Saturday, March 31, 2007


Alright, so my first live blogging experience is a huge disappointment. UCLA is getting their butts kicked and I'm just sad.

I was kidding when I emailed The Dude and told him that I was turning off the North Carolina/ Southern Cal game because everytime I watch a game, my team loses. Anyone who was watching knows that Southern Cal was kicking them up and down the court. I turn it off, mourn the loss of UNC and go to bed. Lo and behold they win.

So tonight, I will cease live blogging about this game for two reasons:

1. If I stop watching, my team might win. Or Florida might lose. Close enough.
2. My guess is this is completely boring reading.

Good night.


They have GOT to make shots that are gifts. Put the ball in the basket, boys. Especially when Florida is still running down the court. Pu-leaze.

And every pass - every single pass - was just tipped off of at least three hands before it made it to the pair of hands for which it was intended.

You boys are killing me. It is hard enough rooting for a California team. But come on. We hate Florida.

Joakim pouty boy

Did you just see that? Noah is pouting like a baby. He's pulling at his shirt and flailing his hands about after having a foul called.

Puppies, I'm telling you. The man would kick puppies just because he's mad.

Sit on that bench, Noah. Sit there and chew on your nasty mouthpiece. Ha.

Is this live blogging?

I hate Florida. Not the whole state, just their sports teams. Florida basketball plays dirty and enjoys the blood they draw from other teams.

Just now, I watched two Florida players end up on the floor, with the expressions on their faces reading, "Who me? I was pushed and shoved onto this floor! Pity me! Call the foul on UCLA!"

They are so full of sh*t. Acting lessons must follow each sprint they run.

And Noah? He looks like he is ready to kill any ref who calls a foul on him. He scowls his way up and down the court, and I wouldn't doubt if he kicks puppies too.

Damn. As I typed this, Florida managed to get up by 10 points.

I don't love UCLA. I just hate Florida.

Because I have no pride, I give you Prom

Mamma has invited us all to the prom. BooYah. I was so excited. Then I started looking back at all of my pictures and couldn't remember which dance was which. There were too many different dances due to having a boyfriend at a different school and then by being all of my guy friends' back up date. Lucky me. So I'm going to give a collage of dance-goodness. A montage of my favorite dance pictures . . .

This is my main guy in high school. Robert. We started dating when I was in 9th grade and he was in 10th. When we started dating, he had these big glasses and was a little dorky to be honest. Since I was a lot dorky, we fit well. Then, over the next year, he simply blossomed. I found myself dating a really good looking, funny guy, with a great sense of humor. I was a lucky ducky. We always had the obligatory pinning of the boutonniere picture.

As far as I can remember, this photo is actually prom. At his high school though, not mine. We went to separate high schools - in my hometown there were dozens of private schools that cropped up in the 1970's. Can anyone tell me what was going on in the 1970's that would make private schools appear like clover in Mississippi?

Anyway, this year, he and all his friends wore top hats, gloves, and carried canes with their tuxes. They also did the alligator on the dance floor. It was a really fun group.

I so don't know what was going on with that dress though. It was definitely the early signs of body image issues I think. I was 5'8" and 125 pounds soaking wet. This was not a dress I needed to be wearing.

This is Chris. I stupidly went to a dance (maybe prom?) with him just for kicks. Robert went with some other girl that year because we were fighting. We were stupid that way. Or just teenagers, I'll never know.

My mom made this skirt. I loved that skirt so much. I also love those legs. From the knee down, I still have those. I'm working on them from the knees up. Sad. Anyway, then Momma bought me the velvet jacket to go with it. Which makes me think that this might have been a homecoming instead of a prom because I wouldn't be wearing velvet in the spring. Oh well. The other thing about this date was that Chris was a trumpet player. Trumpet players don't make great kissers in my estimation. He was just a little over zealous and tended to double tongue. This date ended with my mother knocking on the steamed up windows of his car in her bathrobe. After flicking the porch lights on and off a dozen times. *Ahem*

This be Chuck. I adore Chuck. He be from the country. Every story Chuck told started with, "We were drinking one night . . ." then moved onto, ". . .and we were in the back of the truck. . ." and ended with ". . . and that's when the cops showed up."

He was a drummer. Rhythmic kissing. If a slow enough song was playing, it was okay. Otherwise, paradiddles with a tongue started occurring in time to the music. He was really sweet. I think this was his prom though. If I remember correctly, he went with me to my prom too, but I can't find a picture of it.

Robert had left for college back in the fall of this school year, joined a fraternity, and dumped me over the phone. I can't say that I blame him. But I did miss him. Desperately. So I did stupid things. Going out with Chuck was not one of the stupid things. Chuck was a good guy.

This was one of the stupid things. This is Eric. This is by far my favorite dress ( cheapest too!). This was either homecoming or prom of my senior year. I think homecoming. I just knew I wouldn't have a date, having been dumped by Robert a few weeks before, and then Eric called me up and asked me to the homecoming dance. It went through my head that I didn't really know him and he didn't seem like my type, but I didn't have a real reason to say "no," so I said "yes." Then he said,

"Oh good. Because I've asked Jennifer, Nicole, Betsy, Paige, Lisa, that other Jennifer, and Zeita, and they all said 'No."

Great. I told him that if I had a shred of dignity I would now add myself to the list of "no's," but that I needed a date and he would do. Then I asked him how tall he was so that I could buy appropriate shoes. I figured after the list of his rejects before me, I could be as bitchy as I liked.

Which probably points to why I was last on the list anyway. Bitchiness. Self-preserving bitchiness. I went to an incredibly cruel high school. The kind where the 9th graders had nicer cars than any of the teachers. The kind where back to school shopping meant going to New York for the weekend. The kind where I built an incredibly thick wall just so the girls couldn't hurt me day after day. Getting a date with Eric, who went to the same high school as me, was considered an accomplishment in my book. *shakes head in disbelief*

Eric was a French horn player. I didn't kiss him, so I have no report. In fact, I'm not even sure I left the dance with him. We will have to ask Shelster about that one. We doubled that night. I think she taught me to drink gin and tonics that night too. I do remember flirting with the guitar player of the band a lot . . .

Anyway, my final picture is of a double date. Whymommy and I went to the dance together. Robert and Will took us to some dance at their high school which might have been a prom, I don't know. She and I were still upstairs getting ready when they arrived.

We were curling our hair.

Pumping on the hairspray.

Pretending that either one of us knew how to giggle. Which, of course, we didn't.

When we came downstairs, we found this:

Whymommy, I know you are too busy to go to the Blog Prom this year, but I thought you might like to see this. This is the same night that my older brother attempted to interrogate our dates and threaten them with bodily harm if they tried anything with his little sister and his little sister's best friend.

Ha. We so let them try something. Or at least I did . . .


Friday, March 30, 2007

Prom prom prom

It turns out the first post I've ever written and then saved as a draft is my prom post for the Blog Prom hosted by Mamma. Coming up on Saturday.

Today's post is supposed to be a post about whether or not we went to the tanning bed or got a manicure or whatever.

I can totally say no to all of those things.

What I was most likely doing the day before prom?

Calling all my friends to see if I could borrow a dress since I totally hated shopping for one. And had procrastinated. So much procrastination that my dyeable shoes were always still white the night of a dance.

