Slow Down

The sun slices through the clouds, filling the air with warm white light. Birds circle the trees and cars looking for what I do not know. Leaves blow across the parking lot - the last remnants of early spring. I sit in the car waiting for Cassie...knowing that these days are numbered.

Last night we booked the hotels for our cross-country adventure to take her to college. School is out in a month and August 19 she leaves. God, how do these things show up on you doorstep so quickly? I mean, well...I knew it was coming, but holy hell things move fast when I so very much just want them to slow down.

Sleep Eludes me

I found it incredibly difficult to sleep the past two nights, and I think it has to do with my return to running. I have not been running much, but considering I have been mostly stationary for almost a year, this must count for something. The thing I remember from the days of my long runs when training, was that every time I would increase my mileage or speed or simply intensity in training, I would have trouble settling down at night. It took a few days to adjust to the added stress put on my body, and then I would sleep like manatee. What? Manatees sleep a lot. I know. I Googled it.

So I am thinking that in a day or two the no-sleeping thing will back the fuck off already. I am hoping anyway. Because the no sleeping? It is not translating into not being tired. Oh no. I am exhausted, but simply cannot sleep. It is like there are gallons of caffeine coursing through my limbs, making me all jumpy and unable to sit still, but the stuff has not hit my brain, because it is sitting in my head like a tired, sad lump – just wanting to sleep already. So there is that. We DO have that.

And speaking of the return to running, I made an executive decision to not run today, and am already thinking I will change my mind. See, I have a crazy-busy day full of meetings and internet surfing and picking up kids and internet surfing and work email and not so important email and sandal buying (requiring internet surfing) – and I just don’t know if I can fit it all in. Ummm, yeah.

So as I looked at my workload and my list of to-do items, I couldn’t see any reason why I cannot run this evening other than I am lazy and wanted to blame work, when in reality it is not a busy work day for a change. And if I can just get out and run I KNOW I will not regret that…but staying home and sitting on my ass has so many ways of making me feel guilt and regret that I am now thinking that staying home on my ass = lame idea that only a lazy lamo person would consider.


Because I Just Know…

  • When I am with you, nothing else matters
  • Although never much for physical affection, I seem to be compelled to touch you, hold your hand, be near you all of the time
  • Every word you speak has special meaning to me – your praise elevates me and any criticism cuts in a way I would have never anticipated
  • I never think about how others’ view you, I simply always feel lucky to be with you
  • I feel like I ended up with someone much better than me
  • I love sharing things with you – things nobody else knows
  • When I think of the perfect day – you are always part of it
  • When anything good or bad happens during my day, I HAVE to call you that very moment and tell you about it
  • While sharing a life with someone else is always going to be more work than being alone, you make it feel easy
  • I know every moment of every day that you love me

When you ask, “How do you know you love me?” the answer is “Because I just know.”

If I Could Run, Which I Can't

Yesterday after paying my traffic ticket – yes, it DOES seem like I just did that, because, well I did. However I am completely incapable of driving the speed limit. Ever. My husband said something along the lines of me being personally responsible for funding pretty much everything the police force in our area does, specifically the new LED lights on top of their cars. I think he is exaggerating… - Anyway, after doing …that… I went to the gym for the first time in what feels like FOREVER. And it was good.

If I was allowed to run, which of course I am not, I would have run for about 10 minutes to warm up and then would have done some weights and then headed home. But since I cannot run, I ran for 10 minutes to warm up and then did some weights. Save the lecture. If you know me, you know it is pointless, and if you don’t know me, there is NO WAY I am listening to you…

Today, after having one of the worst mornings in history here at work, I headed to the gym again, because there was no way I could take another minute of the insanity. And if I were allowed to run, which I am not, I would have run for 30 minutes and LOVED EVERY RIDICULOUSLY DIFFICULT MINUTE OF IT. I would have started feeling achy in my hip and right shoulder, my lungs would have burned, I would have felt out of breath within 10 minutes, but I would have soldiered on and when I finished, I would have felt better than I have felt in a long, long time. I would have felt stronger and happier than I have in ages. And I would have vowed to do it again tomorrow. It was THAT good.


I woke up in a fantastic mood, and within 1 minute of being at work I am ready to rip somebody’s head off. That can’t be good, right?

There are days (many of them actually) where I wish I were independently wealthy and didn’t have to come into this office…no more corporate bullshit, no more ridiculous red tape in order to accomplish anything, no more explaining financials I didn’t create in the first effing place, no more FUCKING EXPO WHITEBOARD CLEANER, no more horrible coffee, no more senseless meetings, no more No More NO MORE!

