Friday, June 29, 2007

my first meme - 8 things about me

I've had my first meme tagging, from the lovely Beck. Thanks, Beck.

Eight Things About Me.

Here are the rules:

A. Each player lists 8 facts/habits about themselves.

B. The rules of the game are posted at the beginning before those facts/habits are listed.

C. At the end of the post, the player then tags 8 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know that they have been tagged and asking them to read your blog.

OK, so... here goes...

1 - My favorite animal is the Shark. This obsession with sharks began after viewing Jaws 3. Feel free to start diagnosing my mental abnormalities now. Shark Week on the Discovery channel is like a holiday at my house (although they are getting a bit hard up for good material, I must say) and my high school boyfriend would groan whenever I found a Jaques Cousteau special on TV - he knew he had lost my attention. I like them because they are graceful and powerful. Recently in CanCun I got to feed several in an aquarium while submerged in a plexiglass cage. Not quite my dream of swimming with them, but cool just the same. I created my own shark stencils so that I could paint a bathroom in an underwater theme and have a place to display all my shark knick-knacks.

2 - My favorite food is crunchy peanut butter. Recently my husband saw me eating it straight from the spoon, and thought this was gross (this from the man who drinks milk from the jug...). I do this all the time, and how he managed to be married to me for over 10 years and not see me do this is beyond me, as I have not been hiding this. I am not ashamed of my peanut butter addiction. The stuff is good!

3 - I love to go dancing, but don't get to do it very often. My husband hates to dance. This causes problems.

4 - The best thing to dance to is old school Prince. In fact, my favorite Prince song is Gett Off. I knew that this would be inappropriate at my wedding reception, so had the DJ play Kiss instead. Prince is also very good to listen to loudly in the car to get me energized before a performance.

5 - I may have been in your living room. Or whatever room you have a television in. During the flu seasons of 00/01 and 01/02 I appeared in a commercial for Breath Right nasal strips ("You got your Breath Right Strips in my Vicks Mentholated Vapors....") This 30 seconds of fame helped me buy my first home. Interesting (or not) piece of trivia... the director of the commercial was an original member of the band Ratt.

6 - I spent my summer vacations during college being a camp counselor. I loved this job, and would have been willing to do it for the rest of my life. Camp rocks. Send your kids.

7 - I own a guitar that I have not taken out of the case since before The May Queen was born. I keep thinking that I will change that soon. I've been thinking that for 4 1/2 years.

8 - I really like to drink Mountain Dew, but don't very often, as I can't afford the calories. It is particularly good to drink in the car, listening to Prince, to get me energized for a performance.

And now, I am supposed to tag 8 people. That's a lot. But I'll give it a shot. And I'm even going to try to link to them, but this HTML stuff is hard on me. I'm learning. If you've already been tagged, um... sorry. And if you don't feel like doing this, then every bad chain mail curse will be rained down upon your head. I think. Or maybe you'll just stub your toe.

Tagging commencing:
fellow new blogger Thirty-Something
the new homeowner Ewe are Here
because I love her screen name Sober Briquette
the original dude, Jen
because the answer is sure to make you (and me) laugh Creative Type Dad
the well dressed Niobe
fellow actress mama No Mother Earth
and the always interesting Veronica

Wednesday, June 27, 2007


Eek. You may all run screaming from my blog after this. But the topics of faith and church going have been quite prevalent in the reading I've been doing lately ( Toddled Dredge, Shilly, Shally, Dilly Dally?: Seeing is Disappearing, to name just a few) and Bub and Pie noticed it, too (Bub and Pie: Church#links).

I, too, have all sorts of issues and questions about church and faith and God. I know there are a lot of Christians out there who give us a bad name (such as the people who "witness" ala the outline in B&P's post). But for some reason, I feel like I need to stand up and say (or sit down and type) this:

This is what I believe: God loves me, and he loves you. It matters not who you are, where you live, whether you believe in him or not, or what you have done in your past (or are doing now, or will do in the future). He loves you, he loves me, and His GRACE is sufficient. And that is why I go to church.

