Thursday, July 30, 2015


I wish I could suck in my upper arms like I can suck in my gut.

I wish that I could have that wish for my "upper knees" as well.

I wish I had a caramel apple.

I wish that I knew tomorrow would be OK.

I wish I could remain in the present and not have the above mentioned wish.

I wish that big hips equaled fuller breasts.

I wish I never heard the song "We Built This City on Rock and Roll".

I wish my brothers lived closer.

I wish that french fries tasted like what I fear the green stuff in lobster tastes like.

I wish my neck would never change.

I wish there was a real dinging sound that would go off when I made the right decision.

I wish pets didn't shed.

I wish I would read more.

I wish the end of life would always be easy and peaceful. 

I wish bugs didn't want to come inside my house.

I wish babies could talk from birth and say "Thank you, Mom" with a milky, gurgly voice at 3:45am.

I wish I had a mini fridge of cheese that was on wheels, and no one would think it strange.

I wish the mini fridge would come with a cheese melter attachment because...come on. Melted cheese.

I wish that I could eat a Confidence Fortified banana some mornings.

I wish we didn't have to lose hours of daylight just because the seasons change.

I wish that my two oldest nieces lived next door so I could braid their hair often. 

I wish I could see the animal that makes the porpoise noise from underneath my porch in the Summer.

I wish chocolate was good for you.

I wish I could drink and get brilliantly tipsy and then push an off button and be sober to go home.

I wish that my children loved to clean. Insisted on it, even.

I wish the contentment I feel right now will linger through the chaos of the week.

I wish my job title, since I have to have one, sounded as important as the work I do.

I wish sad things wouldn't happen. And I know that they do have to happen. With sadness, we also know joy.

I wish everyone a moment of joy, at the very least, at some point today.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

No, Quiero No Slub

I used to teach with a woman who could speak Spanish and loved to sing. We would spend our prep periods singing Cher, Monkees, Elton John, and a favorite song, No Scrubs by TLC, sung in spanish. No, no quiero no scrub.

Why do I tell you this? (To begin a rant)

Because I no longer want, nor did I ever desire, slub clothing. For those not up on the lingo, slub in fabrics means having an irregular appearance caused by uneven thickness of the thread/yarn.
Por ejemplo:

Maybe a single shirt like this in one's arsenal is fine. However, I can't get away from them. I see a shirt I like, look closely.


Such a perfect sound effect for the disappointment.

No, no quiero no slub.

The word is giving me a rash and heartburn. The word is every bit terrible as moist.

Slub is not to be confused with burnout!
This material will have see-through parts. It will cling to every roll on your person. I can see it as workout wear because you either don't have rolls or you are working on your rolls. Go ahead.

And while we are on to the cling factor- every shirt this day and age is made with 1/3 of the material it once was. I remember cotton shirts being soft and yet had a thickness so that it fell away from every nook and cranny my local creamery has gifted me. Must we see the bra wedgies and edgies? Why do I now have to do the thing with my arms inside my shirt acting like two struggling squirrels running about before I slip my arms through the sleeve holes and finish dressing? Do you know of which desperate dance move I speak? Stretching out the front of my shirt to give myself a little "me" space from the material.

Hey, also- if I want to buy a white shirt these days, the clothing industry has the bonus of my also buying a cami to wear under it, thereby doubling their sales. They are obviously spending less on every piece of clothing we are buying because 2/3 of the material is reserved for more clothing manufacturing. Why must I buy two tops to count as one?

I just want to buy a shirt.

I. Want. To. Buy. A Shirt.

That covers.

That flatters.

That fits.

¿Es que tan mal?

My last words on the subject: Now that we know that none of these shirts cover us properly- if you wear a dark shirt, wear a dark bra. And with light goes light. Unless you are trying to make a statement. I thought that went out in the 90s, but that means nothing because I am no fashion icon nor genius in this realm. What I am saying is, if you aren't making a statement, match as best you can because if someone takes a picture, the bra color always shines through. Just look at all the pictures on social media. Your bathroom mirror isn't telling you this! (And if you are a man and are reading this, disregard. Unless you wear a bra. Then heed. Unless you are making a statement.)

My mother always said that all my taste was in my mouth, and yet I still wrote an essay on clothing. Ta-daaaah!

Sunday, July 19, 2015


I'm not sure what came over me, but I seared tuna and changed the oil in my car. On the same day. Both firsts.

I felt like knocking some stuff off my "I wonder how...?" list. I was inspired by my friend Vanessa who is always tackling a project that involves spread sheets, poison ivy (or some such repulsive outside stuff), and a tool. (This week's tool was a sawzall and her repulsive wildlife was a family of snakes.) She just goes at it with the best attitude and I find it so bad-ass that I, too, wanted the bad ass.

With seared tuna, the worst thing I could do was actually cook it rather than sear it. Not a nightmare. Definitely keeping my health and that of my family's in tact. Probably the hardest part was driving an extra distance to a fish store to purchase it with 3 kids in tow who just had ice cream. And they had walkie talkies.

It was just very annoying.

