Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Samurai Schoolin'

So, I went to my oldest daughters back-to-school night this evening. That's me, to the left. Sweaty and defensive. It's so strange, being back in high school...all of my old feelings of being a dork return in full force. And yet, I am different. I'm a surviving parent of high-schoolers! They hate me, but, so what! When I walk down those hallowed halls, the part of me that was so painfully shy in my day, wants to shout out and be noticed! It's a little scary but exhilarating at the same time.

My daughter is taking Latin. I never took Latin. I'm not even sure we had Latin in my high school. I took French all the way through college. I considered it a sophisticated, scholarly language choice, until tonight. Hello, Mr. Gilchrist! Where have you been all my life? He would SO be my favorite teacher were I my daughter. He's dorky, but in a cool sort of way. He loves all things British and is a huge Monty Python fan. He struts around the classroom in his academic gown. Need I say more? Sex machine.

Halfway through his presentation he made a Python joke, silly voice and all, and I laughed so loud that I snorted. Like a pig. HUGE snort. No one else laughed. No one else even raised a well-groomed eyebrow. I wanted to raise my hand and shout, "I get it, Mr. Gilchrist! I love Monty Python! I'm cool in a dorky sorty of way like that...we could be friends!" And just like high school, I don't even think he noticed me. Typical.

That was my high school experience in a nutshell. A nutshell, I tell you. So much going on inside, but nothing on the outside. I was a wall. A complete and utter ugly, brick wall. Just waiting for someone to tear me down...the bricks, that is...like Pink Floyd? Rock on, dude.

It's odd how that girl rises to the surface so quickly as if she never left. And maybe she hasn't left. She's still there, still a little timid, still a little unsure, but yet, wiser, and stronger. This older, wiser girl...well, let's just say, she would jump up and bitch-slap the popular girl with her Coach purse and snide remarks in a MINUTE! Nay, a New York minute! But only, and I repeat ONLY, after she had whipped the girl into total submission with her sheer wit and intellect.

That forty-four year old girl would love to switch places with her sixteen year old daughter in a Freaky Friday scenario.

But not in a cute "13 going on 30" sort of way...more like a "Kill Bill" Quentin Tarantino sort of way.

Samurai style.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Ice Cream Trucks Suck

The end of summer deserves an homage to the neighborhood Ice Cream Truck. When we were kids, we loved the ice cream truck. We would search for change in the couch cushions and in the cracks of sidewalks. That truck and it's sweet sounding tunes was like a mobile miracle.

And then one day, my oldest brother was on his way back across the street after buying a tasty, cool summer treat when he was hit by a truck. It was bad. We almost lost him. He's always been a fighter though and he pulled through just fine.

The worst thing was, when my Aunt Sally picked me up from school, I knew something was terribly wrong. My Mom always, and I mean always, picked me up. Aunt Sally told me what had happened and the first thing that my 6 year old mind thought of was, "I bet he was on my bike." He was. I was six. And I was pissed. Anger quickly turned to total grief as soon as I realized the seriousness of the accident. I spent the next six years asking God for forgiveness for my selfishness. And being grateful that my brother survived.

The bike deserves a nod just because. It was green with a banana seat and a cissy bar. Not so great now that I'm describing it, but to me, it was like a Range Rover. But my brother was like Conan, the Barbarian. Super tough.

Follow my rambling, people, it's going somewhere, I promise. This evening, I was sitting outside on the deck, enjoying the early fall weather teaser, when I heard it again...the most evil sounding ice cream truck in the universe. My neighborhood ice cream truck. The music box on the truck must be broken because it plays a creepy sounding song, ALL IN MINOR CHORDS. For the love of God, an ice cream truck playing music in all minor chords? Give me a butcher knife! Where's the LSD? WHO WANTS TO BUY THIS CREEPY ICE CREAM AND WHAT KIND OF SICKO DRIVES THIS TRUCK?

Screw ice cream trucks...I hate them.

Happy Summer.