And no, I do not think my childish rant is going to make a difference. Thankyouverymuch.


Letting Go

A year ago a typical Sunday night would wind down with a bottle or two of wine while sitting around talking or watching a movie. Sometimes we would have a few beers after finishing the wine - pushing our drinking limits and loving the buzz just a little too much. Mondays were an evil little bitch, but WOW did I love those Sunday nights. And I do miss them now.

I am closing in on a year without drinking anything stronger than a Diet Coke and although it is easier than it used to be, it is still difficult. I think about drinking most days, if even just for a second or two - usually in the evening after dinner...sometimes when I am cooking dinner or getting ready for bed.

I feel as if I have lost a bit of my self esteem in this quest for sobriety. I am definitely less interested in social situations - be it work-related or with friends. Holidays, dinner out, an afternoon on the golf course - all less fun without the alcohol. I suppose this fits the definition of being an alcoholic, and yet that doesn't make this life changing decision any easier.

I used to think that an alcoholic was someone who drank all of the time. In my mind, they would ALWAYS start the day off with Baileys in their coffee, or vodka in their V8. And since I didn't do those things, I was free and clear. I didn't think that I fit the description of someone with a drinking problem - mostly because it wasn't a problem to me. It didn't keep me from work, I didn't fail to meet any obligations because of drinking. I didn't endanger anyone and didn't live a life of lies or deceit - all in the name of drinking. I wasn't neglectful or abusive...I just enjoyed drinking.

Todd stopped drinking with me - because I couldn't anymore and he wanted to be supportive. It has been easy for him. He doesn't miss it - doesn't talk about it, doesn't eye the wine at the grocery store with longing like I do. I don't know how he does it. I just can't seem to let go. When does this get easier?


The Waiting Game

Cassie talks about leaving for college a lot now. She is focused, intent, excited. I don’t think she is very thrilled with the whole “waiting” game that is the next few months. And, I understand that.

When I make a decision to do something, especially something BIG, I want to get moving on it right away. I am not one to delay, to plan, to wait. I think Cassie has a bit of this in her as well. Now that she has chosen her school she is ready to be there. Yet, she has to wait through the whole summer before she can get started. The next few months appear useless to her – wasted on waiting.

And while I understand her frustration with the whole waiting game, I secretly wish time would stand still and I could have a few extra months with her.


Mother-Daughter Bonding

We left the house around 9:30, rushing as is usual for us. Brittany, Cassie and I were late to meet Cassie’s friends at the dress store. No, that is not a typo. She is going to prom, and needed a dress, so off we went on what ended up being an insane adventure in search of “THE DRESS” – what my husband kept referring to as The Mother-Daughter Bonding Experience.

We arrived at the first shop to discover that it was 1) closed and 2) the building was empty and 3) for lease. I did not think our chances of finding “THE DRESS” were very high given the situation, so we re-grouped with her friends and moved on to another store.

While looking for another "sure thing" according to one of her friend's mother, wee ended up at either the 99 Cents Store, or King Tux Formalwear. At least that was all that was still in the shopping center – we didn’t go into either but I was quite certain that neither of which had anything close to resembling a formal dress. So we moved along.

At store #3, we were practically assaulted by the staff. It was fairly clear that they worked on commission. It was even more clear that they were a bridal store, as almost every dress appeared in either a shade of pink, blue, or a hue of white. There were a few exceptions, which Cassie did try on, but overall there wasn’t much that was prom-worthy.

Store #4 was entertaining, but not any more useful than the previous 3. They had quite a few throw-backs from the 60s and 70s, which they were QUITE proud of – to the tune of somewhere between $500 and $1500. I later learned that they were not all that expensive. I also learned that I am very, very, very much a fashion idiot. And cheap.

Store #5 had a stockpile of dresses. There were more sequence, silk, rhinestones, and lace than I had ever seen under one roof before. This is where I learned that most girls going to prom this year want to dress like hookers. I wish I was kidding.

In addition to all of the dresses, were hoards of people. The dressing room looked like the New York Stock Exchange trading floor. I believe there were about 40 dressing rooms and maybe 2 employees assisting. MAD HOUSE does not even begin to describe the place. Cassie tried on quite a few dresses and found one that she really liked, however it was missing a tie that went across the back to connect two corset like rows of silk hooks…sort of the highlight of the dress. We were told that they could order it for us, however then we wouldn’t have time to get it altered…or they would discount it and we could try to figure out how to secure the dress on our own. Neither option appealed to me. Neither did the cost. So we discussed more than it deserved and left.

