This is England

Thank you to everyone who commented or sent emails calling the people who broke in fun words like "assholes" and "fuckers". I knew there was a reason I loved you all.

We were not broken into today, so we have made it one full week without someone kicking in our door and taking our stuff. Rock on. Who knows, we may even make it months, MONTHS without having to get a new laptop! I have carefully labelled all of our electronic gear with an ultraviolet pen, as advised by the police officers who came to take the report. Incidentally, they kept referring to our bedroom as the "crime scene", as it was made a mess of with jewellery strewn everywhere, wardrobes opened, and bedside cabinets emptied. Do not think it escaped my notice that our bedroom, once the site of Bataan Death March sex, and more recently, no sex at all, was frequently referred to as a "crime scene". No shit, officer. No shit.

Shaken as I was by this (btw, my apologies for my post-break-in post, because hello, h-i-s-t-r-i-o-n-i-c), it made me think further on why I have said numerous times that I don't want to raise P in this country. That is not to say that one burglary has convinced me to bribe a Canadian immigration official to expedite our residency application, but it's just another nail in the coffin of England, which, let's face it, would probably just get nicked anyway.

I want to raise P in a place that does not have people pissing in the middle of the street at 2pm. I want her to be able to play in the park without hearing dimwitted chav mothers telling her 4 kids under the age of 8 to "Shut the fuck up". It would be nice for her not to see drunks stumbling down the street at midday, or loud-mouthed louts walking around with cans of Stella clutched in their hands at all hours, night and day.

When The Dude came home to find our splintered door, he was very un-Dude. Normal Dude would flip out and book the next flight to the US and just stay there until Canadian residency was granted, but this Dude was totally zen. He said, "Everyone gets done once!", with a casual nature that is so unlike The Dude that I'm inclined to think he has been replaced with a pod person. It's sad that Pod Dude, being English and all, thinks that being burgled is just a part of life. I grew up in white bread, all-American, middle class suburbs, and I couldn't tell you of anyone I knew growing up whose house had been broken into. Middle class ignorance, middle class bliss.

Ever since having P, I'm all about living in a sequestered community. Throw up a big old gate, I'll hide behind it with my family. Perhaps tellingly, I initially typed "from" my family. Either way, I'm not opposed to the gate. This does bother me, liberal, hippy leftie that I am. Parenting is making me want to hide my child from all the bad people, and even the mildly bad people. Let me stress, not poor people, just naughty people. I plan on raising her to be directly involved with charitable causes, because she needs to know how fortunate she is. My mom used to make us spend our Easter Sundays serving up dinners at the local homeless shelter, and aside from the one time when a man in his 50s told my 14 year old self that he wanted to get between the sheets with me, I enjoyed it.

I know I can't shield her forever, which is why I want to do it when she's young. It's not like I want to keep her so isolated that she's like a kid stumbling out of the woods after living with one of those Mormon-like cults in deepest Utah, but I want to heavily censor her reality. Is that weird? As I say, I feel like I'm deeply betraying my liberal leanings - wanting to run away from the problem rather than help.

My mom always warned me that you get more conservative as you age. Am I turning into Pat Buchanan? Now, if you'll excuse me I must go polish my rifle.


An open letter

Dear Asshole(s),

Thank you for breaking into our flat yesterday and taking what is not yours to take. I can see why junkies would need a few inexpensive men's rings and a US university class ring to sell on for a few quid. It's a shame for you that you are so stupid as to be in possession of such a unique item as an MBA class ring from a US university when you are in the UK. If this is ever traced back to you, your guilt will be hard to dispute.

The laptop was an easy target - too bad it's a standard Dell laptop with a broken sound card. If you're lucky you might get get £100 which will buy you, what, enough smack to last you a few days? Perhaps a tacky gold necklace from Argos for your chav girlfriend, no doubt called Jade, or something equally trashy. I don't miss the laptop itself, but my lack of foresight and stupid, unwavering faith in other human beings means that all the photos of the first 18 months of my daughter's life are gone since I never backed them up on disk or USB. Thankfully I have a private blog which hosts many photos since her birth, but hundreds are gone never to be seen again by those who love her. Thank you most of all for this. You could have taken any of the other material things, but this is what makes me want to rip your fucking head(s) off. How dare you have this access to our lives, to all those photographs of my daughter, who is thankfully young enough to be blissfully unaware of shitbags such as yourself(-elves).

