Wednesday, February 28, 2007

that crib

When we built the addition onto our house, we had the contractor put plywood on the attic floor, with an easily accessible pull-down stair opening. It's been awesome. We needed storage space in the worst way.

Tucked away into the far corner of that attic is the crib that I used for my two babies. I remember picking it out and buying it from the baby store. I remember the anticipation as I looked at that crib, which was nothing special on the surface, but as I simultaneously felt the rapidly enlarging bump of my tummy that would soon prove to be my first-born while I ran my hands over the wood, it was the most beautiful thing I'd ever seen. I remember newborn baby Q lying in that crib and cristening his Granny with a well-aimed boy-shot of pee on his first day home from the hospital. I remember baby E smiling at me from that crib while she kicked her tiny baby legs. I remember older brother Q pulling baby E out of the crib when she was much too young for that so they could play. I remember countless nights of rocking infants to sleep and placing them carefully into that crib - onto their sides, of course, supported by the most recent wedge pillows that were supposed to be the "safest for newborns" de jour, under carefully chosen musical mobiles and amongst a few carefully placed toys and baby-decorations of animals (Q) or of the sea (E).

We're done with babies. I know that, and have known that for years. We COULD still have another baby, but the future father of this phantom baby (there is only one future father) is very satisfied with two children. I'm getting older. I'm not sure I would be a very cheerful new mom. We're done with babies.

But that crib is still stowed away in the corner of my attic. All the rest of our baby equipment - the bassinet, the exersaucer, the swing, the bouncy chair - they are long gone and given away to friends. That crib, though, has always held a special place in my heart and I've not been able to let it go.


Tonight, BIL called. This is my BIL who is expecting a baby in late May/early June. BIL, whose wife is unemployed. BIL, who was laid off from his job last month, is on unemployment, and is hoping to be hired as the air conditioner guy for his apartment complex. BIL who was commenting to me how horribly expensive baby things are - and in particular, how expensive cribs are. BIL, with no savings, in income, limited prospects for future income.


What can I say? I told him not to worry about cribs, that he could use ours. I said this as my heart clamped shut. For goodness sake! Tell me what good this crib is doing gathering dust (and probably mouse droppings) up in the corner of our attic? Should I be happier having it rot away, using up space, or to have it shelter a new little life? Logically, it's a no-brainer. But my face falls every time I think about pulling that crib out of the attic and figuring out a way to get it down to Georgia. That crib was part of one of the most magical periods of my life. I hold onto it like one might hold onto photos or old ticket stubs.

I know I'll be happy once I meet my new niece and know it's now her first bed and that she shares that treat with two of her cousins. The more I write, the more I know it's a good thing. But that crib is pretty much the last vestige of my life as a new life with babies, with infants with eyes that were the most innocent and beautiful things you'll ever see, with an attachment to me that made my heart burst, with open-mouthed baby kisses and toothless grins and sleepy eyes that closed at the sight of a paci. My babies.

It's all good. I don't want to go back to those times because I'd lose the kids that are here now. I don't want those babies back, necessarily. That's why I was holding onto the crib. It never changed or grew. It is now as it was then. Blessings to the new infant it will shelter. May she know love.

Monday, February 26, 2007

expose' on the lint of my naval

We've been working on developing our personal "spiritual credos" on Sunday mornings with my YRUU teens this winter. We're talking about the "big questions" (Is there a god? Why are we here/what is my purpose?) and identifying the values we hold most important. It's a lot of naval contemplation, and I'm getting a little tired of it, but the kids seem to like it. They enjoy playing with ideas and searching a little bit. They're pretty sure what they believe, but I see that they're also willing to rethink. They're alright.

As for my own credo, I have reached a place where I think it's less important to spend time contemplating the "big issues" such as finding the purpose for my life, than to just simply "be." I've convinced myself that these big questions are not only mostly unknowable to my little mind, but are probably not even close to the "right" questions to be asking. I think about the gradient between our minds and that of an earthworm and realize there is no reason to believe that intelligence peaks with us. We are as earthworms to something out there. We're not even on the playing field to some portion of life out there. Awesome to contemplate (and to them, I'm not even comtemplating!)

