Sunday, May 6, 2018

Seething Resentments, Household Cleaning Tips, Book Reviews and Original Musical Performances. Also, A Bathroom Update

Mr. Moon's bathroom is coming right along. Yesterday he set the glass brick and as you can see, he's trying to figure out wall colors. He's been working so hard on this project. Sometimes I find him just sitting in a chair in there.
"I'm thinking," he says. "I have to sit down to think."
He thinks and then he DOES. He amazes me.

Today, however, he went over to Jessie and Vergil's to help with the chicken coop building. I know that Jessie is so eager to take her chickens home. I was invited to come too to just hang out but I have been in a foul and dark Sunday mood and sometimes, when that mood is upon me, I do tasks which I generally avoid because I hate them but if I'm already in a hateful mood, I might as well get them done.
Or something like that.

I did some weeding first, which I do not hate unless it is stinkin' hot and it was that today. When I could take no more of that I cleaned the shower in my own bathroom which had visible mildew in many of the spaces between tiles. I applied various toxic chemicals and scrubbed with everything from sponges to toothbrushes to my very strong thumbnail and finally used some clingy, bleachy toilet bowl gel cleaner which works better than anything.
So that was super fun and now that whole end of the house smells as if you could safely perform surgery in there.

On to the back porch which is where I spend half my life and which was horrible bad dirty and filthy and dusty and so forth. I didn't really clean it nearly as well as I should have but I did make it look better and tidier and got rid of some of the spider webs and accumulated dead bugs and what I suppose is spider poop since it's right under the spider webs. And I put a clean tablecloth on the table which makes everything look better.

The whole time I was cleaning and weeding and trash-taking and tidying, I was practically seething with resentment. Mostly towards myself in that I have no idea why I do this to myself, why I base my very own identity of self-worth on doing these tasks I assign myself and always fall short on because honestly, I do not like to clean at all and this is a large house for one person to take care of and although I do enjoy gardening and yard work, this is a big ass yard and I have a fairly large garden.
Was I a Mormon housewife in my last incarnation?
So I enjoy beating myself up for beating myself up, I suppose.
I swear- if I were fifteen years younger, I would swear I was about to start my period. That's how visceral and illogical my feelings are today.

Okay. Let's talk about Miranda July's novel The First Bad Man. Have any of you read it? I just finished listening to it last night and it was read by Ms. July which is always good because no one knows how to interpret the written word like the person who wrote the words. The reviews of it were very mixed, especially the short ones on Goodreads which I usually consult before I download an audio book. And I loved the beginning of it and then in the middle I decided it was just too weird and I didn't like it and then as the second half really got rolling, it sort of blew me away.
So basically, I'd love to hear from others who have read it to hear what they think.
And would I recommend it?
Good question.
Let's just say that if graphic sex writing, hugely unlikeable characters, and weird girl-fighting upset you, this book is not for you.
I tell you what though- I am not going to have to try and remember whether or not I've listened to this one which frequently happens to me when I do a search for a new audio book from the library.
Not going to forget.

Another thing I wanted to discuss was the fact that I can no longer seem to comment on Word Press posts. I was able to do that by signing into them with Facebook but now I get an error message which says that the URL was too long.
Perhaps this will be sorted out soon. I hope so.
Yolie, who has a Word Press blog, wrote recently about helping her mother "sort her shit." Yolie is supremely qualified for this task in that she and her husband, the Tearful Dishwasher, are now living a beautifully nomadic life in an Airstream and have pared their possessions down to very, very little.
As she so beautifully says in her post, she understands her mother's reluctance to let things go which she may need some day down the road and oh, how I can understand that!
And yet, there are so many other things which seem almost impossible to let go that we absolutely KNOW we will never need again. And for me, these things are mostly clothing.
I read a little piece in the New Yorker lately about an artist, and his mother was in the article too and she is the curator of a museum and she said something that has made me understand myself so much better.
What she said is that the things in our closets are like the displays in a museum. Each article of clothing holds memories of times and experiences in our lives so that the closet becomes almost our own personal museum.
And isn't this true?
How do I get rid of the dress I bought for one of my daughter's weddings which is not only beautiful, but which makes me remember the day I wore it and how happy we were and how Lis made the wedding cake and the groom's cake and Liz decorated and Jason danced to Billy Jean and how beautiful Jason and Lily were as they made their promises to each other and on and on and on?
And besides- I felt lovely in that dress.
But even the most prosaic of garments can bring up a time in my life which yes, has passed, but I don't want to forget.
The cargo shorts that I'll never wear again but which fit me when I was younger and felt strong and confident in my own body, even as the mother of four?
Just a damn pair of Gap men's cargo shorts but oh...what they represent.
It can be harder to get rid of a garment I bought at Goodwill which holds good and positive memories than it is to get rid of a garment I paid full price for but only wore a few times and never had a good time in.

But of course, this only covers clothing, mostly, and we hold on to many things which have no intrinsic value at all but are, in fact, part of the Museum of Me.
That doesn't mean we should keep all of them but it definitely helps when it comes to deciding to toss shit that we really don't associate with anything except the fact that we "may" need it in some future time we really can't even imagine.

Here are a few videos I received today.

I believe that August calls himself Little MerMer when he is chewing gum because I chew gum and he has always been fascinated by that. Otherwise, he is definitely still Little Boppy.

This is a song which Maggie may have created herself about beans. No one recognizes it so it's quite possible that it's a Maggie original. Is she not the most gorgeous little girl in the world? And talented. Obviously.

And here is August and Levon's take on Maggie's Bean Song.

