Thursday, October 1, 2009

Life's sweet moments

I do not get to pick my boys up from school very often. My husband drops the 2nd grader off at the door-he runs in without even a glance back. I usually drop off my pre-schooler and then my mom or mother in law gets to pick him up. It's an enviable job they have. There can be tears and frowns associated with the drop off, but the pick up-oh, the pick up! Yesterday I did get to pick him up because we had a social event afterward at a park. I got to his room, and the minute we made eye contact, his eyes lit up and he propelled out of his chair, ran the length of the room as fast as his little feet could carry him, and leaped into my arms. Then he wrapped his little arms around my neck and buried his sweet little face in my chest. It was the greatest moment! I wish it would have never ended.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Irritating Mysteries

This is a little column I like to write occasionally-mostly it spares my husband the incessant bitching (not really) about it because I can vent here!

How do those dividers where you keep silverwear in your kitchen drawers get so dirty? Honestly, those items go right from the dishwasher to the drawer. How can so much debris accumlate?

Why is that when I lose something (usually sunglasses, keys, ID cards), that as soon as I replace them, I find the original! UGH!

I hate opening a CD or DVD only to find a different one in the case-this sets off a chain affect that generally leads to an empy case.

Why can I not stop eating sunflower seeds?

Why does my husband squeeze toothpaste from the middle?

I am so dependent on appliances. When my dishwasher needed replacing, you would think I had forgotten how to wash by hand. And I am certain my husband never knew (thanks in large part to my mother in law)

Have you ever bought a watermelon at the store, then opened it to find it wasn't a good one? How in the world do you return it? It's just $5 gone to waste.

Commercials do not need to be so much louder than programs on television. They already make up for 50% of the time you are watching a show-do they need to be deafening as well?

I am so tired of Tom Brady! Honestly, can we make more of this guy?

Have you ever noticed that when you throw away a receipt, you almost always need it later? I swear, I could keep receipts for years, and the minute I throw one away, it seems like I need it! ugh!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Amusement parks

I took my kids to Elitch Gardens over the weekend. Let me just say-as amusement parks go-ours is a bit of a minnow. Though it has come a long way since its days on Tejon and 44th, it still doesn't compare to places like Magic Mountain in LA or Kings Island in Cincy. Now those are amusement parks. However, when it comes to the clientele, I believe it's probably similar.

Very interesting cultural diversity at these places. I cannot believe how many tattoos and piercings people can fit onto their bodies. I found it hard not to stare at times. I am one of those people who stares. I cannot help it. I am also amazed at how expensive everything is-and wondering how some of these folks can afford it. Honestly, it doesn't look like some of these kids could hold down jobs. One kid in front of me in line for Icees had a Mohawk about 10 inches high and some angry Tshirt with "F "you written on the front in big letters. I cannot imagine this kid in a job interview. I wondered if his parents knew what he was wearing-but judging from the rest of his appearance, I am not sure it would even be noticeable.

I realize I live in a suburbia bubble these days but I am not sure I could have ever done the urban lifestyle. I guess I am showing my age. Amusement parks amuse me for a whole different reason than they did when I was a kid.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

I'll drink to that

This is a post about all the things I am happy about today-

  • I finally got my certification to teach group exercise (through AFAA). I hope to teach spinning but I will start anywhere I can. It was harder to get than I thought. The test was a pain, and the whole auditioning thing was a bit daunting. BUT, it's over and I am done with that part. Now to the good part. I got a call from a rec center near my house about possible openings, and my Tues/Thurs class instructor told me I could start doing a few songs in her class just to get my feet wet. So, I am very happy that I can cross one thing off my list. I have been going to do this for some time. Progress!

  • I am also very happy to have gotten my first writing assignment published at work-and I am working on a second. That would be so nice if I could just work out and write for a living instead of sell advertising.

  • It is no longer Monday...that's always something that makes me happy

  • Summer is not over (almost but not yet, and I am holding on to it-kind of like my 30's)

  • Matt Holliday is back in the National League-which means I get to see him more at Coors Field, and that makes me happy.

  • Football season is around the corner-I love it!

  • And as always, my family is happy and healthy. This is something I celebrate every day. Thank the very kind Lord for all my blessings!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

More tune talk

Tonight our bed is cold
I’m lost in the darkness of our love
God have mercy on the man
Who doubts what he’s sure of
.....Bruce Springstein, Brilliant Disguise

I love this song, and I love the way the Boss has such a raw sense of emotion and honesty. I love the line about doubting what you are sure of. Who doesn't? In this song he is talking about love and marriage. But it is certainly isn't limited to that. Life is full of moments where you doubt what you are sure of. Parenting is a great example-I thought for sure I would get an A in mommyhood. Yet, I doubt what I do all the time. I suppose we all parent better when we don't have kids. And how many times in life have we done something we swore we would never/could never do? I know my list is strong.

It's a new road
I follow where
My mind goes
So swallow all your tears my love
And put on your new face
You can never win or lose
If you don't run the race
........Psychedelic Furs, Love My Way

I do not think of the Furs as a band with incredibly profound lyrics. In fact, when I hear this song, I picture my college roommates and me outside dorm 12 at Pepperdine catching rays and watching boys walk by on their way to classes that we were probably blowing off. However, I am amazed to see this last line here-"you can never win or lose if you don't run the race".
Some people are okay with not running the race because then, you can never lose. And losing sucks. I hate it! My brother in law recently shared with me that he will never get married-and this is a great example of that. Yes, he will never have to worry about a marriage falling apart. There is a huge amount of risk involved with the proverbial running of the race. I can see why you would opt out. But there is value in losing. And doesn't it make winning that much sweeter?

Oh you don't mean nothing at all to me
No you don't mean nothing at all to me
But you got what it takes to set me free
Oh you could mean everything to me

.......Nelly Furtado, Say It Right

This wreaks of unrequieted love, and everyone has one. Of course you have to act tough (you don't mean a thing to me); but the truth is, you hate it. And it does mean something to you. It's not even that you want this person anymore, just that he/she got the best of you. No one wants to be the one who got dumped, or got his/her heart broken. It is a rite of passage to growing up though, and everyone has had one. And if you haven't, then you just plain suck. Again, there is value in losing. When I look back at some of the people who passed on me, I am so thankful. I may not have been at the time, but I sure am today. (this is another purpose Facebook serves)

Seasons don't fear the reaper

Nor do the wind, the sun or the rain..we can be like they are

Come on baby...don't fear the reaper

Baby take my hand...don't fear the reaper

We'll be able to fly...don't fear the reaper

Baby I'm your man....
...........Blue Oyster Cult, Don't Fear the Reaper

And the timeless Romeo and Juliet story. Endless references to this love story. I hope in death and eternity, romance thrives because in life, it isn't all that it's cracked up to be. After all, Romeo and Juliet were only about 14 (thanks for pointing that out Mindee). They didn't even live together. Shakespear was probably being symbolic. Without all the distractions of life, romance would be alive and well. The world is full of too much judgement, prejudice, routine, bills, laundry, change, pressures, etc that all have a way of dragging romance right down the drain. And in this interpretation, the only way to get around that is to skip life and go right to death. Kind of a gloomy way of looking at it.

Friday, July 17, 2009

By definition

Underachiever-Failure to achieve as well as one's abilities would seem to allow.

This is a nickname Paul has for me. It is related to my high level of education and lacking corresponding career and earnings.

On the one hand, I suppose it is flattering that he thinks I am very bright and capable and could command a high level career, etc. However, to steal some content from my favorite blogger, Mindee (; why is being a mom considered an underachievement? And somehow, if you are educated, it is an even bigger one.

