Civic Duty

I think I need to bite back my bitter words about being called for jury duty. I have to give it to the jury commissioner; they really have the process down pat. There was very little waiting and it really did move along pretty quickly. And I ended up sitting next to a really nice woman. She has four boys and homeschools, so we got to have a really lovely conversation about raising boys and the trials and joys of homeschooling. I was almost sorry to hear my name called I was enjoying our conversation so much.

But called I was, so I filed into line and followed the clerk to the jury waiting room before being led into the courtroom to face the lawyers and their open ended questions. There was an interesting group with me including two older men who chatted like old hens throughout the entire jury selection process and one gentleman who could not keep his eyes open and was thusly let go. I was shocked when I was not dismissed and was in fact placed on the jury to hear the trial starting after lunch. And I was excited.

Within the first 20 minutes of testimony I finally understood why all of my trial lawyer friends complain about the tediousness of actual trial procedure. I finally understood why trials can take so long. And I finally understood why there is so much animosity between defense lawyers and prosecutors. They were not all that nice to each other.

We had finally gotten through the first witness and on her way out she stopped at the prosecutor’s table (which was right in front of the jury box) to complain about her injury. The minute I heard her do it I knew the trial was done. The counselors immediately converged on the bench in heated whispers. The judge declared a mistrial about two minutes later and my time as a juror was over.

I was truly disappointed to have it end this way. I wanted to see the thing through. I wanted to hear all the evidence. I wanted to help bring conclusion to all parties. It is my civic duty after all.


Jury Duty

I have freakin’ frakkin’ jury duty tomorrow. There was a time when I would have looked forward to jury duty. The last time I was called, in fact, I did look forward to it. I was excited about the opportunity to serve on a jury and get an insider’s view of the justice system. I have been intrigued by the legal system for as long as I can remember. I took a constitutional law class in college and I was hooked. I loved the intricacy of it all, how every word is vitally important to the overall structure of the document or argument. At one point I had in fact decided to get a JD in constitutional law to compliment my PhD in political philosophy. To this day the idea of going to law school makes my heart race.

But today, I am dreading going to jury duty. I don’t really want anything to do with it. I have zero desire to get up early, drive downtown, fight for a parking spot and then sit in a crowded room with a hundred other people while the system decides what to do with us all. My husband has taken the day off to help with the kids while I deal with my civic duty. And I gotta tell you that sitting on uncomfortable chairs all day while my husband is off of work just irritates me. I hate that I have to give up a day of help to not get picked.

The last time I was called for jury duty I made it to the sit in the box and have the lawyers ask you questions part and I got so excited thinking “how could they possibly not pick me? I am intelligent and willing and most of all I want to be here!” Unfortunately, I am pretty sure all of those things are what got me passed over for the job. And to be quite frank, it pissed me off. Made me angry that by being smart and interested, I was unsuitable to be on a jury of my peers.

Maybe tomorrow I will stop paying attention and end all my sentences in prepositions.



I’m not really a big slapstick movie fan. I don’t much like gutter humor and making me feel dumber than I already am doesn’t do much for my sense of humor. So when I first saw the previews for Adventureland, I almost immediately discounted it thinking it wouldn’t be anything I’d be interested in. And then I saw that Ryan Reynolds was in it. Damnit!! I love that guy. I’ve had mad love for him since Two Guys, a Girl, and A Pizza Place when he was Berg way back in the day (funny aside, before I met my husband I wanted my boyfriend to be a combination of one half Berg and one half Niles from Frasier). He’s got instinctual comedic timing and is just so very, very pretty.

When the movie came out it got some really good reviews. And one of my favorite bloggers really loved it. So I figured what the heck and we watched it tonight.

Of all the ways I could figure out how to describe it, I think I’d have to go with sweet. It’s just such a sweet, sweet movie. There are a few attempts at American Pie-ish gutter humor, but feeble ones at best so they are forgiven. But mostly it’s smart and sweet and actually really fun to see Kristen Stewart just be in a character instead of infusing it with so much angst. And Jesse Eisenberg is one of my new favorite actors (although I’m fairly sure I’m old enough to be his mother). He’s so understated and honest. Netflix tells me he was also in The Squid and The Whale, but I wasn’t a big fan of that one so I probably just blocked him out with the rest of it.

There just aren’t very many movies these days (it seems at least) that are so thoroughly sweet and romantic in such an honest and raw way. Without all the stickiness and silliness that get attached to hide the vulnerability that comes with just laying it all out on the table. And there is something utterly refreshing about a movie willing to leave it all out there, painting a picture of first love.



I can honestly say that Dave Gahan is the only singer by whom I’ve been completely awe-struck (well, except for David Bowie, but that’s a whole different post). Seeing him in photos or in videos has caused much twitterpation for me over the years. Listening to his voice has moved me to tears on more than one occasion. But all of that pales in comparison to how it was to see him live. Watching him spin with the mic stand across the stage or smile at that crowd’s reactions was almost more than I could take last night. I found myself screaming and bouncing like that 12 year old girl I was when I discovered them.

I almost don’t have any words. Standing there, in the best music venue in the country listening to Depeche Mode move through their set list was just surreal. I had pretty much resigned myself to the fact that I wouldn’t ever get to see them live. That I would just have to settle for turning up the volume way too loud in the car and watching Dave Gahan and Martin Gore and Andy Fletcher float across my mind’s eye.

But there I was. Standing in between M who was able to come by sheer serendipitous circumstances and D who is the only person I’ve ever found who shares my absolute appreciation for the band. My legs aching from dancing and my voice faltering from screaming and excitement.

They played several songs from their new album which brought me a whole new level of appreciation for their new work. And they riled the crowd with the favorites from Violator. And they sent me into bliss with Behind the Wheel, Fly on the Windscreen, Somebody, Stripped and my absolute favorite Never Let Me Down Again. I didn’t get to hear Shake the Disease or Question of Lust, but that’s trivial to the overall set list they delivered. There is simply no way that they could have survived playing for as long as I would have liked.

