This blog is now retired. My new site is at: Predictably Irrational.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

SPoD - Interactive Pizzas

Saturday was a trip to the library. I've been on a reading frenzy and have been averaging two books every two weeks. I've been very lucky to have found excellent books to read so it's been easy to breeze through them. It helps to have swim practice time to read too. :)

This time I took the girls. Last weekend they didn't volunteer to join me. While I didn't force them to go, it was strongly encouraged and the note I left for them the day before seemed to help.

MiMi picked up some books on Canada (more on that in another post...*I hope*) and I was pleased to see that CJ picked up two thick novels.

I picked up three books off my goodreads "to read" list. Most of them were not available at the Leesville library but #17 The Handbook for Lighting Strike Survivors: A Novel, #29 The Tower, The Zoo, and The Tortoise and #34 Me and You were there. You have no idea what great restraint it takes for me to limit it to just three books. But the idea of having overdue books stresses me out. And it's more like a strategy for me: read these within a two week period and turn around and get two to three more and start over.

This, of course does not include the one book I have requested through interlibrary loan: #55 You Don't Have to Say You Love Me is on request from another library. I actually requested three books but the other two were turned down. So #54 The Woman He Loved Before and #5 Me Before You are on order from Amazon. Plus, I'm waiting for Tim to finish #8 Before I Go To Sleep.

Am I obsessed with reading? You betcha.

Before our trip to the library, we had stopped at Bed, Bath and Beyond (Every time I think of that store, I remember Last Comic Standing and Jay London saying: "I work at Bed, Bath, and Beyond. I work in the Beyond department."). I picked up a pizza stone for our planned evening of "interactive pizzas" at my BFF's house.

Earlier in the week, Tim had asked me to ask my friend Sam(antha) if he could look at her bathroom. Strange request you may think but we've seen her bathroom before...after she had some major remodeling done. And Tim is doing a similar job now and wanted to look at her tile job for his own work. So my brilliant friend decided to have us come over for dinner, to give him the opportunity to look at the tile.

Sam has a 'stepson', so I had the girls grab a couple of movies for them to watch while we were over there. We've been over there before and, weirdly, the three of them just sit together and say nothing to one another. The entire evening. I cannot relate. Even as an only, lonely child, I could manage to strike up a conversation with someone. I gave stern advice: Talk to him. Strike up a conversation. He is a boy and you are two pretty girls. He will be more nervous and awkward. Plus, this is more of what me and your dad have been trying to teach you about life skills: socializing. You don't have to be best friends - just _talk_.

Before we left, we set up our video camera to try to catch Brenna the dog in action. We haven't crated her because Tim thinks it's cruel to leave her crated in the basement, while the little dogs are crated upstairs. I don't. But whatever.

She's been allowed free range of the house, along with, who I think is the real culprit, Sunkist the cat. So when we are gone for a length of time, upon returning home, we have found: vegetable oil, panko, soy sauce, a jar of relish, muffins, rice, etc. taken into the TV room. It is not fun cleaning some of this stuff up (the jar of relish was not opened; even dogs have a hard time unscrewing that top). We decided we wanted to see how these two were conspiring...

Interactive pizzas was great. Sam had set out a great spread for us to each create our own individual pizzas: leeks, goat cheese, homemade mozzarella, fresh from her garden arugula (my very favorite), spinach, fresh from her garden yellow tomatoes, pancetta, pepperoni, mushrooms, fresh made tomato sauce, bacon bits (real, not from a cardboard box), and other stuff. I couldn't stop eating the fixins' before the pizzas were made. :)

She also made a fresh corn salad with 'raw' corn, basil, cherry tomatoes and balsamic vinaigrette. That was also great to snack on before the meal, while sipping my sangria (which she makes really well too).

The kids made their pizzas first and went back downstairs to enjoy Footloose. I would later learn that this movie was not as good as the other movie they were watching, 21 Jumpstreet, which we would stop them from watching because it would be time to leave. I would be blamed because I was the one that told them to start with Footloose...the PG13 movie. Jumpstreet being R but being the better, funnier one. But *I* was trying to be the good parent...

I can't remember the number of permutations of pizzas we made with the toppings but every single one of them were so good. I discovered that I really love leeks too and will be adding that to my repertoire of, not only pizza ingredients, but to my cooking. We had a great time, as always, and almost forgot to look at the bathroom.