Probably the only preparation I had done was writing a really cheesy love song for whatever boy I was gahgah over at the time. As in, the chorus had the freaking word, "princess" in it. And then my friend Hope and I would sing them and record them on a boombox.

And no. That will never be on Thursday Tunes. Evah.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Thursday Tunes

More of the Moi Choir.

This is not really going where I had hoped. The idea was to put new recordings out there. Instead, this week you get another tune from the Dude. Now, don't get me wrong, it's a lovely tune. I'm just hoping that the recording gets going soon.

For this week though, enjoy this song of the Dude's. It's the title track on his newest CD.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The Secret

I am supposed to being doing a music meme from Momma. And, I'm trying to get ready for the Prom as well, but my scanner is not cooperating. Man, Momma is asking a lot these days. The pressure is getting to me. Kidding.

Instead, I am playing with a Fortune Teller that Lovely made.

Lovely has been watching "The Secret" with her mother. If you don't know about this DVD, then you can find it here. It is not a joke, by the way. After the things she told us about it and wanting to discuss it with us, we decided that we needed to see it for ourselves.

Since we are cheap, and by cheap I mean frugal, we first went to the website to see what information we could get there for free. What we saw was incredibly hilarious, and by hilarious I mean disturbing.



And Number 2 on her Fortune Teller:


She has a great sense of humor, that kid. When I got to the part where I was about to choose number 2, she nearly squealed with delight. We both almost wet our pants when she revealed to me that indeed, "I will receive unexpected checks in the mail." *contented sigh after a great big long belly laugh*

Guy did buy the DVD, by the way, because Lovely said it wasn't like the ridiculous trailer on the internet, although the genie (yes, I just said genie) does in fact make an appearance.

Like most things, there is some truth to it. That's about all I have to say.

Okay, who am I kidding? That's not all I have to say. It pissed me off to no end.

Here is this self-help video telling people that all you have to do is think something and it will happen. Some truth? Yes. Positive thoughts make your day more positive. The more you focus on something, the more you notice it in your everyday life. I believe that.

But there are people buying this that are missing the part that the DVD doesn't say. There is actual WORK that must occur between the believing and the receiving. It's not all freaking magical. And, Dude. There are no genies. Sorry.

What pissed me off was the bit about health. A woman "cured" herself of breast cancer because she thought positive thoughts, kept the stress out of her life, and watched funny movies every night with her husband. In 3 months the cancer was gone. They essentially said that if you were sick, then you brought it on yourself. Your thoughts were those of a sick person. Oh please.

You know, of course, that I went straight to my miscarriage. I SO did not cause that with my thoughts. I was the most annoyingly positive pregnant woman. Then I turn to my dad. Should I tell him, "Oh Dad. You have Parkinson's because you think about Parkinson's. Just change your thinking and you will be healed. From an incurable, terminal, neurological disease. It's your own damn fault you have it in the first place."


Freaking Secret my ass. And then there is the author for the Chicken Soup for the Soul books. He talks about how he made $100K one year after he taped a $1 bill to the ceiling above his bed. He looked at this bill, that he had added a bunch of zeros to, every morning, and lo and behold, he found a way to make $100K. He thought, "I can sell this book that I've written . . ."

Dude. You skimmed over the fact that you already wrote the book. Do you really expect us to believe the $1 bill taped on your ceiling was the cause of your ability to make money, or the fact that you already wrote the freaking book???

Oh my. This DVD cost $30. If you don't waste the $30, then you are already $30 richer. That's the secret.

Don't think you are a loser or you will attract losers. Work hard for what you want and expect results. Don't waste your hard earned money on shit DVD's that tell you a bunch of stuff you want to hear.

Better to follow an 11 year old's fortune teller. The Secret? Pick "yellow," then "9," then "1," then "2." Number Two is the Secret.

Me think pretty one day

Gerbil. I read a blogger named Gerbil. I think she is awesome even if she is named after a rodent. Seeing as how I am named for a small decorative, usually salty, hors d'oeurves served at cocktail hour thereby encouraging people to drink more, I guess I really can't talk.

Guy gave me this name right after we watched "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" together. Alison Eastwood presents a tray to John Cusack and simply says, "Canape?" He said that the southern accent and coy presentation are why he started to call me "salty appetizer," but then I sealed the deal for him. And my fate for me.

We had stopped at a visitor's center on our first road trip together. After looking around and stretching our legs, he was headed back to the car. We passed the restrooms and I asked, "Can I pee?" To his adorable Yankee ears though, it sounded like, "Cahn-ah-pay?" Rather, "Canape?" And thus, the name has stuck to this day.

Back to Gerbil.

She has thoughtfully bestowed The Thinking Blog award on me. Which is ever so nice, because had I been passing them out before her, she would have been on my list.

I do not consider this a blog where I think a lot. Ponder maybe, but think? Not particularly. I suppose because it is such a personal blog, I do not consider it an intellectual blog. Plus, for every complete sentence I write, there are at least 2 sentence fragments. And sometimes I don't spellcheck. And I start sentences with "and" and "but."

Perhaps though, it can be personal and intellectual at the same time?

Grammer and spelling notwithstanding, I guess it would be nice to think I made someone think once. Or twice. So thank you, Gerbil, for giving me my first blog award. I am surprised at how excited it made me.

One of the great things about this award is that you get to pass it on to five bloggers who make you think. Ilker started this back in February, and you should go read the original post here. Since then, I have seen it pop up on many of the blogs that I read.

So now I move it forward, on from here, directing you to five bloggers who really make me think. Not just bloggers that I adore and feel smooshy about, but bloggers who have made me think.

Toddler Planet. Whymommy does happen to be my bestest friend, but there are no favorites being played here. She is uber-intelligent balanced with uber-down-to-earth. She has great dialogue for career moms who now stay at home, but then surprises you with a post about taking her newborn with her to a scientific conference.

The House of H. Lizzy has a beautiful one year old little boy (Happy Belated Birthday, Henry!) and writes about her family mostly. But she writes about them in a way that makes me feel like I already know them. Plus, she has this former job and former life that fascinates me . . . I think she has boatloads of stories to tell. She describes blogging as a "live action memoir." I love that.

The Kids Are Alright. Kgirl has a newish blog. At least that's what I think I can tell. I didn't know about the oldish blog, and I think I missed out. I found this on the list of Perfect Post Awards for February. It is an amazing post. But then there is this, this, and this too. Personal, thoughtful, and thought provoking. You are supposed to pass this award to bloggers who have not yet received it. I have this feeling that I am just racing other bloggers right this second to get my post up first so that I can be the one to nominate her. There has to be a gaggle of us who would do it.

I Obsess. If James Joyce were a female blogger. Jump in and swim around with her for awhile. It's quite a ride, and when you come up for air, you just want to dive right back in. She is one of the best examples of a writer who doesn't just tell how she feels, she makes you feel how she feels.

Mommy, PhD. So you obviously know she's a smart one, just from the title. Her writing though will prove it. You have plenty of time to dig back through all the archives, because she's going to be giving birth here soon. I don't imagine she'll be posting that much for a few weeks! You get a great mix of mommy meets doctoral student meets current issues.

