Sunday, December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas--mine was wonderful.

Good night.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

I'm late, as usual

The Christmas/Easter cards have not arrived yet!!

They were shipped on 12/13, and it is now the 21st after the mail has come...Happy New Year everyone.

And to add to the seasonal mayhem, the kitchen is scheduled to be started on 12/27. Yes, 2 days after Christmas, I need the kitchen and laundry room cabinets, drawers and counters emptied and void of all of the crap I've been squirreling away in there. The washer and dryer broke yesterday, so not only do I have piles of unlaundered laundry, I had to shell out some hard pressed December cash on appliances that only cause more work for me. I hate that.

And now, a slight delay in book release. I have no idea what "slight" translates into, but hopefully it just means we'll be celebrating New Year's with hot copies of SD.

Oy. I'm going to have an egg nog.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

The Week Ahead

I am staring ahead at the week of Christmas eves and evenings bravely.

In a mere 6 hours, this house will be filled with people for the annual Wrapping Party. Tomorrow is the company Christmas party and Tuesday is the scheduled finish shopping target. (Christmas cards are going out sometime in there, too) Wednesday and Thursday are the detail attending days--wrapping, shopping, baking...and Friday Dad arrives for Christmas.

I had a weak moment last night--a dent in my holiday armor--where I thought I had perhaps over-committed and that I wasn't going to be able to pull this off in typical unflappable fashion.

I have since buffed that dent right out with some royal icing and a stick of unsalted butter which I actually have enough left to whip up a batch of cookies for the party today.

Bring it, beyotch.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

This might have to do for a Christmas Card

It's not the shopping, wrapping, or decorating. It is not the schedule shuffling, partying, baking, or even shipping of the gifts. The cooking or arranging of babysitters won't even be my downfall.

No, this holiday season, I will be defeated by the kid's Christmas picture.

I tried a month ago to bring them all to a photographer to get the annual Xmas/Amy birthday photo taken. That was an utter disater. Amy would have nothing to do with capturing her image on film that day, so we left picture-less with the thought that I would complete the task myself when she was in a better mood.

Apparently, this is a far deeper issue with her, as every subsequent attempt has been met with the same fit of screams and tears. How she can be laughing one minute at the Spongebob Christmas special, then in a fit of un-Yuletide tears when she spies the camera the next, is beyond me.

So here it is, December 10, and if I don't find some way to record their images today so the Shutterfly order can be placed before New Year's, you all might be getting the generic Happy Holidays sans graphics. My humble apologies.

How can this face deny the world of her beauty???

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

I'm Done!

Well, not really, actually, not even that close...but I have reached a major milestone in my Christmas shopping.

I have all of the out of town gifts purchased! Woohoooo!

And I am quite happy with my purchases to boot.

So now the wrapping and the shipping--the bane of my holiday existence--but tonight I will relish in my consumer accomplishments.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Closer...

I'm alternating between weeping and giggling.

I have my ISBN for the book! And soon a Library of Congress number! Yeehaw.

I'm thinking of changing my name to, "0-9771003-7-5." Well, maybe just my middle name. Or maybe I can change my phone number and all of my PIN's to that...

Doh. Never mind.

(But I'll be playing those will be my Lotto numbers this weekend.)

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

It is time

Obviously, I am not a traditionalist.

Therefore, it should come as no surprise that I do not partake in shopping on Black Friday. Nor did I attempt holiday gift preparation during the entire long weekend. I didn't even shop online on Cyber Monday.

But today, Giving in Finally Tuesday, I will begin what will define my being for the next several weeks. Shopping commences tonight at 5:30 after the babysitter arrives and the alcohol has time to course through my bloodstream before I head to the Mall.

Oy.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving

Certainly one of my favorite days of the year. Looking forward to being with all of my blessings.

I am thankful for a great many things, and a great many people, and I wish them all a peace-filled day.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Hipster

Thinking I'm quite hip, I buy a pair of Old Navy's "Boy Cut" jeans yesterday.

All day, I've been pulling them up, tripping over the too long pantlegs, and I am reminded why unisex clothing is not a good idea.

Because not only am I hip, but I have a pair of them that hold up girl's jeans.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Stealing my kids' toys

During the day when my kids are in school, there is one thing that I rifle through their things to play with when they are not around...

No, it's not the Ninja turtles nor the hockey equipment. It is not even the leftover Halloween candy that I am dutifully ignoring. And rest assured, it is not the Gameboy or Playstation or chirping electronic dog.

It's the iPod Nano.

Stevie got it for his 10th birthday, and I am absolutely hooked on its meoldic charms. We have downloaded all of his Radio Disney, Shrek and Shark Tale soundtracks, but with enough space for 10,000 songs, I have snuck in a few of my own. So again, a little Sarah MacLachlan to get you mellow for the weekend:

Answer

I will be the answer at the end of the line
I will be there for you while you take the time
In the burning of uncertainty I will be your solid ground
I will hold the balance if you cant look down

If it takes my whole life I wont break I wont bend
Itll all be worth it worth it in the end
Cause I can only tell you what I know
that I need you in my life
When the stars have all gone out
youll still be burning so bright

Cast me gently into morning
For the night has been unkind
Take me to a place so holy
That I can wash this from my mind
The memory of choosing not to fight

If it takes a whole life I wont break I wont bend
Itll all be worth it worth it in the end
Cause I can only tell you what I know
That I need you in my life
And when the stars have all burned out
Youll still be burning so bright
Cast me gently into morning for the night has been unkind

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

My Understudy




I'm using my cartoon body double for all of the art stunts in the book.

Hey, It's been awhile

I haven't been around much, but I've missed you.

This blog thing often makes me feel like I'm speaking into a vacuum, but there are times when I have an idea who is reading and I appreciate that.

Even when I don't have much to say.

Friday, November 11, 2005

The End.

And it is done.

Well, at least the majority of my initial portion, anyway.

I'm talking about the book, silly. After 2 weeks of utter neglect to anything but my well-caressed keyboard, I have finished the writing for the book. It is now in the capable hands of my editor, while the art gets finished, (which is absolutely delicious, btw) website constructed, (another amazing measure of coolness)and the marketing begins.

I am taking a brief respite from column writing to finish up the assignments o' the month, and reaquaint myself with this beautiful family of mine that I write so much about, but haven't quite seen in the last few weeks.

And as a sweet aside, I received a beautiful sculpture from a beautiful sculptor today. I feel blessed to have written it, but humbled by his thank you gift.

Well weekend wishes all.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Quote of the day

I've been madly scribbling out the last of my material for the book which is proceeding nicely, albeit quite quickly. In the midst of the writing, editing and designing, another unrelated piece gets accepted into another unrelated publication by an unrelated editor. Yeah--I don't really have time to be excited.

But I do have time to be annoyed.

Looking over the proposed edits, it doesn't resemble the original piece I submitted, which makes me wonder why they even accepted it in the first place. But--whatever--my ego has long since taken a latte break during the editing process anyway.

Until I read this:

Sometimes with humor writing, it is okay to go a little over the top as I have done here.

Really?!? Because I've been confused on that particular nuance after writing a humor column every week for the past 3 years. Maybe I should send you my manuscript and you can look over that to see if I've mastered that particular skill. Thanks for the tip.

Beyotch.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Dear Mom,

I miss you everyday, but today I miss you an extra scoop.

I love you.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Same Old

I've been remiss on the updates, but they seem to repeat themselves, so you can simply refer to previous posts to see what is going on:

1) Hurricane
2) Amy sick
3) Writing/working on book.

Gosh, I haven't even been reading much to report on, either. I really wish I had more variety at the moment to constitute a fun post, but I simply don't.

Perhaps by the end of the week there will be a plethora of interesting material.


Let's hope for all our sakes.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

"The strongest hurricane on record"

Back from Disney, the stomach flu and storm preparations. How about you?

While in the happiest place on earth, was less than for many of us. It started with Matthew's digestive system and quickly spread to everyone else. I cannot remember ever being so sick. I prayed for death and its sweet release from expectoration hell. Amy, of course, got it the worst, and her 24 hour stint is now going on Day 4.

That brings us to today, and Wilma. Another storm; another flurry of preparations and worry.

It's Wednesday, and the storm is not expected to hit until Saturday, so that means that the projected path will change at least 6 dozen times until then. It is the nature of the beast. So the only thing a reasonable mother can do is to prepare for both scenarios: staying and leaving. Both with its own set of pros and cons.

No decisions until at least tomorrow, my friends.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Party


I think my hangover has a hangover.

We went to a big glitzy event last night. All of the players and playahs were there. My recollections:

Free draft beer. Gambling. Free beer. Hockey goalie dealing blackjack. Toasting player with free beer. Spending $600 on a hockeystick toybox. More beer. Stanley Cup. Beer. My favorite hockey player signing said toybox. Beer. Headache. Advil with beer.

We got this beauty in between rounds apparently.

Friday, October 07, 2005

"But that's what I've always called you."

Tears are brimming in my eyes from this kindergartener's request and declaration:

Matthew: When you come into my class, could you not call me "Moo" or "Moose?" Just call me Matthew now.

No.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Why I am Writing This Book

Because on the day when I need to become serious to sit down for hours to write--concentrate and focus on a job that needs to be done that almost makes me feel like a grown up--Amy toddles into the kitchen with a bottle of iridescent purple nail polish (which God only knows what decade she found it in) which she drops on the tile floor and nail polish, glass and my sanity shatter.

I just spent the last 45 minutes scrubbing the grout trying to make it not pink anymore.

I guess at least it matches the kitchen now.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

What a difference a week makes

It's been a week now since Amy's sickness and my book news...wow, no wonder I'm tired.

Amy's infection is gone, but I am more than a little surprised how long it took for her to really feel better. Usually, they always bounce back rather quickly after the strong meds, but this one really took its toll. She spent the week resting--not a typical almost 2 year-old activity. Her sleep patterns (the little she had) are completely out of step, which has been tough as well.

