Sunday, February 28, 2010

Movierama

Yesterday, I attended Day 1 of the Best Picture Show - the ten best pictures nominated by the Academy.  Yesterday's movies were Avatar (in 3-D), Up In the Air (my favorite!), Precious, The Blind Side and Inglourious Basterds.  (AMC Theaters all across the country do the Best Picture Show every year for anyone who is interested!)

I went with one other friend who had to leave after the 2nd movie.  It was kind of fun hanging at the movies most of the day into the evening by myself.  I skipped Precious.  I had seen it and didn't want to sit through it again.  I went to dinner and then sat outside the theater waiting for it to end.  I had to smile when people were coming out with some of the same comments me and my friends had when we first saw it:  "That was rough," "That was the most depressing movie I've ever seen," "That was brutal," (that comment came from a group of 20 something guys), "I'm never sitting through that movie again," AND the woman who came out, covering her mouth, SOBBING like a baby.  All I could think was "Yes, I know how you people feel.  That's why I am out here."  I also had seen Up In the Air and The Blind Side, but was happy to sit through them again.  Inglourious Basterds was awesome and I was rather disappointed with Avatar.  I loved the 3-D effects.  I think the last time I saw a 3-D movie was when I was in high school, so needless to say, 3-D has come a long way.  The story though?  Meh.  I would have much rather seen A Single Man or Crazy Heart in the top 10.  They are both much better movies.

We are going back next week - six of us this time, to see the final five movies.  They are Up, The Hurt Locker, An Education, A Serious Man and District 9.  I haven't seen any of them, so I am pretty excited.  It's amazing how exhausting sitting in a theater for 12 hours can be, so next week, we are making an overnight trip of it and going on Sunday for massages and/or pedicures.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Transitions

I have recently acknowledged to myself that I don't like transitions.  Or at least that's what I thought.  Then I realized, it's not the transition I mind, it's the anticipation of the transition.  It's the "schedule", the knowing something is about to change.  I don't mean big stuff, necessarily.  I mean every day stuff.  I mean things like going to work, waiting for a client to show, having an appointment of any kind, volunteering at school.  Once I get wherever I am going and things get underway, I am fine. 

I don't like being on a schedule.  I like things to be more spontaneous.  I do much better on the days where I wake up and call in to work to because I have a few extra hours and want to come in.  There's not much scheduling with that one - I decide to go and then I go.  I hate having to be somewhere at a specific time.  I hate thinking about where I have to be and when.  Reminding myself all day that "I need to go to work at noon," or "I need to leave for that appointment at 2:00."  I hate having to "plan", ie: schedule, everything else around the schedule so I can get to the appointment or event at the right time.  Of course, I do better when it's something fun, but even then, I prefer to just get a phone call with someone saying, "Hey, can you meet me for lunch/dinner/movie/at the mall...in an hour?"

Obviously, I realize I can't live my life without a schedule.  I can't just show up places and expect to get in to wherever I go, to be seen by the doctor/hairstylist/car repair service just because I showed up and I am available at that moment in time.  Unfortunately, the movie theater won't start a movie just because I am there when I feel like being there.  Believe me, all I have to do is look at my calendar each week to know that there has to be a schedule.

The truth is though, I don't think I will ever adjust to that calendar glaring at me with all that stuff on it. Places to go, people to see, things to do.  Somedays, I just want to crawl back in bed.  It makes me appreciate those rare days when my schedule has NOTHING on it!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

BlogHer

Anyone?  Are you going to BlogHer this year?

Monday, February 22, 2010

They grow up so fast.

I do not consider my blog to be a "mom" blog.  I also don't consider it to be a "cat" blog.  I do blog about both, though, and since my BFF asked for an Ace photo update, here it is.  Be careful what you wish for!

These two pictures are of Ace shortly after he found us.  He was about eight weeks old.  He was so tiny that he could not even wear his collar because the ID tag and bell would drag on the ground and he would trip over it.
This is Ace now, resting in a bag of bags.
Unfortunately, I don't have any "baby" pictures of Ace laying in this chair to show you then and now.  Believe me when I say he is much bigger.  He was about 2 lbs. when we got him and he is around 10 lbs. now, maybe a little more.
Ace is a snow cat.  He loves being in the snow and he chases the little snowballs as they form when he runs through the snow.  I am not sure why he is "all puffed up" in this bottom picture.  He probably saw a snowflake and is showing off his manliness.

He is such a cool cat.  He goes out a lot and 99% of the time, he comes running when we call him to come in.  He wears a bell and we can hear him coming from a few doors down.  He runs and runs and looks so excited to be coming home.  I think he might be part dog.

