Friday, January 30, 2009

Best concert EVER

I went out to dinner and a concert with my sister for her birthday. I didn't even know who we were going to see, I was just along for the ride, to help celebrate my sis's big day. The concert was really good, and I enjoyed it - despite feeling really old as I stood in the mosh pit with my sister and her two girlfriends, in my work clothes, holding my wool jacket and purse. Yes indeed, I felt old. While it was a great mellow concert at a cool San Francisco venue, it was not the best concert EVER.

But it did make me think of other concert experiences I've had...

Like my first concert ever. Summer of 1983. Rick Springfield. I went with my best girlfriend, Tina. And her Dad. I think we were like 15. He just sat there looking pretty bored, while Tina and I danced, sang and screamed the night away to the ohsobeautiful Rick. To this day, whenever I hear Jessie's Girl, I think about that glorious night.

Then there was the best concert I have EVER been to. Fall of 2001. Matchbox 20, and Train. I loved every single song they played that night. I knew every word, and sang my heart out to all of them. I felt like I could have gone up on stage and taken over - you know, if they had gotten tired or something. The weather was still warm, an Indian summer, and it was an outdoor venue in the middle of nowhere. And it rained. I'm not talking a little sprinkle, it absolutely poured. But no one cared. A lot of people were making raincoats out of trash bags, but not us. We just let the rain come down and soak our clothes all the way through. It was almost a religious experience - like I was being baptised by the music. In the middle of the show, there was this gorgeous lightning storm - that almost forced them to stop the concert. But they didn't. They told the audience that if we were sticking around, so would they. Then they played the song, "3am"...

And she only sleeps when its raining
And she screams
And her voice is straining

And she says, baby, it's 3am, I must be lonely
When she says, baby
Well I can't help but be scared of it all sometimes
And the rain's gonna wash away I believe it


What was your first concert? How about the best concert you've ever been to?

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Thankful Thursday - Happy Birthday Sis!

Today's Thankful Thursday post is dedicated to my sister, in honor of her birthday today! I can't think of anything I'm more thankful for, than having you as my little sister.

Growing up, we were inseparable. Tea parties with our dolls, playing "restaurant" and "hotel", spending hours underneath the dining room table creating a Barbie horse ranch - complete with it's own airplane and camper, watching the Brady Bunch and making ourselves Mac&Cheese while we waited for Mom to get home from work. We've been through so much together. At times, it felt like it was just you and I, when all the adults in our life were distracted by illness, divorce and death. We always had each other, and our play world where we could be whatever we wanted.

We survived the emotional roller coaster of High School, hormones and boys. We saw each other off to college. We were there for each other still, even though we were at times miles away.

We supported each other as we graduated from college, moved out on our own into our first places, got our first jobs and met the men we would marry. You were my maid of honor, and I was yours.

We were there for the birth of each of our beautiful children, and support each other as we navigate our way through the wonderful challenge of Motherhood.

We've fought, laughed and cried together. We've shared some of the saddest, most difficult, happiest and most amazing moments of our lives with each other. Whatever life has in store for us, there is one thing I know. We will be there for each other, always.

Thank God for you.

I love you!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

I do not heart Facebook

I broke down and joined Facebook about a month ago, at the incessant encouragement of my friend Lish. I friend'ed a few people, and pretty soon other people friend'ed me. A few from childhood, a few from High School, a few from college, many that I work with, some family, a couple from the blogshere... All in all, a pretty eclectic group of folks. For the most part - not a group of people that you'd find partying together at the same place. I'm thinking probably not all that exciting for them to check out my Facebook page, seeing as most of them don't even know each other.

I don't get it.

Granted, it's been fun reconnecting with people. I enjoy seeing every one's pictures. The status updates are pretty funny sometimes.

But, I just don't understand what the point is.