We sat in post-concert glow watching the crowd file out until the megaphones came out and demanded that we move along. Such a gorgeous night.

8/27/09 - Depeche Mode

**Sorry this is late! But I was out way late with the concert and lost track of time yesterday to get it posted.**

My elementary school best friend, M, and I went to a movie one night when we were in about fifth grade. We had planned to see Fletch (I think), but when we arrived at the theater we discovered that Depeche Mode: 101 was playing. At that point I only really knew their song “People are People” and hadn’t really explored them much past that. After seeing 101 however, I had discovered one of my all-time most favorite bands. I can look back on sitting in that movie theater and remember exactly how it felt to be in the moment of discovery. Up to that point I hadn’t ever really found any bands that I could throw it all in with. I had a few favorites; I had discovered The Beastie Boys by then in all of their unrefined and crazy punk and early hip hop glory days. My love affair had begun with The Cure. But there was something about Depeche Mode that just romanced me like none other had before.

I am such a sucker for lyrics and the underlying beats in songs. Martin Gore constructed these songs that was driving and strong while still being inspired, honest and raw. His lyrics are just so naked. Where Robert Smith spoke to the overflowing teen angst and hopeless romantic in me, Dave Gahan singing spoke to all of me.

I know this must all sound so ridiculous and dramatic. But Depeche Mode has truly provided the soundtrack to three quarters of my life thus far. Their music is just a part of me. And they are the only band in my top 10 favorites that I’ve not ever seen live in concert. But that is going to change tonight. I’m going to see Depeche Mode, not only in concert, but in concert at Red Rocks. I bought these tickets so long ago that I wasn’t sure the actual concert would ever arrive, but tonight is the night and I cannot wait.

M and I are going out for Indian food and then going to pick up D and off we go. I’m so happy that I get to go to this concert with these girlfriends.


Unbecoming the Fixer

“If you can’t fix it, Jack, you gotta stand it….For as long as we can ride it. There ain’t no reins on this one.” – Ennis Del Mar, Brokeback Mountain

I’ve always been a fixer. I am the queen of research. Whenever I encounter a problem, big or small, I research it. I find out everything I can about it and then I put together a plan to fix it. It’s what I do. And unlike a lot of people who mostly just want people to listen while they vent, I would be more than happy if after I’m done venting someone would step in and just fix whatever it is that I’m railing about. I like quick fixes. It speaks to the instant gratification part of me. I like certain fixes; the ability to know something inside and out and then make it work for you. So much of everyday life exists in hues of gray that I deeply appreciate those times when things are black and white enough to be able to fix them.

But for the majority of life, there are no reins, no fixes. You just have to hold on and ride it out, for as long as you can stand it. And that’s the part that I’ve always had trouble with.

I think though that I’m learning how to appreciate those times where the issue at hand cannot be fixed and must only be stood. I’m learning how to use those times to my advantage. Because even if it can’t be fixed, the opportunity to thoroughly learn it still exists. The moment of being can so easily be transformed into the chance to become.

And I think that it’s taken me so long to learn this because I was so utterly attached to the action; the choice to make each moment into something other than what it already is. But this newfound faith is allowing me to see that each moment stands on its own, regardless of my action within it. It simply is, with or without my choice to act. Once I’m able to let go of the need to act, I can then know each moment in its entirety.


Fashionably Nostalgic

Do you remember powder jackets from back in the 80’s? I begged for one for about a year before my mom finally relented. It was light pink and grey. I loved it. I wouldn’t take it off for anything. I was so proud of it. I just knew simply by wearing it that my cool quotient went through the roof; making it so that I commanded all attention whenever I walked into a room at the ripe age of 9 or so. We went on a field trip one day at school and I left it on the bus. I was heartbroken.

There were several things like that growing up. I coveted Polo shirts (you could tell the real ones from the knock offs by counting the legs on the horse) and Converse shoes. Jelly bracelets and friendship pins.

The uniforms at my Catholic elementary school took the coveting out of the classroom itself, but not out of the friendships. After school and on weekends, the competition would commence. We would spend hours trading bracelets and pinning the bead-laden safety pins on the backs of our Cons. We would go to the mall with our immature selves which would do nothing but further fuel our already very mature sense of want. We’d giggle and whisper about the boys we saw in the food court while oohing and ahhing over a pair of shoes.

Of course as time went on I went from ogling the shoes at Nine West to Doc Martens. And the powder jackets retreated in the face of leather motorcycle jackets which I passed around my artist friends to paint, thus making MY jacket one of a kind. Polo shirts faded to tartan miniskirts and eventually the jelly bracelets and friendship pins merged into tongue piercings and purple hair dye.

And now I’m watching my childhood come back into fashion. With the hot pink fishnet gloves and the leg warmers, the loud patterns and colors. Jelly shoes are even back. And they weren’t even comfortable the first time. Now I shake my head and sigh at the boys we see in the food court and wonder whatever became of my old powder jacket.


Guinea Pigs on the Horizon

It feels like this year is rocketing past me. The Boy’s (and my husband’s) birthday is in about a month and I haven’t really given much thought to what we’re going to do for his birthday. Although I did open my big fat mouth a few months ago (fully counting on The Boy to forget all about what came out of it) and said that if he buckled down on his chore charts and proved that he was responsible and could follow through on that responsibility that we would get him a pet of his own for his birthday. He has indeed not forgotten. And has, in fact, totally followed through on his chores to the point that we don’t even have to help him anymore. We simply ask him to do his chores and he does them. Without complaint or missing a beat. It’s pretty cool and, even though the idea of having yet something else to take care of feels daunting, has definitely earned him a pair of guinea pigs for his birthday.

