Tuesday, December 16, 2008

I Wonder If We Should See You in 2009?

Guys - I think I speak for all of us when I say -


It's that time of year. We'll catch you in January, when our next Wonder Woman will take over posting!

I Wonder If We'll All Have A Merry Christmas??

Thursday, December 4, 2008

bring it.

oh, how i love me some food. isn't that what the holidays are all about? eating and conversing with family and friends? not completely gorging yourself during the holidays is just so un-american.

here's my list of things i love to eat:
1. black olives - they are usually gone long before we actually sit at the table to eat. my mother-in-law even buys me a can of black olives even though no one else in the family likes them. she loves me. and i actually like eating them at her house more because i don't have to wrestle my sister and adorable nieces for them. i can have the whole can to myself!

2. sweet potatoes - my mom makes some DELICIOUS sweet potatoes. she douses on the brown sugar and teeny marshmallows and bakes it until golden. i eat what i can during the dinner and then eat the rest of them for lunch the next day. it's the best lunch ever - sweet potatoes and dr. pepper.

3. some sort of gooey roll with nuts on top - i have no idea what it's called, but my mother-in-law makes them. we eat them on christmas morning at her house and i could seriously eat the entire pan. they are sticky and gooey and just plain awesome.

4. my mom's pies - she usually makes a lot of them - apple, cherry, pumpkin, and sometimes chocolate. the crust she makes is so good. it's not thick and doughy like store bought pie crusts. one of my favorite memories from this past thanksgiving was watching little mama and my mom put together the cherry pie. mom let leah decide whether to make a "regular" top to the pie or a lattice top. little mama chose a lattice top and so she and my mom got to work. it was so fun watching the two of them create it together. it wasn't perfect to look at, but it was made with 110% love and tasted fabulous (except for the pits that my sister kept finding.).

5. carmel apple cider - i don't normally drink starbucks, but i do like to indulge in a tall carmel apple cider during the holidays. it is oh, so delicious and i'm sure sports about the same number of calories as a piece of my mom's pie.

i eat nonstop beginning on halloween and ending sometime after the first of the year. i put on a few extra pounds during this time, no doubt. but what is winter without a little hibernation fat to keep you warm?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Is There Any Wonder About Food?

I love the holidays for many reasons. The twinkling lights, the stillness after a snowfall, gifts under the tree, Rudolph, the magic in the air, and THE FOOD. This entry could be about 400 paragraphs long, but I will spare you. So, here is my short list of holiday favorites:
  1. The classic candy cane. Simple and delicious. I love adding canes to my hot chocolate too!
  2. Pizzelles. A lovely woman who used to work for my dad used to make these every Christmas and deliver a stack to our house. Those pizzelles were all mine because I would eat all of them before anyone else even had a chance to grab one out of my greedy little hands.
  3. Chex Mix. I realize Chex Mix can be made year round but I always remember my Mom making it most often during the holidays. Eating it right out of the oven makes it a great snack to warm up with after coming inside from the cold winter air.
  4. Chex Muddy Buddies. Oh my word. This dish alone could cause me to gain twenty pounds during the holiday season. Love it.
  5. Sugar cookies cut into fun shapes with that to-die for frosting. I used to work with a girl who made sugar cookies like I have never had before. They would literally melt in your mouth. I finally figured out that recipe last Christmas and my hips now tell that tale every day. The frosting is that delectable stuff that lingers on your tongue for merely a moment before melting away.
  6. Nuts. Remember the nuts that your grandmother used to keep in a bowl at her house? It had that special cracker? It was always out at holidays? Me too! Delish! I could sit by this bowl and nibble all day long.
  7. Gingerbread cookies. Cute and tasty! A favorite of Superman's and mine!
  8. Christmas Morning Breakfast. This could be any variation of food, but my favorite is my Mom's specialty of pancakes, bacon, blueberry muffins, cinnamon rolls, and coffee cake. The perfect way to spend time with your family while making my muffin top muffin-ier.
  9. Grandma's Noodles. Everyone's grandmother has a special dish she makes that everyone loves. My maternal grandmother's dish is homemade noodles. Made the old-fashioned way, they are perfection in a pan and I lust for them at least once a week.
  10. Champagne. Bubbly and sparkly! A perfect beverage to wash down any of my favorite holiday foods.
Like I said, this list is in no way comprehensive. I could have made a list muuuuuch longer. I mean, mulled wine! Cheese! Advent calendar chocolates! Tree-shaped Reese's! Pizza King on Christmas! Holiday-tinis! Stained Glass cookies! Holiday Margaritas!

Monday, December 1, 2008

I Wonder What Is My Favorite Holiday Food?

Have we done this before? And if we have, who cares? I could talk about food all week, and I know I ain't alone!

So. I have the love for the holiday food. I instantly discard all of those ridiculous articles that give you tips on how not to gain weight over the holidays. Bah! I say to those. Weight, schmeight, we're talking rummed up egg nog here! Roast turkey! Mulled wine! Pies, pies, pies! Who cares about a pesky couple of pounds that will just drop off in the summer when it's too hot to eat anyway? NOT THIS GIRL!

The chocolates can be a bit much. Candy canes, I'm not a huge fan, although if you are what you eat I might be married to a candy cane. They are a major part of my tree decoration and the tree gets pretty bare by mid-month, while Darlin' always has suspiciously pepperminty breath and red red lips.

So, the candy ain't so much my thing, but step back from the baked goods table, lest you be bowled over. Pecan tassies are a sort of mini pecan pie cookie thing that my mom makes only this time of year, and I could pop those all day. I love any kind of pie, the fluffier the better, with tons of whipped cream. I'm also a fan of the savories this time of year - roasted anything sounds good to me (turkey, ham, beef, nuts, pumpkin seeds.) I love a chicken pot pie, or a hearty stew served with hunks of bread, cheese drizzled on top. And I could eat my weight in cheese and crackers. My sister's boyfriend makes a TO DIE FOR cheeseball, I smack my lips just thinking about it.

Last but not least, let's talk holiday drinks. I love cranberry martinis, which (being red and all) always seem to premiere at one party or another. Egg nog with some sort of warming spirit in it - mulled wine - hot toddies - and gallons of wine. Besides all of these "adult" drinks, we also have the family friendly hot chocolate, the hot cider with a cinnamon stick in it, mint tea . . .

Poundage, here I come. Mmmmmmmmmm. I love the holidays.

Monday, November 24, 2008

I Wonder What I Want To Do With My Life?

INSTRUCTIONS: Take one decade-changing birthday. Stir in two unexpected deaths in the family, one unfulfilling job, and enclosed spice sachet of a half-dozen passions that could never lead to paying full time work. Simmer in a medium saucepan on a stovetop for several months. In a separate bowl, whip together one slightly unfocused academic career, a penchant for short-lived bursts of enthusiasm followed by extreme boredom, and a husband with a grad school journey nearing completion. Combine and pour into a baking dish, top with a seven month old baby with plans for more on the way, and then bake until the admissions deadlines for law and graduate schools expire. Remove from heat, garnish with a staggering student loan debt which requires you to make some kind of money, and serve so hot that it burns your mouth, hands, and leaves a big scorch mark on your antique dining room tabletop.

This is how to bake up a fine Not-Quite-Mid-Life crisis. I’m enjoying one at the moment, and no, it does not taste like chicken. It tastes like desperation, actually, and a little bit of fear, and a lot of exhilaration. And brown sugar. Mmmmm, sugar.

Am considering law school. I’ve read all of the “Don’t Go to Law School, Even if Your Life Depends On It and I’m Serious, Yo” articles, and the “The LSAT is a Stupid, Scary, Horrid Test That Will Make You Break Out in Shingles” warnings, and the “I Went To Law School and Now I Have $160,000 in Loans” declamations. It hasn’t scared me away, but it has sent me skittering off to research just what exactly I could end up doing if I got a J.D. in three years. And the thought of choosing law, to the exclusion of all else, and possibly adding to our debt burden in order to do it, makes it a very sobering choice indeed.

Am also considering chilling a bit while the remaining 2-3 (HA!) babies are birthed, and then achieving my dreams, as it were, when the last kidlet is attending First Grade. It’s not so long from now, and I’m not so ambitious that I would be ticked off at hitting the game that late, whatever “game” I decided to “hit.” The problemo with this scenario, however, is the aforementioned ridiculous student loans. In order not to default on our existing ones, I have to work at something. The amount of money I make will either allow us to live the (frugal, stressful, not-even-breaking-even) lifestyle we now enjoy, or a little better, or a lot better. So that would be, like, part-time reception work, up to administrative work, and the up to full scale professional work. Would I rather just do the work I want to do long term right now? Or continue to add years of non-relevant experience to my life, simply in the name of deniro?

I could go to more grad school, but with a career in mind this time (weak smile.)

I could teach at the community college level.

I could continue in the career path I have now.

I could wait until we know where Darlin’s job prospects take us, and see what opportunities the new region of the country has to offer.

This latter seems like a recipe (do you dig my recipe theme in this post?) for accidental career trajectory, which I want to avoid. Making a preliminary decision, though, and turning my energies in that direction, could lead to supreme disappointment if I end up moving to a region of the country with no opportunities in my chosen life path.

Sometimes I feel hindered by my biology. Can you imagine if my law school finals week coincided with the due date of my next kid? I swore that I would take at least 3 months off when my next baby is born, but what if I don’t time it just right with the summer break? And if I decide to work, but don’t get a job immediately and haven’t worked in it at least a year before my next pregnancy, my leave (both for prenatal visits and after the birth) won’t be protected. So I could lose my job, and thus my healthcare coverage, right when we need the money and insurance the most.

