Hello, hello! I’m happy to report that New York Times published my Tiny Victory in their Parenting newsletter this week!

I bought my daughter this super soft, adorable alpaca to take to school and help with her anxiety (you can buy one here). It’s small enough to fit in her backpack. At the end of the day, I ask her how Thorpaca’s day went (yes that’s its name), and this way I’m able to get to her to open up about her day.

Try it, it works! Good luck!

No phuck without Pfizer.

Dear Lysistrata,

We must address your new campaign “No Copulation without Vaccination.” Does it please you to know that you have left the entire population of Athens as hard and thick as the columns of the Parthenon?

You have stated that if your husbands want the missionary, they must first Moderna. No phuck without Pfizer. No johnson without Johnson & Johnson.

We take issue with your “injections or erections” slogan. We still have to passive-aggressively hang our noses out of masks indoors, so what’s the point?

I mean, the odds of our dying from the vaccine are approximately .0008%. If someone gave you a bag of 130,000 condoms and said that one of those condoms was poisonous, would you still wear one? Probably not. And if someone said 129,999 of those condoms would prevent death from coronavirus, would you still wear one? Also, nope!

You cannot force us blue-blooded, blue-balled men to put something in our bodies. Clearly you have NO idea what that feels like! Nothing shall enter into our pure, sovereign bodies other than beer, ketchup, and an occasional Tucker Carlson fantasy.

We refuse to live our lives in fear. Unless it’s fear of Antifa, mistaking a drag queen for a hot chick, or sticking our whangdoodles in a large bottom that could create the illusion of our having a small penis.

Also, we hate shots. Unless it’s the kind that makes us feel brave. And we know you’re thinking it, so we’re just going to come clean on this one — nope, we cannot masturbate. The punishment for masturbation is a swift boat trip down the river Styx in Hades.

So for the love of Zeus, please creak those hinges wide! Let us flood your cisterns so that our aqueducts may run, and the phallus may reign supreme again!

Sincerely,

The Men

Achievement unlocked! I can’t begin to explain how STOKED I was when I got the email from McSweeneys Internet Tendency that they were going to run my latest satire piece about teachers and vaccines.

Getting published on McSweeneys has been a dream of mine. Some writers spend YEARS trying to get published there. Book deals have been made from getting your work on McSweeneys. It can be a game changer for a writer’s career!

As A Superhero Teacher, I Can’t Wait to Sacrifice My Unvaccinated Life for Your Child is a tongue-in-cheek commentary on the controversy of sending teachers back to the classroom during a pandemic before they are vaccinated. You can read it here.

For the record, I am a teacher, and am very fortunate to have received my vaccine. However, there are many teachers who still have not. But I’m also a parent who is desperate to send her kids back to school, so I empathize with both sides of the issue.

To all those teachers and parents out there, you are SUPERHEROES.

Good morning, intrepid travelers of this strange time-space continuum!

Summer here reporting at oh, 7:15 in the morning on a Saturday (WAY too early for a Saturday, but alas I can’t sleep again, as I am going on day three of insomnia, no thanks to this wicked “wolf moon”!)

But I am happy to report that I have a new post up on Slackjaw that I created with Heather-Osterman Davis, titled Quiz: Is It A Global Pandemic or Just Menopause?

Whether that time of life is knocking on your door, in your house without a mask, or keeping its social distance, or even if you are not a ciswoman, I hope that this helps you know you are not alone in your feelings!

With love,

Summer

Well friends, it’s time to turn a page on 2020. Consider this a New Year’s Card.

The beginning of 2020 started with magical bubbles, sunsets and drum circles, priestesses chanting down 2019 at Moonlight Beach, and even inspired this moon-shaped poem. Then it ended with cataracts in both eyes and an “untamed,” feral family that would make Glennon Doyle proud.

In March I got to be a part of an amazing and highly acclaimed production, The Life and Times of Jim Croce. I was cast as lead (Ingrid Croce) and learned (I’ve lost track how many) songs on vocals, harmony, and guitar, a shit-ton of lines, and sobbed my heart out on stage every night.