The upside to the whole guinea pig prospect is that I found an organization that rescues and adopts out guinea pigs and chinchillas. So we don’t have to buy them, we can adopt them! And that makes me very happy. We asked his Aunt and Uncle to give him a gift certificate to PetsMart to help with set up and my parents have agreed to split it all with us as well. So hopefully we’ll be able to have the cage and essentials already purchased for his actual birthday and then we can go to Denver to adopt the guinea pigs and he can use his gift certificate to pick out some toys and treats for them.

Hopefully it will work out just that easily. The Boy is planning on asking his Nana Ro and Papa Tractor for a skateboard. I wish we knew some older kids in the neighborhood that already knew how to ride a skateboard so he could have some real instruction with it instead of just having to figure it out. But I’m sure he’ll triumphantly have the scraped knees to show for his own efforts.



I have long aspired to be a freelance writer. I’ve done tons of research. I have grad schools picked out to teach me how to develop characters and polish my thoughts into shiny nuggets of literary brilliance. I would love to spend my days spinning stories and knitting together worlds that are not my own.

Here’s the problem: I don’t actually have anything to say that seems even remotely publishable. I could write until my fingers fall off about motherhood and my children. But I’m relatively sure that what I would write hasn’t already been said a hundred times before by much better writers than I. Other than that, I’m not much of an expert in anything else. Therefore there’s not much else that I could write credibly about.

I’m no Annie Proulx who has such a visceral tie to the land in Wyoming and the people who live there. Who can tell stories about people of such depth and personality that I would love to buy them a beer. I just don’t have those kinds of roots anywhere, much less where I live now.

I’m no John Irving or Tom Robbins or Christopher Moore or Wally Lamb who employ such smooth-tongued characters to tell their stories. It’s like they have some razor sharp inside view into human nature that gives them some special power to craft dialogue that demands to be remembered.

I’m no JRR Tolkien or C.S. Lewis or Phillip Pullman or J.K. Rowling who lavish their paper worlds with such immense color and fantasy. I wonder if these magical kingdoms came straight from their everyday imaginations or if by some slide of hand they were given a glimpse into a wholly other world full of spectacle and glory.

The only insight I have is into my own personal brand of crazy. The only glory gleaned from my daily life is on those days when I manage to tick off a few things on a to-do list or not to yell too much. The inherent spectacle is brought by my children and their penchant for dramatic displays.

So where does this all leave me and my aspirations? Well, writing to you, of course.


Draft Day

The draft is done. And I am pretty sure that I won’t ever be happy with my draft pick order. But overall it went pretty well. I got Peyton Manning, who is always my boy. And I fared pretty well with my wide receiver picks with Andre Johnson and Dwayne Bowe (one of my go-to guys the past two years). As usual, my running backs are going to be an ever shifting piece of my overall roster as I lost all of my top picks early in the game. I’m hip deep in rooky running backs which has usually worked out pretty well for me. I picked up Adrian Peterson my first year because I loved him as a Sooner and then I was able to pick up Chris Johnson last year right as he was busting out. This year I’m hoping Beanie Wells and Donald Brown will be break out rookies. And I was able to pick up Brian Robiskie as a back-up wide receiver who is poised to really do something crazy if he can be in the right place at the right time. And even though I’m really wishing that Brett Favre would give up the ghost and just stayed retired already, I’m counting on his penchant for using all of his available receivers to give Visanthe Shiancoe a good showing. All in all, I’m pretty happy.

One of my biggest weaknesses playing fantasy football has always been my focus on individual players instead of looking at the whole big picture within the NFL as well as across teams. And it got me this year as well with several of my players having coinciding bye weeks. So you can be sure there will some cussing come those weeks as I am deciding how to shuffle my roster. But I’ll deal with that (with choice words) as it comes.

So now I’m free for the day (even though it’s now half over) and I am debating going to see a movie and having sushi. Or just staying in my PJ’s all day and doing nothing. I can’t quite decide. Whichever I choose, it’s just nice to have a quiet house and no expectations.

8/21/09 - Gift Organization

**I thought I might get this one in under the wire, but it was 12:02 when I posted it.**

I got an unexpected surprise today. My husband and one of his friends decided to take the kids camping for the weekend. So out of nowhere I got a whole weekend to myself. I love having the house to myself every so often, although this time I do admit I don’t quite know what to do with myself. And I always get nervous when the kids go camping. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I trust my husband explicitly. It’s the wandering bear or mountain lion who might mistake my luscious blonde haired, blue eyed children as a mid-day snack. Or of an uncoordinated kid step straight into the fire. Or the odd tumble down a mountain. Those are the things that run through my crazy head when my kids go camping.

Well that and sushi. I always crave sushi when I’m on my own. Probably because I almost never get to have it so when I think of ways to pamper myself, sushi is always the first thing that jumps to my mind. And seaweed salad. Maybe for lunch tomorrow…

H is trying to get me to come to Denver and play for the day tomorrow (he tried for tonight but my fantasy football draft is tomorrow earlier than would be easy to get back here when I’ve been up half the night drinking and throwing darts). If I can talk them into sushi I may just head that way. What else am I going to do? Sit on the couch and re-watch movies I’ve seen way too many times to admit? Yeah, I really should make better use of this gift.

Instead I have been prepping for the draft tomorrow morning. Reading my favorite ESPN fantasy writer, getting my draft line-up organized so that I have everything all set-up for what I want and what I need. And I am nervous. I’m always nervous going up against these women. They are brilliant and all have the sharpest wit I’ve ever known. Plus? They are really pissed off that I’ve won the last two years. So I’m not foreseeing a whole lot of welcome from their general direction.

We shall see what tomorrow holds.


Double Gemini

I’ve always tried not to put too much stock in astrology, because well, let’s face it, it’s a wee bit woo-woo for me. But there are certain aspects that just really make sense. Like what it means to be a Gemini. My mom had my astrological chart done once and I remember her saying that Gemini was also my rising sign; making me a double Gemini. And if I weren’t the stinking poster child for what it means to be a Gemini, I probably would have dismissed it.

