Being Beautiful & Powerful

Here, I will paraphrase a piece of a conversation I had with my mother this evening.

……………………

Mom: You are living in a culture that doesn’t see that as normal.
Hannah: And I am simply one of the frontrunners of the movement, actively working to have it be something that is seen as normal.

…………………..

It was a conversation we had while dancing at the food truck event in a neighborhood.  It was casual and fun, and we both chuckled during the conversation.  And we both meant what we said.  It felt good to state definitely that I am part of a movement.  It sounds silly to me now, but the fact that it sounds silly is kind of exactly why I am part of it.  And it is not only a powerful statement, but it is fun.

Pictures to come in the future, and hopefully in the very near future.  🙂

Post-a-day 2018

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Where are you?

Today, I met with my mom, aunt, and cousins in Galveston.  I was driving there from my aunt’s house, which is east of Houston (toward Louisiana), and so was scheduled to ride the Bolivar Ferry across to the island (not normally the case, because there’s a bridge to Galveston Island from Houston).  My mom and I usually ride the ferry whenever we go to Galveston, so she scheduled herself to ride the ferry over to meet me as I was first arriving to it.  That way, we could ride it together, if only the one direction.

And so, we kept in touch via phone, so that my mom knew about when to get over to the ferry.  When I was not too close yet, we spoke.  When I was getting somewhat close, we spoke, and my mom headed to the ferry.  But, there was no parking, so we spoke again, so that she could tell me that she was not on foot but in a vehicle.  Okay.

And then I sent her a message (via the handy dandy Siri) to let her know that I was two miles from the ferry landing.  She then called me to tell me that she was about to disembark from the ferry.  Okay.

She calls me a minute later, asking, “Are you about to pass me right now?”

I look up, and see no cars parked to the side of the road.  I glance left, and see her driving in the opposite direction and I am driving, in the line of cars that has clearly just disembarked from the ferry.  Just as I say, “Yes,” I see her face in her vehicle and she seems to look right at me, too.  She gives something like an Okay, and hangs up.

I continue on the road toward the ferry.  Within a minute, I’m stopped in line behind a car, waiting for the ferry.  I see my mom’s vehicle driving up, and am somewhat surprised at how quickly she managed to turn around and get back to the ferry.  She pulls up right behind me and stops in the line of vehicles.

At this point, it it clear that we will not make it onto this ferry, and so will have to wait about twenty minutes for the next.  Since it is cold out, I grab my scarf and put it on.  As I am reaching for my sweater in the passenger seat, I answer my phone with a not-actually-annoyed-but-playing-at-it, “What?”  I look up at my mom in the rearview mirror as I answer the phone, and I see her calling me.

She responds, “Where are you?”

For a moment, I am stunned and cannot speak.  Then, I begin to laugh and I tell her, “Right in Front.  Of.  You.”

I see her looking more carefully at the truck (I’m in the truck), and then we both are laughing, barely able to speak.

I don’t even know what we said after that, but the call ended somewhat quickly, and I went and joined her in her vehicle to listen to Canadian French country western music together.

We joked about it throughout the day as a family, because that was just too good to let alone.

Moms.  Gotta love them.

 

Also, she bought me this stellar ring today.  It has diamonds and everything, and looks totally old fashioned (but clean!) and also totally like an engagement ring (but that wasn’t why I got it).  And it probably would have been an engagement ring if it hadn’t ended up in this particular shop (and I hadn’t gotten it).  I got it, because I just loved the ring, and it made my heart go doki-doki when I put it on after it was cleaned.  I was planning to buy it myself, but then my mom just bought it for me.  So we marveled at it in the sunlight together afterward, and laughed at how people were going to think me engaged now, because I just had to show it off to the world, it was that pretty.  Anyway… that’s all for now.  😛

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Post-a-day 2018

‘I am not a robot…’

You know those automated checkouts at grocery stores?  Well, my mom and I had a giggle fest at one this afternoon.

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Okay, so there’s a lady’s voice that says everything out loud for you at the self-checkout, right?  Usually, she is somewhat bland and middle-of-the-road with her interest in your shopping spoils.  “Please, enter your alternate ID on the keypad now,” she says with command and a certain ‘Hurry up, you idiot,’ edge to her voice.

This is how she usually talks.  Her sentences are prerecorded as sentences.  They are all somewhat monotonous and easily ignored.  We still mute the sound whenever we use the self-checkout, nonetheless, because we don’t want to listen to the noise, since it isn’t pleasurable in and of itself.