And if you disagree with me, you can still be my friend.

Monday, June 25, 2007

The Cousin Race

Cousins are a curious thing.

The May Queen's relationship with her cousin began long before she was born. In fact, it began the day that I called my brother and sister-in-law to tell them that we were expecting. My SIL said nothing for a while, then "Did your Mom tell you?" "Tell me what?" Another long pause, before I said "You're pregnant, too?!" Turns out we even had the same due date. And thus began the race to be the first grandchild.

The Cousin won that race, being born early, while The May Queen hunkered down for another two weeks in my womb (there's a story for another day...)

They are both blond hair, blue eyed cuties who have been mistaken for twins, although not so much now as they are getting older. We spent their infancy comparing (if only silently to ourselves) how quickly they rolled, walked, talked, ate, etc.

They only get to see each other once or twice a year, as The Cousin lives in Michigan, and The May Queen in Louisiana (and before that, California). They love each other, in that weird childhood way of barely knowing each other but knowing that they are related. They are very excited to get to see each other, probably because we build up the idea to them.

Today they spent the day together at the beach, and I wonder if this is what sibling rivalry is like. The May Queen has to be first at everything, and will pull little tricks to try to make this happen, and then smirk when she wins (even if no one is playing along... she does this with EVERYONE) She is clearly more of a leader and take charge gal. The Cousin, on the other hand, is very sensitive, and will easily cry at every perceived injustice, real or not. They lobby for Oma's attention (Oma is my mother, it's German for Grandma) as if getting to sit by Oma at the picnic table were the equivilent of being invited to Cinderella's ball. They fight over how they might be able to, or not able to, share the books on the car ride home, WHEN WE ARE NOT EVEN ANYWHERE NEAR TO GETTING IN THE CAR. It feels like a constant struggle for us adults to keep the peace.

And yet...

The Cousin very sweetly shared her puppy dog with May Queen in the car. And when The Cousin felt worried about slipping on the walks in the water, the more sure footed May Queen took her hand and led her to shore. And later at home the two girls were giggling over a puzzle together as if they were the best of friends.

I will probably never have to navigate the waters of siblings from my parental role, but I imagine this must be what it is like. Just when you are at the end of your referee rope, they join the same team. At least for a few minutes.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

ode to an old friend

Yesterday I spent the day with my best friend from high school. It was so great to have time together, and as our kids are getting older and play together, we really got to talk.

We met the summer before our freshman year, when we began practicing to be cheerleaders. We were cheerleaders together for our whole freshman year. When I did not make the JV team (and my BF did) I was crushed. (as it turns out it was a good thing, as I then discovered the theatre, and whole new worlds opened up to me, but at the time I sobbed) But by far the best thing that came out of that year of long bus rides and short skirts was this friendship. For four years we shared everything, and recorded our friendship in something we called "doodle books." We had good old fashioned spiral notebooks that we filled with notes, and doodles, and our own cartoon series, and made up stories, and song lyrics, and deep thoughts, and so many memories. We passed these books back and forth between classes, and I have no idea how many books we filled during our time in high school. I have quite a few in a box in my attic, and I imagine she has about as many in her attic. Sometimes I pull them out and laugh. And cry. They are quite a picture of who we used to be, and who we were becoming.

In the afternoons we would talk on the phone for hours, as I lay prone on the dining room floor, my legs propped up on the doorjamb. That is, if she didn't come over to my house for dinner. Or I wasn't spending the night at her house.

Our sophomore year I became her Godmother when she was baptized at my church.

We sang in choir together, and I saw her through a host of boyfriends (and she saw me through a host of crushes, and finally, one lovely relationship) We went on our senior spring break together with 5 other friends.

And, as happens, of course, we graduated from HS, and went off to college... in different states. And we had children and marriages and jobs and across country moves... and we did what a lot of friends do over time. We drifted apart, and came back together, and drifted apart, and came back together. We can go months without talking... not out of any anger, but simply because our daily lives are involved, and we have other things going on. But we finally call each other and it's as if no time has passed; it's like I'm lying on the floor in my parents dining room with my feet up on the doorjamb, and we talk for hours.

