Monday, 27 May 2013

Bachelorette Party I

From a couple of weeks ago

Holy weekend, friends! Left to my own devices, I tend to schedule some downtime in, for strategic sleeping/rejuvenating purposes. This weekend? Yeah, notsomuch.

I spent Friday evening with a lovely group of ladies from school, and we worked on our presentation for next Saturday. And by "worked on our presentation" I mean "talked about boys and cats, and drank wine." It was calm, and lovely, and wonderful. And we even got some work done-- bonus points.

Saturday included class from 8-5, which was only bearable because of some of my classmates. It was a long day, kids. But! Post-class, I headed off to Seattle for Lacies bachelorette party! Lacie is a friend of mine from school (we were at her home on Friday), and getting to know her has been a major silver lining of this whole jumping-through-hoops academic experience. Good people, that one.

We spent the evening drinking cocktails, playing games, and laughing. It was a delight. Lacie's BFF organised it all, and did a fantastic job. The next morning involved a room service breakfast and SUN! A rare enough occurrence for us. Maybe that is why we woke up at 7? Oy.

After a short recovery period (ie a shower) and lunch/dinner in Fremont with Lacie and her Fiancé, I whisked Clover and Panda away for the much-anticipated Bryan Stars Tour Concert. Aaand, because we had VIP tickets, the evening started out with a meet and greet with All The Bands! And Late Nite Reading remembered the girls from last time! And Drake Christopher was there! And so was Her Bright Skies! And if you have no idea what I'm talking about, you either (a) have not spoken to me in the last 24 hours or (b) are not part of the teen girl cult following! Geez, it's like you have never even heard of YouTube. What is this, 1997?

I got home at about 11 last night, just in time for bedtime before I had to be at work at 7 this morning.

Breathe in. Breathe out. Monday!

Saturday, 25 May 2013

Wedding Season

I'm getting it down to an art: sincere best wishes, a set of salad bowls, travel plans, and greeting cards. RSVP as soon as possible. Offer advice only if asked. Make yourself useful.

Oh, wedding season. Unlike the holidays, Wedding Season is marked by a period of years rather than months (though that too). This year is particularly wedding heavy, with Lacie, Marigold, and Esquire all marrying their now-husbands in the past week. 

Terra and Aglio, are up next in July, and Daisy will be in August. Of course, several of these glorious events come with bachelorette parties or bridal showers, and they all involve near-endless opportunities to discuss wardrobe choices, scheduling decisions, and menu options.

I love it, actually. Their joy is like a tangible thing, and it brings me such happiness to be a part of it. I am delighted to roll up my sleeves and address some invitations, set out the centerpieces, or find the Neosporin. I revel in the opportunity to celebrate their love and commitment with friends, dancing arm-in-arm with some of the people I love the best.

And, at this point, I've almost got the logistics down: RSVP ASAP. Offer advice only when asked. Share my genuine delight, and help however possible. It's an exhausting season, but I'm not sure there is a better one.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

A Dream Come True

I got a wonderful education at ScrippsCollegeForWomen, but also gained something so much more-- some of the very best friends a girl could ever hope for. And then, so kindly, I met some of their friends-- and they're pretty incredible themselves.

This weekend in Phoenix was wonderful. It involved impromptu fully/partially clothed swimming, cheap gin, lots of champagne, dancing, a photo shoot on a diving board, a three day sleepover, a hot tub, laughing so hard my stomach hurt and I couldn't breathe, and-- oh yes-- the marriage of a dear friend.

Monday, 20 May 2013

En Route to Phoenix

Note: I wrote this on Thursday in the plane, but was far too focused on Fun With Friends! this weekend to post it. SO I'll post it now, and then add the follow up later, I guess. For those of you following along at home.

I hope I didn't run into you as I skipped into the airport, roller bag trundling along behind me. I hope I didn't blind you with my glowing joy. I hope you were too distracted by your own adventures to be even kind of interested in mine.

I going to Phoenix. Phoenix,guys!