On Friday the thirteenth of March, my husband’s birthday and the second Friday of our play’s run, we found out that schools were closing for the month while schools “figured out what to do”. This meant I was now at home trying to learn how to teach Spanish on Zoom to middle schoolers while schooling and caring for my first and third grader. (My husband is an “essential worker” so it was just me at home, with my mom’s help).

Because I’m bad at boundaries, I embraced the new shift as I do everything: with open arms. Being “open” and an empath means I am receptive to creative forces of the universe, others’ feelings (hence the ability to cry on command), as well as numerous health problems. My body is a dilated pupil. All the stuff gets in.

We are fortunate that our family, friends, and loved ones have stayed relatively healthy, although 2020 did not leave without taking my eyes as tribute. I developed fast-growing cataracts in both eyes and the ophthalmologist thinks it’s from my asthma medication (which of course I pumped up when I found out that Covid was a respiratory disease).

Remote schooling for my first and third grader, while simultaneously trying to figure out how to teach Spanish to middle schoolers over Zoom, was less fun than undergoing eight root canals (which I also did last year). I had to resign my position at one of my schools I teach at in order to have time to care and school kids. But I managed to hang onto my Spanish position at the Montessori, so I still have a foot in the door and hopefully something of a teaching career left.

“Zoom school” wasn’t working too well for my children, so last spring I decided to “nature school” them. We spent almost every day in the rainforest or at the beach, in rain, shine, and wind. Here is a poem I wrote about that.

Doing nature school and going “wild” and “untamed” meant that my children and I ended up becoming feral. I detail that experience here, it is all true. Oh, and my menstrual cycle is now synced to the moon. And so in my insomnia. And the tides control my feelings. Like I said, I am full of holes like Swiss Cheese.

My mom has been a tremendous help and the kids have been forced to learn how to get along since they pretty much only have each other. But it’s been up to me to try to care for their social emotional health by arranging play dates outside whenever possible, engaging in physical activities, and nurturing their creative side. The kids have been doing lots of art, reading, indoor rock climbing, swimming, skiing, etc. plus inventing their own “yoga” and freestyle dance moves.

Let’s not kid ourselves, though– it’s been sooooooo faaaaaaking haaaaaaard. One day I will tell you all about it….. one day…… let’s just say I’ve been learning about PTG, or post traumatic growth. One day, when this is said and done, I will write songs and poems and funny essays about it. For now, it’s all I can do in my lizard brain to write satire.

Poetry comes out too depressing, so this fall I turned to comedy to write my feelings. Does this mean that I’ve become cynical? Perhaps. Satire seems to be the best way to describe a world that has turned inside out and upside down and batshit crazy. Humor is a more palatable way to send a message that can otherwise be hard to hear. Also, I don’t think I am inherently funny, so even the challenge of doing comedy is absolutely irresistible to this drama-loving sadist! But so far I have five comedy publications just since November and one slated to publish first week of January, so I’m off to a good start!

2020 wasn’t all bad news– I won a statewide poetry contest, played lead in a highly acclaimed play, and had nineteen pieces published in various literature magazines. I took part in the Through the Cultural Lens class with Southeast Alaska Heritage Institute, and dove deeper into the fundamental question of How do we decolonize? — something I have always been fascinated with and continue to explore further. Watch this space for more of that!

What are YOUR goals or intentions for this year? In this age of Aquarius, NOW is the time for a great creative, cultural and social and political shif! The conjunction of Jupiter with pragmatic Saturn will give the earth energy enough to put ideas into practice! They say this hasn’t happened since right before the Renaissance! Exciting!

So what is on my goal list for 2021? Well, obviously smashing the patriarchy, calling out Western culture–you know, the usual–decolonizing, challenging white privilege (yes, me). Writing more satire and honing my voice as a comedian. I’ll be taking more writing classes, getting my kids up skiing, swimming, and rock climbing, and continuing to teach Spanish and remote school my own children.

Another goal I have for 2021 is to teach children how to process their trauma through poetry and writing their own personal stories. I have always wanted to do this, and I think our students need it now more than ever. I have been communicating with groups in Southern California that do just that and whose framework I plan to use as a model.

Oh yeah, and getting cataract surgery!

Here’s to manifesting dreams! Or should I say, womynfesting?

XO, and Happy New Year,

Summer