Wednesday, December 31, 2008

End of an Era.

It goes without saying that 2008 was one of the most challenging years of my life. I've been mulling over the past year...remembering all that transpired and all that didn't. When walking downtown recently in the midst of a bone-chilling snowstorm, I happened upon this bright spot in a parking lot. It seemed so fitting for how I felt about my life at the time and how I feel about this impending new year.


We experienced much love in our lives this year but, unfortunately, loss as well. A lesson that seems to be learned more frequently as I get older. I am grateful for the opportunity to be alive. To experience it all....the good and the bad.

Happy New Year.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Come Hither, Lead Feather

We are knee-deep in Christmas still thanks to our never-ending snow and, because we aren't quite ready to give it up, here's a little nutcracking to keep us in the mood.



More to come!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Do Over

Today sucked. Not one major thing but just a bunch of little things that equaled one craptacular day.

It isn't unusual for me to reach this point in the year and want to chuck it all....the so-called friends (and you know who you are), the snarky people, the consumerism gone wild, the pressure to be happy....it's more than one human can take at times.

The recent trend has been for me, near the end of the year, to issue my edict that I will no longer take the b.s. I will no longer waste my time on self-serving people, I will hit the road as soon as I see that first hint of obligatory "friendship" kicking in, I will be more selective of who I spend my precious time on, I will not succumb to family dysfunction and I won't buy into the collective belief that I'm not worthy of their consideration and respect. And then, twelve months later, here I am again. Disgusted. Frustrated. Tired. Spent.

And then something like this happens.


And I realize that there are good people out there. There just might be hope for us all.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Unsuspecting

I love those perfect moments where you have no plan. You blindly go about your day. The kids go down for their naps with no struggle. You search for a movie but nothing's on. You pick something you think you heard one time was good.



I love those perfect moments where you watch a movie that leaves you sitting slightly in shock. In wonderment. Silent in all it's beauty and heartbreaking inspiration.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Le Ballon Rouge

I've mentioned before that I'm a true blue Francophile. I don't know what formed this love of all things French in me but having a frenchy name comes in handy.

This movie has always, always touched my heart. I can't remember the first time I watched it but I adore it.


And recent reconnections brought it to mind again.

Tout arrive en France.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

My Sentiments Exactly

This is from 2006 but is very similar to the reaction this year when we went to see Santa. Miz M found her courage as she was not going to miss an opportunity to get her requests in for pressies. (Proof that she has her priorities straight) But Miz R was not having it.



One week to go. Breathe. Breathe.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Leggo My Ego

And this, people, is precisely why I do not and will not ever vlog.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Wise

After what feels like a non-stop marathon of champion eye-rolling, I was sitting at dinner with my girls tonight. Their Nana and I had somehow managed to survive a day of lunching and shopping and girl-ing, in general. Nana, God love her, had somehow found (count 'em) two matching Wedding Barbies and, for a brief moment, all was right with the world. I was no longer the dreaded and hated Mom and it was all sunshine and cupcakes.

Then, the Five Year Old From Hell felt the need to steal her unsuspecting sister's Wedding Barbie to, of course, taunt her with it. (What is it with you older sisters, anyway?) Doing my best to qualify for the Olympics in eye-rolling and sighing, I decided to tell my eldest the ugly truth.

"You know, life isn't so great after you're a bride." They stopped dead in their tracks. "What?" they asked in disbelief. "I said, life isn't so great after you're the bride."

A pause.

"What do you mean?" the Five Year Old pondered aloud. "Well, after you are the bride then you have a husband with stinky socks and two crabby, bickering children that fight over their Barbies."

Blank. Much pondering going on.

"Well this is different, Mommy. We're not having stinky husbands and children. We're just having the wedding and that's it."

I stand corrected. As usual, the Five Year Old is wiser than her years. And her mother.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Sassy Pants

Because nothing I say or do could ever top this.



(Disclaimer: I thought long and hard about having something so twelveyearoldboyishhumor on the blog but, well, just watch it and you'll see why I couldn't resist. If you're offended, well, that's sad.)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Twins

They say everyone has a twin out there in the world and I believe that. Whole-heartedly. 

I have been so fortunate to meet many people that felt so familiar and this goil is no exception. I've waxed poetic about her many, many a time so why should today be any different?