You managed to leave behind the one piece of truly expensive jewellery that I own, my engagement ring. It was sitting right on top of my jewellery box that you sifted through, casually throwing some earrings onto the floor and our bed. I assume you don't know proper jewellery when you see it, after all, someone who is used to dodgy "gold" and cheap tack aren't likely to know what diamonds and platinum are. So, thank you for yet again being a complete fucktard. Me and the symbolic nature of my engagement ring are very grateful for your ignorance.

That's all you managed to take in the minute or two you must have spent in our house after kicking in the door. You left the 42" plasma, DVD recorder, internet radio, passports, and digital camera. A friend said I should be thankful you didn't opt to shit or piss on any of our belongings, as apparently your kind are wont to do this sort of vile behaviour. By the grace of whoever, you were either to stupid and/or high but do much more than this smash and grab, so for that we are lucky.

Aside from the material aspect of things, you have compromised the safety of me and my family. My daughter could have been in the house on another day, another time. Rest assured, had you kicked in the door and we had been present, I would have had no hesitation in stabbing you with the nearest sharp object. Though I am a pacifist, the thought of your soulless character(s) being in my space where my innocent daughter plays happily makes me want to kill you. Now, on the days that I spend at home with her, I will have to double lock the door. A place that I once felt was infinitely safe is no more. Your fingerprints and footprints marked your presence after the police left, and I washed them away frantically in an effort to forget that you had been in my bedroom, touched my clothes, sat on my bed.

I take solace in the fact that you will no doubt live the rest of your pitiful existence as a thief, believing that taking from others is in any way rewarding. I have nice things because I work hard to have them. You may have someone's television, or the money made from selling it, but that is your life and it is likely to be all that you ever have. One day you'll find yourself in your 50s, an aimless loser in a dingy flat, still taking what is not yours. I hope it's all worth it.


Selling out

By the time you read this there may or may not be ads cluttering up my sidebar. I didn't want to do it folks, but as BABYDANCE MATERNITY NEVER PAID ME FOR THE MONTHS OF FREE ADVERTISING I have done, it forced my hand. I'm hoping my blog doesn't take years to load, and if it does, please let me know.

I have mentioned before why I've been considering this whole ad revenue thing. I fancy myself an aesthete, and so often ads make blogs look tacky as shit. This doesn't please me, but I don't know if there is a way around it. I don't view this as being "paid" for my writing, because seriously, if people got paid for writing the kind of dull tripe I vomit upon Blogger with varying regularity, this would be a baffling catastrophe almost on par with the idea of Mike Huckabee ending up in the White House.

So I want to earn some cash to help you, my lovely fellow bloggers. When you're feeling down, I want to buy you presents. If you need help paying for treatment, I want to throw some money your way. If you're having a baby/babies after a long struggle, I want to buy you a gift. I can do nice things here and there for people sans ad revenue, but I'm somewhat limited given that I have a mortgage to pay, a toddler to rear, and a rather expensive love of gadgets and all forms of media. With that said, please bear it in mind when you see my ads and help a sister or ten out.

As we're talking of such things, it segues nicely to an incident from the other day. England closes at 5.30-6pm every day. No stores are open, and everyone goes home to eat dinner and watch soaps. We thought our local Starbucks was open late on a Thursday, as we regularly the kid there on Thursdays after work. She shares our muffins, and if she's lucky, gets a fingerful of The Dude's whipped cream from his hot chocolate. We walked by it, and got the impression that they were closing. P and I stayed outside whilst The Dude went in to ask what time they closed. The answer was 2 minutes from then, so we went on our merry way. Well, The Dude and I did anyway. P lost her shit, screaming and pointing to Starbucks as we made a hasty retreat. My child is already suckling on the teat of corporate whoredom. It can only go downhill from here.



Though I often cry at the silliest things - Mastercard advertisements (UK people - the Christmas advert - hello??), melodramatic Lifetime movies with Meredith Baxter Not-Birney, and the like. I can't even think of old people and their pets without getting teary.

