Have you ever picked at a scab and it comes off, then bleeds a little, then comes back again, and you pick at it some more, and then at some point when it comes back it’s not as scabby? I’ve been picking at dried wounds, trying to make them smaller. It feels like shit. I’m hoping that eventually there won’t be anything left in the spot except maybe a small, reddish spot and that’s all.


I feel like I’ve lost the ability to compose anything with any depth. Perhaps I’ve been working too long on my book and it has none. I don’t know. I’m slogging. It feels like I’m slogging. I don’t feel poetic or profound or like I’m saying anything that hasn’t been said. Part of it, I think, is that the plot must progress and it’s that progression that can so lack anything profound. Plus I really would rather take a nap. I’m pathetic.


I realize on some level how silly this is, but I love the way I feel after having some beauty ritual performed, be it hair dressing or nail smoothing or whatever.  The other day I had my hairs arranged and cut and made to look beautiful.  Leaving the salon I could feel it silky and swinging on my neck.  Odd how simply having my hairs arranged can provide a pick me up.

I think I have mentioned before that I am not naturally the sort of woman who easily maintains makeup and hair styling and whatnot.  I am simply not one of those women who look perfectly made up at all times.  I cannot keep my sausagey fingers from looking unkempt.  I manage to keep pedicures looking somewhat okay, but I think mostly it is an illusion fostered by toes existing over five-and-half-feet from my eyes.  If I get closer, I often notice there are little bumps in the polish or nicks on the edges of my nails.

I am perpetually battling dry feet skin, never able to achieve the milky white perfection seen on Photoshopped advertisements.  I could probably make a mint if I figured out how to accomplish that little trick.  I will stay on top of the eyebrows for several days in a row, then realize one morning that Hey, I haven’t looked at them in a while.  It is with some foreboding I look into the mirror because I have had genuine fears of having my head turn into a shag carpet, Cousin Itt come to life.  Yikes!  Except for lipstick (my take-to-an-island mainstay), I have never been the sort to wear makeup for any length of time.  I invariably forget and rub my eyes, or smear the stuff on my lids, or do something else equally unattractive.

I try to maintain a well-put-together outfit.  I actually choose and wear quite pretty clothes.  The problem is when nylons start creeping down so the crotch ends up between my thighs, or waistbands creep into uncomfortable creases, or I dribble something on my chest.  You get the picture.  And after a while, in spite of my greatest efforts, my hairs just start to fly about.  I think it has something to do with the fact that my hairs would be curly left to their own devices.  I use a brush and hairdryer to make them straight.  They then wait and then when I’m out in public some of the hairs stage a mutiny, reverting back to their curly ways.

While I was in the salon I read a little article about which beauty regimens women are giving up in times of financial difficulty, and those they simply cannot live without.  I chuckled to myself at the irony of my sitting in that chair having my hairs arranged as my bank account is gradually depleted to nearly nothing since I have given the government all my extra cash.  Attempting some semblance of beauty through hair dressing is most certainly the beauty regimen I will not give up.  My answer to that question is easy.  No matter what, I always manage to get my hairs arranged.

Hair is a funny thing.  I tend to be the sort who, either through thin finances or thin time and sometimes both, leaves my hair arranging for 8 to 10 weeks rather than the recommended 6 to 8.  The result is that I usually arrive at the salon looking like a scruffy puppy.  While it is not much fun to go through life looking and feeling scruffy, it is marvelous to come out of the hair salon feeling like I got a shiny new coat of wax or something.  The feeling lasts for a couple of weeks after the arranging.  Then it fades into the background until the scruffiness reminds me that I really ought to do something and stop scaring people with the way I look.

You Winner in Lottery National!

You winner in lottery national!

Ooooh!  Excitement!  I received an email today that said just these words.  Can you believe it?  Yeah, me neither.  Somehow I think if I won the lottery, several things would be different.  First of all, I would have had to have actually played the lottery, which I don’t, so it would be difficult to win.  Second, wouldn’t you think they would notify me in some other manner than email?  And finally, would the email really say, You winner in lottery national? Call me a fool, but I would think it would at least say You are a winner, not just You winner.