We then headed to lunch with her friends where we continued bonding, discussed strategy and the fact tat we were getting really tired. Her friends all decided to call it a day, while I made it fairly clear that we were not going home without a dress in hand because I was NOT doing this again. Perhaps ever.

After lunch we decided to head over to a place I had found on the Internet – a dress designer that had many fantastic articles written about them. We looked and looked and looked, and could not figure out where the shop was. After driving around in a business area for about 30 minutes I found an office with the name of the designer on the door. Good news – we had found it. Bad news – they were an actual designer and designed one of a kind dresses, by request only, for insane amounts of money. And –they were closed.

It was now after 3pm, and I was more than ready to be done with the shopping. Cassie was definitely ready to be done shopping, and Brittany – queen of shopping, was ready to walk home just to avoid another store. We were all ready to be done with the bonding. So what did we do? We went to a mall…because I am all about the torture.

We looked at Dillards, Nordstrom, BCBG, Cache’ and several other stores. We found one store with anything close to resembling a prom dress (Oscar De La Renta) and it was $10,000. I think it is fairly obvious that we didn’t buy it. I am not sure if that mall EVER had any prom dresses – if so, there was now no sign of it.

Our last ditch effort was a store called Whatchamacallit. It was known to be a crap-shoot. Lots of dresses, but was operated a little wonky. When we got there, there was row upon row of dresses, all segmented by color. This made it pretty easy to find what Cassie wanted, because she was looking for red or deep blue. As we were looking the owner told us that everything in the store was on sale, and that discounts would be taken when we checked out. He didn’t however tell us what the discounts were. It didn’t end up mattering though, because most of the dresses didn’t have prices on them.

After what felt like 15 weeks in that place, Cassie found a dress – blue, open back, long – very very sexy, but not too revealing. There was even a price tag on it. One I could live with. We headed to the front, and ran into a saleslady who told us that we could have 10% off of the listed price. I didn’t mind the price. I might have paid double just to be done with the effing shopping already. The saleslady seemed like a used car salesman - trying way to hard to sell us on the dress, so I thanked her and said that we were still looking. At the front of the store I asked the owner how much he would sell it for, and he offered us 40% off, which I was ALL OVER. We paid, left, and headed home – where we collapsed.

And now? We have to buy shoes. I am pushing for bare feet.


A Little Girl

As I walked toward the hospital I stepped in behind a mother and a little girl going the same direction as me. They were approaching one of the doctor’s buildings. The little girl had arms that could not have been more than a few inches wider than a few of my fingers put together. She was wearing a baseball hat on her obviously bald head. She had trouble walking, as if her joints were not functioning properly, or it was perhaps too painful to walk without a bit of a limp.

We all three got into the elevator together. The little girl grabbed her mom’s hand and smiled up at her. The mom smiled back, reassuring the little girl that everything was ok. My mind began racing… obviously this girl had cancer. She was clearly sick. And I wondered if she would live. I wondered if she knew how sick she was. I wondered how her mother could look at her daughter and do anything but cry – because MY GOD! How could this have happened?

I stepped off the elevator into the 4th floor, and they followed me. I went up to the reception desk to check in – the sign on the wall read Texas Oncology. I turned to see the little girl and mom walk down the hall toward treatment area where they administer chemotherapy. And I think I almost stopped breathing.

I sat waiting to see my doctor (an oncologist who specializes in hematology), and I was thinking about how the mother and daughter seemed so happy. The little girl seemed so matter-of-fact about everything…because, that…those things that were happening to her… those were her life...they were normal to her. And as I sat there, I tried not to cry for that little girl. And I tried not to cry for myself, thinking that could be MY CHILD. My children are not immune to bad things…there is no guarantee that they will not get deathly ill and I just know I couldn’t handle that. I couldn’t get up and face that every day – that horrible, sad, looming cloud – that terrible disease attacking my baby… how does she do it?


Going Away - Breaking My Heart

Cassie is going away to college in the fall. I think about this a lot. I am not sure how I would describe the feelings, but they are something that I think only a mother, or a father to a daughter, or perhaps a young lover feels. They are contradictory, and overpowering, and wow… it just sucks a bit.

There is this looming sense of dread because she is going to be so far away.

There is immense pride because she is choosing to be so far away.

And then there is disappointment because she is going to be so far away.

I am terrified that she will get hurt in the world.

I am thrilled she wants to find out who she is, learn to be on her own.

I am sad because clearly she doesn’t need me like she used to.

I don’t want her to have to deal with mean, hateful, horrible people or situations.