Here she is:


And, although I would love to be her twinouttheresomewhereintheworld, obviously I am not. Case in point:

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

This One's For You

After a quiet and contemplative Thanksgiving and now, as we near the national day of consumerism, I've been thinking a lot about the people that I find such solace and inspiration in.

For no particular reason, other than the fact that she inspires me on a regular basis, this post is for my pal Girl Howdy. Because, quite simply, she rocks.

Here's The Man, MJ. There's one out there just like 'im for you.....I just know it.


And my new favorite version of the Man in Black...

Monday, December 1, 2008

You must be dead because I don't feel anything.

One of the best aspects of being an older mom (trust me when I use the term "older" - every person I ran across during my first pregnancy reminded me what an "old mother" I was....at thirty-four, people, thirty-freakin-four!) is that you not only get to experience the wonderment of your child's "discovery" of all things new but you also get to relive a lot of your happy childhood memories.

This weekend turned out to be a moviefest of sorts. It was one of those perfectly magical alignment of the stars weekends where your children stay in the other room watching countless kid movies allowing you and your spouse (that never have time alone together aside from the sleeping-in-the-bed thing) to watch back to back movies you've been meaning to watch for the past five or so years. 

I swear, it was almost better than a vacation, people.

On Sunday, while daddy was at school working on his paper for finals, I was able to watch one of my all-time favorite childhood movies with my girls. (Sure, I was technically fourteen but at forty that qualifies as my childhood.) As I've done every single time I've watched this movie, I sobbed like a baby during this scene:


When my oldest realized that E.T. was actually alive, she turned to say something to me and caught me blubbering like a fool. Her face went blank and then she said, with a slight tone of disgust, "Mama.....it's just a movie!"

Yes, indeed, it's just a movie but whoa-nellie is it a good one.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Mercy Buckets

I am grateful for the many, many blessings in my life. This year has been particularly trying in so many ways (financially and emotionally, just to name a few) but when I look around me I realize I have very little to complain about....healthy and happy children, a loving husband, a small circle of friends that I love and love me in return....so many things to be thankful for.

After watching  this series I have become an even bigger fan of Gwyneth Paltrow and, in turn, this site.  The Thanksgiving newsletter was especially poignant and relevant for me and I hope it speaks to you as well.

 An excerpt:

"Yes, it’s easy to be grateful when something good has been done for you (although, sadly, even this healthy human response seems increasingly under challenge nowadays in our escalating culture of entitlement and victimhood). But have you ever thought about gratitude not as a response but as a force in its own right; an initiating and healing energy that is not dependent on external circumstances but is rather an innate power of the human soul? When understood and wielded in this fashion, it has the power to liberate us from our self-imposed prisons of self-pity and envy and to actually change the energy fields (and hence, the outcome) of our circumstances.

In plain words, we can actually change our reality by being grateful first; not as a response but as an innate way of being."
– Cynthia Bourgeault

Cynthia Bourgeault is an Episcopal priest, writer and retreat leader. She is founding director of the Aspen Wisdom School in Colorado and principal visiting teacher for the Contemplative Society in Victoria, BC, Canada.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Unplugged

We have made the executive decision to cancel our cable service. This is a decision based on many factors....hours wasted watching shows (thanks to a fave Twitterer, I now know I can watch everything here), ridiculous amount of money wasted to watch said shows, valuable family time wasted watching said shows, gross mismanagement of time....you get the idea.

There is a slight sense of panic knowing there will be no t.v. in our lives very soon and, as a result, we are getting our fill of favorite shows before the plug is pulled. It's ridiculous, I know. When I lived in the magical city of San Francisco, I had no t.v. and I'm positive that contributed to the many, many invaluable things I learned while living there. Still, being the total pop culture junkie that I am, it's a bit scary giving up the DVR (even though I know it's for the best). As we near the cutoff date, I watch my favorite DVR'ed shows repeatedly. There are two, in particular, that I never tire of but thanks to the omnipresent YouTube I am in the clear.

It's no secret that I am a big fan of Mad Men (me and half of the world, it seems). My borderline obsession began this past season because my fab niece was the hottest secretary in the steno pool (take that, Mr. Weiner) for the first eight episodes. What started as an effort to spot her in any and every possible scene turned into a near fixation on what would happen next to Don, Betty, Joan, Roger, Pete and the rest of this intriguing and sometimes tragic group of characters. From the very beginning, I was mesmerized by Peggy. Sure, I wanted to be Joan (who doesn't want to be Joan?) but there was something so terrifying about Peggy. I felt for her. I really wanted things to work out for her. I always thought I knew what was going on just below the surface of this quiet, unassuming, subservient girl and then this happened.