Last night, we went to the Lightning pre-season game--our first game in a year and a half, and our first outing in more than a week. We had a great time,(Oh, how I've missed my beloved hockey!) and Amy enjoyed the 2 periods she stayed awake for. Tonight, we'll be going to a friend's house for communal play while the husbands are out, so I suppose we're back into the social swing.

In between, I'll be here at this keyboard, typing away. I am almost done with the editing phase, and am working on some new material to include as well. I hope to get a sneak peek at the illustrations this weekend also. I will be putting a stamp on Ver's letter project, too....

Thanks to everyone for their mad props and their concern for Amy. We appreciate it!

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Signed, Sealed, Delivered...I'm Yours

My signature is going to be somewhat shaky, but it will still bear the mark of joy.

With trembling fingers and tears in my eyes, I signed a contract today for the publication of my very first, (all mine!) my name on the cover, my work on all of the pages, paper and print, bound in a glossy cover--actual book.

(Dramatic pause while you all wrap around the magnitude of the announcement.)

Suburban Diva, my precocious pen-name, is going to be publishing some of her past works and a few new ones, in a book soon to be available on Amazon and the like, by Christmas, 2005.

(The crowd gasps, women fan themselves to keep from fainting.)

If I can pull this off--which I have every cell of my being on full creative alert--this will be available for everyone on your holiday gift list.

(Yuletide gratitude is heard over the Internet.)

There are many details to be attended to, but the most significant one, I am going to be published, seems to be the only one I can remember at the moment. There is soon to be a website bearing details and press releases, but for now, you can contact my publisher. (God, how sweet those 2 words are together!)


Author: Tracey Henry.~Me, today on my contract.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Come Monday

What an insane weekend.

First off: Amy. The little chicken's fever spiked to 105.7, (sounds like an FM radio station) and we went back to the doctor for another shot of the antibiotic. Her blood work showed that her infection was responding to the medication, even though her temperature indicated the opposite.

It finally broke Saturday night, but she is still wiped out today. Cranky, exhausted...just like her mother, only I didn't get 10 needle sticks over 2 days.

But another literary event occurred which helped to quell my exhaustion into euphoria. I am not at liberty to reveal the exact contents of my secret at this moment, but suffice it to say, I may be in the column to your left sooner rather than later, my well-read friends.

Wink.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Typhoid Amy

Oy. Last week you'll recall Baby Diva getting pink eye and an ear infection? Well, here we were on day 9 of the antibiotic regimen with clear eyes, but a raging fever of 105. So, being the observant mother I am, I think, this is probably not normal, better get her to the doctor.

After a particularly long examination, it is determined that eyes, lungs, ears and throat are clear. They take a CBC which indicates an elevated white cell count: infection.

Without being told, I know this stunning revelation will now require my baby to be catheterized. I then predict that no medical professional will be able to catheterize her (as we've been done this road before) and that it won't matter anyway, because I know she doesn't have a UTI.

I am a freaking soothsayer, because after 7 hours at the hospital, all of said things are true.

She did get I.V. antibiotics and several blood draws in the interim, so the preliminary diagnosis is a blood infection. I have to take her back in tomorrow to repeat the tests after 24 hours and get more results.

As soon as the last drop from her IV seeped into her tortured veins, she started to feel better. Her fever has come down some, but certainly still boiling.

There is nothing worse than holding your baby down while someone hurts her, no matter how necessary the procedure may be. Or not.

I will update more on Typhoid Amy this weekend.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Rain

It may not be the most prestigious publication, but a story of mine was just accepted to an online site. (I'll post the details and link in a week or so.) The triumph here is more that I have finally started to submit my work again, after a long hiatus from the mailbox. I guess I didn't realize how long it had been since I was out there, so it feels good to stick my little toe out there again, anyway.

The outer rain bands of Rita are coming through--scary when you think of how far away the actual storm is from us and how heavy the rain and wind gusts were on the far edges. We even lost power for a short while. It's going to be another nasty one, unfortunately.

It's nap time, so I am off to write or watch Court TV all afternoon.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Books

So, last night I finally finished, Middlesex, by Jeffrey Eugenides. It was the Pultizer Prize winner a year or so ago, and often after reading an acclaimed book, I ask myself, how in the hell did that win?

It was well-written, don't get me wrong, and I suppose the subject matter was ground-breaking (a suburban hermaphrodite), but Pulitzer Prize material? I'm not buying it.
(Well, actually, I did buy it, but it was the paperback edition, thankfully.)


The weekend was wonderful--Phoebe was an amazing performer and a very special time was had by all.

And now, I am off to enjoy the last remaining moments of Amy's nap, with a shut eye session of my own...Sshhhh...

Friday, September 16, 2005

So, What are you doing this weekend, SubD?

It occurs to me that perhaps I've been a tad more political than my usual carefree self these past couple 'o weeks. Well, that's because I'm a political kind of gal.

But as a nice respite from worrying over the state of the union, I shall report on my upcoming weekend plans for any of those still reading.

My nieces and Bro in-law arrived in town last night so that my niece, Phoebe, can perform tomorrow night. Who will she be the opening act for? you ask, voice full of wanton curiosity. Oh, just a little artist, really. You've probably never even heard of him. Paul McCartney? I think he was popular with his band in the 60's.

PAUL MCFREAKINGCARTNEY.

Quite a talent this girl is. She's been treating us to impromptu concerts that, I kid you not, send chills up my arms.

This afternoon, she was at Starbuck's and broke out her guitar for a little practice for tomorrow night. 2 agent types just happen to be in the joint, and took notice. After giving her father their business cards, he gets a call about 10 minutes after arriving home with an offer for a local performance tonight. They are there right now.

Unbelievable.

So, I will be enjoying these melodic sounds this weekend--hope you all have some harmony as well.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Dead lines

The 15th of every month is scramble day, as I once again have one assignment for the magazine left undone by my own arrogance or laziness, or a lethal combination of both.

I need about 250 words, and at 8:30 p.m., I am up to 96 having expended all of my needless adverbs and adjectives after the first sentence. Oy.

I got nothin' here, folks. Nada. Zippo. Zilch.

There's 3...


Writing comes more easily if
you have something to say.


~ Sholem Asch

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

In my Inbox today...

This was from The Onion back in January, 2001, it recently resurfaced as prophecy...

Mere days from assuming the presidency and closing the door on eight years of Bill Clinton, president-elect George W. Bush assured the nation in a televised address Tuesday that "our long national nightmare of peace and prosperity is finally over."

"My fellow Americans," Bush said, "at long last, we have reached the end of the dark period in American history that will come to be known as the Clinton Era, eight long years characterized by unprecedented economic expansion, a sharp decrease in crime, and sustained peace overseas. The time has come to put all of that behind us."

Bush swore to do "everything in [his] power" to undo the damage wrought by Clinton's two terms in office, including selling off the national parks to developers, going into massive debt to develop expensive and impractical weapons technologies, and passing sweeping budget cuts that drive the mentally ill out of hospitals and onto the street.

During the 40-minute speech, Bush also promised to bring an end to the severe war drought that plagued the nation under Clinton, assuring citizens that the U.S. will engage in at least one Gulf War-level armed conflict in the next four years.

"You better believe we're going to mix it up with somebody at some point during my administration," said Bush, who plans a 250 percent boost in military spending. "Unlike my predecessor, I am fully committed to putting soldiers in battle situations. Otherwise, what is the point of even having a military?"


If you didn't laugh sometimes, you'd cry.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

One of the problems...

...is that the only sense of urgency ever expressed by officials on all levels was the furtive nature which they cover their own asses.


But I'm fighting a summer cold and am perfectly miserable at the moment. The only highlight of my week came when I heard on the radio twice The Sugarhill Gang's "Rapper's Delight," which, I'm poud to say I still know all of the words--to the long version no less.


I don't mean to brag, I don't mean to boast, but we like hot butter on our breakfast toast.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Promotion

It's certainly not the biggest news to hit the blogosphere, but in my little humble part it ranks up there.

I've just been named Editor In Chief of Backwash, Suburban Diva's and my home for the past 2 1/2 years.

Insignificant? Probably. But it puts a smile on my face nonetheless.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Katrina

Have you noticed a national apprehension lately?

Obviously, there are those that have been victimized by this hurricane far more than others, but I can't help but feel as nation, we're all suffering on a different level.

There's the politics of it all--which is amazing that a natural disaster could become so political so fast, but I suppose in a climate such as it is, it really isn't that surprising.

We had a dinner party the other night with people we really don't know all that well yet, when the table discussion turned toward the recovery efforts, or lack thereof. The guest, riled up to a frenzy on whether or not the city should be rebuilt, whips out photos of city busses underwater that he printed off the Internet.

We now need a dossier to discuss a national tragedy? It was surreal.

Sean's been working disaster relief non-stop for the past week. His Labor Day weekend was spent loading truck after truck with relief supplies. We both have given more than we have in any other crisis, both in time, goods and cash. Yet somehow there isn't the slightest satisfaction in giving.

Not that there isn't the desperate need and we will continue our personal efforts, it just seems that the situation is so poisoned, it feels like you have to take sides on human devastation.

And that is seriously fucked up.


I'll leave you with a quote from W's mother, Babs, that I first read on Ver's blog, and then later on the news:

Almost everyone I've talked to says we're going to move to Houston...What I'm hearing which is sort of scary is they all want to stay in Texas. Everyone is
so overwhelmed by the hospitality.

And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this--this (she chuckles slightly) is working very well for them.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Laborious

Fine--I'll go on record as repeating the obvious--this is a national disgrace. It is of little comfort to note that the President's leadership is abysmal, both domestically and abroad.

Now that that is out of the way, I sit to update as I am cleaning the oven. Of course I have a self-cleaning model, but this is the first time I have actually flipped the switch on that function since this technological miracle had somehow eluded me for a year.

We are entertaining tomorrow, so I was busy in the kitchen today preparing. I like parties on that Sunday of a long weekend--a day before to prepare--a day following to relax. Balance...