So that's it. And it was totally hard. I actually thought long and hard here, in honor of being a thinking blogger and all. But I didn't really edit, don't worry. Not breaking any long standing traditions at this point.

There are three bloggers who completely deserve this who I deliberately didn't give it to. Following Ling Ling as She Gives Lymphoma a Beatdown and Twisted Ovaries are both at the top of my Thinking Blogs list. However, it just didn't seem appropriate to name them right now. Their blogging is focused on personal and intense issues, and I didn't want to pass an award that was also a meme to them. Go read them anyway please.

The third would be my mom's blog. Yep. Momma started blogging. She has posted two entries, and I'm surprised at how open she is and how well she writes. You can so tell though, that we are related. It is really funny how our styles are not that far off.

Blogging though, is not something I share with my mother. Yet. She doesn't know about this blog, and I'm not sure I'm going to tell her. There has been nothing said that would be intentionally hurtful, but I have been raw and honest. Without editing.

So I'm not giving it to her either, but she deserves it.

In fact, everyone I read deserves it. If they didn't make me think, or make me care, I wouldn't continue reading them.

Group hug.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Ahhhh, Alfred

Tonight was the Alfred Brendel concert. Really, it was. We ended up having Lovely with us after all, so instead of getting one of my students to babysit, we bought two more tickets and took Lovely and the student too. It's not like they are going to have oodles of opportunities to see him perform.

It was amazing.

Again with the ticket mishap though. When we arrived, we discovered that the box office had not sold us 2 additional tickets in the same vicinity. They had sold us two additional tickets on the opposite side of the auditorium. Plus, people were already in our seats when we arrived (at the nick of time), and we didn't have time to argue with them. We had already wasted valuable time telling the usher that, no, the girls' tickets were not in the box with the man for whom the concert hall was named.

"Excuse me, Dr. Bigname who basically purchased this concert hall, I think you are sitting in my 11 year old's seat. Scoot."

So we went around to where Lovely and IO's seat were actually located. It was on the wrong side to see Mr. Brendel's hands. I thought all they were going to see was piano lid. But by then we had to just grab a couple of seats near theirs because the concert was starting.

I have never been so pleasantly surprised.

True, we could not see his hands. What we saw though, was his face. Alfred Brendel is 76 years old and has recorded at least 72 albums, and is my most favorite Beethoven performer. He is also a brilliant live performer.

I watched his face express every nuance that came from the piano. His jaw kept time and shook with each trill. Every smile that exploded when he milked just the right tone from the piano would melt into a furrowed brow and closed eyes as the phrase he was loving ended. Our seats were directly in his line of vision, had he been looking.

But he was not.

When his head came up and his eyes were pointed at us, they were closed. He was looking only at the colors created as he painted Beethoven in fresh paints, on a brand new canvas.

This audience has been spoiled though. At a normal symphony concert, the good looking Welsh conductor they have hired gives them plenty of time between movements to shift in their seats, clear their throats, speak to their neighbor, and rustle their programs.

Brendel had no time for this. He is 76 for crying out loud. Get comfortable. Sit still. Don't cough. And please don't talk. Ever. I had warned the girls. IO asked, "Can we at least breathe?" My reply, "Maybe. But don't make any noise when you do it."

When he began the second Schubert Impromptu (your favorite, Bach - I'm so sorry I didn't drag you there!), there was the typical noise of shifting in the auditorium. Only with the addition of a couple of real hackers. Granted, the people were probably genuinely ill and needed to cough, but Brendel didn't care.

About halfway through the theme of the Impromptu, he stopped. I knew it was coming. He had twice before looked into the audience as he played and shook his head as if to say, "I hear you and you are about to get it." And we got it.

He stopped, turned to the audience and basically said, "I am trying to concentrate," but with his Czech accent and a lot more words. But I couldn't hear what he said after that. I'm hoping T is going to leave a comment and fill in the blanks.

He called us out. I, along with the entire audience, have been scolded by Alfred Brendel. I am so embarrassed, and I didn't even breathe loudly. And at the same time, it was awesome. I'm so glad that Lovely and IO got to see that and realize that performers DO notice the audience. You are not invisible at a concert, and the performer can hear you unwrapping that candy wrapper. Doing it slowly doesn't make it any quieter by the way!

I have been at two other concerts where performers stopped and proclaimed their displeasure. One was Tori Amos. Some people were talking and she stopped to tell them they were rude and needed to shut up or leave. The audience cheered.

The other was Blind Melon. They were playing in a small club with crappy sound. Shannon Hoon had complained several times about his monitor mix to no avail. At this point, I feel the need to point out though, that the club was too small to even need monitors for the amount of volume they were pumping. Turn the hell down and maybe you could hear something. Anywhooo, poor dumb sound monkey comes up on stage to check the cable running to Shannon's monitor when he gets jumped. By Shannon. In the middle of the song. A freaking brawl. It was awesome, but I was also young and stupid. Today, I would have probably been mortified and fled the club.

So tonight, I add Mr. Alfred Brendel to the ranks of Tori Amos and Shannon Hoon. Performers who aren't beyond stopping and demanding that their environment be conducive to what they are offering. I'm sure he is so incredibly proud.

And yes, I totally see how ludicrous it is to group those three musicians all together. But I like it. I like to see the common thread. And it's funny.

Thank you, Mr. Brendel, for a perfect evening. For putting up with a less than perfect audience. For playing your heart out. It was spectacular.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

I have smart friends with smart butts

If you need drugs, you need drugs. You gotta get in a better place for the bambino yet to appear. He/she needs to arrive in an okay place...too much weight on bambino to cause the happy place. You know what, I don't know shit about what you are feeling so feel free to chalk the previous statements to "T is talking out her butt again".

I have some of the smartest friends ever. Evah. In the world. I'm chalking this up to that. Smart friends with smart butts.

I so hope she doesn't mind me posting part of her email here. It's just that I've read it 8 million times in the past hour, so I thought I needed to share.

She is so right. My next child's job is not to mend my broken heart. How selfish of me not to realize that. My job is to heal before the next child. That is what a mother would do.

How lucky I am to have a friend brave enough to point it out.

Either pour a drink or move on

Tipsy blogging. Never a good idea. So here I go!

Best thing about starting your period? Damn straight. Drinking. On the bar tonight? A lovely bottle of 2004 Estate, Sonoma County, Pinot Noir by Nicholson Ranch. Yummmy. I have had one glass and I'm hitting the delete button at least half as much as the letters I am typing.

And yet I continue. Brilliant.

I hate selling my house. We have now changed everything down to the paint colors of my most beloved kitchen. And the realtor says, "It just looks perfect now." Great. I liked it before. So not the point, I know. But still. It was perfect before dammit.

That was a tangent, by the way. Here is the real blogging now.

In 2005, I was fired from one of my jobs. Luckily, it was the job I hated, so in the end, I was much better off. But still, for those of you who have been fired, it sucks.

"Hello, you suck ass. Leave now and give us your key."


The double ouch was that they called me in for a noon meeting, fired me, and then I had to dash off to a 2:00 funeral of one of my students. She was 6 years old, the most beautiful and bubbly student I had, and she was killed in a car accident. Her father accidentally ran a stop sign on a country highway and that was it. He survived. Physically that is. If you think about it, pray for that family on May 30. I do at least once a week, but that day in particular.