Further, many people have a tough time realizing that it is entirely possible to be spiritual without being religious, much less that it is entirely possible to be spiritual without having any belief in anything supernatural. There's a component out there - a wall, if you will, that we all reach, when we come to the point of no longer understanding. Many people ascribe the unknowable at that point to "god", or to something "supernatural". What we don't understand is that which is explained by god, or by something else "super"natural. I ascribe the unknowable at that point simply to the natural universe - to things that occur naturally which we just can't comprehend with our brains. My spirituality lives in the warmth of realizing that I am a *part* of the universe. That it is teeming with life and wonder and mystery (to the human mind) and my molecules are part of that. I feel the same reverence and "worship" that those who believe in a supernatural do. I do not see that it is all that different, actually. None of us are capable of understanding and we all have found explanations for the unknowable that best suit our minds. Your supernatural is my unknowable is her god is his physics equation.

This is why I love UU, despite all its faults (elitist sometimes, lots of talk, not so much action sometimes, etc., etc.). Despite all that, it is the only place I've found where people don't assume I'm in denial or am close-minded or too cerebral or non-spiritual simply because I don't belive in a supernatural life. My brand of spirituality is accepted as just as geniune and meaningful as any of those that ascribe to an afterlife or supernatural existence.

And that we even have to have this discussion, I think, shows how uncomfortable most of us are. The fact that someone believes differently than I do is not a comment on my own beliefs. I don't think less of A for believing in god than I do of B who thinks just like I do. We're all writing our own stories and developing our personal credos on our spirituality. We don't have to agree. And we can still be valid.

We're just all so damned unsure of ourselves. I think the hallmark of insecurity is bigotry. When you resort to damning someone else in order to validate yourself, then you expose your own uncertainties.

So there you are. we find ourselves all on this bouncing ball of a planet and we can spend our time contemplating our navals or looking out for the well being of each other or simply enjoying the warmth of the sun when we lie in it. So many ways to live, and just one life (that I know of). What an awesome place this is.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

moving along

I don't normally get very into things like the Oscars anymore now that I'm an "adult "and all, but I am so ready to drink several glasses of wine, get into my jammies and curl up on the couch to watch them tonight (I've already started on the wine). The fact that B&K are moving is becoming more and more real, and I'm oscillating between being sad and being totally pissed off (at who or what, I don't know. It's pissed off without any particular direction). In any case, I'm in the mood to remove myself from reality for just a little while. Their daughter L was here for more than 24 straight hours this weeked. She and E played and giggled and snuck into my makeup and watched movies and giggled some more and lived in a fantasy world of horses and pink and puppies that only 8 year old girls can inhabit. They are going to miss each other so much. And that doesn't even get into the whole me me me thing, in which I will miss my friend K so much. Shit shit shit. Neighbor M - thank you for showing up when you did and moving in right next door to me. Don't go anywhere. I need you. This means YOU.

So apparently I'm going through a mini-mid-life crisis. After cutting about 3 or 4 inches of my hair off myself (it's really not so bad - it was much too long before and it looks pretty good now, if I do say so myself) I went and did this:

Hope that photo doesn't gross you out being that my ears are still kind of irritated and red. I already had two holes on each side and went for three. At least I'm not buying red convertables eh?

Hey, I had an enjoyable night last night. We had a movie night with my YRUU teens, in which we snacked on veggie pizzas and watched Boys Don't Cry. What an awesome movie. Hilary Swank is such an artist. When I screened the movie before our movie night, it was so upsetting to me that I had to pause it and get up to leave the TV several times. I had serious doubts about showing it to the kids - not because it's a subject I think anyone should shy away from (hate crimes against transgender people) but because it was so intense and disturbing. It ended up that the older guys in YRUU were the only ones who showed up, so I was OK showing it to them. We had a very interesting discussion afterwards and I am so glad to know that there are such thoughtful, intelligent, sensitive souls that are perched at the brink of adulthood. It gives me hope. I love these kids. My current plans for next year are to drop this part of my life since I am going to be the PTA president and doubt I'll have room for anything else but I am beginning to realize how much I'll miss these YRUUs. I don't know what to do. I don't want someone else to be the one to shepherd them through their senior year (most of them are juniors this year) but I don't know how I can do everything I want to do. If I could give up sleep I'd have so much more time and would be so much happier. What to do!!??

