Saturday, May 31, 2008

Great news!

I may be a multiple poster this weekend because there's a lot going on. This a.m., I have the KIPP Breakfast, after which I can divulge all. But even before that, I have something to say.

I got promoted! My Sr. VP took me for coffee yesterday, and announced that one of our paralegals has been promoted, and I'm taking over her old of Monday! With a nice raise to go with it :)

I'm so excited, and so thrilled. He said that a few lawyers went to bat for me, that even though I wasn't able to finish my paralegal school, they had been giving me paralegal-level work, and that I could do it. I was deeply touched when he told the other assistants that he was thrilled to give this to me and that he had been afraid he'd lose me. That meant a lot.

So I start Monday, but for the first few weeks, I'm going to be juggling two jobs. The other assistants will take over some of my secretarial duties as of Monday (I'm no longer on phone duty!), but some of it will still be mine until we get a new person for me to train. In the meantime, the email has already been sent out to the business units to start giving me the paralegal work. So it's going to be a doozy for a while. But luckily, I have lots of support and people willing to help me learn; from the lawyers and other paralegals to the assistants.

The timing really could not have been better with the end of the school year around the corner. I can focus on the new job and should be settled into it by the time summer's over.

Of course, this also means less time to blog/read blogs :(, but I'll get it in as much as possible, and probably just post less - after this weekend.

Isn't it crazy? I couldn't wait to tell you guys! Even though I've never met most of you, I had to share my good news with my bloggy friends asap.

I was planning on getting all deep and talking about Perspective a bit more because you guys rock. Your comments were so thoughtful and I loved the conversation that was happening. Right now, all I have is this: No matter what you believe, sometimes (not always, I know), but sometimes, the work that you do pays off. When you're lucky enough to work with people who notice and appreciate what you do, you get the opportunities you need.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Flashback Friday - Bleeding At the Ballet


[In case the title didn't tip you off, bloody references below.]

Nancy and I are going to see A Chorus Line tonight. So it reminds me of when I performed in A Chorus Line.

I think I was 12, playing the part of Connie Wong. Even though I'm Mexican-Irish. But, hey. I was thrilled to be in it. (It was a community theatre production in Santa Cruz.)

Well, one particular Sunday matinee, it was very, very hot.

We were just starting the number "At the Ballet." All of a sudden, I feel my nose start to bleed.

Now, A Chorus Line is a show where the full cast is on stage for most of the time. And, "At the Ballet" happens to be a fairly big production number. At the moment, though, I was still in the line, waiting for our cue. I try covering my nose with my hand, which of course, just means that there's blood running down my hand.

At this particular venue, there's not much of a backstage. And I'm on the side of the stage where the band is directly in the wings. As our cue comes, I manage to dance my way off into the wings. There is nothing around, except the black curtain covering the piano. Which became the world's biggest Kleenex for me.

It finally stopped, and just in time, too. The number was ending and I needed to get back on stage, and rejoin the line.

Bloody noses on hot days were pretty common for me as a kid. My ex got them, too, so the poor girls were given this lovely trait from both sides! They get them pretty regularly. Luckily, it doesn't freak any of us out, and we're not squeamish about it.

Riley just had another one a couple of nights ago. She just calmly stood there, while I handed her tissues until it was all said and done.

Too bad I wasn't doing Sweeney Todd...

BlogBlast for Education: June 20

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


I have to start with elaborating a little more on yesterday's Wrath post.

I want to address singleworkingmommy's comment directly. (Sorry, hun - you've been singled out again :) She said:

"It is easier to count all of the injustices of mankind's history than to count the times that things have gone right." [quoting my post]

I don't know about that. I think it's easier to count the injustices, because they stand out more. There are things that go right every day, there are also things that go wrong every day. The important thing is not taking advantage or disregarding the things that go "right" every single day just because that's the way we "think" things should be. Sure, they might be small, right things, but they are victories none the less.

Does that make sense?

At first, I'll be honest. It didn't. Because, as you stated, good and bad things happen every day to everyone. But then I thought about it some more. First, after reading OHMommy's post about her very frightening experience with her child. And then I thought about some other events.

Earlier, I read that a woman (whom I don't know IRL, from a mom's community) had lost her husband a week ago. She went somewhere, she came back, and he was dead. I thought about other women from that community that struggle with their own health issues every day.

And of course, my first thought was, "I need to stop whining already." But I've said before (maybe not here, but to others) that while other people may be in what could be considered "worse" positions doesn't invalidate what we feel. And I stand by that.

However, I also haven't been giving myself enough credit...and that's why I have to thank SingleWorkingMommy for making me think about this all in a different way.

I gotta tell you, I rocked today. I went to this meeting about this KIPP issue I mentioned before (which I still can't really talk about here), and I was awesome. I said everything I wanted to say, I said it coherently, and even though I did cry a couple of times, they were just a few tears, and I quickly regained my composure.

The other parents there validated my feelings in the sense that they find the news just as upsetting as I have, and that what I fear and what I'm upset about are real concerns that absolutely have to be addressed. At the same time, I'm not taking it lying down. I'm not retreating to my dark place and moaning, what's it all about? I'm standing up for me, for Sylvia, for this person I believe in, for what seems right for the school as a whole.

Now, before I pat myself on the back too much, the issue is far from settled, and there's a very good chance I won't win this one. But I'm already thinking about Plans B and C, and even if all else fails, what I'm going to do next year to stay on top of things and ensure that KIPP remains a strong school with a supportive team and sense of family that I cherish dearly (and has done wonders with my Sylvia).

As an aside (or maybe the point?), it's so much easier to do this for my daughter than it is for me. It's so easy to stand up for her and what she deserves. It's much harder to do for myself.

Which reminds me of something a friend told me once, to treat myself like I would a good friend. Now I know how that can sound (OMG - how friggin' corny, right?), but there are some people that I fiercely believe can move mountains. No matter how tough things get for them, I know that they will pull through.