I am not a stay at home mom, however, my job as a mommy is far more important to me than my job outside the home. Consequently, I will never schmooze my way up corporate ladders, seek higher and more demanding positions, put in above and beyond hours, reach crazy milestones, etc. I lack the focus, attention and motivation in a career. I do not lack the ability or the intelligence or the education. I just don't want it.

I choose to lead the double life of housewife with a job. And that is a role a lot of women have. Not to get on a pity party tangent, but let's face it, most working women are still the phantom housewives. I am sure there are some princes out there who really help out with more than the traditional man of the house roles. But, overall, I still feel like the lionshare of homemaker duties fall upon the wife/mommy/maid/whatever regardless of if she has a job outside the home. I have often felt like the state of affairs in my unkept home, un-matching sock wearing boys with messy hair and forgotten backpacks and breakfast all over their shirts b/c they eat in the car ride, etc. is a huge reflection on me and not my husband.

I don't feel less intelligent or less significant because my primary concern is raising my children. However, I do feel far less competent at both my jobs (inside and outside the home) than I would if I only had one. Obviously, if I could chose only one, it would be SAHM.

There was a time when I thought that road would be much easier. Then I had a few weeks off between jobs in about 2006; getting a first hand look for myself. I had a one year old and a four year old at the time. It is NOT easier. In fact, it was much harder than any job I had ever held. And a bit less rewarding in many ways. People tend to think you have nothing to do, and you have far less leeway for screwing things up. No one gives you any feedback-except if you mess something up. Your house cannot stay clean because, well, you and your kids are living in it. I think of my friends who are at home with kids. I look at them quite differently than I did before I tried doing it myself. I have always respected (and envied) SAHMs-but getting to walk a mile in their shoes really cemented it for me.

I try not to be opinionated on the matter of which road mommies take. I believe most of us don't have a choice. The SAHM moms I know are all very gracious for the priviledge of being SAHMs. In fact they are very intelligent, educated, capable and talented ladies which makes it that much more remarkable to me. And again to plagerize Mindee, 99% of moms I know are doing the best they can with what they have. But I do wish there was a way of shaking this unimpressive image of SAHMs or people like myself who are considered underachievers for placing my focus on being a mommy instead of an employee.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Redneck Riveria

This is our view from our room of the pool and the beach-incredible

Our friend Bobby was spot on about Florida being the redneck riveria. We are in Destin, Florida for the 4th of July holiday. It is breathtakingly beautiful. I have loved every minute of it. But the wildlife-or the southerners that are part of the scenery-is just hilarious.

This place is riddled with tobacco, tattoo shops, airbrushing, confederate flags, gun racks, bud light and the accents-oh, the accents. What is it about a southern drawl that sounds so unintelligent? Surely these folks aren't as stupid as they sound? Is there a how-to be-a-hick handbook that gets distributed? I would love to see it.

Obesity is alive and well down here. I read last week where Colorado was the leanest state in the county-and I believe it now. At most of the restaurants there are about 3 salads on the menu and usually one has fried shrimp. There is always a large section for fried foods.

But to be fair, the south, with its unique culture, is home to some of the nicest and most polite people around. I cannot believe how kind and friendly people are. Skinny Colorado is not like that. People don't hold doors or say hello just to be friendly like they do here. And what a little jewel the gulf coast is! I have never heard of Destin Florida or Okaloosa Island but I would come here again in a minute. It is every bit as nice as Hawaii and not nearly as expensive (or snobby). Family vacations are the best. I still remember the ones I took as a kid, and it is a wonderful memory to give my sweet little boys. It's nice for hubby and me too to get away from all the noise of life!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Summer time

Hallelujah! It's finally here. I just love summer time. As spoiled as we are in Colorado with the great weather year round-summer will always be my absolute favorite. I have to say, it's been an uncharacteristically chilly, rainy spring so I was really ready for summer, and without further delay, it is here.

I love the sounds of birds chirping in the morning, and the sweet smell of nectar in the air. I love when it's light out at 5 am and until 9 pm. I can get up out of bed and work out early in the morning. I don't care to sleep as long. I love the smell of chlorine and drugstore sunscreen. I love popsickles and watermelon running down my arms and being barefoot all day long. I love riding in convertables with trendy tunes blasting and the sunshine just kissing my face. I love painting my nails funky colors and wearing my hair up all the time. I wear no makeup (like I ever do anyway) and I love the sunblessed bronze color I get.

I love going to ballparks; the smell of hotdogs, cotton candy and popcorn. I love that ping sound a baseball makes when it is hit just right. I love wearing tank tops and baseball caps. I love drinks with little umbrellas and frosty, frothy mugs of beer. I love patios with pitchers of margaritas and salty bar food.

The 4th of July is the best holiday ever. You can purchase those matchbox fireworks to light off and irritate your neighbors. Then you can just park it on a blanket somewhere and watch fireworks light up the sky. We always go to the ballgame at Coors field to watch their fireworks show and it never disappoints. I love picnics and swimming pools. I love riding bikes to the park and listening to the laughter of my kids.

I just love everything about this time of year-except for when it's over. That, and the fact that I don't have a job that allows me to be off for these months. Still, I will have this love affair with June, July and August for the rest of my life.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Father's day blog

I find lyrics to songs are so effective at summing up how I feel about so many things. So, naturally, when it comes to father's day, this song comes to mind:

The greatest man I never knew
Lived just down the hall
And everyday we said hello
But never touched at all
He was in his paper
I was in my room
How was I to know he thought I hung the moon

The greatest man I never knew
Came home late every night
He never had too much to say
Too much was on his mind

I never really knew him
And now it seems so sad
Everything he gave to us took all he had
Then the days turned into years
And the memories to black and white
He grew cold like an old winter wind
Blowing across my life

The greatest words I never heard
I guess I'll never hear
The man I thought would never die
S'been dead almost a year
He was good at business
But there was business left to do
He never said he loved me
Guess he thought I knew

It's a very touching song. It doesn't translate perfectly for me. For one, my dad tells me loves me all the time-he is very expressive. He also tells me everything wrong in my life (and my sister's life, and my brother's life, and pretty anyone else he can think of). He is also still very much alive-and incredibly healthy at 71.

The line about how he gave everything he had makes me sad. So many men are guilty of this. My husband is a perfect example. They are working so hard taking care of their families, and worrying about the big picture, that they forget to enjoy life's little treasures. It may take your children a lifetime to figure this out about you. It seems like such a waste.

The part about never really knowing him is true for me. He was very distant when I was growing up. In fact, we didn't really like each other very much. I suppose in part because we are a lot alike. As an adult, and a parent myself, I notice we have grown to be a little closer. In fact, every once in a while I get a glimpse of what he might have been like to have had as a friend instead of a father. It's one of the best things about getting to know your parents as an adult. You can see that side that you may never have noticed because they were busy raising you. My dad has a pretty good sense of humor. He is also a very talented cook-and not such a natural teacher. He has shown me how to cook lots of Iranian delights-none of which I have come close to mastering. So, I often call upon him for additional help to which he impatiently responds, "Sugar (Shoogah-with thick accent), when you gonna learn this stuff? I am not going to be around forever". You know how those old school cooks are-they never write anything down so I am constantly trying to get just the right amount of this and that figured out.