I most certainly have this duality. Ever present, always squabbling away in the back (or front) of my mind. Which is why I can write yesterday that I have an unfailing faith that everything will work out, and today (as the creditors have started calling) I can be freaking out and not know what the hell I was talking about. Why I can be 33 years old and still love having blue hair and wanting a new tattoo. Why I can at the same time be so afraid of getting in trouble for sending in bills late.

I have this part of me that is desperate to follow all the rules while the other side is constantly giving the middle finger to every and all form of authority.

What I think I’m trying to learn this year is balance. Because I have very marked periods in my life that were ruled by one side or the other and I’ve just never managed to see any kind of real success when I make choices without balance. I’ve been working diligently on bringing more of my life into balance. Taking it easier on myself when the scales shift a bit and then gently setting them straight. And this has been one o f the hardest years of my life. So I guess there is still a large part of me far, far away from any kind of transcendence because man am I bitter that I’m working so hard and still having it be so hard.

So perhaps my goal is balance and acceptance. Being willing to accept the fruits of my labor regardless of how unpleasant they may be.



Life just keeps piling things on. We’re 99% sure that The Girl has asthma. And she has started having abdominal migraines on top of the regular kind. Granted, if asthma and migraines are the only things she has to deal with on a long-term basis, I’ll count my blessings, but still. No three year old should have to deal with this crap.

And we discovered last night that our refrigerator sprung a leak at some point and got to the point where it had seeped through the floor into the threshold above the door to our laundry room. Who knows what the drywall/floorboard damage will be when it dries out.

The medical bills just keep rolling in from The Girl’s hospitalization and now The Boy’s concussion.

And I can feel myself teetering on the edge of a full blown pity party. I can feel myself being on the verge of tears pretty much all the time the last few days. I can feel myself being drug down by the sheer weight of it all. Even though drywall just isn’t that heavy. And it just sucks. I know that I’m stronger than all of this. I know that we are indeed being taken care of and that everything will work out one way or another. I know that I am exactly where I should be. And where I am needed. But it still sucks. And I’m tired.

There is a bit of a battle raging in me at the moment. There is the part of me that utterly and completely (maybe for the first time in my life) trusts that the universe is preparing something amazing and wonderful for me and my family. And there is the part of me that is ready to give up from absolute fatigue. It’s been a long year.

So I am trying to just listen to my heart. I’m trying to figure out how to call to me the love and support I know is there. I’m trying to just be in every moment, present and authentic. I’m trying to figure out how and what to ask for, because I’m never going to get something I don’t ask for.


Rain, Rain...

I really love the rain. I love to play in it. I love the clean smell it leaves behind. I love how it can cool even the warmest of summer nights. I love waking up the next day after a rainstorm and seeing how green and alive everything is. I love the sound of it against the windows and skylight in our bathroom. I love the rain; it makes me all cozy and introspective. I really think I should live in the Pacific Northwest I love the rain so much.

And we had the mother of all rain storms last night. It let loose just after we finally got the kids to bed with its wind and hail and rivers of water flowing off our roof. And it continued for most of the night with that level of intensity. But for whatever reason, being all wound up about not getting this job or worrying about The Girl or thinking about what I was going to do next or whatever, in conjunction with the severity of this particular rain storm, I suddenly found myself really, really irritated with the rain.

Irritated that whoever designed our house directed the second level gutter drainage right at the front door so it leaks and is slowly sinking into our doorstep. Irritated that the soft pitter patter that usually emanates from rain drops hitting our skylight turned into a loud, obnoxious din, thus keeping me awake for half the night. Irritated that today my internet and phone service are all screwed up, and yes, I am blaming it on the rain. Irritated that our recently clean dogs are now caked with mud and matted fur.

I’m well aware that I may very well be playing the rain for a scapegoat. That all of this irritation and lack of sleep could very well have nothing to do with the rain and much more to do with being disappointed, nervous and out of answers.

But regardless of whether the rain is simply an innocent bystander or a tangible illustration of my own mind state, if it’s going to stick around, I wish it would wash away the irritation while it’s at it.


Over and Over

I didn’t get the job. I didn’t get the job. I didn’t get the job. I didn’t get the job. I didn’t get the job. I didn’t get the job. I didn’t get the job. I didn’t get the job. I didn’t get the job. I didn’t get the job. I didn’t get the job. I didn’t get the job. I didn’t get the job. I didn’t get the job. I didn’t get the job. I didn’t get the job. I didn’t get the job. I didn’t get the job. I didn’t get the job. I didn’t get the job. I didn’t get the job. I didn’t get the job. I didn’t get the job. I didn’t get the job. I didn’t get the job. I didn’t get the job. I didn’t get the job. I didn’t get the job. I didn’t get the job. I didn’t get the job. I didn’t get the job. I didn’t get the job. I didn’t get the job. I didn’t get the job. I didn’t get the job. I didn’t get the job. I didn’t get the job. I didn’t get the job. I didn’t get the job. I didn’t get the job. I didn’t get the job. I didn’t get the job. I didn’t get the job. I didn’t get the job. I didn’t get the job. I didn’t get the job. I didn’t get the job. I didn’t get the job. I didn’t get the job. I didn’t get the job. I didn’t get the job. I didn’t get the job. I didn’t get the job. I didn’t get the job. I didn’t get the job. I didn’t get the job. I didn’t get the job. I didn’t get the job. I didn’t get the job. I didn’t get the job. I didn’t get the job. I didn’t get the job. I didn’t get the job. I didn’t get the job. I didn’t get the job. I didn’t get the job. I didn’t get the job. I didn’t get the job. I didn’t get the job. I didn’t get the job. I didn’t get the job. I didn’t get the job.

Dream. Scream. Cry and sigh.


Deja Vu Panic

Speaking of barking. The Girl woke up with a big, bad, barky cough this morning. She has a low grade fever. And I was immediately filled with the panic that filled most of this past winter and spring. We immediately did a nebulizer treatment with her, which didn’t seem to have any immediate effect. We’re out of the liquid steroid we usually give her when she has the croup. The only solace that I’m taking from this is that, to date, her bouts of pneumonia haven’t ever stemmed from the croup. And that her fever is not currently rising. Other than being a bit whiny and obviously feeling a wee bit punk, you wouldn’t know she was sick other than when she coughs this horrible, gut wrenching bark.

