Friday, December 30, 2011

I'm in a reposting mood.....

If you would like to spend a couple of  hours feeling inspired:

http://being.publicradio.org/programs/2011/pursuing-happiness/video-intheroom_hhdl.shtml

I love the Dalai Lama.  He has such a charming sense of playfulness and humility.  I count among my list of "noteworthy moments" in life the fact that I got to see him in person a number of years ago. 

Hallelujah!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

If I wanted to network socially I'd call you

I'm about to close my Facebook account.  Again.  I closed it for about 6 months last year.  It was great, I really enjoyed being Facebook-free (except for the part where everyone gave me such a hard time about being anti-social).  The reality is that it's a HUUUUUUUUUUGE time waster for me, which is, frankly, criminal, considering how much there is that I would like to be doing and home much there is that I should be doing.

Facebook is useful for a writing project I'm doing, but it's a seasonal project (the season of warmer weather), so I think I'll just wrap it up and put it on a shelf for a little while and then dust it off again in the spring.

Not so secretly, I also get a little perverse satisfaction about pulling the plug to spite my friends who are rabid facebookers.  "Well!"  said one to me "We just won't be able to keep up our friendship if you aren't on Facebook....that's the only way I communicate with people."  Really?  Uh.  Okay.  Love ya, bye! 

I'm just too easily distracted these days.  I don't need another excuse to lose focus. 

That's not my New Year's Resolution....just in case you're still thinking about it.  :)

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Festivities and fluid retention

Who knew you could deep fry country ham?  Well. you can, you know.  And it is delicious.  But just in case you've never tried this little delicacy, I must warn you...when you wake up the next morning you cannot bend your fingers and your shoes will not fit because you are retaining so much fluid you can barely move.

The jury is still out on whether or not it was worth it.

I had a good Christmas, thanks for asking.  It went something like this:

Christmas Eve Day
8:00 a.m. run with friends
10:00 a.m. brunch with same friends (way more fun than the run) (drank bloody caesars....which are like bloody marys only with Clamato juice instead of regular tomato juice, ommmnomnom)
12:00 p.m. mad last minute dash to grocery store (not pretty as I am horrible at drunk-shopping.  example: I go into the store for MILK, BUTTER, SWISS CHEESE and I come out with Eggnog, anchovies, spray cheese and 2lbs of shrimp.  WTH?)
2:00 p.m. cocktail party chez good friends currently on verge of divorce (drank several glasses of wine just to cut the edge off of the awkwardness)
4:00 p.m. stopped by the bar to pick daughter up after her shift (props to her for keeping it together because no one wants to work Christmas Eve day.)  The restaurant closed at 4:00 that day.  Apparently (I heard this from the bartenders who were still laughing about it when I got there) she had the following conversation with a potential patron on the phone at 3:45:

Caller:  Hello, we would like to make a reservation for tomorrow (CHRISTMAS) evening please.
Her:  I'm sorry, we're closed on Christmas.
Caller:  What?  You're closed tomorrow?
Her:  Yes, we're CLOSED tomorrow, it's Christmas!
Caller:  Well, where are we supposed to have dinner?  What else is open tomorrow?
Her:  I'm pretty sure 7-ll is open tomorrow.  Why don't you try there?
Caller:  (silence)
Her:  You have a nice holiday.  Buh-bye

heh heh heh

Back to my agenda:

5:00 Clean the house (because over my dead body will anyone open gifts in a dirty living room)
7:00  Make crucial decision.  More alcohol or nap?
7:05  Pour a glass of wine
7:15  Wrap packages
10:30 Leave for church
11:00 Hymns and Caroling
 (CHRISTMAS!)
12:00 Mass
1:40 a.m. Completion of Mass
2:15 a.m.  Move all gifts out under tree
2:40  BED
5:30 a.m.  Husband wakes up
5:31 a.m. I wake up enough to realize it is Christmas and refrain from killing him
7:00 a.m.  Up, coffee, kids up, Christmas gift frenzy
12:00 p.m. Drive across town to BFF's house for Christmas meal (and the aforementioned deep fried ham, which is how this whole conversation got started!!!)

Whew!  In an attempt to atone for my sins, I spent yesterday powerwashing the deck with the hubster and trying (in vain) to repair a leaky toilet.  (tank and innards are strewn about my bathroom as I type this.  toilet, now tankless, can only be flushed with a bucket of water.  of course, i'm strangely fine with this arrangement, having grown up on a boat wherein that's how we did flush the toilet, so i'm a bit of a pro at this, but i'm irritated, nonetheless, that I could not achieve completion on this project and that the tank continues to leak, from a different spot now - natch,  in spite of my efforts.  grrrrr.)

It is almost a relief to be back at work today.  How pathetic is that?

Any guess what my new year's resolution is going to be?  I'll send anyone who gets it right a prize.  :)




Friday, December 23, 2011

The fruit of my womb


I walked into my bedroom to find this scene last night.  Boy and dogs lounging on my bed.  Boy is allowed there.  Dogs are not.

Boy looked up and said:

"We claim this bed for Spain!"

"Bring us your gold.  And your women."




Thursday, December 22, 2011

Holiday Greetings

Is that one hell of a family photo for the Christmas Card or WHAT?

Before you forget to look closely and think, perhaps, that this is my brood, it certainly is not.  This is the family of one Mitt Romney. 

I love this photo.  This photo makes me think "Awww, shit!  I really should have had more kids!"

I'm not really sure (other than Mitt and Mrs. Mitt) who is who, but there is so much going on in this photo, I'm not really sure where to start.

1.  How about all that coordinating fabric?  I know this is a family "thing."  I get plenty of family pics at the holidays with the obligatory matching jeans and white tees at the beach shots.  Why, truth be known, our family wore "matching" ensemble in our large group photo this year.  Of course it was all Red Sox gear, and my husband is on the end in shorts, and we didn't pay anyone to capture this humiliating honor, we just did it ourselves, but nonetheless, I recognize this is an accepted practice.  That being said, checks AND polka dots are a brave brave choice.

2.  The kids with the untucked shirt and the tongue hanging out are my favorites.  Followed closely by the kid on the end with both an untucked shirt AND the eyes askance.  Is there food over there?  A pony?  His potential betrothed?  We'll never know.

3.  This is a good looking family.  Seriously.  Not a bad looking member in the bunch.  Maybe that's what Silas is looking at out of the corner of his eye....the member who had to sit out b/c they just didn't measure up this year.  There is no acne, no one is fat, no bad haircuts, I mean who ARE these people?

4.  Can you spot the rebels in the bunch?  Every family has them.  My money is on the couple in stripes.  She looks reallllllly tightly wrapped.

5.  What is up with Mrs. Mitt?  RED?  Really?  If that doesn't scream "I'm the matriarch of this effing family, and don't any of you EVER forget that" well, I just don't know what does!

A couple of lingering thoughts on the topic.

Is there even room in the White House for all these people?  It would be cheaper, certainly, to just keep the Obamas (from a food expense standpoint).  These kids have got to be able to put away some Cheerios.

At some point do we all need to have a collective conversation about the number of people on the planet VS the available resources?

Just asking.


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Tell your friend Veronica

It's time to celebrate Hanukkah!  Thank you Adam Sandler....your ode to the Jewish Holiday is an essential part of my Christian Holiday. 