He is also a very emotional man. I notice he cries at the same movies I do (Slumdog, Kite Runner, etc). He also cries when he gets really angry-which I do as well. He is the reason I am hopelessly addicted to salt. I got his hair and awful feet. But he did bless us all with his dark coloring. He and I share a common dislike for garage sales, camping and setting foot in fabric stores. And just like me, he would rather be out doing something than watching TV or reading. We both love the gym and staying physically fit. I think of him when I eat pomegranates, pistachios and sour cherry jam; also bastani, poofac and noon -a-panir.

I always wanted to be accepted by him. I knew he loved me but it still felt like I let him down. I was a let down from the day I was born as he already had a daughter, and really wanted a son. I just kept up the trend most of my life. I think he is somewhat satisfied with the person I have become but I don't think it will ever be what he would have liked. I think he would have like me to have had a very impressive career of my own-and then married an extremely wealthy man whom spoiled me senselesly. He would like me to be an over privileged, over educated stay at home mommy who drives a fancy Mercedes and gets her hair done regularly. I am sure he would have liked it if I had kept up with my Iranian roots and still spoke Farsi.

On some levels, I can understand wanting these things for you kids. I would like my kids to grown up and have it great. I just wish he had made more of an effort to show some appreciate for what I did become.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Things I have learned

I read this very interesting list of things a columnist named Dave Berry wrote. It was one of those millions of things that gets forwarded over the Internet all the time. I usually only read them when they are short, if I read them at all-and this one met that criteria.

So, here are his 16 items: (I am so weak to use a forwarded spam article I know!)

1) Never, under any circumstances, take a sleeping pill and a laxative on the same night.

2) If you had to identify, in one word, the reason why the human race has not achieved, and never will achieve, its full potential, that word would be "meetings."

3) There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness."

4) People who want to share their religious views with you almost never want you to share yours with them.

5)You should not confuse your career with your life.

6) Nobody cares if you can't dance well. Just get up and dance.

7) Never lick a steak knife

8) The most destructive force in the universe is gossip

9) You will never find anybody who can give you a clear and compelling reason why we observe daylight savings time.

10) You should never say anything to a woman that even remotely suggest that you think she's pregnant unless you can see an actual baby emerging from her at that moment.

11) There comes a time when you should stop expecting other people to make a big deal about your birthday. That time is age eleven.

12) The one thing that unites all human beings, regardless of age, gender, religion, economic status or ethnic background, is that, deep down inside, we ALL believe we are above average drivers.

13) A person who is nice to you, but rude to a waiter, is not a nice person. (This is very important. Pay attention. It never fails)

14) Your friends love you anyway.

15) Never be afraid to try something new. Remember that a lone amateur built the Ark. A large group of professionals built the Titanic.

16) Thought for the day: Men are like fine wine..they start out as grapes, and it's up to the women to stomp the crap out of them until they turn into something acceptable to have dinner with.

Now, I have a hard time believing he came up with all of these himself-as I have heard some of these before. But I do really like these observations. I am not very close to 50, and I have already seen many of these things hold true. The ones I particularly like are in blue. I have few things on my list to-

I read somewhere a long time ago that if you smile a lot-people tend to be more receptive to you. And it is true. I find a simple smile goes a very long way. It actually makes people more attractive when they smile. Regardless of how beautiful you are, a smile will always make you look better and make people more comfortable. I dare you to try this out-spend an entire day smiling at people-strangers, co-workers, your kids, whatever-and I promise you, you will find the world is a much better place.

I have also discovered that being angry and bitter with someone is so much harder than to just get along. It sounds strange, but it takes a lot more energy to complain and be negative. Just being kind is easier and feels much better. I have not always been able to pull it off-but when I do, I am always pleasantly surprised. My grandma used to say "kill'em with kindness". Why do grandmas always have the best expressions? I wonder if I will be one of those grandmas.

I have found that a man's relationship with his mother tells you a great deal about his relationship with his wife. And we really do become our parents despite our denial of it.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

words that should not be words

I was recently at a Conference for the Association of Surgical Technologists (long term for people in the OR) which is where I work. The show photography shared a charming little story about the last conference he attended-it was called the Association for Non-Invasive Gynecologists.

WHAT? That is an oxy-moron. As a member of the female gender, I am telling you, there is no non-invasive gynecology. To which this mental giant responded, "well it's gotten better than the days when they split you open". Nice. That is not really a medical field is it? That is just idiots being barbaric and lazy. Do you really need to go to medical school to just split someone open? I do that with a turkey every Thanksgiving.

This wonderful, enlightening discussion did make me think about something though-and it's the opposite of one of my favorite bloggers, Brad (, who posted a list of words that should be in the dictionary but are not ( What I have been thinking about are words, like the aforementioned Non-invasive Gynecologists, that are in the dictionary but should not be:

grapefruit-honestly-this fruit in no way resembles a grape! It's more of an overgrown, bitter orange.

softball-who in his right mind thinks this ball is soft? perhaps someone who thinks a larger version of base is soft? yes, that makes perfect sense.

night stick-I have seen enough Law and Order to know that they use these during the day too

horsefly-I have never seen a horse fly-or a dragon fly for that matter. I haven't seen a house fly either come to think of it. Perhaps horseflies just like horses? then do dragon flies just like dragons? and house flies just like houses?

hot dog-I cannot even begin to imagine how processed meat that is not fit to feed a dog got named after one.

bathing suite-okay, if you are bathing, you should not be wearing anything. If you are swimming, you should be wearing a swim suite right?

restroom/bathroom/water closet/powder room-not that I have a better word (perhaps Brad can step in here), but none of these descriptions really seem to grasp the purpose of this room. I am thinking excrete room?

football-you have to give this one to the Euros; their version really does use the foot even if American football is a thousand times more interesting to watch. But then again, why do we even have the word soccer?

buffalo wings-these are chicken wings aren't they? who came up with the whole buffalo thing?

Feel free to add more of these non-sen sickle words, I know there are many more.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Another gym blog

I go to many different gyms. As a 24 hour member (yes, the bottom feeding establishment that it is), I can go to any of their wonderful facilities. So, I go to the one by my office during the week-and I recently joined a very nice club I go to on the weekend. I also go to a couple of other locations during the week so I can catch some of my favorite instructors.

Every gym comes complete with LAME (look at me) cast. There is the too tan, dressed 10+ years inappropriately, just got out of the waiting room of the plastic surgeon girl. There are FAR too many of them. They irritate the hell out of me but the also look great (that might be part of why they irritate me). This girl knows she looks great and makes every effort to be seen. She is meticulously dressed, her hair is usually just so-and she always has make up on. She bends over, streches in the most high profile locations-yells loudly during group exercise, etc. Yesterday one of these LAME girls had on a sports bra top combo that was a bit too narrow because her implants were actually hanging out of it. Mind you, I am a fan of implants-but I don't really need to SEE them. It's okay to be hot-just use some discretion-some people are actually there to excerise and not just to be stared at. What we really need for folks like this is an fitness zoo-where they can have their own little cages that people can come and marvel at what a good job they do with their tiny bodies and tons of free time. (hmm, do I sound bitter?)

Of course, there is always a yin for the yang. The member who doesn't realize she is not the aforementioned person, but dresses like she is. Folks, tight fitting tops and short shorts are not supposed to be worn by everyone-regardless of the latest fashions. Some people should stick to the loser fitting styles. I do admire people who are not the of the super model variety that are still at the gym, sweating and suffering away. It is much harder to go when you don't look like you live there. In fact, some of these people might have other things to do like work or raise children, etc. While I fit in this category, I don't wear grossly inappropriate work out attire. That is all I ask.