In the end, I was fat and happy. The girls never talked to J., the stepson. And Brenna and Sunkist decided that the camera being present was far too risky to try to steal anything from the pantry.

Friday, June 29, 2012


Friday was pretty benign, which is GREAT for me. I need benign days. My shot from two days ago seems to be working (I will be writing about that, I hope, soon. My SPoDs will be out of order, as I try to catch up). The neck pain is definitely gone; the head rushes, unfortunately, are not. More on that in a previous (upcoming) post.

I skipped morning swim practice and let MiMi know the night before. It's nice to have one sleep in day. For me. She, not surprisingly, can handle it and handles it well even though she is most happy about NOT going in to practice in the morning. She rarely puts up a fight about going in to practice at 8AM. Not so during the school year to get to school at 9:15.

CJ has been the camp counselor - and we've been paying her to do that - this year. She's responsible for taking care of MiMi, feeding her, entertaining her, as well as keeping basic chores done around the house. Nothing overbearing. But it also includes _her_ well-being. One of the important activities is to read. Everyday. It's hard to believe, for me, that one doesn't want to read. I am, have always been, even as a young, young child, an avid, voracious reader. Tim too. The idea of having (figuratively) unlimited hours to read books is heaven. I cherish every moment I can make to read now, so it's disheartening that my girls aren't READING. Tim has been hounding them to read and I left them a note this morning, reminding them to read. Plus, it's part of CJ's duties as the camp counselor. We told her that there could be a raise in pay if she impressed us with her skills...and she has, but she hasn't followed up on all of them, this being one of them.

Later that afternoon, I got a text message from MiMi about reading my blog instead. Generally, she is my reader. CJ is the one that's hardest to get to read. She goes in spurts. I'm surprised when she's reading books that are 'required' from school, as she describes something from a storyline and I'm just like, WOW.

Anyway, this is how the dialog goes. We briefly discuss what she can read, and then the time span, as you can see, goes with the incessant: is swim practice still on? This happens at home. With anything. For something she wants or doesn't want. "When is dinner?" "Not until later." About 30 minutes later. "Is dinner ready?" "No." Fifteen minutes later. "When will dinner be ready?" "Not until about an hour or so. When I start preparing it. Then it'll be another hour." "BUT I'M HUNGRY." "Have a snack." "I don't want a snack!" "Then you'll have to wait for dinner." "When will dinner be ready?"
Time passes. Work consumes me. Then I get another text from MiMi. I forget time. There is a time gap between my text that says 'probably' not to her saying 'i have my bathing suit on'. By then, as I always do, I over-think and feel guilty "I should stop working and take her to swim practice. I have time. I can do it. Just stop now. I can get groceries after swim practice. No problem. We missed this morning's practice; she should go tonight." I am manic.

Then, of course, she sends the bathing suit text and that does it. I leave - it's about 10 to 5PM. There's little chance that I'll get home and get her to swim practice by 5:30 but as previously stated, I run five minutes behind so I'll get there by my five minute behind schedule.

Of course, she's bluffing and I knew that all along. :) But whatevs, I was going to play her game and teach her a lesson. But as soon as I got outside to walk to my car? Holy fucking shit. It was like breathing in an oven. I mean, not that I ever did but I guess that's what it feels like. No wait. I have breathed in a sauna and well, that is pretty freaky. I have to remain calm in there. And THAT's what it felt like. There was no way I was going to have her out there, despite the fact that she'd be in the pool. And on top of that, *I* would have to be out there. And as over-thinkers do, I thought "but the coaches will be out there! surely *I* can be out there if they're going to be out there!" Yeah, that lasted one second and I was like "fuck that".

I made it to the grocery and got my essentials for the evening and then some. I was so looking forward to making little time outside while carting my stuff to the car. I noticed leakage coming from one of my bags. WTF? I think that one of the six pack of sodas burst from the heat. Seriously. What else? I watched the bagger carefully bag everything. That only meant I had to walk _back_ in that heat to get new six packs. But it was my only conclusion which I later heard from Tim that some parts of I40 had actually buckled from yesterday's record breaking heat.

How's that for my benign Friday?