Anyway, the women who fired me accused me of trying to take over the school. My confusion was that the head woman had asked me to take over. She had asked for advice and help on making the school a more viable business.

Lesson #1: When your boss asks for help on a helpless situation, either shut the hell up or stroke their ego and tell them how awesome of a job they are doing. Look for other work in the meantime.

Lesson #2: When co-head woman milks the school for all the money she can all the while farming out 90% of her responsibilities to the other teachers and paying them a generous $10 per hour for work that she is already being, you shouldn't tell her that you prefer to teach her how to do her job once instead of you doing it month after month.

Lesson #3: When you know you are being screwed out of your mind, and you know your students are being screwed out of their hard earned cash, make the decision to leave yourself. Don't wait around out of some twisted loyalty for things to get better. They won't.

Lesson #4: Even though you work for a nonprofit organization, that doesn't mean that they are aware that their tax returns are public record. If they tell you they are in financial trouble and can't afford to give the teachers but a $0.25 per hour raise, don't expect them to know that you can download their financial records off the internet and present them. In complete oblivion that they were lying in the first place. As in, "Someon is giving you wrong information. You have plenty of money. See?" I can be so dumb.

So I've learned a lot. A lot of stuff I probably already knew but wasn't in a mental or emotional state to realize.

Now, two years later, the head and co-head have imploded upon each other. No surprise to me or T, but apparently a surprise to the rest of this area. And today, I took a look at the new websites for the school I used to work for and the school that the former co-head started (hence the implosion).

I cannot believe how many resemblances there are to my studio website. My studio name. My studio logo.

And yet, I am my own studio. I am not in competition with their schools. Not really. I am not soliciting students because I already have a waiting list. Plus, I don't have an overhead to meet really. I'm finally teaching for the love of teaching. That, and to pay for the fantabulous piano sitting in the other room.

What I want to know is this. If I had been trying to take over (which I wasn't), then did you really think it was that bad of a plan? I mean, if you are going to model yourselves after what works for me, can you really expect me to believe that I had bad ideas?

Not really. Just bad presentation.

Lesson #5: Presentation is everything.

Thursday, March 22, 2007


I'm starting a new blog. This one isn't going anywhere, although I'm about ready for a new template of my very own. I just have to decide who I want to ask to design it - and how much I am willing to spend.

Anyway, back to the new blog.

A few weeks ago, a former co-worker of mine and I were chatting at a piano event. I'm thinking that we are having this pretty standard catching up chat when she says,

"You have the most tragic life of anyone I know."

Holy crap.

That is so not how I want to portray myself because it is not true.

My friend T and I were walking this morning when this very subject came up. The subject of gratitude. I said that no matter how many bad things have happened in my life in the past five years, I was still a happy person. Because in my life, these past five years, I have also had some of the most wonderful things happen as well, and I'm pretty damn lucky.

I have so much.

And I have laughter. Everyday. Not everyone laughs everyday I don't think. But I do. Either at Guy or at my students, or at a fellow Blogette. There is always something to laugh about.

So I want to start this new blog. A gratitude blog. And I would like for there to be more than one contributor. I know that a lot of you have a lot of things for which you are grateful. And while you probably already blog about them, just think about the huge amounts of positive energy someone could get from reading post after post of people's gratitude.

I tried to do this on Tuesday, but I couldn't make the template work that I wanted. Tonight, I will launch it with a standard Blogger template. If you are willing to join me, please let me know and I'll add you as a contributor. If you want to post without signing on, email me and I'll post your submission. But join me if you will. Join me in being grateful for what we have in life.

It feels good.

Come on by and get, or give, some good vibes: Gratuitous Gratefulness

Thursday Tunes

This week's Thursday Tune was supposed to be Johnny Mathis doing the Hallelujah Chorus especially for Karaoke Diva. Alas, I cannot for the life of me figure out how to convert it, so you will just have to imagine how fabulously awful it is. Truly.

Instead, you get to hear one of Dude's songs. This is on his latest cd, which is quite lovely. He does most all of the recording himself - we are just his live band. However, he does get me to do backing vocals, which makes me happy because I love to sing back up best of all. Plus, he lets me do scads of tracks, so it the narcissist's dream. Tons of little me's all over. Mwhahahahaha.

Remember, Dude is an anchorman first and foremost. He doesn't have any formal musical training. It flat out amazes me what he can do. He is the best example of "natural musician" I have ever met.

For googling purposes, I'm not naming the song, cd, or Dude here. However, if you like it and are so curious that you can't stand it, I'll be happy to email you the details.

And so it is

I'm so not pregnant. This is the second month of negatives. I do not know how people survive infertility. There are some amazingly strong women out there. I mean, I'm whining about two months. I almost feel guilty, but then I remind myself that it is my own sadness to feel.

This dividing my life up into cycles and weeks is not great for my mental well being. Tomorrow, my period will start, that is if it doesn't come a day early. This means that I have a week of being normal. The next week starts the anticipation of ovulation. Where are we going to be? When can we have sex? When should that glass of wine be the last glass of wine? Then comes the two week wait. God I hate the two week wait.

This month, I busied myself by peeing on sticks. A lot of sticks. And while I thought it would be something to keep me occupied, another tangible think I could do, it hasn't helped at all. Starting each day with disappointment is no way to live. I've tried that in the past and took drastic measures to stop it.

New rules.

1. I will continue to chart because if we get don't hit it this next month, I'm going in and getting some answers. I'm not getting any younger here, people. Four months of charts and three months of actively trying ought to get a 34 year old woman some help.

2. There will be no pregnancy tests until after the first day of my period is missed. Period.

3. I will not use my chart as a seduction tool with Guy.

I believe with all my heart that it will happen. I see the nursery in the new coat of Lemon Chiffon that Guy and I gave it this past weekend, but more importantly than that, I see a baby in that nursery. I see a stroller in front of me everyday when I walk. I see a carseat in the Jeep. I see us having a baby together.

Then, on a bad day (which I haven't decided whether this is one or not), I remember that I also believed with all my heart that Cleatus was just fine. Like completely and with an unwavering spirit. Like to the point where the doctor actually said, "You know, you are holding up really well. Most women are a complete wreck when they come in for bleeding." I was holding up because I believed it was all fine and I was just there for them to fix the bleeding. That is what I told him a mere 5 minutes before the ultrasound.

I will try for a good day. Getting a negative just means we try again. I have one more shot at having a baby while I'm still 34. It would be nice to have the first one not automatically be labeled high-risk. There's going to be enough anxiety already.

I am trying for a good day. I can be sad and still have a good day. I hope.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007


Momma's ca125 level came back as 11. Lower than in November. With no additional chemo or treatment.


Terminal my ass.

Monday, March 19, 2007


Every time I turn around, limbo is lurking at the door. Neither Guy nor I do well in limbo. We both hate it and crave stability.

Guy is still laid off. He has a great job just dangling in front of him, but they won't lay down the contract and say "sign." The funding is still just out of reach to hire him officially. They call and email, reminding him that they want him, but come on, folks. April is right around the corner, and we start eating into his severance package. We really don't want to do that.