Today, we discovered that, when she did the recordings for the individual names of the fruits and vegetables, she did them in a somewhat happy mood.  Instead of plain old, regular “Bananas,” you have, “Bananas!”  And we discovered this by overhearing someone else’s station, of course.

Our station is silent.  My mom and I are scanning and placing the juices in our homemade bag without much conversation.  In between the few comments we have been exchanging, slightly annoyed with one another, we suddenly here the self-checkout lady’s voice come from the checkout station next to us.  An older man, grandpa style, is scanning his shopping selections.  We hear the regular monotony of the lady’s voice at first, but then, mid-sentence, we are surprised with her joy before she finishes in the original monotony.

“Please, weight your… Bananas!… now.”

We catch one another’s eye and practically convulse with silent snorts of suppressed laughter.  We aren’t at all sure why we find it so hilarious.  We remain silent, and continue our checkout routine.

The cashier lady voice continues a few moments later, “Please place your… Bananas!… in the bagging area.”

We bite our lips, finish checking out, and walk out the door.  By the time we are in the parking lot, we are almost falling down with deep, full laughter.  Getting into the car, I attempt to repeat the voice’s phrases, and fall apart at “Bananas!” both times.  “The fact that it was an old man…,” I manage to say, shaking my head, “…and she was just so… Happy… about the bananas…”

My mother agreed, and we continued our fits of laughter as we drove off from the store, feeling ridiculous for having laughed in the first place, but enjoying the incident nonetheless.  At least, now we know that the fruit and vegetable names are happy recordings.  I guess the lady likes fruits and vegetables.  Or, rather… at least, she likes bananas.

 

P.S.  Yes, I know that I am ridiculous.  I am aware.  😛

Post-a-day 2018

 

Full Moon Dreams

Today was the first day of the year.  Tonight was the closest the full moon will be to us all year – it is called a Super Moon, and this one in particular, as I understand it, is called the Wolf Moon.

Occasionally, we do collages – my mom and I, and sometimes others in our family – with the full moon, following the theme of the specific full moon.  They are specifically dream boards, done in collage style, using magazines that my mom pulls out from somewhere.  Tonight’s full moon, the Wolf Moon, brought with it the question, “What are you hungry for?” for the dream board making.

We went out and looked at the full, bright moon at 20:24, while it was at its fullest here, and admired its brightness, shining directly through the clouds.  We even – well, I did, anyway – got a brief view of it without all of the clouds, through one of those occasional holes that do appear in the screen of clouds that sometimes occur at night.

When we came back inside a minute or two later (it is darn cold out tonight), we began our boards.  My mom’s and my own always look drastically different from one another, yet someone tied.  Even through our artwork, one could tell that we are mother and daughter – entirely different people who share so much, one could never list it all.

As I made my dream board, I kept saying in my head, “I am hungry for…”  Over and over again, I said it as I flipped through the unsatisfactory pages of the magazines.  This is one of the funny, read “odd”, things about these dream boards: It always feels like nothing will be quite right, and yet the board turns out somehow perfect-feeling in the end every time.  The trick is just to flip through, almost passively, and just notice what is on the pages, while keeping in mind what the topic of the search is.  In doing that, things will just pop out, and, when they do, I pull out the page, set it aside, and continue flipping, almost without pause in the flow of the flipping.  At the end, I kept feeling that I needed space.  I hadn’t found anything that really fit it.  I flipped through the last magazine and found a large, white sofa.  It had space.  So I went with it.

Putting it all together was intended by my mother to be on this piece of cardboard she’d taken from a cookie box I’d just recycled today.  However, I almost never do that, because what I pull out for my dream board never fits on the cardboard.  I did put the collage together on the cardboard, though; it was the support for pressing the pages together as I glued them in place (which was because the carpet gave in too much).  My mom laughed when I mentioned that afterward.  How I put it together was almost exactly as I’d unconsciously laid it out on the floor while tearing the chosen parts out of the pages I’d set to the side.  It was just kind of almost finished already for me.  It almost always is.

So, I looked at it all to take it in before gluing.  Yes, space was still not properly represented.  I knew exactly what page I wanted.  I found it quickly, tore out the whole thing, and then discovered that I wanted to use the whole thing.  I easily stuck together everything rather quickly, and then my board was completed.  Though, the glue was really crappy, and that made it kind of odd, mashing the stick glue onto the magazine pages as the stick bent oddly one way or another.

Anyway, I was happy with my dream board when I finished gluing.  I always make it a point to put it somewhere that I will see it easily and often (and hopefully in a good mood), and this one is no different in that sense.  It rides on my wall in my bedroom, next to my door, in a spot that I couldn’t miss it, even if I tried.  And it is lovely.