Even if you didn't watch the entire season, you cannot dispute the power of this scene. The dialogue. The delivery. The acting. It is devastating.

The Sundance Channel is definitely at the top of the list of things I will miss once the DVR box is shelved. The series featured on Sundance are, in a word, riveting. I eagerly anticipate new episodes of Iconoclasts and was looking forward to this starting in December. But the series I set the "record all episodes" option without fail for is Live at Abbey Road. The premise of live, unplugged sessions at this famed studio is fascinating in its own right but what impresses me on a consistent basis are the combinations of genres and bands. Thanks to the groundbreaking combos featured on this show, I have been exposed to bands and musicians that never would have made it onto my radar.

I have been a dedicated fan of Del Amitri for many years. They were always one of those bands that seemed to provide a timely soundtrack to my life. Not only were their talents numerous but their lyrics brilliant. After mysteriously fading away years ago, Del Amitri became a thing of the past (or so I thought). Imagine my surprise to find Mr. Currie doing what he does best on Live at Abbey Road. As previously mentioned, there are two DVR'ed shows that are on heavy rotation until the plug is pulled. This one, I'm almost embarrassed to admit, I watch on a near daily basis.



In the spirit of change and paring down in this mercurial economy, the cable will go. But, thankfully, the talent will not.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Closer

I'm not sure if Trent Reznor ever dared to imagine this incarnation of his song "Closer" but I thank the stars above for Maxwell's brilliance.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Bash

Too much preparing to do for a birthday bash tonight.....guests are in town, lots of visiting to do.



More on Monday....happy weekend!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Served

We will never forget.

I will never forget.



Please remember all of our veterans today and all that they have done for us.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Baby

"Nothing so bright, nothing so smooth, nothing so pure
As my baby
All of my life days into night, all I did dream 
Was my baby
Until the days darkness entwined with silver eyes
Was my baby staring at me"

~ Rufus Wainright

Three years ago today my life was changed in a way I never expected. From the moment I knew she was coming into my life I was grateful. No one else shared my excitement and elation (except her father, of course). It was a difficult and trying time in our lives but I had this little life raft to cling to.

Three years ago today she came into my world after much nausea and stress and fear. It was an experience as close to faith as I've come thus far in my life. I was afraid. But I knew it would be okay. I knew we would be okay.


Three years ago today she arrived.


My baby.


My little independent soul.



My partner in crime.


My wise, old soul.


You'll never know the myriad of ways you restore my faith in the light.

Happy birthday Ramona Christine. 
I love you more than words can ever say.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Lovely

Isn't she pretty
Truly the angels best
Boy, I'm so happy
We have been Heaven blessed
I can't believe what God has done
Through us he's given life to one
But isn't she lovely made from love


Happy Birthday, love.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Smile

If this doesn't make you smile, well, you are in big trouble.

Happy Friday, everyone!





Thursday, November 6, 2008

Zen du Jour

Thank you, Universe. You always make my day.

Of course not everyone understands you, Nannette.
It takes crazy to know crazy.
It takes sexy to know sexy.

And most assuredly, it takes cool to know cool.

Yeah, un-hun, alright -
The Universe

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Vox

I voted.

I'm grateful for the opportunity to vote and grateful to those that believed in change enough to make it possible for me to vote.


GO VOTE!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Bitter

I hate Ebay. 

I am officially giving up any contact with anything that has to do with Ebay. And Ebay can thank their lovely Ebayer Julie Lanzillo for that.



Lately, I've been having a more-hate-than-love relationshit with the Internet. I feel duped by the lure of it. A lot of blogs and articles I read leave a foul taste in my mouth. I'm not so inspired anymore by the hey-look-at-me-I'm-so-original crap that is duplicated over and over. As with Ebay, I'm tired of taking part in building a money-making machine that is sucking dry what used to be an original, and at times, artistic forum.

So, good bye and good riddance Ebay....the jury's still out on the rest of the ether.