So we’re going to have to stick close to home for the day in an effort to de-rail the bark and keep her fever low. My husband is washing dogs and I am putting that panic on a very short leash because as of right now, there’s not much to worry about. We have weathered more croupy outbreaks with The Boy than I can remember. Until this past winter, I was never really afraid of the croup. It was totally manageable and not a source of fear. But now every time The Girl feels just a bit warm, or her nose starts running, or heaven forbid, she starts coughing even just a little, I spin into déjà vu panic.

But I am just trying to keep present. And realize that this is now and that was then. That just because she had one febrile seizure does not mean she will ever have another one. That just because we’ve only had about two months with her being healthy does not mean we are in for another nightmare repeat.

That I just have to keep on with this whole year’s worth of lessons: patience and having the courage to just be entirely present in whatever moment I find myself in. I have to be patient with the process of this life and with the moment. And I have to be present enough to see the fruit of that patience.

8/15/09 - Frustra-shon

The Girl and I didn’t go anywhere yesterday. We just hung out all day and played, caught up on some house stuff and relaxed. I didn’t even check my cell phone because everyone that I know knows that my cell phone lives in the car. That unless I am out and about, I don’t even give a second thought to my cell. That calling me at home is definitely the best option for getting a hold of me. Well almost everyone I know. Because when we got in the car today to go run errands, I looked at my cell to find one new voicemail. And it was from THE administrative big whig. Calling to talk to me about the position I had interviewed for. And the call had come at 9:30am on Friday morning.


So. Even though it was Saturday and I knew no one would get the message, I called him back immediately to say that I had only just gotten his message and that I would call back first thing Monday morning. I was pretty upset. But know that there’s nothing more I can do until Monday, so I’ve gone back to trying to forget about the whole thing and just enjoy my weekend with my family. It’s sort of working. My mind is running wild with imagined conversations that might have happened if I had only checked my voicemail sooner, but I’m doing my best to just not listen.

Instead I’m looking forward to delving deeper into the second season of Deadwood when the kids go to bed. And trying to come up with something purely fun to do with the kiddos tomorrow since all we did today was chores and errands. Maybe we’ll go see a movie or if it’s nice and warm maybe we’ll go to a fountain or just get in the pool in our backyard. I would just really love to have a footloose and fancy free day with my family tomorrow. It’s been a while since we’ve had one of those.

A day of fun should keep my brain on a leash. Or at the very least barking somewhere I don’t have to hear it.


Lazy Day

There is something to be said for lazy days. I mean one of my most favorite things in the world is making a to-do list and methodically checking off every last item. There is a tremendous sense of accomplishment in that, even if only in the most trivial of senses.

But every once in a while I just really like to have days where I hang out and do whatever moves me through the day. Putting on clean workout clothes and then not working out. Playing on the computer. Building Lego’s and playing board games with The Girl. Telling her how pretty she is when she gets all gussied up in her finest of princess/fairy dress up clothes and dons her fanciest tiara. It is a lovely thing to just be able to play and lounge and be without agenda. Even when I have more items than I would like to admit on my to-do list.

The Girl and I had just one of these days today and it was lovely. She curled up on the couch and slipped into sleep while watching a movie and I let her sleep while I took the opportunity to jump in the shower solo for a change. After reluctantly waking her (an easy bedtime is vastly more important than a few quiet moments in the afternoon) we spent the rest of the hour or so before The Boy and my husband got home cuddling without guilt.

Watching The Boy start school and remembering how fast time goes (and it only seems to be picking up speed) I have just been really trying to slow down and enjoy the time I have with my children as they are in every moment. And granted, some of those moments are filled with nothing more than my want to punt them for mouthing off or not listening, but mostly I am just rediscovering their joy. Focusing on the playtime instead of just what has to be done next. Recommitting, in a way, to being present and authentic in every possible way.

And trying not to count the days since my interview. Definitely not counting down the days until I might hear back.


The Gifts of Rain

The Girl and I went to “big playdate” today. I’ve been a part of a mom’s group here for years and they have had a weekly playdate at the same park, on the same day since the group’s inception. And I used to go religiously. And then life got crazy and I pretty much stopped going for the last year. But I thought now that it was just The Girl and me that it would be a fun thing for her to do again to keep up with her social interaction and get me back out into the world of friends and community.

And I don’t think it was until today that it truly sank in how very much I’ve changed over the past year. Seeing these women who used to be such intimate pieces of my everyday life and who became casualties to the deep, soul-level contraction that I put my life through over the last year really illustrated in black and white the fruits of my labor.

There was a time when I would've seen any of these women and focused only on how much thinner or prettier or successful they were than me. Or how much better behaved their children were. Or any number of other deficiencies that I saw in myself. And today as I was standing under a huge tree dodging the pouring rain with one of these women, catching up a bit after not seeing each other at all over the last year, that I realized that I wasn’t doing any of that. I was purely, and completely, focused on the simple fact that we were sharing space and it was lovely to see them. Focused on how big all of our children have grown.

I cannot tell you what a gift that realization was. To have the self-given permission to simply just be. To not have the need to hide or cover up or suck in or brush over any number of self-perceived faults and blemishes. To allow myself to be taken exactly where I am. Right now. And to be able to in turn see them for all of their glory and beauty. I love the rain.


Fantasy Research

The Girl tried to bring a baby home in her pocket today. We went to go see J’s brand new baby boy today and The Girl fell promptly in love with him. She held him several times and petted his cheeks and arms and cooed over him. She asked more than once when we could get a baby of our own; when I was going to give her a baby from my belly. “Maybe for Brother’s birthday?” Yeah. That’s a hard conversation to have with a three year old.

