Friday, January 23, 2009

the beginning of the end.

i knew this day would come.

i am sorry to have to break this on a friday afternoon, and it should probably go in the wine blog (which will be back up and running soon!) but here goes.



Thursday, January 22, 2009


so i got an email from NORA! re: my blog post about her last week.

this is what she had to say, and i quote

"didn't know you were sober enough then to remember all that"

let's just hope she never writes that book, huh?


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

your moment(s) of zen.

even as we enter a new and decidedly better era in this country we may never feel this level of unbridled elation again. like the new car smell, a carry over the threshold, the blush of first love, even as things remain lovely and may continue to get better, the celebration of it wanes.

it is this spirit that i want to share the following video with you.

watch it when you have the chance to turn it up and shake a tail feather and let the last eight years AND MORE fall away and get swallowed up by the pure joy of a new beginning.


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

eight years ago today.

a dark day for america indeed. shit we knew it was going to be bad, but just how bad it got is still astounding to me.

thank got that day was saved in history as something even better!

eight years ago today wingman was born!!!

dear wingman,

happy birthday and thank you for saving the day.


oh, and how great was it to see that helicopter ushering the bush family out of the city, huh?

good luck and god speed, former president bush.


(and yes, that's a picture that i took a picture of. with a reflection of my hand. classy, huh?)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

your moment(s) of zen.

years ago, a lifetime maybe, i met a woman who became so special to me that just saying her name aloud makes the air more pleasant to be in. and it's not just me. everyone who meets her loves her.

she's kind and snarky and sweet and hilarious and pretty and can dance better than anyone else and is intelligent and adventurous. she tells the funniest stories about her family and they are so true they are heartbreaking even as you're trying not to pee your pants.

she is the best.

but, let me start at the beginning. we were on the border studying and working in a midwifery clinic. delivering babies, drinking our body weight in alcohol, and flirting with absolute disaster just about every minute we possibly could.

midwifery boot camp we called it because of the intensity of the work, the clients, just being there. it was like an oliver stone movie only instead of booze, boys, and blowing things up it was pregnant bellies, blood, and babies. well, and then the booze and the boys. but that's another story.

so anyhow, the first time i met her was when she came over to see the apartment i advertised to share. i had gotten to the city earlier than nearly everyone else i'd be working with and had secured an apartment. i had written a very detailed, witty, clever (i thought) ad and put it up in the clinic. anyone who read it and called would have already known what i was and was not looking for. i thought this would cut out the non-potentials and make the whole thing easier.

so i answer the door and let her in. she's looking around and i say

"so i guess you read my ad?"

"naw. i started too, but it was waaayy too long, too many words, too much detail. i just called the number at the bottom"


so i'm showing her the place and i had just made some noodles and i asked her if she was hungry.

she said she was so i got her a bowl and we settled on the bare wooden floors in an almost empty living room with 15 foot ceilings and big big windows.

while it wasn't the taj mahal, and i'm sure the building was falling down, and the landlords were crazy (as in seriously crazy), and the carpet in my bedroom was 50 years old if it was a day, and the neighborhood was suspect, and the dust, oh the dust of the desert was EVERYWHERE the apartment was DIRT CHEAP as in not even 500 a month for a huge two bedroom and the wood floors and the high ceilings, oh i loved that place.

anyhow, so we're settled in and eating and she's telling a story about when she first came back from nepal. and i notice that it's as if she waits *until* she's going to talk to take a bite of food.

then i notice that when she's not talking with food in her mouth she's eating with her mouth open. like fully and like it's the most natural thing in the world.

and then, then, then she lifted one side of her bottom up off of the floor and farted! on a bare wooden floor in an empty echoey room!

well right then and there i thought, good lord not only am i NOT going to live with this woman, even though we'd be studying and working together i doubt we would even EVER hang out together.

can i just say, i don't like bodily functions made public. funny, i can handle birth and all its messiness like nobody's business. i've stuck my hands into some nether regions of the body like it's nothing and not thought twice. i've wiped so many things off my shoe, my pants, my person in the process of birth and not batted an eye. i've encountered bodily fluids that have the color and smell and texture ONLY a human body could produce and push out. but give me a simple natural bodily function in public and i'm a goner. i'm offended and embarrased and just don't know how to handle myself.

basically because i am a snobby bitch like that.

so, i didn't offer her the apartment. and she didn't ask for it.

and less than a week later we were as thick as thieves and she was branded onto my heart forever. i couldn't remember my life without her in it. oh, i'm sure i lived a life before, but i couldn't for the life of me at the time think of how i could have managed to pull it off without her.