Just in case you haven't seen it yet this season.....
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EeC8nTYEwQQ&noredirect=1

Good Stuff!

My daughter is at home making stollen.  I LOVE stollen, but rarely buy it because of how freaking expensive (and fattening) it is.  I realized, however, last night, exactly why it is so expensive .... of the 20 ingredients on the list, cardamom powder alone is $10 (for a jar the size of my night cream.)  Holy Crow!  But I'm sure it will be delish. 

Should you have nothing better to do over the next few weeks, may I recommend a few movies?  These first ones happen to be of the documentary variety.

Life in a Day 
(which you can actually watch in its entirety on the interweb)
Life in a Day
(p.s.  this is not a great movie for kids...because it is a compilation of people's actual lives on a given day last summer, there is some footage of a few visceral events, including the slaughter of a few animals.  hard to watch, just a warning, in case you have trouble with that kind of stuff.)

Waiting for Superman
(which is an eye opening documentary on the state of education in this country.  a perfectly acceptable movie choice for middle schoolers and up, though I suspect they'll get bored.)
Waiting for Superman

This next one I enjoyed, and am glad I watched, if only because it was challenging.  It's been out a while, and I'd just never seen it, but it's a fascinating (in that slow motion train wreck sort of way) and different look at the Third Reich.  I watched it with my teenagers. 

Downfall

While we are on the topic of movies....I have a few personal faves in the Christmas movie department.  Topping the list is actually ELF.   Another fave, that you never see anymore is the 1995 Home for the Holidays with Holly Hunter and Anne Bancroft.  Home for the Holidays

Another favorite of the dysfunctional family Christmas variety is The Family Stone.
Dermott Mulroney can do no wrong in my book.

And then last, but not least, is Millions which is just a wonderful movie.  Great for kids, except that if you're not practiced at British accents, it can be a bit challenging at times, but still worth the effort. 

Okay, enough for now.  Believe it or not, I'm actually supposed to be WORKING today.  oops!

xo





Friday, December 16, 2011

It's beginning to look a lot like......

Yes. C*H*R*I*S*T*M*A*S*  YAY!  I love Christmas.  I love that I'm home this year, with the fam.  We aren't going anywhere, and no one is coming our way either.  This is very very rare.  Like the blue moon of Christmases if you will.

Last night we celebrated with our bestest family friends.  Love them.  We exchanged gifts, ate too much, played a dorky game and drank too much champagne.  I'm on a bit of a prosecco kick.  Mmmmmmm.

Anyhoo.  Something about all that champagne made hostessing my office party a little challenging this afternoon.  And if that weren't bad enough, my phone rang off the hook the whole time with serious HR issues (WTF?  Is everyone imploding today?) so I kept having to excuse myself from the party to go close my door and talk someone off of a ledge.  That shit is exhausting.  Ho Ho hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhuuhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

The highlight came, however, when my former boss, whom I adore, and who is suffering a broken foot currently from a "sports injury" (he tripped over his dog) called me to see if I would take him Christmas shopping tomorrow (since he can't drive and I'm pretty sure his wife is about to kill him).  We agreed that I did not have to be completely sober for this activity so I readily agreed.  What's not to love about shopping for Christmas on the last Saturday before Christmas, with a jewish gimp when you've got a good buzz on?  I can't wait!!!

I'll let you know how that all turns out!






Friday, December 9, 2011

Embarrassing moments involving my hooha (i couldn't think of a catchier title)

I have adopted a theory (I say "adopted" instead of "developed" because I'm sure it's not original) that things happen in threes.  Not all things, clearly or I have one more child and two more husbands, but some things.  Like, for example, death.  Death always seems to happen in threes.  Illness, likewise, in threes.  Recently, I've had a trio of embarrassing moments which I'm hoping to process here, by admitting them to the universe, in order to be able to let them go.

I must mention, firstly, that I don't have a lot of embarrassing moments.  Whew.  As I'm not one to put myself totally OUT THERE, as it were, I have managed to mitigate the risk.  I'm a 4th row bus rider, and middle of the pack party goer, etc....we generally blend in to life enough to avoid taking big risks and therefore are safe from having the opportunities for massive eff-ups.

Sometimes, however, embarrassing moments just seem to find you.  I guess it was my turn.

1.  While at a road race recently, I (along with majority of my running compatriots) partook of that pre-race necessity that is spending a little anxiety time in the port a potty.   I know we've all had the pleasure of partaking of the pots in our lives, but there is something singularly unique about a pre-run pit stop, in that you know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, before it's your turn on the throne, what awaits you in there.  EVERYONE is nervous.  Do the math.  Anyhoo.  The embarrassing moment came when, as I was "done" but not quite trussed back up after my little spell in the portable toilette, that it turned out the door was not actually locked.  So there's that ignisecond where the door opens, you look out, everyone looks in, the door closes.  And then there's that much longer ignilifeflashingbeforeyousecond where you think "Maybe I can just stay here, safe, in my little portapotty  and never come out and then no one will know it was me...and I'll never have to see those people again."  Of course, staying in the portapotty is worse than the shame that awaits me when I leave, so, here I am writing this from the comfort of my desk as opposed to dead at the beach in a warehouse of portapotties somewhere.

2.  The second moment also involves my hooha....sadly....which means this is looking like a trend.  I was at the gym last night, post workout, post shower, getting dressed in the LADIES LOCKER ROOM.  (Can I just stop there because you already know, dear reader, where this is going???)  Yes, well, the "other" entrance to the locker room is from the pool side of the facility.  The entrance to the ladies and men's rooms from the pool are right next to one another.  One could, conceivably, get those two open doorways mixed up.  (Sans glasses and sans basic observational instincts...which, we know, is an issue in the male population). So, to save you the suspense, yes, I was surprised by a geographically challenged member of the opposite sex as I attempted to put my clothes on.  The upside is that there was a woman between him and me, and I had my hair in a towel and no makeup on, so the chances he'll recognize me again are only about 60% I figure (sadly I don't clean up that well, regardless of the hair drying and the makeup).  The downside is I'm not sure how long he stood there trying to figure out why nothing (including my ass) looked familiar to him before I saw him and started to splutter.  Yes.  I spluttered.  I didn't say anything useful like "GET OUT!"  I just spluttered.  ugh. 

3.  The THIRD experience sort of involved a hooha...only it wasn't mine, and not directly.  This is a mistake I've never made (thought it's been done to me which magnifies my chagrin) but I bumped into a doctor colleague in the hallway recently and said "Oh!  When is you baby due?"  Of course she'd delivered several weeks prior.  ugh. ugh. ugh!!!  (At LEAST she wasn't NOT pregnant...that would have been worse, I suppose, but this was pretty bad and now she must hate me and I cannot blame her.)

I hope, dearest God in Heaven, that I'm done with embarrassing moments.  Third time's the charm and all that and now I can move on about my business worry free.  But, truth be told, I have a bad feeling about this.


Monday, December 5, 2011

Planning ahead

Greetings and Happy Monday!

I'm beginning to consider possibilities for this year's New Years Resolution List.

Here is item NUMERO UNO for consideration:

I resolve to stop pretending that I am not talking to myself (pretty much all the time.)