I want her to BE ABLE to deal with mean, hateful, horrible people and situations.

I want to fix all of her problems myself.

I have always expected my children to go to college. I have made it clear that it is not an option. I have anticipated this day for many, many years, so why is it so difficult to handle? I find that amusing in a way.

I think it all boils down to me having trouble accepting that she just doesn’t need me. Which is a good thing. It is how we gauge our children’s success – so it should make me happy to see her leave. However, part of me wishes she were not quite ready.


/all right stop collaborate and listen/

Do you ever get a song stuck in your head, somewhere squished in all the grey matter where you simply cannot get to it - can't flush it out?

/will it ever stop yo I don't know/

No? Yeah...me neither. Ahem.

/I'm cookin MCs like a pound of bacon/

The girls were here tonight. It was a nice evening in spite of the whole sore throat, coughing, hacking up a lung, fever thing. And I think I am feeling a bit better. So that helped.

We cooked dinner, ate, cleaned up, went to see the fire station, gave the boys a bath, put them to bed, worked on Cassie's paper, looked at scholarships, downloaded a song

/Ice ice baby vanilla/

And then colored part of Brittany's hair. Am exhausted...but have work to do. It is already 12:15am and I am beginning to think I may work all night.

/yo man lets get out of here...word to your mother/



Todd is once again out of town. This sucks for many reasons the first of which is this nasty-ass sickness I am sporting. Fever is finally down a bit, but I could use a few days sleep. The second reason Todd's being gone sucks is that I cannot sleep when he is not here - this is a big deal because of reason number one. Reason number three is my throat - it is in fire. When he is here, he makes everything easier. And four - the toddler factor. The boys don't 'get' that I don't feel well, or if they do - they are not letting on. This means that they expect to get fed and all sorts of other annoying stuff. kids these days!

I wish we were planning a vacation. One with sun and sand and foreign languages and blue water and exotic food. Instead? Our summer plans include taking Cassie to Michigan for college. Totally NOT the same thing.

In other news, we are still on target to have our debt all paid off by Dec. 2009. And, we may be able to improve on that if I quit spending money...which - well, I will try.

Oh - guess what I am doing? I am freaking working right now... because dude, there is no way I would get out of that. HATE production issues. HATE this project that is not going to be done EVER. HATE escalations. HATE being the person that things are escalated to. HATE being in management. Did I mention the HATE?


A Good Hair Day

Now if only it would grow 12 inches overnight. Bet many a man has uttered that prayer before!


These Are The Days

Right now I am sitting in the boys’ room watching them sleep. This might be the most time I have spent with them all week.

I have been so buried in work over the past few weeks that they have developed a Pavlovian reaction to ANY computer or cell phone. They immediately get annoyed and declare “Put that away – it is not safe!” Can you just feel the neglect in the air? Why not go ahead and queue up some Harry Chapin and stab just a little deeper?

Todd is going to be out of town again this week, however I am hopeful that it won’t be as bad as last week. Work seems to have settled a bit for the moment and I anticipate a MUCH more normal amount of pressure from The Man. But if it doesn’t let up, at least he is home Thursday night with no other plans of traveling in the immediate future. Light! At the end of the tunnel!

My plans for the week include working – with a strong focus on spending time with the boys. My evenings are for them, and even if it means I am working well into the wee hours of the morning, I am going to honor that commitment. I am not missing another week of their tiny lives…


Vacuum is to dirt as work is to me

I have not written in a few days because I am working, working, working. It is Saturday, 8:15am and I have already had 3 conference calls…there are more to come. Dinner last night consisted of us going out to eat, and me spending most of the time in the parking lot on the phone. That was followed by coming home and spending more time on the phone. It just is not letting up. And since nobody really wants to hear me continue bitching about work, well – I have nothing else to say.

OOh – wait! Todd is home!!! So that is good. He came home a day early. He does leave again next week for Mexico City, but he is here now, and I am so, so happy that he is. I wish he was not leaving next week, because I can tell this whole mess at work is not getting better anytime soon, and I cannot even picture how much next week is going to suck on my own…


Insanity On The Home-Front (AKA - TODD, COME HOME AND FIX THIS)

After yesterday, I was CERTAIN today could not be worse. I even told a co-worker that yesterday had forced me to set my expectations VERY LOW for today – and that as long as one of my kids did not rub a toxic substance all over his body, or I didn’t almost die in my office due to asphyxiation (thank you fucking Expo Whiteboard Cleaner), that I would consider the day a success. I should have knocked wood, thrown salt over my shoulder, crossed my fingers and toes, and perhaps left some rum for Jobu. But I didn’t do any of those things. And so today sucked.

