Eden M. Kennedy

mission accomplished, pal

Eden M. Kennedy is the co-author (with Alice Bradley) of the book Let's Panic About Babies! (St. Martin's Press, 2011).

A former college-radio DJ, Mrs. Kennedy has driven cross-country six times in a 1973 Volkswagen Bug and enjoys standing on her head.

Currently she works at a nonprofit and is just about finished writing her first novel.

Filtering by Category: Drawings

Re-do

Apparently I needed to nap most of the afternoon, after a morning of watching an X-Men movie and forcing Jackson to overcome his fear of Beetlejuice ("Who is Michael Keaton again? But which janitor on 30 Rock?"). Consequently, I have not finished the drawing for today, which was supposed to be something yoga related. I chose the shortest yoga sutra I could find, did a terrible job lettering it, and then took an out-of-focus photo of it. Yeah, I'm calling a re-do for tomorrow, I'm taking that extra hour of tomorrow and calling it today. samadhi

A progression of healing thoughts

This morning I was driving down Alamar when I saw a slightly ragged-looking couple on the street in front of the Alzheimer's home. The man looked upset and the woman waved at me violently and shrieked, "YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO GO 35, BITCH!" with a horrifying expression on her face. I glanced at my speedometer -- I was going 37 m.p.h., and my first thought was a prim, "Clearly that woman does not know what a car going approximately 35 miles per hour looks like." I braked slightly and looked in my rear-view mirror -- she was still glaring at me, and my second thought was of a photograph from one of my dad's books about the Holocaust where a woman with the same expression of fury and disgust on her face was yelling at a group of Jews being rounded up.

And then I was mad that seeing my brake lights might have made her feel like she'd won. The truth was that I braked because the light on the corner was red and I didn't want to roll into oncoming traffic, and now I was thinking about Nazis.

Thought #3: "Nazis!"

Thought #4: "That bitch."

Then I forced myself to calm down because it's unhealthy to let a stranger fuck up your day when you weren't even doing anything wrong. (Anything that wrong. After all, she was correct in pointing out that I was not going the speed limit. LET'S GIVE HER THAT.)

Thought #5: "OK, wait. What if she's really upset about something, let's look at it from her point of view. Maybe her dog just got run over."

Thought #6: "OK, but it wasn't me who ran over her dog, or ran into her mother who wandered away from the Alzheimer's home, and all that anger should be directed toward the people who are truly responsible for her having to put her mother in a home where she's dying of Alzheimer's without remembering who her daughter is. I know how that feels, lady, but at some point you've got to suck it up and quit yelling at strangers driving by in the street."

Thought #7: "What Law of Attraction bullshit have I done to have a stranger yell at me like that?"

When we were about a mile away I asked Jackson if he'd remembered to put his homework in his backpack, and he hadn't. So we drove back home, got the homework, and passed the Alzheimer's place again but the woman was gone.

Thought #8: "I have no way of knowing what the truth of her situation is, so I need to let go of this whole thing, Byron Katie. She absolutely should have been in the street yelling at cars, that was exactly what needed to happen at that point in time, given a series of events that are totally invisible to me, and it would be insane for me to try to fly back in time with super mind control and try to change it. RADICAL ACCEPTANCE, COMRADE."

Then I had a happier thought.

Thought #9: "Maybe she has a superpower that enables her to detect when a car is going two miles over the speed limit."

Thought #10: "Well, at least I finally have something to blog about."

 

I'm not even sure what racism is anymore

Me: I need to go to the Water Store and get more distilled water.

Jackson: That is the whitest thing anyone, anywhere has ever said.

Me: Oh, well, excuse me, the first person who told me that we should all drink distilled water was black. His mom was super into it.

Jackson: It's still the whitest thing I've ever heard you say.

Me: Well, I am pretty white.

Jackson: Yes.

Me: But how can it be a white thing if black people drink distilled water, too?

Jackson: Are you calling me racist?

Me: I don't know, am I? Or are you saying that "white" is a synonym for "living in a privileged bubble."

Jackson: Yes, yes I am.