Right, ok, I see your point. It isn't exactly a holiday destination, though the weather forecast (100 degrees! sunny!) may suggest otherwise. I'm not going for a weekend to myself, though-- I'm traveling there to witness and celebrate Esquire's wedding, along with Hans, Aslan, Wednesday, Ginny, Fae, and Chip: dear, dear friends from college who I have not seen for far too long. I've seen each of them since college (though only just, in Fae's case-- two months after we graduated), but we haven't all been together for several years. And furthermore, a contingent of the Oregon group will also be there.

"Excited" doesn't even begin to cover it.

Other than the wedding, I'm not sure what we will do. Maybe we will explore Phoenix. Maybe we will go to my favourite tourist destination in the continental UnitedStates. Maybe we will drink. Maybe we will sit around perfectly soberly (in terms of spirits, not spirits (ah- see what I did there?)). And I will be equally happy no matter what.

I reserved a minivan for our rental car, guys.* I won't be parted from these people by more than arm's length for even a moment.

So I don't know what this weekend holds, but I know I am more excited than I have been in a very long time!

*Don't worry, Aslan is on alert to tell me if I pull out a pair of baggy khaki shorts and sensible sneakers. She will put a stop to it immediately.**

**This shouldn't be an issue. I brought almost exclusively twirly dresses.

Wednesday, 15 May 2013


I have heard that chivalry is dead. It is always said with a shake of the head, a pursing of the lips. It's dead, and that's all there is to it.

Given the sorrow of the messenger, it seems inappropriate to launch into a rousing rendition of "ding dong, the witch is dead," so I bite my tongue. I weave my fingers together to keep the jazz hands under control, and I keep my feet firmly on the ground-- there will be no dancing in celebration yet.

Because, damnit, chivalry is not dead. But I think it's on it's way. In its place, I hope to find the most unusual of social beasts: manners.

Oh yes, let's keep those two seperate, shall we?

When you are using good manners, you are treating everyone with respect and kindness, regardless of their age, race, ethnicity, sex, gender, ability, clothing choices... You get the idea. Chewing with your mouth closed? Holding the door when someone has an armload of groceries? Sending a thank you note? Those are manners, and they apply to all. Use them. Really. People notice.

Chivalry, on the other hand, is based on the idea that a laaaady cannot or should not do a damn thing for herself. Holding a door for a woman because she's a woman? Letting her get on/off the elevator first?  Opening the car door for her, even though that means you have to walk around the car twice? Yeah, that's just silly. And-- wait for it-- sexist.

Yes, yes, I know. You have the purest of intentions. You've been raised "right." You just want to be respectful.

You know what's respect? Treating a person as a person, not as a delicate piece of spun sugar. Looking at your behaviour, and realizing when it is out-dated.

Of course you can still hold the door open for me, if you get to it first. I'll do the same for you! And if I look like I'm struggling with a suitcase, a purse, some grocery bags, and all the tea in China... Well, yes, I very well might appreciate your help carrying or holding some things-- and I will happily do the same for you, if you ever need it.

But taking my tiny suitcase from me when it is the only thing I am carrying? Tripping all over yourself to let me be the first off of the elevator? Dashing ahead to grab the door, before I'm forced to
open it with my sweet little feminine hand?

That makes us both look ridiculous.

So when chivalry dies, I'll be at the wake. I'll be singing, and dancing, and wildly disrespectful of the dearly departed. And when the food has been eaten, and the wine has been drunk, and we are all heading for the door, well. If you get there first, you can hold it for us both. But if I'm the first, I'll do the holding, k?

Sunday, 12 May 2013



In the days before we had caller ID, or exclusively used cell phones, I would occasionally answer the phone to find my grandfather on the end of the line. We'd launch into some friendly small talk, until, apropos of nothing, as far as I can tell, Grandpa would burst into uproarious laughter.

It took me years to figure out what he was laughing at.

I don't remember how it came to light, but I finally learned what was so very funny; whenever I answered the phone, my greeting (and initial conversation) sounded exactly like my mother. He would assume he was talking to her, until I said something that clearly identified me, at which point he would crack up in surprise.