Aftermath

Halloween is officially tackled (although I can't say the same for the massive amount of candy we have leftover), two Scorpio birthdays down with three to go (all in the next 7 days), voting tomorrow (yay!), parent/teacher conferences, Disney on Ice (I'm actually excited)....I guess what I'm saying is I AM SWAMPED.

More meaningful, thought-out posts to come....until then, here's a picture to amuse you.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Boo

Darkness falls across the land
The midnite hour is close at hand
Creatures crawl in search of blood
To terrorize yawls neighbourhood
And whosoever shall be found
Without the soul for getting down
Must stand and face the hounds of hell
And rot inside a corpses shell
The foulest stench is in the air
The funk of forty thousand years
And grizzy ghouls from every tomb
Are closing in to seal your doom
And though you fight to stay alive
Your body starts to shiver
For no mere mortal can resist
The evil of the thriller



It seems only fitting to wish you all a happy Hallowe'en with a l'il song and dance....

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

No Words

There are no words for how so many of my favorite bloggers and, more importantly, friends of mine have touched my heart lately.

Girl Howdy startled me with her gut-wrenching and candid post about a recent change in her life. I've always felt a connection to her....a wild heart worn bravely on her sleeve, a deep love of music and, now, a courageous ability to not only love but to let that love go on.  Without her.

If you haven't been following the progress of Stephanie and Christian Nielson, this may mean nothing to you. But, I think even if you don't know them or know of them, there is no way this will not touch you. Deeply.

And, finally, watching this confirmed my belief that we are all in this thing together. This uncertain and miraculous thing



I only hope I can aspire to be as brave and as benevolent as these amazing people.

Monday, October 27, 2008

My Answer Is...

Remember the Magic 8 Ball?

Sometimes, it's the only way to make a decision.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Flame

There's really nothing about my 20's or 30's that I miss. That I would trade the life I have now for. But I do miss going to live shows. I don't think I'll ever get over that. And, I believe strongly, one day I'll go with my girls to see shows. Not only to monitor them but to just go. Because music is something I'll never grow out of. Ever.

I was fortunate enough to not only witness but be friends with a lot of the bands and musicians that I went to see on a regular basis.  That's probably what I miss the most....that connection with people that had that same understanding.  That same need for music. 

The Dusty 45s were on heavy rotation in the soundtrack of my single-girl days.  Billy Joe Huels not only inspired the crowd but had the grace to make each and every one of us feel like we were his favorite person that showed up that night.



That, and he lit shit up when he played. 

That always impresses.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Disclaimer

Some of the names have been changed to protect the innocent.

"Jim" is actually Jeff. "Queen UK" is actually Bitter Lemon.

Jeff was my first love.  Bobby was his best friend.  I used to listen to them practice in Jeff's basement. It's true....the girls went wild over them and rightly so.

They both broke my heart in more ways than I can explain.



Sunday, October 19, 2008

Repose

This morning, after drinking coffee in bed with the hubs and attempting to catch up on the mountain of magazines and books piled on, under and next to my nightstand, I sat in repose. "I can't wait for election day....just to not have to listen to these ads any more" the hubs said in disgust after watching a two-minute deluge of nastiness and partisan rhetoric. I could not agree more.

Oh sure, I'm guilty of it myself. I've blogged about my fears and concerns and outrage about this election and the issues at stake mainly because I'm tired of sitting in silence, for fear of offending a friend or acquaintance. I've read a lot lately from bloggers who won't dare speak their minds and risk losing readers or followers or advertisers and, in all honesty, it made me sick.  So, ever the rebel, I spoke out. I came out of my closet and declared what I stood up for.....human rights. The freedom to be with the one you love, to love those that are different from ourselves, to make choices for yourself and your body. But, I worried regularly, in doing so did I join the ranks of the judgmental? Was I just another knowitall blabbing about their beliefs?  Could be.

I've gained so much from this blogging thing. I've made great friendships I would have never dared to believe I could've made.  I have found deep inspiration in a world of bloggers, artists, writers, activists.....humans.

It's a curious common theme, no?

Humans.

And when it all comes down to it, when the niceties and pretty packaging are all stripped away, we find we are, essentially, all the same.  When the hurricanes hit, when planes crash into buildings, when the levees break, when disease threatens....we are all the same.

But why do we have to be reminded by these tragedies and terrors that we are all the same? That we love and feel and live.....the same.