My sweet DH is off to South Dakota again this week. I have a science team meeting next week that I must must must prepare for and a PTA meeting one night and babysitting for K another night and bathrooms to clean and clothes to wash and babies (children) to care for. Life feels like it's spiraling out of control but I'm clinging to the edges to hang on. Good thing I've got that third hole in each ear to bolster me. Whatever would I do otherwise?

Monday, February 19, 2007

crash and return

We had a fantastic ski trip! The snow was better than I've ever seen it out here in the ski armpit of the US. (I love where I live. BUt I'm a realist). It was real snow, believe it or not, and it was just perfect - not icy at all on the main part of the slopes. Unfortunately, I left my camera at home so wasn't able to snap any breathtaking photos of my family to share.

This time, I did venture onto the only black-diamond slope of this very small resort. (This was after much encouragement from my small children, who ventured into the world of black diamonds long before me). I was feeling good. With the good snow, I was doing the swish, swish, zip past the beginners, ski poles jauntily behind me, wind ripping through the few hairs escaping from my helmet thing. I was confident. I did the black diamond slope like a pro and I swear I saw skiers on the ski lift (which runs just above) nodding their heads in approval. By golly. I had arrived on the scene as not just a sometimes ski-trip-taker anymore, but I was a SKIER. I had the helmet, I had the goggles, I had the moves (swish swish) and I had the attitude.

So, riding on this crest of confidence and well-being, I urged my kids "Hey guys - Let's do Hangover AGAIN!!!" (Hangover is the name of the black-diamond slope). They shrugged. "OK mom. Whatever. Let's go."

So confident, sassy me arrived at the top of the "mountain" (it's in quotes for a reason, my Colorado friend Mare) and paused at the top of the slope to let my two tiny children dash down ahead of me. See, I'm the older, wiser, more adept one, so I needed to go last to clean up any problems, right? I took off with my newfound "swish swish" style, wind whipping over my goggles and I promptly fell. I shrugged it off while attempting to retrieve my poles and even remembered to thank the tiny 5 year old who skied over to help me. I looked at her mom. "I haven't figured out a graceful way to get up" I joked, hoping to portray that this fall was just....was just a silly little mistake.
"There's not one." she told me, then swished off with her daughter behind her.

So I skied on over to the top of Hangover, remembrances of my recent stellar performance replaying over and over in my head. "HELLO WORLD!" I wanted to shout. "I AM HERE. I - A SKIER - AM HERE." I noticed far ahead in the distance the shapes of my two tiny children, who had long ago zipped down the slope and were zig-zagging in and out of the lesser skiers and snowboarders on their way to the ski lift to wait for their mom (THE SKIER) to join them for the next trip up.

I took off down the slope. About two seconds into it, the memory of my recent fall popped into my head. "BAH!" I mentally shouted. "You have no place here! I will surely NOT fall." (at this point, I have picked up a tremondous amount of speed). "Will I?"

I am sure it will come as no surprise what happens next. (I'm enjoying making this into a saga, aren't I?)

Yes, I "fell". I'm not sure what did it. It may have been a small mound of snow that threw me off, or maybe it was the memory of my recent fall. Whatever. I fell. Largely. Spectacularly. I wobbled, leaned forward, spun on one leg and flipped backward to land on the back of my head. I believe there was a flip or two involved at that point. I remember seeing snow (lots of snow). I don't remember any pain. I remember a spinning world and then I remember hitting ice at the very ditch-edge of the slope and sliding rapidly toward the fence at the bottom (I'm talking maby 150 feet here?). And I kept going. And going. Until I did actually slam into the fence. Finally, I remember sitting up and looking up to the ski lift, where normally, there would be whoops of laughter and fists in the air and "Ooooh good one!!!" shouts. There was silence. I moved around enough to let people know not to call the ski rescue patrol. I stared at my foot and realized my ski was gone. I looked back up the slope (WAY up the slope) and saw my poles lying abandoned in a pile of very disturbed snow. It took a while to locate the missing ski, which was about 100 feet up the slope. Tangled in the fence.