The Boy has been begging for a baby too. He has started double-teaming us now by not just asking me, but also asking my husband. We’re being ganged up on. It’s not really all that fair.

I also just realized today that my fantasy football draft is only 9 days away. Eek! As I believe I’ve mentioned before (and if I didn’t I sure as hell should have, it’s serious bragging rights) I am the two time reigning champion of my fantasy football league. This means a couple of things. The first and foremost is that the rest of the league is going to be seriously gunning for me this year. Last year they probably just figured it was a fluke, but then I won again (and stole the title on a rogue game that my opponent should have won), so it’s serious game on this year. And it also means that now I have some serious defending to do. I need to buckle down and get my research done so I can pad my roster with my choice rookies (assuming I don’t get totally hosed in the draft order this year like I did last year) as well as getting my top players.

I play in an all girl, pretty bad ass league made up of some of the smartest, wittiest women I know. So even the banter and trash talk can get intimidating at times. I’m pretty sure the gloves will be off this year. So I need to get all of this baby talk out of my head and concentrate on my pre-draft research already. It’s time to get my priorities in order!


And Ode to E

My friend E is one of the most amazing women I know. She has this innate sense of community and family that is so heartfelt and honest. She is strong and creative in ways that I deeply appreciate. And she is struggling right now.

She is pregnant with their third baby right now and going into it she knew that it would be a high risk pregnancy. But she got some news a couple of weeks ago that really drove home how high risk it is right now. So her mind took off in a gallop of worst case scenarios that has her reeling from a prognostic future that is much to her dislike. The prospect of having a premature baby, of her getting sick, of the baby stopping growing before he or she should are all swirling around in a cloud of fear and stress. Having to plan now for an imminent prescription of bed rest and extended time off of work only adds to the burden.

And while my heart goes out to her in this time of upheaval, what really gets me the most is that in the midst of all of this, she is still just glowing. She is gorgeous and determined and dedicated to the health of her family no matter what the future holds.

So I listened today while the kiddos played in the background; our daughters at their sweetest plotting together different ways to come and tell us how much they loved us. And gave her tissues and told her that hell yes she should be scared while sharing my own personal mantra – we all are exactly where we’re supposed to be.

I hope she was able to gain some comfort from being able to vent and cry and I hope that I was able to help her see things in a smidgeon of more positive light. Because this woman, and our friendship, mean the world to me. I adore her and her family thoroughly and I would do most anything to be of help to them. I hope that she always remembers that.

And I am glad she reads this blog, because this one is for her.


The Forgetting

I wrote thank you notes to the people I interviewed with today. And I was thinking that I’d just be able to sit down and write the suckers off the top of my head. Unfortunately for C, that is not at all how that happened. After writing two or three drafts I emailed her in a panic asking, once more, for help in the self promotion arena. And she came through, of course. She told me so very, very gently to buck up and stop writing about myself like I was a big fat wuss. And I appreciated it, I really did.

I finally got them done and sent. And now I’m just trying to forget all about it actually. I think I’ve done everything I can do. I have my fingers crossed. I’ve asked the universe to please come through on this one. I’ve got just about everyone I know pulling for me and sending all of the “she is going to get this job” vibes they can muster. I interviewed really well. I sent well written and well thought out thank you notes. Now all I can do is wait.

But for me the waiting in dangerous. Because my brain tends to take perfectly good things that I’ve done and warp them into what must have surely been crazy and totally stupid things. My brain likes to sabotage the hell out of me and my hope. It’s just mean. But true nonetheless. So I’m trying to just let it go and forget about it in the hopes that I’ll pull the plug on my brain’s power over me. So that I can look at this whole experience and know that I put everything I had into it and if I still don’t get the job it’s just because it wasn’t meant to be, not because I screwed something up as I’m sure my brain will try to tell me.

So I’m shutting it down. Willfully ignoring my brain and opting for better judgment. Yep. See here I go. Forgetting. Will you remind me that I chose to forget this when I’m freaking out in another week because I haven’t heard from them yet?


Life in the Slow Lane

**I'm sorry I dropped off the face of the earth without warning!! But I left the state and didn't have any cell service, let alone internet access. So I'm sorry these are all so late, but here they are for your reading enjoyment!**

Among several others of my most attractive personality traits, I think I’ve well documented my lack of patience. I hate waiting. But wait for a couple of weeks I shall have to do. And maybe waiting this time will be a little more bearable because I’m still full of the feeling the interview left me with as well as the joy of seeing friends. I find myself actually looking forward to the upcoming week. Having the opportunity to just hang out with The Girl while The Boy is in school. She and I having the chance to just make up our days as we go along because we have absolutely nothing on our calendar this week. It’s a rare freedom, and I’m intent on enjoying every minute of it.

So in the midst of the waiting, there is actually a whole week to look forward to. Maybe we’ll go to the zoo or the natural history museum. Or maybe I’ll take her swimming. Or just sit out on the front step and laugh as she plays in the sprinklers. I think we’ll go back to the library since she loves it so much.

I’m pretty sure that our neighborhood school starts this week, so she won’t have any friends to play with. It’s really just she and I.

This is a chance for her to be an only child of sorts. The Boy had almost three whole years of being an only child before she came along. But The Girl has never really had the experience of having all of my attention at her beck and call. And I’ve never had it to give. With the prospect of me going back to work full-time and her going to a full day daycare or preschool, the idea of being able to just be with my daughter is rather appealing.

The Boy starting first grade has really reminded me of how fast childhood passes. And with the hopeful possibility of our lives getting a lot faster and busier in the months to come, I’m going to take advantage of this slow time to enjoy my children and my life before change takes over, one way or another.

8/8/09 - Lovely Friends

Holy headache Batman. The phone ringing woke me up this morning. Startled me awake because the room I was sleeping in was completely dark so I was shocked to see that it was already 9am. I bolted upright and got smacked with a nasty headache and the night before came rushing back to me as the pain settled in behind my eyes.

