Friday, August 31, 2007
"Not just yet, baby," I replied, "Let's snuggle for a little bit."
So we did. At 7:30 we got up and I fixed Riley a bowl of Trix. As she ate, she complained of being sleepy.
"We'll get a bath; that will wake you up."
So, Riley got a bath and then she got dressed. She's wearing a Chococat glitter tee and a plaid skort, very punk. While we were gathering up odds and ends, Lucy woke up.
"Do you want to go to the bus stop with sister?" I asked.
"Yeah," she said, rubbing her eyes.
"Well let's get you dressed."
I got Lucy ready and it was getting close to the time Riley needed to be at the bus stop. We made our way outside, as I called Lisa. Her daughter Taylor is starting kindergarten today too. I heard Riley and Taylor yelling to each other across the street and gave up the phone call. They were already on the way.
We made our way to the bus stop on the most perfect of mornings. It was cool, sunny and dewy. After a few moments, Riley's other friend Brittney joined us. She's going into the second grade. We took pictures and the kids watched the garbage truck backing up.
And before you knew it, there was the bus. The girls got on the bus and all three of them took a seat together at the front of the bus and waved back at us. Lisa and I waved back and immediately started tearing up.
"I was so sentimental last night, I was looking for Taylor's baby book!" she said.
"You know, it didn't hit me until just now," I said, wiping my eyes.
Lucy looked up at me and stretched her arms up. "I want sister!" she said.
"Me too, baby," I said as I picked her up.
"God, they are in someone else's hands now!" Lisa said. "My baby's gone!"
"Yes, they are starting their independence for real." I said,
"Yep," she said.
"So, margaritas?" I asked.
"No doubt." she replied.
We agreed to get together later. I'm taking Lucy to meet her nursery school teacher today (sniffle). We'll then go to the library and out to lunch, I think.
Wow. I've been dreaming of this day for a long time. Riley is going to soar in school, I know it. She needs it. But godammit, she's growing up. From this point on, she's going to need me less and less. She probably won't want to sit on my lap much longer. Last night, she and I snuggled in her room and watched Grease for about a half an hour. She leaned her head against me and said, "The best times I have are with you." For now, I thought.
"Will you stay this age forever, Lucy?" I asked Lucy as I pulled her face toward mine.
"Uh-huh," she said, smiling.
Thursday, August 30, 2007
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
I've been offered a new job!!!
I'm celebrating with the song above. Please listen to it but ignore the stupid pictures. The people who made that video obviously didn't ever listen to the words, other than "This is the last morning." Idiots.
I will be working as a software trainer and my commute will be about 15 minutes instead of an hour and 15 minutes. There will also be some travel and a HELLOVA LOT LESS BULLSHIT. I hope.
Monday, August 27, 2007
Palatino Linotype is in vogue with me these days:
Thanks, Splotchy, for the interview. If anyone would like me to interview you, you can:
Leave me a comment saying "Interview me."and... I will respond by emailing you five questions. I get to pick the questions.
You will update your blog with a post containing your answers to the questions.and you can optionally
...include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same postand if you do...
When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.
Friday, August 24, 2007
Thursday, August 23, 2007
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Hamlet, Act 2, Scene 2.
I have of late--but wherefore I know not--lost my mirth, forgone all custom of exercise, and indeed it goes so heavily with my disposition that this goodly frame, the earth, seems to me a sterile promontory, this most excellent canopy, the air, look you, this brave o'erhanging firmament, this majestic roof fretted with golden fire, why, it appears no other thing to me than a foul and pestilent congregation of vapors. What a piece of work is man, how noble in reason, how infinite in faculties, in form and moving how express and admirable, in action how like an angel, in apprehension how like a god--the beauty of the world, the paragon of animals! And yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust?
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
I hate liars. They assume I'm stupid and that I can't tell they're yanking my chain. On the rare occaision that I'm caught by surprise by a lie, I feel like a chump. And no one makes Dick Feagler feel like a chump and gets away with it.
I hate people who undo hard work I've done. Why am I busting my ass, if everything is just going to end up worse than if I'd done nothing at all? I might as well give it all up, grow a beard and head for a cave.
I hate puppies. All that slobber and neediness. And they pee everywhere.
*Not actually written by Dick Feagler, a cranky but well intentioned journalist whom I adore. As far as I know, he has nothing against Christmas or puppies.