Friday, June 22, 2007

brain rot

Today we enjoyed a trip to Detroit Zoo, where The May Queen followed the enormous animal foot prints around and we oogled lots of animals doing very little action.

Overheard at the zoo: A son says to his father, "Daddy, did you know that animals can't really talk to each other?" "mmmm...," says the father, in a distracted sort of way. "That really sucks!" declares the boy. Too many Disney movies? Did he expect the chimpanzees to be having a conversation? I didn't bother to go into how they communicate with each other. I just laughed.

ANYHOW... in addition to the animals we played on the playgroud, on the way home we had ice cream, and told knock-knock jokes, and sang songs. After dinner we sat around a campfire in the fire pit out back, and when we called so MQ could say goodnight to her Daddy back home, he asked what she did today. "I watched TV!" she excitedly said.

TV. She watched one lousy video upon our return from the zoo, and this is all she can think to tell him she did today? He said to me "Well, we see that TV and video games have a high level of importance in her life." I wonder who she gets that from?

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

shameless sk*rt promotion

new post just below this one. I've submitted the post I wrote last week, I See London, I See France for the sk*rt contest, as it seemed to fit perfectly the theme of "what is under your skirt?" if you read it and like it, please vote for me here (there's also a link to vote for me at the end of the actual post) I could win free stuff. That would be very cool. OH, and did I mention it's my birthday? it is. I'm just sayin'.

growing old GREYfully

There must be something with the lighting in my bathroom at home, because I had not noticed all these grey hairs before. But now that I am visiting family I look in the mirror and think "where did all of these come from?" And it brings me head to head with the fact that it's probably time to start dyeing my hair, which is something that I am against, principally: I feel that women should be able to age gracefully and go grey naturally, as men do. (well, MOST men do) HOWEVER, I am an actress, and I know that if I have grey hair I will not be cast in a large range of roles, because even women twice my age are not grey, thanks to the convenience of dyeing their strands at home in their own sink (or forking over lots of dough for someone else to do it).

But it seems somehow poetic to be dealing with this realization today, my 33rd birthday. I had an enjoyable day at my parents house, joined by my brother and his family. When I came out from my bedroom this morning I was shooed back in. Shortly after The May Queen and her cousin came in carrying candles and singing (followed by grandparents with cameras) I opened presents over a pancake breakfast, and had my traditional birthday feast, BBQ Spare Ribs, for dinner. But the highlight of the day came when my sister in law provided me with a stripper. His act consisted of taking off his diaper, waving it in the air, and waggling his hips before running away. It was an unplanned act, of course, as he was getting ready to crawl into the wading pool, but I will likely tease my nephew about it for years after his blond ringlets have been controlled with a shorter haircut.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

images in my head

After yesterday's post about my Mother In Law's stroke, I wanted today to write something lighter, more fun... a story about the May Queen and her antics, perhaps. But then I read the paper this morning.

I am one of those people who have a hard time getting a horrifying image out of my head (if you are one of those people, be forwarned...). Yesterday when I read one plus two: we are all children here, I was wary of linking to the photo (but it wasn't nearly as bad as I worried, and in fact provides for me a good image of the pain I feel over this war). When the photos of the abuse at Abu Grahb were published I refused to look at them for several weeks. When I finally broke down and did, I saw them in my head for days afterwards.

This morning I read an article, and thankfully there were no pictures, about the busting of an international child pornography ring. One of the things that this group would do was charge people to watch a LIVE VIDEO LINK of children being raped. And I cannot get that horror out of my head. Over a dozen children were freed, according to this article. Children held hostage to this terror.

I believe that most people in this world are good people. That they love their children, and want to protect them. That they would look out and protect other people's children as well. I want so badly for our world to be one where EVERY life is cherished. Where everyone would know the love of their parents, and the world around them. And not just children. The adults who would engage in such behavior... what have they known of love and grace and acceptance and caring for others?

