Madwoman Out of the Attic

a feminist trudging forward in a patriarchal world

Monday, November 26, 2007


Here's a pathetic image from Friday at 3:00 AM:

I am on the floor of the bathroom. I've been throwing up for half an hour, and am exhausted. Yet I know that if I return to bed, I'll just have to get up and retch again in a few minutes. So I curl up on the floor of the bathroom next to the toilet, and use a role of toilet paper for a pillow. Despite its "double quilted soft" qualities, it is surprisingly uncomfortable.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Bad Ode to 24 Hour Fitness

O 24 Hour Fitness, my 24 Hour Fitness
Hallowed be your name.

When I had spent all last night retching
And spent the morning so weak with chills,
So exhausted,
So overcome with muscle aches
That I could barely lift up my own child

Where else could I turn for help?
Where else could I turn for 2 hours of child care
For only $3.00?
Where else could I go for a hot shower
(my first in 3 days)
without the constant worry of what my child was getting into?

Nowhere else.
Though I have walked through the valley of the shadow of vomit,
I have received sustenance, I have received succor
From 24 Hour Fitness.

(N.B. Rebecca also deserves huge credit in making my life better by risking contagion and babysitting the Beast while I taught school today.)

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Good Times

I've been watching Sybil with Brooke. Creepy but fascinating. Can't wait for the second half of it tonight.

Saturday, November 17, 2007


(Poem format poached from Jana)

I am Southern California.

I am Arabian red, baby breath, dog fur, and spicy samosas.

I am friend, thinker, wannabe vegetarian, idealist, pragmatist, teacher, learner, parent.

I am someone who contributes.

I am Mike, baby Beast, and my animals.

I am Caroline.

Sunday, November 11, 2007


Mike: Last night we took the speaker out to dinner at a nice restaurant. I got the swordfish for $30.

Me: Hey, when it's on the good taxpayers of CA, why not? I don't think I have ever in my life had a main course that cost $30.

Mike: And if I'm paying, you never will.

Me: That's my baby.

My Hellish Sunday Afternoon

It all began with my hellish last night. Baby woke up and cried from 11 pm to 1:30 in the morning, with Mike and me alternately getting up and trying to get him to go to sleep.

This afternoon, I get home from church. It's naptime. I try to put him down. He cries for half an hour as I lie in a tired stupor on the couch willing him to go to sleep. I finally give in and go get him. He plays around in my bedroom for 45 five minutes, in which he chews up a cheese stick and spits it out on the carpet, falls off the bed, and head butts me in the face so hard I think my front tooth is loosened.

I put him down again with a fresh bottle of milk. He cries for five minutes, in which time I take off my skirt with the idea that I'll put on some jeans. I'm too tired to put my pants on so I just lie on the bed half dressed, and shortly the baby stops crying.

Then..... awful Eliza starts her horrible incessant barking. Baby starts crying again. Cursing, I charge downstairs, pounce on Eliza, and lock her in the study, while at the same time I realize there are actually people on my front porch (ergo the barking.)

I run into the laundry room looking for pants. No luck. So I run back upstairs and put on my jeans that are lying on the floor. By this time the poor people on the front porch have been standing there for at least 4 minutes. I run downstairs again and open the door. It's Nancy and Kelsey (?) dropping stuff off (yay!) for the Native Americans who have lost everything in the fires. I go outside with them as they unload the car, all the while feeling something mysteriously gooey rubbing up against the inside of my leg inside my jeans.

Yes, it's the chewed up string cheese that E spat out an hour ago, I discover after I close the door, now coating my leg and the inside of my jeans. Disgusting. But thank heavens the baby is finally no longer wailing. So, in a bad mood, I head to my computer to blog about this afternoon, so that it will live in infamy for posterity to enjoy.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Don't We All Pick and Choose?

(cross posted at Exponentblog)

In the last month or two, I’ve come across a couple of people who have referred to my approach to religion as “cafeteria style” or “belief buffet.” Whenever I hear these kinds of comments, I scratch my head in befuddlement.

I tend to think that we LDS all pick and choose which religious tenets we want to emphasize and which we want to downplay. Is there a human alive that truly is able to incorporate into their lives all the ideas and commandments present in the scriptures? All the (sometimes conflicting) statements and ideals that have been presented in General Conference over the last 150 years? Over the last 25 years?

Take, for instance, D&C 89. Active Mormons are generally great at abstaining from alcohol and tobacco. But there is that pesky part about abstaining from meat, unless it’s a time of cold or famine. While some Mormons are very thoughtful about their meat consumption, many Mormons I know do not pay attention to that particular God-given word of wisdom. This is simply one uniquely LDS scripture that most upstanding Mormons have chosen to ignore.

Or how about President Kimball’s General Conference talk in which he condemns hunting for sport? I love that part of the talk. But I understand that hunting is still a popular past time in Utah, even among upstanding LDS. These are good Mormons who have chosen to believe President Kimball’s admonition does not apply to them.

There is also the Sabbath. The Sabbath is a grayish area to me – an area in which devout Mormons, despite some pretty clear cut admonitions from the General Conference pulpit, pick and choose which activities and abstentions work best for themselves and their individual situations.

There are so many other uniquely Mormon beliefs and practices – caffeinated drinks, R rated movies, tight clothing, facial hair, white shirts, family size – that I see many devout Church members picking and choosing how – and if – to incorporate into their lives.

After years of self-doubt and angst about certain Church issues, I personally now find great inspiration and power in picking and choosing which religious tenets to emphasize in my own life. I feel like it is my right and my responsibility to embrace and revel in those principles and practices which uplift, empower, and inspire me to become a more Christian person. And likewise it is my right and responsibility to discard, ignore, or shelve those ideas that don’t.

While I know that some LDS are uncomfortable with this approach (although, as I stated above, I feel like we all do it to a greater or lesser extent) I feel liberated by it. By carefully discarding those few ideas that I have found hurtful and false, I am now at liberty to fully embrace those that I find wonderful and true. I am a far more enthusiastic Christian now than I was in my period of angst, when I thought that Mormonism was an all or nothing proposition.

I recognize, however, that beliefs and practice are always fluid, and that things I reject now I may later accept. I’m sure that I’ll make mistakes in this negotiation process, but ultimately, I have hope and faith in a forgiving God who will see the sincerity of my quest and understand the ideals that motivate me in my spiritual journey.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

My Saturday

6:45 AM baby E starts crying and I go get him.
9:00 Baby, Mom, and I go to the farmers' market.
10:00 Mom, baby, and I work on my back yard. I make a new home for my worms (some of which are still alive - yay!), Mom sweeps the patio and baby gets into everything.
1:00 baby goes down for a nap, and Mom and I search ebay for yarn and her favorite cordless curling iron.
3:30 my 4 year old nephew J get dropped off at my house so my bro can go to the USC game.
4:30 Eliza viciously attacks little Sophia. Mom wades into the fray and gets her finger bloodied by awful Eliza. Eliza spends the next half hour in the bathroom.
5:30 We attempt to feed the kids dinner. Neither eat much of the stuffed green peppers we spent an hour cooking.
7:00 Mom takes J back to his house.
8:30 After a second attempt, E finally goes down peacefully. I fruitlessly try to find something decent on TV, so I blog instead.

I'm All Alone

Mike's been away at a conference since Thursday. I came down with laryngitis and a cold, so it's been a long few days. My awesome mom has been helping out, but I can't wait until Mike gets home tomorrow and takes the baby off my hands for a few hours!