Blargh. Blargh, I say.

I have been trying to think this way – when I’m 80 and looking back, will I think this was a good choice? Will this lead me to a happy life? Even in the name of art, being supremely poor is a stressor, but being miserable in your well-paid job would be, too. I wish I could just be an actress. Or a musician. A writer. A baby bootie knitter. A scrapbooker. A gardener. I wish I was independently wealthy. I wish I could make a difference AND make babies at the same time.

I have wished and wished for this grad school experience of my husband’s to just be over, already, and now that it may be ending soon . . . I wish I had a little more time to decide what it means.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

my happy

tonight, my little family and i will eat homemade stew and rolls for dinner. afterwards, we will turn on some christmas music and decorate the house for the festive season. it is a special night and one when everything always feels right with the world.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Good Things Going On

Yesterday was a good day. The wonderful things that happened to me:

Superman surprised me with tickets to Handel's Messiah at the Kennedy Center the Saturday before Christmas. I cannot wait!

WALL-E came out on DVD yesterday. Pizza for dinner, WALL-E on my t.v., and my husband at my side? Perfection.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I Wonder Why I Didn't Post Yesterday?

A niece for G Love. 2008 has been a wonderful year. Everyone, meet Boo!
What wonderful has happened to you lately?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

my turn!

let me preface this by saying that i do not have the eloquence of my fellow ww. i cannot write the way they do. i cannot express myself with big huge-mongous words that i have to look up on dictionary.com. i just can't. and i don't. okay, i feel better now. let's begin, shall we?

g-love - i envy every little, single, solitary inch of the talent you possess. folks, if you have never heard this girl sing, you are missing out! heck, i even have her on my ipod! seriously, her voice is soothing and magical and oh, words can't describe it - hence, my jealousy. i love your humor and your perspective on life. i love that you are so in love with the men in your life that you can hardly stand it. your pride and affection for them shines through in all that you do.

g-love's boy (let's call him p-love, shall we?) - i don't believe we've ever met, but i think you're hilarious. the pictures that i've seen of you make me laugh, so i know that you're funny. you have to be. and, well, if you're not, i still love you because you love g-love and that's that. i admire that you are still in school and pursuing your phd. that, my friend, is fantastic!!! and you make beautiful babies with g-love, so i think you're cool.

wicked - i envy your hair cut. i envy your spunk. i love that you are a strong, secure woman. you have gone through your fair share of challenges and changes these past few years, and you have emerged from them with your head held high. you are a scrapper and i mean that in the very best sense of the word. you fight for what you love and believe in and don't back down. i think i need a little bit of that tossed my way.

the hub - i remember getting teased a bit for "invading the head table" at your wedding. and while the wine may have prompted me to introduce myself before the time was appropriate, you didn't bat an eye. i think i may have even given you a hug and you took it all in stride. you treat our wicked m like a princess and that's exactly the type of man she needs and deserves. thank you for taking care of her.

mso rin - my first memory of you is in the sorority house kitchen making penis cookies. i envy your attitude and the confidence that you exude. you have this "take me as i am and if you don't like me, to hell with you. oh, and by the way, it's obvious you don't know what you're missing" attitude that i find amazing!!! you always provide a listening ear and can add humor to any situation. oh, and i wish i had your body.

the boy - first and foremost, i like your name! ;) any guy named what you're named is worth keeping around, in my opinion. obviously, mso thought the same! i remember hanging out with you and many others one night here in town. i agree with wicked when she says that you compliment rin perfectly. it is a definite match made in heaven. thanks for watching over her.

and that, my friends, is my love fest for the day!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Oh, How I Love These People!

I am fairly free with my emotions so most of these folks already know the many ways in which I worship them, but everyone likes hearing nice things, so here goes!

G Love: Your quick wit and sharp intellect is something I envy greatly. You are kind and adaptable in more ways than you will ever know. To see you blossom as a mother has been lovely to watch these past few months. You do not sugarcoat things and I will forever love you for that. You handle things in a refreshing way that is pragmatic and passionate. Your passion for the arts is refreshing and your sarcasm is biting. You live life large, lady. Love. it.

G Love's Husband: I have never met you but just hearing G Love talk about you tells me all I need to know. You are good to our girl and you love each other with a kind of love that is rare. I truly appreciate that.

Super Jane: Your ability to laugh through situations that most people would sob through gives me strength during hard times in my own life. You are one funny lady. Your relationship with your daughters is magical and I always love hearing you talk about them. It is clear that you get the most joy in your life from them. Your relationship with Super Jas is clearly one of enduring love and while things are not always perfect, you two manage to come through things with a smile and a laugh.

Super Jas: I know you from way back. I actually met you before I met Super Jane and that makes me laugh for some reason. You are just a very nice person and let me tell you how rarely I say that about people. You are also one tough guy and I admire anyone who can come out of major surgery with a smile on their face. Your ability to support Super Jane in all of her endeavors is admirable and your strength in living with that much estrogen in your house is to be respected. Re-spec-ted, yo.

MSO Rin: Dude, you are totally awesome. Your excellent advice, ability to make people laugh in any situation, and your calm through a storm is amazing. Your beautiful smile lights up a room and your steadfastness in your beliefs is welcome in this crazy world. You are someone people can count on and that means a lot these days. I also enjoy it very much when you curse!

The Boy: Your verve for life and your professional career is something that does not come along very often. You are a truly dedicated soul to your craft. I love that. I appreciate that you are just the counterbalance that our gal MSO Rin needs and that you also understand that sometimes she just needs a hug. Your enthusiasm for anything is only part of what makes you really fun to be around (it may also be your enthusiasm for giant beads of the Mardi Gras variety!) and fun to take pictures of. You are a good man, a good person. Thank you.

Monday, November 10, 2008

I Wonder How Rin and The Boy are doing?

Our Wonder Woman Rinny and her husband The Boy are having a rough week. I will respect The Boy’s closely guarded privacy, and simply tell you readers that it involves a death in the close family. Close genetics-wise, but not close geographically, which adds to their stress.

So I thought I would do the thing that is my favorite thing in the blog world, which is to say – I thought we would Wonder how much we love our friends, real and virtual, and we would send them support.

So, how Wonder Women all, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways . . . Rin, I love your laugh. I know you won’t be laughing much this week, but when you do I hope you know that you lift up everyone around you. And I do mean everyone around you, probably within a 5 mile radius. I also love how you make your friends a priority. Not many people do that. I’m thinking of you this week.

The Boy, I love your enthusiasm. You are a boy in that way – you get that little kid at Christmas kind of attitude over lots of things, like grilling out, or tending bar at a party, or going on a trip. I think this is one of your best features, and I would venture to say one of the reasons Rinny loves you so. It makes you really, really fun to be around. I’m thinking of you, too.

Wicked, I love your commitment to the people you love. From moving to a new place, to handholding in the hospital – from showing visitors a fantastic time, to making trips to visit them in their homes – from competing with your husband over who gives the best gifts (not who GETS), to virtual roller skating and martinis showing up on my fb all the time – you are a Wonder Woman who loves her people and doesn’t hesitate to show them. You are an affectionate soul and it is really wonderful.

Superman, I met you for like three minutes, and in that span of time you complimented me twice. So you’re clearly a keeper.

Super Jane, you are super. Reading about your life right now makes my head spin, and yet somehow you aren’t a bitter old crank like I tend to be when my schedule gets packed. You are a big old trooper, and despite some serious setbacks in your young family’s life, your faith in God has never wavered. That’s not something I can say for myself, and it is something I really admire in you.

Super Jas, you were a stay at home dad for years, and as my husband can attest (with a screeching Frog Baby in the background), that ain’t easy. Way to take care of those gorgeous girls.

SIL and BIL – your little girl is almost here. I am ready to explode with excitement about this, but I’m sure it’s nothing compared to what you’re feeling. You’ll make it, and everything will change, and it will be wonderful.

Who do you want to give a shout-out to today? Don’t feel like you have to stick with just the Wonder Women – shout out to whoever the heck you want. It’s LOVE week at WW.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

my new law.

if i were president, i would mandate that all children 3+ yrs not be carried down rain slicked stairs by their mothers if the mother is wearing black, leather high heeled boots.

this law would've saved me a lot of pain and money. the above scenario is exactly how my friday morning began. unfortunately, it ended with a nice trip to the ER and being diagnosed with a concussion. and with that, i'm going back to bed.

Friday, November 7, 2008

I Wonder What I'd Decree?

My most important royal edict (no, I wouldn’t turn the presidency into a monarchy … I just like the sound of “royal edict”) would be this:

For every hour of volunteer work one completes for a non-profit organization or as independent community service, $10 of one’s consumer debt will be forgiven. All banks, credit-card companies, stores and car dealerships will agree to this proposal. No one can skip making a payment, of course, but one’s principal will be accordingly reduced every month.

Genius, right? I mean, how much more enticing can giving back to one’s community be? You can pick up litter at the park, you can cook in a soup kitchen, you can read to kids at the library, you can call out bingo numbers at the senior-citizens center, you can clean litter boxes at the animal shelter, you can usher at the symphony, and you can help get yourself out of debt!

And you’ll get addicted to helping others, I promise. So you’ll gladly keep doing it once your debt is gone, and the only incentive you’ll want is the feeling of goodwill and satisfaction that’s worth way more than $10/hour.

Of course, there would be other things, like having low-fat-but-you’d-never-know-it ice-cream vending machines. Like making eco-friendly products cost less than eco-harmful products. Like stopping production on high heels that hurt your feet. Like making it mandatory to give at least five hugs a day, and seven on Saturday. Like making sure that everyone in the country is given the chance to learn to read.