I am in the dreaded two week wait. The cheap internet tests that I bought have caused more harm than good. I, of course, have tested early and although my temps look promising for some implantation, the tests are still saying negative. I have another six days before I can officially give up for this month though.

My mom goes back to the oncologist today. In December, they declared her miraculously cancer free. While I feel as though these past three months have been limbo, my daddy has been living as though Momma's reprise from cancer is a done deal. Momma doesn't say what she thinks, but I know her. I know she is in limbo too. And while they will see the doctor and draw the blood today, it will be more limbo as we wait to see what the ca125 says now.

We will wait, in limbo, to see if the cancer is still gone.

My therapist said that I am to think about "now." I am to try and reign in the planning ahead, charting out every possible scenario and how I will handle them. Live now.

This week, I think I know why I am supposed to do that. You cannot be close to people while you are in limbo. If you don't live in the present, there isn't any way you can connect with the people around you.

Every night, Guy falls asleep before me because I just can't sleep lately. As his breath evens out and his muscles relax starting with his neck, then his shoulders, and on down to his very heavy legs, one of which is usually thrown across mine, I feel him slipping away. He feels further and further away, and I lay there, with my arm across his chest and my cheek on his shoulder, wondering where he is.

He is in limbo.

And at my mother's house over the holidays, she and I never talked. She did not come in my room to see about me after the miscarriage. She did not hover. She did not try and talk to me. She stayed away. And I lay in the bed, wondering where she was.

She was in limbo.

I cancelled my students today. I do have a sinus headache, but for the most part, I am just severely anxious and unable to focus. I have taught like that one day and it wasted everybody's time and probably didn't make my students feel very good about themselves because I wasn't really there.

I was in limbo.

We are waiting for these answers as if once we have them, we can finally move on. I think what we have to do is learn to live without them. Because there will always be questions. There will always be uncertainty.

I want to learn to live now. I just don't know how.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Shame on 60 Minutes. Shame on Scott Pelley.

I am not typically a very political person. I was very opinionated and outspoken in high school, and then I figured out that the older I got, the more my views evolved. Having done 180's on numerous issues, I decided to just start keeping my opinions to myself, lest I end up sounding like an idiot every time I change my mind.

Opinions should evolve I think. Your life experiences and the people you meet over time should effect the way you view the world. After my miscarriage, I had a really hard time reading anything about abortion and considered the possibility that it may in fact be wrong. My women's rights and ProChoice mindset were on shaky ground. I have come back down solidly on the side of choice, with the firm understanding that my choice would never be to abort. If I hadn't decided that by the time I read kgirl's post, she would have convinced me.

That was a complete tangent. Almost. This post though, is about some of my opinions. Some of my firm opinions and how angry I got at one little story on 60 Minutes tonight.

I am what my father calls a bleeding heart liberal. I hate war. I hate that our country is at war. I hate George Bush for pushing so hard and so blindly for war.

I hate it because people die. Violence does not beget peace.

My father was a soldier. He was a Captain in the Army during Vietnam. I asked him one day to tell me about the war. I had just read In Country and wanted to hear his stories. He didn't want to talk. I pressed. He blew up. He yelled at me that I didn't really want to hear it.

"Do you really want to hear about how your old man flew around in helicopters and shot into the jungle, into towns, and killed whatever people were there? Do you? Do you want to hear how I probably shot women and children too?" he screamed.

My answer was "yes," but I said "no." He obviously didn't want me to know, and he didn't want to talk about it. But there were people trying to kill him. His job was to stay alive.

Tonight on 60 Minutes, Scott Pelley interviewed Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich. This is one of the Marines who has been charged with murder in the death of Iraqi civilians, including women and children, in Haditha. I am not going to recount the whole story here, but you can read it on the CBS website. You will have to watch the video to get the over the top I'm-so-ashamed-of-you wrinkled forehead that Pelley liked to display. His skills in this interview were akin to Meredith Viera or any other pseudo journalist that people use as background noise in the morning.

What made me so angry was that CBS touted this interview as the first time a Marine was going to speak about Haditha, like they were going to let him tell his story in a for real news interview. What happened though, was Pelley attempted to lead him through questions that pointed fingers, placed blame, and were more designed to shame this man as he tried to explain what no civilian understands. War.

Our country is going to try 4 Marines for murder. Murders that were committed in a war. After they were attacked. I am not even kidding.

Yes, the wrong people got killed that day. One of the wrong people killed was a Marine from that troop. The others were innocent Iraqi civilians. One of those was a 2 year old child. It was a tragedy. It was awful.

For God's sake, it's war. War is a tragedy. War is awful.

Pelley actually tried to get Wuterich to apologize as if he were one of the predators on Dateline's computer pervert set ups.

I think Pelley needs an assignment on the front lines of Iraq.

Every life taken in this war is someone's family member. Every man is someone's son. Every woman is someone's daughter. Most of them are innocent.

When you choose war as the answer for your problems, you have chosen the deaths of innocent people. To then punish the soldiers you employ to carry out your war is despicable. They don't have time to make decisions that are always the most humane. The only soldiers who benefit from 20/20 hindsight are the ones who are still alive.

I despise our government tonight. I despise Scott Pelley. I despise 60 Minutes and CBS.

God bless the people of America and Staff Sgt. Wuterich. He is a man that had shit decisions to make. He is a man whose job sucked. He is a man who believes in this country so much that he chose to go and fight for it.

That is certainly more than I would ever be willing to do. I'm guessing it's a hell of a lot more than Scott Pelley would ever do.

Friday, March 16, 2007

You can take the blonde out of my hair . . .

My lands. Brunette has made me none more smarter. None at all.

There is a pianist, Alfred Brendel. He is my most favorite Beethoven performer. He is also ancient and frail, so when he scheduled a concert right here where I live, I got excited. He scheduled one last year, but I was very distracted, and he got sick anyway, so I didn't miss anything.

I bought Guy and I tickets for this concert. I almost bought Lovely one, but changed my mind at the last minute. I hadn't talked to her about it, and it was going to be a meaty all solo piano concert, so I just bought the two tickets.

After I bought the tickets, I called Papa to see if he could babysit that night, and he said of course. Good. It was all set. Guy and I were going to see Alfred Brendel.

Enter the flaky canape (which sounds very much like an appetizer now).

When the girl selling me the tickets said that the concert dates were March 16 and 17, the thought passed through my mind that he should only be playing one night. But what do I know? I told her that we would need tickets on the 16th. I chose seats on the side of the stage, where his back would be to us, but we could look straight down on his hands. She printed the tickets and I never even looked at them.

Tonight is March 16.

I spoke to my friend T today. She had tickets last year to see Mr. Brendel when he cancelled, but she didn't mention the concert this weekend. I was sad. I thought she wasn't going to get to go. At first I didn't say anything, but then called her back later to ask. She didn't answer and I didn't leave a message.

Guy and I arrive at the symphony hall. It is crowded. Parking is tight. I'm excited that Mr. Brendel has such a great turnout.

We enter the hall. Our tickets are scanned by the usher using some new fangled barcode reader they have, and he tells us to enjoy the concert. We thank him.

As we take our seats, I mention to Guy that I thought this was to be a solo piano concert. What was the symphony doing on stage? Maybe, I thought, they are going to do a concerto for the first half and then solo piano afterwards. Just as I'm completing that thought, Guy opens the program and says,

"Schmoopie? This says that a violinist is playing tonight."