The week was a long one, I was glad to slip into the confines of a Saturday with little to do. Sean's been busy at work--their hurricane relief is in full gear, and there is a lot to do. Bless them all.

I think I'll be off now to start a new novel and finish the oven.

Happy Labor Day, all.



"Get off your asses and let's do something." ~Mayor Ray Nagin to the Feds.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Again with the insomnia

After several consecutive sleepless nights, I finally got some shut-eye last night. However, because I spent most of the evening consumed by my current read, my dreams were intense and haunted.

When in the mood for a novel that you want to be consumed by rather than the other way around, read, A Ship Made of Paper, by Scott Spencer. Wow. It will unnerve you in a literary way.


"...he has lost if not his mind then at the very least his untroubled mind."

Monday, August 29, 2005

Listen to your elders

Well, I'm back.

For those unaware, I was attending my Dad's wedding this past weekend--an obvious challenging balance for me.

But I will spare you my spiritual journey from tantrum to acceptance to say this: I believe God speaks to us through the mouths of people we least expect.

My Dad's bride's mother is a lovely woman from Malta--she has a thick accent and looks like she'd sit you down at her table and feed homemade sauces from vegetables she grew in her garden until your stomach felt full of love, then she'd fix you warm milk and put you down for a nap under an afghan she'd knitted that morning. She's kind, but more complex than her appearance suggests; but knows exactly what is going on.

The morning of the ceremony, she said, "This must be a bittersweet day for you." I nodded, taken aback at her honesty and candor. (I thought I was hiding it well.) She replied, "Know that your Dad is very much loved in this family. He will be taken care of always."

At that moment, I knew he would be. I knew she spoke a truth I had been too afraid to voice or face.


The knowledge of this filled me like that glass of warm milk.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Funny..

...not "Funny" as in Ha-Ha, funny as in curious..

I wrote this column today with some very specific events in my mind, as well as to illustrate a general feeling I've been trying to put into words for some time.

I've received no less than 10 different interpretations of the same story since posting it this morning.

...funny...

Required Reading

My Blogroll isn't very long as you probably have noticed.

There are only a few blogs I read with regularity, for whatever reason that might be. Nesting Ground makes me laugh beyond reason, Motherhood Metamorphosis is a delight, Casetta's makes me cooler just by reading it.

But I am adding a new one to my list. Boggles,Bungles,and Greed is written my an enlightened guy who I feel pretty comfortable calling a friend. He's got some great stuff on there, so you should check it out.

And if among my strange and elusive audience has a little journal they would like to recommend, why I'm all fingers.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Increasingly Hollow Promises to Myself

Now that they are safely tucked away in their classrooms, this is my "What I'm Going to Do Now That Summer Vacation Is Over."

1. Get my increasingly large ass into the gym 3 times a week. I have no more excuses left.

2. Get my increasingly smaller submissions stack out in the hands of editors. I have failed miserably at producing much to send lately.

3. Get my increasingly cluttered house de-cluttered. We need some serious closet space, folks.

4. Get my increasingly large To Do list whittled down to the tens column.

5. Spend an increasingly amount of time in my new kitchen once complete. (I'm reprieving myself until then.)



The opening line of my latest read, More Than You Know, By Beth Gutcheon: Somebody said, "True love is like ghosts, which everbody talks about and few have seen." I've seen both, and I don't know how to tell you which is worse.

Monday, August 15, 2005

School Days

The First Day of School. Here are some initial impressions:

Stevie, Grade 4

*This year, fourth grade boys are eligible to try out for JV Basketball. I have now heard this statement at least 47 times since 3:05 p.m.

*His teacher, Miss E., is hot.


Matty, Kindergarten

*Drawing was the best part of the day.

*He would prefer now to be called, "Matthew." Matty is so preschool. (His teacher now has to change every laminated nametag in the room. She is hot, but for a different reason.)

Amy, Alone for the first time without her brothers

*She slept for 3 hours today because no one was waking her up.

And me, if not an empty nest, a roomy one from 8-3 everyday.

*A whole lot of closets are about to get cleaned, and I'll be spending much of that time at JV basketball, apparently.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

School hasn't started yet, and I already miss them

So what is on tap for the weekend before the first day of school, you ask (or don't)?

Well, strep throat has hit one fourth grader in the house, so I am struggling to get the pink liquid down his inflamed throat so he can have a first day on Monday. Most of the details and supplies have been taken care of, so we've just got some last minute things like haircuts--my least favorite chore for the boys.


Matty starts Kindergarten in 2 days--it just doesn't seem possible. He is so excited, and a visit to his classroom yesterday was fun. He seemed so grown-up walking in and sitting at his desk. I had a lump in my throat the whole time.

But later, things balanced again. I put all the kids in separate sleeping quarters to try and ward of transmission of the bug, when I got heard the slapping of flat feet running down the hallway a short time later. A very wide-eyed Matthew just stared at me for a minute, trembling.

"Matty, what's wrong?" I started, jumping out of bed.
"There was just a sad part on Monsters, Inc.!" And he began to cry in earnest.

He was sobbing because the little girl in the movie gets taken away from the big monster she loves.

I cried too, after that.

And, we all slept together last night, strep bug and all.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Work

Sometimes, my easy-peasy freelance job ain't so breezy...

This month, I have some assignments that are either difficult because there's just not a lot to say on the issue, or my interviewees are reluctant, or perhaps dare I say, not-so politely unwilling to speak to me.

I'm not all that bold when it comes to cold-calls anyway, so when there is grouchy grumbling on the other end, I get all sad and defensive. Do they think I'm writing for the Enquirer or Washington Post or something? Hello?!

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Ha Ha

Never underestimate the power of laughter.

We went to see an actual movie in the theater last night--non-animated oh joyous night!--and I felt some choly lift from my melon.

Wedding Crashers, was silly, but so very funny when you just need to laugh.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Hide and Seek

I post the following knowing that I have no one to blame but myself. However...

Months ago, I misplaced the only copy to my stupid novel-in-progress while I was attempting to be a responsible writer and make back-up copies of one's life work. (It was an issue between new hard drives and the misunderstanding of what needed to be saved...) Anyway, I thought it was lost forever, since no one knew where the now obsolete floppy had wandered off to, and I had searched the whole house for a paper copy at least.

I had begun the tedious and impossible task at recreating my monster, when what should appear in Sean's briefcase? The little bugger had hitched a ride there from some mysterious desk drawer over there somewhere.

So now I have no excuse to begin work on it in earnest next week when the assignments are in and the boys start school.


And because I stayed up late again to watch, Love, Actually, Here is a quote from that movie. The part where Mark makes the posterboard confession:

"But for now, let me say - Without hope or agenda - Just because it's Christmas - And at Christmas you tell the truth - To me, you are perfect - And my wasted heart will love you - Until you look like this
[picture of a mummy]."

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Back, but not really

You can read of my travel exploits, at least half of them, in this week's column.

However, the craw has not been unobstructed.

I really had a great time, but the mystery did not reveal itself along the highways. The mystery did not solve itself in the many pages that I read. Nor was it exposed in the vivid dreams that haunted my unfamiliar hotel rooms. I wrote lengthy narratives in my head; hoping they would be there when at last I had the opportunity to record them on screen--a process I am working on now.

I disengaged in the pointless, the hopeless, the useless...yet.

I still feel...a little out of sorts.

Craws must therefore be appendages of the mind or heart.


Here's a quote from my current read, Wicked, The life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, by Gregory Maguire. "Love makes hunters of us all."

(Excellent read so far, by the way.)

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Home Again, Home Again

We have emerged from the car...

I am saving the details of the trip for a column that I hope to get up in the next couple of days, but suffice it to say we are home and had a great time.

We traveled far; saw many interesting places and people, including a family and a class reunion. We really had a fantastic time, but it does feel good to be home after such a long time away. I don't even mind the stacks of email, mail, and laundry I must weed through today.

Did I untangle my ball of yarn? I think so, but time will tell.

More later, dear friends.

He made me love him without looking at me. ~Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte.

(I just finished this one on my trip.)

Friday, July 22, 2005

Heading out

My farewell for a couple of weeks post:

I know I just got back--but I'm looking forward to getting away again. Do you ever feel like something's stuck in your craw and you have no idea what it is, but it's driving you crazy? Have any idea of what a craw is? Well, that's how I feel right now. Something's just a little off with me, and I need a minute or two to put things in perspective. Nothing like hundreds of straight interstate miles to have room to unravel whatever it is. Like your thoughts are a big tangled web of yarn, and you need a large enough space to untangle each one...

Anyway, I'll be checking in from time--I cannot be completely incommunicado--but I'll be out for the next 2 weeks unless Sean has to get back sooner now that the lockout is unlocked. Perhaps a travelogue will be in order? Eh, who knows?

Ta-ta for now. ~Tigger

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Snore

Lately, I've been plagued with a curious insomnia. It seems to strike intermittently, and without obvious cause nor cure. Normally, I just roll around the bed for hours, trying not to wake the others that might there, until I fall into a strange fugue state that doesn't resemble restful sleep.

Last night, I decided to break the cycle, and I got up and began writing. Usually, I write things in my head at night, hoping the words will still be there in the morning, so the departure was novel indeed.

I ended up writing an entire essay that I had put off for some weeks and just now submitted it. It only took a couple of hours, and although my sleeplessness was not cured immediately, at least I did something productive rather than just iron the sheets from rolling over and over.


She floats along the river of his thoughts. ~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Thank goodness it's almost over

Today is a day when I need a stalker.

I need someone who adores me so much it's almost illegal, and I can do no wrong.

Today alone, I've been called, "classless," "ineloquent," "fostering hal-baked ideas," along with a stream of patronizing, disparaging and otherwise demeaning remarks.

To top it all off, I was then told in so many words, that I wasn't funny.

Wow.

Banner fucking day.

(Somebody please love me?)

I would just screw up a quote of the day.