It sounds like if the WW were part of BHO’s Cabinet, things would be pretty great—maybe even more great than they’re going to be anyway!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

If I Were in Charge ...

... absolutely nothing would be done today.

I can't seem to stop weeping with joy at my desk to type, answer the phone, plan or attend meetings, or do anything other than whoop and holler and hug everyone who walks into my office today.

The only words I can muster are those that Tom Brokaw spoke last night that were, in turn, a quote from one of his political mentors:

"What a country."

I'll take a crack at my Presidential platforms on Friday. For now, I'm gonna go re-watch the acceptance speech (brilliant, poignant, transformative) again and try to find a job in the BHO administration.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

If I Were In Charge...

**All of the Wonder Women wish you a very happy Election Day. We hope you exercised your right to vote!**

If I were President, there are quite a few things I would change. Here are just a few of the things that I would put into action:

-Election Day would be a national holiday. This would free up people to vote without worrying about getting to work, voting around work hours, and we could all sleep in if we want. I will also give every person who votes a small tax cut.

-Work days/nights will be flexible and people can work when they are able/when they want. Mothers/fathers who opt to stay home with their children will be given a yearly salary and insurance coverage.

-I will remove all of the energy-sucking vehicles from our roadways and replace them with energy efficient bumper cars that allow drivers to smash into that jerk who just cut them off. Incidentally, helmets will now be required to be worn by drivers. Drivers will also be given 100 "You Suck" Driving Points to dole out at their discretion. If a person receives twenty-five YSDP in a quarter, the driver will be restricted from driving during certain hours and/or to certain places. If a driver receives 50 YSDP in six months' time, their license will be revoked. If a person receives 75 YSDP points in a year's time, their license will be revoked for their lifetime.

-I will put two people that I trust inherently, my parents, in charge of the educational systems of America. They will not want to accept these positions but I know they will take our current system to task and have it in prime condition in a short period of time. I would then allow my parents to put other people in charge of this new system and then my parents could retire to the Caribbean ASAP.

-Anyone who wants to get married can.

-On The Border would become the official caterer of The White House. A margarita machine would be installed in The Oval Office. I will not mention a wine cellar because I have no doubt that there is already one at TWH. I am also sure that there is a fantastic beer selection.

-Vacations would be required for all people. I do not care if you want to travel or stay at home but you must not work for at least two weeks every year. Your brain needs a break.

-Universal healthcare.

-I would institute a pay raise for people in service professions. Teachers, police officers, EMTs, etc. would all be given an immediate raise in pay. I would also give each person a bonus based on the number of years of service/standard of service/coolness. I would do this by taxing the entertainment industry more heavily and by reducing the salaries of actors/actresses/models, etc.

-Pajama pants would be acceptable to wear in any situation. This is a must.

Again, this is just the start of my plan as President. I have a list of about 100 other things that I could have list here. Obviously, I would not try to abuse my power, but these are all things that are very important to me. I may never become President, but a girl can dream right?

*Incidentally, if I were a magician (and not President), I would totally make the whole no exercising, eat whatever you want, stay thin deal become a reality. Because that would rule.

Monday, November 3, 2008

I Wonder What Would Change if I Were President?


The heck with being President, I want to be Dictator. Here is what I would decree:

· The standard work week will drop to 35 hours from 45 (8 to 5 is 9 hours a day, people, and who snuck this change in hours by without a popular vote?). If it tries to creep back up I will slap its hand and tell it to go back where it belongs or it doesn’t get any dessert after supper.
· If you promise to work out for at least 30 minutes at least 3 times a week, I will use the resulting extra money that isn’t spent on your health care and give you $500 per year to buy cute workout clothes and sneaks, and $100 per year to buy good jammin’ songs for your Ipod to listen to, because we could all use some extra motivation to keep our wobbly office-chair butts heading to the gym.
· For every extra curricular activity that involves visual art, music, theatre, extra science projects, creative writing, and air guitar, I will give a school an additional $10,000 to fund the project, and $10,000 to go in its general fund as an incentive. While we’re at it, every teacher who elects to stay after school and administer these programs will get a $5000 bonus. Per semester. I will pay for this with a tax on any big corporation that pays its CEO more than $2 million per year. Whatever they pay the CEO over and above this pretty-durn-reasonable cap, they have to match in the “Keep Arts in Elementary Education” fund.
· I will implement universal health care. Um, how I would do this effectively and without significantly raising taxes is a secret. Shhhhh.
· I will set a minimum inches standard for celebrity thighs, arms, and middles, and any celebrity who fails to meet the standard will be forced to donate 75% of his/her earnings to the eating disorder prevention organization of choice.
· It will be free to adopt children in this country. If you decide to adopt a child over the age of 10, I will provide his/her college education at any public institution free of charge. Private institutions may match my generosity, if they see fit.
· Speaking of college – I will make that sucker cost $5000 or less per year to the students. I will tie repayment of any loans taken out for school to the graduate’s earnings level. This means recent graduates have the freedom to take low paying jobs if they wish – such as, I don’t know, acting jobs? Or service jobs, or naturalist jobs, or jobs at a non-profit, or whatever. It also means they have the freedom to travel a bit, to explore, to make employment and life choices that aren’t motivated largely by their need to meet their monthly student loan payments.
· I will make it legal for any two people to get married who want to get married.
· I will limit the number of frivolous lawsuits each person may file in his/her lifetime to three. Choose your frivolous lawsuits wisely – you may want to set one aside, just in case somebody insults you when you’re eighty. Who will take you seriously at age eighty if you haven’t got a frivolous lawsuit in your back pocket to threaten people with?
· I will force companies to bring back pensions, because hel-LO. 2% of my salary in a 401k ain’t no lifelong pension. I don’t know how companies wiggled out of THAT obligation, but I’m wiggling their tails right back in.
· I will make David Sedaris my speechwriter. Sheryl Crow will be my stylist. Or her stylist will be my stylist, I should say. Tina Fey will be my stunt double, to do my appearances on days when I’m feeling under the weather. Amy Poehler will be the White House resident Fool. Yes, she will wear a hat with bells on, but I’ll make it worth her while.
· Lastly (and this will be my most popular resolution, I feel) – I will declare November 3rd to be Wonder Women Day, a day when you are supposed to reach out and connect with all of the women who inspire you, about spending a second to call or email or visit a girl you love. I will force all networks to play re-runs of SATC all day, ice cream and pizza will be sold at half price, and I will send Air Force One all over the country to drop chocolates from the sky. OK, maybe that could get dangerous, maybe I’ll send out legions of chocolate via the U.S. mail. In any case – it will be a celebration of women and womanhood*, and it will be my legacy long after my term is up and I’m dead and gone.

*Don’t call me sexist! We’ve had a gazillion men Presidents so far who all had the opportunity to make a Man Day, it’s their fault they didn’t think of it first.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

i love me some facebook.

i resisted facebook (or fb as we facebookers call it) for quite a while. my biggest concern is that i work for a university and i did NOT want my colleagues or my students finding me. but then i realized that people couldn't "see" my page unless i gave them permission which got me thinking. i finally decided to join fb, but to add an extra layer of "protection" i used my maiden name. it was one of the best things i've done! it's like a reunion with your friends every single day!

i get to see baby pictures and wedding pictures and vacation pictures of all of my friends. i learn about how their days went, what they're eating for lunch, who they are rooting for in the monday night football game (or the upcoming election). it's so much fun!

the best part is that i've reconnected with so many friends from my past. most of these folks i never thought i'd see again! it's been fantastic catching up on their lives and feeling as though not a day has passed since we last saw each other (even if it has been 12+ years). and of course, it's always nice to communicate with "current" friends using another vehicle. i mean, who would've thought that wicked could send me virtual christmas gifts to place under my virtual christmas tree that i can open on the real christmas day? and i can't very well throw a sheep at g love in my real life. seriously, the fact that we can throw sheep at each other just makes a fb account all that more worthwhile.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

MyBook? FaceSpace?

I like to attempt humor by claiming to be an "old person" who doesn't know much about the "Internets" and then jumble the names of the two networking sites. It always gets a laugh, so of course I do it a lot.

My fellow WW have just shown you why I don't belong to any other cyberworld save this one and my email account. I have an addictive personality, I think, and so in order to keep my job (we're Web-free at home partially b/c we know we'd end up working off the clock if we did--see? Addictive!), I am not ever going to join in on the requesting and Poking and Linking and whatnot. If people want to keep in touch with me, they'll just have to, you know, email me!

But, then again, I also was not ever going to write a blog.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Social Networking, Anyone?

MySpace was never really something I got into. As far as I can tell, it is more for the people who want to post pictures of themselves doing things that should not be posted online or a place for singles to meet. The reason I say this is because I am constantly bombarded by dirty pictures when I am on this site and I am usually only logging in because some random person has requested to be my friend and I am curious. Typically, this "friend" is someone I have never met but thinks my profile picture is cute. Ugh. My profile on MySpace is private due to some stalking issues I have dealt with in the past (people stalking me, not the other way around), so I know that they cannot see that I am married, but DUDE. Stop telling me I am a hottie and would I like to go grab a drink?

Thankfully, most of my real-life friends have abandoned MySpace or never joined in the first place, so I let that membership mostly slide. I rarely log in, I never check it unless prompted by a friend request, and you can only see my info if we are friends. I feel fairly secure in knowing that I may never check MySpace again.

