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Wednesday, December 31, 2003

The High Priestess wishes...

Everyone a very happy, blessed, joyous, wonderful New Year. Lots of love!

Tuesday, December 30, 2003

The High Priestess is Skeptical...

I've just gotten an email:


I was checking out your blog and thought you might enjoy posting some writing on WriteAgent.

WriteAgent is a brand new, FREE online community that lets people publish articles, essays, books, etc. (you maintain all rights to your work, of course) and then lets others view and rate them. I'm the administrator and I'm looking to get some good writers like you to put up some pieces. The site is brand new but growing fast. The way WriteAgent works, good writers will filter to the top of the site, allowing people to get "famous" within the community. You can even link to your blog on WriteAgent, so long as you link to a specific essay or commentary piece. For more about the site, feel free to check out the faq or write me.

I'd like to spread the site through word of mouth, so if you like the site, feel free to tell your friends or stick a link to WriteAgent on your blog. If you don't want to post, I'd be honored to have you register anyway and rate the stuff that's already on there.

Thanks for reading!
Glen Pine

So tell me, should I believe my writing has enough value that someone was really interested in reading it and having others read it....or did EVERYONE out there get one of these emails too, just because they have a blog? Feedback please?

Sunday, December 28, 2003

Mona Lisa Smile

Caris treated me to a movie today. Everyone else seemed to have their own thing going; Charlie had some phone business to take care of, Bryson had his friend Max over, Averie was planning on meeting with Vanessa, so that left Caris and myself with time on our hands. We'd already spent the weekend pretty much doing nothing but reading. I got an amazing book (Skinny Women Are Evil by Mo'Nique) for Christmas; also from Caris, and it was very nice to spend hours in my jammies, curled up in my favorite chair reading. But I was ready to get out of the house today. So after a nice brunch at the pub with Charlie, I got home and asked Caris if she'd like to go to a movie, and she said yes.....and even used her free tickets to pay for both of us! A very nice treat.

We agreed to see Mona Lisa Smile with Julia Roberts. I'm sure everyone knows the premise of the movie; a young, progressive, liberal-minded woman from California takes a job at the all female Wellesley College in Massachusetts. The movie is set in 1953, and I've always loved "period pieces" so it looked like something special. I'm not going to bore you with the details, OR my opinion of the movie, as I'm sure that many have either already seen the movie or will attend soon. I would, however, like to relay my confusion over a line of dialogue in the movie that the audience reacted to in what seems to me, a peculiar way.

At one point in the movie, Julia Roberts character is surprised by her boyfriend, who unexpectedly shows up from California to visit her for the Christmas holiday. Later on in the evening, as they are enjoying drinks in a bar, he "pops" the question and gives her an engagement ring, which she is also quite surprised by. At this moment, one of her students walks up to the table to say hello and she happens to be in the company of a male teacher at the school. Julia's "fiance" introduces himself, tells the student and the teacher that he's just proposed, and the teacher then says to him, "Well, congratulations Old Man!" The audience laughs. I mean, they really laugh.

Now, granted the actor that portrays Julia's boyfriend, does seem to be a bit older (though not really THAT much). And granted, this is a movie that takes place in 1953-54, so the majority of the audience (females in the age demographic of say, 18 to 34 year olds) is really too young to appreciate the slang terms of the time. Even I wasn't born in the 50's, BUT I found it interesting that that particular line brought such a response. And honestly, it wasn't an appropriate response. There really shouldn't have been ANY response at all to that line. In the 50's, the term "old man" was used pretty often when one guy was talking to another. It's kind of like the word "dude" is used today. It wasn't a literal reference to the character's age. It was merely a familiar colloquialism of that time period, especially amongst the "upper class". It could have easily been delivered by one teenager to another without so much as a second thought. Yet, today, when the line came up in the movie and this audience laughed, I thought to myself how sad that they don't understand. They laughed, because they literally thought that one male character was actually calling the other character an old man.