I can't say I'm turning into my mother, but I can say that I am supremely fortunate to be influenced, taught, and raised by her. Her tone of voice is not the only thing I have unintentionally adopted, never mind the multitude of skills and qualities that I am patiently (and not so patiently) trying to cultivate within myself.

When people meet my mom, after knowing me, there is an inevitable moment of, "Ohhhhh...." And I am always so flattered.

Wednesday, 8 May 2013


Just so you know, it's all a game.

This "doing dishes." This "running errands." This "having a job" and "looking after kids." It's all a jolly laugh, a joke. Come on, guys, I'm like... 10. But see me pretending to be a grown up? I almost had you fooled, huh? These kids who call me "Ms" are so confused! Anyone who refers to me as ma'am has clearly been smoking something.


Me! An adult!

It's laughable.

Except for laundry.

I can't explain it, but I feel so grown up, so capable when I'm doing laundry. Sorting, washing, drying, folding. Measure the soap. Turn the dial. When I'm doing laundry, I'm a real adult.

But other than that?

Oh yeah, it's totally a joke.

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

I found this...

...when I was glancing through my"blogs in progress" file. I wrote it while the kids, their grandparents, and I were en route to Montana. Just reading through it brought me back to that place of content.


Right now, right this very moment, I can say that there is nowhere else I would rather be. I'm in a large Suburban, confidently piloted by Clover and Neptune's grandfather. Their grandmother sits next to him, playing Solitaire on her phone.

And I'm in the backseat with Clover and Neptune, their long legs crossing my lap, their heads pillowed in puffy winter coats. They are sleeping, or dozing, or trying to. The world is slipping fluidly by outside, the darkness parting for our headlights, the snow reflecting their glow.

We have been reading A Christmas Carol. It is peaceful, quiet, warm.

Sunday, 5 May 2013


Well, let's try it, shall we? I mean, May is only the most HORRENDOUSLY BUSY MONTH EVER, so trying to fit in a little daily blogging shouldn't too bad.


I missed Day 1 (the story of my life in 250 words)
And I missed Day 2 (Educate us on something you know a lot about or are good at)
But I DID blog on those two days, so that counts for something, right? 

And then I blogged on Friday, so that should count for something. Not about "things that make me uncomfortable," but it still. It was blogging.

(Side note: Things that make me uncomfortable: When people in a position of authority do/say things that I am not in a position to correct, but that I find offensive. For example, saying something is "so gay" or "so retarded." No excuse to say it, but I can't correct them because of my position. Arrrghh the agony.)

But SATURDAY. Which I am also writing on FRIDAY, because I'll be busy all of Saturday.

Favourite quote: For anyone who has met me in real life, or read this blog for more than 2.5 minutes, you already know it. But I'll share it anyway, just in case:

Don't ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive. 

I'm not going to ruin it by explaining it to death. Just... think about it. Internalise it. 

Friday, 3 May 2013


Pom Pom: I'm staying to play soccer after school, Panda, so I won't be home until 6.

Panda: Ok, thanks for letting me know. I'll be at karate by then, but you should probably leave Mom a note.

Pom Pom: Oh, I already told her.

Panda: Yeah, but you should still leave a note. Remember when she called me in a
panic because she forgot you were at crochet club?

Pom Pom: Good point.

And then she left a note for her mother.
Do you think the girls give sibling lessons?

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Wait, what?

I saw a bumper sticker this morning that said this:
To which I can only ask... Wait. What?

I mean, look. I'm passionately pro-choice. I think it's a woman's (or couple's) decision, and I really encourage you to do what is right for you/your family, whether that is carrying a pregnancy to term or choosing to terminate it.

But even if I didn't believe that, I'm pretty sure you are still "pregnant" whether it is with a zygote, embryo, fetus, or, sure, a baby.

Or, following their logic through, if I'm pregnant with, say, an embryo... and I believe it to be any embryo, not a "baby" yet... then, by this logic, I'm not pregnant. Woohoo! Free from all potentially challenging moral issues!

I've seen a lot of bumper stickers for all sorts of different political/social issues that get me all lathered up in a righteous froth. This is not one of them, however. This one, I just find very puzzling.