Then, there are the guys who accompany the LAME ladies. They are really fun to take in. Most of the time, they have on what you might call a tank top. It's the closest thing to not wearing a shirt they can get away with. They walk around like stuffed turkeys-with their arms and chests sticking out. They are the guys who wore those balloon pants with loud prints in the 80's. Today they have on these inverse tank top concoctions. This guy grunts really loudly too-and always wants to work in with the guy who lifts a lot less than he does. He never wipes off the equipment, and the youngest versions rarely put anything away-probably so the next person can be impressed by having to remove all the large plates. "my, how strong you must be to use all these plates" It's so predictable.

Also, why would a member of the male sex wear spandex EVER? It just isn't a good look. I was corrected once by a guy who told me it was LYCRA (whatever). I suppose if you are on a 10 hour bike ride outdoors, it could be almost acceptable, but a 60 minute spin class? If I wanted to see a display of fashion disability and abuse of good taste, I will just go to the local Renaissance Festival. I don't need it at the gym.

As for 24 Hour itself-what a total rip off. The showers are just breeding grounds for disease-hair stopping up the drains-the soap dispensers are always out, those cheap plastic shower curtains, no place to put your personal items,etc. The outlets rarely work-many of the shower heads don't work. I love their 10 cent towels that they sell for $7. And because I have my head up my you know what, I often have to purchase one. So why go there you ask? Well, it's cheap, it's convenient-and where else can I get this kind of material to blog about?

As for my posh club I recently joined, give me a couple of months on that one-I am sure there is great material there too. For one, it has a tennis club as part of the membership-that alone is grounds for endless snobbery and hoity toity behaviors to make fun of. What I am finding early on is a lot of white haired members. But I will keep you posted.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

I looked up the meaning of uninspired today; and this is what I found:

Lacking liveliness, charm, or surprise:
arid, aseptic, colorless, drab, dry, dull, earthbound, flat, flavorless, lackluster, lifeless, lusterless, matter-of-fact, pedestrian, prosaic, spiritless, sterile, stodgy, unimaginative

Lacking originality: sterile, uncreative, unimaginative, uninventive, unoriginal.

The adjective has 2 meanings:
Meaning #1: having no intellectual or emotional or spiritual excitement
Meaning #2: deficient in originality or creativity; lacking powers of invention:i"a sterile ideology lacking in originality"

Hmmm, I resemble this description much of the time at work! Most of the adjectives were exactly what I was expecting, but pedestrian? Since when is that uninspired? I love the dictionary!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Life's irritating mysteries.....cont'd

I hate stoplights with timers! Who thought that up anyway? Probably the idiot who came up with the "adult swim" concept. Why do we need to be told to stop what we are doing all the time? What's wrong with free will?

Springtime in Colorado. It is giant confusion between summer and winter in a bi-polar, irritating fashion.

Unisex restrooms-public restrooms. It's bad enough my home has to have both sexes using the same restrooms-but in public, I should be spared. Men's rooms are like smoking sections. If there is a smoking section-the whole place is a smoking section-there is no such thing as non-smoking. I feel this way about both sex restrooms. They all become men's rooms. Much like my household-where I am, of course, the only female. I should have my own restroom really-and my own shower, closet, and room too. I digress....

Has anyone ever noticed the Yellow truck sign is orange? I suppose it's genious marketing-but it's also quite stupid.

What is the deal with Pirates? I thought they were fictional characters?

The English language. I did not realize just how absurd our language was until I had a first grader. As he learns to read and write (and I along with him), I am getting more and more annoyed with this language. We really don't need 26 letters-what is the point of x and q? Couldn't x be replaced with z or ks? And q- kw? C sometimes sounds like S, and sometimes like K-identity crisis. This to me means, it could just go away. And what about silent letters? WHY? Get rid of them! That is the stupidest thing I have ever seen. Why don't we just call them invisible letters and not put them there? Don't even get me started on the i before e thing! I could go on and on. It's as if someone took a perfectly good language and just totally screwed it. Senseless-truly! It makes me crazy. I could do a blog on this alone but I will spare you.

My DVR player only works with a remote control. There are no buttons on it to manually operate it. What has the world come to? Between my two boys, finding that remote is no small task. Remote controls, like many many technological advances, are the best and the worst things that have ever happened. That is another blog unto itself!

There are people who are not very bright , but have great people skills-they are so nice and likable, you can forgive the fact that they are dumber than sticks. Then there are those who are sharp but not so congenial. These are people you can co-exist with-and just accept the functionality of it-you just get what you need to get done, and keep the rest to a minimum. Either of these combinations are okay with me. But then there are those whom are both unintelligent AND unfriendly-and there are lots of words to describe this unfortunate combination-then it is one of the most irritating things I can think of. Obviously, I avoid these people like the swine flu-but when I have to work with someone who fits this description-it makes me want to pull out my hair!

If I could.....

If I could be there today, I would:

Make you a big old waffle-and imagine we were sitting at Malibu Inn together having some all important conversation about our weekend plans and which boys are cute.

Then, we would pack it up and head to a pool somewhere to catch some rays on a perfect cloudless day. We could ride in a convertable with warm sunshine beating down on us. I would play great music on my Ipod that would bring us back to our barely-past-childhood days when we first met.

I would also enjoy a nice deep friend Zenover-a couple of beers, then off to the Blind Lemon.

And no trip is complete without catching a game at Riverfront-a bunch of Skyline chili dogs and a few cocktails at Barleycorns.

I have so many great memories of good times with you my dear friend-and as far away as they seem at times, they are never far from my heart. Speaking of my heart-I am sending you mine today; I know yours is broken-just use mine!

Sad days

Sometimes when you have a sad day-you just want to be sad. I know there is value in being cheered up. And I usually pull the, "I could have it worse" card which generally helps snap me out of my feel-sorry-for-myself funk. There is always someone who has it worse-and as bad as things can seem, they could probably get worse.

But sometimes, you just need to have a pity party. And when friends of mine call me and tell me that something has them down (like this morning-one of my best friends in the world is having a very tough time); as much as I want to turn on the charm and use my sense of humor to make her feel better, I also feel like just saying-"Well, that SUCKS. And you should be down, and I would be too." Is that really so bad? Honestly, that may well be the best thing I can think of to say. So, for all of you having days like that-maybe you should just say that once in a while. It's okay to just be down.

Now, I am not saying it should go on and on. Eventually, these days come to an end (thankfully); and then we have to live our lives-even through the disappointments and imperfections. Most of us do. In fact, that is probably what separate winners and losers. It is not about the bad things that happen to us-it is all about how we deal with them and get on with it. Still, we reserve the right to let those things bother us. I am just saying there is no shame in admitting that when something bad happens-it makes you want to curl up in a ball and not even face the world. Sometimes the world wins-and I am okay with a white flag day once in a while. We should all grant ourselves that. And then, the next day (or so)-get up and take aim again.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Tune talk

Hold on to 16 as long as you can
Changes come around real soon
Make us women and men

This is a line in a song that I find rather moving. The song is Jack and Diane, by John Cougar Mellancamp. I often think of it when something rather unsettling happens in life. I sent it to my good friend, Denice, last year when she sent out a note saying she was officially divorced. It was a difficult divorce-one where he wanted it and she did not. I am not going into the sordid details, but she did meet him as a teenager, and they were married for 15 years before he decided he just didn't love her anymore. Ironic how these lyrics ring true. Adulthood can be so cruel.