It made me wonder about so many things. This is not so distant a place in our past, and yet there is so much about it that the generation of today honestly doesn't understand. Luckily, our household is musically and artistically eclectic, and so the kids have been exposed to eras of movies, television, and music that many of their peer groups may not be. I think they have an advantage that way. And maybe because of that advantage, they embrace a more innocent and nostalgic age rather than ignoring it, or pretending that it never happened. I wondered earlier today, after the movie, why this particular thing stood out to me so much. Did I pay more attention to cultural details? Did I listen in earnest when my dad talked about the Vietnam war or when my grandpa talked about World War II or the Korean conflict? Did I take particular mental notes when my mom put certain records on the record player? Did I read more than your average "Baby Boomer"? I don't know what the answer to that is. I only know that I was grateful that I knew that when that simple little line came up in the movie and I didn't laugh, I was right not to. I didn't feel old because I knew. I just felt grateful.

Friday, December 26, 2003

The Friday Five

1. What was your biggest accomplishment this year?

Finally getting it into my head that I'm an ok person and caring that only my own opinion, my family's opinion, and the opinion of the people who truly care about me matters.

2. What was your biggest disappointment?

That despite wanting to believe the best about people, there are people in the world who only care about themselves and finding that I was a pawn in their "game" to move forward. My biggest disappointment is having to walk away from a job I truly loved after finding out that the people there are liars, backstabbers, and even when they say wonderful things about you to your face, they did everything in their power to destroy you....and they succeeded.

3. What do you hope the new year brings?

I hope the new year continues to bring healing where damage has been done. I hope the new year brings a renewed sense of love in me for people and takes some of the cynicism away. I hope the new year brings a desire to succeed at the things that I've put off for so long (dieting, writing, finding a job!). And as always, love, health, and happiness to all who share my world.

4. Will you be making any New Year's resolutions? If yes, what will they be?

No. I refuse to start the year (again) by setting myself up for failure. Instead, I'm going to take one day at a time and remember, no matter how cliche it sounds, that every day is a brand new day and as such, a whole new beginning.

5. What are your plans for New Year's Eve?

Snuggling up by the fire with the fam and watching the videos we got for Christmas. Warm, safe, blessed.

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

A penny for your thoughts, and an extra cent for your clean beer bottles....

It's funny how the most mundane, everyday sight, sound, or smell, can trigger a memory. This morning as I emptied the dishwasher, the top rack full of glasses made that clinking sound as I pulled the drawer out and I was instantly transported to a world 38 years ago. Hawaii; 1965. I was riding on the handle bars of my brothers bike and he had a basket full of empty beer bottles. The bottles clinked together as we rode along.

I know that when one thinks of Hawaii, they think of a tropical paradise. The ultimate vacation destination for Canadian Snowbirds and U.S. Mainlanders. But, those are not the things that come to my mind. We were pretty poor. So, to help make ends meet, my brothers and sisters and I (there were 6 of us, I was the "baby") would collect empty beer bottles before school. Back then, the Primo Brewing Co. would pay a penny a bottle if you would return their beer bottles. If they were clean, you'd get a penny more. We'd go out at 5 or 6 and search the bins and by the side of the road, get as many as we could, bring them home, wash them, and then we'd go change into our school clothes and get ready for school. I remember being embarrassed sometimes, praying that I wouldn't run into any of my friends on those early mornings. Then I remember thinking when I got to school if any of my friends had to do what I did every morning before school.

One Saturday, I went with my uncle to the Primo brewery to return the bottles we collected that week. The line of cars and trucks was long and I remember seeing kids there from school, sitting in the beds of pickups, waiting with their families to return bottles. It didn't matter to me at that point where they got them. Whether they were just returning the bottles that their families had consumed on their own, or whether they got them the way that we did. At that moment, the playing field was level. We were all there for the same reason. Even in my 5 year old mind, there was comfort in that. I was no different than any of them. A penny was a penny, and an extra penny for a clean bottle was double your pay. The next Monday at school, after we'd done our "bottle duty" that morning, I worried just a little bit less about who may have seen me. And the quarter in my pocket that paid for my lunch that day gave me the kind of smile you get from a job well done.

While I emptied the dishwasher and those glasses clinked, I had a new sense of gratitude for where I had come from, poor or not, and an even greater sense of gratitude that my kids never had to depend on empty beer bottles for a warm school lunch. Their difficulties will be their own and hopefully, they have and will learn from them the same attitude of gratitude as they grow into adulthood. But for right now, at least the dishwasher is empty, and because of the trip down memory lane, I don't even remember emptying it.