Last night, as is the norm now, I clocked roughly 3 hours of sleep. I then got up at 5:30 so I could get ready, read email, and get the boys up. And then? I had 11 hours of meetings BEFORE DINNER., one meeting after dinner. Oh -and still more yet to go (it is already 10:15pm here). Tell me that is not insane. But duck after you do it, because I will come after you!

On my way home from work (while on a conference call, of course) I had to go to the grocery store…because I have put it off and we needed food. I got home a little before 5, and the house was a MESS. Breakfast dishes with breakfast food on them were still on the counter. Lunch stuff was everywhere. Toys? EVERYWHERE. And the boys? In their room – having not yet even taken a nap. Can you say "madhouse"?

I got the boys up, and asked what had happened. Apparently they had not gotten home from some park until after 1, and then screwed around until after 3 before even attempting napping. I was NOT HAPPY. Faced with two toddlers who had not napped, trying to cook dinner while on a conference call, and then trying to entertain them without them melting down, led me to go a little more crazy than normal. I did not yell at anyone really – just the typical “come here” and “don’t hit your brother” kind of stuff…but it was a rough evening and I was so unhappy with the situation I had come home to.

I don’t know how to deal with it so it doesn’t happen again, but I am going to have to find a way – because I cannot deal with that again. I just can’t. I cannot work all day and then come home to a huge disaster that needs picked up, kids that have not napped, dinner to cook and clean up, children who (Did I mention, they had NOT NAPPED?) need entertained, and then the whole bedtime ritual. It will kill me.

It is days like this that I wish the boys did not stay home but went to daycare instead.

American Idol - you giant time-suck you!

Paula, what in the hell are you wearing? If you move an inch in the wrong direction, your boobs are going to freaking pop out of your dress. Go up a size…at least.

Michael Johns sounded great. David Cook – WTF? I have no idea what he was singing, but I hated it. Christy Lee Somethingrather should go home already. That Carly didn’t sound very good this week, but I loved her hair. Too bad this isn’t America’s Best Hair, because she would have fared better. David Archuleta was just like every other week – sounded good, but it sounds like every other song he has sung. It is like ONE LONG SONG. Every week – more of the same. As for Brooke – it was terrible. I think her days on the show are over.


Isn't he yummy?

How I came to spend $10.00 on a cup of coffee I did not even drink:

This morning I had to drop of a movie that the girls rented over the weekend (DO NOT RENT or NETFLIX WRONG TURN 2, DEAD END – No, I didn’t expect it to be good, but I had no idea how horrendous it would really be) and so I stopped in Starbucks and picked up coffee on my way to work ($4 and some change). I then headed to work. When I was almost there, I took a sip, and it tasted and smelled funny - chemically. I could not drink it… But man, I needed some coffee.

I stopped at another Starbucks and ordered the same thing (another $4 and some change) and although it had more of a burnt flavor, it had the same issue. It smelled oddly familiar and FOUL. And then I figured it out – FUCKING EXPO WHITEBOARD CLEANER! I can only imagine that my taste buds and sense of smell was affected by yesterday’s incident – because I did not order FUCKING EXPO WHITEBOARD CLEANER as an extra shot in my damn coffee.

Once I got to work and entered the Office of Doom - destined to forever smell like FUCKING WHITEBOARD CLEANER, I threw away the coffee - and a bottle of water that tasted exactly the same. I may never drink ANYTHING again.

By the way – Roark is fine. He appears to have recovered from the formaldehyde much better than my run in with the FUCKING EXPO WHITEBOARD CLEANER.

I am giving the Caps Lock a run for it's money today. That, and the word FUCK.


Building services just showed up again. Apparently they spent the evening climbing around in the ceiling checking air vents and ventilation because PEOPLE WERE GETTING SICK from fumes yesterday afternoon. No - I am not kidding. My office still smells funny. The fuzzy head has come back, and I have unloaded a full can of air freshener into the air. My office door is however opened today and I have a fan in here blowing the air up into the ceiling and out the door. I pity the people in cube-land out there, because they are about to get stoned, followed by the worst hangover of their lives. Enjoy the FUCKING EXPO WHITEBOARD CLEANER, ya'll.