I am, however, ADDICTED to Facebook. I find this site far easier to use than MySpace and it seems to be a more classy than MySpace ever hoped of being. Thank goodness. Facebook has let me network with a lot of people that I attended college with and had lost touch with. It is fun to see their spouses, their kids, and their pets. I enjoy reading their comments about my status message, I like sending them SuperPokes and I love it when I win playing Bingo! I love it when I get a friend request from someone I thought I might never hear from again and I enjoy the interaction among friends who are far away.

Facebook is a huge time suck though. I have wasted more hours at home and at work than I care to admit but I cannot seem to help myself. Must look at the new pictures g love posted of her baby! Must see what Cupcake is up to this weekend! I need to check on my Lil Green Patch! I am hopelessly addicted. Oh, Facebook, how I love thee.

Monday, October 27, 2008

I Wonder How I Feel About Social Networking Sites?

Oh my god. Oh my god, oh my god, I have done a bad thing.

I love my siblings, all four. I want to hear about their lives, I want to know their significant others, I want to see them at Christmas and Thanksgiving and wayyyy more often than that, even. I want Frog Baby to be close to his Aunts and Uncles, I want Darlin’ to feel like they are his brothers and sisters. I make lots of effort to keep (force) my presence in their lives and theirs in mine, and it’s worth all of the time it takes.

There are two of my siblings still in college, though, the two youngest, and college may as well be Mars when it comes to staying in contact with them. I accept this as a temporary dry spell, and soldier on with the unanswered emails and the pestering text messages, so they can roll their eyes but know that I take a genuine interest. So, a couple of years ago, against my inclination (because who has time for this?), I joined myspace. And never really looked at it again – I think my myspace page says that I’m still single, and has a picture from 5 years ago on it. I checked it once in a blue moon, but didn’t have the time to figure out all of the personalization options, and also it made me feel old and technologically stupid, whereas in most circles I am the hot young savvy thing who teaches the “old” people how to do stuff on the computer – a role I much prefer. And anyways, as soon as I put up a profile, my siblings migrated away from myspace and began facebookin’, as the young varmints call it, and I was all – SCREW THIS. I have a life, you know, I can’t go flitting about from networking site to networking site, learning the ropes over and over again. I have a job. I have a husband. I have a dog and a cat and a baby. What I don’t have is time, and so I returned to the unanswered emailing and the pestering text messages and decided to leave the social networking sites to the kids.

A month or so ago, a friend had a baby, and when I nagged her husband for baby photos he said “Oh, they’re up on facebook, check them out!” Hm. Then, I was looking for a picture of my brother for a project I’m doing for our mom, and my sister said “He has some really cute ones on facebook, get them there!” Then my husband’s uncle invited us to be his friends on facebook, and I realized that old people can do this after all, and I re-thunk my stand on social networking sites.

So yesterday, I joined facebook.

Schwoooooo, schwooooooo, schwooooooooooooooooooooooo

ScwhoooI’M SORRY?? WHAT WERE YOU SAYING??scwhooooooooowoooooooI CAN’T HEAR YOU OVER THE SOUND OFschwooooooooooooooooooo choooooooowoooooooooooTHE SOUND OF TIME BEING SUCKED OUT OF MY DAY scwhoooooooooowhooooooYUP, THERE WENT MY SUNDAY AFTERNOONwoooooooooooooooo AND NOW MY MONDAY MORNINGscchhhhhwooooooooooooooooooooooo AND aw, hell, I think this was a mistake. Because this is wayyyy more addictive than myspace, and although I don’t get most of it yet, I get enough of it to want to learn more. They done hooked me, like a fish. I would still be on it now, I would have done it all night, if my husband hadn’t shamed me off the computer with the old “It’s a beautiful day outside” routine.

Somebody warned me, when I mentioned that I was considering joining this crack cocaine of the internet, that I would regret it because every single person I have ever known from the beginning of time would be on there and friending me and poking me and commenting on my wall and all of this nonsense. Like, people I went to elementary school with. And I was all – uh-huh, well, so what? I can ignore them, right? I mean, no one is forcing me to talk to these people who are strangers to me after all of these years?

Sigh. At least I’m feeling young again. It’s been a long time since someone had to tell me to go outside and play, it’s a beautiful day, for God’s sake. And don’t forget your sweater.

And come home when the streetlights come on, or you're grounded!

Friday, October 24, 2008

my perspective.

thankfully, i haven't felt much of the recession crunch. super jas and i had been living off of one income for so long, that we already made those expertly suggested cut backs long, long ago. and once you live with those cut backs (ie. no cable, no tivo, at home hair cuts, rarely eating out, etc.) for several years, you get used to them. for those who are just now instilling some of these money saving tips, take heart. you will learn to live without them. you will wonder why you ever wasted $x on that "luxury" all along.

super jas went back to work full-time about 2 months ago. it's been AMAZING having 2 incomes again!! we lived for over 3 years without 2 paychecks. 3. long. years. without a lot of the wants. as i said before, thankfully, we have lived frugally all along, so while most are struggling with the recession, we are enjoying an additional paycheck.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

I Wonder What I'll REALLY Give Up?

Gym membership? Nope, it’s the only way I’ll actually work out, and lately I’ve discovered that on the two weekdays that I don’t work out, I’m crankier than on the three weekdays I do work out. So I can’t let that slip or I’d lose all my friends. And friends are important in times of financial distress.

Cable subscription? It’s only $17/month b/c all we pay for is good reception, not any channels. At least we won’t have to buy a converter box in February! And we all know how much I love my shows. TV is non-negotiable. I mean, maybe if I got Netflix again … but that would be more than $17/month, so nothin’ doin’.

Sirius subscription? Not necessary! In a flash of brilliance, we decided to pony up for a lifetime subscription back in the day. Yipee! Alt Nation 21 forever!

Costco membership? Uh-uh. No sir. It pays for itself in our gas savings and our Coke savings. And every good long while, our Sun Chips savings. And Degree savings. And Swiffer savings. And Clorox CleanWipes savings. And red/yellow/orange/green peppers savings.

Magazine subscriptions? How can you even ask me that??!!??

Pretty much everything else I pay for on a regular basis is a bill … mortgage, student-loan, credit card, car/homeowner’s insurance. So, like Wicked M, here ends my thinking about my personal stakes in the economic meltdown. I’m too busy reading magazines and listening to my “loved” songs from Left of Center while on the elliptical, thinking about my 80-count box of granola bars and what’s on TV that night.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Economic Wondering

Well, I am sure that this topic has been weighing heavily on the minds of all of the WW and our readers. We hear the news tell us over and over again how awful things are and how much worse they will be getting. Not exactly comforting. I have not allowed myself to wonder or worry about this very much because I have decided that worrying gets me nowhere. I have to believe that things will make a turn around and that my retirement account will rebound. I have to believe that the cycle of life will continue and that this mess will work itself out. Just like it always does.


A Much Better Perspective


This should've been what I wrote yesterday! Much better said.

Monday, October 20, 2008

I Wonder What To Do . . .

I'm throwing this wonder out there for all of us, whether we are just barely meeting our basic needs or whether we were doing great and now we're just doing ok. Whether we had $100,000 in our 401k that turned into $50,000 overnight, or we had $10,000 that is now $5,000, or we had no retirement plan and now feel even that much farther away from starting one. Whether we own our home and have seen it lose value, or whether we had to postpone our homeownership plans by precious years while we wait for the market to stabilize. Whether our jobs are secure or have the potential to disappear in the recession. Whether our car has great gas mileage, bad gas mileage, or anything in between. Whether we had a strong savings account which is now depleted, or credit card debt that we were working to slash and have now had to reconfigure our payment plan. Whether our basic expenses exceed our income, or whether we are still in the black but had to cut our standard of living while CEOs of failing companies are offered $22mil for 3 months of work.

I Wonder What We're All Going to Do?

This economic slowdown has hit our family hard and no mistake. All the tips they give you to cut expenses - no more haircuts! Stop eating out! Take your lunch to work! Eat meatless meals! This is all stuff we've been doing all along. What is the advice for those of us who already buy used cars, put cash in our medical Flex Spending Account, and make a strict grocery list incorporating-coupons-and-sales-from-which-we-do-not-deviate, Amen? What's the solution for the girl whose entire salary raise and then some was completely absorbed by the rise in gas prices, and now all of a sudden the grocery bill is twice what it was? Yesterday in a fit of feeling sorry for myself, I checked out a book from the library on cooking with beans. Beans are Great Depression food, right? Darlin snorted at my melodrama, but then he sure doesn't laugh when I show him how much I spent at Food Lion for 2 weeks of eating.

I am handmaking Christmas gifts this year. Darlin and I are skipping them for each other, skipping our anniversary camping trip (camping! cheap!), skipping a 4 hour drive down to a friend's birthday party, a 4 hour drive up to a band show that I should have participated in. We aren't cutting the book-a-month promise we made for Frog Baby, though we are definitely into used paperbacks. We aren't cutting the trip to a midwest wedding, because you can't ever go back to that wedding in the future when you are financially solvent. We splurged on McDonald's McFlurries last night because sometimes you just need some M&Ms mixed up in ice cream, in order to feel in control of your world.

It's taking our measure, this slowdown, and I am finding that I can live with less than I imagined. We've examined our Needs and Wants lists, and been shifting more and more into the Wants. I thought I Needed this or that or the other in order to survive, but in fact here I am living without it. We are currently assessing whether we truly Need two cars, or can we be a one car family? As the AIG execs chill out in Britain on a shooting holiday (3 of them, they spent $86,000 of company cash, post bailout, saying to an undercover reporter - hey, the bailout sucks, but the shooting sure was fine today, eh?), I get ready to face telling 40 hourly people that our manufacturing facility will be shutting for a handful of weeks this fall, with no work for them, unless our sales guys can work some kind of magic. I shudder to think what this could mean for my job in the near future.

