Sunday, December 31, 2006

Goodbye 2006

This has been quite a year. Here on the last day of it some things remain unfinished; a sweater I started knitting back in 2005 and the legal nonsense that is my divorce (which started in 2004!) are two that spring to mind. But a lot has been accomplished and I like where things are headed. We have a home that we will all live in together once the legal stuff is finally over. My girl and my wonderful boyfriend get along really well (even if it is often to plot against me.) And my girl hugs and kisses me again now, not only in reciprocation, but just because she feels like it. That's my favorite development of the entire year.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Irony or Blindness?

I find it so weird when my (remaining) sister and I go out to lunch with our dad and she talks about the travails of raising a teenager and says, so earnestly, "I know we did some dangerous things when we were that age but at least nothing bad happened to us." What in the world does she mean? Our little sister ended up in mental institutions in her teens and was addicted to drugs until she died at 27. Something very bad obviously did happen to us. We lost Katie and we lost her years before she died.
I never say anything and Dad always just kind of nods, but he must be thinking the same thing as me. I need to find the right time and place to point that out to her so she can maybe stop saying it.


originally uploaded by bassbot.
Although I generally try to avoid it, I went in and did some work at my Dad's office today. My older sister works as a business manager for my dad's firm and occasionally I go in to help out with some things, which means I'm at the office with my sister and my father. About 5:30 this evening, my sister and I were summoned into Dad's office. Never can tell what that's going to mean.
Dad had a stack of old photos on his desk. There were lots of baby photos of my older sister and lots of photos of our family, my grandparents and even some old photos of my dad's family from back when he was in his teens and early twenties and of his parents back when they were young. He showed us some that he was going to keep and gave us some to keep. I got several photos of me and my sisters. The one posted here is of me and my younger sister Kate. I was three and she was two (so I'm the big one). We were on vacation in Florida. Dig our pink ponchos with yellow pom-pom trim! I love the look on Kate's face and the way she is insistently reaching for my hand. In some of the other photos she's looking at me that same way. We were only one year apart in age (to the day. We shared a birthday.) She was such a powerhouse of a personality that I rarely think that she ever looked up to me and so many of my later memories of her life are painful and regretful, so it's nice to have these pictures now to remember back when we were little and how perfect the world seemed then.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Day is Done

Christmas has come and gone. It's funny how much I let it all escalate when it's not even "my" holiday to begin with. I'm from a Jewish family and never had the whole hoopla associated with the holiday that so many other folks here in the States grew up with. There is no magical splendor of a childhood Christmas remembered that I am trying to emulate.
It wasn't really a big deal for me at all until I became a mother and then intensified a thousand fold when I was a mother in a troubled marriage in a foreign country and then even more again once I became a single mother back home in my original stomping grounds. Part of it is certainly a reaction to spending over a dozen years in a marriage where my partner thought all holidays and celebrations were a waste of time; distasteful, sentimental foolery at worst and not worth his time and effort at best. So for years I was fighting to convince myself that celebrations and traditions mattered and weren't just crutches for people who couldn't stay out of the mush.
Now I'm at a point where I can savor the traditions I know from the past and even feel confident enough to initiate one or two new ones of my own. This year saw our second annual cookie baking extravaganza. Last year's bash may have had more participants, but this years' was intimate and just as memorable. And the cookies were just as tasty. And I've come up with some ideas for ways to mark the end of the old year and greet the new one.
The court has had its say on holiday scheduling issues and this year sees me losing a few days with my girl that I'd have with her in a regular week. Oh well, such is life. We are making the time count by spending it well all together. And if I let myself fall into a funk over things that aren't able to be, all I really need to do is take a look back at where some things stood just a year ago and rejoice in the progress that has happened over the past year. One year ago I was stuck in a situation where I had to regularly bring my girl to a therapist who tried to paint me as uncaring and worthy of scorn, despite my attempts to be honest and open, and who seemed to encourage my daughter's estrangement. Now we are half a year free of that closed-minded quack and I relish every hug and kiss my girl bestows upon me. And the silly jokes, silly dancing, group hugs, the line-up of "family feet" and even the gaseous volleys all really make my heart swell. We used all of our patience and wisdom to let things grow and unfold without pushing. If waiting for that silly piece of paper calls for a little more patience, then we will be patient. I'd much rather have us all be in eager anticipation than reluctant co-habitation.

Farewell to the Godfather of Soul

Oh, James Brown. What more could possibly be said about the man? He was the hardest working man in show business. He was like no one else, although so many are lesser imitations and interpretations of him. Wherever it is that James Brown has passed on to, it has just gotten a whole lot funkier than it ever was before. Hail to the king of funk and soul. He will always remain in our hearts and the places that move us. HEEAAAAYYYY!

Friday, December 22, 2006

'Tis The Season to be Jolly

Well, what do you know? Today is Global Orgasm Day. Make sure you don't forget to celebrate!
(heh, Chosen is going to be so bummed I found this before him!)

