Take Me To There

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“We are a plague on the Earth.” -David Attenborough

All night I thought, “Marika, get your ass up, turn on your computer, and write DoYoReHoBloMo: Day 18!” but I couldn’t because of fleece sheets and David Attenborough and reasons.

Of course I mean Sir David Attenborough, international sex symbol and notable human treasure, the narrative voice for the world around us and for those who cannot speak — like rivers, tomatoes, volcanoes, and cats, among other incredible things. I started watching Planet Earth Part 2 last night and could. not. stop.

I’ve been a superfan of every Attenborough globe-trotting project throughout the years. I remember watching The Private Life of Plants with my parents and realizing how little I knew about everything on the planet — and that one was just about plants. I watched episodes of Planet Earth back-to-back, immersed in the world we live in but one that’s brighter, more beautiful, and terribly savage. If we’d watched stuff like that in school, I think it would have been inspiring (at least inspirational enough for me to go). Instead, it was always some bullshit afterschool special where you always knew the answer: Don’t be a bully like Travis, a pushover like Nancy, a bad girl like Rhonda. Later on in life, Travis probably comes out of the closet, poor Nancy joins a cult, and Rhonda becomes your favorite stoner friend who gets you discounts at the yoga studio.

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Hello, Hams

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It was suggested to me by a wise old woman (very old, like defies numbers old) that I say hello and also a big thank-you to the onslaught of people who landed here from Discover WordPress and beyond. I so appreciate the kind words of support and unity, and for making my blog think it was her golden anniversary or something. Even by Pollyanna’s standards, it was a pretty good day.

I woke up from a sexy dream, much like the one I had about Cool Ranch Doritos, and my day got exponentially better from there. My first real reflection on identity and race was an Editor’s Pick in Discover WordPress, a piece that’s surely To Be Continued. I was offered a great writing opportunity that I can’t talk about yet, but it’s within an awesome community. And the pitch I agonized over all week – which included two crying jags, one husband lecture, and only five hours of sleep – came back and Sweet Jesus, it wasn’t a NO. My original plan was to get rejected, quit writing forever, cut off my hands, and move to a forest cave. Now I have some options. So it’s been a good day for writing adventures! It was even sunny in Seattle, like real sun, the kind that provides Vitamin D and skin cancer.

If you’re new and want to poke around, here’s the Hamlet of Awesome aka the best bloggy bits, either by page views or recommendation. I’m in the middle of doing DoYoReHoBloMo, or, Do You Remember How To Blog Month (coined to perfection by the girl down the street), which is not a thing but we made it a thing by the power of Facebook sarcasm. The point is to blog everyday, use the muscle, then use that muscle to punch the world.

Let’s stay in touch!

Facebook || Twitter || Instagram || What’s a newspaper

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Perler Beads of Wisdom

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Blooper & Boo

Some people think perler beading (pictured) is a child’s activity because children can do it, but nothing could be further from the truth.

I was born into a Fuse beading family, the lowest of the perler caste. At 12, I was betrothed to a boy from a Melty family – above my station, to be sure, and my parents were so proud – but knew I was destined for something greater. I cut off all my hair, stole my brother’s clothing, and fled the city disguised as a poor beggar boy. I found work in the house of a modest Pyssla perler family, where I added to my knowledge in secret. The other servants hated my work ethic, eventually framing me for theft and I was thrown out in the middle of the night.

I thought my fortune had changed when I was hired into the home of a great Nabbi family, but the mother beat me out of jealousy. A geriatric house manager with sad eyes took pity on me, and taught me perler magic that I’d never even heard of. Before he passed away from the Colored Lung, he revealed to me his true identity, and told me to find his estranged family – of the ancient Perler lineage – to deliver them a message in the city I’d escaped from.

It was time to go home.

Once back, I went straight to his family compound – an actual palace on a hill that looked down over my childhood slum – but they would not see me. After many weeks of insistent visits and bringing gifts to the house manager, they finally granted me an audience. After delivering his message of reconciliation and apology, and months of assisting the family with things around the palace, they adopted me as one of their own. I revealed my female identity at that point, and everything I’d learned growing up. It turned out I was a quick-study, and also very gifted, so they hired the best tutors to assist me with my studies.

At age 18, I was sent to university to study advanced perler techniques, including history, perler mathematics, physics, liberal arts, and philosophy. I graduated with top honors as the valedictorian, then went on to get a Master’s and Ph.D. in Perler Anthropology. At my graduation, I looked out into the sea of shining faces, and saw in the crowd: my parents. My adopted mother had tracked them down, and we were happily reunited.

What I’m saying is, the two perler projects you see above – Mario Bros. coasters for my husband’s 35th birthday – weren’t just made with love and attention. They are part of a rich tapestry of struggle and sacrifice; an ode to hard work and reaching for the stars. They are the creative culmination of my blood, sweat, and tears; a physical manifestation of following your dreams. Also, they took me like two hours to make, so NOW I AM AN EXPERT.

[Thank you Craft Fight Club for the tutorial and superfun crafting lady day]

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A History of Cake

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The first mention of cake appears in a Shakespearean sonnet in 1592.

Shall I compare thee to a summer cake?

Thou art more lovely and more decadent.

In 1755, the Earl of Earlingstone-Hamshire-Winthropp (nicknamed “The Earl of Earl,” for obvious reasons), on the eve of his 100th birthday, received a lovely layered dessert made of boozy pound cake, whipped cream, and sweet brandied plums. Baked by Mrs. Eleanor Peavey, longtime cook of the Earl and his family, it was cake‘s first public appearance in 150 years. The centenarian clapped his hands in surprise, knocking over a candelabra; within seconds, the brandied plums burst into flames over six feet tall, overtaking The Earl of Earl before engulfing the room completely. Everyone at the residence perished that night.

Two cake traditions from that tragic evening continue to this day:

1. Providing flame-retardant sweets for every special occasion.

2. Adding candles to birthday cake to raise awareness for the aristocracy.

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Love, Lucifer

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Justin’s brain is legend.

My sweet husband turns 35 today, meaning he has five years, tops, before I trade him in for a younger model and an overpriced penis car that goes vroom.

If you had told me 15 years ago that I’d be in a happy second marriage with a younger man, some bright day in the future, I would have bitterly laughed in your face and then lit another cigarette. Up to that point, all I knew of marriage was that to the wrong person, it could be hard and explosive and soul-crushing and sometimes very scary. I had never felt more alone than I did when I was married. Internally, I was suicidal most of the time; externally, angry and defiant. I could not remember what happiness actually felt like for a long, long time; we just brought out the worst in each other, two fighters with different agendas. Even our marriage counselor told me to throw in the towel, but we held on for another 18 months. It was quite telling that our best and most mature conversation was when we decided to divorce. No yelling, no threats. Just…reality. Here we are, and it’s not good for anyone. We have to save ourselves from each other. Reality felt so good, the weight lifting from my shoulders so abruptly that it took my breath away. Then the fear came. And the logistics. And friendship triage. And stupid mistakes. And learning. Fuuuuh. So much goddamn learning.

I met Justin during what should have been a classic rebound phase. After my husband moved back to the Midwest, I spent the summer getting in trouble and kind of dating and smoking too much and making new best friends on Seattle dancefloors I barely remembered the next day. One of those summers.

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