in some ways i was equally my very best self and my very worst self during that time and she was always right there. she was a truly loyal and supportive friend, yet completely and totally honest. one of the very best qualities to have in a friend. even when you have to hear what you'd rather not. and during that time i think i heard a lot more than i wanted. and i was and am a better person for it.

and she was fun with a capital F.

and while we haven't shared the same zip code ever again, in all these years with weddings and babies and life changes, and with time and distance and a few oceans between us i still hold her as near and dear to my heart as i did when i first met her.

well, not the first day i met her. ;)

but, you get the picture.

anyhow, it is in the spirit of the incomparable and fabulous NORA! (and her sweet husband vishnu) that i bring you the following video.

now, in full disclosure, it is about birth. in india. and there is birth in it. and it's 30 minutes long. and it's in 3 sections. so when you get to the end of one section, just go to the bottom where it says videos 1/2/3 and click to the next section.

nora, if you are reading this you are a blessing and a dear. and you are totally unhinged in the very best kind of way. and i love you.


Tuesday, January 13, 2009

row, row, row your boat.

(the above picture is for the obvious boat theme AND because we watched anthony bourdain in venice last night and if ever i fell in love with a place, the "real" place, not the touristy guidebooky romantic notion of the place, so hard i could feel it in my soul i can't remember it)

so you know the story about the guy who was warned by god that a flood was coming?

so the flood comes and all the town is evacuated. but the man stays put. the policemen come by his house in a row boat to evacuate him and he says no, no, god will save me. he warned me and he will save me.

so the water keeps coming and the man is forced to the second story of his house and some people come by in a power boat to evacuate him. no, no, god will save me. he warned me and he will save me.

so the water keeps coming and the man is forced onto the roof of his home and a helicopter comes and hovers over with a voice over a loudspeaker that says grab the rope! and the man says no, no, god will save me. he warned me and he will save me.

so the man drowns.

and when he gets to heaven he meets up with god and he says, why didn't you save me!?! you warned me and why didn't you save me!?!

and god says, not only did i warn you, but i sent you a two boats and a helicopter! what the hell more did you need!?!


okay, so maybe in the original story god doesn't say "hell."what can i say, it seemed fitting in the re-write. but can you imagine being god and this schmuck dies because he's a schmuck and he still makes it to heaven and then gets all up in your grill!

sometimes when need saving or just searching for an answer we forget to search if the answer is right in front of us. even if we've been warned. sometimes especially when we've been warned ahead of time.

maybe we're too busy hoping it will all work out or even knowing that it will all work out to look at how we need to jump in the row boat or grab the rope as part of the solution to it all working out.

when you're in a situation long enough and hoping for a miracle is what you've got left, which is perfectly acceptable, it's easy to lose sight of the simple ways to assist in the miracle.

when you rely on the universe providing, which is perfectly acceptable, you have to remember to look around for the rope. the universe providing is not without its leg work.

that being said, and on to an all together different matter, today is the day my child starts algebra.


a small word, but one that is powerful enough to strike fear in the hearts of the fearless. even into the hearts of those who have taken and passed algebra.

and we all know that wasn't me. third grade math is where my brain and the lack of proper teaching and any help at all ground my math career to a halt. okay, i kid, i kid, i'll say fifth grade.

the point is, i am scared shitless. i knew this was coming and there isn't a rowboat or a rope in sight. just me.


i've made it this far and if test scores are any indication (please let them be any indication) i really can and do do a fine job teaching my child math i have not previously learned myself.


here we go. wish me well and if you can hear the screaming from where you are i suggest you just close your windows.


Monday, January 12, 2009

monday. but in a good way.

what a pretty image, huh?


really. it's pretty. the boybarians like to sled. the world is white and beautiful.

and i'm over it. and i'm glad it's over.

moving right along.

i was going to go all braggy on you and post the scores i got back from a test the boybarians took at the beginning of the school year. they were excellent!

alas, i can't figure out how to copy and post them.

good thing they didn't give ME the test. har har.

anyhow, they both scored between 98 and 99% for their age groups and levels in things like reading, comprehension, mathematics, deduction, reasoning, blah blah blah.

i am very proud!!! and moreover i have hard proof that i may actually be doing my job. or, hard proof that they are just smart enough to compensate for and overcome the odds presented to them by having me as their teacher.

in matters of love and raising children don't ever rule ANYTHING out.

moving right along.

i just had to say the following in a louder than usual voice

"it CAN'T be impossible! it's second grade math!!"

if truer words were ever spoken i don't know what they are. it's third grade math when impossible started for me! ha ha. no, really, it's true. sigh.

moving right along.

it turns out that having the flu for two weeks wasn't enough and i've got something again. fever, hacking, body aches, the works. i am feeling better, but i think that's all relative at this point.

good times.


it's a new year!! and it's monday!! a new week and therefore a fresh start!! and that's a very good thing indeed!

no, really! it's true! so i wish you a happy monday and a great start to all that's going to go right this week.