Thursday, June 28, 2012

SPoD - June 28

This is a great shirt. I ordered it from the band Fun.'s website. They will be at Osheaga, the music festival we'll be at next month. I have their latest album, Some Nights. I love it. Some of their songs remind me of Queen; others remind me of Elton John.

CJ works on an old pair of jeans and makes them into jean shorts. They turned out AMAZING. She had tweezers to give them a distressed look.

And here's our little Ricky, just chillin'.

The Last Letter from your Lover by Jojo Moyes

I have been finding GREAT book recommendations from the Wake County Book A Day Staff Pick, which is where I recently picked up this one. The great thing about the staff picks are that they run the gamut of genres. I picked up Juliet and The Talk-Funny Girl from these blog posts, and many others. And usually, they are available almost immediately and not on a long waiting list, like other 'staff' picks. And those other 'staff' picks are what's on the NY Times top ten lists and EVERYBODY is reading them. As usual, I like what is good that EVERYBODY is NOT reading. And that's what librarians in Wake County apparently do best: read quality,"un"popular books. Right up my alley.

And this one is no different. Wow. Wow. Wow. A gem. I absolutely fell in love with this book right away. And coincidentally, I just got one of the popular books off the waiting list, Before I Sleep, after being on the waiting list for well over three months, but gave it to Tim to read so I could dig into this one.

Both have a subject matter dealing with amnesia. That's as far as I know about Before I Sleep (and that's all I want to know because I *do* want to read that when Tim finishes).

In Last Letter, Jennifer Stirling wakes in a hospital after being in a car accident. Her husband is by her bedside, and they both look at each other in strange ways. She doesn't recognize him; he doesn't recognize the way she looks at him.

We slowly learn about the accident, about who Jennifer is. We learn that she feels violated when her husband has sex with her but she thinks, that's what she's supposed to do. Eventually, she finds a letter...a letter from a lover...addressed to her. And she starts rummaging for more letters. She finds more - these well-written, full of passion, love letters to her, from a lover signed "B."  She has no idea who B. is and tries to figure out who he might be in their small circle of friend.

The era is mid-1960s. She's a beautiful woman married to a wealthy man but her role is to be quiet, host parties, and be pretty. She shouldn't work, have an opinion about what's going on in the world, or in her husband's business, and her husband has no problem 'nipping it in the bud' publicly if she dares says a thing...which she does as the amnesiac Jenny.

The book takes us back and forth in time: before the car accident, where we meet B. and Jenny and the passionate love affair, and after the accident, when Jenny is trying to figure out the pieces of her life, who she is/was, what her relationship is with her husband, and then, who is B.

I love the storyline of a married woman having an affair. Although, it's in the 60s where it's even MORE taboo, Jennifer Sterling is a pretty strong-minded woman dealing with her own path to happiness vs. what families expect their daughters to be back then: just married to good husbands without a care of whether they should be happy in life.

But it's also a story of star-crossed lovers. The accident occurred when Jennifer was leaving her husband to meet B., as he left for New York (this takes place in England). She never made it; he thought she stood him up to stay with her husband. Four years went by before they found each other again and re-kindled the affair but unfortunately, Jennifer had a child and, again, fate kept them apart. Or did it?

At this point, the novel goes 40 year ahead to 2003, where a news reporter stumbles upon these letters and decides to find out what happened to these star-crossed lovers. Did they marry? Did B. turn his back? Did Jennifer return to her husband? Moyes keep us guessing until close to the end, and introduces us to Ellie, the reporter who is also having an extramarital affair.

It's truly a wonderful story of love and passion and poetic and just beautiful. These novels are what make me grateful for writers that can bring such a journey for me into another era.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

SPoD - Pain In the Neck Part II (June 27)

My neck issues have returned, after believing that they had been dealt with back in February. But for whatever reason (stress, accident, just never really went away), it returned and the week of June 10th was *the worst*. June 14th was especially horrible for me (and I played sand volleyball with CJ after feeling royally horrific).

As I mentioned in previous posts, my symptoms include a feeling similar to a head rush except that I'm not coming from a sitting or lying position, and suddenly jumping to a standing position to allow the blood to rush to my head. At its worst (around the end of the week of June 10th), the mini-head rushes come like contractions: I was in a class, sitting, and they came, every five minutes. I usually clench my hands into fists, to dig my nails into my palms, in order to keep me from 'passing out' or actually, panicking from the feeling that I feel as though I'm going to pass out.

