Monthly Archives: April 2011

Wednesday’s child is full of woe

I was born on a Wednesday and whether or not that is the catalyst for it I have always been very quick to cry. And I mean quick, I don’t just cry when events turn happy or sad or emotional I cry when I know they are headed in that direction. I cry at the opening ceremonies of the Olympic games because of all the amazing potential gathered together and the idea that soon dreams will be realized or crushed, my point is it doesn’t even have to have happened yet. I was once at a business event taking place at a  hockey game where a small crippled boy with a terminal disease sung the national anthem, I cried so hard that I had to excuse myself… I cried right now just typing that line.

Thursday night when Michael left the office for good and got on that plane to Boulder Colorado I cried, my husband looked at me and said “Seriously? You’re crying for the office?” sometimes, it’s like he doesn’t know me at all. I’m just glad that he was at work this morning when I watched William & Kate get married, it got a little embarrassing even for me. My wedding was certainly no exception – I couldn’t talk to, or look anyone in the eye until about 30 minutes and several glasses of wine after the ceremony was over.

It already makes me embarrassed for my daughter because if I can cry like that for Kate & William two people I’ve never even met what’s going to happen when she gets married? Or goes to school? Or has her first recital? Or whatever?

In the meantime – I’m sorry Lucy, just tell everyone your Mother has a ‘condition.’

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If only…

A conversation with my husband:

“You know Prince William and I have the same amount of hair”
“Yes, you do, maybe you’re a prince too”

Drunk Steak guy

Last night some drunk guy came to our door trying to sell me stakes out of the back of his van, it was a notably bizarre encounter and to honor that I have composed a haiku about him:

Dirty drunk steak guy
you should put on some clean pants
no one wants your meat

strangers have the best…sushi

I have one of those faces that invite strangers (quite often really crazy ones) to talk and share things with me. I repeatedly  find myself in conversations that I shouldn’t be in while riding the subway. I’m always the one on the plane that ends up next to the chatty business man from Kansas city. I know way more information about random strangers than anyone should have to know.

When I lived downtown this started to become a serious problem, and in order to combat it I decided to become crazier than my public. I would frequently walk around Rittenhouse square having random conversations, some times quite heated ones with no one in particular. I found that, not only did people stop sharing stuff but they also stopped asking me for change – it was a win win. At one point I bought a pair of cheap ear buds ( I was much too poor to get the accompanying iPod) and I would walk around town pretending to listen to music but really just singing whatever popped into my head.

But, it’s been five years since we bought our house and moved to a neighborhood. I try hard to curb my crazy here and I have stopped talking out loud to myself – well for the most part. The point is I’m out of practice because this past Friday my  husband and I had a rare opportunity to go out on date night, it doesn’t happen often so we decided to head downtown and make a night out of it. In an effort to spice things we decided to go somewhere new and different, you know instead of for wings at Moriartie’s.

We ended up at a great new sushi place, well I assume it was new, it wasn’t there five years ago. Sitting at the sushi bar trying to decipher the menu the guy next to me leans over and says, “you look confused is this your first time?”Shoot I thought, here we go again… and thus ensued a conversation with John and his partner Mark who insisted we skip the soup, have a salad and get exactly what they had for dinner. Five years ago I would have done something to deter their unwanted suggestions – you know like meowing like a cat or yelling “honey badger don’t give a shit!” but I didn’t. I listened to how much they loved this restaurant and let them place our entire dinner order for us.

After the best freaking sushi we’ve had in a long long time – Jason looks over at me and says, “I’m so glad you still got it.”

Duh.

Lyrical misunderstandings

I’ve never been particularly adept at deciphering song lyrics. Either I completely misunderstand the words that are being used or I miss the point of the song altogether. Perhaps my best known song faux pas is John Fogerty’s “Put me in coach” which until I met my husband I believed was about flying in an airplane and my entire life I could not figure out why you would want to be put in coach, I mean wouldn’t first class be better? There’s more room up there.  It made no sense to me.

Regardless of what is says on my resume, attention to detail is not my forte.

My husband also informed me that Dio’s “Holy Diver” is not in fact, “Holy Tiger” like I think it so clearly says in the song. And B-52’s “Roam” is not “Roll” (Roll around the world… right?)