I Want. I Want a haircut, very much. I Want to take professional photos of my baby before he gets much older. I Want to keep both of our cars. I Want to have our couch cleaned, and my winter coat. I Want to go to a damn movie. My list of unmet Wants is long.

I tell you what I Need, though. I Need my kid to be really healthy and fantastic. I Need my husband to be faithful and upbeat. I Need shoes. I Need a working car. I Need a job. I Need a loving and supportive family. Seems my list of unmet Needs is nonexistent.

This is whiny, and truly a reflection of how spoiled Americans are, because come on. Half the people in Brazil, for example, would think of Darlin's and my spartan life as the absolute lap of luxury. But I Want to whine, and whining on a blog is (still, and may it always be) free, so I'm granting myself this Want. The haircut can wait. And I hope you all log on and whine with me, so I don't feel so childish. We're feeling the pinch, but it's much easier to tighten your belt and get the hell over it if everybody else is doing the same. Tell me - how are you pinched? What did you have to give up? What Are You Going to Do?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

What Would I Take Back?

I could also discuss my pining for my hometown, but it’s been briefly chronicled already and I think all the WW had much the same experience: cried and yearned, wised up and ended the relationship, discovered friends and fun, and got over it.

So my publishable regret (there are very few. Very. Few.) is from my senior year. I took tetracycline during college, and one of its side effects is to make you extremely sensitive to the sun. As a blue-eyed, blonde, Norwegian-Scots-Irish lass, I am pretty susceptible to UV rays anyway, so adding tetracycline to the mix was going to be problematic. Very.

Well, senior year, Homecoming was approaching and I hadn’t spent much time outside the summer before, so I got a package at the local tanning bed and usually tried not to spend more than ten minutes doing a fake bake. But as the days ticked away and the weather cooled off and I started going to my appointments w/a sorority sister who had a much darker complexion than I, I lost my head a little bit. I must have fried it.

The week of Homecoming, I went for the max: twenty minutes in a bed with new bulbs … and without my ... anything.

Yes, ladies and gents, I burned. Oh how I burned. EVERYWHERE. Thanks to my ingested dermatologic drugs, all of my skin, not just my face, turned red. And the parts that were not used to seeing any light whatsoever—that of day or night or the beach or anything other than the light in the shower—were burned and blistered for weeks. It hurt to sit, to stand, to lie down, to be hugged … I just HURT.

It still hurts to think about it, honestly, so I don’t think I will anymore.

No more tanning beds for me!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Regret

I pined for a far away boyfriend all during my freshman year. Ugh. Looking back, I want to smack my freshman year self. He was a year younger than me, a basketball player, and he got a basketball scholarship to a school in Florida. I bet that you have already guessed how this ended: he cheated on me his first weekend of college. Duh. I also regret that I pined for him while also cheating on him. I am an awful person and to cut myself some slack, I was only eighteen. I hardly knew anything.

After freshman year boyfriend broke my heart, I took some time out for myself. That is when I decided to let my best guy friend get me drunk "so I could see what all the buzz was about". (pun intended) My sophomore year was a fine one and I made many many friends that year. There is not much I regret about my sophomore year. Thankfully.

Near the end of my sophomore year I began dating a fraternity guy/big time jock and the two of us had a grand old time together. We had an interesting relationship until my junior year/his senior year. He had what I call the "Senior Guy Freak Out" and our relationship become, uh, trying. He was faced with becoming a grown-up, I was faced with a boyfriend who suddenly wanted little to nothing to do with me. I could not possibly understand what he was going through, this is true, but I put up with his behavior anyway. I do regret that. I should have kicked him to the curb the minute his behavior become childish and selfish, but I was young and "in love". Whatever.

What followed were months and months of misery. The two of us would break up and get back together and have fights and make up. It was awful. I regret that we ruined what could have probably been a good friendship in trying to force a romantic relationship that had reached its end months before. I regret that a lot.

Most of the rest of my college experience was filled with unpublishable items. Most of which I do not regret at all! Thank goodness...

*On a totally different path, I would TOTALLY have told off my chem prof who tried to come on to me. And I totally would have told that other professor what I thought of his misogynistic remarks. Jerks,the both of them!

I Wonder What (Publishable) Things I Did in College That I Wish I Could Take Back?

Oh man. How long do you have?

The list of stupid crap I did in college that I am now forced to remember for all time is a long, long, long list. Surprisingly little of it involves alcohol, since I was a pure young lass in those days (corruption came late for me, not until my upperclass years.) But one can still be sober and stupid, and I was, frequently.

I fell completely in love with a guy, a big geek in retrospect, who was also big into religion and could not condone females wearing anything that revealed their ankles. That would’ve been super cool to live with the rest of my days, had I been able to convince him to marry me and make lots of babies, as was my heart’s deepest wish during much of my sophomore year. Yeah, I would love to take back all that time I spent, pining away, waiting for his call. I can remember a 1 am trip to Taco Bell with Wicked and Rin of the Wonder Women, the entire duration of which I spent tapping my foot and checking my watch, desperate to get back to my room in case he called. At 1 am. Did I mention? Middle of the night? When my straight laced object of affection was probably sound asleep?

I also wish I could take back all of the hours I spent in music history. I love me some music, and I love me some music history, but that class was laaaaaaame. Ditto calculus. Blargh.

I would love to obliterate from memory some of the embarrassing stuff I did in acting class. Like, farted one time, by accident, and then did a very poor job of acting like it wasn't me (get it? acting? hahahahha.) Also, the time I was in a play and had to pretend to be a wolf, and I wore basically a black sports bra and black undies on the stage, teased my hair out, and then tumbled around with some other guys and gals in black underwear and licked my hands/paws. I would love to ditch that humiliating memory, pronto.

But the thing I most wish I could take back is wasting my freshman year pining for my high school boyfriend. He was a lovely boy, but he was also in California, a gazillion miles from my Midwestern school. There was no way it was going to work. I wish I could go back and tell myself to just embrace college, already, and enjoy yourself. It took too long for me, too long to get over being forced to go to my last choice school. As it turned out, it was a lovely place to attend college, if I could have only stopped being pissy about it. I really wish I could take that back, relive that freshman year. Sigh.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

my relections of autumn.

i have to agree with wicked on this one and say that i'm not a real big fan of fall. and with each year i age, i find myself dreading it more and more. i think the reason is because i have kids who adore being outside. as the season changes, their noses begin to run. allergies and colds abound which equals sleepless nights for me. we can no longer swim at the pool or jump on our bikes to chase down the ice cream truck. no, as the days grow shorter, we find ourselves stuck inside with boxes of tissues stashed strategically around the house.

my girls are most comfortable in flowy skirts, t-shirts, and flip flops. as such, we battle each morning over putting on pants, tennis shoes, and *gasp* socks. (as a side note, did you realize that socks were created as a torture mechanism?) it really is a pain, especially now that both of them can voice their opinions about it. it's much easier in the summer when they can throw on whatever they feel like and slip their flip flops on in a matter of seconds. actual clothes, shoes, and *gasp* socks take mucho more time to put on.

crap, i just realized that this wonder isn't about how i feel about autumn, it's about what i LIKE about autumn. okay, let me change directions here...

what i love about autumn is the fact that i get to bundle up in turtlenecks. i LOVE, LOVE, LOVE turtlenecks and have a million of them in all shades. i get to wear my rockin', black knee high, high heeled boots (which always fetch me compliments) and my new red coat that my folks are going to buy me for christmas (hint, hint, mom.).

another thing that i love about autumn is that it ushers in football season. i love football and have watched it every sunday afternoon for as long as i can remember. growing up, our family sundays consisted of going to church, eating lunch, slipping back into our pjs, and devouring a large pan of rice kripsy treats. i loved this tradition and, now that my girls are older, hope to continue it with my own family.

this morning gave me yet another reason to be thankful for autumn. as i drove rascal to school this morning, we saw a gorgeous tree whose leaves had already turned red. i pointed it out to her and she said, "i see! the leaves changed color from green to red." "and do you know why they turned colors?" i inquired. "yes, because it's fall!" she informed. and with that simple conversation, i realized that my 3 yr old daughter is a genius (just kidding. well, only slightly kidding!). no, our conversation reminded me that with yet another passing autumn season, my daughters are growing and changing and becoming real, live human beings. they are growing into marvelous young women who are learning about and capturing this world at breakneck speeds. it's humbling to see how much they've grown since last october. to look at pictures and watch videos and to remember them how they were only 365 short days ago...well, it's mind blowing, really.

so, even though my girls and i can't lounge at the pool or hose off our sticky ice cream fingers in the side yard, or even enjoy the warmth of sunshine on our faces, we still have lots to be enjoy this autumn season. i just need to remember to take each day as a gift and to enjoy the present, not wishing the season along, but enjoying it for what it is with my girls and favorite boy, each and every day.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

I Wonder What I Love About Fall?

I have always had a fairly negative view of the fall season. This is mostly due to the fact that it is the end of my beloved summertime. Ah, summer. The season of sitting by the pool, the season of cookouts and lemonade, the season of delicious heat. Fall has also always represented the ushering in of my least favorite season, winter, and for that reason alone I have always cursed autumn. As I get older, though, I appreciate the fall season more and more.