Saturday, August 22, 2009


I started this blog because of Diahn. We had lost touch for a few years and when I came to her blog and saw what she was doing with her spare time, it blew me away. I wanted a blog, too. We're kind of like sisters that way, always have been. A little competitive. I'd cut my hair, she'd cut hers. She'd buy a really cool t-shirt, I'd buy the same t-shirt, I'd sleep with the Australian bartender, she'd want to sleep with the Australian bartender. Note that I said "want" in that last one. I won that one. Or did I?

I have to throw that in there because I don't think there's one thing that I do that she can't do better, but there are many things she can do that I can't. Like painting. Her work is beautiful.

Now that we're older, we don't compete anymore. We encourage. But I don't think she'll ever know how much I've learned from her, how she makes me want to reach for more.

Then there's my sister-in-law, Lisa. We never competed or wanted to sleep with the same bartender, Australian or otherwise. Lisa is the Great Encourager. She has a way of sifting through all of my rambling thoughts and pulling out the one strand of reason. She is the deepest of deep thinkers and always searching within for truth. And once she finds it, it becomes a part of her as if it were there all along.

She's also creative, in a smart-ass Martha Stewart kind of way. She once made a beautiful Christmas tree top from twigs in her backyard and acted as if there were nothing to it. TWIGS, I tell ya.

When I'm with her, I'm inspired by her grace. She's amazing.

Then there's Crystal. I met her at church 7 years ago and when she walked in with her cute spiky, short, blonde hair and quiet confidence, I instantly liked her. And I was right, she's been my closest friend ever since. She is the most giving person that I've ever known. Almost to a fault, if there is such a thing. And I don't think there is. We've seen the darkest and the best in each other and through that, we've grown together.

When I'm with her, I am completely myself. We can sit together like an old married couple and not have to say anything.

So what the hell does this homage to my three dearest friends mean? I'm not sure exactly. Just that I'm so completely fortunate to have them in my life. And that they are a part of who I've become. We need each other. There's nothing like being able to see yourself through someone else's eyes when too much self-examination begins to weigh you down with doubt.

I love my girls. I only hope I give them as much of myself as they give to me.

Cheers, ladies!

Monday, August 10, 2009

He's my hero because...

Everytime I break a glass or a plate, which is often for those who know me, he appears in a flash like a superhero to see if I'm okay and if I have on shoes. If I don't, he scoops me up and carries me away from danger.

What a man, what a man, what a mighty, fine man.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009


I don't want to get into specifics but this post is about negative thoughts. Little background info, I'm at a really exciting place in my life. I've got a very supportive, positive, patient husband. My kids all seem to be in a pretty good place, for the moment. So where does that leave me?

With room to grow, that's where.

And I'm ready, open and willing to learn.

I've always tended to be more skeptical, cynical, hard-nosed, all of the above, however, I'm seeing that all of those qualities served me well when I needed them, but now, I need to be open and teachable. Those old qualities don't serve me anymore.

How incredibly exciting it is when you get to place in your life of openess. Only then will the doors open. And you can practically hear the hinges creaking as those doors swing open! Opportunities arise. Things happen. I look at God as the great trailmaker. When I ask him to mark the trails for me, they never fail to appear. I just have to follow the trail.

But on the other hand, it's so interesting to me how one, just one, negative statement from other people, compound in my mind. What's so interesting is that everything positive that happened in that day, or that week, does not compound. But the negative, it grows a thousand times. And then a thousand times more. Until it stops me.

Dead in my tracks.

So why is it that OTHER people's comments, thoughts, affect me? Even when they're friends and family and clearly love you, and don't mean to rain on your parade, how can that affect me so powerfully?

I think the answer is that I already think these things and am looking for an easy way out so I jump on these same thoughts that I've already had. Defeating myself before I've even tried.

It's good though, that I recognize it, right?

New things are brewing on the horizon.

Later: The english major in me wants to acknowledge that yes, I mixed my metaphors in the last sentence of this post. Coffee brews, horizons...well, they just...brighten! So let it be known.