The next 10 minutes or so consisted of me army-crawling across ice, clomping up a very steep snow hill to retrieve poles, using physics to calculate the correct trajectory to throw my body down over the ice to intersect the missing ski, grasping at it and ultimately flailing down under the fence and back again, and army crawling (again) back to a place where I could try to pull my skis back together and my dignity back together. I went to another place, mentally, to just get my stuff together, to find my DH and tell him that I was heading back to the condo in case I threw up from a concussion.

Then I did go back to the condo to lick my wounds. I called poor dad and probably freaked him and mom out simply because I needed to hear a comforting voice, I drank a Diet Dr. Pepper, then went back out because I knew I needed to try again.

It took me a half-day to get back to normal. Talk about a mental game. I fell on every slope I tried that afternoon. Every time I'd get just a little bit of speed behind me, my evil mind would start chanting "fall, fall, fall".

I woke up the next morning, and it was all gone and I was back to normal. I'm sure there's a life-lesson in here somewhere. But for now, I'm going with this. I have skied down a black-diamond slope. I am a skier. I had fun. Life is good. The vision of distant snow moving in, when viewed from the top of a mountain (even when "mountain" is best put in quotes) is spectacular. Cold air breathed in while you are speeding down a slope feels like heaven. My kids will always be better skiers/snowboarders than I am and I'm best to just admit that and quit trying to show off to them. Helmets are good. And I didn't break a leg.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Mountain Mama

We're off to the slopes. In case anyone would like to watch, here are the Bryce Mountain web-cams.

Check it out! There's actually snow up there this time!
Watch for us.
Q will be in a green top, beige bottoms, black helmet, snowboarder.
E will be red bottoms, purple top purple helmet, skier (WITH poles, mind you.)
I will be black bottoms, red top, red helmet, skier extraordinaire.
DH will be black bottoms, black top, black helmet, snow boarder.
We'll probably all be sporting goggles and HUGE smiles and will be overfed.
The lady in the line behind me at Farm Fresh yesterday was agog. (Yes, that is the correct word). "WOW that's a lot of food!" she exclaimed. I muttered that I was buying for a ski trip. "Oh," she said knowingly. "There must be a BIG group of you going."
I just nodded. What can I say? We get hungry after spending all day on the slopes.

Break a leg! Oh wait - no. That's not right.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

back then

I've said many, many times that I don't pine for the past (including my own). I've been downright annoying about it, in fact. No rose-colored glasses for me. I prefer the reality-colored ones. I'm proud that I'm totally happy where I am, with the age I am, with the ages my kids are, and with where I am in my life. You betcha (as I am learning midwest lingo in order to better communicate with my returning-to-the-midwest friends.) Life is fine in the here and now. The present is where the fun is.


Today, I found myself clinging to a deep, deep ache and a wistful yearning for my years as a grad student. It all started because I ended up telecommuting, rather than going into the office. The kids had a short day at school and rather than waste the hour or more it takes to drive to and from work, I set up my laptop in my own office. As soon as I got them onto the bus, I kicked off my shoes, I cranked up the itunes and I totally focused inward to get our model simulations done for our most recent campaign. I was kicking ass in the work-sense. The time just melted away. My back was strained and my eyes hurt and my computer was smoking but I was totally relaxed. It was grad-school revisited.

It was the Tom Petty that really did me in, though. I can't hear Tom Petty without being transported back to grad-school. I remember being in an office with about 15 other students. We were all taking Physical Meteorology and Intro to Atmospheric Chemistry and were just getting to know each other. I had a walkman and when I studied, I listened to nothing but Tom Petty. To this day, it takes only a couple of notes of "I Won't Back Down" or "Freefalling" to drop me right back into that office. Even songs with just that general feeling put me back there. ("Daylight Fading" by the Counting Crows or "Don't Go Back to Rockville" by REM - there's certainly a country side to all these songs, isn't there?)

What is it, exactly, that I find myself yearning for?

There's the plain old fun, of course. Volleyball teams. Post-midnight trips to I-Hop. Mid-day hamburgers at the student center with beers while arguing with my buddies over really stupid fragments of ideas (come up with, of course, under the influence of the beer). Football games. Baseball games. Taking the public transport to movies and all-night diners. Living in a house full of odd-ball people and learning all their odd nooks and crannies. Weekend trips out to the mountains. Life didn't have many boundaries at that point. But my life now is awfully fun too. It really is. So that's not what I'm missing.