Sadly, I do have a running monologue with myself from sun up to sun down (and then some).

I was only offhandedly considering this, truth be told, and it just popped out of my mouth a few moments ago.  "You know what" I said to myself "I think it's time I just stopped pretending that I'm not talking to out loud to myself."  As I sat here contemplating the idea, a voice said to me "Oh, thank GOD."

The voice happens to belong to my assistant, who sits just outside my door, and, obviously well within earshot.

"What do you mean?"  I asked him.

"Well, I can hear you talking in there, like, all the time, but I never know if you're talking to you, or to me, and whether I should respond, or pretend I can't hear you.  It's very confusing."

:o

Who knew?????  Isn't he just the best?  All these months he could have said "SHUT THE HELL UP IN THERE!"  But he hasn't.  He's just played along, as if the fact that I'm a total crazy person is just our little secret.  (Fortunately he's already slated for a raise.)

"Oh!  So, if I just admitted that I'm only and always just talking to myself unless I say your name first, then you could just ignore me completely?"

"Yes"  he said "that would be awesome."

So, while this resolution, may not result in trees planted in the forest or a village full of shoes, definitely has at least some small impact in my very tiny corner of the world (my office). 

Definitely worth considering.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

What up?

Hey, it's me.  I'm back.

So.  A couple of things.

1.  Dear Google,

Please STOP ASKING ME FOR MY CELL PHONE NUMBER every time I try to log in to my email.  I am not going to forget my password and I HIGHLY DOUBT that my account will be "highjacked."  Really?  If you want my cell phone so you can sell it to the world, then just be honest and tell me that's why you want it.  Eff Off!   xoxoxoxox

2.  Dear Incredibly Honest, Sweet, and Kind undergrad who found my wallet and returned it to me:

I LOVE LOVE LOVE you and hope that the planet blesses you with some amazing opportunity in the near future.  xoxox

3.  Dear Holiday Drivers:

OH MY GOD.  REALLY?  STOP IT.

xoxoxox

4. This was too good not to share. I am organizing a little holiday card effort from my office to a number of colleagues within my institution, without whose assistance and good will, our mission would be seriously hampered. Yes, I know I cannot send cards with Santas, or Christmas trees....I don't not completely live under a rock. Yes, I am a good company girl, and I did, as suggested, send a little email to our Marketing Dept just to make certain that I wasn't violating any "rules." Turns out that our little Commonwealth has "policies about holiday cards." (Of course it does). And, as it turns out, to summarize, the policy is you can't send any because you can spend state funds on them. Okay fine. I'll buy the damned cards myself. Further, the policy says that sending the cards through the internal mail system would be construed as a misuse of state funds. Harrrumpf! So, I'm going to have to resort to using the interweb to spread my holiday cheer. What do you think about this as a greeting?


Happy E-Holiday of your E-Choice from my E-mail to yours.

Warm, fuzzy, seasonal? I'll make sure I send one to the Governor as well.

5.  Do you read McSweeney's online journal? It's terribly terribly clever, and, as I warned my husband, the kind of place where once you get started, you get lost, like falling down the proverbial rabbit hole, and by the time you finally surface, you've been glued to your monitor for, like 16 hours, you've peed yourself, you're starving, and the cleaning lady has vacuumed around you twice, only the second time she did it from a further distance because you're starting to smell a bit. Goooood Stuff   McSweeney's


That should keep you busy until I can post again.

MWAAAAH!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Heya

Who me?  Oh just working my arse off and eating my body weight in these:


Yes, seriously.  I LOVE GINGER SNAPS.  Ginger anything is delicious and I just love the word "snap."  As in, "OH SNAP....I haven't written a blog post in, like, forever, I bet everyone thinks I'm dead.  Again." 

Sigh

I have a new job.  It's bigger than the old job.  I spend more time at work than I used to, but so far, that seems fair all things considered.

The book I'm writing is collecting dust.  That's a little bit of a bummer, but can't seem to be helped.

I'm running a race this weekend, at the beach.  It will be good I think, regardless of the outcome.  There will be friends there and we will play afterwards and I really need a day off, so I can't wait!

Other than that I think the planet has really gotten itself into quite a predicament and I'm just not sure what to do about that.  But it's just a big ol' hot mess, dontcha think?  I mean regardless of which KIND of hot mess you think it is, and I appreciate we aren't all at the table of agreement on this, and that's cool, you just can't wave a stick these days with hitting some kind of mess.  Lordy be.

We need to figure some of this stuff out people. 

Saturday, October 15, 2011

It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood!

Truly!  It's 60 degrees and brilliantly sunny.  I just consumed the worlds best bacon/egg/cheese/everything bagel following a very decent run.  And now, I have the full day to get sh*t done.

I've had several opportunities this week to stop and recognize just how good life is.  A dear friend of ours, the best man in our wedding (22 years ago) went to sleep Sunday and never woke up.  Just like that.  Another friend, with whom I run (well, sort of, we run in the same pack, only he's way out ahead of me...) was just diagnosed with cancer.  Just like that.  Running a marathon one day, headed for surgery, chemo, radiation and a world of hurt one day later.

I used to find these kinds of things unsettling, but I don't really anymore.  I'm not really surprised when I discover that my body isn't working as well as it used to, or when someone else's gives up on them.  It is what it is.  An inevitable reality of aging.  Not in a fatalistic sort of way, that I expect bad things to happen, but when they do, I am not really shocked.

It makes me want to run more and sleep less.  Play more and clean less.  Laugh more and scold less.  Love more and scorn less.

Life is pretty darned simple.  I get what I get, and it's my bad if I didn't make the most of it.  It makes running on a beautiful morning with a friend a wonderful experience.  Drinking coffee with my daughter afterwards a joy.

Life is good.





Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Horrible, shocking self-discovery

I am totally and completely addicted to caffeine. 

Here's how I know this.

I had to have a "Biometric Screening" done this morning.  That's a fancy way of telling you that you're going to have to stand on the scale, give up some blood and get an admonishing look from a nurse when she tells you what your cholesterol numbers are.  Now, this particular screening was free, which was great, since I just had one done for my daughter, and I paid $150 out of pocket for the part that her insurance didn't cover, so I was all over it.  In any event, you have to FAST in order to get an accurate reading.  And the appointment was at 9:40 a.m.

A.  I woke up grumpy and anxious because I knew I couldn't have coffee (well, I could have, except I can't drink my coffee without milk, so therefore I couldn't).  Apparently I bit almost every one's head off at home.  They scattered the minute they realized what was happening.  Self-preservation is a strong instinct in my gene pool, thank goodness.

B.  I somehow made it to work without running off the road or killing anyone.  I even navigated the parking garage which is a complete and total clusterF***.

C.  I got the absolute DUMBEST, most IDIOTIC, INANE, INFANTILE emails between 8:00 and 9:30 a.m. this morning.

And then, it dawned on me.  It wasn't that those emails were more idiotic than normal, it's just that WITH caffeine, I am better equipped to respond without actually telling people how stupid I think they are being.  Caffeine is a tool, without which I cannot deal with the sad sad reality of life.

Wow.  Huge light dawning over cloudy skies.  Ironically, this does not make me want to give up caffeine.  In fact, this makes me want to drive to the grocery store, buy every bag of java they have and start a stockpile in my basement because I am going to be in big big big trouble if ever I run out of coffee. 

