Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Just visiting?

This cute little guy has been hanging out with us since yesterday. I have no idea who he belongs to. Today I took him to the animal shelter to have them check him for a microchip. He doesn't have one and he's not neutered either. They offered to take him but they would put him up for adoption after 48 hours so I filled out a "found dog" form in case his owner goes to the shelter and we are going to put notices on the mailboxes in our neighborhood. I'm not sure what we will do if no one claims him. He's a sweetheart though and Gracie seems to be in love with him.

Monday, April 28, 2008

So much to say... part two

Oh dear, it's been almost a whole week since I started this post. I am pathetically lame and lamely pathetic. But you know what? In two weeks and two days I will be lamely and pathetically unemployed. (yippee!) Now I just have to figure out how to schedule my soon to be free time so I don't fritter it all away on silly things like cleaning the garage or doing laundry.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

So much to say... part one

I've been trying to write a damned post for four days now and every time I sit down with my computer in my lap all that my brain will give me is a recording of Dave Matthews...

I say my hell is the closet I'm stuck inside
can't see the light
and my heaven is a nice house in the sky
I got central heating and I'm alright
yeah yeah yeah can't see the light
keep it locked up inside don't talk about it
t-t-talk about the weather

So I talked about the weather. Boring wasn't it? But I am really having trouble coming up with more to write about. The funny thing is that I'm not short of subjects; actually I have too many. There is so much going on around here right now that figuring out where to start is the first problem...

so much to say, so much to say, so much to say, so much to say

And how much to share is the second...

I've been sitting on one piece of news for many weeks now and I can finally share it but it feels anticlimactic now... and complicated. You see, a year and a half ago we made the decision that Bob would leave the stable, safe, corporate world and take a job at a much smaller company. It has been a remarkable experience in many ways.. unfortunately not all the remarks would be positive. During this time he has also been frequently encouraged to return to his old company. Well, for various reasons he recently decided to consider the options and before we knew it there was a very nice offer in front of him. He took it.. and he resigned from his current job, giving them more than a month to find his replacement but the owners didn't want to tell the staff immediately and, since I also work there, and some of my coworkers read this blog, I had to stay quiet. Now I can talk about it because everyone knows but I don't feel right about talking.

I'm not sure what will happen with my job. I work on a contract basis and took the job because Bob really needed a spot filled and they couldn't add staff. I am not an employee and my contract could be cancelled any day and I honestly wouldn't cry about that. In fact I would quit tomorrow if I didn't like my supervisor so much. She's a very nice lady who is currently overwhelmed because her boss (my husband) is leaving and one of her full time employees is going part time so that she can go back to school. I don't want to make things any harder than they already are. However, I really want my life back. I know this sounds whiny to many women. I work with a few who can not imagine why I am not thrilled to have escaped the drudgery of being a "housewife". But I'm not thrilled.. I'm bored. I miss having time to write. I miss baking. I hate that my house is messy and my budget is shaky because I'm distracted and tired. I feel like I'm wasting my days sitting around that office. I don't know what to do but right now I'm just going to keep doing what I've been doing and evaluate again after Bob has left and things start to change... because things will definitely change

I find sometimes it's easy to be myself
sometimes I find it's better to be somebody else

It's midnight and I need to get to bed. I'm going to post this as part one and maybe it will motivate me to write some more after work tomorrow...

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Through rose colored glasses...

Cherry blossoms are so lovely..

Truly a harbinger of spring.. they lift my spirits and give me hope that we will see the sun again soon.

Then the weather man goes and ruins everything!

Check out the "alert" button below. There are some nasty phrases like


The Weather Channel 3

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Hell on wheels

When I was thirteen I loved to skate and I thought I was pretty darn good too. I could skate forward and backward, twirl and jump... but mostly I could skate in circles with my cousins, giggling, tossing my hair, and trying to catch the attention of the sixteen year old boys at the roller rink.

The winter of my Freshman year we skated a lot... and we saw the movie Roller Boogie quite a few times too. The sappy romance on wheels flick simply fueled our desire to catch the attention of those boys. Of course the boys were looking for sixteen year old Linda Blair types and had no interest in chubby me and my flat chested cousin. Oh well.. we still had fun.

Tonight we took the kids skating and it was painfully obvious that thirty years have passed and rollerskating skills, much like perky breasts and sculpted abs, don't last. Ok, so I never really had sculpted abs but you know what I mean! It was embarrassing to jerk and wobble around the rink. I got better with time but I still ended up on my butt before the night was over. Hopefully I didn't break anything but I can't honestly evaluate that right now because EVERYTHING hurts!