It's not the immersion in the science. After all, I am lucky enough that I did actually proceed to have the career I dreamed of. I love science. And I really love the science of the atmosphere. There's never been a more important time to be an atmospheric scientist, in my opinion (not that we have been a breed of scientist for all that long anyway). I deeply believe that the defining aspect of our society today will be global warming. All the societal and economic impacts aside, there is no more exciting field to be my field of study than right now. And I am here!! I have day to day contact with amazingly brilliant people. So, no, it's not the immersion in science that I yearn for. I still have that.

It's not the focus. Even when it's not work, I have never been more focused or busy in my entire life than I am right now. Granted, the parameters were more clear then than they are now. Everyone knows what it means to need to pass a course. I knew what I needed to do in order to pass the qualifiers. On the other hand, "to successfully raise a son and a daughter"? That's oh, slightly more ambiguous. I knew how to find the answer to my atmospheric chemistry homework. I don't know the best way to teach my kids about sex, and the difference in 1) acknowledging it as a natural and normal part of life and 2) that it's not good to talk about it ad nauseum on the bus. :-/ Life is more complicated now, but it is certainly is not lacking the focus.

I think ultimately, it is mostly internal. As a grad student, I was on the cusp of real adulthood. I had picked the way for the rest of my life and I was launching myself in that direction. I looked forward and I saw a blank slate. I was taking the first steps into a journey that I had actually designed for myself. Everything was tinged with anticipation. I knew I loved science and I knew I was taking the right steps to keep me in a place that was exciting for myself. The core of everything was anticipation. I knew where I wanted to go, but I didn't know the particulars. I knew that I was giving myself the tools to go where I wanted to go. It ended up that I didn't end up using the the tools or moving ahead as far as I was capable because I decided it was more important for me to be "mom" too. But the thing is, back then, I had the options. Even with no regrets at this point, it's still bittersweet to remember when I had every option open to myself. I had the choices there for me to pick from, like candy.

So what is it that I miss? The anticipation? The naivity? The new beginning? The opportunities? You know, I think I miss the *feelings* associated with all of these rather than the things themselves. Does that make any sense? I miss the flip of my stomach when I contemplate the future. It's not a loss, it's not a result of regrets, but it's the newness. I miss the birth of myself.

In the meantime, it's nice that I can revisit those feelings through music. And through intense work. It's a part of me that will never disappear. It's not amazingly exiciting or earth-shattering, but it's my life. And it's a life that I love.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

20 cent holiday

Let's have a show of hands. How many people look forward in anticipation all year long to Valentine's Day??!! Anyone? Anyone?
Is there anyone out there who thinks Valentine's Day is a useful holiday? Anyone who likes the pressure of having to buy the appropriate "love" gift for a significant other? Does anyone like the crass commercialism or the fact that this holiday is a slap in the face to anyone missing a significant other for any multitude of reasons? Anyone enjoy spending 4 hours on an otherwise calm evening frantically cutting card stock into heart shapes and glueing bingo cards and poking holes and cutting cheese into heart shapes for school parties? What's the equivalent of Bah Humbug? Bah-Lovebug?

Then of course, there are roses. Especially when they fill my house with such a pleasant scent, I've got to back off just a little bit. Thank you, DH.

Mare, I'm sure your eagle eye will notice that my picture frame now includes a real picture of my family.

It's hard to see because I am not talented enough to take a good picture of a glass-covered photo. I call them Twenty Cent, by the way.

I'm soliciting suggestions. I've discovered that the missing link to my keeping up with exercise all these years was simply spelled ipod. The best exercise songs I've found so far are Pump It (Black Eyed Peas), Numb (Linkin Park) and Holiday (Green Day). Any other pissed-off sounding, hard driving song suggestions will be duly noted.

Sunday, February 11, 2007


All ski slopes open.
Average base depth: 37"-52"
Forecast for snow Wednesday, and highs at or below freezing through the weekend.
I have dutifully been checking items off my list: ski pants, helmets, goggles, gloves, wrist guards, snowboard boots that fit. A condo beside the skilift has been rented. We leave on Friday. All that remains is planning the menu, shopping and packing and steeling myself to simply ignore the cost of lift tickets and ski rental. In the past, I normally make DH pay for everything so I don't have to see it. Yipes but this is an expensive hobby to have. Too bad we're not into just taking walks in the state park.