The news of a plane crash this summer might have been just another plane crash news story in the constant barrage of depressing headlines but, in large part to the blogging phenomenon, it made worldwide news. The story itself is gut-wrenching....loving parents of four small children injured in a plane crash (not to mention the loss of the pilot).  But what really got to me and continues to get to me as I read the updates on her sister's blog, is the connection and the movement to support this family. I've read many entries by Stephanie about her beliefs, her faith, her politics....we are not alike in many regards.  But I also have read countless posts about her children, her husband, her family, her innate passion and zest for life and I realize, in the simplest and most fundamental of ways, we are exactly alike.

And, really, aren't we all?

As I read of Stephanie and Christian's interminable and grueling healing process, I feel ridiculous.  My worries and "problems" seem laughable. My complaining and whining for what I don't have is humiliating. 
"I am starting to believe that there is no such thing as tragedy. There is only opportunity for growth, and should you accept it, the reward overcomes the sailing of the hardship."

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Audacity

I agree with Jay. The constant barrage of negativity and mud-slinging is disheartening. Nothing sticks in my craw more than hateful actions and words.

Case in point:

Isn't it mind-boggling to realize that people actually think this way? Believe these things and vote accordingly?  It saddens me. Greatly.



It nauseates me far more than any debate or any discussion.

It makes me wonder if Martin Luther King, Jr. is watching us and shaking his head.  I know I am.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Been there, Done that.

One of the most treasured aspects I've discovered in this bloggy ether is the common thread amongst us. As women. As parents. As human beings.

This blog post really brought it home for me today. We've all been there at one time or another. In one way or another.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Sticks and Stones

I don't live in California but I wish I did....simply so that I could cast my vote.  Regardless of where you live, you should watch this movie.



Don't hate, people. Seriously. Think long and hard.



How would it feel to have your human rights taken away?

Monday, October 13, 2008

I Got Nuthin

After enduring a hectic pace for the past few weeks coupled with illness and finally a much-appreciated visit from a dear girlfriend (sick and cleaning a house? not fun) I was grateful to be tagged to blog about random "facts" about myself.

I can't guarantee you'll be riveted by this list but at least I'm giving it a whirl.  Thanks for your continued interest while things are just not that interesting around here, people.

1.  I am a reformed smoker.  And there's practically nothing more annoying than that.  I used to smoke "socially" which basically translates to any and every time I was out socializing with a cocktail in my hand.  Which was a lot in my 20's and early 30's.

2.  I am the "baby" of my family.  Which, according to certainpersonsiamrelatedto, means that I had everything handed to me on a silver platter.  But, I can assure you, that was not the case. Because the sibs are six and nine years my senior it was essentially like growing up as an only child. 

3.  I am obsessed with music.  Always have been. I hate to think of a day without it.

4.  I sometimes fear the afterlife.  I worry there may be a smackdown at the pearly gates. Or worse, I won't be on the list.

5.  I have absolutely no idea what I want to be when I grow up.  Which poses somewhat of a problem as I turned 40 this year.

(And, in the spirit of sharing my traits warts and all a la Debbie, here's one I'm not proud of.)

6.  I am ridiculously competitive.  For years I honestly thought it was just people I seemed to meet and become friends with but, over the years (and thanks to the Hubs pointing it out repeatedly), I've come to accept the fact that I'm a competitive cow at times.

In an effort to keep this going and learn more about my peeps, I'm going to tag some wunnerful bloggers.  Of course, your response is not required but much appreciated!


Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Nostalgia

It's amazing what a person can accomplish when the internet is down. I have stacks of things to be sorted, put away, organized and purged. One of the things that has been at the top of my To Do List has been to sort, organize and put away pictures of my children, husband, wedding, family and friends. Today, I had that chance.

It was heartwarming to look at all the pictures of my girls in their first days and months of existence. It was a bit startling to see myself looking so fresh and awake considering how I think I look most of the time now. It made me long for the ability to schnuggle them and carry them close to me. Seeing all of their baby pictures transported me back in time in a way that I hadn't anticipated.

But nothing could prepare me for this.


This is a love letter sent to me from my gorgeous niece (postmarked 7 April 1992). I have no idea what the reason was for this letter but thank God I was smart enough at the moment to hang on to it. You see, when this little ray of light made her way into the world, she instantly marked my heart. Forever. She was a piece of my brother....the brother I had worshipped as a young girl. But, what I hadn't bargained for, was that she would always seem like a kindred.