So why don't I always feel that strongly about myself? Because I tell you, there have been days this year that I really wasn't sure I could keep growing. Not going, I know I can always get up in the a.m. and do what I have to do for my kids. But for myself - to keep thinking forward, and wanting things, and having faith in myself beyond just that.

I'm really not sure all of this makes sense. I'm still trying to figure it out for myself.

I've been joking a lot lately about being a pessimist and having low expectations is really the only way to go. Which is all well and good. There are little things that don't matter so much when it comes to that, and certain things are easier to get through if you don't expect too much.

But I can't throw the towel in on me just yet. I don't know how I'm going to get there. I'm not even sure where "there" is at the moment. A friend recommended a book to me, which I stopped reading somewhere in the middle of the third chapter - most likely because I stopped believing the title, which is I Can Do Anything If Only I Knew What It Was. I think I believe that now.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Terrible Tuesday - Wrath

Check out Lunanik for more Terrible Tuesday/Seven Deadly Sins Carnival posts.

Before writing these posts, I always go to M-W first to see the exact definition, instead of what the essence of the word has come to mean. Okay I'm not sure if that made sense. Here's hoping!

I thought it just meant anger, but it turns out it means: 1 : strong vengeful anger or indignation 2 : retributory punishment for an offense or a crime : divine chastisement.

In my youth, I was much more apt to seek revenge, as evidenced by this Flashback Friday post. And believe me, the things I have wished to happen to my ex-husband...

However, acting upon such feelings - beyond writing rants and even a few choice letters to him - is not something for which I have the energy. I think my slothfulness gets in the way of really giving wrath a fair shot.

As far as divine chastisement goes, well, being an atheist kind of makes it hard for me to swallow that one. I used to wait for something to happen to my ex that would seem like a just punishment for his wrongs.

Yes, yes, I know, he doesn't get to know them the way I do. He doesn't get to see them grow and change on a daily basis. They don't depend on him the way they do me. I know all that.

But that all comes with its own price, as any active parent can attest. You pay for it in the patience you dole out, visits to the ER in the night, trying to plan the perfect birthday party, finding where you put the birth certificate...all of the everyday stuff that create the whole of the relationship.

So him missing out on the good stuff? That's the price he pays for not being an actual parent.

He deserves more retribution than that. He deserves to not have a roof over his head. Not even one in jail. He deserves to not have clothes to wear or food to eat. He deserves to have no one's love.

And yet he does. He has a roof (in a house - with a yard. I'm just sayin'...). He has food, clothes, a bed. He has all the comforts of a safe and secure shelter without having to do any of the work to get it. And he has my daughters' undying love, as well as the love of his family. I don't begrudge them, mind you, but he still doesn't deserve it.

On the other side of the coin, there are children going without. There are families squatting in homes or living out of vans. There are millions without a safe haven all around the world, and the most that any of them did to deserve it was to simply be born at the wrong place at the wrong time.

The 5 million Jews that died in the Holocaust. The first genocide of the Armenians. The Christians thrown to the lions. Darfur. Rwanda.

It is easier to count all of the injustices of mankind's history than to count the times that things have gone right.

And I know that many religious folks would tell me, have told me that it all works out in the afterworld. I'm not ignorant enough to say that this is absolutely impossible, but I'm not too confident about it. And even when I try to lend credence to that thought, it still doesn't seem good enough to me. Particularly when so many disagree on what constitutes one going to Heaven or Hell. (Like, what do the 72 virgins get out of the deal for their sacrifice?)

As you can see, when it comes to wrath, I'm more questions than answers. Which makes the whole thing just not worth the trouble to me.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Weekend Wrap-Up

Wow. Be proud. Or horrified. My Reader is down to none. Zero. Zip. Zilch. Nada.

Okay, I confess...I didn't actually read every single one. But I still feel pretty well caught up.

And I increased my virtual memory so that I can now be on the internet and listen to iTunes at the same time. You might be horrified by this as well, but I actually downloaded 10 David Cook songs (no "Phantom" wasn't among them - not even Cook can make me like Phantom). I really like this guy, and look forward to seeing how his career progresses.

So I couldn't get the photo from Space Mountain to come out right here, but to make up for it (sort of), here's a pic of her in her Miley wig.

We went to my sister's, and I remembered my camera but completely forgot to take any pictures! But we had a really good time. The girls got invited to the neighbor's bday party, so they had 2 parties to attend. The weather cleared up enough, and the pool was heated enough that they went swimming, too. (And I got in some jacuzzi time.) It was also nice to see my sister's friends, who are always so sweet and fun to be around. We laughed a lot.

And it was good to get away because my stupid satellite went out again! Sylvia was heartbroken to miss "Step it Up and Dance" (don't tell us what happens; it's supposed to record tonight at midnight) so it was best to just skip town anyway. But all is well again. $60 and a monthly warranty charge later. Not like I'm counting or anything.

A big thank you to Natalie for bestowing the E Award onto me.

And most especially for the kind words that accompanied it:

April - April is a fellow single mom. I can’t remember when she discovered me, but I am so glad that she did. I’ve watched her find her voice and she blows me away with how intelligent and thoughtful she is.

I'm glad I found you, too. I think it must've been through either Lunanik or Huckdoll, but no matter - I'm thrilled that I did. If you're not making me laugh, you're making me think so it's always beneficial.

Now for the hard part - passing it on, mainly because most of my favorite bloggers have already received this. So if it's a repeat for you, I apologize.

Chalk dust makes me sneeze - written by a high school teacher, this blog is always a pleasure to read.

Tranny Head (formerly Law School Hot Mama - no longer a law student :) - I love the way your mind (tranny or not) works.

A Bright Future - thanks for one of the best laughs I had this week (in your email).

There's always more I want to say in these weekend wrap-ups that I can never remember to say. Or, worse yet, I do remember and it results in a really long post. So I'll leave it here.