Yes, that's right Jack Nicholson, I just can't handle the truth.  And I'm okay with that.

Amen

p.s.  It turns out that (aside from the aforementioned issue) I'm REALLY REALLY healthy.  ha!

Dilbert.com

Friday, September 23, 2011

Just, you know, thinking about it.....


It looks kind of crazy from this angle, but I have to say that actually looks like fun to me.  As long as I'm not stuck in the middle.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

I am not dead. I promise.

In fact, I post this photo of my brand new running shoes to prove it!

Since I don't have time to post anything clever, however, I'll share an oldie but a fave of mine with you:

I introduce you to Capucine, who is quite possibly the cutest child on the planet  (except yours and mine, of course!)

It helps if you speak french, but, si non, she is still adorable!


Friday, September 2, 2011

For the newly human

I've decided to start a new series of posts.  It is designed for those who are "newly" human.  In truth, I don't know how often this happens, but it occured to me the other day, how hard it would be if you suddenly became human as an adult.

You see, the way it works now, you're born, you grow up...that's all one giant orientation process.  If you were, however, suddenly thrust into birth in your middle forties, you'd be a hot mess until you got up to speed.

I'm pretty sure that there are some helpful hints the rest of us adult human's could provide.

At the top of my list today are the following:

1.  People do not always say what they mean or mean what they say.
2.  When you open a container of yogurt, peel it away from yourself because they ALWAYS seem to explode a little bit and it is usually on your nice white sweater.

When I asked my son for some suggestions he said:  "Duh!  Don't forget to breathe."  I wouldn't have thought of that, but, clearly, he is correct.

I'm open to suggestions here.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Our Lady of the Perpetual Chauffeur

My daughter invented a new word:

Syllabuster:  When the course information is so long you can't even read it any more.

She's a funny girl.

She is also a relatively new member of the Papal Jihad, as my husband calls it, which I support, but do not completely understand. 

When faced with the dilemma of having double booked herself during the times her church has confession (sorry, "reconciliation") I offered that she could just confess to me, thereby saving us a trip to town.  Apparently it does not work that way. 

I have a theory that her participation in regular reconciliation is having a Hawthorne Effect on her behavior (because she is counting transgressions she is therefore, naturally, less likely to commit them in the first place) and I suggested that perhaps we should have her brother go, too.  Apparently it does not work that way. 

Other than this new found faith in a Catholic higher power necessitating that I do lots and lots of driving back and forth to church for various and sundry meetings I'm not exactly sure how it does work, but I truly hope that a license and a car are at the top of her prayer list. 

Calling All Mothers

If you have a teenage daughter, this post is for you.

I went in to school early this morning to help my daughter change a class assignment. While there, I made two shocking discoveries.

One….many of your daughters are inappropriately dressed. And I mean, really, seriously, inappropriately dressed.

If your daughter’s dress is so short that when she bends over to pick up her backpack the entire lobby of guidance can see not only her polka dot thong but also her barely covered hooha, then that dress is not appropriate for school. Or, I would argue, anywhere else.

If your daughter’s shorts are so short that I can see the bottoms of her cheeks, those shorts are too short. This is not appropriate for school. Or anywhere.

If your daughter’s top is so low cut that I can see her sternum, it’s too low. This is not appropriate for school. Or anywhere.

Moms, PLEASE! I realize it is hard raising teenagers. I realize that you have to pick your battles carefully, but, personally, I think this is a battle that should have been chosen, fought AND won by you.

And the second discovery is :

My daughter is a bit of a prude.

Thank you Lord.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

I feel the earth move....

Literally since we just had that little earthquake in our backyard.  I've been through a few eeny beeny ones, but this one fell into the "Stand Up and Take Notice" category.  It was very exciting in that disconcerting way when something happens that you never saw coming.  Like when you get cancer, or someone dies very unexpectedly.  You're left with that "whaaaa?" feeling like the universe just landed a little bit of a sucker punch.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm not equating this little rumble to something as monumental as cancer, but they are on the same page in the book of life somehow, the "Scary Shit You Did Not See Coming" page.

Speaking of the book of life, the page I'm on currently is titled "REALLY BIG YEAR."  Good, bad or indifferent, it is a significant year in the lives of all of my little cast of characters.  The kids are in 9th and 11th grades.  My husband is on the cusp of a career change.  I am on the cusp of a career change. 

We all sat out on our deck last night, eating dinner, (drinking wine), enjoying the 80 degree day (finally, thank you Lord), talking about the year to come and laughing.  It was one of those moments that I hope I'm able to remember in my 90s.

I have a feeling that my proverbial earth will do a lot of shaking this year. 

Monday, August 22, 2011

Macabre Motherhood


Just to clarify....I AM one of those mothers who encourages the presence of any and everything Edward Gorey in my home and in the lives of my children.

Life is grim and we all meet with some terrible end, in the end, try as you might to avoid it.  Gorey makes it all sort of beautiful, without completely minimizing the underlying horror.  His works are lovely and haunting and somehow sort of divine, I think. 

Dear Friend Who Shall Remain Nameless

I remember that you laughed at me when I told you, originally, when we met last year, that I live in a drama-free zone.  Maybe it did sound funny.  I was hoping you were laughing because it appeared so obvious to you that this was the case because who, in their right mind, really, ever wants to dwell in drama?

I explained to you that I work very hard to maintain the parameters and perimeters of my little fuss-free-fiefdom. 

You see, I've learned the hard way that drama begets more drama and the only way to stay away from "hot effing mess" is to not even turn down that road to Dramaville in the first place, and so I don't.  I just keep on driving past that exit and I don't even look over my shoulder or in the rear view.

You didn't really know me when you met me, so who knows what you were thinking, and at the time, it didn't really matter.  But, you see, it matters now, doesn't it?  Yes indeedy!

Because, as it turns out, you've hung out the "See Me For Drama" shingle and the "Step On In Here 'Cause My Shit Just Gets Crazier and Crazier" mat in front of your little door. 

I'd like to take this opportunity to point out that I gave you fair warning and I'm just a little too old and, I'd like to think, a little too wise, to ever go there again, with you, or with anybody.

I'm sure this will hurt your feelings, and I'd tell you I'm sorry, but I'm not really.  It was your choice to spritz with crazy cologne, and it's your choice to feel bad that I can smell you coming and choose to steer clear.

So, no, I'm not calling you back.  And, no, you can't come over.  And, well, gosh, no, I'm not free to get together. 

All the best to you.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Corners

I love how "people" talk about your life having a path.  As if it's this pea gravel lined walkway somewhere.  Emphasis on the AS IF.

My path has been full of corners.  Not unlike PacMan sometimes.  (hmmm if I had more time I'd flesh this out for you all but at the moment I'm about quantity and not necessarily quality, sorry)

In any event, last night was a big corner.

I took my darling babies to orientation night at school.  That would be HIGH school, where both babies will be in attendance this year.

For baby girl this is old hat.  She's going to be a junior this year, which is, arguably, the meat of the high school sandwich (or in her case, the tofu).  For baby boy, however, this is new and anxiety provoking territory.  There are over 500 freshmen in his class, some of whom he already knows he doesn't like and many more of whom he will discover shortly he doesn't like.  I'd be anxious too.