It has been a hellish day and I have a horrible headache (thank you fucking Expo whiteboard cleaner). I was unable to eat dinner (I blame the fucking Expo whiteboard cleaner) and was just starting to feel like I would no longer hurl at any moment when…

It is 7:15 as we head upstairs. The boys race into my room asking to watch Shrek. I put the movie in and head off to get pajamas and books so that I can get them ready for bed. I come back into the bedroom and Roark is sitting on the floor of the bathroom with Todd’s foot stuff. I grab it from him, and look at the ingredients: formaldehyde. I am not sure what this will do to him, but I grab a washcloth, clean off his foot, yell a little (a lot) and send him to watch Shrek.

About a minute after I grab my computer to find out if his foot is going to fall off, he begins crying that his foot hurts. I try not to lecture him in between my freaking out, but it is difficult. I turn on the tub, take off his pants, and stick his feet under the spray of water. I grab baby soap and wash his feet – not knowing if this is what I should do, but not wanting to wait while his feet fry beneath the freaking chemicals.

I dry off his feet and he seems fine. They do not look red. I continue to tell him to NEVER EVER EVER EVER touch anything anywhere ever again. What in the HELL is that doing on the bedside table anyway??? Jesus CHRIST I am an inept parent!

Perhaps I over-react… but I cannot think of anything else to do. After yelling, yelling some more, and eventual comforting I look into what has happened and the freakout continues. Did he get any on his hands? I do not know. Did he rub his eyes? I look at his eyes, they are red, but he has been crying – due to the whole chemicals-on-the-feet thing and his mother yelling at him. I have no idea if he is ok. His feet look ok. His hands look ok.

I stick all of him in the tub and wash his whole body. Now he is crying because he wants me to leave him the hell alone. I don’t blame him, but don’t want to risk anything bad happening:

* Formaldehyde is an eye, skin, and respiratory tract irritant. Inhalation of vapors can produce narrowing of the bronchi and an accumulation of fluid in the lungs.

* Children may be more susceptible than adults to the respiratory effects of formaldehyde.

* Formaldehyde solution (formalin) causes corrosive injury to the gastrointestinal tract, especially the pharynx, epiglottis, esophagus, and stomach.

* The systemic effects of formaldehyde are due primarily to its metabolic conversion to formate, and may include metabolic acidosis, circulatory shock, respiratory insufficiency, and acute renal failure.

* Formaldehyde is a potent sensitizer and a probable human carcinogen.

Oh crap – did he get any in his mouth? He says no. I stare at him hoping I will see some indication of what harm is done. He looks at me as if I am a crazy loon, which…well, can you blame him?

* There is no antidote for formaldehyde. Treatment consists of supportive measures including decontamination (flushing of skin and eyes with water, gastric lavage, and administration of activated charcoal), administration of supplemental oxygen, intravenous sodium bicarbonate and/or isotonic fluid, and hemodialysis.

It is a 10% solution…Roark seems fine. I think about calling Poison Control (I could mention the fucking Expo whiteboard cleaner while I am at it), paging his doctor, or going to the after hours pediatrician. Over-react much? I sit with him, watching Shrek, expecting CPS to walk in at any minute and take my kids away.

No sign of them yet. My head is hurting again (not sure if it is the fucking Expo whiteboard cleaner, the Formaldehyde fumes, or the trauma of the whole situation - I blame the fucking Expo whiteboard cleaner).

What I Am Reading

Such A Tease

I am operating on 3 hours of sleep. I know, I know. It seems inconceivable that I would be able to do such a thing. I typically need a good 10-12 hours of sleep in order to be even slightly civil, however the past few nights I have been unable to fall asleep, and then unable to stay asleep. To sleep at midnight, up at 3am. I have no idea what that is all about.

I have the normal 8 ½ hours of meetings (back to back) today. I would complain but that is starting to get old. I am hopeful that this week won’t suck as bad as the past few have. I like to tease myself like this on a Monday.


Blah blah blah - Work Sucks.

Twittering is easy.

And it takes very little thought.

It is perfect for me.

However it appears to have robbed me of my desire to write anything substantial. It is either that or that fact that I ended up working a lot this weekend. Mostly just Sunday…but still. With Todd out of town, it was not perfect timing for a work crisis. I am dreading this week and think that I would prefer pulling my own fingernails off with the use of only a ballpoint pen to the single-parenting and work I am facing.

Based on today's meetings, I am going to be eyeball deep in escalations through mid-2010. I wish I was kidding.


Where the Blame Falls

I have fallen the way of tired head. I have these amazing writing ideas (or that is how I recall it), and by the time I have a chance to write anything, I am too spent to remember a damn thing. I blame work. And old age. And little kids. And pets. And dirty dishes. And clothes that need washed / folded / put away. And big kids. And life. That’s it! I blame life.

Mmmmmmm, work!