Do I need to know when people become fans of something? I mean, I'm a big fan of dark chocolate, but I bet it doesn't change your life to know that. And what is with all these drinking requests? I don't even drink that much in real life, why would I want a bunch of fake internet drinks? Besides, I get nervous every time I attempt to accept one of these requests, and Facebook asks me if I'm ok with it pulling my profile information, photos, my friends' info, and other content that it requires to work... why the hell does it need all that crap just so that my socalledfriend can give me some kind of crazy drink that I can't even actually consume? Then there are the quizzes and games I've been invited to. They look like fun, but when am I supposed to find the time to do those? Blogging is already keeping me up later than I should be most times.

Then it keeps suggesting people for me to be friends with. Is the point to see how many people want to be your friend, because I got enough of that in High School, and frankly - I wasn't that good at it back then either. One of these people that it keeps wanting me to friend, is someone from work that I can not stand. The last thing I want to see is his stupid face every time I log into Facebook. And what do you do when someone sends you a friend request that you are not all that thrilled with being friends with. I can't help but feel rude to just ignore them, so I end up just accepting. Does that make me a Facebook whore?

And how often am I supposed to be updating my status? It currently says that I'm "now leaving work...TGIF", which is clearly now outdated. I feel like I should update it, but really don't have anything to say. Not to mention that every time I go to do a status update, I think about all the people that will read it. Maybe I don't want soandso to know that I'm watching The Bachelor, when I told them that I had something really important to do tonight. Even though it is important to evaluate how pathetic women can actually be in the hopes of marrying a man they are convinced they have fallen in love with based on reputation alone and the fact that so many other women are in a feeding frenzy for said man. I need to keep up, so I can get in on the post-show conversation at work. That's important.

So Lish, thanks a lot, but I am not loving Facebook.

Post script... My very good friend Lish felt this post made her sound like "some idiot Facebook fanatic". Let me go on record to say that she is definitely not some idiot Facebook fanatic. The girl does not even have internet at her house. So she's really some no-internet-access-at-home idiot. I mean really, who does not have internet access at home? She calls it self control. I call it just plain crazy. Truly Lish, you know I jest! The thing that sent me over the edge, and inspired this post, was a certain "friend" of mine who has been clogging up my Facebook home page with his constant status updates - I'm talking like every hour. I don't really want to know what this person is doing once a year, much less every freaking time I log onto Facebook. So, please don't take this post personally. It's not you. It's me.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Thankful Thursday

I'm so thankful for my weekly thankfulness posts...because it reminds me to refocus on gratitude. It's easy to get caught up in the craziness of life, and that's one of the reasons that I love blogging. Often, it's an outlet for me when things are most stressful. In fact, I've been dying to write about a work situation that is weighing on me, but I can't post it here. Anybody up for a guest post?

So, back to gratitude, THANK YOU to PsychMamma for the attitude/gratitude award! This is my second lemonade stand award, so I'm doubly blessed. When I first got this award, my sister asked me what the lemonade stand meant. I thought that maybe it had something to do with making lemonade out of lemons. Seems I was right!

In honor of that, I am going to share some of my favorite quotes on gratitude.

At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person.Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us. Albert Schweitzer

Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace and gratitude. Denis Waitley

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. John F. Kennedy

If you concentrate on finding whatever is good in every situation, you will discover that your life will suddenly be filled with gratitude, a feeling that nurtures the soul. Rabbi Harold Kushner

Blessed are those that can give without remembering and receive without forgetting. Unknown

And my favorite...

Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn't learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn't learn a little, at least we didn't get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn't die; so, let us all be thankful. Buddha

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

In awe

It's inauguration day. Despite my Mom's continual questioning, "I wonder if they'll pick up my trash today?", it's not a national holiday. Obama is one of many before him to be sworn in as President of the United States. I have friends who are taking it in stride and some who don't really even see anything all that historic about today. I have friends who were not even all that impressed with Obama's letter to his daughters. Not all of my friends, but some of them.