Me: And I am a privileged person who will pay for something that comes out of a faucet for free.

Jackson: Pretty much.

Me: OK, but if doing that is "white," are you saying that a privileged black person who buys distilled water is "white," or are you saying that black people can be just as privileged and deluded by health fads as white people?

Jackson: . . . the second one.

Me: So, maybe just say privileged in the future if that's what you mean.

Jackson: Mom, you are so white.

Me: Okey dokey!

 

So I might have been at this for a year now

This is for a person who wasn't sure what they wanted me to draw. "A hedgehog?" they wondered, or perhaps, "Peewee!" So I drew Peewee and two hedgehogs, and then I misspelled Peewee and painted the hedgehogs purple.

watercolor peewee

My Weird Little Trip to CVS

Recently I had the opportunity to explain to a Millenial what a bottle deposit is. I wouldn't have bothered except that when she asked the cashier, who was ringing up the woman's giant bottle of Jack Daniel's, what the extra .05 cents was for, the cashier got flustered and said, "I don't know," in this dismissive way, like, "Whatever. Who understands anything?" Well, listen, CVS cashier with the Bettie Page do and knuckle tattoos, I don't normally go around shaming cashiers for not understanding every little burden you pass on to the public but why not let's try to dispel a minor ignorance whenever possible?

I took a breath before I butted in and said, "It's to encourage you to bring the bottle back to a recycling center, then you'll get your five cents back." And the woman was all, "Oh!" *flash of understanding* so I left it at that. I left it to her to recall the times she might have seen people digging through garbage to collect cans in order to turn them in for cash, since she might enjoy extrapolating this for herself in a quiet moment. Having the opportunity to relate new information to our own experience is what really cements a new concept, don't you think? Whether in the classroom or pre-paying for our hangovers at the drug store.

But then I got to thinking. Since I pay my bottle deposits and then toss my bottles into the recycling bin without getting my money back I was suddenly all, "WAIT A MINUTE WHERE'S ALL THAT MONEY I WANT IT BACK." (The Internet assures me that unclaimed funds collected on behalf of the bottle bill go to "program administration" (program administrators' annual Christmas trip to Honolulu) and "grants" (breakfast beers and Tylenol).)

On the heels of this new awareness came a moral dilemma. I was next up and the total for the box of push pins I was buying so Jackson's taped-up posters would quit falling off his wall was something like $3.31 so I gave Bettie Page a $10 bill and a penny. I've been making change semi-professionally for 35 years, sadly, so I do that shit all the time, here's two pennies and a dime and three extra dollars, just so I don't get a pound of small change back from every transaction. It makes me feel like my father but my collarbones were once made uneven from the weight of my shoulder bag and I am not having any of that anymore.

Maybe the line behind me was throwing her off, the feeling that all of these people were staring at her and willing her to go faster. I gave her $10.01. She stared at the penny and then looked at me like, What is this? Then she turned and punched $1.00 into the cash register. Naturally, the cash register said, A dollar? Did you not hear me correctly? I need $3.31. So Bettie goes, Oh, um, fuck, and punches in $10.00. Now the cash register was all, YOU GAVE ME $11.00 FOR SOME REASON and the cashier was all, GAAHHH HERE TAKE ALL THE MONEY, and just shoved a bunch of change into my hand. I didn't even question it, even though I knew she'd just paid me to shoplift a half-price box of push pins, because at that point I was 93% Wow, you really don't care you just want to get rid of me, and 7% YAY FREE PUSH PINS!

I'm not normally one to take advantage in these situations, but fuck this CVS. The same thing happened to me there last month with a cashier who was never trained on how to make change without depending on the register to do it for him, and who just mashed a bunch of buttons on the key pad and then probably lost his job at the end of the shift because his receipts were like math without numbers. But with that guy I took the time to recount my change and gave him back the extra, mostly just because he seemed kind, and who wants to see kids get fired in this economy? But with Knuckles I was less sympathetic, and I don't know if it was from some projected misogyny, or irritation at her hair-do, or the instinct to distance myself from an imminent anxiety supernova, but if I were her manager I would have somebody stand with her to oversee that shit or I'd put her back in the stock room until she realized that what she really needed to do was finish school and quit dating drug addicts.