This brings me to this afternoon when I am driving home from work . Since I get exactly 15 minutes to myself all day (in the car traveling from the office to daycare) I like to blow off steam by opening all the windows, turning on the heat (cause it’s not quite warm enough yet) and blasting music (usually hip hop)  disproportionately loud. Let’s just say I often feel like Michael Bolton in the opening credits of “Office Space.” But, today, I was listening to Justin Timberlake (don’t judge me) bringing Sexy back. This is a classic example of a song where I just cant figure out the words he’s using. There is a point in the song where I’m pretty sure he’s saying “Whose your sexy Ho? Whose your sexy ho? Whose your sexy ho?” and this is what I was singing really REALLY loud, when I looked over and saw the head of the mommy group that I tried ever so hard to get into but who ultimately rejected me when I went back to work. Ugh.

Hey, Sarah – who’s your sexy Ho?

Spoiler alert: this post has no point whatsoever

I feel that my two most recent posts have been very maudlin and I need to lighten things up – that being the case I’d like to talk about the Daughter’s of the American Revolution, because nothing says light and funny quite like the DAR.

Several years ago my sister tricked me into joining the DAR, she did this through bribes of tiaras and costumes. I’m a sucker for any kind of head piece and since she promised to pay my yearly dues (for my lifetime) I reluctantly signed up.

I’m no stranger to societal organizations. I was once (also reluctantly) a Rainbow girl – which I was also talked into through  bribes of tiaras and hoop skirts (do you see a pattern here?).

The problem is my love of dressing up like a princess really conflicts with my deep seeded hatred of forced social gatherings. I have officially been in the DAR for six years now and not once have I gotten to dress up in period costumes – I have, however, been stuck in Many Many awkward forced social situations.

Now, I’m not saying the DAR isn’t a great organization dedicated to many worthwhile projects, but they lack one very important aspect – alcohol. When I watch the Gilmore girls, most of their DAR meetings take place with afternoon wine sprtizers on Emily’s patio, but not our chapter – oh no we drink mixers only – you know like soda and water… I’m not saying I need to be drunk to enjoy myself but seriously when you are hanging out with the DAR crowd listening to a Paul Revere reenactor speak for half an afternoon it certainly doesn’t hurt.  The DAR crowd, with a few exceptions, is almost entirely a group of women you wouldn’t be surprised to see on an episode of confessions of animal hoarding – you know because of all the cats… They are odd ducks to be sure.

Three years ago I was talked into attending the Pennsylvania state convention, being held in Scranton PA – you know somewhere I’ve always wanted to visit. And not only did I go but I paged. As a page you have to dress entirely in white – you have to wear gloves and fetch things for all of the older cat hoarders who are too lazy or enfeebled to get things themselves. As a page you are not allowed to sit down or eat anything (except during designated times). It was 48 hours of tortuous forced social gatherings where my feet hurt and I was hungry. You are also required to stay in a small hotel room with three other people (fortunately I got to share a bed with my sister) but most pages weren’t so lucky. I tried to put on a brave face I really did but the flask I had brought with me was too small for funnel I brought and my dream of secretly tying one on the entire weekend were hopelessly dashed.

At one point one of the more obnoxious, chipper pages says to my sister “I don’t think Becca is having any fun.” Um… duh. No one says DAR women aren’t observant.

I’m not sure what my point was to all this – I lost focus on the message I was trying to convey several paragraphs ago when my brain diverted itself to trying to locate the flask I haven’t seen since that fateful weekend. I guess what I’m trying to say is that last weekend when I learned the valuable lesson of not having multiple children my lovely sister and her husband where in Gettysburg to attend this year’s Pennsylvania State DAR convention – because that’s the difference between me and my husband and the two of them, you couldn’t get us to go without the use of a court order…

(If you are interested in joining or learning more about the DAR please visit National Society DAR or The Independence Hall Chpater  (thats my site – I made it – isnt it pretty?)  This has been a public service announcement)

What a difference a day (or two) makes

There’s been a hot  debate in our houshold ever since Lucy came into our lives… siblings? See, I think kids should have brothers and sisters around – you know to put them in their place and fight with and learn to share with and to occassionally pin to the ground and drool in the face – I believe its what makes ‘normal’ people normal. So even though I’m getting older and we live in a house the size of a small shoe I have been presenting the arguement that we really need to have more kids.