I didn't think life was bliss as a teenager, and I am not suggesting that this lyric does either. But it does make me think about how being a grown-up can sometimes just suck. How I miss the land of very little responsibility. I miss when the stakes weren't so high, I miss eating whatever I wanted and never worrying about gaining weight, I miss not knowing what tax deductible meant, or what concealer was for, and I really miss just living in the moment.

There's no time to lose, I heard her say
Catch your dreams before they slip away
Dying all the time
Lose your dreams
And you will lose your mind.
Ain't life unkind?

Okay, this one is a bit more somber isn't it? This is Ruby Tuesday by the Rolling Stones. There is an endless list of songs that talk about dreams. This one tells me it's okay if all my dreams don't come true-it's just not okay to lose them. It's easy to do that-forget your dreams. Not many people are living their dreams, but you can sure tell people who no longer have any. It's like being a corpse, and I never want to be there. It's like a song with no melody. Dreams just represent hope. I never want to lose hope.

And, on a much lighter note-

Oh, yesterdays over my shoulder
So I cant look back for too long
Theres just too much to see waiting in front of me
And I know that I just cant go wrong

This is by the ever so fun, Jimmy Buffett-I tell you, it always puts a smile on my face. I have a tendency to look in the past too much. It's not a good habit, and I don't want to do it anymore. I have to believe the best is yet to come.

Monday, April 13, 2009

He got it right...

About a month ago, I wrote about how I tried to do this nice night out for my hubby and me for his birthday ( and I totally screwed it up. This past weekend, my husband planned a very nice outing-which we referred to as a sleepover to our kids-for my birthday. And it was perfect. I know it isn't a competition, but I must concede. He really nailed it.

First, I had a full day of spa treatments -what a slice of HEAVEN! Message, manicure, pedicure, steam room, on and on. It was wonderful. Then, I get to my beautiful room in the gorgeous, historic Oxford hotel to find my handsome husband waiting for me with a martini. Then he whisked us both off to dinner at Morton's, where we had an excellent dinner. Afterward, we headed to the Cruise room, which is a hip little bar just inside the Oxford hotel. It was the first bar to open in Denver after prohibition. The bartender even shared some ghost stories with us-which I just LOVED! Then we just hit the elevator button to our room-which was oh so nice. We got to sleep in! The next morning, we enjoyed a delicious brunch-and then headed home to celebrate Easter with our family.

What a great night!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Parent-teacher conferences

I am lucky when it comes to parent-teacher conferences. We hardly ever have anything to discuss. My kids have been doing quite well in school. Of course, my oldest is in first grade and my youngest is in preschool. So, my guess is, no one really has tough parent teacher conferences at these ages. And yet, I still come away worrying about things. My oldest struggles with his handwriting, verbal instruction, and math has even been a bit challenging for him lately (he usually does very well). It is completely insane to think there will be zero that challenges my son, but I still find myself thinking that should be the case. I get these unrealistic visions of me tutoring him all summer so his 2nd grade reports should not even have a slightly below perfect tone. And then I realize I am just being ridiculous.

As for my pre-schooler, how in the world can we already be worrying? And yet, I am! His teacher (whom was also my first Born's teacher) told us we may very well have an introvert on our hands. WHAT? My offspring an introvert? I could almost hear my mother in law laughing. I find introverts to be among the most challenging personalities as a giant extrovert myself. I mean, should I just shut up? Should I engage them and try and make them feel more comfortable by talking more? Seriously, it just baffles me. And my little boy just got his first-of what promises to be many-labels as an introvert. The world is just full of labels isn't it?

Once again, I have this rainbows and sunshine belief that I should personally be able to fix the world for my children. It should be absolutely perfect for them. And I know that is just stupid, but I still agonize over it.

This brings me back to teacher-parent conferences. I know they are useful, but really, they just seem like a giant exercise in a parent's insecurity. But maybe it's just me.


I am not sure I like this aging thing. My 39th birthday is very soon. And I am not all that excited about it. Why? It's like I can hear the final jeopardy music ticking for the countdown to 40 (complete with a smug, "I know the answer" Alex Tribec face). I know it should not really bother me-aging is only natural, but it does. It's different for women too. As men age, they actually improve. As most men are just giant children anyway, the aging process is a welcome one. The difference between a boy and a man is quite appealing to me -however long it may take.

For women, on the other hand, it seems we start losing ground. Things that used to come easy for me are so much harder as I get older. It's no longer about losing weight-it's more about not gaining it. I now see a much bigger difference when I wear make up and when I don't. Gray hair seems to be winning the war. But these are just physical battles.

Beneath the surface, I fight the urge to ponder where I am in life and whether it is where I thought I would be or should be or want to be. Decades tend to make me reflect on such things. I do dislike the hottness factor disspating-but not nearly as much as the self doubt that accompanies looking behind me to see what I have been doing for all these years. Would I do it different? Should I make some big change now?

I am sure we could all look back at defining moments and wish we had done it differently. Basically, who doesn't have a few regrets? Life is full of decisions-and most of the time, we know without a doubt when we make the right one. We know right from wrong. We know when we are doing things that are impulsive. We know when we are making a sacrifice. Years later, those things become even more clear.

I wish I had worked harder in college. I was blessed with the ability to get good enough grades without killing myself which is exactly what I did. It makes me wonder how well I would have done if I had tried harder. I also wish I had gone to law school. I think I would have made a good lawyer.

I wish I had kept up with speaking Farsi. I had good reasons for burying that side of my identity at the time, but I reget it anyway. I long to speak to my dad and my Iranian side of the family in Farsi.

I wish I had kept up with teaching aerobics. That one may be fixable as I recently signed up to get certified again. That is definately something I should keep up on. It is very liberating to me to work out-and ultimately, I want to pick the music.

I wish I would have nursed Tyler for longer. I don't know why, but I always feel like he got ripped off a little.

I wish I had been a better wife when I was trying to figure out how to be a good mommy. I believe I have paid the price for that though, so I will just leave it at that.

I should have gone to Nanny's funeral. I hate that I didn't get to say goodbye.

I wish I hadn't screwed things up so badly at my favorite job I ever had. My career has never really been the same. Again, I look back at my reasons, and I had the very best of intentions. But, I should have gone about it differently. I will probably always regret that decision.

My life has had some significant turning points. And I have lived long enough now to understand that those things shape and mold the person I am. And as I face yet another year on the calendar, I just try and make sense of it.

Friday, April 3, 2009

April 3

Today is my oldest son's 7th birthday. Seven years seems like a long time to me. I feel like I have known this little person forever. But then again, seven years have gone by in a flash. How can he be reading and writing and operating electronic devices and playing sports already?

Seven years ago, I was a very different person. I am not going to say I was naive but I think I was naive. I remember when I was pregnant, people saying how my life was going to change so much-and I just rolled my eyes thinking, "Whatever, I like my life. Why should it change?" I remember thinking maternity leave would be so great, I was going to get all this stuff done. I thought I would get the hang of this mommy thing pretty quickly. After all, most of my life, I have been successful at my endeavors. I also assumed my house would stay orderly, I would still be accomplished at my career, and be able to keep up with social engagements. I figured my husband and I would be closer than ever.

Today, I realize that the 32 year old version of me had a lot to learn. I am not saying I regret anything, but I do reflect on that person I used to be and wonder if there was any easier way of preparing for what lie ahead. I doubt it. I am one of those people that just learns things the hard way. I rarely take any one's word for anything.