Here's a cool thing that happened this afternoon. I scooped up E and Q's friends at UU this morning and took them home with us. After they tromped through the ravine behind the house for a while, mucking up their clothes and getting faces full of scratches, I took the whole gang up to the library. They were thrilled. Seriously. The kids were all so good and sweet and so into hunting down books and reading that the librarians weren't at all irritated with us when I lost track of the time and kept them there past closing time. Even when they realized we had something like 200 books to check out. See? Kid-cuteness pays off occasionally. We got home and both kids grabbed their books and curled up on the couch admist fleece blankets and warm pillows and a fluffy Roxy dog to read. I felt like I was in a Norman Rockwell painting, it was so sickeningly sweet.

Speaking of Roxy, she is such a terminally happy dog that it's verging on psychotic. Her tail never EVER stops wagging. EVER. She is either in normal wagging mode, cautiously wagging mode (when she's in trouble, which happens a lot) or over-the-top wagging mode which means her entire body from the neck down is wildly thrashing back and forth. She has this plume of a tail that curls up over her back so it's a perky, feathery wag. I found it adorable at first, then mildly irritating, and now I think she's just insane.
"You wanna go for a walk?" WAG WAG WAG
"You need to go out?" WAG WAG WAG
"Time to go to your crate." WAG WAG WAG
"If you destroy another one of my daughters stuffed animals I will replace it with you." WAG WAG WAG
"Did you pee on the floor? Am I going to have to kill you?" WAG WAG WAG
"The cat is stalking you and will soon jump on your back in an enraged hissing fit."
"(silence)" WAG WAG WAG

It's driving me nuts. No one, no animal can be that happy every freaking second of every day. She has to be insane.

In fact, as I'm sitting here composing a silly blog entry about my insane dog and wondering if I should just delete the whole thing, my dog is in the living room being completely baffled by a ridiculous toy. This toy is a truely horrific attempt to make a rabbit wear a frog costume but to me it has always looked like a frog that is in the middle of eating a rabbit. Whole. Because the rabbit's head is hanging out of the frog's mouth. And even more horrifying is that when you press its hand, it wiggles and sings some inane song to the tune of "My Boyfriend's Back". So Roxy stole this toy from E's room and inadvertently pressed its hand. She is whining and cocking her head and is visibly upset that this half-eaten rabbit is singing "Hey La, Hey La...." while desperately wiggling to be free. And of course the entire time? WAG WAG WAG. I tell you IT NEVER STOPS.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

It's the way of life.

Writer's block. Blogger's block. Whatever. That's what I've had this week.

It's not for a lack of things that happen. Oh no. Life is very busy around here.

This week I've been continuing my jump into the very large shoes of WONDERBOY (and I have very small feet, comparatively) so work has been a cornicopia of correspondence with folks scattered all over the world who are looking for just a "few more" sensitivity model runs. I won't lie - I enjoy the fact that I am now the go-to person. But I am acutely aware that I do not in any way fit the shoes that were here previous to me. I miss WONDERBOY horribly. I am still not OK with this latest change in my work situation. If I were an assertive type, this would be the opportunity for me to mark my place in this field. This is the time that I should step to the task and show my mettle. But I am so much not about making a name for myself and so much more about just loving the opportunity to immerse my work-self with highly intelligent people because it's stimulating for me. I'm not in this for the assertive me. I'm in it for the selfish me. Does that make any sense?
It'll all be ok. I just miss the way it used to be. Whine.

I played on the parents' volleyball team at the annual Parent versus Teacher volleyball game at my kids' elementary school. You did read about it in the sports section, didn't you? On the off chance it didn't make it to the national news, unfortunately, the parents lost. Just barely. 1 games to 2, 2 point difference in the 3rd game. And for the record, that had nothing to do with the fact that my daughter's teacher threatened me with failing my little darling when I was across the net from her and I motioned to her that she was going DOOOOOWN. Uh-uh. I have my priorities straight, and I don't play for fun. The best thing, by far, is that I did not embarrass my kids. Quite to the contrary, they came up to me, mouths agape in stunned near-silence and were barely able to squeak out, "Mom? You were GOOD!!" Hooo-hahhhh. Me. My experiece with the infamous Barking Geese (princeton), the Rebels (texas a&m) and the A.S.Demons (current work situation) pays off, finally.