THAT WAS A REALLY LONG STORY, MRS. KENNEDY

Well, sorry, I seem to really get bent over details these days. I am writing a novel sort of just to see if I can do it, and I'm finding that inventing emotional and physical detail like all that above is not nearly as easy as just remembering it.

OH, BOY

Last night I was coming in the door at 6:00 p.m. with two sacks of groceries and Jackson was lying on the couch and the first thing he said to me was, "Mom, just so you know, I was hungry so I ate three donuts."

And I was all, Seriously, son? I mean, I guess it's cute if you're becoming the voracious teenage boy who can put away two or three dinners a night, but come on. We're not there yet, are we? You're only twelve and where the hell did those donuts come from?

I MADE THIS FOR YOU

Lastly, here's a drawing I made for a yoga friend who donated to my Red Cross/Charity Water campaign last fall and guess what? I'm STILL not done with all the drawings I owe people and I'm going to have to start another campaign in a minute and I think I'm just going to do tote bags this year. Anyway, I am really, really pleased with this one and it makes me want to do more yoga-specific figure drawings. Just line drawings of happy people doing crazy things with their bodies, nothing fancy.

sonja_asana

I hate shopping more than life itself

Here's the latest: if you ask me to draw "an animal," you may end up with a picture based on a picture of Steve Irwin holding a wombat that says, it's a wombat. Because if you put your framed drawing of Steve Irwin holding a wombat someplace people can see it, then you're not going to want to answer the question, "What IS that?" over and over again, are you? Unless you are, in which case I've ruined this drawing's purpose as a conversation piece. wombat

I don't know where his right elbow came from, it's not in the photo. At some point I realized that I'd gotten the proportions all wrong so I started making uncanny adjustments, and now here we are. I'm not apologizing!

Next, a request for a "random landscape" took me no further than my own back yard. Sure, I could have gone to the beach, but then all you'd have would be a drawing of a horizontal line, and if you complained I'd be all, "Haven't you read Harold and the Purple Crayon?" Plus, I've had a terrible cold. Yes, that's supposed to be Peewee. He was added as an afterthought. Clearly.

bricks

Anywho. What's been going on? Well, Jack came back from his mother's house with a pile of old photos. We organized as much as we could, they were mostly family photos but we found some modeling proofs and tear sheets. Such as this, which was taken when Barbara was around 18 years old:

ivorysnow

No, that's not Jack as a baby, it's a model baby. A baby model, to be more accurate -- I know nothing about that baby's character or achievements so it is incorrect to call it a Model Baby. But mostly: can you conceive of an 18-year-old woman looking like that today? I'm trying to imagine your average high school senior wearing a peignoir and getting excited about doing her baby's laundry and it's just not working.

companion cover

The Ivory Snow ad was on the reverse of the cover of Woman's Home Companion, but Babs had just saved the cover, not the whole magazine. If only she'd been a bigger fan of women posing with Furries, or of MEAL-PLANNING.

What else is new? I bought some blue jeans. I was going to write yet another post about how meaningless size tags are on clothing, because I gained some weight and needed new jeans. Usually I am able to lose my Christmas padding but as of April I still couldn't squeeze into my old size 10 Lucky jeans without bursting my own appendix. So I went to the Levi's outlet and grabbed some Cropped Whatevers off the rack. They fit okay (meaning: I could button them!), so I bought them in what also turned out to be size 10. "Well, that doesn't make a lot of sense," I thought, "but different brands size their jeans differently, so what do I care?"

A few days later I went down to the Lucky Jeans store and saw they had a rack of the same style of jeans, the Cropped Whatever style ("For when you just don't give a shit anymore"). I decided to try them on out of curiosity. Since they were Lucky jeans, same brand as the ones my ass grew out of, I reasoned that I should go a size up, so I took a size 12 into the dressing room.

Now, I don't have much experience with male sales assistants, but when he saw I was serious this buff young fellow assigned himself to me, so I just went with it. What are you going to do? If only I weren't such a flaming hot middle-aged librarian.