Monday, August 20, 2007
I can't think without my slinky. I have two on my desk and one on my bookshelf. That way, if my colleagues stop by, we can each have one. I don't know what it is about this funny little spring, but I always am able to think things through when I've got one in my hands.
What helps you think?
Sunday, August 19, 2007
- He attended Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama and graduated in 1992. Their motto is "For God, For Learning, Forever," which is a bit creepy.
- He is a devout Christian and he founded a Christian ministry, The Haven, in New York City for artists.
- He's got a daughter, Loy Ann, and was unprepared for how much having a child would change his life.
- He says that Will Ferrell is a cool, level-headed guy.
- He's a huge Dustin Hoffman fan.
- He's a huge folk music fan.
- He is quoted as saying, "Great joy comes out of great pain."
Here is a video of his breakthrough performance (we're so proud):
Friday, August 17, 2007
On one wall was a refrigerated case with all the things you'd expect to find at a Middle Eastern grocery: hummus, milk made from incomprehensible sources, chick peas, etc. Toward the back was a separate room for dried goods and behind us was a bakery with pitas in every variety you could think of.
We hovered near the table trying to absorb it all, while trying to hear our names called, announcing our food to be ready. At one point, Ron, Sarah, and I were inexplicably and simultaniously drawn to a refrigerated display case near the bakery. It contained three large, clear plastic bins, about double the size of the bin at the airport that you put your stuff in to be X-rayed. These bins were half-full of water and sitting in the water were giant bricks of feta cheese, one in each bin.
The three of us were transfixed. I'm not sure what the others were thinking, but I was staring in horror. Because the cheese was sitting in water, it kind of wobbled a bit when the guy behind the counter reached in. I felt a swoon of nausea as this brick of goo shook menacingly at me, like it was a mad scientists experiement gone bad and planned to slink off the counter and begin consuming us.
"Uh, what are y'all lookin' at?" Martha asked, mystified, thinking maybe there was something truly exotic in the case. As she peered over our shoulders and saw blocks of cheese, she gave us the stink eye.
"That's it? Feta cheese?" She wrinkled her nose at us, disappointed.
We made our way back to the office slowly. Ron and I discussed the evils of Strawberry Shortcake and why the creaters of Veggie Tales chose vegetables as God's spokespeople (we agreed that no Bible-thumpers would ever want fruits advocating God). It was bittersweet. Such a lovely lunch, but it marks about the half-way point until Sarah departs us. There are very few lunches for us at Aladdin's in our future.
But nevermind. Nothing so wonderful can't be savored again in memory.
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Monday, August 13, 2007
I have just returned home from seeing Idols Live! at the Wolstein Center in Cleveland, Ohio. It was three hours long and I survived it. I went with Elizabeth and Sarah and Melissa. It was a dream come true, or so I thought. Sarah and Elizabeth are my Idol buddies and I wouldn't have wanted to see this concert with anyone else. We spent many hours deconstructing the show when it was on the air and examining theories.
I would like to say that the whole thing was a blast, and it was, but not in the way you may think. The glory notes hit us square in the face over and over again, like some blood thirsty Viking with a grudge and a wedgie. Sure there was talent and there were some great moments, but overall, the show had the sad feeling of yesterday's news. Honestly, it's been months since the finale and to rehash the entire last thirteen weeks in three hours left the stink of desparation in the air. Also, the top ten Idols seemed tossed to the lions by the producers. I swear, the amount of money that show made, they could have thrown more dough at this production. The set looked like a high school production of American Idol; it seemed to be made of posterboard and tempra paints.
The light show was fantastic and there were some great moments. Here are the highlights:
- Anytime Blake Lewis was on the stage. He was confident and entertaining. His first number was "Time of the Season," and by the time he sang, "What's your name, Who's your daddy?" I was saying, "Flannery Alden and Your My Daddy." He was generous with the other Idols and the band and back up singers. He even tried to teach the audience how to beat box, which was nice of him, if ill advised.
- Lakisha blew the roof off the joint, dawg. I swear, I had goose bumps. I've never heard anything like it. She sang Whitney's I Will Always Love You with none of the cloying sincerity of its original. Also, she sang it better than Dolly, and if you know me at all, you know that NO ONE could ever top Dolly in my mind. Until today, that is.
- Chris Richardson has really grown. His voice was superb and when he and Jordan sang a duet it was magical. Also, he and Blake are obviously good friends now and had a beat-boxing showdown that was so charming I wanted to take them both home and have them for dinner.