Monday, December 22, 2003

The High Priestess puts her feet up....

I can now officially relax. The shopping is over. The spending is done. The cookies are baked. The gifts are wrapped. Pere Noel...bring on the party!

I'm so excited about so many things. Mostly, I'm excited that there will be NO silly squabbles over where to spend Christmas and why it's always such an ordeal. I'm not trying to be awful, but now that my father-in-law is no longer in the picture, things will be SO much nicer. No emotional blackmail. No manipulation. Just Christmas as it should be, spent with the ones you love and no dark cloud hanging over. God bless us; every one!

Here's hoping that it is just that way for everyone else.

Friday, December 19, 2003

The High Priestess's Maiden Voyage of the Friday Five

1. List your five favorite beverages.

I LOVE a good Margarita (especially the way Charlie makes them)
Iced Tea (I can drink about a gallon a day)
Long Beach Iced Tea (not a drop of tea in it, thank you very much)
Coca-Cola (if you can ever find any in this house)
Milk (sorry Paul!)

2. List your five favorite websites.

Tinmen Don't Dance (the girl and her cohorts crack me up)
Watersea's Ocean Bloggie (Wayne's World)
Detroitblog (I wish he had a commenter so I could tell him how much I love his site)
All About Cabo (I love Mexico!)
Counting Crows (Adam's Journal is the opportunity I've always wanted to crawl inside his head and watch the fireworks)

There are SO many more....

3. List your five favorite snack foods.

Nacho Cheese Doritos
Yoplait Whipped Yogurt
GOD..I LOVE French Fries (Dammit)
Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory Truffles

4. List your five favorite board and/or card games.

Monopoly (NHL version...only The Grommet will play with me)
Trivial Pursuit (would rather play NTN Trivia, but it's not a board game)
Guesstures (It's a board game version of Charades)
Shoot The Moon
Scene It! (That's a hint to my children about a Christmas present...)

5. List your five favorite computer and/or game system games.

I don't play them AT ALL. But back in the day, when we had an ATARI 2600...

Frogger (I just like the music and the "squish" sound when the frog got hit)

and once..on the Grommet's Super Nintendo, I played...

SuperMario Kart 500 (which made me laugh and laugh cuz I couldn't drive worth a damn, which in turn, made the Grommet laugh and laugh..that was the best part)

That's it. I've never played any other computer or game system games.

And that people, is my first attempt at the Friday Five (Thank you David for showing me the way!)

Thursday, December 18, 2003

The High Priestess is Awed...

Since I've been out of the workworld for 7 months, I honestly haven't socialized much outside of the regular circle. Ron, Charlie, and I usually meet at the pub at least once a week to "debrief". Sometimes, Gordon or Hank will show up, and on the very happy occasion for me, Chasity might pop in. But for the most part, as I've mentioned before, it's usually Ron, Charlie, and me.

I love these nights. I look forward to them. It's great to have that special place where everyone really does know your name and they have your drink waiting for you when they see you walk in the door. Ok, so to some that could be a little embarrassing....like you have to make some excuse and explain that you don't have a drinking problem. That it really is because you like the place, the company, the time away from the ordinary. It's therapy and escape from a sometimes really f'ed up world.

I guess my point in bringing that up is that we went to a surprise birthday party for a friend last night. I was excited when we got the invitation because I do really care for this lady. She and her husband have been good friends to us and their kids are great. We have a lot of history together. We met this couple when their daughter Devin, and Averie were in preschool together and through the years we've gone to the same church (they still attend, we don't), our kids have played in the same soccer leagues, we've been involved in YMCA Mother-Daughter events, we've gone camping together, shared mutual friends, and as our kids have grown together, our friendship has grown. We don't see each other much, but always consider them great people. So, I actually looked forward to attending this party. That is until I started overthinking....