The stunning beauty of watching tree after tree burst into color -- leaves turning the color of copper, bursting in orange flame, a red so awe-inspiring a word does not do it justice. The fall season used to represent an end to me -- the end of summer -- but now I see it as a new beginning. Fall marks the beginning of school calendars, fall marks the start of another year of marriage for my spouse and me, and fall marks the beginning of the true season of family.

The crisp air beckons to my long-forgotten jeans and sweatshirts and begs for me to head to a pumpkin patch or apple orchard. The crisp apples are a delight and I love to watch children dart about picking out "their" pumpkin. Carving jack-o-lanterns is always fun and toasting pumpkin seeds is a treat. While Halloween has never been my favorite holiday (I hate being scared!), I do love to watch children maneuver in their costumes while trying to keep hold of their prized candy.

Fall means football games and hot chocolate. Fall means cuddling under a blanket on the couch while you and your spouse cheer on your favorite team(s). Fall means cookies and apple cider and warm Chex Mix.

My absolute favorite thing about fall is that it means the holidays are upon us. The time from Thanksgiving to New Year's Day is my most beloved time of year. This magical time that brings families together, requires us to eat tons of tasty food, and allows us to show the people we love just how much we truly care is what I enjoy most.

I am now thankful for fall. These days fall means family to me.

Monday, October 6, 2008

I Wonder What I Love Most About . . .

. . . Autumn.

Springtime is so lovely. This past spring was particularly fecund for me, as it was the season when I welcomed my first baby. The tulips were nodding, the azaleas in bloom, and the trees budding green when I carried my son up the front porch stairs for the first time.

Following spring is, of course, the summer, a season I embrace with more enthusiasm than ever now that I have a child to share it with. We bought a handful of pool passes, even though he was a mite young to enjoy the community pool. I took him hiking, the dog trotting purposefully beside us. We sat outside at the green plastic table and chairs that I bought for about $5 at Wal Mart, and I showed him green leaves, brown branches, blue sky. The husband, when he could come out with us (summer saw the close of the school year, but not nearly the end of schoolwork for him), always managed to wheedle me into stopping at the new ice cream shop.

The end of summer tends to be miserable here in the American South. Mosquitos whine and bite, the sun beats. Both conspired against me lazing in the hammock, and instead I sat inside watching too many Netflixed television shows. I began to feel loose-skinned, doughy, unwell. September, for various reasons, was not kind to me this year.

This year more than ever, then, I welcome it, my son's first autumn, enraptured as always with the frothy perfection of a Carolina October. Tank top days and sweaters for night time - a fire is called for of an evening, and I am once again delighted that I bought a chiminea three years ago, a present for my new homeowning self. I love a pot pie, heavy gravy, root vegetables, simmering in the Crock Pot. I love the smell of pumpkins.

Autumn is Halloween, and I am trying to think of a clever costume that I can make for my five month old. Trick or treat will be a different endeavor for these next many years, and though he has not enough teeth for candy and I don't need any myself, we will still take him.

Autumn is turning leaves, and I know that he will love to watch them fall. Will learn to walk through drifts of them, and love their crunch under his feet, between his gummy jaws (he will get a handful in his mouth, without doubt.) We will take him to a farm to pet animals, walk among hay bales, select a pumpkin. He's too young to remember, but there will be pictures.

Autumn is a chill in the air, when the hat and gloves come out, but not the heavy coats and scarves. Autumn is Thanksgiving, with my parents this year, which will probably mean dinner in our pajamas, cinnamon rolls for the morning. Autumn means we are on the cusp of Christmas, when two babies, four parents, two grandparents, and two great grandparents (along with an obscene amount of dogs) will gather for stockings by the hearth, though we have agreed for the sake of thrift to buy gifts this year only for the children.

Children. Yes. This year, autumn also brings me a much loved and looked for niece, a cousin for our son. Autumn, a bounteous harvest, one I cannot wait to share with my son for the first time.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

i wonder about my identity.

the only thing that anyone can talk about or think about where i work is the recent security breach. i honestly didn't think much of it, even after i saw it on the midday news. i have been out of the office since monday, so i didn't get caught up on everything until this morning. my director called me in to discuss the situation. i began to worry a bit more.

and then, wouldn't you know it, another coworker of mine discovered that she was a victim of identity theft yesterday (through a breach in her previous employer). after hearing her ordeal and all that she went through, i'm definitely scared.

there were over 10,000 names on the list that was hacked. and, of course, this list included every detail of my life (and the other 9,999 folks that were on the list too). and now that we know the severity of it (as in where it originated and such - i don't want to divulge all of the details on the internet obviously), we're all freaked out. literature has been emailed to us and posted on our intranet. we're all talking about and seeing what the best option is for all of us. have i mentioned that we're freaking here?

so now, i'm having to go about doing a bunch of crap in order to keep myself from being a victim. unfortunately, this wonder is one that will be on my mind for many years to come.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Wondering About Wondercat

There are a lot of things I have been wondering/worrying about lately. I will spare you the details of every little thing and just tell you that, for right now, the thing I am most wondering/worrying about is...my cat.

The Wondercat is getting on in years and I have noticed some changes in him recently. He used to greet me at the door every day when I came home from work and these days I am lucky if he even decides to greet me at all. He used to climb up into my lap and snuggle for hours. These days he can usually be found sleeping under our bedroom armoire. It would take a disaster of epic proportions to get that cat to move from his little hiding place.

Wondercat is not what you would call a small-framed cat. He is a giant cat and his favorite activity, hands down, is eating. He would probably eat constantly if we let him. We used to let him graze all day long and once he reached a size so large that the vet started giving us dirty looks whenever we arrived for a check-up, we decided to put him on a diet. Now, Wondercat is on a restricted diet and he does not like it at all. The first few weeks of the diet were a struggle. He would beg and beg for additional food and I felt like the worst cat parent ever. Then, he seemed to become accustomed to the smaller portions and he figured out when the next meal was coming. But now? Sometimes he will not even come to his dish when we whistle for him. The whistle used to make Wondercat hop to attention and he would tear into the kitchen at lightning speed. These days he will mosey in whenever he feels like it and sometimes does not even eat everything that is in his bowl. Most troubling.

So, I worry about Wondercat. Is this behavior just old age or is there something else going on here? My guess is that he is just doing this to mess with me. He knows that when I feel guilty, it means extra treats for him. Sly little cat indeed.

Monday, September 29, 2008

I wonder what I’m going to do about ­­­­­­­­___________?

I’m tryin’, ya’ll. I’m trying to be perky and cutesy and happy and normal. I’m trying to write I Wonders and my own blog and emails and long overdue thank you cards for my birthday presents, trying to call friends and interact with my husband and snuggle my baby and walk my dog. I’m trying to live my daily life, but everything is done in the shadow of a great fear.

No, it’s not the poorness, though that makes my heart beat faster daily as I watch our credit card balance rise like a phoenix from the ashes of the bonfire I lit less than a year ago, the bonfire which was supposed to burn up the credit card monkey on my back for good. (Ya’ll, I spend 6% of my yearly gross salary on GAS TO DRIVE TO WORK, ok? This is not cute new boots on this credit card. This is not sexy eyeliner or fun trips to the beach. This is gas, and food, and car repairs, and that beeyotch is still climbing to the sky quicker than I can say GAWDDAMM.)

No, it’s not the job, though that is the tiger eating out my liver as I eternally shoulder a rock up a hill at the top of which are just-out-of-reach grapes that brush against my thirsting lips, or some other such torturous Greek mythic metaphor.

No, it’s not the prospect of Sarah Barracuda as my Vice President, though that makes me a little bit sick to my stomach. Both for me and for her.

Folks. I DO NOT KNOW what I am going to do about my Netflix lineup.

We’ve finished Seinfeld. We’re coming to the end of Northern Exposure – which, incidentally, does not affect my views on our Alaska governor because, yo, it’s a t.v. show, but it does make me a little more excited about winter for some odd reason. Anyhoo, I’ve got so many choices for our next series. Do we go with Weeds? Six Feet Under? The Sopranos? Do I strike out solo with Gray’s Anatomy? Do we mix it up and get, gasp, a friggin’ movie?

What are your favorite old shows? What is the show you adored most in life? What do you recommend I do about my Netflix queue? Because if I don’t hurry up, my husband will worm his way in there and make the whole thing a bunch of baseball documentaries, and then I will have nothing left to live for.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

sign me up!

i'll take a shopping spree just about anywhere! i'm not a huge fan of shopping, but mainly that's because i don't have a lot of extra cash to spend. i could, however, do quite a bit of damage on someone else's dime.

there is nothing in my house that i own. everything that we have falls into one of two categories 1) gifts or 2) hand-me-downs. in fact, every single piece of furniture in our house is a hand-me-down - everything from the couches to the dining room table to the bedroom dressers. literally, the only thing we've purchased on our own is the washer and dryer and that doesn't necessarily count as 'furniture' in my book. no lie.

it's not that i don't want new furniture, it's just that i can't afford it. i see fantastic living room sets that i would die for, but there is no way i can fit it into our budget right now. but...if i had a shopping spree to say, oh, pottery barn or williams sonoma or the like, every room throughout my entire house would have a brand new look.

i would not hold back one iota. i would gut my entire house and even spend a few of my own bucks to hire a decorator to do it all for me. i would buy the big stuff like couches and recliners and bedroom sets, but i would also buy the little stuff, like bathroom hand towels and new placemats. i would go hog wild!!!

i really need to stop now because just thinking about it makes my heart flutter with excitement! i need to snap back into reality, but oh what i wouldn't give to have this kind of shopping spree and finally have a home out of the pages of a catalog.