I can only imagine what it is like to be African American today. It has been such a long journey to come to this point, and that fact should not be overlooked. Yet, even though he is the first black President, and that means so much to so many people, at the same time - he truly is the President for everyone. I think he represents America's ability to finally look past the color of one's skin.

For me, Obama becoming our President represents change, hope, unity and inspiration in a time of great challenge. Let's hope that America embraces the idea that Obama spoke to tonight, that it's not he alone who will effect change - it's up to all of us.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Thankful Thursday - here's some HOPE for you!

Today, I am thankful for this open letter that President-elect Barack Obama wrote to his daughters, Malia, 10, and Sasha, 7. It's titled, "What I Want for You - and Every Child in America." A friend of mine forwarded this to me, from Parade magazine.

Dear Malia and Sasha,

I know that you've both had a lot of fun these last two years on the campaign trail, going to picnics and parades and state fairs, eating all sorts of junk food your mother and I probably shouldn't have let you have. But I also know that it hasn't always been easy for you and Mom, and that as excited as you both are about that new puppy, it doesn't make up for all the time we've been apart. I know how much I've missed these past two years, and today I want to tell you a little more about why I decided to take our family on this journey.

When I was a young man, I thought life was all about me—about how I'd make my way in the world, become successful, and get the things I want. But then the two of you came into my world with all your curiosity and mischief and those smiles that never fail to fill my heart and light up my day. And suddenly, all my big plans for myself didn't seem so important anymore. I soon found that the greatest joy in my life was the joy I saw in yours. And I realized that my own life wouldn't count for much unless I was able to ensure that you had every opportunity for happiness and fulfillment in yours. In the end, girls, that's why I ran for President: because of what I want for you and for every child in this nation.

I want all our children to go to schools worthy of their potential—schools that challenge them, inspire them, and instill in them a sense of wonder about the world around them. I want them to have the chance to go to college—even if their parents aren't rich. And I want them to get good jobs: jobs that pay well and give them benefits like health care, jobs that let them spend time with their own kids and retire with dignity.

I want us to push the boundaries of discovery so that you'll live to see new technologies and inventions that improve our lives and make our planet cleaner and safer. And I want us to push our own human boundaries to reach beyond the divides of race and region, gender and religion that keep us from seeing the best in each other.

That was the lesson your grandmother tried to teach me when I was your age, reading me the opening lines of the Declaration of Independence and telling me about the men and women who marched for equality because they believed those words put to paper two centuries ago should mean something.

She helped me understand that America is great not because it is perfect but because it can always be made better—and that the unfinished work of perfecting our union falls to each of us. It's a charge we pass on to our children, coming closer with each new generation to what we know America should be.

I hope both of you will take up that work, righting the wrongs that you see and working to give others the chances you've had. Not just because you have an obligation to give something back to this country that has given our family so much—although you do have that obligation. But because you have an obligation to yourself. Because it is only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself that you will realize your true potential.

These are the things I want for you—to grow up in a world with no limits on your dreams and no achievements beyond your reach, and to grow into compassionate, committed women who will help build that world. And I want every child to have the same chances to learn and dream and grow and thrive that you girls have. That's why I've taken our family on this great adventure.

I am so proud of both of you. I love you more than you can ever know. And I am grateful every day for your patience, poise, grace, and humor as we prepare to start our new life together in the White House.

Love, Dad

I hope to share this with my kids now, and throughout their lives.

I hope to live these values in my own life, and keep them in the forefront of my mind in every action I take as a Mother.

I hope everyone who reads this, will be as inspired and filled with optimism for our future as I am.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

the silver lining

I had lunch today with my very good friend, SJ. She was one of the many who were laid-off from our firm yesterday.

She couldn't wipe the smile off her face.

It was then I realized that what I was saying to everyone yesterday, about how there is always a silver lining...this is just a job...there is so much more to life...things like this remind people of what is really important in life - all of it is true. She is excited to have the opportunity to find her true joy in life and pursue that, rather than being stuck in the less-than-fulfilling job she'd been doing at our firm. I'm actually a bit jealous.