Despite the pain, it was a very fun evening and we will be going back again. The kids are already at the rink four hours a week for hockey practice and another few hours for games so it just makes sense for the rest of us to get involved. Bob is working on getting himself in shape so that he can help out at practices already. I've just got to take care of one little problem...

Rental skates are implements of torture! The kids have new skates for roller hockey and I'm totally jealous. I want a pair like this.
I'm sure that I will skate much better if I just invest a few hundred dollars.

Oh... and perhaps an xray tomorrow...

Monday, April 7, 2008

Mouse Cheese

Someone I love dearly implied, in a moment of anger, that I write this blog for attention and sympathy. That I take problems that should be dealt with privately, as expediently and unemotionally as possible, and put them on display for the world to see so that I can feel justified in continuing to be upset about them. At first I was mortified and ashamed because I had been taught from a very young age that it is traitorous to share family business (we are Italian you know) and even worse to look to strangers for support (even school counselors were considered suspect.) This mentality is deeply ingrained and even though I have been a writer, who sometimes even gets paid, for over a decade it wasn't until I started this blog that I began to write about my life. However, after having some time to reflect and recover I began to resent the judgement that I had been handed. Of course, the argument was over by then and I had no desire to revisit the whole awful experience. So I decided to bring it here and write it all out so my readers (all seven of you) can feel sorry for me.

My first inclination was to just stop blogging. It took about three nanoseconds for me to decide that wasn't an option. So, maybe I could just block this person from ever reading my blog? After all, it's MY blog and I can decide who gets to read it, right? Well.. I don't think it's that easy to do and I don't really want to learn how. Especially since Blogger help files often seem to have been written in Martian and translated to English by a foreign exchange student from Saturn. Then I got mad, again. How dare they decide what I should and shouldn't write about and why the hell does anyone think they can decide what I can or can't feel!

Finally, I came to the conclusion that I need to just let it go. It wasn't a nice thing to say but it was just an opinion, no, not just an opinion but an opinion in anger which gives it even less weight. In a perfect world people wouldn't say hurtful things in order to "win" an argument but there's not much perfect in this world and occasional nastiness is likely to occur. So I will forgive my dear friend, I will continue to write, and I will cultivate a slightly thicker skin because this probably won't be the last time someone says something mean to me about my writing.

I love the following passage from Bird by Bird, by Anne Lamott. It's her technique for dealing with the voices in her head that distract her from writing. The critics, real and imagined, the family and friends with their opinions and the dogs... "And there are also the dogs: let's not forget the dogs, the dogs in their pen who will surely hurtle and snarl their way out if you ever stop writing, because writing is, for some of us, the latch that keeps the door of the pen closed, keeps those crazy ravenous dogs contained. Quieting these voices is at least half of the battle I fight daily."

Try this!

"Close your eyes and get quiet for a minute, until the chatter starts up. Then isolate one of the voices and imagine the person speaking as a mouse. Pick it up by the tail and drop it into a mason jar. Then isolate another voice, pick it up by the tail, drop it in the jar. And so on. Drop in any high-maintenance parental units, drop in any contractors, lawyers, colleagues, children, anyone who is whining in your head. Then put the lid on, and watch all these mouse people clawing at the glass, jabbering away, trying to make you feel like shit because you won't do what they want--won't give them more money, won't be more successful, won't see them more often. Then imagine that there is a volume-control button on the bottle. Turn it all the way up for a minute, and listen to the stream of angry, neglected, guilt-mongering voices. Then turn it all the way down and watch the frantic mice lunge at the glass, trying to get to you."

This is exactly what I did when I sat down to write this afternoon. I put that angry opinionated mouse in it's jar and watched it for a minute. With some distance I could see it was really more sad and afraid than anything and I really didn't feel like biting it anymore. I even put away the traps and put the cheese back in the fridge.

I don't write for attention, admiration, or sympathy, although I admit that in the right situation all of those are some of the great benefits of being a writer. I write because I need to. It keeps me calm and rational and forces me to slow down and think about how I'm really feeling. I believe it makes me a better person.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Radio Silence

Two weeks without blogging explained in pictures and a few words:

Jungle Book!!!

A desperate phone call from somewhere in California.

A Bus Ticket


With all four kids.

Roller Hockey Season Starts!

And after seven days of quiet...

The lost boys seem to be beckoning Ian back.