Friday, May 23, 2008


Just some random things to which I can only respond...seriously? (It's either that or wtf, but I try to use better language here than I do in real life...seriously.)

I'm driving on a bridge, which tends to get backed up as people refuse to adhere to normal stop sign rules. But I'm waiting patiently in my left lane to eventually make my left turn. There's an ambulance trying to get through. The guy on the right turns in a way so that I can move aside for the ambulance. All the cars behind the ambulance refuse to let me back in!!

Last Saturday, it was 90 plus degrees and we were sweating it out at Disneyland. This Saturday, my sister is hosting what was supposed to be a pool party. It's now raining and icky and 60 degrees.

In an online community of moms, we were asked what kind of things could corporations do at our children's schools to earn our good will. One mother answered, "put God back in the schools." I was unaware that God was taking corporate sponsorships.

I can't get into details here, but there are people interfering with KIPP LA Prep who have no business doing so. Instead of letting the people who are there every day make important decisions which affect me and my family, they're letting things happen that have no business happening. Do NOT mess with my daughter's education! I'm prepping to assume a battle position.

My cellmate - I mean, cube neighbor - is one of the most annoying people on Earth. He's not a bad person in a mean way, but he's so dreadfully monotonous - in his tone, in what he says - he makes me want to hurl things. He says coolio (and I have since dubbed him as such), he voted for Archuleta, he bounces when he walks, he gives oh-so-helpful advice, like water being more replenishing than soda. He wants to go back in time and vote for Reagan ('cuz you know, then Reagan may have won). After being here three (3!) months, he was having people hang up and call back when they wanted to leave a voice mail because he didn't know how to transfer them. I have heard every. single. detail of his "surprise" proposal to his girlfriend at Disneyland. I am hearing every. single. detail. of the planning of the wedding. I have started calling people desperately, saying "talk to me" just to try and not hear the details. (If you get such a call, please work with me here. I'm a single mom; I can't go to jail.) I confess, my hatred for him is beyond what's necessary to the situation, but I just don't know how to stop.

People who make a lot more money than me (and have higher degrees of education, too) do not know the proper use of "advice" and "advise." And the possessives (its v. it's)? Fugeddaboutit. (Not my lawyers, btw.)

Can an atheist say TGIF? Well, I'm saying it!! And TG Memorial Day weekend, too. Clearly, I'm in need of a little downtime. Hope you all find great gas deals, and are enjoying better weather!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Flashback Friday - Nancy


I met Nancy when I first started my job here about 5 years ago. She worked in another department, but in the same hall. She seemed really sweet, but I confess, when I first met her, she didn't strike me as someone with whom I'd have much in common. I couldn't have been more wrong.

Not only do we think alike politically and philosophically, she is also a musical theatre lover. And not only that, but she'd once been a single mother of two young girls. And not only that, but she now has a granddaughter named Riley that's the same age as my Riley!

We were the first ones in every morning, and the more we talked, the more we learned of these similarities. She was the first person I felt comfortable airing all my fears to, and she was always there with a comforting shoulder and words that truly helped. She shared with me some of her own struggles and her memories of that time in her life. I know that she knows exactly how I feel, and she has been a beacon of light and hope for me that things will get better when I've been at my darkest.

She's been one of my biggest cheerleaders in everything that I've tried to do these past 5 years; from going back to school to moving to KIPP and even to starting this blog. She's a faithful reader, and always has positive words of encouragement for me.

When I first moved out here, we were living with my parents while I got on my feet. Moving into our first apartment, I was basically starting over from scratch. I needed everything.

Nancy gave me her set of dishes, and told me the story behind them. They had been given to her when she'd been in a similar situation. She hoped that they would help me take these next important steps in renewing our lives. They did. And they still do.

There are times, at home, when I feel overwhelmed with the pressure of raising 2 kids. There are times when I don't think I can find the patience to be the kind of mom I want to be. Sometimes, I happen to be in the kitchen at that time. And I happen to take out a bowl that came from her set. And I hear her words, and I feel the support. And at some point in time, I will pass them forward to someone who needs to know that they'll get through their tough time, too.

She's also been my most loyal theatre date. She even accompanied me to Vegas once to see Avenue Q. Next Friday, we're going to see A Chorus Line. (I'm not one of those people that's secure enough to go completely by myself. I was 15 years ago, but not anymore.) She always understands, and she gives up some of her very precious free time to spend with me, for which I will remain eternally grateful.

She also cracks me up. As sweet, loving and compassionate a human as she is, she's got a wicked sense of humor!

She understands my love affair with the blogosphere, and Kori, she asks about you a lot.

A couple of years ago, she got a new, better job that put her on another floor. I refused to let her go. I got myself on her lunch calendar on a recurring bi-weekly basis, and would kidnap her from the commissary because the woman knows everyone and everyone loves Nancy and wants to talk to her. When I had her for that precious hour, I did not want to share. So we found a private spot (which came to be known as "the private place" which still makes me giggle) where we could talk uninterrupted. 'Cuz I'm selfish like that.

At the end of last year, she got a new, better job again...working in my department!! Now she's not only my friend, but my colleague. I love having her here to get me through the day.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Terrible Tuesday - Sloth

For more Seven Deadly Sins Carnival posts, check out Lunanik.

I think I've mentioned before, my dream is to be as much of a sloth on Sundays as humanly possible. Nothing like it.

I enjoyed such a day yesterday. Did I pay for it tonight? Absolutely. Will I do it again next week? Abso- oh, wait. No. Memorial Day's next week. I get to be a sloth for 2. Whole. Days. Yay, sloth!!

Next Saturday, I plan to spend most of the day at my sister's pool with a cool drink in my hand while my children frolic in the water. Saturday night, with a glass of wine in my hand, slothing it up...oh, that sounded much dirtier than it should the jacuzzi. Sunday, I'll do the drive back, do the laundry, blah blah blah. And then Monday...Monday...more sloth. This thrills me.