I've always been the black sheep of our family. The child that came much later to my parents...nine and six years later than their other children. An afterthought, in a way, but always a welcomed afterthought according to my mother. I've struggled with not understanding why I was so different. Why I couldn't be like them. Disciplined, driven, talented, smart.....all the things everyone in my family seemed to accomplish with virtually no effort. But when she showed up, she accepted me with no hesitation.

Maybe it was because I was the baby of my family....the immature one.  The wild one.  The whogivesadamn one. Maybe it was that unconditional love that young children seem to have before we contort their views and teach them with our own bias.  Or maybe, like her mother, she had that quiet strength of just knowing. I'll never know for sure but what I do know is that I'll always be grateful for it.  And for her.

Here are a few other gems I unearthed in my organizing.  Proof, I like to think, that she and I were old friends from the get-go.


Snuggling at the cabin before it became an estate.


Birthday Love. (I mean, really, could these kids be any cuter? And, yes, that is a scrunchy in my hair.)


Further proof that she was born an entertainer.


The gene pool. (I always loved that people assumed my sister-in-law was my sister.  She was, really.)


My first wedding day. She broke my heart years later, after divorcing, when she asked me what would happen to her flower girl status.  

Monday, October 6, 2008

Anglophile

It's no secret that I'm a serious Francophile but that doesn't mean that I don't love me some British humor (Monty Python, The Young Ones, As Time Goes By...just to name a few). No words can convey my sheer joy upon learning that this fabulously hilarious show was coming to the USA. It saw me through many a dark day whilst living in the Emerald City for the last time. The birth of my second daughter, while it was a huge blessing, was a very difficult time due to a disastrous decision to move back to the Big City coupled with the catastrophic news that my sister-in-law had been diagnosed with leukemia. Times were tough all around.

This is a shining example of the deliciously twisted humor featured on this riotous show:



The premiere featured this horrifyingly uproarious bit that I simply can not post on the blog as it borders on offensive.  

But I dare you not to laugh.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Ready, Set....Giveaway!

Thanks Jay, you are The Best
(Thank God for Facebook because, otherwise, I would've lost out on these very special friendships
 that I was lucky enough to forge years ago when I hadn't a clue).

HalftimeContest

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Friday, October 3, 2008

I Have a Dream

I never thought I'd ever actually be this lucky. To have these little creatures show up in my world and reinvent me in ways I'd never been brave enough to dream up on my own.

I love that they love me unconditionally. When I make them come in for dinner instead of playing with their friends in the backyard. When I make them brush their teeth and go to bed when they really want to stay up late. When I make them at least try their dinner instead of just saying "I'm full" (and miraculously having room for dessert).

I love them because they love music. Not just enjoy it and blindly dance to whatever we put on but to specifically ask "Mama, can we hear Dancing Queen again?" for the fortieth time.

I love how their idea of dress up is vogue-ing in mommy's crazy sunglasses.




I love them. Oh, how I love them.

"I have a dream, a fantasy
To help me through reality
And my destination makes it worth the while
Pushing through the darkness still another mile
I believe in angels"

~ ABBA

(Nik, this is my version of Funky Photo Friday!) 

Thursday, October 2, 2008

So, basically what you're saying is...

...you don't know. Right around 3:30 is where she's most brilliant.

Oy.




Also, this should be required viewing before election day. Appalling. Simply appalling. And, as a member of a family that has been in this frightening position, I urge you to make the time to watch it.


Only 32 days to go.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Like, DUH.

Recently, I was enthusiastic about taking a personality quiz on Facebook only to realize it was faulty and gave the same response to every sucker that took it (although it's comforting to know we all were Marilyn in another life, right?). Thanks to my dear friend Nik, my faith in personality quizzes has been restored.

So, tell me people, what blogging personality type are you? (and not in a past life)

Your Blogging Type is Artistic and Passionate
You see your blog as the ultimate personal expression - and work hard to make it great.
One moment you may be working on a new dramatic design for your blog...
And the next, you're passionately writing about your pet causes.
Your blog is very important - and you're careful about who you share it with.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Stillness

You made the world a much better and tolerable place.