It's not for lack of national news that is pinging on my personal radar.
NASA astronaut mess? Yes, that has been making me sad, for all parties involved. I keep imagining that with just a little tweaking, that could be me. I played with the idea of becoming an astronaut once. (the fact that I am terrified of flying pretty much screwed up that career choice though). Seriously, I did "think" about it in the sense that I realized that was something I could go after if I really wanted to. And I am human, and I can picture myself cracking under the right circumstances and doing something really stupid that very likely would be more an expression of my own insecurities and much less a path to actually harming another person. Anyway. I can see how easy it is to screw up, and to be lucky enough, or more accurately, unlucky enough, to have chosen a particular career that your screw-ups are newsworthy- to have your mistakes deemed worthy of national press? Heavens. Funny. I almost feel guilty that I feel more empathy for the astronaut than the woman who was stalked. I shouldn't. But I do because I can see that for a few flutters of a butterfly's wing, that could be me.

We're all human, ultimately.

DH is in Sioux Falls, SD again. He'll be back Wednesday and then we go skiing and then he'll go back for another week. They'd be enormously happy, apparently, if they were able to convince him to move there. You think I'm holding him back by telling him "We'll miss you?" Love is love is love but...

We had our Survivor night party tonight down at B&K's house. It was great. B and I both independently decided it was time to go with healthy snacks so we had carrots and strawberries and broccoli and no-fat ranch dressing instead of brie and nuts and chocoloate. But always in the background for me is that this is the last season of Survivor that I will have my friends here with me. It's a done deal - they're moving to Wisconsin this summer. I am going to try to approach this as just another wiggle in life's current. I'm not LOSING my friends - Q and E are not LOSING their second set of parents. E is not LOSING the best friend she's had since infancy. They're "just" moving. But SHIT. You know?

It's Life.

Monday, February 05, 2007

various and sundry

"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" will be released on July 21, 2007.
Grab your place in line now. (I'm wondering if we're going to have to buy three separate copies of the silly thing. Me, Q and E all insist we should be the first to get to read it.)

It's good to be a cat. It's about 18 degrees outside at the moment, and while *I* can't tell whether it's 18 or 78 outside as I sit here in my climate-controlled house, apparently my cat can. He spent the evening curled up on the heating vent, purring furiously.

I've been having trouble coming up with coherent thoughts lately, much less be able to construct a meaningful blog entry. I accused my sweet daughter of forging my signature on her reading log. Only when she recounted to me exactly where I was standing when I signed it (in the hall), what I was wearing (pajamas), and what I was doing (the laundry) did I admit to myself that I have just simply misplaced that memory. From yesterday. The worrisome thing is that darling daughter was not miffed at me for falsely accusing her. She was, in fact, totally unsurprised.

I have freshly washed flannel sheets on my bed right now. It's not a heater vent, but it's awfully close... Time to go curl up with DH on the couch in front of the fire, then I'm off to my haven. Cozy.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

...but she DID say it.

Molly Ivins.

When I heard Molly Ivins died of breast cancer yesterday, I started looking for my well-loved dog-eared book "Molly Ivins Can't Say That Can She?" I couldn't find it. I think I gave it to someone and I couldn't be more proud. Molly Ivins needed to be shared. She said things that needed to be said, things that needed to be shared. She was straight up. She was in your face. She was smart. She was kind (she really was). She was fearless. She was hysterical. She was awesome.

I am proud to be a woman from Texas when I can say that women like Ann Richards and Molly Ivins were Texas women, too. The loss of those two so close together is an enormous hole in the heart of Texas and a big loss to the nation.
Any nation that can survive what we have lately in the way of government, is on the high road to permanent glory. Molly Ivins

Good thing we've still got politics in Texas - finest form of free entertainment ever invented. Molly Ivins

During a recent panel on the numerous failures of American journalism, I proposed that almost all stories about government should begin: 'Look out! They're about to smack you around again!' Molly Ivins

I'm going to miss you Molly Ivins. A lot.