martedì, dicembre 05, 2017

Update, per se

Yeah, I'm one of those bloggers who don't really blog now. Oh well. Don't have a moment to scratch myself these days, as the kids don't say. But it's quite a learning time. Here are things I've learned recently that are mainly appropriate for sharing on a blog and not elsewhere:

1. Now I get why so many families, especially Italian families, favour the eldest child. I always thought it was some pathetic peasant-honour-culture-aristocracy-knock-off, and so it may be, but it's a chicken and egg thing between that and the fact that the eldest child has the most scope for pure, idyllic moments of "what is this splendid miracle of life and creation in my arms and before me" because they're alone. This felt like a pretty important thing to get. It makes me forcibly take more idyllic moments with the new Monkey King, who obliges, being a happy little cuddle potato, and I bear it in mind, because . . .

2. Parents totally, totally blame their kids for how hard it is to be a parent. That's a bullshit thing to do, but it's still done, and me being a parent means, among other things, that I need to constantly call myself on my own shit, which includes this.

3. My business back home has complicated tax implications . . . complicated like an AWESOME SEX PUZZLE. There is a part of me, a version in a parellel universe, who is a very happy, very boring international-finance accountant. And that version of me is a fucking sicko in the sack to make up for how boring and detail-oriented her job is. I think I'll write a book about her. 

lunedì, ottobre 16, 2017

Togetherness

Just got back from a two week trip to Canada, where I had some business. The business was concluded to my satisfaction, but it was a devastatingly sad trip, having a front-row seat to one of my brothers carry out stages 3 and 4 of completely torpedoing his own moral and physical existence, and a front-row seat to the impact that is having on the people closest to him.

I was pretty fucking happy to get home yesterday. Speaking of: 

Me: So hey . . . even though the Monkey King is still breastfeeding all the time, I think I'm ovulating again because I actually really want to have sex with you beyond affectionate maintenance.

F-word: That's great news! That means . . . .

Me: We can be frustrated together

lunedì, settembre 25, 2017

An Idiotic Solitude of One's Own

Mum told me once, when I was safely out of childhood enough to not take it personally but still too flip and dumb to think through the horror of it, that when she was a young mother, with three kids in quick succession - Irish triplets you could call them in Canada - that there were times, particularly at family get-togethers where children are encouraged to be rowdy and overtired and oversugared and the jolly, carefree, drunk paterfamiliassholes won't go home when it's fucking time to go home already, when she felt so unsupported, overwhelmed, and unlistened-to that she'd run out to the car to howl with tears.

And during this time in her life she had a recurring fantasy she would comfort herself with while she cried: it was of New York (she'd never been there), where she had a small apartment, all to herself, whose decor was classically simple, spare, and all white.

I don't have three kids in quick succession, I'm brilliantly supported and listened to, and when we're at parties and I say it's time to go, off we go. But a couple of months ago I started noticing that I was looking at Vespas a little too hard. A little too lingeringly. A little too I-could-actually-thatily. It got to the point a couple of weeks ago where this conversation happened:

F-word: You're not seriously thinking about buying a Vespa, are you?

Me: No! Of course not. Don't be silly.

(A few beats as my honesty gets the better of me)

Me: I'm thinking about a Yamaha. They're about a thousand euros cheaper and don't need as much maintenance.

I could use a motor scooter like I could use a hole in my head, and indeed one would be likely to rapidly follow the other. But I guess I had some sort of unexplored fantasy of lonely wind-through-the-air super-woppy freedom, and idiotic as I knew I was to even consider it, I also knew there was an excellent chance that one of these mornings I was going to wake up (or just get out of bed after being awake for a bunch of hours because the Monkey King is a fucking light sleeper) even more idiotic. Idiotic enough to go buy myself a fucking motor scooter.

My mother's New York bachelor apartment is my Euro 3000 motor scooter, which is great in terms of showing how much better I have it than she did, and provoking in that she never could have afforded her idiotic escapist fantasy and I can afford mine so in a moment of weakness I could make it happen.