We look at the tickets with which we have just entered the hall regardless of the fancy barcode reader, and sure enough they say:

March 26.

Here's where I get even flakier.

Since we have what they consider season tickets, even thought it is a package of 6 of the 12 concerts, I assume that we do in fact have tickets for tonight and I just brought the wrong ones. I assume that I am so excited about Mr. Brendel that I thought he was tonight, when in fact, we should be up in our regular season ticket seats.

No problem. We go to the will call window and explain that we have brought the wrong tickets and could we please be reminded of our season ticket seat numbers. The girl was beyond nice. She looked them up by our last name, wrote them down for us, and we went on our way.

Okay, small problem. When we get to the seat numbers she wrote down, we notice that it isn't our usual row, and besides that, the seat numbers didn't exist.

We return to the nice girl who begins to fall all over herself with apologies. She walks us up to where she wrote our seats down, and discovers that in fact, they do not exist. More apologies. She pulls out 2 tickets from an envelope she is carrying and says,

"Just use these tonight. I am so sorry for the mix up. Please let me know if I can do anything else."

Finally, Guy and I settle into the appropriate seats. I open the program, read the selections for the evening and realize the truth.

I did not buy tickets for this concert. I know this because I only purchased tickets for the concerts that were premiering pieces by North Carolina composers.

I have just pulled the biggest scam on the this poor girl. We are sitting in $50 seats - each of us is sitting in a $50 seat. Not only did we not pay a penny for these seats, but we had the box office manager falling over herself to give them to us with apologies.

We left at intermission half wrecked with guilt, the other half just tired from climbing up and down the stairs 4 times in 4 inch boots.

I thought about trying to call on Monday and explain to her what happened and offer to pay for the tickets. But really. Who is going to believe that I could be that stupid? Don't answer that, I know there are some people out there. I think I'll just chalk this one up to a really good laugh, and when that solicitation letter from the symphony comes this year, I might just have to send them a check.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Thursday Tunes

This past weekend, Guy and I bought a new hard disk recording unit. We have been tinkering around with it as demonstrated here, but there are no fruits of our labor yet. If fruits don't appear soon, this may have to turn into a quarterly feature rather than a weekly feature.

So I present to you yet another 3-4 year old performance of a Tori song. "Waitress." Performed in the days before I knew of the glories of Flonase in February. I heart Flonase.

Of course I judge. I have listened to this at least 15 times in the last week, finding reasons why I don't want to put this out here. Me. The person who regularly fills this blog with unedited mental vomit, is hesitating here.

The middle of the song reaks. The second chorus is painful to listen to. So if you are only in for 20 seconds of it, skip to the end. I will say that I actually like the last verse of the recording.

I am my own worst critic. That's not unusual though. There became a moment though, in the study of music, where I became far too critical of myself. I don't know when that moment was, but in a way, I do wish it had never happened. In another way, I wish it had happened before the dreaded album of 1996.

Enough with the words. On with the music. Not for the quality, but for the love and enjoyment.

Wish us luck with the Tascam so that we don't have to endure another week of Tori not being done by Tori.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Butterfly Baby

It's been several days since I have been very positive. About motherhood and pregnancy in particular. It's been several sort of down in the blues days. My homework this week from my therapist was this:

When I start thinking those black thoughts, think of 3 things I am grateful for and how they make me feel.

I could only think of two. She didn't take points off, but of course then I started worrying about how I could only think of two things for which I'm really grateful, and one of them I just kind of said because I was really going to feel bad if I had only thought of one.

I am happy to report that I now have my third thing.

There is a blog I found through Babes in Blogland called Twisted Ovaries. The first post I read was The News. It was such a perfect post. She and her husband, after battles upon battles with infertility, have found out some news. I'm not telling it here, because you really have to read her words.

Today, I checked in on her while I was waiting for a student. There is fear, uncertainty, and nerves in the writing that makes you feel like you are sitting right there with her.

And then, at the end of her post, I stopped myself from crying, and I realized that I have my third thing.

I am grateful that I saw my baby's heartbeat.

To steal from this writer, I imagine if I put the heartbeat up to my face, it would feel like butterfly wings.

Whatever fear I have of getting pregnant again, or not getting pregnant again and whatever black thoughts I might continue to have - I have my three things now. The third one being those butterfly wings.

She has turned off comments for now, and understandably so. If for some reason though, she ever stops by and finds this, I want her to know that I think that post was one of the most beautiful things I have ever read.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Y2K Larry

We bought a shell of a house. It had new paint.

Were you expecting more? A list of other great new things about the house? So sorry to disappoint. We truly think that the last family sold the house because they didn't want to fix anything. Except with duct tape.

Any repair or "home improvement" that we have found (excluding those with done with duct tape) was done by the owner previous to the previous owner.

It turns out that one of my students knows this previous squared owner. His mom mentioned to me that they were a quirky family.

"Do you know why the fence closest to the street is so much taller than the rest of the fence in the backyard?" she says.

"Nooooo. . ." I say.

She smiles just enough to let me know that she isn't allowed to make fun of him, but wait for it: "Y2K."

"What?" I ask.

"Larry was very prepared for Y2K, and he didn't want the neighbors to see his stash." she says.

Oh. my.

Thank god we now have an explanation for it all.

Why are there three sheds out back? Y2K Larry.

Why are the electrical outlets in the upstairs bathroom tied to the same line as the washing machine downstairs? Y2K Larry.

Why are the tub spouts a full 3 inches higher than that drains allow, causing them to leak, causing us to have to replace them and the tiles surrounding the spouts? Y2K Larry.

Why is the floor in the kitchen an extra inch taller than all other floors? Y2K Larry.

Why is there a steampipe fitting in the half bath for a little tiny sink? Y2K Larry.

Why, in the attic filled with blown insulation making it look like the battlefield of some savage stuffed animal war, are there live wires buried in the carnage? Live wires that could have killed my Guy, but managed to only make him smell of burnt hair for a day? Why? Y2K Larry.

"Don't worry about that live wire, honey, the RAPTURE is coming!!!" Y2K Larry.

WHY OH WHY2K Larry. Indeed.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Maybe we should get cable

This weekend, Guy and I bought a new hard disk recorder. The ginormous recording studio desk and computer and loads of gear are being replaced with one nice sleek Tascam. Plus, I'll understand how to use it. Bonus.

Tonight, we played around with it until Guy decided that the pre-amps were all wrong. That is when I got bored. Until this:

There were also songs about pot pies, Schmoopies, and various versions of songs about pooting. We are so mature.

This is after we used Boo's blacklight to find the mystery dog pee in the music room.

It has been a fun filled evening at our house. Boy howdy.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

The truth only hurts a little

I do this thing occasionally. Unnecessary googling.

I'll google Guy, even though his name is so common that I get way too many hits to find the real one, not to mention the fact a porn star shares his name. I'll google me, just to see where I might pop up and why. And finally, I'll google the name of the band that has the wretched cd from 1996 because I want to make sure that no one is still selling the disks that pay homage to all guitar playing ala Pink Floyd with the royal Roland Jazz Chorus and opera singing back up vocalist who hated my guts anyway.