I 'know' I'm not going to since I have had these symptoms often enough that I have yet to pass out. But it affects my brain, my language, my thinking. And then the emotional side effect of "WTF is wrong with me?'

So I went back to the pain doctor and we agreed to try the cortisone shot again. Even knowing how painful this was for me the first time, I was ready to go through it again. And I am a girl with a very high tolerance of pain. Not just because I went through a year of getting a tattoo but because I go through years of chronic pain and play with it. I played sand volleyball, for satan's sake, in one of the worst state's I've ever been...and I had a blast despite it. Am I bragging? Hell yes. I can't believe I did that but I did it for CJ and I'm thankful for her that got me to do it. Otherwise, I would have been lying in bed IN PAIN vs. playing volleyball, laughing, having fun, momentarily forgetting that I was in pain.

Tim came with me this time because last time, no one told me how 'serious' getting a cortisone shot in the neck was and that I needed a driver after the procedure. When I got to the prep room, I got this shot of the men working, which was just perfect. I was so worried, while the nurse was getting my vitals, that they would leave before I could get this picture. I had to sneak out and get it, hoping no one would stop me, nor would alert the men that I was taking their picture. I love it.

The procedure was much better than the first time; probably because I knew what to expect. It was still painful and it still took the day to recover from the pain.

The first time I had it done, I also had a new prescription and I wasn't in as much pain as I am in now. It wasn't as straightforward to figure out if the shot worked and the doctor, based on my feedback, decided that my new diet and prescription was helping me, not the shot.

I could tell almost immediately that my neck pain was feeling so much better. But my doctor wants me to see a colleague of hers, a headache specialist who is a neurologist. I'm glad. It will get wearisome when I start hearing the same thing I've heard before, which is "everything looks normal; we don't know" because you feel like people don't believe you and that there is no 'cure' to fix what's ailing me. But then again, there's no deadly disease: I don't have a tumor, I don't have an aneurysm, I don't have lupus. Isn't it weird how we want to hear _something_ but we also don't?

So, we'll see. Another bout of a lot of tests? I don't know but it's another phase I'm ready to tackle.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

SPoD - A Beautiful Day, A Mattress, and A Swim Meet (June 26)

This was a beautiful day. And this is a picture of my view as I walk into my building from the parking lot. Not bad, eh?

Tim got me started with my fascination with vehicles and mattresses. I can't always snap a shot but I see one nearly every other day. Truly. Vehicles that you would never think should be toting a mattress across town, are.

I got lucky and was able to capture this one, with more than just a mattress. He just couldn't stop with a mattress. He got the whole kit-and-caboodle. Except the box springs.

Tuesdays are swim meet times and this day, we were at Springdale, which is infamous for having bees. Last year, MiMi got bit not once, but TWICE. During MOR (Marlins of Raleigh) in May (swim stroke clinic to get ready for summer swim team), Tim complained about Springdale to the swim coach and one of the parents was like "that's our pool!" Oops. I'd find a different pool.

Monday, June 25, 2012

SPoD - Monday, Monday

So I'm pretty behind on my Summer Photos of the Day but I'll backtrack and catch up on those. In the mean time, I'll start with today and try not to get too far behind (again).

The start of a new week brings the same routines:

First, morning swim practice (8AM). This works out well for me. I can drive MiMi to the pool, sit and read (today's novel is The Last Letter from Your Lover - WONDERFUL book), drop her back at home after practice then head on to work.

Monday morning means 10AM department meeting, so I head to the building that my meeting is held. This is not where my office is in, so I'm literally mobile. I run into a few friends and catch up with them, which puts me right on time for my meeting.

Knowing that the rest of my day will be frantic, I bow out of my scheduled run, which makes me sad. I don't like to miss my workouts but I realize that there is no way I can make it all work after really assessing my schedule. Unfortunately, it was the right decision.

I get a lot of work done before I leave for the day, and head over to pick up a bag of fresh farm goodies from my friend Elizabeth's office. As usual, I find myself running 'five minutes' behind. CJ has a 3PM orthodontics appointment that I need to get her to and it's 2:20 by the time I leave work and I have to drive through Cary, get to my house in Raleigh (~10 miles away but a good 20 minutes with traffic lights), then drive across town to the ortho office.