"Those are too big," he said, crossing his arms. Lucky Jeans doesn't put mirrors in the dressing room, they insist you come out to assess yourself in their one giant mirror in the middle of the store. "See, it gaps at the waist."

"Weird!" I said, frantically brushing my hair out of my eyes and trying to look like I was comfortable staring at my own ass in a giant mirror while various shoppers and sales assistants looked on.

My sales boy -- let's call him Tyler -- then gave me the same jeans one size down (size 10, the size I thought I no longer was) and sent me back in to change.

I came out of the dressing room, again with the frantic brushing.

"Still too big!" said Tyler. Even though the jeans were in the fitted range, the waist was still gapping? gaping? at the back. We did the size lower thing two more times until I walked out of the dressing room sweating and wearing jeans three sizes smaller than I thought I was.

"Yes!" said Tyler, raising his arms in victory for having squeezed one more unsuspecting woman into denim sausage casing.

And yet, oddly, my appendix was not in danger of emerging whole from my throat. The size six jeans actually felt pretty good.

I could no longer hide my suspicion.

"You've added stretch to these, haven't you?" I said.

"Of course. Are you kidding?" he said.

When he realized I wasn't going to submit to trying on any more jeans (Cigarette? Matchstick? Bongwater?) he tried to sell me two half-price tops that made me look like Janis Joplin's uncooperative roadie. Tyler, who was born in the year I quit film school, grew up in Gilroy, California. He seemed somewhat dazzled that I could identify his hometown as the garlic capital of the world. It's not an impressive fact, anyone who's driven up the 101 using their eyes knows that, but I guess if you're paid to flirt with the customers you feign excitement about all kinds of little things.

My point in posting this is merely to say that Lucky Jeans is full of shit because they're labeling jeans three sizes smaller than they used to, that's all.

10 and 6Size 6 Luckys on top, size 10 Levi's on the bottom

I still like Luckys, and even though they're twice the price of Levi's they seem to last twice as long.

Did I just write a product review? Goddamn it, I did.

I BOUGHT ALL THESE JEANS MYSELF, THIS IS NOT A SPONSORED POST.

front

But while we're at it: those Fluevog boots on the left are size 10 and the Dansko clogs on the right are size 12. My feet have the same issue as my ass does! What a surprise!

Creepy little thoughts

I don't ever really think about my archives because once I get something off my chest I'm usually done with it. But the other day I was thinking about the post I wrote when my son told me he liked to hurt dogs. Those were the days! When I could admit difficult parenting moments and get the almost-full support of the Internet. I got some anonymous comments from what we used to call "concern trolls" who were worried that Jackson would grow up to be a serial killer, one of whom suggested I take him to an abused animal shelter and show him what it looks like for dogs to be horribly mistreated, which -- would they even let a four-year-old into a place like that? If I had explained to them that he liked to pinch his dog's ears, would they have said, "Oh, by all means, let's show him some bait dogs that have been starved half to death so that you can teach him that grown ups can be far more cruel than he'd ever imagined, because we want to make sure he feels just as helpless and traumatized as these puppies." I am so glad I don't blog about my kid anymore.

Rita read that post and ended up including it in her parenting anthology, Sleep Is For The Weak. Knowing what I know now, that Jackson was going through a phase that's weirdly normal for a lot of kids, and that he was not on his way to becoming a sociopath, I am tempted to delete that post because it could end up embarrassing him when he's older. I am also tempted to rewrite it because I come off as fairly desperate to reassure myself that he was just kidding. He wasn't, of course. I simply had no idea how to handle what he was telling me.

Fortunately, the Internet can smell insecurity on you. Then they pinch your ears until you cry! Who's the sociopath now, Internet?

What made that post necessary for me then and the reason I'm leaving it up for now are the comments that said, Oh yeah, I used to do that as a kid but I grew out of it, and, Thank you for writing this because my kid is doing the same thing and I am freaking out.