My husband on the other hand, who is, as you know much more pracical than I am takes the other side of the arguement and believes that we can raise an only child and she can still end up ‘normal’. He grew up with two cousins who were only children and they turned out  surprisingly well – I , on the other hand am not related to any only children and therefore think his cousins are total anomalies.

He also has developed this theory than since we were blessed the first time with an amazingly good, cute child who can sleep on demand and stay that way for 14 hours if need be – it’s  like we won the baby lottery.  And no one wins that lottery twice ergo our second child would end up being Satan him/herself. I have to admit that this part of his arguement is the only part that makes the least bit of sense to me.

But still we argue because we both believed we were right… and then this weekend happened.

It all began innocently enough when my sister emailed me that she and her husband were going to Gettyburg this weekend and would we mind watching her 4 year old son Sean? Sure, I said – I mean at the time of the email it was way into the future and I figured anything could happen to prevent this from occuring – besides you never know when you, yourself has to take off to Gettyburg and drop your child off for a weekend with her aunt.

But nothing happened – no rampant Philadelphia wildfires or alien invasions and late Friday afternoon Sean was dropped off at our house. Let me pause here and say that Sean is a great kid, a fantastic one actually, he is quiet and respectful and able to entertain himself and put on his own shoes, he’s wonderful but he’s still 4.

He was here exactly 48 hours  and I’m ready stick an ice pick in my eye, I really am not sure why anyone would do this to themselves. My theory is that everyone out there with more than one child never had the opportunity to babysit more than one kid while they were trying to decide to have more.

After everyone was tucked into bed last night Jason & I sat in the livingroom, looked at each other and said “So – thats it then.” A huge wave of both relief and despondency flew through me. We toasted our decision with a 2/3 of a bottle of single malt scotch and I decided our daughter will also be an anomaly, and this way I’ll now have room for lots more shoes…

Hero Worship

Yesterday I attended a University symposium on the problems facing urban populations they covered everything from childhood hunger, comprehensive healthcare, sustainability, urban violence and AIDS. And as I sat there listening to these speakers who have dedicated their lives and careers to helping others, I than had this conversation in my head:

I really need to do something more meaningful with my life

you probably don’t make a lot of money handing out free healthcare services to the indigent population of our city

I really like the lifestyle that I have created for myself

Some people don’t have any kind of lifestyle – they deal everyday with housing and food uncertainty

Yeah but if I start handing out food to the poor how will I ever get my house in the suburbs so Lucy can attend a good school?

You’re so incredibly selfish 

Shut up

I would like to say that this is the first time that the voices in my head have argued this same point, but who among us hasn’t wanted to do something more heroic with their life? But if it were possible for us all to be heroes than who would we even be helping?  I’m going to write a check to Philabundance to clear my conscience and try and keep my own family healthy and safe – sometimes thats all we can do.

Non sequitur babbling

I realize that I am getting old and out of touch because when I flip through the People magazines in our breakroom at work I only recognize about a quarter of the people in it. I’m also pretty sure that there are several commercials on TV featuring celebrities trying to sell you things, but I’m never sure if they are celebrities or just TV commercial actors, I’ll look at my husband and say “Is that someone we should know who that is?”, and my husband who is even more out of touch with this stuff than I am will stare blankly in response, give me about 5 seconds of eye contact before he buries his head back into his laptop and (I imagine) wonders for the umpteenth time how I tricked him into marrying me.

~

Another realization I have come to recently is that no matter what I do – my hair will never be shiny and bouncy like the women on TV that use the same shampoo I do, I buy a lot of products, sometimes really expensive products and at one point in my life worked at a hair salon where we sold ubber expensive products and even then I was not bouncy or shiny…  I have finally come to the conclusion that unless I can go back in time and somehow add some Hawaiian ancestry into my gene pool this is never going to happen so I’m going to start saving my money.

~

This morning I was getting ready for work and I decided to dress up – you know in a dress and everything and searched through the bottom of my closet for a pair of black heels, I had them on for about 10 minutes and remembered why they were buried in the bottom of my closet in the first place.

 When I was getting ready to leave for work I took a minute and fished my worn and tired ballet flats out of the shoe pile near our front door, my husband and I had this conversation:

Him: Are you looking for shoes?

Me: Yup

Him: But you have shoes, right here, you just had them on.