Thankfully, and without speeding (I don't speed), I make it to the orthodontics office and I'm only five minutes late. I told you, I'm always five minutes behind! I got lucky that traffic is pretty light around 2:55 and I just so happened to have the traffic light gods in my favor.

Afterward, CJ asks for a smoothie and I can't resist. The girls have been home all day and it can't be fun getting wires put in your mouth, tightened and all that stuff. So I head to McDonald's and get them a couple of smoothies. After this, I hit the grocery store to grab the last few ingredients I need to get dinner ready, with my farm fresh veggies from Elizabeth.

"Just keep swimming! Just keep swimming!"

Finally, home sweet home. I think "It's only 3:50, maybe I can get a nap in before the afternoon swim practice." But I realize that really can't happen since I still have a few more things to do before I turn around and head back out to the pool.

First, I get my taters ready to roast for later, when I make dinner. I followed Ina Garten's recipe for Rosemary Roasted Potatoes. Purrrfect - my own rosemary too.

I had just enough time to do that, plus water my plants, then we had to head out -- five minutes behind. This is why I used to set my clock five minutes ahead but my kids set my clock to the exact time...

So we're back at the pool for 5:30 practice at 5:35. I get to read more of my fabulous novel. This book will be done fairly quickly. I can't wait because I have Gone waiting right next to my bedside and I have three more requested from other libraries that I hope will be coming VERY SOON.

MiMi finishes and plays about 15 minutes more with her friends then we head home where I start roasting potatoes, boiling green beans (for five minutes to saute later), then pounding chicken breasts for lemon chicken. After barely an hour, dinner is served and we have a fabulous meal. I can hardly believe I have the energy to type all this stuff up now but I do. The coffee helps. As well as the satisfaction that another day has been put behind me that I managed to get everything done. And only five minutes behind.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

SPoD - Mexican Night

CJ had been craving the 'mexican place by Crabtree' for the past week and we promised her we would take her there. But our weekend ended up being the party weekend with us going out Friday night with Sam and Joe, then the Luau on Saturday. We told her that it would have to be Sunday for her Mexican Food Fest, since she guilt us into saying it was her birthday dinner...being that we were at MiMi's swim meet for her birthday.

The restaurant is called La Rancherita and it's one of our other favorite mexican places to go to. It's not like the other Speedy Gonzales places - the food is actually tasty. And it's slightly cheaper than Dos Taquitos but has some of its own unique dishes too. The service is fast, efficient and always nice. I love the staff except I have to be careful using my extremely limited spanish because they end up with conversational spanish and then I'm lost.

CJ is my picky eater but eating here, or making her tacos, makes me happy because SHE is happy. She gobbles down taco after taco after taco (like three to four). Isn't that grand??? :)

Saturday, June 23, 2012

SPoD - Luau

Saturday wasn't full of activity for us after our Friday Fun. I actually didn't feel that too hung over (surprisingly) but I still didn't feel great from the neck/head pain I had been suffering from for several weeks.

I felt well enough to do some clean up but I didn't feel like going to the neighborhood Luau that we had signed up for several weeks before. We usually don't do these social events but we decided we needed to be more social at our pool FOR THE SAKE OF OUR CHILDREN. Mainly for MiMi, who is our little swimmer and seemed to be following our footsteps: show up for practice, swim, leave. Show up for swim meet, hang out with us, swim her heat, come back to us, swim her next heat, come back to us, then go home. No socializing with her teammates. We thought if we socialized, we would meet other families with kids on the swim team, which would help her socialize more. It's sort of working. Baby steps...

But I noticed that there would be over 150 people signed up to attend our luau and, well, that's a lot of people and I don't do so well with so many people. But, we paid for it already and it would be our dinner...and the girls were excited about us getting out of the house for the evening. Plus, we could just go, show up, eat, mingle, and get back home. We didn't have to drink -- god knows I did NOT want to drink. And I did look forward to seeing the few people I had already met at the last social I attended at our pool.

Success! Tim and I met a new couple, who seemed pretty darn cool. We spent the evening chatting with them, talking about how we make our kids do chores, how she (Cindy) runs too and how her husband used to run a lot. They lived on a road that we made two offers on homes (but were outbid).