Happy Wolf Moon, everyone.  For what dreams are you hungry?

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Post-a-day 2018  (The first one, anyway)

Cultural Pants with Mom

Have you ever gotten creative with your clothing?  I certainly have.  Tonight was just an average ‘work with what you’ve got’ kind of night with clothes.  For tomorrow, I’d chosen to wear an Indian tunic – I think the actual name might be kurta, but I’m not sure.  However, I don’t have any pants or leggings that really go with the colors of it, and black is totally not an option, because its bright colors are just too happy for black.

So, I asked my mom if she had any leggings or pants I could wear with the top.  At first, she brought me Vietnamese yellow pants, which almost look Indian, but the color combined with the style was just not passable.  The tunic is a sort of reddish pink, with orange and green embroidery and stitching.  Bright yellow, baggy pants just weren’t the look I was going for.  I wanted the focus to be the top, not the bottoms.  I will wear said pants, however, on a different occasion, you can be sure.

After checking greens and purples, all to no avail, my mom brings in a skirt that is the exact color of the green embroidery and stitching of the tunic.  The fabric is different, but the color is darn near exact.  “But it’s a skirt,” I declared and repeated, somewhat laughing.  I tried it on.  My mom said it looked all right, but it totally was not the look I’d wanted.  ‘This is what we call “cultural confusion”…  I was going for “cultural fusion.”‘

We both laughed and stared at the perfect match of color and utter clash of styles.

And then I saw it.  “Aha!”  I bent over and grabbed the center of the skirt, both the front and back of it, through my legs.  As I stood up, my mom knew exactly what I was doing.

Five minutes later, we had it.  I eventually had to take it off and turn it inside out to make it all balance properly, but we knew it would work after the second knot I made while still wearing it.  We tied the skirt in a few places in the center to give the illusion of one type of traditional Indian pants (think Indian yoga pants), and it worked marvelously.  No, they don’t look exactly like the real thing, but they do look like what I’d wanted: cultural fusion and fabulous.

I wonder how it will go off tomorrow, in a world of latino heritage.  I look forward to the opportunity to respond to something like, ‘Cool pants!’ with a, ‘Oh, thanks.  I’m not wearing any.’  Or something silly like that.  We’ll see.  Whatever the case, though, I’ll be in an outfit that I love and that has been created with love from me and my mom.  I think that’s the best part, as usual, of course.

 

P.S.  I’ll see if I can get a photo of it all tomorrow at some point.

P.P.S.  Okay, so it turned out that I wore the yellow pants to bed, because it was so cold, and they were soft and comfortable.  Not what I’d had in mind when I considered wearing them soon, but oh, well…  😛

Post-a-day 2017

Church, bras, and tangled hair

I was discussing with a co-worker this evening a church that my family attended when I was a baby, and it brought to mind the last time I attended Mass there.  We had moved elsewhere for church when I was still quite little, but occasionally still went to Mass there for a while.  Eventually, though, we had stopped altogether going there, and always went to one of two other nearby churches.  Therefore, it is easy for me to remember the last time I attended Mass at this particular church, because it was a singular event, with no other occurrences within years of its happening.

My youngest brother and I were tasked with going to church together on our own.  He was probably 16 or so, making me 12 at the time.  I remember how we were hanging out at home, and how he was playing games on the still-new PS2.  And I eventually finished getting dressed at the last minute, and we rushed off to Mass.

We ended up having the Mass time incorrect, so we weren’t just a little bit late to Mass.  But we stayed, anyway, and attended what little was left of it once we arrived.  When we arrived back home, a very unique experience happened, and one which I feel shows how loving we are, my brothers and I.  I had worn this top that went on like a tube top – yes, there were sleeves of some sort, or else a sweater that I wore over it, but it went on like a tube top.  However, it wasn’t the usual stretchy material of tube tops, but rather a somewhat set-size material with elastic around the top piece to help it stay in place.  (I’m almost certain that it had wide-ish straps, but nothing like actual sleeves to it.  I remember specifically that I had to wear a strapless bra with it, because of the strap situation, but that is all of which I am certain about the straps – strapless bra required.)

When I went to remove my top, changing out of the nicer clothes and into comfy, regular clothes, I got myself stuck.  You know the feeling… pulling it upward first, and, at the pivotal point, feeling the fabric stop sliding and suddenly hold tightly to the width of your currently-expanded shoulder blades… and being incapable of pulling the top back down, because your arms are now stuck up in the air, because the fabric really just doesn’t give almost at all.