Even though lunches between SJ and I always contain ample portions of laughter, in light of recent events, I was prepared to do my best to help her feel better. Instead, she helped me.

I share in her joy. She inspires me.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

the recession sucks

I knew it was going to happen today, but that didn't make it any easier.

As I walked into the office this morning, a guy commented to me "today is not going to be fun", to which I replied "yah, today is going to suck".

Just as I was about to take the elevator up to my floor, I saw one of my colleagues walking out with the dreaded box of personal items. I stopped her, and found out that it was true. She was laid off. We said our goodbyes, and as she walked out, I noticed that there was a line of taxis waiting outside our office.

Oh God. It's real. It's happening.

After I got to my desk, I started getting email after email about people who were let go. One of my colleagues was instant messaging me about how nervous he was, when all the sudden his messages stopped. He called me later to tell me that he'd been let go.

So many people. Some I've know since the first day I started at my firm. Some I've worked with at my firm for almost 15 years. One who is one of my very best friends. We ate lunch together practically every day.

I spent a lot of the day comforting those who had left, and those who were still there.

I am so sad.

I feel like I need to be strong. Who am I to feel sorry for myself? I survived.

I'm so grateful to still have my job. Yet, at some point, all of this is probably going to hit me. Then, maybe I'll let myself feel it.

Right now, this economy can kiss my ass.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

I have got to get some sleep

I wake up, or more appropriately - I am woken up, in the morning and I am usually always exhausted. I think to myself, I've GOT to get to bed earlier. At 6:00am, I'm already looking forward to bedtime, and planning out how I'm going to go to bed early that night. Then, the day goes on. I'm tired, but I get through just fine. The evening rolls around. Dinner. Dishes. Preparing for the next day. Then I jump on the computer to work some more, or blog, or read blogs or do a picture project... I get a second wind and next thing I know... it's freaking midnight again! What is my problem anyway?

Friday, January 9, 2009

My little Angelina Jolie

My youngest daughter, Milly loves loves loves babies. She can't get enough of them. She always has at least one baby in her hands when she's walking around the house, and usually sleeps with her entire collection of baby dolls in bed with her. When we had our teacher/parent conference at her Preschool last month, her teachers told us that Milly plays with the baby dolls almost exclusively.

She could spend hours changing all her baby's diapers. Then feeding them. Then putting them to sleep. Then waking them up to change their diapers again.

The girl is obsessed.

This is a picture of her current menagerie of babies. She personally named each and every one of them. All of them have a first name, for example "Roses", and all of them have the same last name, "Baby". With the exception of "Baby Abba", who is special because she's Milly's first baby (taken over from her big sister) and because she makes baby noises. That's where Baby Abba got her name actually. One of the noises she makes sounds like ahh baa, so Milly started calling her Baby Ahh Baa. There's also one not pictured, named "Raisin Baby", because it has a raisin stuck in it's mouth.

Some of them she calls by their full names, like "Binky Baby", named for the pacifier hung around her neck. Some of them she calls just by their first name, like "Toto". I don't even know where she came up with that one. Some of them even have nicknames. Often, she calls "Camper Baby", just "Camp".

Her favorite decoration this Christmas, was the baby Jesus in the ceramic nativity scene that my Mom made me. She constantly asked if she could "peese hold baby Jesus".

As you can see in this picture... she'd admire him, pet him, kiss him, hug him and then lovingly put him back in the manger "wif his Mommy and Daddy".

I actually feel bad not having a third child, because I know that my little Milly would adore a baby brother or sister. But, that's probably not a good reason to have another child. Plus, they grow up, and she won't be able to help me pay for the third kid's college education.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Thankful Thursday

In this installment of Thankful Thursday, I'm so thankful for... Thursdays!

