Category Archives: Philosophy of the world

44 is the new 44

 

It was my birthday last week. Back when I was a prolific, several times a week blogger, I offered reports on my birthday, all of them terrible. For years I was convinced that my birthday was a day set aside to haunt me, to remind me of the constant specter of death.

This is why people don’t usually invite me to parties.

Miraculously, though, I was invited to a party this Halloween! I dressed as the most irritating character on “Orange is the New Black,” Alex Vause.

Alex

No one at the party watched the show.

Do you ever feel like you’re that person at the party? The one who mentions death at the dessert table? The one whose costume is a little bit off?

I’ve been blogging as The Radical Housewife since 2006. A lot has changed in the last decade, including the rise and fall of blogging as media outlet and/or platform, or as some call it, “brand.” From the jump I loved writing about the things that interested me: feminism, parenting, pop culture, grief, joy, reproductive rights, Minnesota politics, body image, Courtney Love, Hillary Clinton, NOW, and books books books–especially my own.

People don’t read or write blogs that much anymore. I know I don’t. When my attention span is short and cranky, I go to Twitter. When I have the luxury of four sentences and a photo of my kids doing something cute, I go to Facebook. There doesn’t seem to be as much space for the long form noodling that connected so many interesting people via MySpace, Blogger, and LiveJournal back in the day.

Take me for example: I never wrote to make a living off of ad revenue, but I did want to connect. I did want to build SOMETHING of a “brand,” which I assumed would lead to the ego fulfillment that I felt was my American birthright. In the blogosphere, I could create my own costume! I deserved to be invited to ALL THE PARTIES, dammit!

I was invited to a few, and for that I am very grateful. I found my nonfiction voice and an audience, and I did what my high school yearbook promised I’d do (that would be to get published, NOT marry Holden Caulfield).

This isn’t my goodbye post, by the way. A presidential election is less than a year away–do you think I want to squander that opportunity to build my brand …er, join the party?? In fact, I might just throw myself a party to celebrate the ten-year anniversary of The Radical Housewife.

Don’t worry, you’ll be invited.

 

2014 in bests and worsts

2014 is over, long live 2014! Was it the BEST year I ever had? It couldn’t have been the WORST, but a lot of really crappy things happened.

In the BEST year file is the culmination of a lifelong dream and five years of hard work: the publication of my first book.

MOMSLAPTOP - Reading RHW

 

Too bad it had to happen when I was laid up with two additional, accidental firsts: my first broken bone and my first surgery.

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Those were such painful WORSTS that I had to wonder if the universe had a message for me. I mean, neither Ariel Gore nor Cheryl Strayed broke their dominant wrists seven weeks before a book signing! Maybe this was evidence that I needed to use the laptop not for writing but for reposting videos of my daughter playing drums with the girls from rock camp:

 

OMG, right? She is the BEST. As a frustrated drummer myself it is a thrill every day to hear her practice and to remember how much fun she had being part of a band. Gina Schock and Georgia Hubley should watch their backs.

But as much as I love my daughter, her band wasn’t the BEST concert I saw this year. My sister and I got to relive our youth with the Replacements’ hometown reunion show in September.

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Paul Westerberg looks tiny because I was not going to twiddle with the settings on my phone’s camera while I was watching a performance by the band I’ve loved dearly for close to thirty years. The Replacements are the BEST band in the world.*

One of the WORST things in life is definitely air travel, but the end result can be spectacular. In October, still with a cast on my wrist, I traveled with my family to the Grand Canyon.

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This is probably the BEST place on earth to have a nice hike and contemplate your tininess, your absolute meaninglessness in the presence of millions of years of geologic time. You think to yourself, “is it really the WORST thing ever to have just 14 reviews of the book up on Amazon? Will it matter a hundred, or hell, even a dozen years from now?”

That’s the tricky thing about achieving a lifelong goal–the day after, you still have to get up and brush your own teeth. Everything around you looks the same; the world didn’t shift off its axis like you thought it would. If you let that get inside your head, it can be the WORST.

I should know.

So I come back to this photograph, one of the BEST I think I’ve ever taken, with three of the BEST, most adorable people on the planet:

 

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2014 is over, long live 2014–the best and the worst.

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Anyone who complains about the lack of Bob Stinson, Chris Mars and/or Slim Dunlap is the WORST. Let it go.