However, there are occasions where I am so affected by something I've heard or read, that I can't stop thinking about it. In this case, I'm even having trouble talking about it. A couple of weeks ago, a woman's body was found on one of the motorways not far from where I live. She had walked onto the motorway in the path of many oncoming cars, where she was struck numerous times. It was soon discovered that the woman had recently given birth to twins, and was suffering from severe post-natal depression.

I saw an interview with the husband on TV a few days ago. He was holding one of the babies and (understandably) struggled to finish the interview. In the article I have linked to above he states that he realised how depressed she was, and promised to get her to the doctor the very next day. She was so close to getting help, but unfortunately it didn't happen soon enough for her.

This situation is so difficult for me to think about because of the problems I had after P was born. Post-natal depression is not a foreign concept to me, and I have also seen other bloggers suffer through it. Any one of us could have so easily reached a point when we didn't want to live anymore, and I would be lying if I said the thought had never crossed my mind after P's birth.

One time, when P was about 2 months old, she screamed for two days with not much rest. She was hoarse because of it, and the resulting noise was a horrid, nails-on-chalkboard, unholy screech. I had difficulty coping at first, and it soon spiralled into me being unable to even hold her. I was yelling at The Dude to take her, because I was afraid of what I would do. I shut myself in our bedroom, screamed into pillows, scratched myself, and wondered how I could stop my pain. I acknowledged my complete irrationality, but at the same time came to the conclusion that I might have been going insane. I could see no way out, as I was saddled with this baby that never shut up, and I was still struggling to love her. How can you love something you don't want to have anything to do with?

The truth is not always out there. No one really tells you how horrible your life might be for awhile. No one said anything to me, and I'm still unbelievably pissed off that I was lead down this path blindfolded. I only wrote about some of my feelings, but looking back on my blog at that time it's only the cusp of what I was really going through. I was not diagnosed with post-natal depression despite being told a few times that I *might* have it, but still nothing was done. I was left, alone, to dislike my child and hate myself for that lack of love I was feeling.

Writing here was an act of catharsis for me, and in retrospect, to help other women. I know some come here after googling things which are secret...combinations of words which should never be said. I want these women to read my posts and realise that what they're feeling is not wrong, and that there is a way to get through it.

My heart breaks for the husband and two infants who have lost their wife and mother, a woman who was in so much pain that she viewed her actions as the only way out. It saddens me that help is so close, but so far away when you're in that place. No one should ever, ever feel that way.

In the off chance that you have come to this blog looking for reassurance, a month, a year, or three years after I've babbled incoherently and not been nearly as eloquent as I would have hoped, you can get through this. It may not seem that way now, but you will know good times with your baby, trust me. The most important thing is to talk about it, acknowledge your feelings. Talk to your partner, friends, GP, just make sure you don't go through this silent and alone. I am not someone who can help a woman through post-natal depression, as lord knows I have enough problems of my own. However, please email me if you just want validation that what you're feeling is normal. I can at least do that.


Get your tits out for the lads

I've blogged before about having big boobs. Not too much has been said I hope. After all, how much can one expound on inflated (not superficially, I might add) mammaries?

I work with a man, a member of academic staff, who is a complete dickhole in every possible way. He's patronising, arrogant, and just a major prat. He also has a tendency to speak directly to my chest rather than venturing northward to make contact with, oh, I don't know, my eyes. Thankfully I have limited interaction with him, and I go out of my way to avoid him if I see him around my building.

A friend/co-worker was telling an acquaintance of ours who works in another location at the university about this man's boob fixation. When she told him of my experiences with Dr. Titman, he said, "Well, she does put them out there." Pardon? I put them out there? Even if they were "out there", does that mean some sex-deprived pervert is free to stare at them indiscriminately?

I'm now concerned that perhaps they are out there. Way out there. I'm a 36DD folks, there ain't no way of turning these babies into Precious Littles*. However, what if my tops are too tight, too low-cut, or both? My friend joked that half of my tops require tit tape, which is patently not true. She corrected herself to say that pre-P that was the case, but not so much anymore. So I used to be a big whore, but now that I'm a mother I've turned the whore down from about a 9 to perhaps a 3.

