Monday, November 15, 2004


the first time I made the calendar, it was november, 2000, and I laid it out on my living room floor while listening to "red hot & blue" over and over and over again. this was in mississippi, in an ugly, ranch style house. the kids were asleep in our bedroom. when mbd got home I got him to lay out the recipe page for me.

the second time, it was on the living/bedroom room floor of our little shotgun double on pacific avenue, with the kids asleep in the bunkbeds behind me, the tv on all night long, and at five AM I watched that show, you know, with brett butler as a single mom? grace under fire! yep. before that I watched/listened to a couple of episodes of the nanny. it was cable-free livin.

the third time... I remember nothing in particular about layout. I know I did it upstairs on my bedroom floor, the big house where we live now, the kids asleep in the bunkbeds, I'll bet I had the tv on. cable.

last year, the fourth time, I said to myself, damn, I'm not gonna kill my back with that, I'm doing it downstairs on the table, and besides, mbd's sister was staying with us and during the cold snap we had her and her baby as well as my kids and me sleeping in the upstairs bedroom because downstairs doesn't really get any of the heat, doesn't keep it anyway. and I did it in two nights. I tried to do it in one and felt like a big sissy for not being able to. I listened to music and I can't remember what. I was freezing.

this year I'm sure I'll do some of each - table and floor. I'll have the house to myself for 48 hours! so I won't feel all panicky to get it done before the kids wake up. when I get that wave of self-loathing at the 11th hour and feel like, oh god, how embarrassing, this is hideous and I'm a joke and people will only buy it because they pity me, I'll just go to bed. I'll have so much time. I hope, I hope, I hope that this all works out.

I need to lay in the snacks. and the dvds.

Friday, November 05, 2004

active, creative resistance

in the interest of channeling my feelings about the election into something constructive, I am working on making this year's mama calendar into an expression of active resistance.

you may have already seen my call for submissions (and orders!) around the web, but I am passing it on again, and adding a special request. this will be the first of my calendars with a defined theme beyond celebrating progressive mamas & their kin. I want to place an emphasis on parents as activists, and all of the ways that that plays out, with words and picures relating to what it means to be an activist parent, what it means to build a family-inclusive radical movement (thanks to M*A*M*A for that phrasing), and all of the ways that parenthood informs our activism and vice versa.

so, yes, as always I want your beautiful pictures of children & families at protests but I want to go beyond, that, too, I want to dig deeper and I want to include numerous resource lists, I want the calendar to function as a calendar, yes, and a thing of beauty but also a guide for functioning in a year of resistance (not the first and not the last, but one of many). I am thinking of stories and images of youth activism, for example, and of images and stories of and from the M*A*M*A collective in NYC. these are just jumping off places.

the standard call for submissions is here, along with complete ordering information and photos from last year's edition. let me know how you can help give this project shape, and please do pass this around.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004


from the league of pissed off voters:

• The League hereby declares November 4th, 2004 a National Day of Love and Sustainability. Take care of yourselves and each other. We're in this for life.