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Oh, Now They Tell Me

That messiness is not a character fault, but actually the sign of a healthy, interesting mind and a fertile imagination. At least that's what this NYT article, Say Yes to Mess, claims. And this now that I've spent the better part of this year working to adopt the routines and order propounded by FlyLady. I'm a naturally messy person and have been criticized for that for a good portion of my life. I don't really think I have come anywhere near attaining a standard that could be construed as being overly neat or organized and it has been really nice to wake up and head into a clean kitchen every morning, so while I don't think I'll be giving up my fluttering flybaby ways, I won't quite worry so much about the towering mountains of stuff that are my desks at work and at home. Balance. I am balanced mid-way between chaos and ordered. Organized chaos or chaotic organization. I'll chose one of those.

Happy Winter Solstice

It's 4:50 pm and black as night out there. Except for the lights of the Christmas trees and decorations shining in the windows and around the houses and yards of the neighborhood. I chuckled as I drove to the grocery store a little after 3 this afternoon and saw the sun was already starting to drop. Time to hunker down, light the candles on the menorah once my girl gets here. I think she's here now. Bye!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006


I just updated to the new Blogger and figured it was time for a new color scheme-- wintry blue. Even though it's not very wintry, this lack of daylight is getting to me. I know it's only a few more days until the turnaround starts and the days start getting longer, but these days see me grumpy and a little paranoid a little more often than necessary. It's frustrating to keep trying and working and still get nowhere. I'm tired of waiting for a stupid piece of paper and I don't really see why it's even relevant or important at this point. All it does is make me feel like I'm not going anywhere and I'm not getting anywhere and I'm working my butt off and trying to maintain a good attitude for no good reason.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

The Big Move Part One is Done

Today was The Big Day, the day wonderful boyfriend moved all his stuff out of his apartment and into the house. We had a small crew of friends and family to help with moving the furniture and we were done with that part of things much earlier than I expected.
In the month since the house became ours we have gotten the electrical systems updated, replaced the leaking washing machine faucet, replaced the dryer vent with a new one, graded the yard along the foundation on the back side of the house, ripped out and disposed of all the carpet in the downstairs, painted two bedrooms and part of the living room, taken down an overgrown shrub that became a tree flanking the driveway, replaced the ceiling fan in the upstairs bathroom and probably other stuff I can't think of right now. My boyfriend has handled most all of the mechanical side of things and I am the painter. Not a totally shabby accomplishment in a month of working on the house after work and on the weekends.
The house looks good with furniture in it. The girl and I were back over this evening to hang out and eat mini moes, chips and cookies leftover from the moving crew's lunch. The girl wanted us to stay over too, but that would have meant sleeping out in the living room and after the hectic pace of the last few days I am really looking forward to a good night's sleep in my own familiar and comfy bed. I'm planning for the girl and me to move in sometime next month. I know the house is going to provide us with months and probably years of projects to accomplish. But it's already starting to feel like home. I'm looking forward to when the three of us (well, four if you count the dog) are all calling it home for real.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Every Ninja Has Its Day

I walked into my first class this morning and with my superior powers of perception noted that three students were dressed as ninjas. I said, "Okay. I see ninjas. What's with that?" I was promptly informed that today is Ninja Day. (Like, duuuh. God, Sensei, don't you know anything?) And indeed it really is Ninja Day. Next year I'll have to remember to mark the occasion by making origami shuriken in class.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Today's Excitement

As I was driving to take my girl to the high school for her dress rehearsal this evening, a big buck ran across the road right in front of my car. I instinctively hit the brakes but he was moving fast enough to get out of the way before I got to him. It all happened so fast I never even got an adrenaline rush from the closely averted danger. My chain of thought went something along the lines of-- oh a big golden retrieve..wait that's not a dog..ooh big and's going fast..oh, there it goes. "Woah! Wasn't that COOL?!?!?" That would have f**ked up my car if I had hit it, I bet.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Sad Parade

I found out by talking to my sister today that a 9-year old cub scout participating in the Portsmouth Holiday Parade died after falling off his troop's parade float last night. I guess that's what kept the parade held up from making it's way down to Congress Street for so long. I can't imagine what a terrible tragedy that must be for the boy's family and other loved ones. So very, very sad.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Holiday Season

The girl and I went to enjoy a bit of the holiday season in Portsmouth this afternoon. We went to the matinee of Clara's Dream at The Music Hall. That was a great show. Auntie Groove (Brenda Bufalino) pretty much stole the show, although the entire cast and band were excellent. After that, we went up the square to Popovers, where the deserts were just as incredible as I'd heard they were. The girl had a hot chocolate and a huge slice of the Mocha Torte. I had a coffee and the French Apple Crisp. They are very generous on the portions. We sat and chatted and checked out the preparations for the Holiday Parade going on outside on Congress St.
After fueling up we poked around in a few shops and galleries until it was time for the parade to start. My sister had tipped me off that our dad would be a Grand Marshal in the parade. Of course, he didn't mention this to me when I saw him this morning! Anyway, the parade was about 45 minutes late in getting started and we weren't really dressed for standing in the cold, but we waited it out anyway. Dad was walking the route, so we were able to catch his attention and say hi. He looked happy and surprised to see us there. It looked like he was having a good time. There were lots of marching bands, the New England champion Portsmouth Little League team, girl and boy scouts, church groups, community groups and all the typical holiday parade fare. We decided to leave before Santa's float came to signal the end of the parade since we wanted to avoid the traffic rush out of town. It's many hours later and my toes are still cold, but it was a great afternoon and evening. Sometimes a day out in Portsmouth really does do the trick.