Monday, September 22, 2008

I Wonder What Store I Want to Win a Shopping Spree In?

OK. The realist in me says Wal Mart - because then I could buy my groceries AND my gas AND a few things for the house and also perhaps a lifetime supply of kitty litter and some more sleepers for my exponentially growing child . . . on and on . . . and I know that's just the poor talking. And it's no fun. So I'm going to pretend all our basic needs are within our budget, and taken care of, and that this is just for fun.

So I would, OBV, want to win a spree in REI. Dude.

I *almost* was a dork and said Barnes and Noble, but if I only get one spree - hell, I can borrow books from the library, ya'll, but aint nobody out there ready to hand a kayak over the counter, as long as I have my library card to prove I'll bring it back. So I'm all over REI, where I can get my dream kayak and paddle (ok, Darlin, I'll get one for you, too!), a new family tent that will fit our exponentially growing family (lots of exponential growing going on around here), a good sporty swimsuit Speedo thing plus goggles and a cap, couple more bikes, some climbing ropes and other climbing gear, Chacos in an array of attractive colors to go with all my outfits, a few more camping supplies, and tons of clothes and accoutrements to go with all of these things. I would take Darlin's order, of course, and make sure he had every thing his little heart desired - it wouldn't be much, because he's a minimalist, but I know he must have a thing or two he'd like to get in the camping vein. Then, of course, I could outfit my kid in all kinds of stuff, I could even get him a climbing harness for each stage of life, a bike seat for my bike so he can ride in it, and then maybe a bike or two for him (when he gets old enough to ride). I could easily blow a few thou in REI.

Now, what I need on top of my shopping spree is about 20 extra hours in my week so I can actually find the time to USE all this stuff.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

dinner for 75.

this is a really tough one for me. several people popped into my head - matthew mcconaughey, jesus, ellen. if i really truly got to choose, i would want someone who didn't make me nervous. someone that i could be myself with. someone who already knows me so that dinner would be comfortable - like an old pair of jeans comfortable.

dinner for two? well, how about 75 or so? i don't know exactly the number, but if i truly got to choose, i would have a big reunion with 75+ of my closest friends - my sorority sisters. i know that sounds really cheesy and cliche, but it's true. we had an absolute ball in college and i would love to gather everyone together again to catch up on our lives and relive the old days.

i get together with a handful of sorority sisters on occasion, but for this shindig, i'm talking about everyone from sharon to hammond to terri. absolutely every last one of us.

what would even be better is if we could all just overtake the house for the weekend. it'd be all ours and we'd crash in our old rooms, sleep in the rack room and order papa john's for dinner maybe. we'd eat in the dining room and order up a keg or two to keep in the closet - just like the old days!

i'd love to have dinner with matthew. he is, after all, my boyfriend. but, for this one time, he'll have to wait, because a long, relaxing dinner with 75+ of my closest friends is just what i need right now. even more than i need matthew.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Dinner with Elvis

I have thought and though about this topic. Luckily, I never had to write about this in school because I am fairly sure that I would have never come up with a sufficient answer. Every single time I think that I know what one person I would choose to have dinner with, I think of another person that would be just as cool, just as fun, just as interesting!

Elvis Presley is always near the top of my list. I have long had a thing for young, rebellious Elvis and I would love to sit down with him at dinner. I would probably not want to eat anything at the meal because I would want to serve all of his favorites and I just cannot handle peanut butter and banana sandwiches. Ick. Maybe Elvis would use his wealth and power to ensure that I got some of my favorites served as well?

So, young Elvis and I would chatter on about rock and roll and about musical influences and about how music has changed our lives. He would show me dance moves and I would show him my Elvis snarl. I would beg him to call me Mama at least once and I would want to hear all about his childhood. I would want him to tell me about Graceland. I would want to hear his thoughts on the world today and on music today. I would ask him to sing for me...more than once. I would take many, many pictures. I would probably find myself speechless on several occasions. Breathless even.

A man with such magnetism, a man with a sweet southern drawl, and a man with such influence on our music and society would surely make for an interesting dinner.

I wonder if I could have dinner with one person, who would it be?

She is 50 years old, the oldest she will ever be. She is a large woman with light brown hair, almost auburn, and with round rosy cheeks and dimples in her elbows. I have never heard her voice, but I imagine it to be a little high, a bit thin, but sweet. Like my mother’s and mine, only with a heavy Pittsburgh accent. In my imagination she is nervous, but quick to laugh.

I think the conversation would start a little awkwardly. We have very little in common, this lady and I. She is a devout Catholic, mother to seven children, very poor. I think she finished high school, though I’m not sure. If she ever left Pennsylvania, I never heard of it. My youth spent footloose and traveling is about as far from her life experience as it gets, although she might have been happy to know that her lifetime of work yielded material benefit two generations down the line.

Well. Half a lifetime of work. She did not get her full allotment. Fifty years is not enough time. If she’d had fifty-three, she would have met me.

I would have to somehow tell her my whole life story in the course of one dinner, which would mean a considerable amount of summary. I would want to hear her life story, too. I would want to know what my mother was like as a child. I would want to know if she and her son Michael and my Pap are all together again somewhere. I would let her pick the meal, and I would have to read everything into the food she chose, whether or not she prepared it herself or had it served, how she held her fork. How she styled her hair. The course of a dinner is not enough time to know a person, but I would take it over absolutely nothing.

I knew my paternal grandparents very well – they lived with us for quite some time when I was a kid, having made no other arrangements for the infirmity of advanced age. Five small children, two very old and ill grandparents, two very tired members of the Sandwich Generation, and four bedrooms did not a particularly harmonious household make. But we got by, and they were grandparental-like, in their way. I knew my maternal grandfather, a loving, gruff, Santa Claus kind of man who spent most of his meager pension on his eighteen grandchildren, somehow giving each of us equal attention and love.

I’d love to have dinner with the one grandparent whose face I only know from my mother’s wedding pictures. From the first time I got this essay question in grade school, to now, to forever from now, I think this would be my answer. I’d love to have dinner with my mother’s mother.

Like the lovely Italian city, her name was Florence.

Friday, September 12, 2008

That's a Negative, Ghost Rider

The Boy and I have actually talked about this before. And we both agreed simultaneously that it would have NEVER happened that we’d have dated … or probably even spoken.

In HS, I was hyper, loud, judgmental, liked doing homework, tried too hard to be a comedienne, and was on both the yearbook staff and Academic Team. Despite those coolness-killing apps, I had lots of friends and lots of fun. But no boys. This trajectory has been well documented on this website, so let’s FF, shall we?

In HS, The Boy (and I have no firsthand knowledge of this as he was in another part of the state and light-years [five] older than even me, the oldest of the WW, so none of us could have ever been in HS w/him at the same time … not that I remind him of that fact all the time or anything) was not a serious student, played some sort of nerdy instrument in the band, ran track, was into backcountry camping, and dated lots and lots and lots and lots. And lots.

We both have acknowledged that neither of us would have been into the other at that time in our lives and that it’s unlikely we’d have even known each other’s names. It is safe to assume that our paths would never have crossed, and if they had crossed, here’s how it would have gone down:

HE: Hey, can I copy your physics homework? I heard you let Andrew*, Alex*, Brad * and Larry* see your answers. (*names have been changed to protect … well, me)

SHE: [confused and terrified by being spoken to by a stranger; lying] Um, I don’t have it with me. Sorry.

HE: Oh, OK. [exeunt]

SHE: [turning to BFF J] Of course I let Andrew*, Alex*, Brad * and Larry* copy. I’m unrequitedly in love with all of them. Who was that guy? Is he friends with Andrew*, Alex*, Brad * and Larry*? Do you think he knows if Andrew*, Alex*, Brad * and Larry* will be at the movies tonight? Do you think Andrew*, Alex*, Brad * and Larry* will be at the movies tonight? I hope Andrew*, Alex*, Brad * and Larry* will be at the movies tonight. Let’s go to Arby’s and get a Triple Cheese Melt before work!


Thursday, September 11, 2008

possibly...possibly not.

super jas and i pretty much ran in similar circles in high school. from what i've heard and seen, he and i were...how shall i say this?...on the same level of 'coolness.' we both ran with the popular crowd, but never did much stuff with them outside of school. rather, he and i both had a smaller circle of very close best friend(s) that we ran around with. i guess what i'm trying to say is that we were considered popular, i suppose, but we never did much stuff with the *really* popular kids outside of class.


my super jas has a bit of cockiness about him. he calls it 'confidence,' while i think it's a wee more intense than that. when we first met in college, i HATED him. i'm not one who puts up with arrogance and he had arrogance pouring off of him. a total and immediate turn-off. it took a couple of months for him to quit acting like such a jackass, but he eventually turned it around.

taking everything into consideration, i would say that there is a very high likelihood that super jas and i would've dated in high school. heck, neither of us were far removed from high school (i had only graduated 2 months prior to meeting him) when we first began dating anyway. i'm just glad our paths crossed.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Uh, No.

When I read g love's post yesterday and discovered this week's topic, I laughed out loud and then did a little dance. This topic makes me cackle out loud and makes me shudder at the same time. I shudder because I have to revisit high school!

So would Superman and I have made it as a couple back in high school? I can say, without a doubt, ABSOLUTELY FREAKING NOT.

First of all, to hear us each talk about our high school selves, we were both giant dorks. I will fully admit that and so would Superman. We were nerds, geeks, and dweebs all rolled into one. And we still are. Whatever. However. We were distinctly different in our nerdiness back in the day.