Now, I'm not an expert in anything, but -- okay, would you like to know what irony is? My dog was just sitting in the living room barking at nothing and I said, "Oh my God, Peewee, I am going to fucking kill you if you don't shut up!" and then I took two chew toys and I dangled them over his head to get him to follow me into the bedroom, and then I threw them on the floor and ran out of the room and closed the door. He is now trapped in a squeaky, quilt-filled prison.

People used to ask me and Alice if we were going to do a sequel to Let's Panic About Babies!, something that would take you from toddlerhood through teenagers, but since neither of us knew anything about parenting a teenager the idea never got out of the gate. I still have no idea how to parent a teenager. It has occasionally occurred to me that I wouldn't mind swaddling Jackson, who is now eleven, but only because I think it might make it more of a challenge for him to play Grand Theft Auto IV.

Swaddled, by Oslo Davis

JUST KIDDING I DON'T LET MY SON KILL HOOKERS ONLINE.

I've also felt guilty for drawing a mustache on one of his baby pictures and putting it into Let's Panic!

creepy baby

He said it was okay that I did this -- and please believe me when I tell you that I asked for his permission at least a dozen times before the book went to print -- but then when the book came out he was all, I don't like that you did that! and I was all, Goddamnit I asked you a hundred* times!

I just looked into the bedroom and Peewee was lying on the bed with his head on my pillow, snoring. HE'S NOT DEAD AND I DID NOT KILL HIM, EVEN THOUGH IT SEEMED LIKE A GREAT IDEA TWENTY MINUTES AGO. But now I have another idea.

*twelve

swaddled dog

Excuse me while I go register dogswaddling.com.

Rita is doing a giveaway because it's the fifth anniversary of Sleep Is For The Weak and the second anniversary of Let's Panic About Babies! Alice is doing one here, and I am doing it, too, because that seems to be what I do these days, give away books in exchange for you leaving your life story in the comments! It's in honor of Mother's Day, which is coming up pretty soon. If you would like to win a parenting double whammy of Sleep and Panic, leave a comment telling us the thing that worried everyone most about you when you were a kid, and how you grew up to be okay anyway. I mean, yes: unless you're dead we won't really know how it all works out, maybe the urge to put beans up your nose will return when you're 73 and make fools of us all. But if you feel relatively sure you're in the clear, psychologically and spiritually.

UPDATE: Our winner is frequent commenter and long-time Fussy supporter DGM. Thanks to each of you who spilled out a small portion of your guts in contribution to this post.

Goddamnit

I have been in a horrendous mood! So that's been hilariously fun! I'm also 1,000 years behind on drawings, so let's take a look at my terrible output for March. Four drawings. FOUR. Jesus.

old bay raven

This is obviously a personal joke for someone, because they specifically asked for a drawing with a raven and a box of Old Bay seasoning in it, two things that would rarely meet otherwise. I went online to look at reviews of Old Bay seasoning on Amazon, and that's where I discovered that at least one person in the world believes that "it adds zing" to whatever you sprinkle it in. Zing! I'm not the sort of person who uses the word zing, so I appreciate it when someone uses it sincerely and without sarcasm. As a matter of fact, I'm going to look for a way to use zing in a sentence today, on the off chance that doing so will cheer me the fuck up.

animal models

Okay, this one is cheering me up, I'd forgotten I'd done this. The person asked for animals wearing clothes or accessories, including a squirrel. So I did the squirrel, and then I did the pigeon head where accidentally it looked like it was looking over its shoulder in some sort of fashion pose, and BANG, all of a sudden I knew I was looking at a page from The Animal Models Catalog. I wish I'd made the otter more expressive somehow, but I need more otter practice to coax that chillwave vibe out of whiskers and wet fur.

budapest

I'd been looking forward to this one, but when I started penciling it out I realized that it was somewhat of a nightmare. Normally I love repeating patterns, but the detail in copying this picture turned out to be overwhelming. I hope the person who receives it isn't too disappointed. I think it still has some good qualities, but an accurate representation of the Budapest Parliament it is not.

firehouse

Fortunately, a somewhat-accurate rendering of the old firehouse in Montecito was just the thing to help me get a little of my drawing confidence back.

Does anyone else feel like blogging's just about dead? Maybe it's just me.