I am too tired to think clearly today. Having been up late working for the past few nights, followed by getting up early every day – I am just dragging. And it is a damn shame too, because I have rather serious work-related issues that need my full and immediate attention. These issues? They have forced me to move pretty much every single meeting I had scheduled to another day…meaning they are going to take all day to work through. And if I am lucky I can spend a bit of time with the boys before putting them to bed and working some more.

Work. It’s what’s for dinner.


So the thing I thought would take until the weee hours of the morning is now done. 7 hours of KILLING MYSELF over crap that is going to continue to kill me repeatedly for perhaps the rest of the calendar year. HATE. I am not going to say too much more, but DAMN! I hate financials.


Thoughts About My Boys

You are sitting on my lap, more vulnerable, more trusting than you will ever be again in your life. I am the center of your universe. You adore me and hang on every word, no matter how small or insignificant.

I count the freckles on your neck, sniff your intoxicating hair, watch your delicate eyelashes flutter as you focus on the book in front of you. We read, and although I am trying to concentrate on the book, I keep thinking about you, about you growing up, about you becoming your own person.

One day soon you too will be preparing for college just like your sister is now. In a flash you will be 18. You will not need me to read to you, to take care of you, and I will have to send you out into the world on your own.

In a twinkling, our world as I know it now will shatter.

Father Figure

When I think about my dad, I draw a blank. I don’t have much to say about him. I feel nothing when I try to remember him. I feel anger when I try to understand why he chose not be part of my life.

My parents were divorced when I was maybe 3. I don’t really remember much of his existence in our lives. I see pictures and I *think* I remember them, but I really only recall the event because of those photos. The memories are most certainly fabricated based on years of staring at the Polaroid wishing I could remember something, anything at all.

My parents could not have children of their own. I don’t know why. Apparently they tried, and finally moved on to adoption. They first adopted my brother, then me. I don’t know exactly how old I was when I joined their family. I don’t have a lot of details about those early years. I do know that they both were part of the adoption process, which should mean that they BOTH wanted kids. I am not sure now that was EVER the case.

One morning, after a particularly brutal fight with my mom, my dad packed his things and left. I don’t even know how I know this – but I do. I think we may have seen him a few times after that, but I cannot say for certain. And that was that.

My mom spent years tracking him down, trying to get child support. We spent a few vacations with his parents…but we never saw him again after the first few months. We didn’t get financial support, emotional support – anything at all from our father.

I think his disappearance and lack of interest in us as a family affected my brother more directly than me. I don’t remember it tormenting me the way it seemed to my brother. It haunted him. It made him angry and unhappy. It left him feeling empty. But it just left me, confused I guess.

I always wanted a father…searched for a father figure. I wanted to be taken care of, but I suppose if my mom had been around more, that would have filled that void just as well. I was angry about him ditching us and not helping financially – so I sued him as soon as my mom died. That felt good. I didn’t really think about it much past that.

I don’t blame any of my poor decisions in life on him, or lack of him. I have not tried to find him – although my brother told me he lives in Dallas. I don’t stay in contact with his mother, although my brother does. I just don’t feel like he has earned the right to hold a place in my heart, and I am at peace with it.

It no longer bothers me that I may be constantly searching for father figures; by this time, I have found several and dearly enjoyed knowing them all. - Alice Walker


Healthcare update number seventy billion and six

“So the biopsy results are interesting. Have you seen these?”


“They indicate… interesting” He gets up and leaves the exam room.

Crickets chirping

He returns with a book, opens it to scary pictures of gangrenous fingers, thumbing through, reading.

“So you have blood clots in the vessels in your fingers, which tells me that…” He gets up again, closes the book and leaves the exam room again.

He returns, sans book, sits down and looks at my hands again. “So you had a pulmonary embolus when you were in the hospital last August.”

“Ummm, I had some blood clots in my arm”

“And your lungs”

“… really?”

“And the issue is that now that you have them in your hands, well it could be the Behcet’s, or it could be a clotting factor problem, or it could be something else”

Wow – so much data – so many specifics… WTF? “Huh?”

“So you need to be seen by a hematologist.” At this point he gets up, walks out to the front desk, and calls some doctor. He isn’t in, and he leaves a message for him. He then returns to the exam room.

“Tell me what kind of exercise you are doing.”

“I am running some now…”

“And what guidelines are you following?”

“Well, I am supposed to keep my heart rate under 150. But – well, I guess I will just be honest here… If I were to do that, I would only make it about 2 blocks… so I stay below 165, which seems to be working for me.”

