Monday, November 21, 2005

Spanking the monsters?

Something to consider....

i was going to post some sort of intelligent argument about this one, but the point seems to have escaped me now. that's the problem with holidays. they wipe you clean of brain cells. and my brain cells were unfortunately not lost because of overindulgence of the alcoholic sort.

suffice it to say that marc and i do not agree on the spanking issue. he is for and i am against unless it is a gut reaction to a very dangerous situation avoided (e.g. running out in the road in front of a car). it is a sore subject between us. syd hasn't yet picked up on the fact that we don't agree; she has, however, twigged that if one of us says no, she might have a chance if she asks the other. fortunately for us, we usually check in with "what did mommy (daddy) say?" you can just see the "rats, foiled again," on her face.

so syd has come out with some hysterical one liners in the past week or two. i shall record them here for posterity's sake. they might not be funny to anyone but me, but hell, with the number of hits i seem to be getting, it just doesn't matter.

1. (at 6 a.m. with an ear infection in a whiny voice) "Mommy! Daddy! My ear hurts! I need some affection."

2. (while watching the Bengals game with me, in response to "that stinks!" from me) "What stinks? My diaper?"

3. (again while watching said Bengals game, after hearing me say it once) "get it, get it, get it, get it, awww shoot!" every time the Bengals were in motion.

4. (in response to my calling her a "pipsqueak") "I am NOT a pipper-squeak."

5. (Upon the suggestion of amusing herself with lacing cards) "Yes, I want to do some needle-ing."

6. "This is my brother, Poopy Shmuelson." (Long, long story having to do with Sam's Hebrew name.)

These almost make it all worth it.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Boyz in the Catholic Hood

So I DVR'ed this movie last week and it has taken me about three or four sittings to get through it--not because it's not interesting, but because I simply don't have time anymore to sit and watch a movie from start to finish. But anyway, it was surprisingly good.

"The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys" reminded me in a way of "Dead Poets Society" and other 'boy club,' coming of age films. The story was a bit disturbing, but no more so than in DPS or "Stand By Me" or simliar fare. I hadn't ever witnessed Emile Hirsch on film (or anywhere) before, and I thought he was great. He reminded me a little of James Dean, but I'm not sure why. I mean, his character's name was Francis, yet he managed to be very cool in a non-stereotypical way.

Anyway, I would recommend the film. Highly. The animation sequences are also very cool; I like the way they are used to advance the story and play out scenes in the boys' imaginations.

Short post today, as I am way behind in my work.

I did get a run in today--wee hah! Short and slow but I got it in before the rain started. I feel good-tired for a change, instead of just exhausted-tired. Legion would say that if he's not exhausted-tired, he didn't work hard enough. I will remind him that I have only just begun to run again, so good-tired is good enough for me!

Oh, and for those keeping track, DS is doing better. The chest xray was clear, he doesn't appear to have asthma, and the ENT we saw today said that she thinks he has reflux. Little guy has to take Baby Zantac for two weeks to see if that helps with the snorting and the coughing. Fingers crossed that it's that and not bronichiolitis or another icky -itis for which there is no "cure."

Monday, November 14, 2005

waka waka waka

Just a little something i want to remember because it made me laugh and laugh and laugh.

Man goes to the zoo
But when he arrives there's only a dog
It was a Shitzu


Saturday, November 12, 2005

tagbacks are hell

legion, you little rascal, i so do read your griping.

it took me more than a month to do so, but i plead temporary insanity of two kiddos in the house and no velcro.

hope you are recovering from your dehydration.

i am still not running. well, that's not true. i ran last weekend--last sunday???--for 20 minutes. very very very slowly. i was tired. couldn't even do two miles. but at least i did more than one. and i walked the rest. for my first time out in more than seven months or so, i was pleased with the result. now to get out there more than once a week. sigh.

i am considering doing some pilates work at home to start strengthening my core a little more. syd is tipping the scales near 30 lbs these days and still likes to be picked up and carried from time to time. my back doesn't like this so much.

more things to say?

i'm excited about the impending harry potter release, although it looks LONG. hope i can stay awake.

my writing class is going well. when i feel more comfortable with the format, i will post some fallout from that.

i've been reading televisionwithoutpity for kicks. when i have time. I love Grey's Anatomy.

i would kill for a dinner out right now. with marc would be great. with another adult would be okay. see previous post for reasons why.

i linked to you. and to tracy. hope that's okay!

here are my sevens (not sure of protocol on this)

7 Things That Scare Me
Horror films
Martha Stewart (the devil incarnate, i'm sure of it)
Throwing up
Writer's block
Things that go bump in the night