This unnecessary googling only happens once every few months, usually when the Bloglines are slow and already searched eBay for pieces of my Gail Pittman pattern and I can take no more Etsy for the evening.

Tonight, I unnecessarily googled.

And low and behold, someone is talking about that old band.

It made it to a list of bad band names. Pretentious was the actual word.

It only stung a little until I remembered that it was pretentious, and I didn't name the band in the first place.

Unfortunately though, the name of my next band (imaginary though it may be) will be Aurora Welding. Which is equally as pretentious but has a mildly amusing drunk story to go with it.

A friend of mine, transplant from New York, came up to me at an open mic to say he had heard on the way over that a famous, rather, pivital author from Mississippi had died. She was really old, and NPR said her name was "Aurora Welding." He had never heard of her, but had I? We pondered over our many beers and decided that no, I had not heard of "Aurora Welding." What had she written? What made her famous? Why hadn't I heard of her?

The next morning, I heard for myself that Eudora Welty had died. Big fat duh. Eudora Welty indeed.

Stay tuned for an pop project with tight vocals and bad ass guitar playing sans Roland Jazz Chorus, called Aurora Welding. Bad band names will forever plauge me.

Coming up for air

Apologies. Friday was what you call a bad day. A really bad day. On top of not feeling good physically.

Thank you for the kind words. I am grateful, but also slightly embarrassed that I needed them.

Therapy is hard. In order to be able to work through all the thoughts I was having Friday, I have to be able to say them. In order to say them, I have to stop crying long enough to speak.

And breathe.

Most days are better than that one. I often think to myself that I should step away from the keyboard if I'm starting a third glass of wine, but there was no wine that night. Just a no good awful crummy sucky day.

There are these places we go. Places that we shouldn't go. Places that are way low down and are where we can think destructive thoughts. I don't want to go there, but sometimes I look up and I'm there already. I don't even know how I got there.

I started climbing out yesterday, and today, I woke up and squinted at the light again.
It would be nice to not go back down there, but I'm not sure I can promise myself that yet. I can promise myself to keep climbing out again. And again.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Behind the laughing

If any of you know me by now, you know that most of my laughter is followed shortly thereafter by what's really bothering me. I laughed a lot in therapy today, so I'm checking in here to talk about what I wasted my money on ignoring in that hour.

I'm reading a book. Pregnancy After a Loss. It is a good book I think. I'm about halfway done. There have been parts that I could have written myself, parts that were lightbulb moments, and parts that comforted me greatly.

There is one part though, that I cannot for the life of me get out of my head.

Awhile back, I joked about all the illogical reasons that I could blame myself for the loss of our baby, but in reality, that mental torture has never gone away. To this day, I still wonder if there was something different I could have done.

Then I read it in this book that is supposed to be helping me heal.

"Babies born with anencephaly have a severely underdeveloped skull and brain, a condition that is nearly always fatal. These conditions occur when the tube that forms the brain and spinal cord in a baby does not cloes completely by the end of the sixth week of pregnancy."

Do you know what you take to help ward off this fate for your child?

Folic acid.

I didn't start taking it until I was almost 7 weeks pregnant. Long enough so that my baby's nueral tube could have had defects.

God. The logical part of me is just writhing in agony. "How can you still be doing this, woman? Haven't you gotten it by now? You didn't do this. It's not your fault."

And yet, I still wonder. If I had taken the folic acid, would I be 21 weeks pregnant now?

So I take the vitamins everyday. For Cleatus' brother or sister that we keep hoping for. But some days - some days I want to throw them across the fucking room. I reach for that bottle on the shelf and want to just clear the whole shelf with my arm. Send everything crashing to the floor.

How could it be 2007 and I not know that you can buy prenatal vitamins from Target? How could I not know that they aren't just prescription? How could I not know that you should take them even before you get pregnant?

How could I be so incredibly stupid?

The incredible shrinking therapist said today that Guy needed to refrain from comforting me as I talked. Or something like that. We sit on this couch and she sits in a chair, and when I start to cry, he will dry my tears or rub my head. I'm not sure exactly why this is bad or how it was helpful to have him stop doing this. All I know is that as soon as he stopped, I didn't really want to talk anymore. I'm sure I just answered my own question somehow, but am too close to see it at this point.

I just want to get to a point where I don't feel the need to constantly analyze how I'm feeling, what I'm thinking, and why on God's green earth I lost our baby.

We don't talk about the baby much at therapy. After all, what is there really left to say? I could just chant, "I'm so freaking sad," for an hour, but I'm thinking that would get old for everyone.

I just don't seem to know what to say unless my fingers are doing the talking these days.

The one thing I did say that was truthful in therapy today was, "I annoy myself."


What doesn't work

You've got a matter of hours to get the swimmers to the egg. Here is what doesn't work:

1. Waking up with a full onslaught allergy attack.

2. Rolling over to hubby to try for a little somepin' somepin' and have snot run out of your nose before you can sniff it back up.

3. Sniffing snot up your nose while trying to say "I love you."

4. Trying to say "I love you" with a clogged head making it come out "Dih luf doo."

5. Realizing that seduction is out of the picture for you at this moment, it also does no good to pull up your Fertility Friend chart, point, pout, and wave a peed upon ovulation predictor stick in the air.


Now I guess I'm just going to lie around naked the rest of the evening and hope for the best.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Thursday Tunes

It's week two of Thursday Tunes and I have learned a few things.

1. As much as I love love love Guy playing and singing "Brandy," I was tired of hearing it self start everytime I checked in on the blog.

2. If you use IE, that doesn't happen. I use Firefox, so it did. I will continue searching for the right code or a different player that lets you decide if you want to hear the music or not. No forced listening here.

3. I should have done that before subjecting you to this next diddy.

I have very few things recorded that I would ever be willing to put out there on internet land. There is an full album's worth of stuff from 1996 that I would never in a million years post. It is 100% awful. Think Roland Jazz Chorus out the wahzoo and vocals that never got rerecorded even though the instrumental parts did. Not that I'm perfect, but have mercy, that album makes me sound deaf.

I digress.

Point being, I'm going to actually have to start recording some things if I don't want to have Thursday Tunes last just another 2 weeks.

Today, you get a live version of "Icicle." A great Tori tune. Not a great performance. This is from 2003 I think. And it does nothing to bolster my suggestions that I do have good pitch. So sorry.

Edited to add: HooRah for the new player that Guy found for me. Now you can listen if you want and press stop as soon as you can take no more.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Delicate balance

There is a child in my life. I have a stepdaughter. Her name, at least her name here, is Lovely. Sometimes, the need to relinquish all of my pain of my miscarriage through this keyboard covers the hard and fast facts. I have a stepdaughter.

Lovely started piano lessons yesterday. Apparently, she had piano lessons in the past, before I knew her, but thank you, Kind Blog button, for keeping me from commenting on her former teacher.

So today, Lovely came home with her books and her assignments, and I sat and listened to her practice. I sat in the room, and watched her sit at my beautiful piano and practice. It was bliss.

I tried to keep my freaking mouth shut and hands to myself.

I'm sure you know how well that worked out. Within a couple of minutes, I was perched right next to her on my teacher's bench. We worked through a couple of her assignments, and then I regained composure, backed away, saying, "You are doing great. Just call me if you need me."