He still follows me everywhere.  It might be to protect him from our kids, who always are wanting to play with him, pet him, carry him..  I can tell by the look in his eyes, though, a lot of times he feels like I do and just wants to be left alone for a few minutes.  He pretty much goes wherever I go.  Even in the middle of the night, if I get up to go to the bathroom, he will follow me there and back to bed.  CJ is the roughest with him, and I often can see a total sigh of relief when I come back into the house alone after putting CJ on the bus.  I swear, that cat looks at me and thinks, "Finally.  Alone at last."  If I am not going anywhere for the afternoon, the two of us curl up on the couch and totally veg out for a couple of hours before the chaos begins again.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Proud Sponsor of Moms

If you are like me, you are very closely watching the Olympics.  I LOVE the winter Olympics.  I get teary eyed when Olympians come down that slope or finish that skate or complete the half-pipe and know they just accomplished gold.  They go running to their families, friends and teammates, they cover themselves in the (hopefully) US flag, they scream, they cry.  It makes me teary.  I love hearing Cecil chant "U.S.A., U.S.A," even when the US has already been eliminated from an event.  I chuckled when CJ said, "Mom, Apolo Ohno has a puffy blue coat just like mine!"  Short track skating is my all time fave, followed closely by snowboard cross (Seth Wescott makes me SWOON!) and the biathlons.  I also like the half-pipe snowboard competition.

I love the X&Y commercials where the Olympians are kids because the moms always see their children as kids.  My husband works for X&Y.  He has a great career there and it has been an exceptional company to work for.  It has allowed us to live a comfortable life.  And I LOVE their latest effort of supporting moms.  Their "proud sponsor of moms" campaign for Olympics is backed by some serious financial support.  If you weren't aware, X&Y gave $100,000s of cashola to help defray the costs of travel and accomodation so every single mom of an American Olympian could see their "little one" compete.  I love that.

You can read about it HERE.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Blech.

I'm sick.  I've been sick since Tuesday when I just knew I had strep throat.  Test confirms it and I spent a miserable Tuesday and Wednesday.  Last night, I sweated so badly through the night that my clothes were soaked, not to mention the bedding.  Gag.  If I hadn't felt so damn bad, I would have gotten up in the middle of the night to shower.

Today, at least, my body is no longer aching so I am thinking the antibiotics are finally kicking in a bit.  My throat still feels like razor blades, though.

I may be down and out for another day or two, but I'll be back soon.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Arctic Vogue

For the years my husband and I dated, I was an Ultimate (Frisbee) girlfriend.  Then, I became an Ultimate wife.  I traveled all over this half of the country with my husband and his Ultimate team to a variety of tournaments.  I have to say, though, once my husband "retired," I thought that would be it.  I was wrong.  I am now an Ultimate mom.

This weekend, Big E, my oldest son, joined my husband's original local team in the first tournament weekend of the season.  Considering they were playing in 15" of snow (which, with 19 teams of about 15 people each, was quickly compacted into a few inches) and 10 degree weather, is appropriately named Arctic Vogue.  On day 1, Big E scored three goals; two of them were winning goals.  He was (and will be for several years) the youngest kid in the tournament considering everyone else was college aged up to the "masters" level, which is the over 40 crowd.  I am a fair weather fan now that I am old and don't have to impress my husband any more, so I was happy to hear the details and see the pictures.  They were also on the news.  You can go HERE to watch the clip. (The video is to the right of the "Top Stories" block and just below the "Jobs @WCPO" link near the upper right hand corner.  I'm not sure how long the video will be up.)  Big E is the kid in black with flying dark hair playing against the white team.  This shot comes just after the picture of the beer cans.  Go figure.  The guy being interviewed is Big E's godfather.

Here are some pictures from the tournament.  Big E is always in black (sweatshirt and hat).  He's kind of like Johnny Cash.
This is their team, Smilin' Freds, named in memory of Fred Morrison, the inventor of the Frisbee who passed away on Feb. 9.  They previously were named Smilin' Bobs in honor of the Smilin' Bob commercials for Enzyte.  One of the team members recently did a little stint in prison because he was the Corporate Attorney for the company that made Enzyte and the company and several employees were found guilty of a variety of white collar crimes.
Here are some ice crystals that formed over night from Friday to Saturday.  MG said they were everywhere - "growing" on poles, on grass blades that had gotten exposed from being trampled on and also on top of the snow itself.  Pretty cool.