See, I could've gone a whole other direction with this post. I could've talked about how my ex's slothful ways have cost me thousands of dollars, and the responsibilities of being a single mom, working full-time, blah blah blah.

But I decided it would be so much better to talk about how I enjoy it when I can be slothful. How the opportunities to be a sloth is why I do all the rest of it.

I'm proud to have taught my girls how to be a responsible sloth. At least once a weekend, you'll find us all snuggled in my bed, chatting, relaxing, just enjoying one another's company. They groan (as do I) when I have to get the clothes from the dryer or what have you. But they also see me get up and do it. There's a time for work, and a time for play. And a time for sloth.

I consider my hour or so time in front of the TV monumentally good sloth time. Depending on the show, my brain may function now and again, but it's mostly good old zone time. I need good old zone time in order to sleep at night.

Our bodies and mind do need their rest. I'm not sure if we really need 8 hours of sleeping time a night, but 8 hours of rest? Yeah, I can buy that. In fact, I take it quite seriously.

Sloth, in responsible doses, is one of our greatest treasures.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Weekend Wrap-Up

Today feels a bit like a hang-over, except no alcohol was consumed. I woke up in a haze of a dream that felt much like yesterday at D-land: a blur of being hot, in crowds, flying dizzily through the air, and lots of colors. Maybe hang-over is the wrong analogy. While I've never actually had one, I think it'd be more akin to some sort of acid trip.

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. The day started off w/ the girls too excited too early, and acting out because of it. Which didn't fit with my frame of mind - I just wanted a little quiet time before the madness. And I made them clean their room, which in their eyes, makes me the meanest mommy ever. Yeah. Whatever.

Speaking of "whatever," I decided it was the appropriate shirt to wear for the trip. Later, though, I wondered if we just looked like the epitome of white trash. Then again...whatever.

Photo taken by one of the midgets - I think I only like pics of me when they're either artistic like this or with the girls.

or both

Riley was a little bummed that Thunder Mountain wasn't working for the majority of the day, but she had a blast on Space Mountain. I'm going to see if I can scan the pic they take from work sometime when I have time. It's a perfect picture of Riley and her personality. She's in the front row - by herself - hands way up in the air and the biggest smile. Her lack of fear scares me. But the joy is a sight to see. It's the only time I've ever bought one of those because it is a treasure of who she is today.

The heat was a lot to take, though. Riley took it less well. Which drove on my nerves. Looking back, today, I think I was too hard on her. She is seven after all. I definitely could've shown more patience.

There were no big scenes or anything, but I was very tense at the possibility of one. Usually, I'm much better at that, particularly when at D-land or the like. I need to write this down and remember it so I don't repeat it next time. And next time will be better, too, because we'll have a hotel room to go back to and relax when needed. I'm grateful for the next time.

So I should be catching up on my Reader - which I've whittled down to just over 300. I should be mopping the kitchen. I should be vacuuming. Today, I'm allowing myself to let go of the "shoulds." I think my sanity may collapse completely if I don't.

I finally finished watching Marathon Man. That movie is so good.

I accidentally deleted the final episode of "The Riches" from my DVR. How stupid am I?

I am now recording some work-out show and have yet to play an episode. I'm thinking this past week's moving of boxes and trek at D-land suffice for exercise. Maybe next week.

I have decided that David Archuleta is the next Michael Bolton. I am preparing myself for his inevitable win of AI, but am still planning to actually vote (yes, I'm going to vote) for David Cook on Tuesday. So you can blame me (along with the 12-year-old Archuleta fans) when Cook loses on Wed.

I really want to see the "Sex and the City" movie. I wish I had a group of girlfriends to go with. I'm a loser whose best girlfriends live hundreds and thousands of miles away from me. I want to see it with Kori, Lunanik, Huckdoll, singleworkingmommy, liz, CableGirl, Tranny Head, Natalie, OhMommy, Maria, Mr. Lady and all the rest of the fabulous women over there on the left (I know I left people out - I'm sorry! Even sober, there's still just so much hyperlinking I can do without losing steam). And I'm not even sure if any of them watched the series. In fact, I'm fairly certain Kori did not watch the show, and yet I still want to see the movie with her. Somehow I just know there will be stuff to talk about afterwards.

To end on a happy note, I'd like to take a moment to say how proud and thrilled I am that California has become the 2nd state to make gay marriage legal. (I know, it's just for now, but I refuse to believe that a referendum can pass.) Although this article on the subject infuriates and frustrates me.

I know to some people, I'll look like a liberal elitist, full of righteous indignation. I also know on a lot of points, even though I'll state my opinions so strongly, you'd think I was spouting them off as facts, I don't actually think they are. I'll fully admit that these are opinions, but strong ones.

On the issue of homosexuals deserving equal rights in the United States of America, I'll state it strongly as fact. Just as I would have about women or African-Americans in earlier (and heck, even current) times. To me, it's a clear issue of separation between church and state, and the right of all Americans to pursue happiness.

Having said that, I'm not a firm believer in the institution of marriage, as I've stated before. As the rules stand now, however, and so long as marriage is something that remains in the government's hands, it is incomprehensible to me that every American citizen, regardless of race, creed or sexual orientation, should not be treated the same. In fact, particularly when marriage remains an institution, all the more reason for every American to be treated the same. That little certificate affects so many rights and responsibilities and financial assets and liabilities that all Americans have to be treated equal. And, no separate but equal, as in the case of civil unions, don't cut it. Just as they didn't in Brown v. Board of Education. Separate but equal has been proven not be an acceptable alternative to actually equal. And it never will.

And if you are one of those people that "doesn't believe" in gay marriage, I still don't see how it affects you or your marriage if someone down the road happens to be in such a marriage. I still don't understand how as an American, your duty as an American citizen can't take precedence over your religious choice. I still don't see how you can find any sort of peace or comfort from denying another equal rights.