Turd Blossom

Did you know that if you Google "karl rove + scumbag" you come up with over 19,300 results?

Fascinating.

Karl Rove is a scum bag. ~ Me. (and 19,299 others)

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Summer warfare

Normally relatively well-behaved children, the long summer days are starting to get to my brood, methinks.

This morning has been fraught with arguments, battles, temporary cease-fires, tribal feuding, and general grumpiness on behalf of these junior soldiers.

Frankly, it's starting to get to me.

I'm in a strange melancholy mood anyway, and the passion to which they are spewing their venom is merely adding to my lethargy. I can only hope that they will wear themselves out from battle and take a nap.

In other news, I am preparing for the next trip of the summer which will be to NY and back, with points in between starting on Saturday. Richly looking forward to it, as this will be a complete family vacation as opposed to our partial one to St. Louis the week before. I am attempting to cross some i's and dot the t's on some articles before I go, hoping that "melancholic lethargy" is a synonym for "profitable creativity."


I may be bald, but at least I'm not chickenshit! ~From the 1977 movie, Slap Shot

Monday, July 18, 2005

Old business and New business

1) I neglected to report on Dennis after my last post--shame on me. We are fine, no damage at all. Just some wind and rain. I believe I am lapsing again into apathy regarding the hurricanes. A dangerous notion, however, when they are this commonplace it is difficult to remain on high alert from June to November.

2) Just got back from my week in St. Louis. Gosh, I miss it. It's funny that I still feel like it is the only home I know. Don't get me wrong, I still am glad we chose Tampa over New York a few weeks back, but St. Louis will always be the place I "grew up"--even if it was when I was 25.

I got to spend a lot of time with some old friends, and make some new ones. The kids were happy and content, and we did a lot of touristy stuff, too. Spending time with my best friend was spectacular.

And since I didn't even leave a quote on the last entry, here is one I ripped off from a family forum.

I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
~Yeats

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Riding the Storm Out

I'm watching Dennis begin his visit at the moment.

It's early Saturday morning, and the whistle outside indicates that the first of the "rain bands" are creeping through the area.

The official storm path takes the storm further off the coast to the west of us, but last night they began the first round of evacuations for our county. Also, I have learned that no one really knows what the hell they are doing when it comes to prediction of these hurricanes, so I imagine today will be spent nervous sentry by the TV until it has passed.

I hope it does this rather quickly, as we have a scheduled date night in place tonight--and I'm looking forward to an unrushed dinner sans crayons and a toy.

Update tomorrow on Hurricane Dennis. (That's my Dad's name, BTW, how apropos?)

Friday, July 01, 2005

Brunettes have more fun

It is a bitch getting old.

I went to the salon yesterday for the color of the month, which is more or less brown. Yes, who would have thought that after being born a brunette, that I would want to be reunited with my birth color after all of these years.

Turns out, as you start to get older and grayer, brown is quite a luxury. At least for those of us who need 4 (yes 4!) bowls of color to achieve this. A highlight, a lowlight, a color and a toner were all applied to my burning scalp to make my hair freaking brown.

I won't even tell you what I paid for that privilege.


Because I'm worth it. Andie MacDowell.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Pastaforfools

In health stealth mode, I've been trying to introduce healthier foods in my children's diet undetected.

I've met with a certain amount of success. Whole grain cereals were an easy substitution; so was white-wheat bread. But last night I tried to slip in Barilla's "Pasta Plus," a new, nutritionally fortified pasta.

Ewww.

It was so nasty, I couldn't even choke it down. It's taste, texture and color was completely non-pasta-ish. It's tough to screw up noodles, but somehow, Barilla did.

So, I will leave you with a Chinese quote, in honor of the inventors of the dish:

You don't meet a girl like that every dynasty.--Mulan.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Another vacation

After transferring Amex yen into Southwest mileage, I managed to get tickets for the children and I to go on a little junket to St. Louis in a couple of weeks.

I'm pretty excited--it has been a while since I've been there, and it will be nice to see everyone again. I've got some sights I want the kids to see as well.
It may be a small challenge to travel like this alone (Sean will be working) but I'm up for it. I was originally going to drive the whole 1200 miles, so flying will be easy after that...

July 12-17.

Here is a quote from John Irving's A Prayer For Owen Meany, written in 1989 which I just finished.

Oh, what a nation of moralists the Americans are! With what fervor do they relish bringing their sexual misconduct to light! A pity that they do not bring their moral outrage to bear on their president's arrogance above the law..."

--John Irving, brilliant writer and soothsayer.

Beach Baby




Here we were 2 weekends ago on the beach...

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Quotation Whore

Because I love fortune cookie counsel, I've decided that I will end each of my banal posts with a little wisdom from someone else--someone far wiser than I.

I will fetch these pearls not from farmed oysters--i.e. some generic online quotation generator--but rather from some personal source that I have recently happened upon.

The other night we rented, and actually watched, the original Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory, a gem I had not seen in quite some time. After watching Gene Wilder, I am weary of the Johhny Depp/Michael Jackson creep show arriving in theaters later this month. But I will leave you with some Wonka Wisdom for this first post:



We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams. --Willy Wonka

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Swimming With the Fishes

What an amazing time...

There can be no comparable experience to those unexpected instances in life that you happen upon without planning...

At the beach this weekend, we were treated to glorious weather and accommodations. Beautiful condos on a pristine beach with hardly another soul around. The sun was blazing; but the Gulf waters were warm and inviting. We arrived, and immediately jumped into the water. Even the two little ones loved the surf. Beneath our feet were hundreds, if not thousands of sand dollars nestling in the ocean floor.

All of sudden, two dark, ominous forms began coming closer--not Jaws--but manatee. Beautiful, enormous manatee who felt the same need to play this Saturday afternoon. We gave them a wide berth at first; but they came in closer (we were standing) and it was clear they liked our out-stretched hands gliding along their spongy backs. As we all got bolder; they would swim beneath our feet and through our legs as if to play an impromptu game of leapfrog.

It was incredible--and even Matty and Amy didn't get freaked out (too much). It just felt so normal at the moment. It lasted about 45 minutes. Incredible.

The rest of the weekend was just as spectacular--I've got the sunburn and a bag full of shells and shark's teeth to prove it.

It won't be one I soon will forget.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Beep

You've reached Tracey's blog...I can't come to the keyboard right now due to a long weekend beach excursion that will hopefully be filled with frozen drinks, naps in the sand and a raging sunburn by Monday. Please leave a comment after the imaginary beep, and I will return your post when we get back unless the Red Tide has completely enveloped us.

Have a great Father's Day weekend everyone!

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Boy, How things have changed

In a futile attempt to retrieve our recently-abandoned “Date Night,” we have secured a babysitter for the evening.

We used to make this a once a week event; having this one night to just go out as adults without the kids to talk about the kids. We’ve been thrown off track in recent weeks with so many other activities on the calendar, that I guess we’ve forgotten what its like to actually date.

When asked what we were going to do with our evening, both of us had to think long and hard.

He came up with a trip to Home Depot to look at kitchens and I came up with an eyebrow wax.

I can’t wait!

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Summer

Today was one of those summer vacation days when the boys just hissed at each other instead of speaking.

They are tired. They have been going non-stop for weeks with the hundreds of activities we've thrown at them, and it caught up with them today. At least, that's the excuse I'm allowing them for their pissy behavior until they go to bed in an hour.

And it will not stop anytime soon. This weekend we're heading south for a weekend on the beach with like 20 other families. We have never been to this particular place--never even heard of it actually--but it should be a good time. How can you screw up the beach? Now I just have to think of and procure the perfect Father's Day present in which to present to Sean on said perfect beach.

We're also shoring up the rest of our summer plans, which will include a driving vacation, otherwise entitled, "How many miles can we pack on the car during a 3 week span?" Right now, we've got St. Louis and New York on the trip tix.

And last, not certainly not least, we will begin our first major remodel of our 13+ year marriage--a kitchen makeover. More delicious details on that later.

Get it?

Friday, June 10, 2005

Wet Weekend

I sure do hope that nothing else breaks that requires a trip to the hardware store.

With Arlene churning around in the Gulf,(even though it's 300 miles from Safety Harbor)
it means that no one will get with in a 5 mile radius of a Florida Home Depot.

Poltergeists About

Either Mercury is in retrograde, or some other planet is out of whack...

After the A/C blew earlier this week, we ended up getting a whole new unit. It was time, I suppose. But then last night the phone went out for no apparent reason, and so the phone company was out this morning to fix it. Now usually, these technological glitches can be directly traced back to me...I was sure that the toothpick that is jammed in the phone jack to keep the thing plugged in may have been the cause of the lack of service. Surprise, it was actually Verizon's problem, and they fixed it without cost to us.

2 minutes after the guy left, however, my keyboard starting injecting extra, non-intentional characters every time I typed a 'y', 'h' or 'k.' Try typing the word "hockey" and it looked like the Russian names who play the game, rather than the actual word.

I have fixed that problem, and now await what other technological tragedy awaits.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

It's Hot!

The A/C is out, and the temperature is soaring inside...I'm hot and getting crankier by the second.

I chose Florida why again?

Friday, June 03, 2005

Tampa, Florida

It seems our life-altering decision has been made, and drum roll please, we're staying in sunny, red-state, Florida.

Yes, 'tis true that we were contemplating seriously the idea of moving (so close that we had, in fact, accepted the offer originally) to New York, but after many boring details which I will spare you, we have decided to stay here.

And to celebrate this, we are going to the beach tomorrow and making sand castles with the Stanley Cup on the Gulf of Mexico...

(Need I say what pushed us over the edge?)

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Sigh...Not

Looking back through the last few meager entries, I realize that I blog sigh quite frequently. Too frequently, as a matter of fact.

Sigh.

See what I mean? I shall correct this pithy overuse immediately and I shall never again use this particular expression in these pages.

Exhale.

No news is just no news

I'm such a liar. Tuesday came and went without an announcement, and Wednesday might follow suit. Oy. What can you do?