Thank you.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Out

I have been inspired by Clay Aiken and Lindsay Lohan to come out of my closet.

I am heterosexual.

There.  I've said it. What a relief!

I mean, come on people, is this really necessary in this day and age?  Are we still fixated on someone's sexual orientation?  Like it's anyone's business or has any relevance?

Groups like this frighten me.  Greatly. The concept that gays can't have the same human rights as heteros catapults us right back to the 60's where whites believed blacks weren't worthy of the same human rights they were allowed.

It. Makes. Me. Sick.

But, more than anything, it frightens me.  What if my children are gay?  Will they be subjected to the same hate and self-righteous beliefs of people who hold their bibles up high and judge others instead of loving people unconditionally as preached in the bible? 

You would think, so soon after 9/11, that we would remember how alienating it felt to be hated so much by others and that they would commit such a heinous and hate-filled act. But, being the ADD country we are, we quickly move on to the next headline.....the bailout crisis, the election, and, of course, whether or not someone is gay.

I don't care how someone chooses to vote in 39 days but I do hope that people will be compassionate and think of how their decisions will effect everyone.  Gay, straight, black, white, rich, poor, believers and non-believers.  

Everyone.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Stage Auntie

Look people, I know I've bragged incessantly about the ohsostellar niece on Mad Men but I simply can not help myself. I feel somewhat vindicated after repeatedly witnessing the mass following of this show as well as the Emmy wins this year so my apology may not be totally heartfelt.....or warranted.

And, just to spur me on, look what I found in my little YouTube Subscriptions Inbox today!



Sure, it's only mere seconds of her fabulosity on the screen but that's what "replay" is for.

(WTG, Jessica!)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Invasion of the Body Snatchers

This movie scared the beejeezus out of me when I first watched it years ago. I love, love, love old horror films as they are full of kitsch and ohsomuch scarier than the remakes (Cape Fear, anyone?).



Does anyone remember the scene where the creature is lurking at the end of the bed? Did I invent that? I searched YouTube high and low for that clip but to no avail.

Perhaps these pictures will ring a bell.....




Monday, September 22, 2008

The Difficult Kind

Right when you think you're an old lady and you have it all figured out, the Universe throws you a curveball. The further away from your twenties you get, the easier it is to forget who you were, how you lived your life and how you treated the people in your life.  

I've never hidden the fact that I lived my life selfishly before I got married for the second (and final) time and had my girls.  I did.  No question. After years of contemplation, I came to the conclusion that the way I dealt with my insecurities was to live with wild abandon and, unfortunately, recklessly.  The hardest part of this revelation was dealing with what felt like so many years wasted. Were they wasted?  Did it help or hurt my life that I chose to be so free-spirited?  And then, of course, the self-deprecation kicks in.  Why couldn't I be more together like my siblings? Why wasn't it enough to just live life in a mapped out fashion like everyone else? What was wrong with me?

As you can imagine, living like a gypsy lends to many friendships going by the wayside.  I always accepted that it was part of the deal....it wasn't my fault that these people came and went.  It was just life.  But, like a freight train, it hit me last week that it wasn't part of the deal. It was part of the problem.

I made a very selfish decision years ago to sacrifice one relationship for another.  I cast aside a friend of many years for a man.  A man, people.  The original betrayal where girlfriends are concerned. I sheepishly wore the scarlet letter on my chest for years after while I fought and suffered under this man.  And, years later, I walked away from him as well.  I always figured it was all for nothing and just one more bad choice to add to my long list of bad choices.  

But I always thought of her.  I wondered how she was, where she was, what she was doing.  I looked for her sporadically but to no avail.  And, suddenly, there she was on my Facebook page under the "People You Might Know" list.  So, like I was in my twenties again, I traipsed out on the ledge...and contacted her.  And the most surprising part?  She responded. I sat there looking at my inbox, slightly terrified to open her response.  But I did open it and I'll never be the same again.  Thankfully.  

What transpired from there was nothing short of what felt like a miracle.  The exchange started between us, the hurt welled up in both of us, the anger reared its ugly head and her words were harsh and direct.....and, as always, the shame overpowered me. I said I was sorry.  So sorry.  And, she forgave me.  And, the most enlightening part of it was, in her forgiveness I was able to forgive myself. Forgive myself for being wild, for all the years of running, for all the times I put myself in harm's way, for living with wild abandon and recklessly hurting those in my path.....namely, myself. I forgave myself for believing what others had told me so many times....that I wasn't worth it. But she forgave me and, in doing so, showed me I was worth it. Worth picking up the pieces and moving on.