Yes, it can be a challenge to accept that people believe different things or act in ways that you find reprehensible. But, hey...all of us do it, in little and big ways every day. All of us have to reconcile that we have no control over other human beings. As I say to my girls on a regular basis, "let it go, Louie, let it go."

Not like I let it go all the time, either. I know. But at least I know that. At least I'm aware that it's a fault of mine. People like Ron Prentice can't even do that. But I'll take my own advice now and just let it go. And go back to rejoicing in the fact that right now, my "side" is winning :)

Oh, yeah. One more thing. Back to yesterday at D-land. As we waited in the hour-plus line for Space Mountain (we were too late for Fast Passes and it was cooling down and bearable), we were in front of two men who were still reeling from their own divorces. I couldn't tell if it'd been a year or 2 months or 6 years, but their pain was still so obvious. Their bitterness, their anger was readily apparent in the fact that they couldn't stop talking about it. Oh, sure, they'd move on from time to time and attempt to change the subject, but they always came back to it. At first, I didn't know whether to be indignant about it, considering the names they were calling their ex-wives, and should I be insulted/offended for the sisterhood? But what I took away from it, in the end, was that they felt just as devastated by their experiences as I had. For what it's worth, there was some comfort in that concept by itself.

Wow. This is the longest post I've written in a while. Thanks for roughing through it with me.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Time for Another BUI...

I'm not actually drunk. Yet. But being really tired, plus having some wine, and being a little bleary-eyed from trying to make that number of posts in my Reader go definitely qualifies as under the influence.

Which reminds me, BusyDad, I think you were pretty on about my alcohol level the last time I did this. Huckdoll's much better at this. She'll still take the time to make links and all. Me? Look to your left, people. They're all there...

Yep, those are the people that are causing the number of posts in my Reader to be 330 right now. I know, some of you have very kindly suggested I just mark 'em all as read and be done with it. But here's the thing...I like reading these! And sometimes it is kind of fun to read 4 posts in a row by the same person. It's like letting 5 episodes of your favorite show build up in your DVR and then having yourself a little marathon.

But I have read some. I'm not commenting a lot right now - forgive me...please?

And then I felt like it was time to write. Not like I have anything to say (obvious yet?). Just felt like writing.

I defragged and that seemed to help my computer problem...for now. I also printed out the blog that someone very kindly left as a comment in my last post. And then I left it at work.

Oh, that's the other thing. My printer decided to stop working. Yes it has ink. Yes, I've cleaned. I even uninstalled and re-installed the software. It acts like it's working. But it's just not. And buying a new home printer is not high on my $$ priority list right now.

But going to Disneyland tomorrow is. I get free tickets through my work so I'm not paying for that, which is awesome, but I still can't seem to leave that place without spending $$. Although, this time, this time, we will remember jackets. And we will take them out of the car and into the park with us.

I can't tell you the number of times I've either forgotten altogether (because we always happen to go on the hottest days of year. Tomorrow's forecast? 94 degrees, baby) so of course, when we get there, the last thing we're thinking of is getting cold later. So sometimes they just get left in the car. And the thought of taking the tram back to the car (the tram seems to be in a wind tunnel and is really really cold) to get them without a jacket. Just seems stupid. So I buy us some. (I get a 35% discount on purchases there. Figured out where I work yet? Oh, and before you ask, sorry, but all my free tkts are already spoken for.) Our hall closet is stuffed with jackets - and even some rain ponchos - purchased from there.

But we really could use some together-time. Family time. This week...this week has been trying, to say the least. I think I mentioned already (not like I expect you to remember - especially if I only have vague recollections myself) that Sylvia spent every afternoon with me. All. Week. Long. On what has no doubt been the busiest week I've had there this year easy. I had to go through 10 boxes of papers, put them all in their proper place, and then box and index another 35 boxes of stuff to be sent to storage. I finished at 2 this afternoon, which just left enough time to do some of the real work. So Sylvia spent most of the time either in front of a DVD player or a computer playing video games. Yeah. Real stimulating stuff. More importantly, real quality time, right?

Unfortunately, Riley does not know this. Even though we've both tried to tell her all week long that it has not been a day at the park, she's been out of sorts all week about it.

Not to mention, this was also the oh-so-fun week of standardized testing (which is why Sylvia was set free early every day).

So our routines were shot.

And, to whine about ME for a minute ('cuz I know, I never do that here), I lost those precious 25-30 minutes between leaving work and being Mom again. Now, said minutes can be spent any number of ways. Blasting and belting out my favorite show tunes (yeah, I'm a geek. Whatever.) Talking on the phone to my sis or my best friend. Catching up on oh-yeah that whole world out there in 20 minutes of NPR (really, that's all the time it takes, right?). And of course, cursing out all the stupid drivers everywhere. That's a given.

The other day, Sylvia was just talking and talking and talking. And I had no active listening skills about me at the time. And I couldn't find it in me to try and laugh at the non-funny jokes and voices. But at the same time, I knew she had a whole bunch of pent-up energy from sitting around for the past 4 hours, being good and quiet. So I said to her, "Sylvia, honey, I know you feel like talking because you didn't get to talk much today, but I'm really tired from working all day, and would just like to relax for a little while. So how about I put on some music as a compromise?" she asked, "Can I sing?" "Of course!" So on went Ain't Misbehavin' and we both belted out our heart's desires. It was good.

And then we got Riley who wasn't so good from seeing us so happy together and decided it was time to pick a fight with her sister. Oh, well. It was a good 15 minutes anyway!

That seems as good as time as any to wrap today's BUI up, don't you think?

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


The number of posts currently in my Reader...and counting.

Work is incredibly crazy this week (we're spring-cleaning the office; doesn't that sound like fun?), and on top of it, Sylvia is here with me in the afternoons. By the time I finish my parental duties at night, all I want to do is crash.

So this is that ubiquitous post, apologizing for all the non-comments you've been getting from me lately, and to say not to expect much more this week. And maybe next week as well.