The food was great: southern barbecue. Not really typical luau food but hey, we're in the south and southern barbecue at a luau seems appropriate here. The decor was nice and if there were over 100 people, they came well after we left as we stayed only about an hour or so. We just weren't in the party mood but enough to mingle, socialize, enjoy some hula dancing, food and the decor.

Addition by Toni Jordan

As always, this will be full of spoilers to quoting the very end of the book.

This was a perfect summer read. And when I got to the part that said "On the way home it seemed natural to count my steps from the school gate, down the path, over the footpath, across the road, along the street at the bottom of the hill, across another road, up the hill and then into our yard: 2, 827." I knew I was going to love it.

And I did love it. Although it sort of scared me because I found myself relating too much with this *fictional* character who has obvious psychological OCD issues that are *fictional*. But for the most part, these *fictional* issues are much more severe than any real MILD counting, over-thinking things that I do.

Nonetheless, the story about Grace Lisa Vandenburg is so fun. She counts everything. Obsessively. It's funny. She has a routine. She gets up at a certain time every day. She goes to a certain cafe at a certain time every day. When she gets there, she selects a table, starting clockwise, and will then order a slice of orange cake, which is sprinkled with poppy seeds. She'll count the number of poppy seeds sprinkled on top and that number will be the number of bites it will take her to eat the cake.

One day Grace's number game is off, when at the grocery store, she discovers that her typical buying of things in 10s is thrown off when she is in a long line at the checkout with only 9 bananas. Because her OCD makes her a bit anxious, she's not sure what to do...vs. just getting out of line and getting a 10th banana. She notices that a patron behind her, who is reading the paper and paying no mind, has a lone banana in his basket so she steals his banana to make her shopping, and her obsession, complete.

He, naturally, confronts her banana stealing in the parking lot and after she proclaims that the banana really isn't his but the store's until purchased, they separate until a few days later, when she finds another anxious moment and finds her cafe routine disrupted by being full. Her 'i-stole-his-banana-from-his-basket' 'friend' sees her and waves her to his table, to which she reluctantly joins, and he soon discovers her eccentric eating habit, as she divides her orange cake into X-many slices and eats quickly and leaves...but not after he asks her out on a date.

And this is where we really get to know Grace and her OCD and how it can interfere with her life. Banana man is amazing - and too good to be true - and makes this book a great summer read by giving me butterflies in my tummy. Grace is yet another wonderful character that can't be soon forgotten. Her quirks are endearing, but also demanding and hard to understand how they take control of one's life. These are those things you hear about in OCD people: the 'i have to wash my hands "x" many times', or 'do this x many time'. It's sad and funny and scary and relieving how I can and cannot relate: OMG, I do that BUT I don't HAVE to do that.  But will there be a time when I HAVE to do that???

A great read and I'll add Toni Jordan to my list of authors for good summertime reads. There are many, many profound moments she writes and here are a few of my favorites.

Grace has a close relationship with her niece Hilary, who she calls Larry. Larry is telling Grace about her new best friend and their plans about going to college and sharing a flat, and dealing with her own mother:
"She's great. She's got black hair. When we leave school we're going to college together and we're going to share a flat and do anything we want. Stay up all night if we want. Have Kit Kats for breakfast if we want."
"Sounds like fun. Kit Kats contain three of the five food groups: chocolate, sugar and chocolate."
"Do you think we will? Share a flat I mean?"
"Why not?"
"Mum says I'll have a hundred more best friends before I'm 18."
Helpful. "Your mother doesn't understand. Sometimes you meet someone and your life changes forever."
Love it. At 43, I can still relate to those feelings of angst at that age.