But in other news, it's raining like crazy so we're stuck in the house today vegging out on too much TV and video games. Some days are like that, I suppose. I've got some new assignments for the magazine to work on, and the column problem, again, so I'm occupied, but the boys are starting to argue over whose turn it is on Playstation. We may have to start the summer library visits today...

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Anticipation

Not that I am at liberty to discuss the details, (that shall be for Tuesday, I promise) but today, suffice it to say, I am waiting for my future to be decided.

No, this isn't blog dramatics, just the plain truth. Sigh.

So, anticipating what could be the longest day in my history, I am biding my time by doing laundry, cleaning my closet and making a marathon grocery run later on. Sounds like a fantastic way to spend Memorial Day weekend, doesn't it?

I hope you all are grilling something or playing croquet for me...

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Word Fail

For the first time in 2 1/2 years, I have serious column block.

I have a plethora of topics and a half dozen half started pages, yet none translate into anything worth printing.

Sigh.

This sucks. Especially since the only thing I'm writing about is not writing, and that is the more heinous and more annoying than silence.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Matthew the Genius

M: Mom, get me a Pop-Tart.

Me: Matthew, you can get it yourself. You're just being lazy.

M: No, I'm just being smart.



I cannot argue with this boy.

Monday, May 23, 2005

We're Baaack...

What a trip! Gosh, I missed those people.

The drive was not bad in the least. The kids were excited to see their cousins, so they didn't want to stop every 5 minutes. They were moderately entertained by the car treats I packed, and of course the DVD played Shark Tale on and on and on..

Once we arrived in Nashville, it was like a friend and family reunion. So many people we had not seen in forever--just picked up right where we left off. The kids all got along running for endless buckets of ice in the hotel lobby and playing video games. We spent, ate, drank, and talked way too much, but it was entirely too short of visit.

Sigh.

That's the last of the weddings for our crew. We're hoping to start an annual long weekend vacation next year, which would be fantastic.

Now, it's back to the grind. Tomorrow is the last day of school, so it will be time to recalibrate the daily routine...

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Feeling Groovy

Tomorrow, we leave for our trip to northward to Nashville.

I'm certainly looking forward to it--I'm going to be visiting with some of my favorite people in the world, and it's been a long time since last we were all together.

I'm driving up--of course--you know I wouldn't have it any other way, so I spent today preparing. Cleaning, laundry, packing, errands--the usual stuff of life that must be completed before piling 3 kids into the car and driving hundreds of miles.

But for a couple of well-spent hours, I prepared myself in another way--at the spa.

No fancy sea salt scrubs or herbal wraps this time, but I did indulge in facial and pedicure. It was blissful. I then headed on over to the store to shop alone for a few trip essentials--licorice, crayons and Sarah McLachlan's Afterglow CD. I topped off my solo evening with a sandwich at a restaurant all by my lonesome.

It was a nice, brief respite before all of the togetherness we'll have in the car 12 hours from now.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Sob Story

I cried myself out today.

You know how sometimes, without even realizing it, you build up your tears and promise to spill them at a later time when it's more convenient? It can be for a few minutes or a few years. Well, today I emptied the tank.

I was finishing up, My Sister's Keeper, by Jodi Picoult (excellent read-SD seal of approval) and it just started as a little tear escaping to a full-blown snot fest of heaving sobs. Swollen and red face, mascara in my nose, bloodshot eyes--the works.

I guess you just have to do that every so often to remind yourself you're human.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Ouch!

Well, I did it. I managed to get both Matthew and Amy inoculated in one miserable, tear-filled, scream fest doctor's visit.

Matthew, whom I was most worried about as he is 5 and can anticipate the pain which makes it worse, was a brave champion. He took the shots in relative stride, and seemed to be more disturbed by the paper gown than the needles in his arm.

Amy, on the other hand, screamed enough for the both of them from the moment we pulled into the driveway until we arrived at Toys-R-Us for the make-up, assuage Mom's guilt expedition.

She has a whole month to recover until the next round.

More Music

A belated public thanks to Lori and Casetta for some contributions to my pathetic music library. I really do love (and listen) to your generous CD's!

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Building A Mystery

After spending most of my life working in the entertainment industry, there are few shows that I haven't seen several times, or that I need to. In fact, I have not specifically asked to see anyone since we've been down here 5 years ago.

Until now.

Sarah McLachlan was amazing last night.

I pulled my spousal strings, and got 10 friends into the suite where we dined on wine and cheese before being completely captivated by the voice and powerful lyrics of this woman. I've always been a fan of her music, her poetry has haunted me specifically during some times of my life, but I was truly in awe last night.


What an incredible Ladies Night to boot.

Do What You Have To Do (One of my favs)
By Sarah McLachlan

What ravages of spirit
conjured this temptuous rage
created you a monster
broken by the rules of love
and fate has lead you through it
you do what you have to do
and fate has led you through it
you do what you have to do ...

and I have the sense to recognize that
I don't know how to let you go
every moment marked
with apparitions of your soul
I'm ever swiftly moving
trying to escape this desire
the yearning to be near you
I do what I have to do
the yearning to be near you
I do what I have to do
but I have the sense to recognize

that I don't know how
to let you go
I don't know how
to let you go

a glowing ember
burning hot
burning slow
deep within I'm shaken by the violence
of existing for only you

I know I can't be with you
I do what I have to do
I know I can't be with you
I do what I have to do
and I have sense to recognize but
I don't know how to let you go
I don't know how to let you go
I don't know how to let you go

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Happy Mother's Day

Despite all of my beautiful handmade gifts and cards (which I truly love), it's a tough day to get through, as I still feel no ownership of this day. There's still a big piece of me that wants to present my handmade gift.

Happy Mother's Day, Mom.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Smile!

After an embarrassingly long hiatus from the dentist, I dragged my lazy ass and the boys to that neglected office. It had been so long in fact, that at the age of 5, this was Matty's first visit.

The bad news was a tougher than expected cleaning and a menacing scolding, but I took it in stride as there was not a single cavity in any Henry mouth! Woot!

I must be doing something right because we've only had fluoridated water for a couple of months.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

May Day

I survived my birthday--nothing like a black-tie affair to commemorate the day.

However, that event paled in comparison to the mysterious pile of stuffed animals and toys that appeared on my front porch, accompanied by an equally curious note--Happy Birthday Tracey! Hope you have a "YOUTHFUL" birthday! You will ALWAYS be relevant to us!!! Love, Your friends!!!!

Thanks, guys. That was awesome.

Friday, April 29, 2005

Protests

Not that you asked, but my elusive post earlier this week referred to fighting City Hall. Well,this is what I meant.

For the past week, I've been concentrating on this battle on behalf of some of my favorite people in the entire world. Today's lead story broadcast was quite a small victory for us. It is the first time I've heard my heroes at this home sound encouraged in weeks.

We're engaged in quite an email/phone/letter writing campaign to community officials, as the final vote by County Commissioners is scheduled for a May 17th hearing.

It's been quite a local civics lesson, as well as a rude awakening to bureacratic neglect and incompetence.

We're in it for the long haul however, these boys deserve nothing less.

Black Saturday

That's how I'm referring to it.

This is proving to be a tough one to get through. I keep talking myself down, but it's not helping.

We are going to a Ball tomorrow, so at least there cannot be cake, only tiramisu.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Grrrr....

Nothing like fighting City Hall to keep you from fighting with family.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Weekend

Well, that was a nice weekend.

I think Matthew's birthday party was a hit, despite the rain that began just as the first guest arrived to the pool party and did not let up even with most of the younger guests in the pool for the better part of the evening. They didn't seem to mind.

Sunday, we headed out for the D-Rays vs. Red Sox game, and I was more than entertained by the actual game, I dare admit. I was actually into baseball for 4 hours. It was cool. The kids had fun and we all ate too much, but nobody minded. The entire house passed out when got home from satisfied exhaustion.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

@%#*&!

Ok, I admit it. Since the loss of The Sopranos, Sean and I have been watching HBO's other foul-mouthed drama, Deadwood.

Which leads me to the pondering of the day: Did the pioneers really use the word, "cocksucker," in every sentence?

I'm not a linguist nor historian, but I am curious...

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

5

My baby boy turned 5 today. 5!!! I love 5; and I think this will be the age I will always hold him in the scrapbook of my mind. Matthew is all about 5.

And, I got a beautiful flower arrangment delivered just now thanking me for him from my husband. I love this tradition--it means more to me than most any of the other things he does.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Zzzzzzz......

I don't know if it is the stress of the events of the last few weeks finally catching up with me, but a fatigue has settled into my bones today that is of particular power.

It's like I pricked my finger on the needle of a spinning wheel or something.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Assignments and Breasts

Maybe Mr. Editor wants to adopt me…

I called him on deadline day with the last of my 4 assignments this month, and he assigned me a fifth. May’s issue is going to be dubbed, “The Tracey Edition.” Not that I mind….but perhaps I should reconsider relocating to the community.

But the big news is that of my breasts. That’s right, you heard me correctly. My breasts have been diagnosed as healthy and free of disease or other malady, so I rejoice in that joy.

And trust that will be the first and last time I mention that part of my anatomy in public, so all of you sickos doing Google searches on “Suburban Breasts,” can go to the next entry on your results page…

I love my friends, by the way.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Books About Book Clubs

Dinner is simmering while I prepare for Book Club tonight. We read, The Jane Austen Book Club, by Karen Fowler.

Yuck.

Let’s hope we do better on next month’s selection. I have quite an impressive stack for the ladies to chose from.

I’ve finished most of pieces for the magazine this week. I have a little one to clean up, but I’m pretty satisfied with the results. I hope Mr. Editor agrees.

I’m dreading the test of tomorrow, but I will be glad to be over it, and not to have to worry about it anymore.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

The Project De Jour

I've finally decided to tackle the front courtyard.