Anyways, it's not going to happen now. The company I work for is encouraging me to start working out of their offices again, in a nearby but not-nearby-enough-to-commute city, which means more money going out in the normal course of things, and now I can't afford to blow Euro 3000 on an idiocy. If the change happens, and luckily it won't until the little Monkey King is of an age we were planning on him starting kindergarten, I'll have to get an apartment there so as to be able to spend a couple of days a week physically in the office.

Huh.

If it happens, my bachelor won't be all white. But I've already sort of planned what art is going on the walls. And I'll be getting a Murphy bed, which is basically the furniture equivalent of a white colour scheme - fuck, those things are cool and child-unfriendly. 

domenica, agosto 20, 2017

Emotional offsets

I've been relieved this week that we came back to Germany via the US, especially as we were there during That Week when the gloves came off after never being convincingly on. A man who built what was political in his career by exploiting white discomfort with black men, and then centred his campaign around white discomfort with Hispanic people, not only won a presidential election but was so beholden to a hardcore voter base of racists that, that week, he couldn't even trot a "Nazis suck, amirite?" when a Nazi killed some nice white lady who had never shown up to a demonstration before . . . and then having to listen to people parse all this as though it had some sort of implication besides "holy shit we live in a racist country".

Combining spending that week in Santa Fe, where as I've mentioned white people seem to think they're pretty woke but which seemed extremely efficiently and permanently segregated on racial and economic lines, and hearing from "liberal" people (God does it irritate me how Americans use that word) about how counter-demonstrators, antifa and BLM types aren't winning their side any friends, as if the endgame here is for white people to be gently urged into disliking black people less and disliking white nationalists promoting ethnic cleansing more - oh wow. That place is fucking la-la-land and not in the cutesy Ryan Gosling way (saw that movie on the plane and it added to my anti-American sentiment).

Anyways, I was relieved to get back here from there, Germany's own social problems and shitty weather and assholes belching second hand smoke all over the places notwithstanding, and that was lucky because if we had headed straight here from Canada, where we had a lovely time, especially Godzilla, it would have been a lot harder. I actually meant to write about what a lovely time we had in Canada rather than kvetch about how hard the US tweaked me out to the point I'm happy to be back in the European hegemon that's dealing with its racial problems by keeping refugees imprisoned in the poorer countries of the south, but well, there you go and now it's time to get the kid to kindergarten. 

giovedì, agosto 17, 2017

Do you know the way to Santa Fe

We've just finished rendezvousing with (rendezvouing? No idea how to conjugate that. Meeting up with. There you go) some family in New Mexico after a visit to Canada, and it was a fascinating time. Santa Fe is an interesting place. Simultaneously a massive shopping centre for and run by well-to-do white women (which obviously I'm not able to whole-heartedly knock) and the place outside of northern Canada with the biggest, most visible concentration I've ever seen of First Nations residents.

Because of the circle of acquaintance of the family we were visiting, and because of the neighbourhood we were staying in, and because of a rabbit hole of Southwest American jewellery I seem to have fallen into, the only time I spent with the white people who live there was when they were trying to sell me something. In a context where the main things for sale are First Nations culture and craft, that was creepy.

But as deeply as I fell into a jewellery rabbit hole - and it was fucking deeply, because besides the awesome way that stuff looks, the history of the making, materials and marketing is giving me so much to think about in terms of the livelihood of artists in general and identity artists in particular; I'm probably going to spend the next year wrapped up in reading and thinking about this - there was no occasion to actually give money to dealers. Everything I wanted to buy (and I bought much more stuff than I'm accustomed to buying because it was awesome and because I could) was available as direct sales from the jewellers themselves.

So there's a whole class of white people uselessly and lucratively piggybacking there. They pat themselves on the back over what an enlightened part of the US they live in because it's all peaced out and left wing; oh yep, the shopkeeps got straight into that with me when they realised I wasn't from around there. I know Trump is giving people bad cases of the cringes lately but I still felt cornered, not having brought up politics myself; it's like having a few drinks with a German and having them spontaneously bring up how the Holocaust was awful and not their fault,  but I digress.

Anyways - in Santa Fe - simultaneously back-patting while overtly living out the racist, colonial model of something-for-nothing exploitation that has never been truly faced and has made the US in general the fucking shitshow basket case of a country that it is today. After a week I was glad to leave.