I swear to you, I am a fairly modest dresser. Any fashion savvy person will tell you that big breasted women should avoid high-necked tops, it just turns them into an amorphous blob. I wear a lot of v-necks, but not of them do anything more than graze my cleavage. Some of them might be a bit tight, but short of a mumu, my 36DDs would make an appearance regardless of my apparel.

I asked The Dude tonight if my boobs were flopping out on a daily basis. There were a lot of pauses, with his dear little pea brain clearly straining itself to figure out the best way to phrase things. His conclusion was that my tops are not too low cut, but perhaps some are too tight, whatever "too" tight means when stated by an avowed jealous husband. You should see the clothes this man picks out for me if given the opportunity. I might as well get a blue rinse, start collecting Hummel figurines and call it a fucking day.

I'm worried now that I wouldn't be taken seriously in my professional life thanks to big boobs, as if this is a fault of mine. I know it's the classic woman-in-the-working-world dilemma, but it sucks. I'm not happy with my figure in the least, which is why I don't cover it up completely. I know that seems rather illogical, but hiding under huge clothing makes you look even bigger, and who wants that? I would love to lose some boobage, and if I ever get my ass in gear and start running again, that will happen. Even if my 36DDs go back to what their former size of 34B
(10 years ago now, ugh), I still can't picture myself hiding under a shift.

I guess I am stuck being a big tittied ol' slut.

Apropos of nothing, I understand today is Official Delurking Day, in fact, it might even be Official Delurking WEEK. I love these things, because there are some pretty fabulous people lurking, and I know you're here. No bugger is commenting, but some of you are reading if my stats are to be believed. In the past year I have had fantastic comments from people with no link to a blog or an email address, which breaks my cold heart. Many times I've wanted to email a commentor to thank them for a great comment, but can't because there is no bloody way to contact them! I'm talking to you geepeemum, Seepi, Jennifer, New Beginnings, Chris, Sarah, Sarahd, Tommie, ks, Holly, Jacqueline, and all you anonymous people. I just went through a full year of comments to compile that list, so the good news is I've found some lurkers who commented at some stage who DO have blogs. I am in the process of adding you to my Bloglines as we speak. How oddly industrious of me.

The appeal of delurking can seem very self-serving, but I'm genuinely interested in who is reading my nonsense. Of course it helps to introduce me to new blogs as well, which my endless list of feeds on Bloglines will love me for. My goal this year is to comment more, as I get all uppity about no comments here, yet I am so lax with commenting myself. What a hypocrite I am.

So anyway, introduce yourself, I'm a friendly sort. Just make sure to look me in the eyes.

*Precious Littles: I was bra shopping once with a friend who is a 34A, and one of the bras she picked up was part of a line by this name. Rub it in why don't you?


Silent all these years

I may be quoting Tori, but don't worry, no melodrama, sighing, or hand-wringing here. Oh, Tori, thank you though for being a main player in the soundtrack to my high school years.

Anyway, I'm writing yet another pointless post to simply state that I am not dead. I was without internet access for about two weeks, which, though a prolonged period of distress akin to dying, is in fact not fatal as I first suspected. I am a true child of my generation - mama needs her technology. My laptop's battery was buggered, and as it was the holiday season, everyone from Dell was off doing celebratory things rather than shipping my battery to me forthwith. What a bunch of bastards, eh?

However, all has not been lost. My dear, dear husband surprised me with an internet radio, and bloggers, I am in love. Fuck my husband, fuck cheesecake, fuck lentils. This is the real thing. In case you are wondering, it is a radio that picks up pretty much any internet radio station I want to listen to. It connects wirelessly to our network, which means it can also access any MP3s I have on the laptop. Oh, the mind boggles. Since I have all of this aural power at my fingertips, any recommendations of radio stations you like? I listen to most types of music with the exception of contemporary country, so show me what you've got. I tend to gravitate toward stations with indie/alternative fare, per exemple 94/7 (Portland), East Village Radio (where else?) and XPN/YRock (Philly). I am open to anything, as long as it's not the twangy country shit or standard Top 40. Talk radio, public radio, international, miscellaneous. Whatever.

Now, if you'll excuse me I have thousands of bastard blog feeds to read, my nose to wipe, and an internet radio to hump. I'm swamped.