Monday, November 30, 2009

I guess that makes me the angry elf

I thought maybe we could make ginger bread houses, and eat cookie dough, and go ice skating, and maybe even hold hands. Buddy the Elf

I live with Elf. We call him Bubby, for copyrighting purposes, but you get the idea. He is Smiles and Urgency and Squeals. Overly fond of syrup. He is wearing me out.
Now, don't get me wrong: Living with a perky elf has its advantages. He will get up early with a spring in his step, ready to take on the day. He loves people. He loves smiles. He has more energy and exuberance than he knows what to do with and I thank God for giving me such a cheerful little guy.

But at 6 am, sans coffee, I find myself shushing. When I am overwhelmed by laundry and dirty floors, I find myself growing irritable, which I am pretty sure makes me the angry elf in this scenario. (My apologies to Will Ferrell and the greater Elf population.)

So I am forcibly letting go (try that oxymoron on for size) of some of my neurotic 'I have to do Christmas this way' notions, for this little Elf is on loan, for a limited time engagement.

Friday, November 27, 2009

I don't do Black Friday

The lines. The fighting. No, thanks.

I'm taking advantage of this week off and my ever better tootsie and heading to the gym here in a bit.

This is not to say I won't be venturing into stores here soon; I'm just putting off the inevitable and more trips to the craft store, which makes me shudder.

I took the kids to Michaels last Sunday, prepped and ready. I warned them that I would be there for a while. I warned them that crafty people, post-Halloween, can be surly and insane. I said there will be long lines, and I could very well be named Line Leader again. Still, they insisted they wanted to go.

Soon there was whining over little stuffed animals - please, no more! my house is littered with little stuffies - and why can't I buy this and how much longer and I thought we were going to Craft Warehouse and can't we go there now and Christmas is too far away.

And I found it's hard to be creative when you want to gnaw on your children.

I grabbed some 'necessities' and took my place in the long line, ignoring my kids' antics and wishes to buy crap point of sale tchotchkes. I think there was deep breathing. I know there was regret. And just when I was ready to blow, the kindest of elderly ladies wandered back from the line and handed me an extra coupon she had been carrying around with her. Just for some nice mommy like me.

I didn't correct her, of course, and if she read my mind, she didn't let on as she touched my hand and whispered, 'God bless you'.

And if a Christmas miracle in Michaels doesn't put me in the holiday spirit, I don't know what will.

I'm thankful for little reminders.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

smart girls' club

I am lucky enough to be part of the self-proclaimed Smart Girls' Club. (I don't remember how we came up with this name, but let's just say it's better than the inappropriate moniker we tried on for size before settling on one slightly less offensive, despite its elitist undertones.)

Truth is, I've always surrounded myself with smart girls. Witty women. Smart, sassy sisters. It's just how I roll.

roommates, smart girls
Christine, Alisa & Sheila

The blond on the left? Supersmart and celebrating her birthday today. If you can look past our bad taste in perms and the sad sprout growing overhead, you can see it in her eyes: Her future was bright.
Rimsky-Korsekoffee, early 90s
Sheila, me & Christine

So, here's to you, Mrs. Parker. Thank you for everything I took from our time together, and the way you continue to inspire me to be more.

Happy birthday, Christine!
PS: I looked high and low and tore apart my craft room this morning, searching for our Hans & Franz pictures from camp. (Mentally ill, who?) No luck today, but soon I will embarrass us properly put those girlie men to shame.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

on (not) writing and other miscellany

If you don't have the time to read, you don't have the time or the tools to write.
Stephen King, On Writing
It's true. I took a job, and two dogs and my days were no longer all my own. There were new demands on my time and body and the first thing to go was the reading. Soon, I lost interest in writing, and although it bothered me when I'd fall into bed each night, I also didn't see any way to do it any better.

So, I let it go.

And waited for a new season to unfold.

Want to stir the pot and watch fur fly? Decide you don't want to be Facebook friends with your best friend's ex after all. Never mind that it is an New Media relationship of little consequence. Just announce that you aren't comfortable reading his status updates and he'll get real offended like. Because you are mean. It would be funny if it wasn't sad, the anger so frightening.

I went to an acupuncturist for the first time on Sunday evening. On paper, I'm a wreck. On paper, I am pathetic or so it seems to me. We broke down my broken body, and got to work, my body covered in needles. It's my last resort I've been holding in my pocket, for when it gets to be too much. I have high hopes.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

of skates and blood

I have a new itch.

Well, at least I have been entertaining insane fantasies about joining a roller derby team ever since Whip it!

(Would that be a Roller Derbier? Roller Derby-ist? As you can tell, the learning curve is steep: I'm not even sure what the girls in the helmets are properly called. All I know is that they looked like they were having way too much fun, spinning around the track and taking out some aggression in cute little outfits. What's not to love?)

I'm not quite ready for rolling just yet, as I wait for my foot to heal so I'm stuck on the sidelines. (Quick update from the delinquent blogger: Stress fracture, left foot. Big drag.)

Holly, Stephanie and I chitchatted while a gaggle of our own skated their little legs off at Oaks Park before we made a pit stop for November 11th, part two: Dinner and Augusten Burroughs.

You know I had to pick the one with the bulldogs. Aren't they darling?

Now Shana will try to claim that she's his soulmate, as did half of the audience last night, but secretly he has always been one of my favorites, call that what you may.

(You'll be pleased to know we didn't rush the stage, ask for a vial of his blood or his number. Something tells me he wouldn't bat an eye, considering he was incredibly generous, and I think he is used to his somewhat creepy fan base.)

It was a might nice first Friday night, indeed.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


The rain? Made an appearance. (I forgot my goggles.)
The boy? Donned his wear, and marched, and made it through. (He was miserable; I won't lie.)
The brave men and women that serve our country? We enjoy our freedoms, because of you.

Thank you.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009


It's been brought to my attention that I sound all too gloomy here these days, and I guess it is true.

I feel differently now that I let summer go; funny how changing my mind has lifted my mood. I'm moving on and making plans and if anything, I am frustrated I don't have enough time each day to get to everything on my newly revised plate.

It was crisp and sunny out when we dusted off the bikes and went for a spin around the neighborhood, through a spray of red leaves, autumn's glitter.

We stopped off to visit Stephanie, a brisk layover before it grew too dark to ride back home, the three of us running with the moon at dusk, the smell of dinner and woodstoves in the cold air.