As for my seven year old, poor thing. I have been a deer in headlights most of his little life. Every new thing for him is a new thing for me. This year it was losing teeth, sleepovers, full time school-packing and forgetting to pack lunches, figuring out ordering hot lunch. Some of these things seem so simple, yet I have managed to completely screw them up. I have sent him to school with the flu-he went undiagnosed with Asthma for who knows how long, I have botched up dress code for him countless times, and I get anxiety when he has to decorate anything for display at school (valentines boxes, King's Kid poster). Who knows how much the inexperienced mom in me has surfaced in his seven years.

And yet, he never complains. He was going to bed last night-sneezing and wheezing from allergies as usual. And he was still in the best spirits. Somehow, he thinks I am the greatest mommy ever. He loves when I come to his classroom. There is just a light in his eyes. He has this smile that is unmistakable when he sees me-it speaks volumes always makes me feel better. It has a way of glossing over all those silly mommy moves I make. It has a way of making this journey worth every bit of work and heart ache it can be sometimes. I suppose most of this post is just details-there is really only one worth son knows how much I love him.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009


Here is my list of the day:

I am TERRIBLE at parking. Not only parallel but all kinds of parking. On my behalf, I must say, cars have grown at a much faster pace than parking spots. Nevertheless, I have a serious problem getting between the lines. Come to think of it, I have always struggled at being between the lines. I am not very good at coloring either. And speaking of parking-how does one get such good parking anyway? It's one thing to be early-it's an entire other thing to get good parking. Wherever I am, I always wonder how early you have to be to get such a good spot. It's really just luck I suppose. I did once use a handicap sticker at the zoo with a girlfriend of mine, and I still feel completely horrible about it.

I have lied about my height and weight. I am not completely certain what my height is, and I really don't want to know what my weight is. I may start withholding the truth about my age soon as I am just a year away from turning 40.

When I fill out those painstakingly long forms at the doctor's office, I tend to lie about how many drinks I have in a week-and I never mention the cosmetic surgery I had.

I have fed my kids cupcakes for breakfast, popcorn for lunch and cold hot dogs for dinner (not all in one day).

I have purchased items that I have never worn. I cannot explain this as it really makes no sense. Maybe I thought I would lose some weight, or I was too rushed (or lazy) to try it on. Who knows. But occasionally, I do a purge of my closet and find things with tags on them. I have also told my husband that I have had this item while when really I just don't want to tell him I just bought it.

I told my dentist that I flossed once a week-it's more like once a month.

I cannot stand to touch raw meat. I buy latex gloves to prepare it. My mom makes fun of me all the time about it.

I think it's cold if it's under 70 degrees.

I cannot figure out how to put pictures up and have comments under them on this blog. I am terribly inexperienced at blogging-but I do enjoy it.

I could eat bacon at every meal-or as every meal.

I have Xanadu on my Ipod and I know the words!

I love facial hair on men-I have no idea why.

My idea of being a handyman is calling someone to fix it or buying a new one. I get anxiety when I see the words, "assembly required

Monday, March 30, 2009


I think of skiing as a regional sport/activity. I doubt I would do it if I hadn't grown up in Colorado. And while I do sincerely enjoy it, I also consider it one of the many things I do as a past time that mostly involves complaining.....

For example, the snow conditions are always grounds for complaining. There is too much snow, not enough snow, it's way too cold, it's a bit too warm, crusty snow with ice underneath, mashed potato like snow, blown snow, crunchy snow, icy snow, really just about anything you can think of to describe snow. It seems there is rarely a day that has perfect snow-yet we all crave it because every once in a while-there is one. There is a day when the sun shines just perfectly after just a dusting of powder on top of soft white crests. A day when you are king of the mountain. It actually makes you a better skier. Let's face it, most days when it comes to me and the mountain, I would bet on the mountain-but once in a great while-you are the champion. You hit every turn, read every line-you actually hear the sound of your skis. You just own it. Very rare (at least for me), but keeps you coming back

We also complain about having to haul all the heavy equipment long distances because there is never good parking. Who gets good parking anyway? That is a mystery to me-and it's a whole other blog so I am not even going to go into here. I get serious anxiety when I think about bringing my 4 and 7 year olds up with me. I have visions of them getting all dressed and having to pee. Then I have to carry all their stuff. Then I think they will whine incessantly about how cold it is (well, I hate to point out the obvious-but it is snow) And it is insanely expensive. But still, it is a Colorado family tradition-parents have been torturing children this way for generations and who am I to break the mold?

I used to ski as much as possible on my weekends. Then I had children. Now I feel like a rock star if I go 4 times a year. I used to love having the best of gear, and always felt like a kid in a candy store at the ski shops. Now, I am just happy the clothes I have still fit, and the equipment is functional. I cannot imagine that I ever cared about looking good while skiing, but if I did, that was very long time ago.

There are some truths about skiing I have learned to appreciate:

There is no better feeling in the entire world than at the end of the day, when you finally take your boots off.

Lift line etiquette is a must

A bad day skiing is still a better than a good day at work, which is why I maintain a strict policy of skiing on the weekdays

Advil is the elixir of life

If you go down a run that no one is on (and it's a crowded day)-THERE IS A REASON-get off this run!

You are more likely to bust your a$$ and make a fool of yourself on very easy runs with the most amount of people watching.

Two minutes is a very long time when the lift stops and you are on it

It is much easier to go to the bathroom before you get all your gear on.

Short people have a huge advantage

It's the only time in my life I wish I had facial hair

Only a few things are really worth the money-your boots, your goggles and your boots

Polling totally sucks

Skiing is not fun with people who are far better or far worse at it than you are at it

It is not something I recommend taking up as an adult-especially if all your adult friends already know how (see previous)

It used to annoy me when young children would sail past me on runs-now it kind of annoys me when old people do-I am not sure why

Skinnier is not better

Good equipment does not make bad skiers better, it makes good skiers better

Skiing with an Ipod is a imperative....and so is a helmet

Monday, March 23, 2009

odds and ends

I love spring! It's not my favorite season, summer is, but springtime in the rockies is a close second. Why? Well, for one, it's not winter anymore. And that's a good enough reason really. But it also means that summer is next up.

I love a good thunderstorm and we rarely have them-but they are most common in spring. It is such a desert here that even when we do get the spring rains-they last about 10 minutes, and it is bone dry again an hour later. Mainly, they just keep car washes in business. I always hear that it's the wettest season for us, but that's not saying much. It is SO dry here. I don't love a ton of humidity (a la Texas or Florida) but would it kill anyone if we had just a tad more? I was flying in last week, and all I could see for miles was brown. It looked like if you dropped a match, the whole place would go up in flames. I hate to complain because this really is a great place to live, but I would love to go one day without lotion and not look like an alligator.

I also love March Madness, daylight until 7 or 8 pm, spring skiing, breaking out the flip flops and open toed shoes again, the flowers that mysteriously pop up every year in my flower beds. I have a black thumb but somehow they still grow. So, I am very content with the time of year.

In other news, my older son informed me that he will no longer wear "tighty whiteys". He is 7. Kid already knows slang for his boxers. He is finally getting big enough to wear the XS size in boxers. If you follow this blog, you realize how happy that makes me. Just today, I noticed a pair of sweats he was wearing looked a bit small on him. Yay!! It seems since he got diagnosed with asthma, and has been on lots of inhalers for it; he has been hungry.

My younger son does not care about such things as underwear, but he does love to wear his wife beaters. In fact, if I put one on under a shirt of his at school, it is likely when I pick him up, that is all he is wearing. Speaking of what he wears to school, last Friday, he went to school as Batman. And right now, he is climbing the indoor basketball hoop (don't ask) while my older son shoots. It's lovely.