I hope I haven’t lost out by deeming this message junk and deleting it.  I really hope I have not done some serious damage or something.  Geez.  Oh well.  I have to hope I’ve done the right thing.

Getting a Great Summer Body

So Yahoo says I can get a summer body in 4 weeks. Wow! A summer body. Just what I always wanted! I’m going to have to get me one of those. I’m not sure if I have to order it from Yahoo or if I can search around for a better deal on the internets. I’m hoping if I shop around, it won’t be terribly expensive, especially with gas prices what they are.  I’m hoping the summer body I find is tall. I like tall bodies. And not terribly muscular, but toned. Yes, toned would be good. Of course, that would mean the body would probably have to be somewhat young so the muscles haven’t atrophied or anything. I don’t particularly care what color skin it has, as long as it’s not scraping off or something like that. I really would like my summer body to actually have skin.  And tan would be good, but not fake orange tan, real tan, if it’s still fresh and not peeling.  I would prefer my summer body has not been mutilated or otherwise defaced. Bodies like that are probably cheaper, but yuck, you know? I wonder what they do to the bodies to keep them from smelling bad. Summer deodorant? And I’ve heard finger and toenails keep growing. I wouldn’t want my summer body to have icky nails. It might be kind of cool if my summer body has hair that has grown longer. I could braid it or maybe even turn it into dreads.

Overall, I’m pretty excited about getting a new summer body. The winter/spring one is starting to decompose and I was considering moving it into the compost pile. This will be a great way to start the season!

These Breasts were Made for Feeding

This article was published on Huffington Post and can be seen here. If you like it, buzz it up and feel free to share, with proper accreditation of course.

These Breasts were Made for Feeding

~ by Lara M. Gardner

Time magazine recently ran a cover story about long-term breastfeeding. It depicted a cover photo of a woman standing and staring into the distance, a three-year-old boy standing on a chair in front of her, attached to her breast. Needless to say, the photo and article caused an uproar. Some people thought it was obscene. Others, myself included, thought it was misleading, to say the least.

It doesn’t surprise me that breastfeeding and breastfeeding to an age that more naturally suits biology has come to the fore in the public consciousness. It fits right in with the resurrection of the right-wing war on women, statements by politicians that women should never have been able to vote, laws that force women to share their sex lives with employers, and basically anything that says women cannot and should not be able to determine anything about themselves, and most especially their sexuality or anything related to their bodies (unless they are getting their breasts cut off because they have cancer, then it is okay).

All this furor over women breastfeeding children beyond an age our culture has deemed appropriate (corporate profits aside) belies a greater underlying issue. Ultimately, any discussion of breastfeeding as obscene is part of this American cultural hostility against women. Our culture would like to maintain that women’s bodies are property and should be available at all times as sexual playthings. Seeing the female body as life-giving and nurturing (i.e., breastfeeding) is a far more powerful message, and certainly not something that can be owned and controlled.

The Time photo is offensive precisely because it is obscene, but it is not obscene because the young child in it is breastfeeding. Rather, it is obscene because it has taken something that is nurturing (and arguably scientifically best for children and women), and turned it into something salacious and indecent.  Nothing about the photo is in any way representative of breastfeeding as it is. It seeks to make breastfeeding seem suggestive and forbidden, something tawdry that should be stopped before it gets out of control, something that should be hidden under a blanket.  No matter that breasts are flaunted as sexual playthings in advertising and on magazine covers. In the latter context, breasts are kept in their place. It is the former that touches a nerve because it suggests that breasts might have another, more fundamental purpose, one that doesn’t involve breasts as property or women as objects.

Perhaps the editors of Time intended for the photo to inflame and kickstart further discussion about women’s bodies and women’s place in our culture. Perhaps they understood that breastfeeding is something so fundamental to being a woman, something as life-giving as the birth process itself, that it should be acceptable in our culture, without question and without blankets. Perhaps they wanted to make it loud and clear just how ridiculous it is to claim this act is obscene. Maybe they weren’t just trying to sell magazines. I doubt it, but it is possible.

(In the interests of full disclosure, this article was written while my 2 1/2 year old daughter nursed in my lap.)