He gives me a deer in the headlights stare and tells me no more running until they figure out what is going on. He goes on to explain that another pulmonary embolism will kill me. The only reason I apparently didn’t die before was because I was in the ICU when it happened. Allrightythen.

His in-and-out, on-the-phone-off-the-phone, broken conversations continued for TWO HOURS. After which he tried to take blood from me. Six times. He didn’t get a drop. So off to the hospital I went for some clotting tests and other blood work. Where – they tried MANY MORE TIMES, and finally called in the PIC team to get blood. It was horrible. They said that I have some of the worst veins they have ever seen, and recommended a PIC or central line if I need much more blood work. That is NOT going to happen in my lifetime…freaks.

So now I wait to hear from my doctor so that I can go see another doctor. I am seeing a trend here in visiting doctors and paying money so that they can find out nothing, but just continue to scare the crap out of me.

Did I Succeed?

I am a little girl, maybe 4 years old. I love playing with dollies and pretending I am grown up like my mom. I enjoy helping her make the beds, pick up the kitchen, run errands. I imagine myself being just like her when I grow up.

I am not sure how old I am…maybe 5. We drive across the country in search of something, someone. My mother thinks that the Guru Maharishi is the answer to all of her prayers, and so we go across the country to find him. We stay in a barn, sleeping in the hay. I run around in the warm sun without a shirt on, playing with other kids who’s parents are looking for something more also. My mother doesn’t pay much attention to me, but I don’t care. She falls out of the top part of the barn and breaks her arm – so we go home.

I am 7 years old, I think. I am starting 2nd grade. My mother works a lot now, she is never home during the day. I go to school without her, I come home without her. My brother and I make our own breakfast, lunch and dinner. I don’t think much about what it is like to be her, I just know that I miss her and wish she were home when I came home from school.

I am 9 years old. My mother didn’t feel like she was giving us a balanced home, and so we move in with another family…a “real family” with a mom, dad, and all of the relatives around. It is called a community, and I hate it. I feel like an outsider, and my mom seems strange. I grow further away from her.

I am 10 years old. We move into an old house in a bad neighborhood. I don’t mind, because it gets us out of the community we were living in. I like the time with my mom, and I feel like a normal family for a change. We work on the house together, and spend a lot of time trying to heal our hearts.

I am 16 years old. I am ashamed of where I live. I am ashamed of the fact that my mom works nights as a nurse. I want to be like all of the kids I go to school with – in their expensive houses, with expensive cars. I want to wear new, stylish clothes. I want my mom to be at home when I get home from school. I want to take vacations.

I am 17 years old. My mom changes jobs and begins making a lot more money. We are able to buy clothes, go out to eat, we finally can afford cable. She travels a lot, and is NEVER home, but I don’t even notice anymore. I have not thought about what it would be like to be her in many, many years. She is so far from the person I am, the person I want to be.

I am 19 years old and going away to college. I cannot wait to leave home and be on my own, yet in a way I have been on my own for a very, very long time. I like the idea of starting over, of re-inventing myself.

I am 20. My mother becomes very sick. She is going to die.

I am 21 years old. I am married. I am also 6 months pregnant, and have just found out that my unborn child is a little girl. I tell my mother…she says that she already knows. She dies the next day.

I think about my relationship with my mother. We were never very close. She had to work two jobs most of my life, and I just never saw her. I loved her more than anything – there was that bond that I have no explanation for, yet there was very little closeness. I swore to never hold my children at arms length the way she did with me. I wonder if I succeeded?

Spartan Spirit

When I was in high school, I was not sure that I would go to college. I remember what a HUGE deal it was for all of my friends – applying for schools, waiting for the acceptance letters to arrive, and sometimes getting turned down, and then deciding “HEY! I didn’t want to go there anyway!”

My mom could not afford to pay for my education, and I was overwhelmed by the cost. Student loans were of course an option, but the thought of all of that debt at such a young age was pretty scary. I decided to stay at home the first year, going to a local branch of Indiana University – even though my grades were good enough to go pretty much anywhere I had wanted. I took a few classes and I worked full time, saving money for the following year.

In 1987 I went away to Indiana University. I didn’t have to apply because I had been going to the local branch for a year. I simply signed up for classes and showed up. I think that I missed some of the fun of researching schools, applying, getting accepted. Watching Cassie do all of those things showed me what I was missing. A whole country of options out before her, selecting, getting excited…and going away.

I am so happy to see my daughter growing up, choosing to go to college, selecting a school, planning her future. I am lucky to be a part of it.

Cassie is officially a Spartan. Michigan State University is very far away… this is going to hurt a bit.