I don't have an answer for how to stop this. But I think that we must do our best to show love, care and tolerance for everyone, at all times. To create, at least in our families and our corner of the world, an environment where no one needs to exert their power in such a way over such an innocent being. Where we practice and teach empathy. Where we don't hesitate to help someone who is troubled. Because as much disgust as I feel for the adults involved in this, I cannot help but wonder what their lives were like that they could get involved in such things. And can I help to stop future horrors by being a beacon of love to those around me? By befriending the outcast? By encouraging the downtrodden?

As I was reading the article, the May Queen came up from the basement, where she was readying the Barbies for us to play. "I need a hug," I told her. Her warm body against mine was so full of love and vigor. I left the paper behind and went happily to play some childish games.

Monday, June 18, 2007

a stroke

Almost 3 years ago my mother in law had a massive stroke. Fortunately my father in law found her right away, and she was rushed to the hospital and treated. They say receiving treatment in the first 3 hours is crucial. We weren't sure if she'd make it, and if so, what the damage would be. Miraculously, she is almost completely physically recovered. She and her doctor speak of a weakness in her right arm, but you wouldn't know it from how active she is, continuing to swim (she's a Senior Olympics gold medalist) and doing all her regular activities. But her speech... She has such a difficult time with all of her language skills, not just speaking but also reading and writing. She has been through so many different therapies and tries so hard, and still she has such difficulty. Shortly after the stroke my husband and I would say to her "it's OK, we spend most of our lives trying to figure out what the May Queen is saying." She was so shy about speaking. She's a perfectionist, and didn't want to speak if she couldn't get it right. She wouldn't play bridge with her friends. She didn't want to go out. But we all pestered her and encouraged her and wouldn't let her give up. And it has gotten better. A little. Some sentences are perfectly clear, some are a mixed bag, and some are just a garbled mess. And we try to understand as best we can. But I'm struck by how frustrating it must be for her. To have so many thoughts and opinions in her head, and not be able to get them out. When any small comment, such as "What a beautiful flower" is hard to express, how many times a day does she decide it's just not worth the effort? And how many times a day do we, in interacting with her, decide the same thing?

The May Queen will never remember her Grandmother as someone who talked normally. She said to me the other day "sometimes I just can't understand a word that Grandma says!" I try to explain to her what happened, but she doesn't understand. But, thankfully, she still interacts with her. She still loves her. Last fall Grandma and Grandpa were visiting, and my husband and I were out for the night, so they were putting the May Queen to bed. MQ insisted that Grandma read her 2 bedtimes stories, despite Grandma's urging that Grandpa read instead. "No, you try!" MQ said firmly as she patted the bed next to her. So Grandma sat and struggled through the first story. When she finished MQ said "now I'll read the next one."

My mother in law had a huge smile and tears in her eyes as she told us that story. And we are all so glad that everyone made the effort.

Friday, June 15, 2007


The May Queen has told her first story. And I couldn't be prouder. It was an ordinary moment, as we sat on the airplane zooming above the American landscape, but suddenly, and completely unprovoked by me, she said "Once Upon a Time..." and dove into a story that she created about her stuffed kitten. True, it lacked some key elements of a good story, such as character development, conflict and resolution. But my baby was telling a story! Whole new worlds of interaction have opened up for us. Soon it was over and we were on to the next airplane time-filler activity, such as making puppets out of barf bags, but for that brief moment, the light shined through her even more brightly than the sun reflecting off of the airplane wings. I hope she lives to tell many, many stories.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

The Mommy Show, on the road

same cast, new stage, less props

Yesterday the May Queen and I boarded a plane and flew up to the midwest to visit family. My husband had to stay home and work, and start physical therapy for his knee. We're currently staying at my in-laws, and then on Father's Day we'll switch and stay with my parents.