I knew that there would be a lot of people there from the church that we used to attend. Those of you that know us, know that Charlie and I used to be very much involved in our church. That is until 1998, when we went away to the midwest for Charlie to attend seminary. It didn't turn out to be the great experience that we had anticipated, in fact, it was horrible. In one respect, it was an experience that I'm grateful for because it opened my eyes to a lot of things that I ignored before. But in other ways, it made me see how judgemental and bigoted people can be and didn't want to be a part of that. I've had to learn that people, no matter how wonderful they are, can still have this ugliness in them when it comes to religion. I've had to learn that there's a difference between the love of people, which is fallable, and the love of God, (or any higher power you choose to believe in) which is always meant to edify and not to harm. I've had to learn that there is a big difference between the true essence of the spiritual relationship and "religion". I don't consider myself religious. I do, however, consider myself spiritual. And I've come to the place in my life where I'm very comfortable with that. I embrace diversity and in that respect, my purpose is to personify love and acceptance. When we came back from the midwest without having finished seminary, our church pretty much looked at us as failures and made us feel that way. I describe it as being disowned. So, I disowned them back.

As I expected, there were quite a lot of people from church there. They were cordial and extended niceties. We were, as we always are, friendly. I had to remind myself that I wasn't there for them, I was there to celebrate a special day for my friend. Interestingly enough, I found that even though she wasn't there, Averie was my "rescuer" when I began to feel uncomfortable. It seems that everyone who approached us had seen her on the Ellen DeGeneres show and they all wanted to talk with us about it...and they were quite excited to do so. The discomfort left, and one after another, people approached us with their excitement over Averie's appearances on the show and how they had followed the segments over the weeks. Even the kids that she had gone to youth group with and grown up with, who weren't necessarily kind to her over the years because she didn't fit into their "cliques" were interested in how Averie's "luck" in getting picked for the show came about. We ended up staying longer than we would have and I didn't have to use my safety word with Charlie (we whisper "avocado" to each other when either of us is ready to leave. Don't ask, it's a long story).

When we got home, Averie and Caris were interested in knowing how it went and I told them. Averie said something that I found very profound. She said, "Isn't it funny Mommy, how they are so interested in us now that something like this has happened...but before, they wouldn't give me the time of day." I thought on that for a minute and smiled about it. Then I said, "Yes, it's true. It's called conditional love. But I'll tell you this much, whatever it was, Daddy and I had a great time talking about it with them. Whether you knew it or not, you took the anxiety of being there away for me. So thank you." She smiled and said, "I didn't really do anything, but you're welcome."

The party was fun and it was a wonderful celebration for a really nice lady. But, the best part was coming home and sharing the events with the girls. Now.....can we go to the pub?

Monday, December 15, 2003

Well Done, Thy Good and Faithful Mom

We spent Saturday evening at the Starks. Joe and Danna have been our friends since the beginning of time. Our time anyway. Actually, Charlie and Joe have known each other since they were 4 or 5. Joe was Charlie's best man and vice versa. Danna was one of my bridesmaids. They also have 3 kids, all boys; Britt is 16, (though he's 6'5" and looks to be 18 or 19), Blake is 13, and Taylor is 10.

These boys are awesome. Sometimes, and I know this sounds bad, but hear me out...sometimes you just can't help but wonder what the heck some of your friends are thinking in raising their children. We have some other friends, whom we completely adore, who also have three boys; The Neighbors. John and Martha Neighbor have been wonderful friends to us. We get along so well, we have wonderful times together, I LOVE their family and we're always included in their HUGE family gatherings. But, we disagree vehemently on how to raise children. They have always thought that Charlie and I were "too strict" and WAY too naive. They told us we were stupid if we thought that our kids didn't lie to us, and that more than likely, they at this age, were already drinking, smoking, having sex, and partying...we just didn't know it and they weren't telling us. They overcompensate for their lack of disciplinary actions by sending their boys to private parochials schools, thinking that the money they pay for tuition will somehow help them to "raise better people". We've done the public AND private school thing and NOTHING compensates for lack of parenting. You gotta be INVOLVED in your kids lives, and you can't always be their friends. They have friends, they need parents. John often buys beer for his boys and lets them throw giant parties at his house while Martha is away. Their oldest has been in trouble with the law on BOTH sides of the border and he's not yet 21. If one of their sons wrecks his car, they help him buy a new one. They have never put up a united front when it comes to discipline and because they waivered, the boys would always run roughshod over them and do it still to this day. I wouldn't trust my dog with those boys, let alone leave my daughters in the same room with them. Their morals are lacking, they drink and party to excess, they're spoiled rotten, completely shallow, and though I know they would never hurt my kids and would protect them like older brothers if needed, they're just not the kind of guys you would want your daughter to date. Fortunately, my girls wouldn't WANT to date them. Yet, their parents are probably Charlie's and my closest friends. That's quite a predicament. You love your friends, but absolutely HATE their parenting, and really don't care much for their children. Charlie and I have always agreed that it's best not to give advice about parenting..unless you're asked. Then, we're gonna tell you exactly what we think. The thing is, The Neighbors have NEVER asked, and so we've always had to bite our tongues in their presence. Now all these years have gone by and John and Martha have had to deal with some BIG problems with their boys and John will often shake his head and say to me, "Wow, you guys were right all this time and look how wonderful your kids are. Guess we should have paid more attention." Those are heartbreaking words in the parenting world. Not for us. For them.