In any event the corner came when baby girl offered to go with baby boy to orientation.  She literally took him in hand, walked him to each of his classes, introduced him to teachers and friends and literally steered him in the right direction.

She gave him the ins and outs of negotiating lunch, the breezeway, class changes, etc.  She even connected him with the theatre teacher and volunteered him for participation in the tech crew.  She took him backstage and upstairs to show him the hallowed tech booth from which the production team works its magic.

"Mom," he whispered to me while we stood in line for ice cream later that night "she said that the number one rule of the tech booth is 'no having sex in there!'"

"Mmmm" I feigned instant interest in a new flavor of ice cream in the case to mask my shock "I guess that's probably a good policy."

As we sat around a table having milkshakes she said "Do you know what the number one rule of tech is?"

I beat him to the punch as I now knew this answer, "No having sex in the tech booth?" 

"NO!"  she said, glaring at him "the number ONE rule of tech is 'No talking about tech with people who aren't techies!'" 

He hung his head, chagrined. 

She smiled.

"No sex in the booth is rule number two."

Am I worried about my children having sex in the tech booth?  Not really.  And even if I were, I think it would be outweighed by my new found knowledge that regardless of the opportunities and challenges they'll face this year, their paths, while veering away from mine, seem to be merging, in some small but significant way, together.


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Your funny for the day


I know that I am not alone in loving Anderson Cooper.

If you have not yet developed a soft spot for him, here's another opportunity:


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Geeeeez Mom!

I give my children a hard time.  I think I'm supposed to.  I mean, really, that's sort of my "job" isn't it?  I bounce them around a little bit in an environment that's warm and fuzzy, so that, hopefully, when they are functioning in an environment that is cold and scratchy, they'll be sort of used to the bumping.

I don't know.  At least that's my theory.  We'll know later, by whether or not they return home to visit me, whether or not this was a good strategy.

Him:  Mom, my leg hurts.

Me:  Probably because it's covered in all that man hair.

Him:  I need to remember not to come to you with my problems.

Literature, film and memories

http://www.npr.org/books/titles/139639627/cocktail-hour-under-the-tree-of-forgetfulness

It isn't yet on the bedside table, but it's on the list.  Honestly?  I'd read it just because I feel a certain kinship with the title, but it was also reviewed (well) on NPR this week, and it, and her previous work, both sound worthy of a little eye strain.  I'm not actively reading anything at the moment (other than a back issue of Urban Farming and Cooks Magazine) so it's time.

I'm clearly stewing in nostalgia at the moment, and while I'm not sure what that's all about, it is enjoyable, in a relaxing and an almost devil-may-care sort of way that I'm not sure I can verbalize.

I saw an interesting movie last week.  The Tree of Life, by Terrence Malick.    ttp://www.foxsearchlight.com/thetreeoflife/
This isn't a film I would have gone to solo, but my daughter took me and, as it turns out, was able to explain the film to me afterwards which was helpful.  It was interesting and there were moments that evoked a serious emotional response from me, but I can't say why, necessarily, and I wouldn't describe it as enjoyable, but it was interesting and both hard and wonderful to watch.

Memories are funny things.  My childhood is like slides viewed on a carousel, clicking from one fuzzy image to the next, separated by darkness and yet still connected in some sort of continuity.  Scenes in this movie were like that and they brought to the surface a number of images that I'd not remembered for some time.  The memories that stick usually do so because of some visual or emotional shock that accompanies them.  Images of either great sadness or happiness.  My father standing on the dock holding my brother by both hands and swinging him out over the edge of the water.  My grandmother dropping an entire stack of plates at a dinner party.  Raking leaves with my grandfather on a visit to their house in Chicago, and my fascination with acorns, which I'd never seen before.  My father washing spilled Prell shampoo out of the contents of the suitcase my mother had taken to the hospital with her when she had my brother.  I can still even conjure up that smell. 

I admire people who can connect their memories into a book or a movie.  For me, they're all just sitting in dusty boxes somewhere, and I'm afraid sometimes that by the time I have the space in my life to pull them all out again and go through them, I'll no longer have the capacity to put them in any sort of order. 

Friday, August 12, 2011

Seriously, for a moment

Have you been watching the news in the last few days?  If so, those haunting images of starving Somali children are hard to miss.

The statistics are staggering, some 11.5 million people are in some sort of imminent starvation danger, and I believe the figure I saw last night was that some 600,000 children are on the verge of death by starvation this week.

It breaks my heart, and I remember it from my childhood...those same images, whether they were from Somali or the Sudan....I just know that the shocked sensation is familiar.  There was that one image from many years ago, captured by perhaps an Nat' Geo' photographer, of a dying child collapsed in the middle of the desert with a vulture patiently waiting by its side.  Do you remember that?  I do, and this spring I went to a photography festival here in my town, where that photograph was referenced.  The photographer committed suicide recently.

You have to wonder how reporters, politicians, photographers handle the impact of being in situations like that, so dire, where it seems there is no relief in sight.  I can only imagine. 

The whole situation is complicated, of course, by politics and civil war, but the fact that those who are helping currently do not begin to have sufficient resources, regardless of the challenges, is irrefutable.

It's always hard to know what one could do to help, if one were so moved.  So I offer this as a resource:



Thursday, August 11, 2011

New hair and yet another reason why I need an iPad

I'm getting my hair cut in a few hours.  (Yes, it's that time of year)  If I HAD an iPad, I could take it with me, google pictures of the hair style of which I am desirous and just show them to my stylist.

Wouldn't that just be super handy?

I'm thinking of going sort of "Betty Draper."  If you know, then you know, otherwise, it's irrelevant.  But, being of a certain age (I did just identify the very first of what is likely to be an avalanche of grey hair) and station (who even uses this expression any more?) in life, I do think I can get away with it.



I'm sort of Betty Draper with teenagers at the moment, of course. 

We're having one of those brief conversations last night(daughter, son, husband and I) wherein my son turns out to be the culprit for something.  I give him THE LOOK.  He cringes.  "Whaaaaaaaat?"  My daughter intercedes:  "That's the look women give you when they're blaming you for something with their eyes.  You should get used to it.  I think you're going to see it a lot."

I love them.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Dog Days of Summer, why Kellogg is the DEVIL and an eco-solution to mowing your lawn

One hears that expression occasionally, and we're certainly "there" with our 39th day of temperatures in the 90s this year.  Interestingly, it has its origins way back in Aristotle's day, where the expression referred to the constellation Canis Major which was visible during the hottest part of the summer.  The French still refer to this period as "canicule" based on the same principle.  So, not only is it about constellations, but also the fact that it was so hot it made people as crazy as mad dogs, etc. etc.

Fortunately, I've been spared foaming at the mouth this year, but I certainly will be glad when it gets a little cooler, my motivation to do anything outside (including training for my rapidly approaching half marathon) has been zapped.

So, other than kvetching about the weather, what have I been up to, you might ask.

Working hard, playing hard, and enjoying the usual sampling of life's little irritations.  For example, I did a few circles of nothing, as we like to call them, in our cafeteria this morning looking for something healthier to eat than cookies.  I arrived upon this product:

One would assume from the labelling, that this SHOULD be a relatively "healthful" choice.  No? 