Vacations are always interesting, because as a mom, I rarely feel like I'm truly getting a vacation. True, there are less responsibilities (no bathroom cleaning, for instance) and less phone calls, etc. But the main task of every day for me is taking care of the May Queen, and when we are not at home it's the same job, but without the aid of a room full of toys, playmates next door, and our regular activities. So when we are on "vacation" it is "Mommy play with me!" time. I wonder if parents of siblings feel differently about vacations, if the kids entertain themselves and enjoy the change in scenery as stimulus for new kinds of play. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy playing with The May Queen. But sometimes I'd like to also attack the stack of books I always pack with the great hope that maybe this time will be different.

And, to top it off, I have just come down with a miserable cold. This should come as no surprise, I suppose, as I have been running on empty for several weeks, and what else can I truly expect from my immune system?

I suppose, though, that I am focusing on just the negatives here. We live so far away from all our relatives, and it is so important that they have this time together to bond. And bond they do. My parents, for instance are great about getting down on the floor to play, and taking The May Queen on adventure hikes, etc. And as I write this my inlaws have taken The May Queen (per her insistent begging) to the Y for a dip in the pool. So maybe I will get in some reading after all.

I find that it becomes a matter of mindset. I have to change my ideas of what a vacation is. If all I want is my own quiet time and time to read, I probably won't get it, and will come away feeling frustrated. If I think of it as time to really focus on all the relationships in my life without the distractions of home, I can find this time to be relaxing and refreshing.

I'm not sure what the next 2 weeks will be like for my blogging - only time will tell. But I imagine it will give me lots of things to write about, if I can find the time!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Works for Me Wednesday - thank you notes

i'm participating in my first carnival - woo-hoo! - hosted by rocksinmydryer. check it out.

I take digital pictures of The May Queen playing with her latest toy, reading her newest book, enjoying her friends at her B-day party, etc. Then I print out the picture on regular paper, and write a brief note underneath it, such as "This "rocks in my dryer" toy is so fun! Thanks for coming to my party!" MQ scribbles her name. People LOVE receiving this, it's so easy, and MQ knows what the note is for.

I see London I see France...

The May Queen is currently on a kick where all she wants to do is wear dresses. This is fine with me, in that a whole section of her closet heretofore ignored except for Sunday mornings is now getting a workout. But there is one little problem. She has no reservations about showing off her underwear.

Before she sits down she hikes the dress up above her waist. When I try to tell her this is unnecessary, she replies "But otherwise it pulls on me." I try to calmly explain that she could lift it just a tiny bit, and get a similar, tug free feeling. One day she said "oh, you're right," but seems to have forgotten that lesson ever since. This does provide lots of giggling, particularly for those sitting behind us in church. In fact, last week someone asked me if she had new underwear, because she spent the whole time during the children's sermon PATTING her panties. Um... no. But I'm pretty sure they didn't have holes in them.

But the real kicker came a few weeks ago at a birthday party for a boy in her class at school. All the children were given toy swords for their goody, and as they raced around the backyard the boys would tuck their swords in their pockets to climb up on the play structure. Wearing a dress, The May Queen had no pockets. This did not deter her, however. She simply pulled up her dress, and tucked the sword into her panties.

A Queen has to protect herself, after all.

Monday, June 11, 2007


OK, I suppose it is time to decide what I'll be calling my beloved child when I refer to her on this blog. I'm getting tired of typing "my daughter."

So I thought of the nicknames she gets called. "Baby girl" is a common one, but as she is nearing 5 with astonishing speed, probably not particularly accurate. We also refer to her as "The Wee One," but as she has always been off the charts for her height, also not very accurate in the grander scheme of things. I call her "Puddin' Pop" a lot, but shortening it to PP just won't do. My husband calls her "The Weasel," and if you spend any time with her as she tries to get her way you'll know why (this is also a term of endearment, as otters are his favorite animal, and otters are part of the weasel family. We have also been surprised to meet SEVERAL kids who are called this by their fathers.) But if I'm trying to write something sweet or serious about her, "The Weasel" will just break the mood.