Wednesday, January 07, 2009

your moment(s) of zen.

i'm not a big "art" person.

meaning, i like art, sure. there are some things that really call to me, sure. i have a museum membership, i put stuff up on my walls. you know, the usual.

but i'm not huge on getting all crazy about certain pieces of art, or artists, or "art stars."

there are times i see famous pieces that everybody's crazy for and i'm like "i don't get it."

i don't say it out loud, of course, i just don't get it. quietly. on the inside.

it's two blotches and a smear. or one solid black box. or, well, you get the picture. or, if you're like me, you DON'T. ha ha ha.

i understand about interpretation and all that, but there's a LOT i don't get it.

now, i feel the same about groups of people. i'm not a big group person. not a joiner.

and what's even worse, what sends my blood running cold is a group of people all creating something together. like a big group sing along. like a big group dance. like art. a big group of people doing some big art project together. the thought makes me crazy.

i know it's because i'm a control freak. i know it's because i have some smidgen of adult onset ADHD (hypo, not hyper). i know it's because, well it's because i'd rather stand in the corner and make snide remarks than join in. because i'm not a joiner, because i'm shy, because i'm not that interested, and so that's how i mask all that. the snideness.

plus, being snide is fun. as long as you keep it to yourself. or, you know, blog about it.

and i'm fine with that. i own that part of myself.

but, that being said, i know, and am related to, and am dear friends with PLENTY of people who could be labeled as an "artist." and i can honestly say that there are lots of things each of them do that i apreciate, understand, and even really really really like! in fact, above this very desk i am planted at are no less than 5 fabulous pieces from a friend i like to call THATgirl! she's a fabulous artist and is all up into the art world AND even teaches art. or something related to art. i always forget.

and the pieces are great! and they make me happy to look at them! and i am so happy and honored she would give them to me. PLUS wingman is showing a great deal of interest and talent in the artistic pursuits. and that makes me as pleased as punch.

so, i'm not a total curmudgeon. yet.

which brings me to my sort of point. creating.

creating is an interesting concept. i love the idea of having an idea, or no idea at all!, and creating something from that. or from nothing. it could be the mother in me the writer in me the cook in me, but i really really understand creating.

and to create, you need only the will to do so. anybody can create. it doesn't take special skills or materials or know how. sure, if you are creating something specific it does, but in general you don't need anything but your two hands and the want to do it.

i know art is like that. i know. i know art is creating and creating is art. but to me, the act of creating is way more accessible. and i know that comes from not thinking my art would be good enough, having control issues, and not really "getting" a lot of art other than just liking it.

basically i am just admitting i'm a plebe when it comes to art, justifying something that needs no justification, and substituting "creating" for "art."

but, that's how i like to roll.

so, in that spirit i bring you the following video.

watch it when you have 7 minutes to really feel good about the world we live in and the people who live in it.

because if everyone were like me, there wouldn't be people like who you are going to see.

and that would be a sad, sad thing indeed.


Tuesday, January 06, 2009

excuses. excuses.

so i came across this interview with mark bittman. (chef, author, big time foodie)

isn't that great!

i have always wanted a true chef's kitchen. yet i have always maintained that anyone truly interested in food or cooking or eating can create a feast in a closet if need be.

and some people just have to.

and i have. actually i've created some pretty great food in some pretty not so great circumstances.

my current kitchen isn't bad. nor is it fabulous. but night after night i prepare healthy delicious meals for my family. season after season i create gourmet meals, birthday parties, and holiday dinners in that kitchen.

i don't just throw up my hands and say well, when i get a nicer kitchen then i'll cook! chiefly because i have a family to feed and that kind of attitude won't do. but also because i love to cook. i love food. and fancy kitchen or no, i need to create in the kitchen i have.

i want the perfect kitchen and one day i will have the perfect kitchen, but in the meantime the kitchen i have is the one i have and it works and thus i make the kitchen i have work.

and hey, if mark bittman can be who he is in the kitchen he has then i don't have a leg of lamb with a rosemary and fleur de sel crust to stand on.