Oh, and at home, my computer was telling me my virtual memory is low...which is ironic, considering I just removed all the non-essential programs this past weekend. Any clues on how to get my computer's memory back are welcome! (I think it's just been hanging out with me too long.)

Thinking of you, missing you while I file away...


Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Terrible Tuesday - Gluttony

Thanks to Lunanik for the graphic...and the idea, of course!

Again, I don't really qualify under the first definition of the word: 1 : excess in eating or drinking. Now, of course, that's not to say that I've never overindulged in either food or drink, but I don't do it often enough to feel like it's really an issue for me.

No, I'm a 2nd definition kind of girl when it comes to these sins: 2 : greedy or excessive indulgence. I get too obsessive/excessive about certain things. I've always said that I didn't get into hard drugs because I knew myself well enough to know that I have an addictive personality. I knew I couldn't experiment with that crap; that I'd end up in a gutter faster and harder than most people, and that's because I'm completely, hopelessly addicted to caffeine and nicotine. That's enough, thank you very much.

But I also overindulge emotionally - or so I've been told. I don't just get a little sad, I get depressed. I don't just get happy, I'm bouncing off the walls and singing and dancing down the halls happy. And when I fall in love...yep, totally head over heels, STUPID in love!

Thus, the name "It's All About Balance." I know balance is something I really need to work on. That not everything has to be live or die. That if I just took it all a little less seriously (without falling onto the other end of not caring about anything), then I really would be better off.

It's an ongoing process, and I don't think we ever reach full and complete harmonic balance, but I figure the more I think about it, the more I remind myself of it, maybe...just maybe...the better I'll get at balancing myself out.

There's this great line in Into the Woods (well, a few lines):

Oh, if life were only moments
Even now and then a bad one
But if life were only moments
Then you'd never know you had one.

So true.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Weekend Wrap-Up

Hope all the moms out there had a great day.

Since we celebrated last weekend, it was mostly just Sunday for us today - with the girls being extra-well-behaved. Riley made me this card at school:

And Sylvia took some material, and embroidered my name on what is now a scarf:

The girls rehearsed earlier so tonight after dinner, I'm to get entertainment, too.

I had my IEP meeting this week for Riley's speech. She substitutes "w" for "r" - my sister calls it her Bostonian accent. According to the speech therapist, she's 70% intelligible - and that sounds about right to me. So she's now set up to get 30 minutes of speech therapy every week, and that's good for 3 years. Hopefully, it won't take that long. All the Barbara Wa-wa news this week, though, made me glad that Riley will be getting the help she needs. Poor thing, if someone asks her name, they think it's "Wiley."

So, the nurse had to do a little presentation at the meeting; went over her height, weight, blah blah blah, no physical problems, blah blah blah. Then she added, "and she's super super cute." We all laughed and agreed; Riley is super super cute!

I had my first session back in therapy, and am so glad I did. Don't worry, I won't get into all the sorry details here, but it was good and I'm glad I'm going.

I'm 3/5 of the way through Marathon Man. I must be getting old; I couldn't stay up for the whole thing! I hope to finish tonight.

Oh, and I promised a pic of my sister's new dog - she's so gorgeous:

And just as sweet as the others. I guess she had competition at her old home for Top Dog ranking; here, the other 2 said, "yeah, whatever."

Go Mommy tagged me for the 6 word memoir.

1.)Write your own six word memoir.

2.)Post it on your blog; include a visual illustration if you'd like.

3.)Link to the person that tagged you in your post, and to the original post if possible.

4.)Tag at least five more blogs with links.

5.)Leave a comment on the tagged blogs with an invitation to play!

As I told GoMommy, being succinct is not one of my strengths, but I'm attempting the challenge nonetheless. Here goes:

Slowly but surely, finding my way...

And now to tag. This is the really hard part because I don't remember who has done this, and who hasn't! So I apologize if this is a repeat for you: Kori, Law School Hot Mama, Lis Garrett, Jen at A2eatwrite, and HugaBug1, you're up!

Happy Mother's Day

I want to dedicate my mother's day wishes to some incredibly cool single moms I know out here in blogland.

To SingleWorkingMommy, who I know has had a very tough week. I recognize so much of myself in you: the struggle to do everything so well, and the frustration when things beyond your control get in the way. I love sharing your triumphs, and I know that there are many more triumphs in your future because you'll never stop trying. I also know that you're one to find the silver linings in the clouds, and that the best thing about Mother's Day for you will be spending it with Son. Enjoy it!

To A Bright Future, one of the first fellow single mom bloggers I found! And honestly, I was afraid you'd be way too upbeat and...happy for my taste! But instead, I've found a loyal, steadfast, supportive friend. I truly admire (and somewhat envy) your endless optimism. I hope that some of it rubs off on me, and that you have a really nice Mother's Day.

Nat at From Here to There: first, I'm so glad you're back from your hiatus! I love that I never know what to expect from you. I want to be you when I grow up. Happy Mother's Day.

Kori, I've already written a tribute to you, of course, but how on earth could I not give you a special greeting here as well? You know I'll be thinking of you, and we'll share it all on Monday (someone get this woman a home computer please!). I know you don't hear this enough: you're doing a fantastic job, hon, on all fronts.

Reading all the single moms out there (sorry, I'm not well-versed enough to do everyone justice) has added something to my life I didn't really have before: a community. Thank you for that - it makes every day so much better.

I hope all the moms have a great day; you all rock!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Flashback Friday - Car Encounter


Lunanik and Kori both wrote about road trip experiences, and I remembered one of my own.

It was not long after I got off the cruise ship and was leaving a pretty fancy-free lifestyle. I was 19, had no money worries (*sigh*), and I was still in love with my cruise ship romance, waiting for his contract to be up before he joined me in L.A.

A fellow cruise ship performer was coming to visit me from England. She was so much fun! Wow - I have no recollection of how long she stayed, and I've completely lost touch with her since. Anyway, Katie and I were going down to visit with my sister for the weekend.