I was about to give up on a nickname and just go with using her initial, when it hit me: If I am the Maypole, then she must be "The May Queen" - or MQ if I'm feeling lazy.

So... I introduce to you The May Queen, a high energy 4 1/2 year old very blond little girl who loves both princesses and catching frogs in our "bog" (read: drainage ditch). She is tall and lanky, and hugs with a fierceness that will topple you over. She is not fond of sharing her things that are "special to me," which includes just about everything except for the dress-up clothes that are "not pretty," which she will readily put in a pile for YOU to wear. Come on over to play!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

human maypole

I was thinking this morning, as I tried to lead the kids in a song at church, that my blogger name is more apt than I realized. My daughter grabbed my hand (the one without the microphone) and proceeded to spend the entire time I was in front of the congregation circling around me (letting go of the hand when necessary, just to grab it again as she came around).

And there I was, a human maypole.

Friday, June 8, 2007

My newest comeback

Whew! VBS is over, and as luck would have it, the stars aligned and I even got to go out tonight. As I walked through the door this afternoon my husband (home recovering from knee surgery) says to me "I'd really like to go to see a movie. I'm going kind of stir crazy." Then, a few hours later, my friend calls and says "Hey, I know this is last minute, but do you want to see a movie tonight." Friend acts as babysitter go between and gets her daughter and friend to babysit, and even acts as chauffer and hauls our butts to the movie theatre. We marvel that this is the first movie we have seen since our vacation in January (we went to Florida, and the weather was so bad that rather than burning ourselves to a crisp at the pool, we froze ourselves into popsicles at the cinema). I had planned for an evening of relaxation, and although we thoroughly enjoyed Mr. Brooks, I could not exactly call it a relaxing film. However, I did get a good laugh out of it. Before the movie we were talking, and my husband was describing how on Monday, the first day of VBS, my daughter and I arrived at home at 2:30, to find my husband wasting away on the couch. It had not occured to either of us that with his crutches he could not feed himself. "I could only eat what I could put in my pocket," he whined. Beside him was an apple core and a banana peel. (Thanks to the fruit basket sent by his sister!) My friend replies "Have you ever created a baby inside your body? I didn't think so."

I love it. I am using it next time a man whines to me about anything.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

green with envy

I'm jealous of my daughter. She has the most gorgeous skin. It's smooth, and it has no (well, very, very few) scars or freckles or moles. If people really turned green with envy, I would have an even bigger skin problem.

I spend a lot of time thinking about my skin. The stretch marks on my stomach from being pregnant. I slathered on the cocoa butter during and after my pregnancy, but I still have stretch marks. I even got them on my thighs. My thighs! I wasn't carrying the baby there. Obviously I carried some extra weight there, though.

I have scars here and there, although I will confess that some of them provide some fun stories, like the time I was five and went down the firemans pole...face first...without using the pole.

I also have zits now. I did not have them growing up. What is the cruel trick of nature that I didn't have them at 16, but get them in my thirties?

But the thing that gets me most is the spots. I have dark spots appearing on my face. Are they age spots already? Freckles? Scars turned dark? I have one on the side of my nose that I have tried all manner of creams to get rid of. I tried soaking a Q-tip in hydrogen peroxide and applying to the spot twice a day. I tried this Avon product that mysteriously called itself a "laser," but when I opened the tube it was a rather large roller ball - like the kind you get with some lip glosses. It provided neither laser precision, nor laser-like results. The spot is still there. And has not faded at all. Every now and then I see an article in a magazine and think "maybe that will work..." but really, I've pretty much given up hope.

This does not keep me from sighing every time I look at it in the mirror. I'm working on acceptance. It is not easy.

And so I carefully slather my daughter with sunscreen every time we hit the pool, in hopes that her skin will stay so perfect. But surely, someday, she'll have a drawer full of useless gypsy potion creams as well.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

An old kind of tired

I've been living off of caffiene this week, as not only am I being Mommy to a very active and needy 4 1/2 year old, but I'm also playing nurse and personal assistant to my husband as he recovers from knee surgery, AND running a 150 kid Vacation Bible School at my church (and yes, if you do the math, you'll realize that I started this blog the night before VBS began. Do you need further proof that I am a bit insane? I didn't think so)

On Monday afternoon I was trying to play dollies with my daughter, and kept nodding off. She would wake me up by saying "make them talk, Mommy!"