I got home and double checked the recipe and the steps.
Then I did it.
One a wee bit over cooked.
Rockstar status with my middle child.
Moving on.
Shot a text out to my husband


(Now, no one get bent out of shape about the line if I "could do it physically"- my car is big and pretty low to the ground, and that shit was awkward with parts being screwed on tight. The man's arms have about 4-6 inches on mine, each.)

The Change Oil Soon light was ablaze in my car and I had a mini road trip planned. In order to not explode my car on the side of the road, I wanted to change my oil and feel accomplished. (I would also learn that needing to change my oil was not synonymous with car explosions on the side of the road.) After assuring my husband I would still love and need him in my life... and that I understood I would be on the garage floor and dealing with dirty car oil...and that, yes, I know he would be happy to do it for me as he loves me and I seared tuna for him...we got down to work. (My badd-assness almost waning during the negotiations because the alternate choice, reading and not being dirty, started to appeal to me as well since it was going on 8pm when I can tantrum more easily.)

Under my kitchen sink, I had the choice between purple or neon green rubber gloves. (Duh. Purple!) Once I shimmied under the car- a process that started with my trying not to lie on the garage floor at all which made shimmying along the floor impossible- I was in. Old dried leaves in my ponytail, a dead bug in my line of vision.

Rob gathered all that I would need, pointed the parts out to me under the car, and sat back on the stairs to let me get to work, talking me through it. He is a very good teacher (as long as he isn't helping anyone's mom with a computer and/or tablet. That goes wrong, fast.)
(Use the force, you will, with leftie loosey)

Besides almost ripping my right arm out of my socket while over extending it with a socket wrench, all went smoothly. The oil was warm and oozy and messy. At one point it was running down my arm. It was enjoyable, even at 8:20pm. Enjoyable because I had accomplished something I wanted to and because I knew I never HAD to do it again. But could. I also added a new air filter after examining how BAD it was, just like how the Jiffy Lube people loved to present me with my filter. Good times.
(The gloves were the perfect shade of I Am Woman)

Up next....A little web savviness? If we refer back to my text with Rob, he didn't even touch that part of my inquiry. Why? Refer back to his working with moms and their computers/tablets. He wants to pretend I never said a thing....
Oh, how a little bit of learning gives so much.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Where have I been?

I am feeling rusty, but if I don't write something, I am not sure when I will start again.

I wrote two important pieces about my college. Yes. That college I don't shut up about. One was to be read at an assembly held during reunion weekend, and one to be placed in the college's quarterly magazine.

The speech came to me at 9:15 one night and I just wrote it and sent it to my Class President and my Co-Reunion Chair for their review. Would either of them like to take parts of it to use when either of them gave our class speech? They decided to use the whole thing and for me to read it instead. This was a body numbing big deal to me.
One fraught with the emotions of fear, pride, and sadness.

I am not a public speaker, save the 3-4 toasts I have given at weddings/anniversaries. I think I gave a quick one at my own 40 1/2 birthday party and was told to just cut the cake already.

I was proud to have made two very intelligent and creative women writers content with what I had to share. That they believed in me to deliver it to a crowded auditorium on behalf of the Class of '95 was overwhelming to me. I overwhelm way easier than most which can be embarrassing. And that is just me.

I was sad that this moment came without my father, a speech writer, around me. I rocked on my porch and kept whispering in my head, "What do you think? My dear ol' Da, what do you think?"

As I tweaked the speech, another wowing writer friend and editor emailed me and asked if I would submit something to the college magazine.

I wet myself.

She had an idea of what she was looking for. It perfectly fit with the point I was making in the speech. It would be seamless! It would be an honor!

It would be a literal and literary ass kicker.

I started with something I had already written and tried to tweak it. Dad rushed in my head and said "Throw it out. Start again. What matters will stick."
I then tried different angles.
I was then given suggestions I tried to incorporate.
I lost my voice we were both looking for.
I then had to edit out about 200 words.
I then didn't like the whole flow.
I then had to edit about 60 words.
I am sure margins were altered a bit to save me.
I felt like an ass.
I felt like I didn't know the first thing about writing.
I felt challenged and inept.
None of this due to my thoughtful and clever editor. She told me she loved working with someone who knew how to write an essay.
I thought I knew how to write an essay...

I was being asked to approach writing differently than I had for 21 years. I was so challenged by that. In my heart I knew I needed to be challenged. Growth is hard and growth hurts. I had to embrace it.

When I submitted the last draft, I felt as if I had run a marathon in 550 words. I was glad I had done it. I was embarrassed by whatever was dripping down my legs by the last miles. I never wanted to do it again.

I stopped writing for a while after that. I watched my writer self from afar and noted that I just needed time to grapple with what taxed me: Parameters. I'm thinking that was what stumped me. Also a fear of disappointing the editor, my classmates, and through all that, myself. 

Oh, the ego.
The ego.

I started writing again one melancholy evening. Unfortunately it is about something sad that I will eventually share. As I turned to look at what was welling in me, I was so grateful that the words began to flow again. I don't think it is the sadness that inspires me as much as feeling. Finding perspective in feelings. 
Writing seems so selfish for me. I am grateful when someone reads it and indulges me a bit, though.

I have been here this whole time. Just rocking and thinking instead of rocking and typing. Watching hummingbirds. Petting a cat. Waiting for a breeze.