So, okay. I'll be talking to you tomorrow from my always amusing and slightly cleaner porch.

Hopefully, I will be less premenstrual (Hahahahahahahahaha!) and far more sanguine about things. If I take a good six or seven mile walk, I am certain that I will at least be too exhausted to gather the energy to be disappointed in myself.

Love...Ms. Moon


  1. God, I know this feeling and am going to attribute it to Sundays in general.

    Those videos were the highlight of my Sunday. So glad I popped in!

    And by the way, I've read a lot of Miranda July and even saw her do a live performance. She is wild and weird and sometimes completely obtuse, but I think she's pretty awesome.

    1. I'm so glad you popped in too!
      Sometimes when I was listening to that book I was absolutely dumbfounded by the pure literal truth of her words. Her observations are incredible. And, yeah, wild and weird.

  2. The bean song -- so delightful!

    1. Isn't it? "Please, please, please" is my favorite part.

  3. Maggie's Bean Song!! Yes!!
    I picked up that Miranda July book months ago and couldn't get through it. She is wonderfully weird and I love her movie Me You and Everyone we know but...yea. Sometimes weirdness can be exhausting and even a little boring.
    Sorry about your not being able to sign into wordpress! What a pain. We've made great progress in the great purging. There is still so much to do but I realize I'm just draining the ocean with a tablespoon. I relate so much to the Museum of Me idea. I made a dress for my daughter when she was 3 that I kept and displayed until we sold our house. It was one of many things that stung a little to let go. We imbue these things with such deep meaning and emotion. They become sacred objects. I have a few in my tiny tin can but in going through my Mom's stuff I can feel the weight of these things and am grateful I have divested myself of most of them. It is not just a physical lightness but an emotional (?) one as well.
    It sounds like visiting NATURAL HERBAL GARDENS should fix things right up! XXOO

    1. Yeah, I deleted Natural Herbal gardens in the belief that if I can't sell anything on my blog, no one else can either.
      I would have held on to that dress too. It's just HARD as hell to let some things go. But overall, I need to work harder at learning to do it.

  4. It's never occurred to me to tackle unpalatable tasks when I'm feeling bitchy. Might just try it!

    Our water is mineral-heavy and stains our glass, porcelain, clothing ... and requires heavy scrubbing to clean off these things. My husband insists that vinegar works better than anything he's tried. He'll soak a paper towel in vinegar and then lay it on the porcelain, for example, and leave it for half an hour or so, and then it cleans up easily.

    I use it for cleaning crystal/glass vases that get a buildup of something white after I've used them for flowers.

    There are a lot of clothes in my closet and dresser that I don't wear anymore. I find it easy to part with them when there's someone to give them to or a place to donate them. I can't bear to put them in the garbage unless they're full of holes or something.

    Thanks for writing so much, Mary! I love what you do here.


    1. Thank you, Kate!
      Vinegar is good for a lot of different build-ups. I use it too. I've got water stains on my shower doors though that I cannot get rid of and I have tried EVERYTHING, including, yes, straight vinegar.
      Try doing something you hate doing when you're in a terrible mood. It won't help your mood at all but the job gets done. Well, it works for me.

  5. I love the bean songs.

    I hate cleaning. It fills me with rage and frustration. Why? I don't know. I'm crap at it too, things rarely look much better after my measly efforts.

    1. Me too, Jo! Cleaning fills me with rage and frustration. It's never ending, it's highly unpleasant and WAS THIS WHY I WAS PUT ON EARTH? I never think so. I swear- when I turn 65 I'm getting a cleaner. Or maybe before. Fuck this.

  6. I love those videos.

    Our fridge only gets cleaned when I'm in a foul mood. Especially at night when the world insists on being quiet.

  7. Your grandchildren. Yes, they’re brilliant, talented and adorable. I’m sorry your mood was seething today. You are so industrious when upset. Me, I climb into bed.

    1. Well- you know me- I have to have a damn good reason to get into bed even though it's my favorite thing in the world to do. That's probably why, in fact, that I don't let myself do it until it's "appropriate."

  8. I get like that too, that anger and rage where I want to rip someone's head off; a good time to clean:)

    Your granddaughter Maggie reminds me of my middle girl when she was that age. She sang before she could talk. So sweet.

    1. Exactly- should I commit murder or scrub the shower?
      Isn't Maggie just the most perfect adorable doll of a child?

  9. Worlds colliding. Miranda July has been a riot grrrl punchline for a long, long time. Anna eventually had to put a "no Miranda July" requirement on any mix tapes people made for her. I'm like one degree from her and still have never read any of her work all the way through.

    1. What?! She makes music too?
      I almost didn't finish this book but then it picked up with a birth and I went on to see how it all turned out. Which was pretty well, actually.

  10. I think I saw a movie written by Miranda July some years ago. Or maybe I'm thinking of someone else. "Me and You and Everyone We Know" -- that was her, right? Anyway, I liked it, but I haven't seen or read anything else and given your comments I'm not sure I'd like this one. I don't want to spend my time around hugely unlikeable characters.

    Interesting to think about our stuff being, essentially, a personal museum. I never looked at it quite that way! I have some clothing that seriously, seriously needs to be thrown out, but I just can't bring myself to do it.

  11. I've never seen that movie. I suppose I should watch it because everyone says it's good.
    Isn't that personal museum idea so true? Like- I will NEVER get rid of my Rolling Stone's T-Shirts. Ever. Because you bought them and sent them and they mean so much to me. Plus, I just really like them. Maybe when Owen gets bigger and if he wants them I'll pass them to him. He's my little rock-n-roll prince you know.


Tell me, sweeties. Tell me what you think.