I had not felt that same kind of tired in about 8 years. Certainly, I was tired after my little girl was born. There's that bleary eyed state that all mothers go through from the constant lack of a good night's sleep, the constant attachment to this new, needy being, and the constant new worries about all the things you are certainly doing wrong and will end up costing you thousands of dollars in therapy for your little darling somewhere down the road, if you don't accidentally kill her first.

No, this is a different kind of tired. I remember it best from the summer of 1999. I had just moved to Los Angeles, and was juggling three jobs. I had managed to land parts in 2 of 4 plays being put on at the The Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum , located in the beautiful hills west of LA. I was performing one show on the weekends, and rehearsing another during the week. But during the day I was also teaching drama at weeklong theatre camps, a good hour drive EAST of LA. And on the nights I wasn't at rehearsal, I was taking classes preparing for my new job tutoring for the SATs (which I thought would be a great job, and turned out not to be, due in no small part to the fact that the SATs are evil, but that is another story...). Basically, I left my house at 7am, didn't return home until 11 or 12, and spent every spare moment I had taking practice SATs. Let me put that in another way. I spent every spare moment doing ALGEBRA. And GEOMETRY. And all of these things were very important to me. They were new jobs that I wanted to keep. And I was in a new city and wanting desperately to make new friends... although socializing while also doing math problems backstage at a theatre... not so easy. I drank so much caffiene that they only way I could go to sleep at night was to have a glass of wine to counteract the caffiene. And I still, one day during a drama camp, literally got dizzy and fell to the ground while standing in front of a group of kids.

Fortunately, my biggest job for VBS is the prep work, and now that it is underway I have much less work to do. And it really is fun now that the kids are there and having a great time. But I will be glad when Friday rolls around. In the meantime, I have stocked up on Mountain Dew.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

a link in the chain?

I've been reading lots of blogs lately, and leaving posts (which I actually did before, back when I had no blog, and used my name) and I'm thrilled to have some of those bloggers which I've been visiting for a while come and visit my brand spankin' new site. Thank you. And WELCOME!

I have nothing much brilliant to say, except that bubandpie has graciously attempted to explain to me how to make a link within my post, and if it works, you can click on that and go to her fabulous blog. Thank you. html is like greek to me. only worse.

Learning to link was the highlight of my day. Well, that and the full throated laugh of my daughter after she "tooted in the tub" It's a tie.

Monday, June 4, 2007


I'm not good at conflict. Although, as I write that, I wonder, is ANYONE "good" at conflict? But today I really ran smack into a very complicated, excuse ridden, consequence of that. I think perhaps I try just a bit too hard to avoid conflict (although there have been some moments in my life when I have really taken conflict by the horns and stood up for myself or others, and am quite proud of that) What I tend to do is not deal with it but fester my anger, not deal with it but fester my anger (repeat ad naseum), then... breakdown. Or, as it went today: not deal with it but fester my anger (etc...) and then get confronted with it in a moment of weakness and exhaustion, and in my attempts to both state my point and yet not hurt the other person's feelings... I ended up walking away feeling like I didn't make my point well at all and I was blamed for all the problems. And while I don't think I am to blame for all the problems (of course not! I have every right to my indignant anger!) of course I have to take blame for some of the problems. Namely, not dealing with them when they began and allowing them to fester.

As I was mulling this over today I realized that I don't have to deal with a lot of conflict in my life, with the exception of my marriage (and all marriages have that, I know). But I haven't had a friendship breakdown where we've had to work through a big confict. I have not had much experience with this in a workplace. I'm not sure how to get better at it. I mean, I've read all sorts of books on confict in marriage, and I know I haven't gotten that one down to a science yet. It's just a slow discovery process, I suppose. So hopefully the lesson from this rather uncomfortable experience is to deal with problems as they arise. Because once they've compounded it's only worse.