It contains Antioxidants, A, C, E including beta carotene.  All stuff I think I'm supposed to be eating.  No?

"Lightly sweetened, toasted multi-grain flakes and crunchy oat clusters" it reads.

Lightly sweetened my ARSE.  Turns out there are 21 grams of sugar in that little plastic cup, and that's before you add a 1/2 cup of milk, which is another 6 grams of sugar.  I coulda had 3 cookies and a COKE at that point, holy hell!

Of the first 11 ingredients on the cup, 5 of them are SUGAR.

Sigh.

I heard an interesting interview on NPR yesterday morning, about a study someone did (yes, one of those "Scientists report that eating too much sugar CAN make you fat" kind of studies), but it has been somehow proven that what a woman eats affects the taste and smell of her amniotic fluid (no you do NOT want to know how they determined this....euw!)  And, when a baby is exposed to different things in utero it makes them more likely to gravitate towards those things after birth.  Which makes the following two things true:

1.  If you eat great, healthful, tasty foods while you are pregnant, your kids will be more adventurous eaters.
2.  If you exist on a diet of McDonalds and diet soda while you are pregnant, chances are good your kids won't eat vegetables and will likely have weight issues.

My son is on a bit of a tear at the moment, having discovered that 30% of the planet's potable water is wasted on irrigating our front lawns.  (He has taken to yelling at our neighbors about this as we drive past them, hoses in hand).  I had to hug him when he said to me "MOM!  Let's just turn our entire front lawn into a vegetable garden." 

I am, oddly, completely in favor of this idea.  I wonder what my HOA would think.  Details to follow.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Girltime

Hello Dear Readers (and you both know who you are!)

Sorry for the absence.  It's been a very busy month (+) filled with family visits, outings, a work "promotion" (more on that later I promise), an exchange student, several trips to the airport, etc etc.

This past weekend, however, is worthy of note because, for the first time that I can remember, my darling daughter and I were home alone.

We had the perfect two-girl day on Saturday which consisted of:

A great early morning, humidity-free run
A trip to the city market
A trip to the record store
Lunch
Harry Potter
Indian food for dinner
Dyeing my hair pink (not ALL of it, just part of it, but I have to say, part of me wishes I lived the kind of life where I could dye the whole thing pink and that would just be A-Ok)

It was blissful and divine.  And maybe the very bestest part was when I overheard her say to her friend on the phone "yeah, that sounds like fun, but I'm busy tonight hanging out with my mom."

She loves me.  She really loves me!   sniff sniff

Monday, June 27, 2011

Baby Girl

Sixteen years ago today I was awakened by contractions and fifteen long hours later gave birth to the most beautiful girl on the planet.

The subsequent years have been an adventure in growing up, for both of us, punctuated by a few tears and a whole lot of laughter.

I am perpetually in awe of this child, who seems to know more, with each passing day, about who she is and what she wants.

There is not much more that I can say on the topic without resorting to clichés about love and pride and the joys of motherhood.

I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the opportunity to have been a part of her life.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Love, Dove

According to my square of dark chocolate, I am exactly where I am supposed to be.  Whew.  That is a huge relief, because I WAS starting to wonder if I wasn't completely misplaced.

You know?  You get that feeling that you're just totally completely in the wrong place?  Doing the wrong thing?  With the wrong people?  Hell, sometimes, I'm firmly convinced that I'm not even the right person.  Like there was some sort of birthing mix up and I was really supposed to be someone else.

But no, there it was, in no uncertain terms in shiny silver letters:

"You  are exactly where you are supposed to be."  Love, Dove

Have you noticed how  the objects in our lives are telling us things all the time?  Like the cup my iced tea came in is telling me I need to go to a website to see how this cup impacts greenhouse gasses.  Or how the lid on my juice admonished me the other day that "those who get too big for their britches will be exposed in the end."  Yikes!  My shopping bag is yelling at me, in large green letters to "RECYCLE ME!"  (or else?)  My grocery receipt would like me to know how valuable my opinion is and that they really need my feedback on my shopping experience.  Sure, I'd be happy to give them feedback, just as soon as I check up on my cup, take a trip to the recycle bin and buy new pants. 

It all gets to be just a bit too much sometimes.  I'm going to call it "directive pollution."

Feel free to add that to your vernacular.  






















Monday, June 20, 2011

Sick of S'mores?

I have a new campfire favorite!



My daughter turned us on to these this weekend....she made them last summer on a sailing trip.

You bake brownies IN a hollowed out orange.  OMG.  So delicious!!!

This photo and directions for preparing this mind blowing treat can be found here:

http://faretoremember.blogspot.com/2009/06/into-fire-ash-baked-chocolate-orange.html

It turns out there are numerous variations on this theme (including cake mix, muffin mix, etc.)

We went for the full on Ghiradelli dark chocolate brown mix (and I think she added more chocolate chips).

You pre-mix the batter, put it in a ziploc bag, in your cooler.  Bring a bag of oranges, cut the tops off, give everyone a spoon.  They hollow out their oranges, and then you can squeeze the brownie mix out of the bag into the oranges.  They really expand, so half full is plenty.  You can put the top back on the orange, or not, cover in foil, stick in the coals.  Cooking time varies, so it's good to do a "test" brownie first.

Ommmmnommmmnommmmmm!

I'm afraid of Americans

....said David Bowie.

This has been a big month for perspectivation. We have, staying with us, a teenager from France. We've also spent some time this month with a young man from Peru.

They both have shared (not without significant prompting on my part) their insights about Americans.

"Americans are cold"
"Americans eat at McDonald's every day"
"Americans are loud"
etc

We can, certainly, be all those things. We can also be better things, and worse things, but the whole discourse has been a welcome opportunity to analyze my own prejudices.

It's hard to perspectivate (we made this word up, fyi, but you may certainly adopt it for your own use), however, without having any frame of reference, and I think this is the biggest challenge as we all live in pretty small circles and don't travel nearly as much as the Europeans (or, as it turns out, the Peruvians) do.

Following are your words for the day. Both mean the same thing, "dragonfly," first in French and then in Spanish. I love how they sound.

libellule (lee-bay-lool)
libélula (lee-bay-loola)

This came up in conversation this weekend, as we were camping (with the aforementioned foreign visitors) and we were tubing down a large, beautiful river. There were literally swarms of beautiful many-colored dragonflies around us.

I was prompted to look up the symbolism of the dragonfly (having never given those little guys much thought) and it turns out they are representative of the following:

Defeat of Self Created Illusions

Focus on living in the moment

The opening of one’s eyes

Maturity and Depth of Character

In many regions and as a norm of this day, the dragonfly is considered to be an agent of change and presumably symbolic of a sense of self realization. Self realization from how the dragonfly uses its power to control its movements and so elegantly. And change and evolution is all about the dragonfly’s ability to fly and he way it can be comfortable on water, land as well as in the air.

I just LOVE it when the universe hands me a lesson.

Note....when I pulled up the translation website...there was an ad for McDonalds at the bottom of the page. Food for thought. ;)


Friday, June 17, 2011

Happy Friday!


It did not suck to wake up to this .....

Friday, June 10, 2011

Help Wanted

I'm about to post for an administrative position in my office.

After pouring through past employee's job descriptions and performance reviews, I believe I have come up with an accurate itemization of the qualifications that seem to comprise our typical hire.