So, what could I do but get help?  I remember having the slight concern of going to my brother for help, because he would see my bra! my thoughts shouted in whispered tones.  It took almost no time to accept the social standard as just that, and then to let it go.  I was beginning to panic at being stuck, when I was walking back out into the living room for help from my brother.  He easily stopped immediately what he was doing, and came to the rescue.  I think it might have actually taken us a good bit of effort to free me, but we eventually succeeded, and I was grateful for his help.

And, what is amazing about this, really, is that neither of us was uncomfortable with the situation.  Sure, it was an odd situation – I was already at the point of having been able to dress myself alone successfully for years.  But it was still easy for us both, because of our love and care for one another.

 

As another brief anecdote, I remember a time my oldest brother was babysitting me, and I went to use my mom’s rounded brush, typically used for curling hair while blowdrying, to brush my hair.  I did it in a sort of hurry, and somehow twisted the brush while it still had my hair running through it (I had long hair at the time), and began brushing a new spot on my head… ultimately knotting a big chunk of my hair into the brush.

My brother was able to reach my mom on the phone, and she said to check with the neighbors, because the mother there might be able to help unknot my hair.  A good, long while later, the neighbor was convinced that my hair had to be cut, in order to remove the brush.  I remember my mom’s voice on the phone declaring, “Do not cut her hair,” to my brother.  I think it took over an hour, possibly longer, and I don’t remember who finally did it (though my brother, the neighbor, and I all worked on it at times, and my mom might even have had to finish it up when she got home later), but my hair eventually was freed.  And I was concerned about ever using that kind of brush in my hair again.

Obviously.

You know, I think those were the worst that ever really happened when my brothers were in charge of babysitting… not bad, I think.  🙂

Post-a-day 2017

Snow in Houston, Texas (and t-rex Christmas cards)

Last night, it snowed here.  In Houston, Texas.  It happened yet again.  What miracles lie before us?  It began after I went to sleep, and didn’t begin to stick until after I woke up for a bathroom break in the middle of the night.  So, I woke up to snow covering everything that wasn’t concrete this morning.  Which, when you think about it, is kind of the best kind of snow – you don’t have to shovel or worry about tire chains or anything, but you get to have beautiful snow everywhere around you.

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The hit of the morning was arriving to school.  My mom drove me in, because we were going to a Christkindlmarkt (German Christmas market) together after school, and the market was too far away for me to drive home first and then go, and it didn’t make sense for us to drive two cars out there.  She was staying for a bit, because we had Mass at school for the Immaculate Conception, and this was a chance for her to see the school a little bit.  Pulling into the parking lot (vacant of teachers, because we were so early), we discovered a sort of snowball fight happening in the picnic table area next to the lot.  We didn’t have much snow on the ground, but the kids were making some snowballs out of it, and throwing them around at one another.  It was adorable.

Naturally, my mom declared that I had to make a snowball, as we were leaving the car.  I grabbed an already-made snowball from the ground, which had lost only a bit after originally falling there, and showed it to her.  As she eyed me up while she finished off her own snowball, I realized that she intended to throw hers at me.

And so the fight began.

My mom and I, shuffling around a parking lot and a small grassy area with snow about it, picking up and throwing odd snowballs at one another, practically screeching with delight.  When I was turned away, a snowball hit her square in the back of the head.  No one was too near us, though, so it had come a long way.  And these were a little tough for regular snowballs, so it definitely hurt her a bit in the moment (stung, perhaps, is the appropriate word here).  It didn’t ruin out fun, of course, but merely added to the silliness of the whole affair – one of my students had attacked my mother with a snowball*.  No part of that declaration makes sense for living here, in Houston, Texas.  😛

In class, before Mass, kids lined up at the windows to stare at the snow in the courtyard below and on the roofs within view.  This was only the second time in their lives that it has snowed here, so their fascination with it was completely understandable, and utterly adorable.

Today had some magic, that’s for sure.

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*I found out later that the student who hit my mom actually was a student of mine.  He asked me ‘who that teacher was, walking with me earlier,’ and, when I asked for clarification, he described the morning snowball affair.  “That was my mom.”  In shock, he declared that he thought it was a teacher and asked me to tell my mom that he was sorry for what he did to her.  (My mom and I laughed at the thought that he apologized for having hit my mom, but that is seems to be the case that he willingly would hit a teacher in the head with a hard snowball, without question.)

P.S.  My task today was to “[d]raw a Christmas card”.  So, I drew one on the roof of my mom’s car tonight as we were leaving the Christkindlmarkt.  Frost had begun to reappear all over the place.

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Post-a-day 2017