There you have it.  A little glimpse into the life of being an Ultimate family.  The five of us will head to a tournament in June where we will camp out in a public park with 500 other people. Though I am not a camper, I do love this.  I love waking up in the middle of the night and hearing the drunks play acoustic guitars and singing, hearing the drunk college kids playing flutter, hearing all the people outside our tent sitting around drinking and chatting.  Do you notice a "drinking" theme?  It's a great time and in a small country town where the older kids can roam freely around, go to the local festival and pig out on festival food.

Friday, February 12, 2010

What if?

Maybe it's the "new" year, maybe it's that I recently celebrated my 16th wedding anniversary, maybe it's the people I hang out with who are having the same feelings.  Some days, I wonder.  What if I had stuck to my original expectation that I would not get married; that I wouldn't have kids?  I say expectation because it was just that.  It wasn't really a plan or a goal, I wasn't purposefully avoiding marriage and kids, it's just the way I expected it would be.  I expected I would have a career and be in a committed relationship more often than not, but not married.  And definitely not living together.  (Don't think that I think that living with someone is wrong and those who do it are going to hell, because I don't think that at all.  It's just not for me.  I hope my kids don't do it, either. Though I did move in with my husband a week before we were married because the lease on my apartment ran out and I didn't want to move somewhere for a week just to move again.)  I expected I would come and go as I wished, responsible for no one but me.  I expected I would have enough money to live comfortably and have a good time, not really worrying about a budget.  I expected most of my friends would probably be married and have kids, because, well, that's what most people do.  I did not expect to be in that group of people who "do."

On Feb. 5, my husband and I celebrated our 16th wedding anniversary.  We had an informative 1st date in which my husband made it clear to me he was purposefully avoiding marriage and I could exit stage left if I expected anything remotely "marriage" like.  I thought we were the perfect match when he said that.  Based on 16 years of marriage, I was right, I suppose.  Just not in the way I, or should I say we, expected.

So do I regret the decisions I've made?  NO.  Do I think I would have been happy if my expectations had panned out?  Yes.  I love my family and I love my life.  I am very social and love the commotion of keeping our family unit bumpily running along, but on the flip side, I am also quite a loner and would have been just as happy with a more solitary life.

I look at it this way though.  If I were living that expected life, I would be writing a blog entry wondering "what if I had gotten married, had kids, given up my career to raise a family?  What if my days were filled with the rewards of hugs, kisses and giggles instead of money?  If my days were full of kids fighting and crying and wrestling?  What if my afternoons were spent counting down the minutes 'til my husband comes home because I can't wait to see him AND if he doesn't get home soon to rescue me from the fighting and crying and wrestling I am going to pull out my own hair?"  The solitary me would always wonder about the "other" life I didn't choose. 

Life is so full of what if's.  And it's kind of fun to wonder what could have been, while being very happy with what is.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Ode to the chicken patty.

If you are thinking a chicken patty is something like a cow patty, you couldn't be more wrong.

When I was in college, my dorm cafeteria served chicken patty sandwiches on Fridays for dinner.  My roommate and I would always "sneak" a couple out of the cafeteria.  I say "sneak" because we were not supposed to take food from the cafeteria.  I seriously doubt, though, any of the cafeteria employees were so into their career that they would have tackled us to the ground to protect a chicken patty sandwich (or two or three...) from being smuggled from the cafeteria and into a dorm room refrigerator.  And we thought we were SO SMART getting away with it.  I am guessing those employees knew all along and didn't give a rat's ass.

Why did we sneak chicken patty sandwiches?  Well, they were one of our favorite "meals" in the cafeteria.  Plus, we could keep them in our little fridge for the weekend when for when we either A) slept through lunch or B) missed lunch because we were just getting in from our walk of shame that inevitably took place on some Saturday mornings.  (I will say, though, we both had boyfriends, so it may not really have qualified as the walk of shame.  At least not our Freshmen year.)

Beyond that, I am not sure what our love affair with those processed, pressed, fried frisbees of "chicken" meat were.  Maybe it's just that the other cafeteria food was so bad.

Fast forward to 2010, and I still love chicken patty sandwiches.  So delicicious with some mayo, swiss cheese, lettuce and pickles.  Add some tator tots and I have the perfect lunch.  My kids like them, too.  Big surprise there.  They like any piece of breaded chicken that has been processed, pressed and fried.  That really should be my first clue that this is A) not grown up food and B) is not good for me.  But I really don't care.  They ARE yummy and I just can't have a chicken patty lunch without smiling and thinking about my fun college dorm days.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Hot Blogger Hookup

As you may know, last week I went on my first Hot Blogger Hookup.  It was with Sassy B.  She came to my little neck of the woods in SW Ohio for work and she dropped me a line saying we should get together.  So we did.  And what fun it was.  If you follow Sassy B., you know she never shows her face.  But when I walked into my favorite Indian restaurant, I knew right away who the blonde woman sitting in the booth looking at the door was.  I just knew it.  We hugged.  It's true.  Me, the "not so much of a hugger" type, hugged!  From there, the conversation never stopped.  It was pretty much like we were friends who hadn't seen each other for a long time.  Except for the parts of the conversation where we introduced our last names, our work life, our family life, our hometown locations, our past.  All of that made it clear to anyone who could hear us talking that we had just met.