So, it turns out I just might be an old lady after all.  But I am an old lady that is discovering who she really is, coming to terms with how she has lived her life and choosing how to live it from now on. And that's good enough....for me.


(This is my theme song of late.)

The Difficult Kind

I think I was wrong
I think you were right
That all my angry words
Will keep me up at night
And through the old screen door
I still hear you say
Oh, Honey won't you stop
Treating me that way

Tell it to me slow
Tell me with your eyes
If anyone should know
How to let it slide
I swear I can see you
Coming up the drive
And there ain't nothing like regret
To remind you you're alive

I crossed the canyon a thousand times
But never noticed what was mine
What you'll remember of me tonight
Well, it almost makes me cry

Oh ballbreaking moon and ridiculing stars
The older I get, the closer you are
Don't you have somewhere that you need to be
Instead of hanging here making a fool of me

If you could only see
What love has made of me
Then I'd no longer be in your mind
The difficult kind
But you won't see the change in me
If you could only see
What love has made of me
But I'll forever be in your mind
The difficult kind
But you won't see
No you won't see
The good in me
But babe I've changed
Cause babe I've changed

Friday, September 19, 2008

Guffaw du Jour

Here is a Friday Funny for y'all...it's long but so worth the time investment (especially around 3:58).



Props to my good pal Barefoot Gypsy Girl...thanks to her this completely turned my day around and now I must share it with the world.

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Oz

Seems I've been noticed.....thank you, Kim! The feeling is mutual!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Nudge

A few days ago, thanks to my newly re-found friend (long story) Debbie, I learned what a harbinger was. I always seem to encounter little nudges like this and figured it was the Universe reminding me that it was there. Watching. And I've always found that a great comfort.

I was working on photos this morning when I inadvertently clicked on an unintended folder in iPhoto. Turns out, it was a folder that I'd created years ago to house photos just of my girls. Now some would argue that this was not necessarily a harbinger, per se, but for me it definitely was a nudge. A little reminder of how I felt about these soft, squidgy babies that I had not too long ago.


This one is a fave and was foisted off on anyone I could possibly think of at the time.  Of course, it took about three hundred attempts (and many tears) but the end result (boogey-eyes and all) is priceless.


This was at the winery on a sweltering summer day when she was just starting to be able to push herself up.  Seems like such a small thing these days but was a major accomplishment at the time. Her expression seems to say "check me out".


And, of course, with learning comes failure and she took it hard.
She still does.


Doesn't this just make you smile?  That's her gift.  She lightens me. All of the angst I feel most of the time just melts when I look at her.  Sappy, I know, but true.


Thankfully, she still does this when she's really, really tired.  Which is perfectly okay with me.


This one really struck me.  The weight of the world seems to be resting on her little shoulders and I instantly felt panic that maybe I'd done that to her.


But then just one shutter later she looks like the wisest old soul I've ever laid eyes on.


And then, as always, she manages to lighten it up for all of us with her inherited goofy gene. 
 (thanks, Daddy)


This is just plain funny....feet flexed, eyes rolled up, steely determination.....it's just funny, people.


Five thousand attempts later everyone is relaxed (note strap off the shoulder...priceless!) and able to capture a lasting Kodak (okay, okay...Olympus) moment.

Whether stumbling upon these was a harbinger or just a loving nudge from the Universe, what I know for sure is that I am reminded of how lucky I am of the chance to watch them grow and, in turn, watch myself grow (hopefully) into a better human being.


Monday, September 15, 2008

Fun with Food

Food and learning about food and eating in a healthy manner and learning and reading and all that goes with it are BIG topics of discussion in our household at the moment.  Thanks to a wonderful pairing of two brilliant artists  we are able to address all topics in one sitting (without anyone dozing off).


The attention to detail is astonishing.


It's hard for us to pick a favorite.


Although it's a close race between the fish...


And the hippos.


This one perplexes the girls....what is he screaming about?



No matter what you choose as your favorite (right now, Gus and Button is the book of choice at our house) I highly recommend reading them all.  

Then repeat. 

A lot.