I got to hang out with some of my most favorite people last night and it was so fun that I was really sad to see them all leave. We ate amazing food, drank tasty beverages, chatted and caught up and laughed loudly. It was crazy to think that it’s been so long since I’ve seen any of them. At least 6 years with most if not longer for the rest. Since then we have almost all gotten married and had kids. We all have specially requested dishes we bring to potluck get togethers. We look at our watches and gasp when it’s 10:30pm. We trade stories about what goofy things our kids have done lately instead of what goofy escapades we had the weekend before.

It was amazing for me to see how thoroughly everyone’s lives have changed, including my own, and yet how we all still fit together. I’m embarrassed to say that I think I underestimated my friendships with these lovely people. I think I thought that after that many years; surely there would be awkward moments, perhaps a touch of bitterness at the distance or length of time. At the very least a grace period to get reacquainted. But there was none of that. We still all fit together as if there was never any distance or length of time. And I am so completely grateful for that fact that it brings tears to my eyes. I love these people. And apparently they love me back. They are all just as excited as I am about the prospect of us moving back.

The only missing piece was my husband who sadly had to work. But he can rest assured that we toasted him from afar and his name was never far from the conversation. We all love him too.

8/7/09 - I Day

Today was the day. The day that started off quietly with me drinking coffee and watching the campus wake up. The day that I was so worried about. The day where I would interview with 29 people (literally) over the course of an entire day for a position I really want. And it went by so quickly it left my head spinning. Pretty literally. Driving away from campus I almost had to pull over. I felt drunk; my head spinning and totally overwhelmed. But in the best possible way. I had so much fun. And that’s an outcome that never once crossed my mind. But that is exactly what happened.

My time interviewing with the administration big whigs had me working in the vision of the position. Plans for what is to come and strategy. My time spent with the search committee and other staff members was much more focused on the concrete and nitty gritty of the day to day job responsibilities. So it was fun to go back and forth from ethereal strategic planning to specifics of how the infrastructure works. And meeting (or re-meeting) all of these people was all at the same time intimidating, engaging, lovely and left me feeling totally amped up and completely ready to start the job tomorrow. It was, without a doubt and quite surprisingly, the best interview I’ve ever had.

I was utterly me through the whole thing. I tried to strike a balance between my professional side and my family. Because both sides are extremely important to me, so I tried to leave them with that impression of me. That my life is about balance, or at the very least that is what I struggle to make it. I let myself be funny and smart. I was grateful and humble while at the same time leaving no doubt that I know exactly what I’m talking about.

I felt powerful and so completely rooted in my own strength that I didn’t really want the whole thing to end. But end it did. And they said they’d be in touch in the next two weeks. Do you think I can keep my fingers crossed for that long?

8/6/09 - Home Sweet College

I’m here. Back at my alma mater. Except that it only sort of resembles the school that I left 10 years ago. There are new academic buildings and residence halls and almost every single older building has been completely renovated. The town has also completely changed. There are bright shiny new buildings where there used to be mom and pop hotels. Old buildings have new coats of paint or shingles or siding and new names. But the shoe store I used to live over is still there. The sign is even still the same. I would love to go knock on the door just to see if it still looks the same. The old gorgeous movie theater that I always loved is still there and the people who run it are still so very, very kind (I don’t have cell service anywhere in town so I pulled in to borrow their phone). There’s a brand new hospital to replace the quaint “please call before you come so we can have a nurse on hand to help you” one that was here while I was in college and had to utilize when a kidney infection knocked me senseless.

Part of my interview schedule is a campus tour. And I was sort of dreading that part because it would mean walking around outside in the 99 degree heat in a suit for an hour. But now I am really looking forward to it. I cannot wait to see what my college has grown into and learn about where it’s going next. The campus is still so gorgeous and green and everyone is just as nice as I remember.

The HR Director took me out to dinner when I got here and I ran into an old friend outside the restaurant. I have always loved that about this small town. Everyone says hello and excuse me and thank you. And you run into friends without even trying. It was nice to see his face. And if I had cell service, we’d probably be having a beer right now and catching up.

Instead I’m sitting in this totally posh room they put me in, really looking forward to tomorrow.

8/5/09 - Prep

At this point I’m so tired of thinking about this interview that I can hardly stand it. I’ve spent the last week freaking out with nerves and suffering a massive lack of confidence. Today however, I’ve hit a wall. I’m almost as irritated with myself for ripping the confidence rug out from under my feet as I’m sure all of my friends are. I mean, seriously. How silly can I be? I’m done thinking and obsessing about it. I’m done wondering why I deserve this opportunity. I’m done trying to convince myself that I’m not really qualified for this position. I’m done questioning my abilities.

In fact, I’m so done with it all that I’m just not going to think about it at all until the day of the interview. All done. I’m cutting myself off from my currently preferred method of self-torture.

Instead I’m focusing on the drive there and getting together with all my friends after the interview. I usually listen to music while I’m driving, but I think this time I’ll get a couple of books on CD. The summer before I started college a couple of girlfriends and I road tripped to Michigan and listened to Anne Rice vampire books most of the way there and it was awesome. So I think I’ll find some good brain candy books to listen to on the 8+ hour drive back to my college. Maybe that dragon series that was written by that kid a while back that always intrigued me but I just never picked up. Or if I can find them maybe the Sonya Blue vampire books or the Sookie Stackhouse books. I’ll take The Girl to the library today to see what we can find. Wish me luck on getting her out of there again.

And I’m pulling together a big group of our old friends who still live around our college town for a bit potluck, drink a bunch of beer, get together the night after my interview. I’m so excited to see everyone I can hardly stand it! It’s been years since I’ve seen them all.

See? Full of excitement and reason. Isn’t that a nice change of pace?