What has been a 8'x8' weed garden for the last five years, is due for my creative attention. So, I've decided that this place adjacent to the front door and in front of the dining room window will become my Rose/herb/Zen garden. I am in the middle of weeding it out now, which includes the no small task of digging out the palm tree stumps that housed those raggedy-ass trees that prevented growth of anything other than dollar weed and mold in the first place. By the end of the week, I hope to have that space cleared, planted, and some sort of water/rock element placed in the center. Hey, it could happen.

It will be these types of long-neglected projects on tap for me this week. My Distractions Against My Distraction Project, I'm humbly referring to it in my warped mind. Keeping busy for the sake of keeping busy is such a waste of energy, but I don't think I have a choice at the moment.

In addition to my normal chore fare, this week-long celebration of nuisances will include the following:

*Finishing all April deadlines by Tuesday, including an amazing column (I feel the desperate need to be both creative and prolific at the moment)

*Designating a bank account for these paltry writing monies

*Dreaded dental appointments for the family

*Reading--finishing up Reading Lolita in Teheran

*Completion of Zen garden

*Shopping for personal clothing items--I hate shopping, but I do need some things now that the weather is blazing hot again

*Planning/Shopping for Matty's 5th birthday party which I have no theme, and no clue

There's more on the internal list, but I'm sure you've stopped reading by now anyway, so I'll get back to those noted here.

Sigh. Big distracted sigh.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Snore

It is taking every ounce of creative power/writing skill/complete bullshit spinning to write an interesting article about someone who really doesn't want to be all that interesting.

Sigh.

This all nonsense kind of gal is not cut out to interview no nonsense kind of guys.

Thursday, April 07, 2005


My kids Posted by Hello

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Good News/Bad News/Indifferent News

The only results worth reporting on at the moment are the ones that say my problem is not cardiac-related. That should be good, but now it begs the question: If not heart, what?

Well, let’s just leave that rhetorical question for another day, shall we?

Anyhoo, in between coordinating childcare for doctor’s appointments I got a couple of more writing assignments from my new best friend, Mr. Editor. If my subjects would return my calls today, that would be very helpful. I should submit Sub D somewhere this week to ride the wave of good editorial Karma.

I did get one response today from my Florida legislature email campaign to stop the insanity: Senator Bill Nelson--(Democrat of course) forwarded me a nice standard response. Nice to know his staffers are reading his mail…

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Catch up blog

We're back, and feeling refreshed after a long weekend with the frozen fruity drinks and a lazy river in which I achieved the goal of its title for 3 precious days. I should listen to my husband more often it seems if a weekend like this is on his mind.

So tomorrow we return to our brand of normalcy I suppose. Everyone returns to work and to school, and the routine begins again. The next doctor's appointment is on Wednesday, and hopefully all of the test results will be back and I'll be told it easily cured with a pill whose side effects include drastic weight loss (in a healthy, hot way), good hair days, and breath that smells like a York Peppermint Patty.

It could happen.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

On a side note...

Why on a blogger spell check function does it not recognize the word, "blog?"

Brief Respite

Not that anyone here would notice anyway with my sporadic posts that tend to leave out the real life drama of it all, but I'm taking a short hiatus.

Not to worry, it will be brief. I just need a few days of cabana boys bringing me frozen fruity drinks and the smell of sunblock poolside a luxury hotel.

I think this will truly be the perfect medicine even if they can't figure out what ails me.

So, until next week mysterious blog audience, have a wonderful weekend and I'll update soon...

Monday, March 28, 2005

Easter Monday

Easter started out non-traditionally, but we caught up on Sunday morning when the kids woke at the crack of dawn (I can’t get them up at 7 for school, yet they will rise at 6 when chocolate is involved) and found their baskets. Turns out Amy loves jellybeans, and the boys only wanted to microwave the Peeps.

We dressed up and made it to Mass, where they all behaved themselves very well. It was hot, so I only managed a few pictures before they stripped and went straight to the pool. I don’t blame them.

Dad and Maryann were here, and it was a relaxing afternoon before a big dinner with all of the trimmings on the good china. I love those kinds of dinners.

The weekend ended very nicely after a rocky start. The kids are off this week--they are blissfully and finally sleeping in at the moment—but I think we’ll find stuff to do around here for this vacation.

I hope everyone else had a very nice Easter.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

At The Car Wash

As more of a treat to my father than to myself; I had the car detailed this morning.

Since he is here for a visit, I thought I’d accomplish multiple goals with this pursuit:

1) Actually make room in the car for additional passengers amongst the juice boxes, toys and Junior Mints, and 2) thwart his ultimate pet peeve--a dirty car.

I should have done before he got here though.

The car spent 45 minutes getting vacuumed. I’m sure the first couple broke down on the absolute quantity of crumbs to deal with. It had to go through the car wash twice to remove the pollen and bird excrement cocktail that layered it. It spent another hour getting the interior wiped down, including the grisly deed of cleaning the cup holders which had to be pried out of their sticky perches with a crow bar.

So, after waiting for at length at the car wash, paying a handsome sum for the deluxe service and tipping an even more handsome sum, we return to the gleaming automobile.

However, as a result from the immense amount of time it took to achieve a passable grade from the Health Department, the battery died in the parking lot.

Oh, the shame.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

When will I learn?

That some days, you are best served keeping your mouth shut?

Monday, March 21, 2005

Here She Goes....

I’ve spent the morning enraged.

I’ve taken out this anger in the form of scathing emails to politicians, newspapers and friends (look for it in your inbox soon) whom I hope will share my disgust.

I’m sure that you’ve all heard of the Terri Schiavo case, and if you haven’t, well, congratulations on finding the media vacuum, and please send directions on how I can get there.

This woman has been in this “persistent vegetative state” for 15 years. Her case has been in the Florida courts for the past 7. 19 other judges have contemplated it. The Supreme Court has ruled on it. The hatchet job legislation Jeb Bush tried to pass last year has been overturned by his own lame legislature and the Florida Supreme Court. It has been decidedly debated and deemed that it is time to remove this poor woman’s feeding tube, and let her die according to her wishes.

The religious right has hijacked this woman’s life to force its own agenda. President Bush thought it necessary to conduct this joke piece of legislation in the wee hours of a weekend, (yet he continues to let the war in Iraq smolder) to completely abandon all precepts of checks and balances, separation of church and state, and walk all over the Bill of Rights and any privacy laws that he can warp in the meantime.

I’m sickened by the whole circus. Her husband has insisted from the beginning that she never wanted to be kept alive by artificial means. His story rings true when you consider that he could have relinquished custody to her parents years ago, sparing himself the countless hours of anguish, numerous death threats and thousands in medical care and exhaustive legal costs to fight for her wishes.

No, as a matter of fact, I’m not done, but I will take a break to go sign another online petition.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Saturday

For the most part, I do try to get most of my chores and errands done throughout the week, so that if, by some strange planetary disturbance, we do find a moment on a weekend that isn’t running somewhere (like the baseball fields which have now taken over our lives) then at least we won’t have to worry about housework.

That is not the case today.

You can only go chore-less so many Saturdays before they start to catch up on you, demanding some attention like the other 6 days. After all, it wasn’t Saturday to have claimed to be a day of rest…

So today, we will have to spend some time on the outside tasks, and work on the de-clutter epic which I only attend to on days that start with ‘S.’

As tedious as that sounds, I am thankful for the mindless distraction. Events occurring far away from here are best left up to Fate today, and not to my worrisome mind.

So, here’s to a busy day of welcome diversion, basketball droning in the background, and finishing a book.

Monday, March 14, 2005

The Big Dance

And so the tourney begins…

I’m going to participate in three different pools this year to increase my odds. Although, I did win it all last year despite my Kentucky pick to go all the way (they lost in the second round.) I don’t know if that means I’m that good, or the competition was that bad.

And on a little happy side note, my tiny alma mater, Oakland University, may earn its first invitation ever this year. They will play in a play-in game tomorrow to determine whether or not the Golden Grizzlies (I don’t think they were called that when I went there a million years ago) will earn national college hoop fame.

I’m taking them in all three pools.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

In the mean time

A few days after my first review was published and I was an instant local celebrity (I’m not even joking)--I got my first freelance assignment from the editor.

I was to conduct an interview and write a profile on a local resident, and then write a fairly long (900 words) article due in less than a week.

I felt so freelance-esque as I interviewed my subject at an outdoor café on Friday morning. People walked past with their latte grandes, secretly admiring the writer scribbling copious notes while laughing and pausing at all of the right moments. I should have worn a beret to complete the effect.

I finished it yesterday, and I will now send it off to my gracious subject for approval before turning it in (early) to the editor.

It was pretty cool, my friends.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

A Must Read

The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini. Absolute inclusion to every reader’s list. It will profoundly move you in ways this humble audience cannot even begin to describe.

…I wondered if that is how forgiveness budded, not with the fanfare of epiphany, but with pain gathering its things, packing up and slipping away unannounced in the middle of the night.”

Your soul needs this, people.

And before I go off to ponder this novel even further, I will leave you with an annoying phenomenon occurring in blogoshere…"Donations.” I’ve read this cyber solicitation in numerous places, and for the life of me, I cannot get over the arrogance of this request.

Give you money because you write a blog that costs nothing to maintain? Thanks, but no. I can’t decide if it is merely another extension of narcissism, sheer rudeness, or unabashed lunacy.

So, this unassuming little blog continues to be free of charge.

I suppose you get what you pay for.

Friday, March 04, 2005

No!

Because I must adopt a glass half-full philosophy when it comes to rejections, lest I find myself stuffing rags under the door of the garage with the car running, I’ve received 2 notable rejections in the last 2 days:

1) Yesterday, an actual phone call, from an editor advising me that they had staff writers at the moment, but she would keep my submissions (column) on file.

2) Today, a very nice letter from a local paper with these fine words that sum up to “NO,” but in a suggestive way: ‘…thank you for your submission…Your work is rather attractive.’ It is signed, ‘John.’