In that moment, I wondered if I was learning what a parent might feel like. Do you hover? Do you yearn to help them? Do you struggle to turn loose and let them do it on their own?

Learning to be a stepmother is hard. I hope that I teach Lovely to love herself and to respect others. I hope that I can teach her that family is the most important thing in her life, even when hers hasn't turned out like she thought it would. I hope that I can teach her that I respect and love my mother more than any other woman, although often I disagree with her.

I hope that she is teaching me how to be a mother. A parent. Someone who loves her unconditionally. Someone who wants to help her learn, but is eager to see her do it on her own.

I want to help her find her wings.

And yet, I never want to see her fall.

It is a delicate balance, isn't it?

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Fight like hell

The peeing on sticks has begun. According to the sticks, the ovulating has not. So tonight, I drink. Red wine in honor of Mr. Gallo who died today at the age of 97. I will remember him as the dude whose name was on the cool wine bottles my mom bought in the 80's that had wide mouth, snap on lids, and made great vases afterwards. A toast.

Honey lived to be 97. She was my mother's mother. Maybe I've written about her already, but there is nothing about the woman that doesn't bear repeating.

She had the most beautiful chestnut brown hair with a hint of red. She had this hair until the day she died. I am not even kidding. And no artificial color ever touched her head. Ever. None. Zilch. You wouldn't believe it even if you saw it.

Honey, and that is indeed what we all called her, was not a sweet woman. I have a sneaking suspicion that the name was given to her sarcastically. But she loved me more than I can even describe. And I did nothing to earn it.

My momma was raised by Honey. Alone. Honey was a single parent in the 1940's, and she taught my momma well. Every success my momma had though, Honey clung to hard enough to squeeze the joy out of it for Momma. On the other side of the coin, every pain Momma had, Honey felt to the deepest part of her core. When my momma had cancer the first time, in 1980, Honey took it the hardest. Slowly but surely, I think Honey realized that Momma had learned from her how to fight like hell, and she wasn't going anywhere just yet.

Two more cancer diagnosis later . . .

This month, my momma, who is only 65, will go back to the doctor. The cancer doctor. And they will do tests and scans and let us know if the miraculous disappearance of cancer is still miraculous. When I do pray, it is the first thing for which I pray.

The New Girl is talking about aging parents. The loss of home. She lost her mother before there were grandchildren. The order of life's events is all wrong. I get that.

Daniel is talking about his wife. And in talking about his wife, he has to talk about cancer. While I know that most people read his words and take cancer away, I think that the pregnancy loss is what I ache for. You can fight cancer. I ache for Leanne's loss and then for her fight. In that order. Today there was a miraculous pet scan. I looked at the pictures, and it reminded me to pray. Pray for Leanne, who I don't know, and pray for my mother. Both of these women should have miracles. Both of these women are mothers. Both of these women have much more life to live.

Karaoke Diva is laying out her desires and proclaiming war on whatever gets in her way. I love this. I love reading how she is taking it all on, but strong enough to admit the fear. That is how I want to pursue this next pregnancy.

I read these people's thoughts. I read their words, and sometimes I have to touch the screen as that tear falls down my cheek. I wish that I didn't connect, and that they didn't have this pain in their lives to share.

I think of Honey who fought like hell. Honey, who had no one to talk to, confide in, and no one to relate to, and I wonder just how it was that she made it. All the way to 97. With perfect hair.

Monday, March 05, 2007

BlogHer, BlogUs

Edited to add: Firefox users, it seems that we are the lucky ones to always hear music. Everytime. You. Click. On. The. Page. So sorry. You can turn it off in the post halfway down called "Thursday Tunes." I'm looking for a new player . . .

I finally got the nerve to ask Guy about the BlogHer Conference in July. He asked me if I remember that it is our anniversary. I do. Our anniversary is on July 24, and the conference starts on July 25. I asked if we were going to celebrate all week. He said we might.

We are going to the Police concert in Columbus, Ohio, on July 16. This is our anniversary trip. Unless we can get even better seats in Madison Square Garden, in which case, we ditch Ohio and NYC here we come.

So when Guy said that we might have to wait until April and see how his new job shakes out to see if we can then go to Chicago . . .

I said, "Oh honey, it would just be me. It's for women bloggers."

"What? You don't get to go anywhere by yourself!"

I guess I'll be attending the track for formerly independent women who have obviously now been drug into the cave by their hair. And are blissfully happy.

I saw that there will be childcare. What about spousecare?


I have been waiting and waiting to sit down and write this post. Opening it like that probably makes you think that there are exciting things to come.


Same old boring me here. But with photos.

Guy and I have been busting tail on the master bathroom. HooRah.

These 2 pictures are of the bathroom how it was. Yes, one of them is a picture of a closet. That closet no longer exists and is part of the new bathroom.

Notice how large and spacious the bathroom on the right is. If this was still 1968.

This is moi. With power tools. Be afraid. Be very afraid. Although, don't tell that to Pupstar. She laid right by my feet the whole time. I even had to move one of her paws to add a screw to the backerboard below, and she didn't flinch. Weird dog.

This is in the front corner of what used to be the closet. I'm squatting in front of what used to be the door of the closet.

On the right is the old bathroom. The old tub is staying for now, although we installed a separate shower. We ran out of money though, so no garden tub for me. The cabinet is an antique thingy with awesome storage. It stinks a little bit, but the authentic crackle paint job is pretty neato. Stink can be fixed.

And on the left it the new shower and the migrating toliet. Right now, the toliet is at the foot of our bed. Where it stops, nobody knows. The green is thankfully not the paint color, but the moisture resistent drywall. What will they think of next? On of our next door neighbors does drywall for a living, so he has been helping out at a very neighborly rate.

Lucky for us, this is not the same neighbor who had the Christmas party. That neighbor proceeded to get smashed and tell us as we left, "If you need anything, just yell out the front door. I'm usually watching you." Creeeeeeepy.

And to the right, my sweet Guy, painting his heart out. He picked the colors, and at first I wasn't sure about them. They are growing on me though. I have a complete inability to picture a room in its finished state. Choosing colors and tiles and fixtures is my worst nightmare. So I just let him do it. I picked the antique cabinet and we went from there.

Here is Lovely helping out. Notice the placement of the toliet. We decided not to leave it there.

Here is Pupstar's pawprint. She was obviously not helping out at that point.

And here is all you get for tonight. The tile and unfinished shower shot. Today we grouted and moved in the sinks and such, but I'm not posting anymore pictures until it is done. I did want to show some proof though that I didn't just drop off the face of the earth for no good reason.

I so laid that tile myself. Guy cuts. I lay. BooYah.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Thursday Tunes

I've been trying for some time now to figure out how to post music here. The YouTube videos are easy enough to embed, but I've had a time with audio.

Voila. Today I scored. Inbetween sneezing, blowing my nose, and generally feeling like a big ball of crap, I find myself able to present you with Guy's lovely version of "Brandy."

Now I would like to figure out how to make it not play itself automatically. . .

Doesn't Thursday Tunes sound like it could recur? A weekly segment? If only I had that much music I was willing to put out there. Notice I made Guy the guinea pig.