7 Things I like most
Sam's smile
Syd's giggle
My friends
Reading things that take me out of myself for a time

7 Most important things in my room
Pillow with allergy protector thingy on it
DVD player
Glass of water
Comfy pajamas
Body pillow

7 Random facts about me
When I was five, I was given a Rorshach (inkblot) test and saw witches, ghosts and other Halloween imagery in every inkblot.
I've never colored or chemically altered my hair in any way.
Despite my being a Mary Kay consultant, most days I don't wear a lick of makeup.
I haven't changed the weight on my driver's license since I first got it at 16.
I slept with the lights on in my bedroom until I was 16 (see #1).
I may have two children, but inside I don't feel like a parent.
I hate green peppers, but I like red, yellow and orange ones.

7 Things I plan(hope) to do before I die
Go back to France
Sing the role of Fanny Brice in "Funny Girl"
Publish a book
Have one of my plays mounted as a full-scale, professional production
See my children get married and have children of their own (if that's what they decide they want to do)
Get down to the weight on my driver's license
Make a difference in the world

7 Things I can do
Be consistent
Love unconditionally
Knit, crochet, cross-stitch and sew buttons on
Interpret poetry
Speak French

7 Things I can’t do
Anything that requires a lot of upper body strength
Keep secrets well (unless they are really, really important, and then I usually have to tell Marc)
Watch "Finding Nemo"
Follow a lot of international news
Stay up all night (I've never really been able to do that)
Have infinite patience

7 Words I say the most
Functional (as in, "I am...")

7 Celeb crushes
Gale Harold
Colin Firth
Hugh Grant
Harrison Ford
Ewan McGregor
Sam West
Robin Williams (except for the back hair)

7 people tagged
Unfortunately, i don't know 7 bloggers at present. we here in the land of suburbia and mommyhood don't have oodles of time for blogging.

The sun will come out... tomorrow?

I recently realized that I'm too old to play Annie. As in Little Orphan Annie, the obnoxious redhead with the Pollyanna complex.

Not that this should worry me; I mean, I'm way, way past the age to play the little belter with the heart of gold. I'm even getting beyond Lily St. Regis age, and dipping dangerously close into Miss Hannigan territory.

"Leading Lady" roles, my voice teacher tactfully informed me.

It's not the role itself that bothers me. Truthfully, I never really wanted to be Annie. I would have settled for Pepper. She was much more my kind of gal. Rather it's the idea that I will never again be the right age to play Annie--or a slew of other roles that I've always wanted to play.

I guess in the back of my mind, I always thought, "oh, well, the next time I'm ten years old, I'll play Annie." Like I'd have another chance. Like I'd get to the end of my life and with all the wisdom I'd attained throughout my decades, I'd have the opportunity to go back and revisit key moments and make different choices.

Next time, I'll coax my parents into letting me audition for plays earlier.
I'll start taking ballet at three instead of ten.
I won't listen to my dad when he points out my belly in my preteen years. I'll tell him I need it to grow.

Not too long ago, I sort of woke up and realized that I will never have another chance to do any of those things. Unlike the DVR above my television, I cannot go back, rewind, review or reprogram.

That realization was a bit of a shock. And now, I'm surprised that I even thought I could on a subconscious level. I mean, sure, if you had asked me, I would have told you that everyone ages and no one gets a "do-over." I'm a sometimes-rational, mildly intelligent human. I know that, as Shakespeare so eloquently put it, we are born "astride the grave," or something along those lines (it was a disturbing image in English 4 when we read the passage in Hamlet. I think it was Hamlet. It might have been a poet somewhere in the early 1900s. Is there some sort of resource online to input what you think the line is and have the source spit out the correct citation? Or is that called "Google?").

But underneath the rational conscious, I suppose I was harboring some sort of delusion about having another chance. Call it the immaturity of youth. Maybe that's the moment when we all truly grow up and mature--when we realize that we don't get another chance.

The cliched version of this notion is "Enjoy life. This is not a dress rehearsal."

I've read that on countless buttons and bumperstickers my entire life. I always thought I understood it. But now I really think I do.

You would think, with my mother dying as young as she did, I would have understood this all by now, and grasped it on a conscious and subconscious level. Apparently not.

I can't exactly pinpoint what event led me to this "awakening." Maybe it's watching my children grow every day. My oldest is two and a half. Her younger brother is three months. Looking at him at three months and remembering her at three months, and realizing that time is just slipping along... that every day I do the mundane chores of washing clothes and bottles and dishes, preparing meals, changing diapers, answering the phone, writing a few lines... and it doesn't mean anything. Nothing earth-shattering. I go to bed tired. I wake up tired (from having a three month old, I guess). The days are passing and I don't know that I am doing anything to leave my mark, to make my contribution to the world or the greater good.