- Sanjaya was love. He was truly entertaining and his duet with Melinda was wonderful.
- Gina Glockson was fantastic. Better than she was on the show. That girl has chops.
And now the bad and the ugly:
- Phil Fucking Stacy. I swear, the things you see when you haven't got your gun. This asshat appointed himself Ryan Seacrest and tried to hoist the show on his shoulders with the power of the love that radiates from his very center. Oh, barf. At one point he sang, in his sailor suit, no less, the most indulgent version of America the Beautiful I've ever heard. It was even worse than fucking Proud to be an American.
- Haley Scarnato has embraced her inner skank and showed off the movies she'd obviously picked up from the stripper pole workout she's been doing. Honestly, I didn't have an opinion of her one way or the other before the live show. Now, I loathe her. It was gross.
- Melinda Doolittle did not live up to expectations, not that I had many for her. I think she's a good singer, but tonight: meh.
- Chris Sligh. Shiver. When he came on stage, the lines in the bathroom were longer than they were during intermission. He is still the same asshole he was during the show.
- Jordan Sparks was absent from the first half of the show and then was featured at the end doing an endless run of the songs she did during the season. Booooooring.
- Every number the girls did together was terrible. They did Lady Marmalade and they all wore hooker gear. It was stupid and pointless. Then they did another song, where they tromped around in more hooker gear. It was sad and lacked imagination. Though, during all these numbers, it was obvious that Lakisha was over it. Good for her, I say.
- The Idol Band. The guys formed their own band and it was pathetic. Phil Stacy overdid it and the only one who looked like he belonged there was my boy Blake.
- The absence of Ryan Seacrest left the burden of MC'ing and ad-libbing to these poor dolts who have lived in a vaccuum. Without his charm and leadership, this ship sunk.
- At no time was "Idols Gives Back" mentioned. There was no update on the progress.
- At the end of the show, as Jordan was belting that awful Idol "single," a large portion of the stage opened up and the remaining nine slinked out from underground. Phil Stacy was the first one out and I started looking for a wooden stake to drive through his heart, thinking he had just risen from the dead. Really, who planned this farce? Why would any producer think that watching the Idols emerge from the earth was a good idea? It was funny for all the wrong reasons.
The worst thing about this production was that it was done on the cheap. It's like the producers cut these kids loose with no support. The costumes were community-theater quality, the choreography was stupid and lame, and, again, no words from Ryan or the judges. It was shameful.
One of the best parts of the experience, though, was the people sitting around us. They were all 50 plus and hilarious. One guy said to us as we took our seats, "I hope you don't mind, but I plan on singing along." Later, when we were all delerious from the endless parade of hopeful pluck, the guys behind us kept screaming "Sanjaya!" in their best girly voices.
And the very best part was when Elizabeth was absolutely gob-smacked by the horror of Phil Stacy on the stage. I couldn't stop laughing; this was cruise-ship entertainment at its very worst. Of course I was losing it during the patriotic part of the show, which was delightfully inappropriate.
All in all, I'm glad I went. I never have to go to another one, though. But I would pay money to see Chris Richardson, Blake Lewis and Sanjaya if they ever went on tour. Brilliant.
Sunday, August 12, 2007
How did I not see that coming?
Thursday, August 09, 2007
What was I to do with all of those cables, strewn like cobwebs? This labyrinth of electric potentiality hangs twisted on the back wall behind the basement stairs. It's volume seems sinister to me. But it's just a bunch of wires, I tell myself.
And what about his workbench? How does one even begin to classify this stuff? Paint, soldering wire, random screws, a geiger counter or whatever that is. It boggles my mind and I am known in my family as a gifted organizer.
Besides, his coffee mug is still sitting on the shelf, like he just left the room to go find some duct tape. I dare not touch anything here, lest I anger his spirit and am attacked by this monstrosity:
I'm not a superstitious person, by nature, but I can't help feeling that disturbing the things in this room would cause some handyman's curse to fall on my head, if not an ancient drill which dangles from the ceiling. Perhaps if we had gone through this stuff very soon after he passed, this room wouldn't seem so heavy with the dust of pall.
But who could face this room that was so much his so soon after he left us? It's too much to bear. I had had quite a few starts while we moved box after lamp after couch after box. My Dad, who was unloading the truck by handing us boxes, turned around with a clear tupperware container that had my Grandpa's burial flag standing up on it's point against the transparent plastic. I wasn't prepared to see that flag in such a casual position, as if it were one of so many towels. As we moved a vanity from my Grandma's spare room, I nearly jumped out of my skin as I caught my own reflection in a mirror, thinking it was an angry ghost.