Maybe he wants to be my boyfriend.

Anyway, since I am so used to hearing absolutely NOTHING from editors, these no’s are almost refreshing.

Almost.

Friday Round-Up

As part of my voracious reading period, I feel compelled to comment here on every book I read. I apologize. I will be brief.

After picking up John le Carre’s latest, Absolute Friends, and then giving it a brief respite in the middle to read another, I am ultimately glad I resumed as I was handsomely rewarded. Known for his mater spy novels, Absolute Friends was a touch more political--downright bold--in its timely plot and narrative. It was an old colonial war dressed up as a crusade for Western life and liberty, and it was launched by a clique of war-hungry Judeo-Christian geopolitical fantasists who hijacked the media and exploited America’s post-9/11 psychopathy. Did I mention this was a work of fiction? I loved this book.

Other Life Details:

1) Baseball for the boys in full swing. That means nearly every night is spent at the fields. 2 games per week, 1 practice per child. That’s a lot of time in the bleachers. I’m trying to readjust our evening schedule to accommodate. We now eat dinner at 3:30.

2) I’m trying to rid the house of the germ that has permeated the women folk of the family. We’re both on antibiotics, and I’m bleaching everything to spare the boys the hacking and sneezing.

3) My first book review was published this week--and barring some minor editing details--it went well. I’ve got a few more irons in the fire that I’m not banking on, but at least I’m bettering my odds.

Well, that is all for the blog de jour. Have a nice weekend, strangers.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Cookies Cure What Ails You?

How many boxes of Thin Mints can one family eat? It seems between Sean and I, we have purchased at least 27 boxes from every Girl Scout on the East Coast and some rogue Canadian troops.

In other news, Amy and I got antibiotics yesterday, so we may be returning to the land of living shortly, and start making our way through the Trefoils and Samoas.

Friday, February 25, 2005

Rain, Rain Go Away

It seriously hardly ever rains here during the winter. The anchormen muse, “So, will it ever rain again?”


So wouldn’t you know that the day I spend 2 hours straightening my hair, dressing up in impractical shoes and black sequins that it hasn’t stopped pouring?

Of course you would.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Sub D for Kids

As a (hack) humor writer, you would think this would be an easy assignment—but it is proving to be quite challenging and mind-splitting for me.

“Come up with a 500 word funny story for readers age 2-12.”

First off, I don’t know of any 2 year old that can read, let alone sit for 500 words that would simultaneously entertain a 12 year-old—talk about a broad audience.

But if I can find those magical and elusive 500 words, it’s worth $1000.

I think I’ll keep at it.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Sleep, Actually

Why do I do these things to myself?

Quality sleep has pretty much eluded me this week with Sean out of town. I just don't sleep well here by myself. Anyway, last night I could have caught up a little, and almost did, until the 11:00 news blared the hopeful news that the NHL is forging ahead with new talks and the season may be saved after all. Personally and professionally, this news effects our life. We'll see today.

Instead of turning off the TV and finding sweet slumber, I started flipping around and found my new favorite movie of all time, Love Actually. Have you seen this movie? I highly recommend it when you need to laugh and cry at the same time or heal your soul after an unspoken romantic malady. It melts this cynic's heart everytime.

The closing credits brought the clock's strike of two, and by that time the night was shot.

Along with my chances of catching up this weekend, either.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

R.I.P.

It's official--hockey is dead for the season.

Sigh. What a total bummer.

Now I have to go break the news to the kids...

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

We All Scream For Ice Cream

You know I love Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream.

Phish Food and Cherry Garcia are the food of the gods I am convinced.

I love the story of the company’s origins, and have even visited their headquarters in Vermont.

And their politics--obviously--I dig their politics.

But I must admit that I am a bit disappointed with their version of Vanilla Swiss Almond. There’s like 6 almonds in the entire pint.

I know this, because I’ve just destroyed an entire carton digging them out, and now I’m stuck with 7/8 of a pint of mangled plain vanilla.

(I got nothing tonight folks, as you can plainly read.)

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Super Bowl, Baby

Sights and sounds of the Super Bowl….

I was lucky enough to attend Super Bowl XXXIX. Arriving in Jacksonville Saturday evening, we toured the downtown traffic in frigid temperatures and car exhaust. Thousands of different parties and events were being held around the city, including the exclusive Playboy and Maxim parties. The NFL Experience was in full swing, as well as the Pepsi Smash Concert Series, featuring Jo Dee Messina, among others.

The parties continued well into the night, with only a brief respite for breakfast and coffee Sunday morning. We ate at a local hotel which housed many members of the media as well as families of the NFL. The First Celeb Sighting of the Day: The unmistakable Deion Sanders in the lobby.

After lining our stomachs with powdered eggs and cold coffee, we headed over to the Miller Beer Party which was held at the River City Brewing Company. There, we were treated to wonderful food, drink and an intimate performance by Hootie and The Blowfish, who sounded amazing against the backdrop of the St. John’s River, which was lined with yachting tailgaters. I trust newly-nominated to the Hall of Fame, Dan Marino, enjoyed the show as well.

The city was alive on the way to Alltel Stadium. Fans and locals jammed the streets, festive and good- spirited under the bright Florida sunshine. Tailgate parties spilled from cars and RV’s; turning the make-shift parking lots into huge backyard BBQ’s. Vendors sold their wares, (some licensed, some not) and zealots reminded us that “Jesus Saves.” Security was tight, but reasonable, and 90 minutes before kickoff we had little wait to get in.

Unofficially, I’d guess that Eagles fans outnumbered Patriots’ by 2 to 1. Or least they were simply twice as loud. Wigs, Mardi gras beads, face paint, bizarre headgear…all were costumes of fervent fans.

Once inside, celebrities paraded the pre-game show. Former presidents George Bush and Bill Clinton spoke about tsunami relief in Southeast Asia. Gretchen Wilson and Charlie Daniels sang to the arriving crowd. Will Smith introduced the Black-Eyed Peas and John Fogerty before Alicia Keys sang “America the Beautiful.” Michael Douglas announced the impressive military presence in attendance as 3 military planes flew over head.

The game was just as millions of others watched on television, and no one needed a Fox commentary to note the lack of hurry-up offense and non-existent clock management that cost Philly the game.

At the newly-ordained chaste Half-time show, Paul McCartney did his stellar best to maintain this year’s theme of “Bridging the Generations.” Hundreds of dancing youngsters who were not even born when The Beatles burst onto the scene, jumped in rhythmic empathy. Spectators were each treated to seat cushions from Ameriquest Mortgage, which contained our props for the audience participation portion: a color-coordinated card, mini flashlight and personal radio from Sirius Satellite Radio. (And as an aside, I had no idea what spectator artwork we were creating despite the little pre-cut peepholes in our giant cards.)

Fireworks lit up the sky after every touchdown, music poured from speakers as more celebrities and athletes appeared on the Jumbo Trons to the 80,000+ in the stands. It was a night to remember no matter which side of the field you sat on.


Exhausted, freezing, hoarse, and maybe even a little tipsy; we left the stadium amongst the explosions of the confetti cannons and the presentation of the Vince Lombardi Trophy to the New England Patriots. Pats fans chanted, “DYNASTY! DYNASTY!” as others chanted, “AT LEAST WE COVERED.” Whatever gets you through the season, I suppose. Newly-printed championship merchandise flooded the stands, as the spending frenzy continued in earnest.

On the noisy trip back to the bus, we were offered $20 for our ticket stubs which, according to at least one roadside sign, would have fetched $4000 four hours ago.

Perhaps this is where the slogan, “Priceless” was derived.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

LOL

From an email from my pal, "anonymous poster":

"Groundhog Day and the State of the Union Address fell on the same day.

As Air America Radio pointed out, it is an ironic juxtaposition: one
involves a meaningless ritual in which we look to a creature of little
intelligence for prognostication and the other involves a groundhog."

(Super Bowl update tomorrow, I promise.)

Thursday, February 03, 2005

I'm Ready!

All set to go to Jacksonville! I can’t tell you—O mysterious blog audience---just how excited I am for this trip.

This will be our third Super Bowl in physical attendance. And as in most years, I have no particular allegiance to either team, but then when has the Super Bowl ever been about football anyway? The crowds, the spectacles, the debacles…big fun on and off of the field.

I also use this opportunity to fulfill one of my more pathetic lifetime goals. Sadly, one of my favorite pastimes is to try to get on camera at major sporting events. I know, I know, it is infantile, but I can’t help it. I’m a whore for the camera.

However, not so much of one that I will malfunction my wardrobe to get on, thank you very much.

Besides, that was so 2004.

(Watch for us!)

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Look Who's Walking!


I can walk! Posted by Hello



Although not quite our preferred method of travel yet, guess who has finally decided to pull that curly head of hers upright?

Friday, January 28, 2005

Why I'm A Mom

The last 12 hours of parenthood have included these gems from my children:


Amy, (15 months) doing her dead-on impression of a yetti from 1-3 am last night.


Matty, age 4, after finding over-sized sunglasses in some forgotten drawer from 1974:

Me:Where did you find those sunglasses, Moo?

Matty: (Straight-faced with said sunglasses on.) Internet.


And finally, Stevie, a wise age 9, figured out this morning why the planet Uranus is so funny.


They grow up so fast.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

I was wrong...

...day 3 is worse. The germs are not only comfortable, but they have begun to hang artwork on my tonsils and wallpaper my tongue.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Sick

I'm sick. The second day of a cold--the worst one because the germs start getting comfortable in your head.

Anyway, the worst symptom of this particular bug is that my eyes are all watery and stingy. But every time my eyes hurt, I'm immediately transported back to 9th grade when Lori and I used to crack each other up with our idiot humor.

One summer night, I was spending the night, and we got to sleep in their RV in their driveway. We microwaved a bunch of popcorn (that was the new rage way back then) and drank Pepsi while we played Trivial Pursuit (another mid-80's rage.)We decided to tape record our game (yet another lame rage) while we spoke in southern accents.