And then there's the Starks. I love them. I have always loved them. All of them. Joe and Danna have done a great job with their boys. They're respectful, funny, talented, they don't have any trouble socializing with any age group. When we're with them, we laugh, giggle, talk, and totally enjoy each other's company. I think the biggest difference is for the kids. We don't tend to get together with The Neighbors much as families. Their boys are off in their own worlds, and our girls are now old enough that when I say, "Hey, we're going over to The Neighbor's for a barbeque." They say "Ummm, I think I'll pass." But, if we say, "Hey, we're going over to The Starks for dinner." We get responses like, "YES!!, I LOVE Aunt Danna and Uncle Joe! When are we going???!!!" and "Sweet! Foosball with Blake and Tay!" Even Averie, who is 18 and really isn't "required" to attend family dinners at friends any longer, still loves to go to the Starks. It's always so easy and so fun and just feels SO good.

We ended up staying WAY longer than we ever would stay at someone's house. It just seemed that the time flew by. We went walking through their neighborhood and looking at the Christmas decorations and lights. Carolers came by. I've never seen traffic like that through a residential neighborhood and I've never really seen a whole neighborhood that got so INTO the Holiday spirit. Bryson, Taylor, and Blake rode skooters and bikes and disappeared together, collecting candy canes. Caris, Averie, Britt, and Britt's girlfriend Allison, all walked in a group, talking and visiting. Charlie, Joe, Danna, and I caught up on life while we strolled along. We got back to the house and the kids all snuggled up on the family room couches by a fire and watched The Grinch. Soon, the younger ones were snoozing on the couches, and the older ones were watching SNL. We had coffee and talked well past midnight.

When it was time to go, the boys came up to hug Charlie and I, one by one. Just as our kids were hugging and thanking Joe and Danna and the boys. Britt said as he hugged me, "Merry Christmas Aunt Nay" (Renee is my given name). It was a wonderful feeling. As I embraced Danna, mom to mom, friend to friend, I whispered in her ear, "Your boys are SO awesome. You and Joe have done such a terrific job." She whispered back, "Coming from you, with yours, that's the best compliment anyone can get." We looked at each other and smiled. What better thing can one mom say to another? It makes everything worthwhile.

Friday, December 12, 2003

I Shop, Therefore I AM

I just have this to say about that...The 99 Cent Store KICKS ASS!

I have been worried beyond belief how I was going to manage to do ALL of my Christmas shopping on the budget that Charlie gave me this year. Quite literally, I would have to buy for everyone on our family shopping list for $300. That's it. I'm not just talking about the A, B, and C. I'm talking about in-laws, out-laws, and all the little laws in between. Even though I felt at the time he said it to me that I didn't think that was possible (still don't), I didn't make a fuss or scoff at him. The fact is, things are damn tight this year. And I know that me not working has everything to do with it. So far be it from me to say "boo" when Charlie says "Here's your shopping money, Babe...stretch it!" The other day when Averie and I went to the bank to transfer funds from savings to checking (at Charlie's request), I nearly hyperventilated when I saw that after the transfer, we had a balance in savings of $4.82. Yes, that's right kiddies...feast your eyes on that would ya? $4 friggin 82.