I have a lot of work I should be doing in this house, and instead, I am just sitting here-blogging. Such an over achiever!

Friday, March 20, 2009

The list

I was recently with a very together-with business person who said he did not like lists other than while he was at work. I understand that but there is a list I do like. It's a list of things I want to do in my life. We all have one-and I am not talking lottery winning, fantastical, long shot lists, I am talking the real life things I want to do before I leave this world.

Here is what mine looks like:

Travel-really travel-not just resort hop. I want to see Europe-the people, the customs, the culture, the real deal. I want to speak different languages, watch their shows, read their publications, order at restaurants, etc. I really want to experience it. It is a huge regret of mine that I did not do it earlier in my life. But there is still time.

Stadiums-I want to hit every stadium and ballpark in this country-and abroad too. I want to see hometown stands root for their teams, and cheer on my sorry teams (poor Chiefs!). I love to tailgate and see the fans get all fired up for their teams. I want to see Wimbledon and the Aussie and French Open. I wouldn't mind seeing a World cup soccer match-though I really don't get soccer.

See my kids grow up-I don't have too many expectations here-just that they are happy and that they outlive me. My worst fear is to outlive one of them. And since I am condemned to mother in law hood, it would be great if they married women I liked. I hope to be a good MIL.

There are certain entertainers that I would like to see perform-Bruce Springsteen is high on the list, I would like to see Madonna Sting, and Elton John too.

Drive-someday I want to drive a Mercedes CLK model-a sleek black 2 seater. Sure, I'll be 70 and they probably won't even make them anymore so it will have classic plates, but I don't care.

I want to ski until I have white hair-and on the runs I ski today (OK, maybe not as fast, but I skied next to a guy with white hair last time I went-we were on Phantom Bridge (black diamond bump run at Mary Jane)

I want to ride a train, in a helicopter and a hot air balloon.

Adrenaline junkie things-I would like to sky dive even though it scares me to death. It's probably like riding roller coasters, which I love. I would like to ride in a race car too-same reason.

See a musical/play on Broadway-Cats or Wicked comes to mind, but I would see anything there.

See Niagara Falls-I just want to hear that sound. I LOVE waterfalls

Go to New York City and Washington DC.

Fly a kite

Teach spinning class

This may be a to be continued does seem to continue to grow, and I am a bit out of steam tonight....

The heart wants what the heart wants

Why are there so many songs about Romeo and Juliet? I mean, do we really have a world full of unhappy people and unrequited loves? Isn't anyone happy? I was talking to a friend of mine recently who says she is convinced no one is happily married. I am not sure I am that cynical. I have been at times, but overall, I still believe in true love. I believe in that feeling that just grips you from the insides and won't let go. It has a way of super ceding all that makes sense, a way of taking over. In short, the heart wants what the heart wants. I love being in love. I believe anything worth having is worth working for.

There are some who just like the first date feeling forever-and they stay single or get a lot of divorces. I suppose that makes sense-to a limit. But that's not me-I was never very good at the single thing. I didn't really like worrying about what this guy or that guy would think of me. Everyone has a list of things that aren't so great-in order to avoid that, you would have to subscribe to the single forever theory. That being said, sometimes people get married that shouldn't. I get that, but I also think some people get divorced who shouldn't. I am no marriage counselor (nor could I stand to be) but I just don't believe everyone is unhappy. It's just one of those things about our culture that has evolved-we don't really like working hard. But relationships can be hard work.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

I got a good one

I really hate to bake-it's a lot of work, and it rarely turns out well for me. My cookies are like frisbees, my cakes always fall and stick to the non-stick pans, my brownies are like chocolate volcanoes on the inside and bricks on the outside, I have never tried a pie, and baking breads or rolls sound less appealing to me than the word speculum. My Mother In Law is an incredibly good baker-that should tell me right there that I have no shot. She and I are so different, it comes as no surprise that she has mastered something I can barely make edible on a good day. This is not to say I don't like my Mother In Law; just that we are different.

She is actually an excellent MIL. I don't have another one to compare to, but I know both she and my own mother had terrible ones, so I totally appreciate the difference. For example, she has NEVER imposed her will or abused her influence over her son to meet her needs as her own mother in law has always done. Her mother in law once wrote her a letter completely renouncing Catholicism-which is how my MIL was raised; she also made her name her first born (my husband) a hideous name-Millard. My poor husband has gone by his middle name his entire life-and my MIL would love to see him legally change it. She once said to me that she had hoped to never be that kind of mother in law. And she has succeeded. I could not ask for a better one. She has always been very hands off-and very respectful of Paul and me-even when we do things that just make her scratch her head. She has been so helpful and supportive all these years-but never over steps it. I have seen the mama's boy syndrome in many of the men I know, or the men my friends/family married. It is not the case with my husband-and that is a giant credit to this great lady.

And I am sure I drive her crazy-I am her opposite in so many ways. I am super outgoing and overly talkative; terribly unorganized and unstructured; messy, forgetful, impulsive, emotional and expressive. I bet when she met me-almost 18 years ago-she just rolled her eyes. When we told her we were getting married, she thought we were pregnant. Probably because I was her worst nightmare.

However, over the years, we have really grown together. I used to be so uncomfortable around her, like I could never please her. Despite the litany of things we do not share, we do share a huge love for our family. She is an exceptional mother and amazing grandmother. And she has been able to put aside things about me that have to feel like finger nails on a chalkboard to her, and become my friend anyway.

We both love to make fun of our husbands-and their ridiculous over eating habits. We love to discuss recipes, she has gotten me addicted to Philosophy and Bare Escentuals products, she gives the best gifts-new flatware, dishes, the best Kitchen Aid hand mixer ever, my favorite sweater, to name a few. She watches my boys 2 days a week-which has made it possible for me to work and never have to put my kids in daycare. I am forever indebted to her for that gift. My house is cleaner when I get home than when I left it-despite my 2 sons (and her son/husband) messing it up all day. I doubt she realizes I notice that because I often forget to mention it. She is such a blessing in so many ways. She gives so much, and never asks for anything in return. She is so understated and unassuming.

I used to just see the things about her I did not understand because we were such opposites. But now, I see such a wonderful lady, full of incredible talents and gifts. I have learned so much from her, and I continue to all the time. I love her with all my heart.

I hear terrible stories all the time about the families people marry into. And while I don't seem like a perfect fit for the one I married into, it is perfect for me.

Monday, March 9, 2009

More of life's irritating mysteries

It occurred to me that this column could be something I do more often than once. After all, the world really never stops irritating me, so here is another post:

Why do we have to type words in a little box for security purposes? And why are those words always impossible to read? Is there some connection with criminal internet behavior and someones ability to decipher those impossible scratchings?

And why can't parking meters take credit cards? And what happened to the days when parking meters didn't charge for weekdays and weekends?

Why would anyone tell you that you look tired? Isn't that just another way of saying you look terrible? I hate backwards insults like that. Just tell me I look awful!

Why are CDs and DVDs epoxied with industrial strength saran wrap material that could seal an army tank? And speaking of which, why can't saran wrap we use for food be that useful? It really only sticks to itself.

Have you ever noticed how the radio stations all play commercials at the very same time? Such a conspiracy. And I am a seriel flicker, so it really bugs me on the drive home.