At the time, this was about the most humorous pursuit for two 14 year olds. Then the question: What falls out when you have phala-..phala-...phalacrosis? (Insert corny southern drawl.)

(Pause.)Your eyes, baby. Your eyes.

I guess we were not schooled in our Latin roots in 9th grade yet.

20 years later and I still get raging cases of phalacrosis.

I feel better already.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Love in an Elevator

Lately, I have been dreaming a lot about elevators. Not a recurring dream per se, but elevators or staircases are always present it seems.

So, I look to the Wisdom of the Internet for an interpretation and here is what is foretold:




Elevator
An elevator dream is a rather complex dream and you should interpret it in light of all the other symbols in your dream, for one thing, if the elevator is going up your fortunes will increase, down is the opposite. If the elevator continues to go up and down with out letting you off means you have let your emotions, or your situation, get out of control and must do something to stop it.



Elevator
To dream that you are ascending in an elevator, signifies that you will quickly rise to status and wealth. You may have risen to a higher level of consciousness and are looking at the world from an elevated viewpoint. Descending in an elevator, denotes that misfortunes will crush and discourage you. The up and down action of the elevator may represent the ups and downs of your life go emerging out of and submerging into your subconscious.
To dream that the elevator is out of order or that it is not letting you off, symbolizes that your emotions have gotten out of control.



OK. But isn’t every life a series of ups and downs?

I’ve got my own theory, but we’ll just have to wait until it stops at my floor to find out.

Friday, January 21, 2005

Are You Ready For Some Football?

Some couples go to fancy restaurants for their anniversaries. Some exchange pricey gifts. So go dancing or engage in other physical activities.

We go to the SuperBowl.

That’s right, nothing says romance like a hot dog and a 32 oz draft beer. Ha! Just kidding--it is the perfect outing for us, and I’m so fortunate that we are going to be able to pull it off this year. It is also a fitting excursion since I spend the entire football season running a pool (for entertainment purposes only, of course) for several degenerates that takes an obscene amount of time. So, onto the preparations:

1) Transportation: CHECK. It is in Jacksonville--a mere 4 hour drive from this coast.

2) Tickets: CHECK. I don’t know how he does it, but he’s got ours secured. Now we just have to pay for them…

3) Childcare: CHECK. Most generous grandparents are flying down from NY to graciously watch three youngest grandchildren so we can partake in this junket.

4) Hotel Room: blank. This may prove to be the most difficult logistic of them all. I’m hoping that one of Sean’s many contacts will come through with accommodations, but I’ll sleep in the car if I have to.

And so now I just have to prep my liver and get a suitable outfit for TV camera hopping.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Lucky Number 13

Yesterday, I celebrated (OK, not really ‘celebrated’ but rather privately marked) my 2 year anniversary on Backwash. Suburban Diva for 2 years. Pretty rewarding all in all.

But today is a far more meaningful anniversary for me. It is our 13th--and I couldn’t be luckier.

Happy Anniversary, honey.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

A Pain In the Back

In what only can be described as the cruelest of all jokes, I am going in tomorrow voluntarily to get another needle inserted into my back.

Gruesome details omitted due to our common boredom on the subject, but the cause of all of this tremendous pain 14 months after Amy was born can probably be traced to the botched epidural and subsequent blood patch that has rendered me a hobbit since.

I have tried for respite all of these months with different doctors and medications, but it seems permanent relief may only come from a little steroid cocktail inserted into my hip bone.

To say I am nervous on the eve of another needle would be a vast understatement. I’m terrified, in fact. Not so much for the anticipated pain of the injection (which, believe me, is not exactly soothing) but from allowing anyone with a sharp instrument in the vicinity of my spinal cord. Something I vowed never to do again.

But even a worse fate would be feeling like this for much longer.

(So be nice to me this week, I’m going to be on steroid-induced rage so I cannot be responsible for any reckless behavior.)

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Picture Not-So Perfect

OK, so I’ve accepted the opportunity of book review columnist for the magazine. I know my subject, have read the book I intend to review and I even have the article half-written a month early.

There is just one teensy-weensy little detail that eludes my collective excitement for this project.

We need a headshot in the highest resolution possible.

I’m like a vampire--I don’t photograph. At least not that I care for. I don’t even know how to go about getting this particular photo. Do I go to a department store or drug chain that advertises “passport photos?” Do I go to a studio and spend an obscene amount of money for this narcissistic pursuit? Or do I ask a friend with a digital camera to snap a few when I’m not looking? (Keep in mind that I also probably need this for my current round of syndication submissions for SubD.)

And then if I have an answer for the above, how does one pose for a headshot? Smile? Pensive? Thoughtful? Carefree? Hands-on or hand-free? Or show the misery that I feel posing for pictures?

Just shoot me.

(Get it?)

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

New Gig?

I’m trying to justify writing sans actual cash money again.

I have very few details at this point, but it’s a book review column in a local print magazine with a surprisingly high readership. Perhaps a byline? Perhaps creative control? Perhaps intellectual reward for the many books I read anyway? (Sitting in a bubble bath with a juicy novel) Not now honey, Mommy’s working.Perhaps one of those elusive “published clips” for my resume?

Perhaps some big important publisher recognizes pure genius and decides to award me Dave Barry’s vacated spot?

It could happen.

Right? Right!?

Saturday, January 08, 2005

I was working in the lab late one night

Is there anything worse than untrimming a Christmas tree? I can’t think of much.

However, I tempered this horrendous holiday chore of dismantling beauty with something that attempts to build some. (Or I hope, anyway.)

Over 2 years ago, I made a significant start on a novel. About 5 chapters of solid bones. Yesterday, I actually added a little life to that skeleton, by beginning work on it again.

I’ve been writing this thing for years in my head, but it doesn’t really count if you never breathe actual life into whispers from your dreams. The last few weeks have been especially intense with ideas rolling around like tumbleweeds up there, but for some reason, I always find an excuse not to gather them up on paper where they belong.

So last night, albeit not much, a solid page of life was granted.

It’s fighting for survival, and I am Dr. Frankenstein.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

The Mind is

I have just finished an amazing read, Stone Junction, by Jim Dodge. I’ll spare you my inadequate synopsis, but suffice it to say, you should add it to your 2005 reading list.

I’ve been mulling over the finer points with friends, but I wanted to share this insight with you because I’ve quoted and misquoted this particular page several times over the last few days.

The mind is a glass floor.
The mind is the spirit’s tear.
The mind is our prior and subsequent ghost.
The mind is the Bullion Express and the blood on the tracks.
The mind is a stone door.
The silver on the backs of mirrors.
The wave that defines the coast.
It’s what the drunk grave robbers couldn’t stuff in their sacks.
The mind is the sum of all and more.
The spasm between one and zero in the Calendar of Black-Hole Years.
The contract between the lash and the whipping post.
A quilt of dreams stitched with facts.
A meaningless argument among whores.
Rain that keeps falling when the sky clears.
A masquerade party, guest and host.
A candlelit landscape of puddled wax.
The mind is what thought is for.
The parking lot at the Mall of Fears.
The fire-pit for the piggy roast.
What the soul surrendered and won’t take back.
The mind is neither either nor or.
The real center of an empty sphere.



I’m sort of partial to the argument among whores definition.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Is it wrong?

Let’s assume you are a self (but not overly) confident woman secure in her life. Let’s say that you have some very specific goals on which direction you would like your path to continue (like where you would like to write for instance.) You have worked toward this particular aspiration for quite some time (with varying degrees of success). Let’s then imagine that you have found out that someone else (not as cool as you) has made almost a mirror image declaration of your private objective.

Is it wrong if you work just a hair faster, a tad better, and almost imperceptibly more ferociously at the possible lovely satisfaction at getting there first with absolutely no intent of ever informing the competition of this unwitting race?

I hope not.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Monday, January 03, 2005

I'm hoping 2005 is heated

It has been a productive start to the year…sort of.

Despite a few delays, the bedroom got painted, the column got written (2 no less!), a novel was finished and a mental lethargy was shaken from it’s dusty ‘04 roots.

What didn’t get done was the stowing of the Christmas decorations, cleaning up after aforementioned paint job, a submission or two, about 30 errands and return phone calls.

I’m tiptoeing into 2005 until I get used to it.

Saturday, January 01, 2005

Hockey, Hurricanes and Home

I’ve never been one to make resolutions--but I do find value in marking the end of one year and starting fresh another.

2004 for us was the year of Hockey, Hurricanes, and Home.

The Stanley Cup win was obviously a personal and professional achievement for Sean, but we were all lucky to go on that ride with him--which brought some pretty amazing gifts.

The traveling opportunities I was afforded during the playoffs were unsurpassed. Flying on a chartered plane to Montreal to see that series win; Calgary for games 3 and 4 of the finals, and the prime seats for every home game all season. I truly felt a part of the experience.

That night of Game 7 when we won on home ice is a blur. We had family and friends with us, and the party went on all night long. Then came the parade where we rode in our car along the parade route with the players in front of thousands. I can’t describe the euphoric novelty of that day.

The summer passed as the parties did too, and late September it was our day with Stanley. An unbelievable experience that I will never forget. 300 people were in this house all celebrating the sheer joy of having THE CUP here. The only flaw in the day? It was entirely too short.

The lockout prevented the start of the season, which has been disappointing, but the celebrations will just have to be postponed into 2005.

In between all of the hockey, we dealt with 4 major hurricanes in 6 weeks that taught us the not-so sunny side of Florida living. We didn’t suffer much damage to speak of, but the preparation and cleanup and constant monitoring of the Weather Channel was exhausting. Of course, in recent days, those hurricanes seem so insignificant and meaningless.

But both of these events also led to tremendous attention to our Home--which we made significant improvements to this year--new tile and resurfacing of the pool, new carpet, paint and exterior improvements--but the best part was that for most of the year, it was filled with friends and family and I feel truly blessed in that regard.

Here’s to 2005. *virtual clinking of glass*