Needless to say, I've had a daunting task in front of me. Yes, I've already gone a tad bit over the initial $300. But I've just got to say that the one thing that has always caused me a wrinkle or two every Christmas is stocking stuffers. We didn't have stockings when I was a kid, so that wasn't an issue. Stockings were what you tacked onto the walls for decoration. Nothing more. It wasn't until I met and married Charlie that I discovered that there were actually people in the world that DO stuff their stockings and it's a HUGE deal to them. In fact, to Charlie's family, stockings WERE the favorite thing about Christmas mornings. So now, I had to learn how to do this too. I must say, I learned fast and I learned well. I even went so far as to sew personalized stockings for our family. I learned from Charlie's mom what traditional things should be put into stockings...a new penny, an orange, some nuts, an apple, some chocolate coins, and of course the stories behind why those traditions were so important. So, I followed family tradition and now my kids also look forward to running to their stockings on Christmas morning. It's always the first thing we do. BUT, the fact is, it can cost a small fortune to fill Christmas stockings. I usually try to include useful things like a new toothbrush, some socks, pens or pencils for school, stationery, and then some favorite candies or fun goodies like CDs or hockey pucks, etc. Last year, I couldn't do a stocking for less than $30.00, even bordering on $40.00. But then again, last year didn't hurt so much. THIS year, I was sweating it big time.

So, I hit the 99 cent store this morning, first thing. I'm telling you, that place ROCKS! I got some great stuff there and I FILLED those stockings for less than $20. Who's the best shopper? Oh, that would be me.

Tuesday, December 09, 2003

Right Down The Hall

Last night was the much anticipated Christmas Concert for the combined choirs. Usually, around this house, that means that there is a helter-skelter of anxious activity. "Where's my black nylons?" followed closely by "Averie; where's my pearls?" and the ever present "I can't find my shoes!" Then of course, let us not forget; "Oh God, this dress is hideous. I look like I'm going to a funeral!"

I've been through this before, watched Averie go through it last year, and lo and behold, I survived. But this year, it's now Averie and I watching Caris the Madrigal flop around like a fish out of water. Trying to be helpful, handing off articles of clothing in the process, palm open, with a calm "here, try this." It even goes so far as to get it right down to scheduling: I will go to the auditorium early and help the music teacher with preparations, and Averie will drive Caris to the venue in an hour. Charlie will pick up his mom and meet us there at performance time. We seem to have it all down to a science. Or so it seems. Best laid plans of mice and men. Or moms and drill sargents, anyway.

That's how it feels sometimes to try to keep everything running smoothly. You can bark and bark and bark. Doesn't mean anything's gonna go the way it's supposed to, and in the end, you may only come out with your name on a hit list. Life Lesson #257.

Anyway, the musical went off beautifully. Caris, as always, sang spectacularly. However, she did look a little "wilted" as the family would later say. "Caris doesn't look like her sparkly self." As it turns out, she wasn't her sparkly self. She was sick. Though no one would know until the performance was over, because that's the kind of trooper she is. Raging sore throat, muscle aches and pains. Neck and shoulders causing her some grief. As soon as her choir robe was turned in, she asked Averie to drive her home.

It wasn't until I met up with the rest of the family later at Charlie's mom's house for coffee and dessert that I found out. "Where's Caris?" Charlie told all of us that Caris wasn't feeling well. When I asked about the symptoms and he told me, I thought about it pensively and wondered if I should just head straight home. Then in the back of my mind, I remember Mr. H arriving at the auditorium earlier to tell Mr. L that his daughter was in the emergency room at the hospital and wouldn't be able to sing tonight. Why? She was being tested for meningitis. Crap.

We've been through this nightmare before. All those memories came flooding back and despite the beauty of the evening...the thrill of the onset of Christmas and the beautiful seasonal mood now crashed down around me. Neck and shoulder pain, massive headache, temp. We've been very closely linked to a family who lost their child to this disease and as a result had to be tested for it back then. Here we go again. I was scared and I wanted to go home and check on Caris.
So, I kissed Charlie's mom, sister, aunt, and brother-in-law and drove home.

Caris was already in bed, bundled up, and I turned the hall light on outside her room.


"Yes Mommy?"

"How are you feeling?"

"I'm ok. I took some Tylenol. It's just that my head is killing me and my throat hurts so bad."

"Can you touch your chin to your chest?"