A more positive person would argue that I'm raising two children and shaping and molding them into functional humans... giving them the skills and the grounding that they need, along with the unconditional love and boundaries they so crave. That my work at home is necessary and appreciated by my husband and ultimately, it will be by my children when they are old enough to understand (at 30? 40?).

But everyday that I go to bed without doing something--something meaningful and worthwhile--I wonder if I am just wasting my time. Wasting space. Wasting resources.

The weeks are starting to look the same: grocery shopping on Monday, playgroup on Tuesday, voice lessons and doctor appointments on Wednesday, gym class on Thursday, work writing and cooking on Friday, cleaning and picking up on Saturday, and occasionally, family time on Sunday. That's not everything, but it's a fair representation. It's a pattern, it's comfortable--at times. But it's mind-numbing at other times. And I ask--isn't there more? Have I seriously been reduced to a week-full of errands and home-maker crap? "Where is the life that late I led?"

But the other things I have done don't beckon me forward any more strongly than my present. I don't want to teach again. I don't want to be in the work force and have a nine to five.

I guess I just want some kind of change up in schedule. Something else to do that gives me something to look forward to every day. I don't know what that something is. Every time I add something to the mix, life gets unbelievably more complicated--my choices now affect three other people.

And yet, when I step back from the gloom, I think of my baby's face, and I adore him. I want to show him the world and see it through his eyes. That's the most important thing. My daughter is a challenge right now and I think she is wearing me down. I would like some time with my husband besides sleeping next to each other every night. I feel like all I do is nag, nag, nag for help with the kids, help around the house. I want to have a real conversation. But more importantly, I want him to want to talk to and spend time with me. I know that we are in a period of adjustment now because of the baby. But it feels like a holding pattern. And I want to LIVE.

There are so many plays I want to see, so many books I want to read, so many pages I want to write, so many places I want to visit. Money, time and energy are the only things holding me back.

The added realization that this is my only go-round, my only chance, my only opportunity to experience life and that my days are ultimately numbered makes this holding pattern all the more frustrating.

And finally, another bumpersticker byte comes to mind: "Life is a journey, not a destination."

So I come to a place of sanity, finally. I hope I haven't wasted your time. It took me a while to get here. And I'm sure I'll lose my place again--probably soon--when my daughter throws her peas on the floor for the fifth time this week, or my son pees on me yet again.

If I can just remember:

"If you revel in the past and fear the future, you will miss the now. Enjoy the now. It is the only certainty."

And that, my friends, is my own. No Shakespeare, Milton or Donne for this chica. Those words are mine.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

But I want to be 12 grain!

I should be working. Alas.

So I found out this morning that my singing was recently called "white bread." How ironic, I thought to myself, given my last post. I have never thought of myself as a white bread singer. I have always thought I had interesting colors in my voice, and that it had something "special" unlike many other reasonably accomplished singers.

Certainly, I am capable of imitating other singers with more distinctive sounds--pop, opera, jazz and otherwise. But I never feel like imitation is real--since it's not, duh--and I never feel that it's truly me.

The incident in question occurred as I was "auditioning" for a play whilst seven months pregnant. It was a general audition, hence the need to sing for a straight play. And the director has a bit of a "this isn't New York so no one is good enough" complex. But I thought I sang fairly well and gave it my usual color.

I take direction well, so when he asked me to make some changes to my song based on his suggestions, I did. He seemed happy with the results. The second song did not go as well, but probably because I don't connect to it as much. I sang fine, but nothing to write home about. Cliche, cliche.

And now I come to find out that I am considered "white bread." And this pisses me off royally. Have I been singing for so many years and have I been thought of as "white bread" for more than a decade, without anyone ever saying anything, my teachers included? Why does everyone comment on the richness of the colors in my voice if I am truly "white bread?"

And ultimately, why in the hell am I letting this very young, 20-something newbie cause me to doubt my abilities? Yes, he is talented. And yes, it is only one person's opinion.

I recently sang on a recital. Two jazz standards that were a vast departure from my normal, aria in progress or wordy musical theatre fare--I was pleased with the results. Easy choices, but given my three month old baby, I allowed myself to get away with it. Was my jazz white bread and non-distinctive as well? Am I wasting my time and money? It will probably be at least five years or more before I can tackle a role onstage, given that I have two small children. Why pump the money into lessons, if I'm only studying for personal fulfillment and the once-a-year recital?

I must muse on that for a while.