1. Inability to show up on time or consistently.

2. Intense family problems that can only be negotiated on the phone and only if you do so VERY loudly and insist on the sharing of inappropriate details at inopportune times.

3. Passive aggressive attitude towards being assigned tasks

4. Flailing love life

5. Horrid financial or legal issues

6. Inability to conjugate English verbs, minimal understanding of pronoun usage and predilection for dangling any and all participles.

7. Questionable apparel choices

8.  Constant gum chewing

Can you think of anything I might be missing?  It's hard because, clearly, you  have to be some serious kind of special to swim in the shallow end of OUR pool.

Sh*t my son says

Since I want to present a balanced view of my general craziness.....

Yesterday was middle school graduation.  (Praise be to Buddha!)  Whereas my daughter would have pre-negotiated the entire "what to wear" issue for weeks, my son, (who subscribes to the cover-the-top-cover-the-bottom school of fashion) required a little prompting.

I believe in aiming high so I started here:

"I'd like you to wear khakis and a tie to graduation please"

"WHAT?"

"Yes, that's what other kids are wearing."

"WHAT??? Why?  Who really cares?  It's not like anyone is going to pay attention to me in that big crowd."

"I care, we're taking pictures, you're crossing the stage...etc, please line up clothes the night before so I know it's done since we won't have much time."

"Hmmmmpf"

When I woke him up that morning it was my first question.  He waved in the general direction of a subset of the ginormous pile of clothes in his room.

"WHAT?  You can't wear those pants .... they don't even fit!"  And it digressed from there.

Not to belabor the point, but he ended up in an oxford shirt and madras shorts.  I was happy with that middle ground, since I didn't have a tie that matched the shorts anyway.  Shoes, however, became a sticking point.

"You can't wear black loafers with blue plaid shorts."

"Why NOT?" 

"Wear the tan loafers."

"I don't want to wear those they are new."

"That's okay, they're fine to wear to this."

"I don't want to wear those."

"Why not?"

"Mom.  I want to get as much wear out of this pair as I can before I start a brand new pair."

For some reason, I just thought that was hilarious.  Shoes are like toothbrushes for him.   You don't get a new pair until the old pair wear out.  One at a time!  Clearly the complete antithesis of my daughter's and my theory on footwear.  :)

We settled on a neutral pair of Keens instead (a lucky  hand-me-down from a friend who hit puberty first).

As it turned out, my son won an award at graduation and had the honor of walking up on stage, solo, to collect his prize, and his grandmother remarked "Oh!  Doesn't he look so nice up there!"  I just smiled.

See?  You never know when you're going to stand out in the crowd, and when you do, you'd better believe people notice what you're wearing.





Wednesday, June 8, 2011

What I'm listening to.....



The list of musical genres that I don't care for is pretty small.  I think it consists of rap, hip hop, Tom Waits and Bob Dylan (yup, sorry, I just can't get there...though as poets I think they're brilliant).  Otherwise, I appreciate a little bit of everything.

This week I've been in a serious bluegrass mood.  These guys I like in particular, and they have the good sense to post their entire discography online so that you can just stream them all day long.  Thanks boys!

 The Infamous Stringdusters

Repost

I think I've posted about this woman, Brene Brown, before.  I think she's pretty wise, if only in that "aw shucks, will you just LOOK at how crazy we are.....what a hoot!"  kind of way.

This post ("nesting+play") on her blog hit home with me:

http://www.ordinarycourage.com/

She says, and I quote:  "I'm as sane as my house is organized."

Well, duh!  That's going on my headstone as I clearly will die young(ish) of insanity.

I keep trying to explain this to my husband.  Which brings me to a slight digression:

Why is it when people agree with us too quickly it feels insincere?  I pointed out to him that sometimes, when I tell him something (like my rant on how crucial it is that everyone put the toilet lid down, pick up their dirty underwear and wipe the jelly off the kitchen counter), he has a tendency (because, clearly he's heard this speech before and knows what's coming) to cut me off and just tell me that "he's on it," and instead of making me happy, this irritates me.  I should be happy, right, because he's hearing me and he's responding affirmatively, and yet, because he didn't REALLY hear me all the way OUT, he's undercut the sincerity of his response.

Yes.  I am this complicated.  I am, possibly, a little challenging to live with.  But you know what?  I'm just fine with that, because it's valid. I paid for it, I own it, and I'm not putting it out on a table in front of my house on a Saturday morning with a .50 cent tag on it any time soon.   

Coming back to Brene Brown, however, she makes a valid and not unfamiliar point in her blog post, about balance and the fact that the adage "all work and no play probably turns you into a bitter b*tch at some point" didn't become well known for nothing.

Food for thought my lovelies, food for thought.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Movie Review

I'd had my eye on the movie Animal Kingdom for a while.  It started with an interview I heard on NPR back when the film came out a year plus ago.  The lead actress, Jackie Weaver, has a cool voice, and I enjoyed trying to imagine what she looked like.  (I was close).  Of course she's huge in Australia, but I'd never heard of her.  The interview with the Director, and what he was trying to achieve with the film was quite compelling.
Neither it, nor any of its actors won Academy Awards, but were nominated, which is significant.

It is finally available on Net Flix (streaming, even) and I would recommend it.

I found it dark and it made me uncomfortable....in that finger-on-the-pause-button kind of way.

In our age of gratuitous violence, this is fairly tame, but if you're paying attention and not completely desensitized, it is shocking and disturbing and brilliantly done, in my humble opinion.

Would highly recommend and I'll watch it again. 

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1313092/ 

(DO NOT WATCH THE TRAILERS AHEAD OF TIME.  Really!)

Friday, June 3, 2011

Driving my daughter

I think I warned you all that I was going to blog about this eventually.  I hate how quicly "eventually" becomes "now" sometimes.

Last night I sat through a two hour, REQUIRED, parent seminar on drivers ed training.  (Required, as in, if I didn't receive a certificate of completion, my daughter could not receive her DL.  They are not fooling around.)

If I wasn't nervous about her getting behind the wheel before, I am scared to EFFING DEATH now!  Seriously, I had to start fanning myself half way through because I was having a full blown panic attack. 

It wasn't just the stories off all the beautiful children who died horrible tragic deaths, innocently.....like the boy who was picked up by 4 of his friends, while he was walking home one afternoon.  The friends, drving a Volvo stationwagon (duh, the safest!), were coming home from a CHURCH YOUTH GROUP, and they saw him walking, so they stopped to get him.  Only, instead of crawling in the back seat and buckling up between the two kids there, he hopped in the cargo area.  You can see this coming....the driver got distracted, ran off the road, hit a tree.  The four belted kids survived, the fifth kid flew forward, through the windshield and died.  And guess what?  His father was a COP and his mom was a DRIVERS ED TEACHER.  I kid you not.  Fairfax County, VA.  (bet you didn't see that last part coming did you?!)

So, if that wasn't enough, he told all these stories about just the dumb mistakes they will make learning, and then had instructions that we parents should do to be good "coaches."  By the end of it, not only do I not want her to drive, ever, but I'm not sure I want to drive again, ever.  SHEEZ.