Who came up with a 40 hour work week anyway? Was it some scientific calculation or was it based on a specific task/industry; or was it just arbitrary like most things that have to do with the workforce? Do we really need to work 40 hours? I tell you a stimulus plan that would work-cut it to 30 (same pay) and see how much daycare cost savings would help the middle class. Not to mention, people only work about 30 of those 40 hours anyway. I know people would work a lot harder and more efficiently if they only worked 4 day weeks-the same amount of work would get done as it does now. People would just be a lot happier, and families might start forming again. Our culture has lost its sense of family.

Why is it acceptable to wait in the lobby of a doctor's office for endless periods of time? Is there another profession where we could get away with that? Is a doctor's time that much more important than his patient's? The only ones more important would be those monopoly weilding folks like repairmen and servicemen-what's with the standard service window of time-"we'll be there between 8 am and 4 pm" What? Are you kidding me? I would love to be that loose on when I would get things done at work!

Why are there so many dead zones for cell phones? When our kids are grown, will they laugh at us when we tell them there was such a thing? It will be like telling them we had phone booths or rotary phones that weren't cordless.

Why is it that when I lose something, I look in the usual spot for it. Then I look around a bunch of other stupid places only to find myself looking in the original spot over and over again; long after I have determined that it is not there? As if it will somehow magically re-appear where it belongs in the first place! Am I the only one who does this?

I hate 35 MPG speed limits. I also HATE when a policeman is behind me-especially in a 35 MPG zone. I don't have to be doing anything wrong, and I still feel nervous and guilty. It reminds me of my 7th grade typing teacher who would stand over me until I made a mistake typing. He scared me to death. Invariably, I would make a typo instantly when he stood there.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Best of intentions

So, have you ever planned something you thought was going to be a great time, and then it just really wasn't? It's such a crappy feeling. I made dinner reservations for Paul and me last night at what I thought was going to be a hip little place downtown. Turns out, there were quite a few other folks planning to go downtown last night as well. In fact, after 30 minutes of driving around in a construction laden, skinny parking lot infested, over priced 5 or 6 block square radius, we finally found a $20 spot that we could not get the stupid autopay parking figured out. By then, we were both pretty frustrated-and we didn't even care anymore. We figured the parking ticket couldn't have been much more than $20 anyway.

Then, we got to the restaurant-a place called Limelight Supper Club. It is located right smack in the middle of the Denver Center of Performing Arts complex. Seemingly, a pretty hip and swank place. However, we walked in-and we were literally the ONLY people in the entire establishment. Seriously! I felt like a geriatric couple eating dinner 3 hours before the rush. I guess the reason was that the shows had already started so everyone who eats dinner there comes early to make the shows. Wasn't I feeling like the uncultured swine? It might have been salvagable if it was just an incredible meal-after all, Kevin Taylor is supposed to be all that in this town, and he is the chef. But, actually, it was a very average meal. The tomato soup tasted a lot like something I would make. Paul had lamb and I had salmon. It was very comparable to any chain restaurant we could have had in downtown Castle Rock (with free parking). Probably the best part of the night was the fact that we did not get a parking ticket. From all accounts, it was pretty much a disaster

On the bright side, it was good company. Paul and I did have a nice time together. I am sure we will laugh about this for years to come....well, we will mostly just laugh at me. In any case, deep down, I just know Paul appreciates that I had the best of intentions.

Musically inclined

Recently, my favorite blogger shared told me she wasn't "musically inclined". Naturally, it is my mission to convert her. It did make me think what it means to be musically inclined anyway. And I guess it's just one of those places I go to escape. I remember as a kid listening to music, and it always made me feel like I could be somewhere else. I loved the sound of my mom singing to me. I played the piano-which could feel surreal at times. I was never a big student of piano though-I just liked making the sounds. In other words, theory and lessons bored me. I just wanted to play songs. It drove teachers crazy.

As I approached the adolescence age when music is oh so important, I remember having a giant appetite for and a huge variety of different types of music. I liked top 40,classic rock, heavy metal, alternative weirdo bands, classic piano tunes, cheesy stuff my mom sang to me as a kid, pretty much everything. I have not met many types of music that I couldn't fine a few songs I liked.

As an adult, I find that music has a way of taking me back to places. Sometimes it's a great memory. The song, Candy by Iggy Pop was playing on my Ipod-and it totally brought me back to my college days. I could feel the warm sunshine on my face in my room mate Amy's Mustang convertible. So many late 80's and early 90's tunes have that affect on me. And I always welcome it! I was a DJ at Pepperdine so I was very up to date on tunes of the times. I love reliving those moments-just in my mind. I think of concerts we went to-getting ready for a typical college night out: complete with lots of hairspray, changes of clothes and pre party beers. I still remember those 18-21 year old days of trying to figure out who we were going to be when we grew up. And some 21 years later, those girls still have such an important role in who I will be when I grow up (if i ever do). We are in 5 states now, we have 8 kids between us, 2 divorces and when we are together, we still play the same songs and our hearts are filled with magic only that type of connection can bring. It's as if we are on PCH all over again wondering what life has to offer; and just happy to be in it together.

Then I hear songs that make me think of things that I forget are even very old. Slave to Love by Bryan Ferry is a song that always makes me think of Paul. I worked at Paramount Cafe downtown the summer I met him. The jukebox there played that song all the time. I still think of those days when I hear it; and it amazes me that has now been 18 years ago. And Brown Eyed Girl has been around forever it seems. I still remember the first gift Paul ever gave me was the Van Morrison CD with that song on it. Years later, we both agree, that is the only song worth anything by Van Morrison. That's another timeless song though, that reminds me of all the years that have passed, yet stood still.

Some memories are sad. I hear Blue Danube on the piano, and it always makes me cry because I think of my grandmother, whom I called Nannie. Despite our incredibly low ranking as Iranian kids among the southern relatives (my mom's side of the family); our Nannie always loved us unconditionally. She never made us feel like we didn't belong-even though we knew we didn't. Remarkably, she managed to mask her distaste for my father in order to love us so much. I miss her so.

Many songs remind me of movies-either the unmistakable rifts like James Bond or Indiana Jones, or maybe Oscar type scores like Chariots of Fire or the Now We are Free Gladiator theme song. That type of music makes me feel like I just got up out of the theatre seat. I remember the Star Wars craze days of the late 70's and early 80's where we lined up for hours to get in to see those films as they were released. I remember seeing the third Indiana Jones with my mom when I got suspended in the 8th grade (which was total BS!)

And still other songs remind me of fun times and places I have been in my life. Whenever I hear Jimmy Buffet, I think of the incredible summer I spent in Cincinnati. And when I hear U2 songs, I think of the many years in my life their music has spanned; and how many times I have seen their concerts. I hear John Denver songs and I am reminded of my many cross country trips home from Pepperdine with Amy through the gorgeous Rocky Mountains. I love them all.

Some songs remind me of a specific person-Turbo Lover will always remind me of my sister. So will Purple Rain. I see her in her black RX7 with her big hair, big nails and her insufferable older-than-me-high-school-girl attitude! I hear Pump up the Volume and I can see Laura; And with Denice, it is always when I hear Summer, Highland Falls . And then there's Maria-with the big blond hair flip and the 10 foot long cigarette-grooving to Bizarre Love Triangle by New Order. These images live in my brain forever.

I could look through my Ipod and find stories for so many songs. In fact, maybe I will. I guess that's one of the things I have always enjoyed about it. Music is a great way of expressing myself Music keeps me company. It used to just be when I was at the gym or driving. But I also love to pop in the headphones while walking my dog, skiing, at work, cleaning my house, cooking dinner, taking a shower, on a plane, hanging out by a pool (like I ever do that!), sitting outside in the summer time watching my kids play and drinking wine with my hubby.