She was a bit lonesome, and we had big plans to get her laid before her time with me was up. So we're driving down the 5, and there's a HOT-looking guy in a red convertible near us. I decide she must have him. We play a few driving games along the way, and are having a blast. At the time, she told me she thought he was liking me rather than her, but I thought, impossible. She's blonde, she's cute - why would he not be into her?

Finally, and thankfully before our exit, he held up a paper of some sort with the Hard Rock Cafe logo, and added "8 pm" to it. We said, sure!!

My sister thought we were a little crazy for agreeing to meet up with a guy in this manner, but hey, you only live once!

So we get down there, but of course, I'm not old enough to go to the bar. I tried to beg off at this point, but he wouldn't hear of it so we ended up going someplace else. He was a really nice guy...and really, really hot! And it ended up that he was attracted to me. We hung out for a while, and he tried to convince me to at least take his phone number in case things didn't work out with my cruise ship romance.

Is it too late to kick myself for not taking that number? Oh, well. It was the most fun I ever had on the 5 South.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Happy Mother's Day to me, courtesy of Melinda Zook

Work's been busy, after-hours have been busy, and I don't really have my mind together to put together a post anyway. But I wanted to thank Melinda Zook for naming me a winner in her Mother's Day contest. You can read all the winning entries here.

Also, I've added a button for BlogBlast for Peace Day, coming June 4 (thanks to CableGirl's shout-out). If you'd like to participate, check out Mimi Writes for more info.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Terrible Tuesday - Vanity

So I'm jumping on the bandwagon (or would that be carousel?) of this Seven Deadly Sins Carnival. Lunanik has the graphics, and the Mr. Linky Love.

Interesting tidbit about the Seven Sins. I once had a professor tell me that all of the characters on Gilligan's Island are based on the Seven Sins. We went through, and named them all, but it's more fun to do yourself so have at it if you so desire!

Today's sin: Vanity

I'm not vain in the most commonly used sense of pride in my appearance. Not because I'm so satisfied, mind you, but because I can't afford it. I've briefly wished (more than once) for a b00b job - to look like I did when I was breastfeeding. Or a tummy tuck or some type of arse firmer - to take off these past 10 years. Alas, I cannot afford it so the thought doesn't last too long. I'd definitely be taking my jazz class again if I could afford both the cost and the time it takes, but life saw to it that it just wasn't going to happen anymore. So I give up on that type of vanity.

I'm vain in the sense that I need constant reassurance - I use the word "validation" a lot as a form of rationalization. And while I do feel that emotionally, we could all use a little validation, a little empathy from time to time, sometimes I fear that I just need it too much.

It is a balance thing, I think. We need other people in the sense of, what kind of life would we have without others? But we also need to be happy with ourselves alone, too. And I don't just mean in the "single" sense. I mean, just being content with who we are, faults and all.

I used to be afraid of this need for validation. I fought therapy last time prior to going back because I felt like I should be able to get through this on my own now, that I shouldn't need to pay someone to talk me through it. And, truth be told, this has been going on for over a month so I have tried to deal with it myself. It's just not enough.

This time, I'm not fighting it. This time, I'm saying, "yeah. I'm weak. Help me." Is it progress or regression? I'm not sure. But I do know it's real. And I can accept this sin of vanity. Hey, here in L.A., my vanity could be a whole lot worse, right?

If It Ain't Broke...

So yesterday (Monday) morning, we were out the door, and Sylvia says, "I forgot something." *sigh* unlock the door. "What'd you forget?" For some reason, she doesn't like to tell me right off just what it is she needs, which makes it difficult for me to help her try and find it. It was her recorder for Music class - which I'd thought was in her backpack. Turns out, she couldn't find it on Friday for her solo audition (she didn't get it), and had to borrow her teacher's. We looked around a bit, but we weren't finding it. I was frustrated that she hadn't told me ahead of time - like on Sunday - that this was even an issue. It was time to go. I told her she'd have to lose her points and just go because otherwise she was going to be late for school.

She called me at work yesterday during Music class to tell me that if we couldn't find it tonight, then we would have to pay $5. Fine. Whatever.

Last night, we searched. And searched. I had her reenact the last time she remembered seeing it. We checked in the likely places, we checked in the unlikely places. We looked under beds, and in bags, and cleaned out the hall closet. I remembered when Riley had started to play it, and Sylvia got mad, so I had Riley show us exactly where she'd set it down. Nowhere.

Finally, we realized that the last time she'd taken it to school, she'd put it in her gym bag. It wasn't in there, but I think she must have taken it out at school somewhere and not put it back. She's checking at school today, but I gave her the $5 anyway.

And here's the kicker: the music concert is tomorrow. She's been carrying this thing around for months, and days before the concert is when she loses it! Oi vey.

Moral of the story: don't change what's working. For all these months, she's been putting it in her backpack and has always had it when she needed it. The one time that she tried something different (putting it in the gym bag) is when it disappears. Routines, it turns out, are a very good thing.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Root and Sprout

I'm thrilled that Root and Sprout is up and running...and even more so that my article on KIPP LA Prep is the current feature. Go and check it out! (scroll down for the article)

Root and Sprout

Friday, May 2, 2008

My First BUI

At least, I think it's my first serious Blog Under the Influence! I've commented many times as a Blog Hopper but for some reason, tonight, I've decided to go all out. MAN, it's hard to type!

I'm at my sister's tonight. For the weekend, actually. We're celebrating Mother's Day early as my parents are going out of town. We've met their new dog, who is absolutely gorgeous. But you'll have to wait for pics until I'm back home. I know, how ever will you survive?!?

This week was really busy at work. I didn't get to read nearly as many blogs as normal!

But the good news was, it kept the depression at bay. Well, that and lots of denial and musical theatre songs. I've stopped paying attention to the news. And that whole condo problem and all. But I've made an appt. for therapy so hopefully I'll be able to deal with real life soon. Or soon enough.