let's take that and apply it liberally to the other areas of life, shall we?

this morning dawned bleak and cold and icy. just like every other morning before it has for weeks.

only what's special about this morning is this is the first morning in a month that i am actually well and able enough to go to yoga. i was looking forward to it...last night.

but this morning came and it was cold and i was bone tired and my favorite kitty was snuggled and purring beside me and i knew it was icy on the roads and the lord of the ring was sick and asleep (finally!) on the couch and i didn't want to wake him by going downstairs and if i got up wingman would get up and he needs more sleep to combat his (finally) dwindling cold and if he got up and i had to leave and the lord of the ring was asleep then he'd be alone downstairs and the house was cold and on and on and on.

enough to stay in bed snuggling with the kitty and eventually wingman who stumbled in, keeping warm and letting the lord of the ring continue to sleep in a quiet house.

so. i. did.

sure those excuses were valid. to us, excuses always are "valid." that's why they are so popular.

but, what does that do for this body that needs daily exercise for mental and physical health? how many excuses can this body accept?

so i stayed in bed until it was time to get up.

BUT while it's not ideal or fun to not have the space or facilities and to have an audience, as soon as i had water and a snack i did a shortened yoga workout in front of the t.v.

on the carpet with the cats dashing at me and trying to drink my water and the boybarians pulled up front and center offering critiques.

and it wasn't the best workout and it was shorter than normal and certainly not as fulfilling as warming up, working out, then doing constructive rest like in my class, BUT i did it.

i worked out and made it work.

if we wait for conditions to be right/perfect/ideal to take charge of our lives/have fun/do what needs doing then we're all just going to be stuck. and in my case stuck with higher blood pressure and an even wider ass.

i need to exercise to stay healthy. i want to exercise to feel good. making excuses not to is just dumb. even if they're "valid." because there's always another choice, an alternative. we just have to be committed to finding it. as committed as we are to finding excuses not to.

what do you need to do? and what is the "valid excuse" holding you back from doing it?

i know i already went, but in the spirit of commuinty here, i'll go first! again!

i DESPERATELY NEED to paint my dining room and kitchen ceilings!!! good lord i need to. it's really not even a want anymore. i simply cannot make it "work" for me anymore.

and we go...but they have contact paper on them (i know. don't ask. i certainly didn't ask the big of WTF?!?when we bought the place and have proceeded to ignore the whole situation for a decade) and they are so high and i shouldn't paint them until we get new light fixtures (desperately needed as well) for them. and there's more but i'm forgetting what.


i already have the paint and the ladder and i can carve out the time. and we haven't gotten new lighting fixtures for a decade so how is that even an issue anymore? there really is a statute of limitations on excuses. believe it. plus, i can just paint around the new installations when that happens.

so what am i waiting for? more excuses? why am i not waiting for the opportunity to pretty up my living space because the situation is desperate at this point? why i am not waiting for the opportunity to bask in a job (hopefully) well done, and more importantly finished?


the point is when we need to, or want to, nothing we do to better ourselves our ceilings or our asses is ever a waste. right?

even if it's not the full body workout or the perfect down to every last detail decorating circumstance or a gourmet kitchen to die for, we can and SHOULD still do it.

a girl's gotta eat. and work off the eating. and do it all under charming and calming azure skies. or at least a really cute ceiling that doesn't look like it belongs in someone's flooded basement.

that's what i need. what do you need? and what are you going to do about it?

whatever it is and however it happens, just remember, even if it's a drop in the bucket, over time it all adds up and eventually you are bounty overflowing.


Monday, January 05, 2009

january 5, 2009

it's 2009 and time to get started!

i don't make new year's resolutions.

rather i just try to take this time to RE-remember that every day is a new day. one more chance to start again.

i would like to add to that that i really feel this year is the year for dreaming big. thinking big. going big. accepting big.

no exceptions.

so to that end i encourage you all to pull out all the stops. what is your dream? how would you go big if you knew you could not fail?

whatever your dream is...and i seriously mean whatever. there is no dream too big or small, too right or wrong, too silly or too unimportant. i know you know that, but i also know how easy that simple thing is to forget.

whatever it is, write it on a slip of paper, in your journal, tell a friend, whisper it to your cat, scream it to the universe.

and however you do it, just get it out to the universe and then get to work banishing the what ifs? and the no ways! and the lack ofs and the it'll never works.

throw all of what you know about what you think you will get/do deserve from life and throw out your arms and let the universe know you're ready.

just remember to appreciate the little things along the way.