Later, on a date with banana man at Larry's recital, she reflects this, with all her numbers (and over-thinking):
But a demanding job isn't the only reason to be childless. There's overpopulation. Global warming. Think of the environmental impact of disposable diapers - 8,000 diapers per baby and 500 years for each one to decompose, in Australia, a baby is born every 2 minutes, so 262,800 per year, times 8,000 nappies 2.1 x 10 to the 9th power. And that's not the worst bit. Feeding it. Clothing it. Being responsible for another person's life. For their whole existence. Get your head around that. There are a million great reasons not to have children. 
But sitting here at the recital, holding hands with Seamus and watching Larry play the violin, it's easy to forget them all. She's at the back of the stage, and now that she is lined up with her orchestra mates, it's apparent she doesn't look like the rest of the girls. Her hair is messy and still its natural color, a sandy straw. She doesn't wear any eye makeup or lip gloss. She's not grinning at parents in the front row. Her tongue is between her teeth. Every stroke of her bow is deliberate, precise. She's wonderful.
And lastly, the best quote is the last, a gift to Larry:
And all this time I never lecture her. I give her no avice, tell her no analogies or homilies. I compare her with no one. Because there are some thing you must find out for yourself. But if there was just one thing that I could give to this beautiful child - just one thing I could hand her, wrapped in shiny paper and finished with a stiff bow, this is what I would tell her. 
Most people miss their whole lives, you know. Listen, life isn't when you are standing on top of a mountain looking at the sunset. Life isn't waiting at the altar or the moment your child is born or that time you were swimming in deep water and a dolphin came up alongside you. These are fragments. 10 or 12 grains of sand spread throughout your entire existence. These are not life. Life is brushing your teeth or making a sandwich or watching the news or waiting for the bus. Or walking. Every day, thousands of tiny events happen and if you're not watching, if you're not careful, if you don't capture them and make them count, you could miss it. 
You could miss your whole life.

Friday, June 22, 2012

SPoD - Friday Fun

Friday didn't start out so fun.

Unbeknownst to me, an accident caused a major traffic jam on the way into work. Normally, this would not bother me as I can just coast in. But NOOOOO. I had to have shitty traffic karma hit me and have this asshole nearly hit me as he pulled into my lane WHILE I WAS IN IT.

I just gaped in exasperation. But I contained my road rage (I am a recovering road rager; I have my own coins that I have accumulated in my head...I have had ugly's a horrible disease). But containing it was hard when an elitist fuck took the shoulder to pass all of us stuck in the four lanes of traffic and passed us. That really took the cake BUT I MANAGED TO CONTAIN MYSELF.

I had to...look away. Not look in any of my mirrors for other assholes pulling the same stunt because, well, I would have just stroked out. I just need to keep my eye and focus on my own and get to my destination...and know that the day ahead was going to be FUN.

"We" had a 'field trip' planned to the Art Museum to see the El Anatsui exhibit. We have field trips every so many months to see exhibits, or something that can inspire and/or influence us in our own jobs. It's a wonderful benefit as well as a great way to socialize with your co-workers. This particular exhibit (can you fricking believe I didn't take a single picture? i have no idea where my head was. I guess dealing with the road rage resistance was just too much for me) was amazing to me. I absolutely was so moved by it. My favorite were these wooden pestles, all with these faces, standing with each other. I thought they were interesting and when the host told us what the name of the work was, I just fell in love: Group Photo.

That evening we had a date night with our friends Joe and Sam. We planned an evening of 'sophisticated' bar hopping. We started at Sitti, starting with their Sitti Tasting (YUMM!). We hung out there for a couple drinks each before we headed to The Oxford. There, we shared a bottle of Cabernet (Tim enjoyed his bourbon) and lots of conversation. The place started getting fuller and younger, and the bottle emptied so we headed next door to Sono for our last stop.

It was there that things get a bit fuzzy for me. I know we ate but what I don't know. I know I drank something and I remember talking but I don't know what. Age catches up with some of us and well, I never seemed to have a problem recalling my evenings with drink but this would be the first that this would happen to me. But I was there, as I have a picture to prove it. :)

We shared a taxi to our respective homes. I remember parts of that. :) Apparently, MiMi gave me a massage as she demanded payment the next day.

It was fun. It's been a long time since Tim and I have been out, let alone been out with other adults. And I didn't end up with an ugly hangover the next day...but I certainly didn't have the energy to go out and party again...even though we did.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

SPoD - June 21

As I catch up on my pictures, the unfortunate thing is that I can't remember the events of the day. These are pictures of another morning swim practice. I will not get tired of seeing (nor sharing) these. I do remember the swim coach was having problems screwing in the ropes and one of the only dads that shows up for the early practices (besides Tim, when he comes when I can't make morning practices) took over. I thought that was super cool.