So, on May Day, I woke up to something on the news about it being May Day. My head heard it as something having to do with Inauguration Day, and I got all excited for a minute. Until I realized I didn't know who was being sworn in. 'Cuz we haven't had the general election yet. And then it hit me that I still don't know who won the Primary. And THEN it hit me that it can't be Inauguration Day...'cuz it's only May. So I woke up in a really bad mood. He's still our friggin' President after all!

Today at work, I started seeing all the W stuff I have; all gifts from well-meaning friends. A book about how he's the worst President ever, a calendar that counts down the days until he's out of office, a deck of my screensaver. If I hate this man so much, why do I have so many things with his likeness? And here was the other question that hit me today: is he getting paid for all the stuff with his likeness on it? That would really bug the crap out of me.

Either way, no more anti-Bush gifts, please.

What else? Hmmm....

I'm just waiting, hoping the girls have fallen asleep. A benefit of never letting the girls watch Disney Channel at home? It even further drives the addiction when they're away from home. But Sylvia will stay up way too late trying to watch it. And we're sleeping in the same room tonight.

My sister and I just finished watching a couple of episodes of "Lewis Black: Root of all Evil." We watched the YouTube v P0rn episode, and then High School v American Idol episode.

I forgot to mention in my previous AI post that the girls who wave in the first few rows during ballads NEED. TO. STOP. It's so friggin' annoying. What is up with the waving anyway? It made more sense when there were lighters involved, but look like an idiot. And it doesn't make the person singing look any better, either. Really. Stop with the waving.

Okay, Don Mills Diva? (I'm sorry, I'm too drunk rihgt now to even attempt a link!)? And anyone else who wanted to hear more about the nightmare boss! You're kind of depraved, you know that? (and I mean that with all kinds of love) I deliberately only posted a few highlights because I didn't want to sound too whiny. But for all you curious rubber-neckers, I will attempt to find the letter that I drafted for the Board of Directors of the theatre company (but never sent) and just post that. It gives a better overview without me having to get all upset all over again.

This is one of the problems with being a former actor. As an actor, you spend a lot of time doing "sense memory," which means the ability to conjure up the exact same feelings you had when a specific event occurred. I was really good at that. So if I think of something in my past too much, I can feel exactly the same way as I did then. I'm in denial, people! More bad feelings are not what I'm seeking right now! But for you, my dear Don Mills Diva (seriously, people, if you don't know her, then just Google it. It can't be that hard to find!), I will try to find it when I return home.

I don't know if I'll be able to do either my regular Weekend Wrap-Up or Karen C's Spill-it Sunday this week, given the whole being out-of-town thing. I know, you're sorely disapointed. Somehow, though, I think you'll make it!

Oh! I know what else I wanted to say :) Sylvia has been nominated for Best Actor for her Thespian Club at school!! Dn't tell her I said this, but I think she has a really good shot at winning. She was very good.

Okay, that's all for this BUI (or should that be PUI - posting under the influence?)

blog hoppers? I don't know if I'll have anything left to actually blog hop tonight, but maybe tomorrow...

Flashback Friday - 5 Years Ago...

Something interesting has been happening on Facebook. People from various stages of my life have found me (or I've found them) and my worlds are colliding. Not all of them just yet, but it's happening.

Lately, most of them have been from the theatre company where I worked in Rochester, NY. I was only there about a year or so, but I think all of us feel a special kinship with each other for surviving the most dysfunctional, emotionally abusive workplace atmospheres I've ever encountered.

It took a few years after I left before the nightmares stopped. That sounds dramatic, I know, but this guy we worked for was seriously disturbed.

He started off nice enough, but it was clear very early on that he was a talker. He could talk for hours. We had these staff meetings which lasted at least two hours where he yelled. A lot.

He also wasted a lot of time - like spending 20 minutes yelling at 2 of our most senior staff members about a $63 expenditure; he liked to spend dollars to save dimes. Granted, we weren't paid a lot, but it was still time away from other projects that needed our attention.

We were expanding faster than could be handled, particularly when he knew nothing about efficiency. He thought that being productive meant just spending lots of hours on a project. In fact, if you did something quickly and truly efficiently, he'd think that was wrong and look for flaws in it.

He also had issues with women, but that's another story altogether.

That's just a little background to get to my point...yes, I think I do have one. So, one day, not long after I'd made my decision to leave my husband, but had decided to stay in Rochester at least until the end of the school year (Sylvia was in kindergarten), my friend E and I had finally gotten out of the office for lunch - something we never did. We'd bonded recently over our relationship issues, were both sick of our boss, but not really knowing what to do next. It was a beautiful day and we escaped to a restaurant. We even sat outside for a bit and talked and gained a little perspective that the world was so much bigger.

That afternoon, we had one of our staff meetings. This time, E and I both just sat there, doodling on our note pads, trying to take our minds elsewhere. Be anywhere but where we were. As he yelled on and on, it got more difficult. We were both barely hanging on.

Finally, it was over. He went somewhere else to yell at someone else. E and I had our offices opposite each other. S, a colleague, tried to joke with us, but neither of us were in the mood. We simultaneously slammed our doors on him.

S called me later and gave me hell for it. He told me off for sticking around. He told me that it was time for me to go. He said I was becoming less of a nice person, and I had kids to care for, and I should go home to my family. He was right. You can't stay in that type of atmosphere without ill effects.

The next morning, I told E I was planning on giving my notice. She was planning the same thing. So one right after the other, we walked in to our boss' office with our letters of resignation. It was done. We were going to be free.

Cut to a couple of months later on the first day of my current job: I was told that all of the lawyers were in a staff meeting. I thought to myself, "oh, great." But when they came out, there was actually laughter. What? No one's crying? No one's shutting themselves into their office? You mean, staff meetings don't have to mean 2 hours of sheer torture? It may not be theatre, but I've developed a newfound appreciation for the undramatic.

And the nightmares have finally stopped.