But seriously, it did make me realize that I need to pay more attention when I drive.  I had already vowed not to talk on the phone and drive, and I'm doing pretty well with that.  (I'd do a whole lot better if my husband would stop calling me all the time while I'm driving....but, one step at a time)  But, just the whole "paying attention" thing could use a little more work.  Probably for all of us.  Just saying.

Did you know that after 10 p.m. 1 in 10 people are driving under the influence?  After midnight it is 1 in 3 people.  HOLY SHITE.  Again, my mother was correct when she pointed out to me in high school that "nothing good ever happens after midnight." 

So.  A word to the wise, that my daughter is about to be behind the wheel.  Only, I'm not sure who needs the warning....you all about her.....or her about the rest of you.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Feelings....ooooh ooooh ooooh FEEEEEELINGS

I follow this lovely woman's blog because she's generally pouring my favorite literary cocktail......a perfect blend of ascerbic wit, insight and self deprecation with a splash of sarcasm.  I'm hooked!

http://outsideeye.onsugar.com/

Her post today made me laugh, especially, because I could have written it.

Life would be so easy if we didn't all have these FEELINGS mucking up the works.  Sheez!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Where the heck have I been?

It's a good question, since I've been e-absent for a while.  Mitigating factors include:

Side life project ramping up for the Summer
Kids lives ramping up for the end of the school year and Summer
About to wear a new and bigger hat at work

All good stuff, but having trouble with BAHHHHHLANCE.

My "Ohms" are turning into "OHMGs!"

I spent the holiday weekend here:


Listening to incredible music in weather that looked like this for a while:


Which, not surprisingly meant that I saw a lot of this:

Not sure this is what they had in mind when they described it as a "Family Friendly Event."  (Though, come to think of it, my husband mentioned that she was "super friendly" so there you go.)

Poor thing.  I'm sure she eventually found someone who was willing to wash her off.

Ahem.

In any event, back on terra firma (more terra than firma, certainly), just in case you missed me.

Happy Summer.  It's 101 outside.  Really Mother Nature??  Spring???  It's that thing between the Polar Ice Cap and Hades.  WTF?


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Random Stuff

It has been raining here for days upon end.  Things are starting to get a little moldy around the edges, even.  I ran in the pouring rain this morning, for the first time in a long while and it was lovely.  No rain coat or anything, it was too warm, just running in a tshirt and shorts and squishy squashy shoes.  Running and laughing because I knew how completely ridiculous I must have looked to oncoming traffic. 

The smell of honeysuckle can just about knock you over at the moment, and the rain is keeping the pollen at bay, so all in all, I'd say it's a very lovely spring here in Magnolia Meadow.

There is something sort of wistful and melancholy about slaving away while the rain pummels your window.  I am, therefore, indulging myself in one of my greatest guilty pleasures and listening to acid jazz.  Do you "Pandora"?  I Pandora a lot at work, it's so convenient, and they do a great job of catering to my eclectic musical tastes.   www.pandora.com

My current Pandora channels are:

Groove Armada
David Gray
Neil Diamond
Amos Lee
Incubus
Keller & the Keels
Thievery Corporation
Bruce Hornsby
Gomez
The Wailin' Jennys
AC/DC

I think, with the possible exception of r&b, country and classical, I have the bases covered!

I'm reading the George R.R. Martin fantasy series, A Song of Fire and Ice.  I'm on book three.  They've turned this into a huge HBO series, Game of Thrones (which is the first book).  In spite of the horrifying brutality I'm hooked.  It's a really fun read.  (I'll have to hide it from the kids when I'm done, however, I found my son eyeballing it..."Hey!  This looks like a Lord of the Rings thing, cool!"  um, not exactly.)

http://www.hbo.com/game-of-thrones/index.html

Dragons, princesses, pillage and plunder, oh my!


Thursday, May 12, 2011

Boy in the bubble

My husband is one giant walking billboard advertisement for insurance.  All kinds of insurance.  Health.  Auto.  Life. 

The craziest things happen to him....from getting rear ended in traffic and pushed forward into a tanker truck that turned out to be full of high fructose corn syrup (which ironically is more likely to kill him since he's diabetic than it would if it had been filled with something flammable) to being allergic to, oh, pretty much anything that GROWS, our life together is generally always just one step away from the emergency room at all times.

I told him the other day, in response to him telling me about the most recent allergy attack  (I'll spare you the gorey details and you're welcome), that we needed to just encase him in plastic.  He responded with this image.


I told him that was fine.  I was pretty sure I could craft the bubble, but that he was out of luck with the leisure suite.  To which he responded: 


He's a funny guy.  Who clearly has too much time on his hands.


Monday, May 9, 2011

Paper Crane 9/11 Project For Peace

Paper Crane 9/11 Project For Peace

I love Origami.

I actually KNOW how to make the paper cranes.

I have been known to leave them places, anonymously for people, as peace offerings.

I love this idea of making them in commemoration for 9/11.

Monday, May 2, 2011

It's over now.....the music of the night

Done!  I survived countless hours of practices and preparation and 4 productions of Phantom of the Opera.  When the aforementioned Director cornered me in the hallway at the beginning of the final performance and said "So!  Will you do another show with me?"  The only response I could think of, which I gave her, was "Uhhhhhhhh"  It was not my most erudite moment.

That being said, it was wonderful to see those kids bleed sweat and pull off what was, truly, an amazing set of performances.  I'm sure THEY all felt it was worthwhile. 

It was worthwhile for me to get this text from my daughter somewhere in the middle of all of that:

"Mom, I love you so much.  I'm so lucky to have such an awesome mommy."

Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww

What was initially significant trepidation on her part at having me in her realm turned into not only acceptance but also inclusion, to the point where I got multiple hugs from her in front of cast and crew.

Yes.  Worth it for me, too.

While the production is over, the hilarity is not.  I received this photo text from my daughter this morning, which will only be funny if you've seen Phantom and are familiar with the crashing chandelier.  A mid class doodle.

What really happened to Osama Bin Laden:


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Disasterpiece

When you know you're not as young as you...

a.  thought you were
b.  hope you are
c.  wish you were
d.  would give something valuable to still be

e.  any and all of the above

I am in PHANTOM OF THE OPERA HELL.  The components of which are:

a.  aforementioned child in the production
b.  "                "  napoleonesque director
c.  ill advised offer to "help" (which, in my mind, was just sort of a general "oh, sure, I can lend a hand" but has turned into the inevitable sewing on evenings and weekends)

The update looks like this:

First production is this Thursday, followed by 5 more performances this weekend.

We have yet to run through even the first Act completely.  I have not seen Act 2 at all.  

The notes of things we "NEED" that we took on the first half of Act 1 was 6-7 pages.

The performance I did see last night was not without it's moments of hilarity and actorial brilliance but was, truth be told, one big hot mess.

The tears to lack of sleep ratio has reached its apex.

It would make more sense to spoof this production and turn it into Zombie Phantom at this point, so we could just forego the makeup and hours of finishing touches to costumery that are going to be required altogether.

Upside....I met some lovely, creative, and incredibly type-A women this month.  My kinda gals.

Downside....I have absolutely no faith in the future of mankind if it rests on the shoulders of today's teenagers.  (With the notable exception of my own, of course, who is a brave and awe inspiring genius!)

We are doomed.  All of us.  Doomed.