:::bends her neck and touched chin to chest::: "Yes"

:::I lean over her and touch my lips to her forehead:::: "Do you have a fever?"

"No, I don't think so" :::my lips confirm no fever:::

"Can I get you anything?"

"No, I just want to sleep"

"Ok, but if you need anything...Daddy and I are right down the hall..ok? I love you."

"Thank you Mommy. 'night"

I walk down the hall to change clothes and I think again how some things never change. Even though they are now "young women" and are no longer babies, the fear factor remains. I guess I'll always feels this way. Always in the back of my mind, there will always be this little twinge of mothering that preceeds and shadows all other feelings. They will be on their own so much sooner than I can even anticipate, and yet, somehow...I will always be there. Even if it isn't literally but in thought and care. Daddy and I are "right down the hall."

Thursday, December 04, 2003

The High Priestess is....down (the crowd says "awwwwww")

I couldn't quite put my finger on it last night. But this morning, I had a revelation. Probably from listening to Averie talk about her Psych class and her much agonized over Psych paper on Depression. I'm depressed. Damnit.

It's the lack of "busy-ness". Now, before you go off on me, I'm not looking for sympathy. I'm merely stating what I've come to realize in the inventory I've taken this morning. What with me STILL being unemployed, (not for lack of trying mind you; according to my Monster.com account, I've put out 53 resumes and been on 22 interviews) and Christmas being a breath away, it can be a little overwhelming. Especially when I know that Charlie is working like a madman lately. Guilt sucks (See Number 20).

Last month, Averie and I were running back and forth to Beautiful Downtown Burbank for Ellen. That took up a lion's share of time. In between tapings, Charlie and I were carting Caris back and forth to LA for her workshops and background management listings. And in the more minute spaces still, Bryson had homework and boat cleanings to accomplish, so there were marina runs to get to lest his clients get upset at him for slacking. Thank God he's taking a hockey season off, or I'd need to clone myself!

I guess the point is, that now that the Ellen stuff with Averie is over, and things have settled back into the "quietness of the usual", it's a bit of a let down. There is still Caris' career to attend to, but for the most part, that is a waiting game and is in the hands of her management. My only purpose in that sense, is to merely make sure her work permit and Coogan account is in order and get her to set should she be called. Other than that, it's back to "normal", whatever normal is. Don't get me wrong. I'm grateful for the "normal" of my life. It's just the adjustment back to it is a little daunting. I had to come to the realization of what my discomfort was. Now that I've found it, I can move on. It comes down to identifying the demon. That being done, I should get to the business at hand. I regain my strength in just knowing that I shall be victorious at facing whatever evil comes my way. There are other demons that must be conquered. Laundry, for one. Evil, evil laundry.

How depressing.

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

Blast From the Past

So last Friday, Charlie and I met his friend Frank and his lady, Joan for dinner and drinks. I know that sounds pretty mundane, after all, people meet people for dinner and drinks all the time...no big whoop. The difference is, this date has been nearly 10 years in the making.

Charlie and Frank have worked together for around 18 years. I didn't quite know the exact number until Frank said "1985" and I thought, "My God, you guys have worked together since Averie was born?" Charlie nodded an affirmation. It's funny how I think of all things with a timeframe in terms of my kid's ages. Geez, I'm old. Anyway, I have been hearing for so long about how funny Frank is, how talented, how he is a musician and had been on tour for awhile with his band and knew many, many musicians. He had a love for music and built his own guitar. He had a classic Fender that he took on tour with him. So many great stories, but always through Charlie, never from the source himself.

Over the years, and especially recent years, Charlie and I have tried to get Frank to join us for an outing, but he has always politely declined. Charlie would just say that Frank likes to keep to himself, needs to get home to his son, or whatever. I never liked those excuses. Especially in light of the fact that I have "known" Frank for all these years through the hilarious stories that Charlie would come home with. If there was stress at work for Charlie, and there always was (is), then Frank would be Charlie's comic relief and vice versa. Sometimes, I would be jealous of the "fun" they had at each other's expense. But, it comes down to "whatever gets you through the night", or day, so to speak....right? I mean, I had that kind of fun when Chasity and I worked together at Claim Jumper. But when she left, the fun left and everyone in Accounting turned back into the two-faced, backstabbing, lying bitches they were before, but oops... that's another story. Charlie and Frank always seemed, by laughter, to be able to get each other through some difficult times.