Me: Yup

And as I pulled on my ballet flats and stuck the heels in a bag to bring to the office I thought about explaining to him that the heels had a 30 minute window and I would take them to work and keep them under my desk and if I’m called into the Dean’s office, or if say Ed McMahon shows up with a crazy big check for me and a TV crew I will quickly step into them and hurry from my office. I wanted to tell him how there is no point in being in pain unless someone you care about sees you and think it makes your legs look longer, and since I never run into anyone I care about in the parking garage why would I do that to myself. But then I thought, he’s a man who wears doc martins to work he’s probably not really going to understand anyway.

A love note in binary

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1011101110000011010011011011010110101001010101011101010101100001010111010110101000101010100101010111111111110000

001101110001010100011000101010101110101010110000101011101011010100010101010010101011111111111000000110111000101

01000110001010101011101010101100001010111010110101000101010100101010111111111110000001101110001010100011000101

010101110101010110000101011101011010100010101010010101011111111111000000110111000101010001100010101010111010101

01100001010111010110101000101010100101010111111111110000001101110001010100011000101010101110101010110000101011

10101101010001010101001010101111111111100000011011100010101000110001010101011101010101100001010111010110101000

101010100101010111111111110000001101110001010100011000101010101110101010110000101011101011010100010101010010

1010111111111110000001101110001010100011000101010101110101010110000101011101011010100010101010010101011111111

111000000110111000101010001100010101010111010101011000010101110101101010001010101001010101111111111100000011

011100010101000110001010101011101010101100001010111010110101000101010100101010111111111110000001101110001010

100011000101010101110101010110000101011101011010100010101010010101011111111111000000110111000101010001100010

101010111010101011000010101110101

Spring has Sprung

It is currently 78 degrees in downtown west Philadelphia, and in an effort to take a break from email I decided to go for a walk around campus – I headed straight to Starbucks thinking wistfully about a vanilla latte but as I was standing in line it hit me, its smoothie season, SMOOTHIES, so I immediately left the coffee haven and leisurely strolled to the closest smoothie bar. Soon we’ll be in sandals with toenails painted, eating lunch outside.

I love this time of year when everything is in a state of rebirth and renewal and the dogwood trees are blooming and the daffodils are up, it reminds of being a kid and the physical rush of unbridled excitement when you realize you can go play outside, outside, without a coat, or snow pants or mittens – just you, your bare feet and new shoots of grass.

I can’t wait until Lucy understand how cool spring is, until we can stay up late and catch fireflies and tuck her into bed with her window open.

OCD update

I thought it was weird when I started only being able to walk on the dark squares on the diamond patterned rug at work, and then last night I realized I couldn’t go to sleep without turning over three times to the left… I would be worried about these things but who has the time for that? I really need to go wash my hands again…

on traveling…

Just a few years ago – when I was 19 – I packed up everything I owned into one suitcase and one backpack, I bought a carton of Marlboro lights and a 12 pack of mountain dew and I moved myself from Pennsylvania to California – by train… Three days on the Amtrak Sunset limited with less than $20 in cash and for 72 hours I sat in a seat (no sleeper car for me) and dreamed of my new life in San Diego. I survived seven years with what I brought with me…

And then last week I went to Florida for a week – I took a suitcase of equal size, a diaper bag much bigger than my backpack and a small umbrella stroller. Lucy & I flew on a plane for 2.5 hours, and it was just about all I could take and you know what? I still had to go shopping because 3/4 of that suitcase was her stuff & and one point I really needed another pair of pants…

Before I became a mother I thought parents where crazy for buying so much stuff for their kids – I mean babies are small they should only need small things and not that many of them, right? I was sure everyone was crazy and since I live in a small house I figured I would seriously limit what we needed.

What I’ve learned since then… its not just toys, it’s things to keep them safe, things to keep them clean, things to help them eat… kids need stuff – lots of stuff and sure Lucy probably has twice as many toys as she probably really needs but I blame that on her overzealous grandmothers.

Kids need stuff – they need it at home and they need it away from home… I guess my days of 3 day train trips with nothing but the clothes on my back are just as long gone as my days of smoking… Once I thought that prospect would make me sad, but I wouldn’t give any of it up for anything – who cares if there’s no where to walk in my house and traveling  now requires a pack mule and extra handlers – at least I get to pre-board…