My son had his final chorus concert of the year yesterday. He's had a wonderful time in his first year of High School chorus, and he's really bloomed as a singer. He may never be a headliner, but he's learned to listen and to blend, sing with an orchestra, and learn to sight-read. I am fiercely proud of him.
Anna couldn't come to the concert due to her company picnic at her job, which ended up being a very good thing because I walked in the doors at the high school and was immediately greeted by a foyer wall covered in senior pictures. Some featured the names of the grads, and some had their names plus the colleges and tech schools they had declared for.
I found Anna's picture, featuring her university name and her planned major of physics. As always, she takes a beautiful picture. It all sort of slammed into me at once. How far she's come. The life she's had to slog through, and climb over to reach this point.
Yeah, I spent the first half of my son's chorus concert sobbing quietly in a row near the back so I wouldn't disturb anyone else. Read more »
Sorry for all the radio silence, but I've got a perfect storm of agony going on right now. What started as a crick in my neck over a week ago is now a pinched nerve in my neck that sends blinding pain into my shoulder and down my arm. My GOOD arm. And in case that's not enough, I'm developing carpal tunnel in my good hand/wrist due to all the repetetive overuse, so the hand and wrist ache unbearably.
The icing on the crap cake? I've got a case of trigger finger on my middle finger (again, this is the good hand) and my finger is now curling up and locking in place. So I'm not living my best life right now. I'm in so much pain I can't sleep or get comfortable in any position even with a heating pad and loads of muscle relaxers. The chiropractor can't see me until tomorrow, and the hand surgeon can't even look at me until the end of the month.
I really, really need a massage therapist, but of course, insurance won't cover that and I can't afford one on my own since the car broke last week to the tune of $675 that I really don't have.
Gotta chill until the pain cyclone blows by. Until then, I'll be sitting here gritting my teeth instead of posting for a while.
Two years ago, I gave my daughter a memorable sixteenth birthday. The December before, I had won the biggest door prize my company Christmas party had to offer: a $1,000 gift certificate to our corporate travel agency. With that and a pretty decent tax refund, I booked a trip for the two of us to London.
Neither of us had ever been, and while I had a decent tax refund, the amount I had left over to throw at this trip as spending money was more than a little modest after I finish paying all my accumulated bills.
We weren't exactly living a life of luxury those five days. The only extravagance on the menu was a coach tour I booked for our final day there. We had both wanted to see Stonehenge, but after reading all the reviews I knew that the standard tour was likely going to disappoint us. There's a perimeter path about a hundred yards away, circling the stones. You arrive on a bus, park in the parking lot next to several dozen other buses, and all of you walk that perimeter path. That's as close as you can get to the stones. Read more »
It's time for me to repaint the downstairs bathroom. I know that doesn't seem like a big deal but really, it is.
Years ago, when the ex moved out, I stood there in the rubble surveying the house - or more specifically the things left in the house. There were so many things we'd accumulated during our twenty-plus years together. So many things that were selected together, compromise on, fought over, or begrudgingly given into as a concession toward something the other really wanted to buy.
The ex and I were people with very different tastes when it came to decorating. I like subtle, muted tones on my walls and bright, flamboyant, or dramatic artwork on the walls. I could comfortably live in a stonewalled cottage with a decidedly Bohemian flare. Read more »
That's it - I'm outta here. The Mom job is done. All those months of planning before you were born, all those years of scheduling and envisioning and carefully (or ham-handedly) guiding you through the childhood I carefully cultivated and into the brightly lit future I had all graphed out for you - done. Finito.
Tomorrow is World Autism Awareness Day, and at this stage in the game, I'm going to bet you're probably aware of it by now. What I wish we'd move to is World Autism Inclusion Day, where we all make an effort to reach out, to communicate, to see things from a different perspective and to encourage compassion and kindness instead of fearmongering and irritation.
So yes, by now you've seen the multicolored puzzle ribbons and hearts, the blue tee shirts and blue light bulbs. Maybe you've even been following Humans of New York as they visited the players and coaches at the World Special Olympics these last few weeks. You undoubtedly know there are a lot of kids with autism, and hopefully you've read enough legitimate medical news to know they didn't get that way by being vaccinated.
I've been having a bit of a rough time professionally. Yes, I've let this blog go a bit, but honestly the blog has never been a money-maker so that's not really an issue. I could have gone the route of offering coupons, doing sponsored blogs, and inviting guest content to try to monetize it a little better but that's a ton of work and it rarely pays off in anything more than pizza money - why bother?
It's not the blog that's the issue here, it's the novel writing career. I haven't shared this yet and I'm sharing it here rather than on my author blog because it's not great news.
Long story short - and please know there are other factors beyond the basics here - my stroke cost me my next book contract. Read more »
Everybody loves the smell of baking bread, right? But I've found that when it comes to a certain type of bread - Subway Sandwich Shop bread, specifically - people are vehemently divided. Some people think the smell of Subway bread is mouthwatering, and some think it smells like moldy ass. I happen to love that smell, even though I don't think it's particularly good bread.
And that leads me to my question: What's a weird or unconventional smell that you really like?
When I was a kid, I looooooved the smell of gasoline. I don't know why, and I guess I grew out of it because it's not a great smell for me now. I do love the smell of books, especially old ones. When I visited Dublin, I toured Malahide Castle, and they had a library room with 400 year-old wallpaper and of course, a lot of very, very old books. I will remember the "old, dusty paper" smell of that room to my dying day. It was amazing.
On March 5th, I spent the anniversary of my stroke enjoying my damn life. I took the day off work, and my daughter and I got pedicures, ate Italian food, and saw a great movie. Then I dropped her off at work and took my son to dinner, and we walked around Target and It was a fun and wonderful day with the two people I love most in the world. I snuggled under my electric blanket and ended my day browsing through my Facebook Memories.
Facebook Memories, for those of you not sucked into the Facebook vortex (Are there any of you? Over the age of 25, I mean?) is a feature they deployed a couple of years back, and unlike most of their new features, I actually like this one. It throws up your old posts from previous years, and it can be a lovely, or cringe-worthy, or even potentially painful stroll down memory lane.