Unless I can find a way to make problems go away. Or certain people just disappear. Or... MAKE EVERYONE DO EVERYTHING THE WAY I WANT THEM TO. It is the BEST way, after all.

Is my control-freak nature coming out just a touch there? Sorry.

Mild Epithets

I'm very careful about my cursing, and try not to do it very often. True, it happens on occasion, and I'll tell you that my favorite one starts with an F. It's just so satisfying. That "fffff" beginning, the hard "u" and then the explosive "ck." But anyhow...

I'm careful because A) Cursing is really not an attractive trait and B) I have little ears listening.

I learned this long ago, when my daughter was about 18 months. Despite my vigilance, suddenly I heard my daughter saying "Shit." How could this be? I soon realized that it was simply because she didn't enunciate as well as I did. I said "shoot" an awful lot, and she was just pronouncing those "oo"s as "i." At any rate, I thought that cursing was a particularly unattractive trait for an 18 month old, and set out to put a stop to it. I basically ignored it when she did it, and tried to remove "shoot" from my vocabulary. I tried to replace it with things that could not be misspoken in an unattractive manner. So I spent a lot of time saying things like "golly" or "leaping lizards" or "gadzooks" It took a while to find the things that suit me.

My daughter is now 4 1/2 years old. Today I heard her say "Holy Canolli!" My husband laughed heartily. I did, too.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

My first Blog

Wow. I guess I'm doing it. My first blog. I'm not quite sure where to begin. But here I am. I've been peeking in on other people's blogs for a while now, and have felt drawn to start one of my own. It was reading a meme about blogging at Beck's site (someday I'll figure out how to insert a link here) and then linking from her site to read more people answer the questions... I'm drawn to the idea of the online community. What I've seen, particularly in the Mommy blogs I read, is a great support, a common interest, an investigation of thoughts and the struggle with the day to day. And now I've decided to draw up a chair to the great blogging table. I'm not quite sure what it will be. Will I talk about what it's like to be the Mom of a fabulous 4 year old? The wife of a pastor? An avid reader? An actress yearning again for the stage? A yankee finding her way in the southland? Probably a bit of all of the above. I'm drawn to the idea of struggling with things in a community, and also of sharing those joys with a community. And I spend so much time on the darn computer anyways, why not one more thing? And this one for me.

As I begin, I struggle with the questions of what do I reveal? How intimate do I want to get? Will I scare my readers? (will I have any readers?) Will I scare myself?

One thing that has held me back from blogging, frankly, is my acting. I read a blog written by a local actress, and while I find it fascinating, I'm also horrified about it. She is not always nice about people she works with, and she often exposes problems within a theatre or production. One thing I'm very careful about is trying, as much as possible, to not speak ill about other theatres and theatre artists. You just never know when you may work with them again. And in the theatre world, the gig is up every few months or so, and you're auditioning again. How honest can you be and still get a job in this town?

A question I have for all of you out there in the great blogging netherworld is this: How do you decide what to reveal, and what not reveal? For instance, many of the mommy bloggers don't list their children's names, and I think this will probably be the route I go, as well. I have yet to decide. But I would love to hear how you arrived at the decision. And how you continue to keep it up. And how you decide what is off limits. And what other things you don't reveal for "Safety" sake (names of towns? last names? too much revealing information?)

And so... with all of that rambling... a bit of myself. A rough day today, with stresses all around, but as I put my beautiful daughter to bed we laid there together in the semi-dark, and discussed what it would be like if our noses were in different places. On our head. Our cheek. Two noses on top of each other. We giggled together, and I wondered how on earth we could ever make a hat if some people had their nose on top of their head. I am often in a rush to put her to bed and get on with all the things I need or want to do in the evening (being a night person and all), but I love those moments we have together, just us. It's really the best time to get her to snuggle, and just about the only time she'll say that she loves me. It's our time. I'm trying not to rush it.