I have spent the last week or so driving everyone around me completely crazy with the whole interview with my alma mater thing. Sending out entirely too many emails asking too many silly questions, full of too many silly concerns and being way too self-doubting. I’m sure they’re all ready to just write me off and be done with me after this. And I can’t say that I blame them. I’ve learned over the last several years that one of the primary qualities that people attach to me is confidence. So to see me strip myself almost entirely of confidence drives them nuts. Because I’m totally doing it to myself and it’s needless.

I find myself worrying about what purse I’m going to bring, even though the only purse I have is my every day, brown, canvas bag. Should I even bring a purse? Maybe just my briefcase? I made the mistake of looking at the weather channel to see what the forecast is looking like only to discover that it’s going to be 99 degrees on Friday and I’ll be walking all over campus. Sweltering. Sweating like a pig, looking all shiny and matted and anything but prim and professional. I have a tattoo on my upper right arm that, in the name of being prim and professional, needs to be hidden. So I have to wear a jacket over my sleeveless silk sheath. I mean my (one and only) interview outfit is seriously fierce. But I am going to have heat stroke by the end of the day. I’m pretty sure I’m latching onto all of these silly things in an effort to have something to control in all of this. Because, as I rambled on to one of my very patient friends today, at the end of the day, there is only me. And I am terrified that I will just not be good enough.

I am used to being well within my comfort zone at interviews. Talking about subjects that I know inside and out. And with this interview, I have no real idea what I’m walking into.

And I can’t remember the last time I wanted a job this badly.


He's a First Grader Now!

“Hey mom, can you tell me about Michael Jackson?” – The Boy

Here we go. The Boy is officially school age. His exposure to all things pop culture has begun. Although I must say that I’m shocked that it’s starting with Michael Jackson of all people. I mean he hadn’t started his comeback yet and his music is not in our rotation. I grew up loving him. Standing in front of the huge mirror downstairs singing along, trying to dance just a little bit less like a white girl after catching his music videos on MTV at friends’ houses. I loved him in elementary school. But Michael Jackson has not been in my regular music listening habits for years and years.

I was expecting High School Musical perhaps. Or maybe something having to do with Pokemon or some other new fangled role playing game. I was definitely expecting something I had never heard of. Instead? He comes at me with Michael Jackson. So strange. Not that I’m unhappy with it. I would rather talk about Michael Jackson than some vapid new invention someone has come up with bleed parents dry of patience and funds. It will be interesting to see what else he brings home with him.

On another totally surprised note, I expected The Boy to be flat exhausted when I picked him up from school since this is the first time he’s gone to school all day. And his school doesn’t mess around; they start school at 8am and get out at 4pm. So I totally expected him to be asleep before I left the parking lot. But in the ultimate sign that he is indeed more than ready for full day schooling, he didn’t even doze in the car. He was awake and chatting the whole time. You know, picking my brain about Michael Jackson, telling me about his science class and the girl he made friends with but doesn’t remember her name.

We’ve entered a whole new stage of child rearing. And it’s definitely going to keep me on my toes. I can’t wait to see what the weeks to come bring with them and how this new stage changes my Boy.



I have spent the last week or so having all sorts of daydreams about The Boy. He starts first grade tomorrow and that has me jumping forward into the next several years as he continues to grow and become more of an individual.

We spent all today watching The X Games on ESPN off and on. He usually would tune in intently during the skateboard and BMX parts. He asked for a skateboard more than once for his upcoming sixth birthday (and The Girl asked for a “cool new bike to do jumps with” as well).

It’s one of the strangest and most wonderful parts of motherhood for me. Speculating on what my children will do and become as they get older. Wondering if they will play sports of some sort or get more into academics or struggle or succeed. Whether they will have more friends than they know what to do with or whether they will feel lonely and outcast.

I’ve been trying to imagine The Boy in those awkward pre-teen years as I’ve watched him start to look so very, very grown up this summer. He’s so tall and his little kid body is starting to show its strength as he grows into it. He has his father’s innate balance and lack of rhythm. He has my power of movement and passing sense of grace. I just can’t quite see his face as anything more than my little boy however. I can see him doing all of these amazing things in soccer or skateboarding or biking, but I can only see him as he is now. Even though I already feel like I recognize him just a little bit less.

He’s started making up jokes and playing with words. He’s started imitating speech patterns and manners of talking in specific situations just to see what sorts of reactions he gets. His imaginative play has reached a whole new level. And I cannot wait to see what being in school all day does for his development and experimentation.

My sweet boy is growing up and I’m so excited I can hardly stand it. I hope I remember that excitement when I’m missing his cuddles.


Baby Shower

I love baby showers. And my dear friend T really should do baby showers as a side business. She just pours love and adoration over the mama to be, tiaras, coordinating tableware, really wonderful handmade favors (we all made S a plate for the baby) and all. I went to another baby shower today for a friend from college. She’s gorgeous and glowing and just looks so thoroughly happy it just makes me smile to be around her. She knows they are having a girl and they have a lovely name picked out with a super sweet story behind it.

It’s so much fun to watch the anticipation build over the months and really start peaking around the baby shower. Mamas to be start absorbing every single piece of baby advice they can get their heads around. They start asking questions and leaning in to listen to answers they never would have dreamed of waiting to hear. They cry all the time and coo over things they never would have given a second glance before. It’s so sweet and beautiful to watch these amazing friends of mine go from strong, independent women to strong, independent expecting mothers.

And I just find myself so grateful to go on even a piece of this journey with them. Motherhood so completely, irrevocably changed who I am as a person that it’s hard for me to remember life before motherhood. To have the chance to watch these ladies embrace this other part of themselves takes me back to the beginning of my own adventure.

When I so desperately wanted to know everything and didn’t. When I couldn’t wait for that moment when I got to meet my first born, but simultaneously terrified to be the adult in the phrase “use only with adult supervision.” The planning and researching and learning. How everything I was positive that I knew changed immediately upon The Boy’s arrival. And how lovely that surprise was in the end, even if it did send me reeling.

I love being a mother. And it’s such a gift to be able to share that love with these women with whom I’ve shared so much of my life.