Back in high school, I was an athlete. I played a sport every season of the year. I was also really shy and totally oblivious to the opposite sex and any effect I may have had on them. Superman was not allowed to play sports, he was in the Marching Band, and he looked like Napoleon Dynamite. (I am not even kidding about that Napoleon Dynamite part. I have seen the picture to prove it and HOO BOY. Yeeeeah, we would not have gone out. I say that out of love.)

I was totally into jocks-as-boyfriends and the Marching Band was about as nerdy as you could get in my high school. My high school was all about what labels you wore and how often you got drunk on the weekends. Superman's high school was very small and everyone knew everyone. Very few people wore expensive label anything and to hear Superman tell it, the Marching Band was the place to be. So, because I was a super nerd, cared about school, excelled at sports, and did not drink at all, I was not very cool. Superman was in the Marching Band, got good grades, and knew everyone. It is easy to see that he would probably have been Mr. Popularity and I would have been just another face in the crowd of Dorkdom.

When I think about it, I am not even sure that Superman and I would have dated in college. There are a lot of circumstances that made our upbringings starkly contrasted and we probably would have had completely different groups of friends. Sure, we would probably have known each other and been jealous of the other's grade on a test or something. We may have ended up as chemistry partners and just been good friends.

As much as I hated high school and spent much of my miserable experience there wishing it would just be over, I do think that high school taught me some important lessons about relationships. So did college. Just as living on my own did as well. All of those experiences together taught me that when you find a good man, a true gentleman who is your intellectual match and your emotional equal, you hold on to him as tightly as you can -- even if he was the Drum Major in the Marching Band back in high school.

Monday, September 8, 2008

I wonder if my husband and I would have dated in high school

I am going to tell you all something that may make you question my choice in life mate. Don’t worry, I did receive full disclosure before accepting his ring, and have come to terms with his past. We don’t speak of it, but in the interest of being true to my art, I will bring it up just this once, if you promise never to refer to it again.

Darlin played Dugeons and Dragons in high school.

And beyond.

Lest you think I write this to imply that he was a dork and I would have been too cool to associate with him, let me give you this tasty tidbit about my past: I used to sing in class. Sing. In class.

In high school.

As you can see, this is a post that lends itself to short, incredulous sentences that stand alone as paragraphs.


Is for two reasons.

Reason the first – I want you to understand that we were pretty un-cool. To really feel the uncool-ness wafting over you from the screen. To sprout braces and cowlicks and pimples and awkward-limbed movements just from READING this stuff.

Reason the second – I want you to know that I am very cool now, extremely cool, and thereby I must distance my current cool self from my past, very un-cool self, by making fun of her. Just like the bullies in high school used to do.

So maybe I’m cool now, but not as nice.


None of these meanderings are getting us any closer to answering the question at hand, which is: would I have dated my husband in high school? And I want you to know that, even taking into consideration the D&D information plus other vital but top secret stuff that I’ve learned about my husband’s high school persona (coff long swoopy hair coff coff), it has been made abundantly clear after years of associating with my husband and his high school friends that no, no we wouldn’t have dated. Because I don’t think even my D&D Darlin’ could have seen as far down into the bottom of the dating pit as I was, buried under all the cute girls and the sort of cute girls and the not-cute but really awesome girls – singing to myself there about as far back in the corner as I could get.

We met when we were supposed to. Years after the braces, yes, and after I learned about eyebrow waxing and this thing called a hair comb – but more to the point, after years during which I dated good men and bad ones, and learned what I needed and what I could do without, what I absolutely could not stand and what I could put up with. And through those years he did the same.

A guy I very briefly dated just out of high school once looked at me and said “Every single relationship I have been in so far has been a failure.” And I responded – Well of course. Of course. That’s how you learn! Most people don’t stick with the first person they love. They love and lose and learn and love again. Every one of my early relationships was also a failure. Every one of your relationships is SUPPOSED to be a failure!

Until you find the one that isn’t.

Friday, September 5, 2008

i wonder when the season will finally change?

this time of year is always rough. one day the sun is shining and the temperature hits 90 and the next day is met with chilly, fall like weather, and rain showers. i like summer and i like fall, so i really don't care if one leaves and the other season arrives. i just wish the weather would pick a season and stick to it!

only a few days ago, we were burning up in the circle city. the a/c was on full blast and we were sweating like pigs in the heat and humidity. yesterday, however, we saw a cool down. we actually turned off the a/c in our home and we were still fine temperature wise. the storm showers came yesterday though which made it feel even cooler. and now, today, i'm trying to stave off a cold.

i started feeling it come on while i was driving home from leah's ballgame (that was held in the rain). my throat began to hurt just a bit and my nose started to run a little. last night, i took some medicine to help me get a good night's sleep, but i still woke up 37 times to blow my nose and suck on a cough drop.

i think that's what i hate most about the in-between-changing-seasons time. i can handle turning the a/c off and then on again and then off again...but i can't stand the inevitable colds and other sickies that come with this time of year. here's to hoping the weather decides to stay put -- and soon!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

thanks, mom.

i have my mother to thank for my goofiest piece of clothing. actually, it wasn't so much goofy as just hideous and utterly embarrassing. and the worst part of it all is that she made me wear it for my school pictures.

i was in the 1st grade when it happened, but i feel like it was yesterday. the big day had arrived - picture day!! the day when 'dan, dan the photo man' arrived in our grade school cafeteria to take school pictures. i will always remember school picture day and i will always remember 'dan, dan the photo man.' for all of you 80s kids out there, he looked a bit like scott bloom, except a little chubbier and older. he was boisterous. he had crystal blue eyes. and he had plastic, black, combs in a box on a desk next to the 'check-in.' we'd all take a comb and primp a bit before mugging for the camera. even at the young age of 6, we knew dan was a cute boy. heck, he looked like scott bloom, for crying out loud.

so when picture day in the first grade rolled around, i picked out an AWESOME outfit. i was going to wear blue jeans and a cute t-shirt with an iron-on of a unicorn on it and my kangaroo shoes. i don't remember when the battle with my mom began, but when it did, it was in full swing. she didn't want me to wear my t-shirt. she wanted me to wear a light purple skirt and blouse set. i don't remember much about the skirt, but i'll never forget that shirt. it was short sleeved, but was a mock turtleneck with tiny white flowers printed all over it. the kicker, however, was the white, frilly lace that went around the collar and down the middle of the shirt. yes, it was that bad.

we compromised in the end - well, sort of. i HAD to wear the purple, "little house on the prairie" shirt, and my mother "generously" allowed me to wear jeans and my roos.

i looked like a fool.
i felt like a fool.
especially when i had to say "cheeseburgers!" for dan, dan the photo man, the scott bloom of my first grade dreams.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Silliest Piece of Clothing?

Acid wash jeans, anyone?
Banana hair clips?
High tops with two pairs of socks (in contrasting colors, of course) underneath?
Hypercolors t-shirts?

This list could be quite long if I focus solely on the decade of the eighties. If I focus on my entire life? The list would be endless.

Monday, August 25, 2008

I Wonder What the Goofiest Piece of Clothing I’ve Ever Worn Was?

My last two years of college were fun years. After my initial two years of being a complete and total dork-sans-social-life, I relaxed. I decided that reading only 20 pages of my 22 page homework assignment would not result in immediate death by lightning. I tried out drinking, just a little bit (I was 20 – a real rule breaker.) I stayed up late a few times, went out with friends, learned how to make fun times instead of sitting in my room and expecting them to just happen upon me. And I also got the most acting roles I would ever have at our little college. I felt like a rock star.

One particular acting role was in a play called Beautiful Bodies. This was a play with solid leading roles for 6 women, which is unheard of. Among the characters was the well-dressed, perfectly coiffed hostess of the party . . . the bitchy New Yorker . . . the difficult and controlling lawyer . . . the totally wacky pregnant cyclist. Guess which one I was?

So yeah, I wore some odd outfits on stage for that one. I think my entrance was me in a pregnancy belly with bike shorts, a large sweatshirt, and a helmet, which I kept on my head for a large part of the first act, if I remember correctly. I won’t count stuff I’ve worn onstage for this blog post (if I did, though, I think the time I wore a wedding gown and two prosthetic noses, stuck to my face with a pair of lensless glasses, would perhaps win the contest.)

A pregnant belly really wacks up your center of gravity. It’s hard to be for real pregnant, but it was especially hard to be pretend pregnant and go from 0 months to 9 months overnight, with no chance for my back or tummy or leg or whatever muscles to learn how to handle it. In the week or so leading up to this show, we received my pregnancy-is-uncomfortable prosthesis, borrowed from some sort of teenagers-now-don't-you-have-sex-mmmmkay? type program in the area. This thing was wayyy uncomfy, with some sort of poky thing meant to squeeze your bladder, and some sort of back hurty thing, in addition to the heavy belly (and it in no way even came close to mimicking the true extreme discomfort of being nine months pregnant, but bless them, they tried to be true to life.) So I put it on and was a clumsy dolt, and our costumer decided that I needed to get some more practice in it.

Just wear it around campus this week, she said.

Wha-? I said.

Wear it. To class and stuff.

Uhhh, then people will be confused.

Yeah. Awesome, huh?


So I wore it. The young male students suddenly fell over themselves to give up their chairs for me, give me rides, open doors. Several teachers looked at me with extreme puzzlement, which they then swallowed and turned into sweet concern. I got a lot of "How you doin', hon" from the female professors. I felt a little bit like a fraud, but isn't that what acting is, after all?

To be totally honest here, I TOTALLY loved the attention. I was glad she asked me. It was super fun. But the best part? Was taking the dang thing off at the end of the day. Man, I wish I could've done that when it happened for real.