We ate Indian food.  We went to see A Single Man at the little theater by the Indian restaurant that shows indpendent and foreign films.  We sighed when it was over, for it was quite sad.  It is an awesome movie with great filming (is that officially called "cinematography"?).  There are some funny moments.  Julianne Moore is one of my favorites and Colin Firth was outstanding.  But enough about the film.  Afterwards, we walked to Graeter's for some of their famous French Pot ice cream. 

Then Sassy B. followed me in her car while I lead her back to the highway so she could go back to her hotel.  She made it safely - I know this because when I got home, I knew I not only had a new friend in real life, but she had already friended me on Facebook, so I knew she was back in her hotel!  Good thing, because I was going to call her to make sure she arrived "home" safely.

You can read Sassy B's version of our evening HERE.  She's a much better writer than I am!

Here's our picture.  Ya know Sassy is famous and all, so I am respecting her privacy.  However, I am willing to sell her autograph to the highest bidder!

Friday, February 5, 2010

I do.

Sixteen years ago today, I married the man who, on our first date said, "If you are looking for a husband, this date is over."  My response?  "No worries, getting married is not on my list of things to do."  And it wasn't.  That first date was October, 1991 and we were married two and a half years later.  I was 26 yrs. old and he was 31 yrs. old.  It was one of the best decisions I've ever made.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

My first time...

Later this week, I'll be whooping it up with Sassy Britches.  I like that she refers to me as a "Hot Blogger Hookup!"  I've never been a Hot Blogger Hookup.  I've never had a blogger hookup at all.  So I guess that makes me a "Blogger Hookup Virgin."  (No comments, LQ.)  I'm glad my first time will be with Sassy B.

Pictures to follow, with Sassy B. blurred and unidentifiable of course, because you know she's all anonymous and working undercover.  I think she might be famous and that's why she doesn't want anyone to know who she is. (I'd insert smiley face emoticon, but I don't know how.)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Oh Mr. Sandman...

I have had a problem with insomnia since my first pregnancy.  It went away after the bambino was born, but came back with the 2nd pregnancy.  That was one of the first signs I knew I was pregnant.  I seemed to get over it until I had surgery in 2001.  With ten weeks of recovery, no kids during that time and lots of pain meds and muscle relaxers, my sleeping schedule got all wonky.  I went a year not sleeping from about 2-6am.  I would squeeze in a couple of hours from 6-8am and then nap when the kids napped.  Really, I did this for a year.  I was foggy and forgetful all the time.  I'm foggy and forgetful now, too, but I was in my early 30's that first foggy and forgetful era and I did not have age as an excuse.

During that time, I was at the doctor and she asked about my sleep.  I told her I get abput eight hours of sleep.  I explained how I eeked those hours of sleep into the day and night.  She about flipped.  Apparently, during that surgery recovery, I totally whigged out my circadian rhythm and I just got so used to those weird sleeping hours, that I considered it "normal" in my head, but my body was saying "Enough!"  She gave me sleeping pills.  The warning said something along the lines of "do not take these pills unless you are in bed laying down because they will knock you on your ass."  Oh, I was so excited because damn, I wanted a good night's sleep.  So, that night, I warned my husband I was going down for the count and off I went.  I got in bed, all covered up.  I had my pill and my glass of water and a big smile on my face.  Water, drop pill in mouth, swallow.  Two hours later I was STILL awake.  Same thing on night two.  I ended up needing a different sleeping pill, which I took for about two weeks and I got myself back on track.  It was heaven.

Over time and with age, my sleeping is a little more sporadic.  I don't think I've had a week where I got a good night's sleep every night.  At least twice a week, I wake up around 3:00am and lay there for a good two hours, sometimes more, usually with the TV on for background noise.  I don't actually watch unless I am REALLY awake and know there is no chance in hell I am going back to sleep.  Most of the time I try to fake myself into sleeping.  You know, the "fake it til you make it" method.  It doesn't really work for me, but I don't give up easily.

In the meantime, until I find a cure for this wacky insomnia, can someone PLEASE send the Sandman my way?