just a hunch. I finally decided the other day to throw in the towel and just buy a new washing machine because going to the Laundromat is a pain in the ass when you’re single and you just have a trash bag full of your own clothes. It’s practically torture when you’ve got three towering baskets full of three people’s clothes — some of them sporting more than a little poop (I won’t tell you whose) — to wash and dry using every quarter you can possibly get your hands on.

The Wash Tub has an interesting ethos. There are three things on the wall that are not washing related:

• A poster featuring the characters of the Marvel Universe
• A poster featuring a blonde beach babe busting out of her bikini while reclining in water
• A calendar featuring pictures of churches

There’s also a pool table. When I first got here, there were a couple of guys playing a game. Now the guy who helped me get my clothes inside (such service!) is lying down on it, watching TV. There is a group of three teenagers who came in with no laundry; they just wanted to play the shitty arcade games, I guess. I feel like someone should tell them they’d get a better value for their money if they gave me their quarters to finish drying my jeans. It’s an investment.

I remember doing my laundry in college sometimes at that Laundromat next to La Siesta, near Murphy Center. (I seriously just had to sit here and think for a few minutes about what Murphy Center is called. Shameful.) I didn’t have any concept then of the sheer volume of laundry that was to come in my life. Just like I have no concept now of how much laundry is going to be involved as my child gets older and we stop being lazy and put him in two-piece outfits more often.

Life in Murfreesboro was ages ago. I think if I went back to my old haunts, I’d be really pissed that I let my youth slip away so quickly. But what can you do. I purposefully did not put a question mark on that last sentence. Because I am not asking.

It’s 2012 and I can’t believe we are still having the same dumb argument about abortion

Permit me a quick rant this Sunday morning while the boys nap and I ignore some work I need to be doing.

Not only can I not believe we are still having the same dumb argument about abortion, but I can’t believe things have deteriorated to the point where we actually, earlier this year, had an outrage-sprinkled discussion about the legitimacy of legal birth control.

Really? This is why some of us still identify as feminists. Because it’s a marker that says, “You know what? Fuck you. So-called women’s issues aren’t fringe issues and I’m going to keep banging the same old drum and I don’t care if it makes you uncomfortable or if you’re bored with it.”

Joey posted a link to this Jezebel account of the bizarre sisterhood at the RNC this year.

And there’s so much sad stupid cluelessness that I want to ignore it like the fringe craziness that it is, but I can’t. Because it’s not fringe. Actual people I know, people who have drivers licenses and voting rights, believe this stuff. There are actually people who believe that women routinely get pregnant after recklessly unprotected sex, waffle on whether or not they want to have a baby until the fetus has been cooking for eight months, decide they aren’t up for it, and then waltz in to the Abortionplex to “get it taken care of.” People seriously believe that THAT scenario constitutes the reality of abortion.

It’s baffling to me.

And guess what, just because you breathlessly announce that you LOVE WOMEN!!!, Ann Romney or any other person interested in a social or legal structure that commodifies and polices women’s bodies, doesn’t make you pro-woman or feminist so stop trying to co-opt our terms. If you do not support abortion rights, you cannot call yourself feminist or pro-woman. Period.

WHICH BRINGS ME TO THIS. I am going to quote, liberally, commenter mcjulie at that Jezebel link above, because she breaks it down for a “pro-life-ish” commenter who is having trouble understanding how pro-choicers can square legalizing killing something that is clearly human life:

Here are some things I want you to think about. First, the issue isn’t really life, it is personhood. Of course the fetus is alive. The sperm cell was alive, and so was the egg. Both of them carried human DNA as well. Does that make them human beings, the equivalent of a baby? Nobody seems to argue that — not for individual sperm and egg cells, anyway. Is a newborn baby a person? Nobody seems conflicted on that score either. So these things, these cells, which are alive and not people, exist on a continuum with a human baby, alive and definitely a person.

At what point does the fetus stop being a collection of cells and start being a person? We have no precise answer to that question. Until fairly late in the pregnancy, a fetus has ambiguous personhood. The woman carrying the fetus, however, has unambiguous personhood. So, if both entities are competing for “ownership” of the same body, who has the better claim? The ambiguous person, or the unambiguous person?

When that is the question, I have no trouble granting the right of decision-making to the unambiguous person.

Any attempt to make abortion illegal is taking that right of decision and giving it — not to the fetus, which has nothing to say on the matter, but to the state. The state says, your fetus has a greater claim to your body than you do. I find that a grievous violation of women’s civil rights. Right-leaning politicians who seem to fear communism — the state taking ownership of the means of production — above all else, nevertheless advocate for the state taking ownership of women’s own bodies.

Further, in that scenario, the state takes ownership of the woman’s body, but no responsibility for the result. Anti-abortion activists take no thought for the welfare of the child once it is born and an unambiguous person, or for the welfare of any other children the woman might have, also unambiguous people. Places such as El Salvador that have implemented draconian anti-abortion laws have seen the results, as impoverished, motherless, starving children run wild in the slums.

No matter how any one person feels emotionally about abortion — and I believe a conflicted feeling is entirely natural and expected — as a society we have only two choices: legal and illegal. Illegal is clearly tyrannical and invasive. It is harmful to the welfare of women, children, and society as a whole. It renders women inherently second-class citizens, with the state taking ownership of their reproductive capacity. And, with all of that, it does nothing to prevent abortions.

It cannot be any clearer than that.

Related: Legislative war on women.