In that sense, I have always wanted to meet this guy whom I have "known" since my oldest child was first born. We just could never get him to come out and play. Until last Friday. We met at Alcatraz Brewing Co in Orange, close to Frank's home. They showed up right on time, and just as Charlie said...it was a pretty easy groove. Frank and Joan, high school sweethearts now reunited after 30 years, were fun and affable. There was no awkwardness, no lapse in conversation. Everything flowed as easily as the liquid refreshment. Once we were finished and the check was paid, the party continued at Frank's place.

Over turkey sandwiches and St. Pauli Girl, we listened to music from "back in the day" and we laughed, talked, reminisced. Frank brought out his Fender AND the lovingly handcrafted guitar. We watched video of Frank playing that very Fender and singing with his band from 1975. It all felt so good. My love for music and the songs swirling around me just gave me the biggest warm hug.

Then Frank said..."I got something for ya Pua...let's REALLY test your music knowledge!"

He gets up and pulls an LP off the shelf and hands it to me with a huge smile on his face. I look at it and my eyes flew open wide.

"Oh my God, Frank! This is completely amazing!"

I show the LP cover to Charlie. He's completely clueless.

"It's the Rutles! Do you have any idea how cool this is?

:::crickets chirping:::

"Charlie, take a close look at this guy...Dirk...does he look at all familiar to you?"

Charlie takes off his glasses and concentrates on the Beatle look alike on the cover.

"HEYYYYYYYYY! That's Eric Idle!"

I smile knowingly and look at Frank. Frank nods. "Yes Babe, it is indeed our beloved Python"

Charlie studies the LP cover, reads the stories from the "Tragical History Tour" and the realization of Fab Four rip-off sends him into fits of laughter. When he "gets it", we all start laughing.

It was a great, great time. One of those times that you honestly look forward to happening again and again. And hopefully, not YEARS down the road. Right Frank?

Monday, December 01, 2003

The Amazing Realm of Cyberspace

There are those days I think I'd like to pick this modern contraption of technological wonder up and heave it through the window out of complete frustration. It's moody; much like myself, and therefore requires a bit of finesse and sweettalk in order to get it to work favorably in my best interest. I believe it to be female. In any case, for all the frustration and aggravation it causes me, it also provides me with ten-fold the entertainment and awe. As a result, that brings me to a place where I cannot allow myself to be overly angry for too long. I just love it too much.

I love how I can just turn it on and be in touch with the world. That is not "world" in the poetic sense. But WORLD in the literal sense. Through this amazing mechanized hook-up, I have made some wonderful friends not just in my own little corner of the world....but in places far, far away. I have learned, as a woman, a friend, a mom, that there are women thousands of miles away who have similar experiences in their own lives. Some of them manage those lives, just like me, with sensitivity, love, good liquor, and a great deal of humor, only they might do it in a different language. I've met wonderful Tine in Belgium, hilarious Zoe; a beautiful Brit who also happens to live in Belgium, Sashi in Japan, Delphine in Paris. The list goes on, the similarities are endless and beautiful. My world opens up exponentially when I read about Wayne's NY world and K's love of all things Mexico. I don't "know" these Earthbound co-habitants on a face to face basis, but that doesn't mean that they aren't important to my own world, to my heart, to my survival as I trudge through daily mediocrities. Then there are the youthful planetary roomies that I DO know on a face to face, heart to heart basis. You know who you are. You know that even though I don't actually SEE your radiant faces everyday, that I'm there in your daily world when you take to the Blogdom. Much of this life, I live vicariously through you, and you allow me that privilege. I'm grateful.

I find that I can't wait to get this damn computer turned on in the morning because not only do I want to know what all of these awesome people have to say about their worlds, it is also better than a cup of coffee at waking me up and getting me moving. Always with a smile and a giggle. Once I've had my daily dose of Worldly Wisdom a la Blogizens, I somehow feel like I can face whatever gets thrown at me. Not always, but most of the time. It's a relief to know that I'm not the only one here. That you're all out there. You're better than Paxil and you're all addicting. God I love that.