Though this task of moving was arduous and full of emotional peril, I'm glad I was there to help. I learned that my Grandpa's favorite song was "Somewhere, My Love," from the movie Dr. Zhivago. I saw momentos of his life with my Grandma: 25th anniversary plate, 35th anniversary plate, 50th anniversary clock. And I studied a handmade music box in the shape of a grand piano that tinkled out his favorite song.
A few days later, when we had my Grandma, Mom and Dad settled into their new home, I sat on the couch in the living room, as my family were gathered around the breakfast bar, talking about the new washer and dryer. I saw a glow on my Grandma's face that I haven't seen in years. She was talking about how the dryer worked and what her plans were for vacuuming (she would use her favorite vacuum to spot clean and the house vacuum system for weekly and thorough cleaning. She was lit from within.
We are all so much happier, back in one place. It's different but better. Sure, we miss Grandpa. We miss Gail. But we're together, at last, whole again, home.
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
I first discovered and fell in love with Tony while watching him being the gentle but goofy brother on TV's Arrested Development. His voice has a tone of chocolatey smoothness and his mannerisms reminded me of an ex-boyfriend, which isn't as bad as it sounds. Although I found Gob (Will Arnett) to be the sexier of the two brothers, Tony Hale's portrayal of Buster in love with Lucille 2 (Liza Minelli) won me over.
Since the tragic cancellation before its time of Arrested Development, I have seen Tony popping up here and there, most notably in the short-lived, but also fun Andy Richter, P.I. He plays neverous nellies in many movies. Look for him as the Social Worker in the upcoming Buster's Class Project, which, alas, is not about Buster Bluth's class project, but rather a film that promises to deliver a portrait of "21st Century high schoolers in an amazingly revealing light." Sigh.
I will be updating you regularly on his career progress. If you are looking for an actor to adopt, why not browse The J.T. Walsh Memorial "Hey! It's That Guy!" sight for a struggling actor to promote?
Saturday, August 04, 2007
It's the first weekend of August and it's time once again for the Pro Football Hall of Fame festival, parade, and game. It's the beginning of football season and the harbinger of autumn and it hall happens practically in my back yard.
What's fun about it is that it's the one time of the year that celebrities and derelicts alike gather around in the sunshine to celebrate the game that was invented here. I think I saw some retired pros today at Denny's where Elizabeth, the girls, and I went for a pick-me-up lunch. There were also plenty of derelicts as well. Of course, my camera only has eyes for the derelicts. See below:
Note the lovely lady in front. That's Elizabeth and she's no derelict. However, the lady behind her is. You really can't tell from this picture so let's take a better look...
Yes, that's a skin tight, sheer cap sleeved tee. With the back cut out. I know. Derelict, right? Oh, and they are Steeler's fans too, which is a bigger tip-off than the tee.
But it takes one to know one. Afterall, I took her picture. And my daughter, getting it honest, added to the derelict mystique by spearing her chicken tender on her straw and chomping on it like a crow after carrion. Sigh. We are so proud.
Edited to add: We had a good time at Denny's dispite the fact that they shorted us about 3 chicken tenders. They comped us a free order of tenders and then proceeded to double-charge me for our meal on my bank card, as I discovered just this morning. Grr...
Thursday, August 02, 2007
In actuality, we are all going to end up in a better place. This transition should be a celebration. We are very fortunate to have so many people up and down the line who are going to help us move along. I still can't help feeling sad...depressed, actually. Heartbroken. Pulled-asunder. Up-ended. Drawn and quartered.
What do I say about this? I don't even know how to describe my colleagues. To call us a "team" seems to cheapen what we were. We were a group of like-minded professionals, called to a cause. We put our heart into our work, but left our emotions out of it. We put our heads together and dug out of problems. We put our heads together and dreamed up some marvelous things. Our director had high expectations and we didn't balk. We were a force.
Even while we knew this was coming, It is unthinkable that we won't be working together anymore. How will I be able to accomplish feats like this again without them by my side? Maybe I shouldn't aim so high in the future. Everytime I do, there is always someone waiting to stop me. I remember back to my first job, folding boxes. I was hustling through them, trying to get through a skid-full of them, when my co-worker said, "Slow down; you'll make us look bad."