I work from home on Thursdays, so it's my favorite work day of the week. Every other day, I have an hour drive each way from my house to downtown San Francisco and back. It's hard to complain about my commute - I drive across the Golden Gate Bridge, and the beauty of it really never gets old.
Still... I detest the two hours I'm stuck in my car, so not having to drive into SF is one of the best things about working from home. My kids still go to Preschool and I still work a full day, but I get more time with my kids on Thursdays, because I can drop them off and pick them up myself. Something I don't regularly get to do because of my commute.

Other things I'm thankful for being able to do on my work from home Thursdays...throw a load of laundry in the washer or unload the dishwasher while on conference calls, grab some groceries during lunch and make a meal that takes longer to prepare than my normal "30 minutes or less" weekday meals. On a really slow day, I might even sneak out for a pedicure. If you are someone that I work with, I'm just kidding. I never do that.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

This is what happens when you don't check your daughter's jacket pockets before you wash her clothes.

Lint traps weren't made to handle this many leaves...

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Letter to Disney re: "Fast Play"

Dear Disney Corp,

Come on. "Fast Play"? Do you really expect us to fall for this load of crap? I'm of course referring to the seemingly time saving "Fast Play" option on your DVDs, that does not take you directly to the damn movie - as the name would suggest, but instead takes you through 30 minutes of previews for other movies and commercials for Disney crap, I mean lovely merchandise.

I knew from the first - that "Fast Play" was a ploy. It's just that the voice sounds so excited when it says "This DVD is now equipped with Disney's Fast Play! Your movie, and a selection of bonus features, will play for you automatically!" Bonus features? Really? You are selling your previews and merchandise as bonus features? What's the bonus? I get to spend my hard earned bonus getting more Disney crap for my kids?

There is nothing fast about "Fast Play" Disney people! Seriously. How can you name it that, and sleep at night? Clearly, I am on to you, and immediately scroll over to the "Main Menu" function so that I can actually get to the menu of the DVD that will allow me to start the movie we are attempting to watch. However, if I don't stand there and monitor the screen so that I can proactively choose the Main Menu, it sends us through the "Fast Play" detour of hell, since you've cleverly designed the DVD to default to that option.

Usually, when we're putting a Disney movie in the DVD player, it's either because my kids are DYING to see whatever masterpiece involving the main character's parent dying, a princess's dreams being answered by a prince or some random animals overcoming adversity. Or, it's because I've got a pot about to boil over on the stove and I need to get the kids out of the kitchen NOW.

So the longer it takes me to get your Godforsaken movie started, the more curse words you are exposing my children to. Yes, I blame you. What? Like I'm supposed to be responsible for my own actions when you're putting me through your "Fast Play" hell? I don't think so.

Ok. I admit it. I love all that is Disney. I truly believe that Disneyland is the happiest place on earth. But your stupid "Fast Play" is really pissing me off!

Your loyal Disney consumer

Saturday, January 3, 2009

I'd like to thank the Academy...

...more appropriately, I'd like to thank the RaMbLeR for honoring me with my very first blogging award! I'm thrilled that you enjoy reading my blog. Thank you!

I'm supposed to pass this award on to what I consider to be my top 10 blogs, but I've never been one for following the rules, I like to mix things up by making up my own. So... I'm going to give some props to just a few people for the reasons below. Feel free to pass it on, or not. Mention it on your blog, or not. Just taking this opportunity to show some love. So, the rules are - there are no rules!

Sleepless in Sactown for keeping up not one, but two new blogs, and for imparting your expertise on living a Luscious Life.

HeatherDyan because to me, your words are like art - it feeds my soul.

To Keep It Real for helping me remember why I started blogging in the first place.

But Why Mommy and Inzaburbs for cracking me up on days when I could use a good laugh!

The Norwindians because you're my sister, and for inspiring me to start a blog!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

I'm sort of superstitious, and I heard somewhere that whatever you are doing on the first day of the new year, is how you will spend that year.

We spent the eve of the new year and New Year's Day enjoying the company of family and friends with good food, even better wine, great conversation and happy kids, so I hope that's one superstition that holds true!

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