Thank you for dropping by!

I truly appreciate that you've decided to share part of your day in my world. I hope your time has been well spent and I've made you smile, laugh or think.





Wednesday, May 30, 2012

You're Going to Have to Speak Up....

A few months ago I blogged about having to go to Walgreen's because I had an ear infection.  While I used to get them a lot as a child, as an adult this was a rarity.  I rolled my eyes as the PA explained to me how to take a shower so I didn't get another one.  Please, I know how to take a shower.

I, apparently, however, do not know how to sleep.

My allergies have been crazy this year.  I don't usually have too many issues with them, but this spring was extra windy, everything bloomed.  Ick.

When my ears started to bother me, I just assumed it was sinus pressure.  But it didn't let up.

I put a little hydrogen peroxide in.  That seemed to work a little.

But still-- they were a little achy.  And stuffy.

Hmmm....

Then 2 days ago I awakened to a soggy pillow.

I have been sleeping with my mouth open, due to my stuffy nose, for the past few weeks.

I also am quite the drooler.

Yes, you guessed it....

I have been drooling into my own ears.

Seriously.

Only me.

I'm not exactly sure how to handle the issue either.

I can't use the dog's Elizabethan collar-- it might make it worse.

I could sleep with sponges in my ears, I suppose.

Or duct tape my mouth shut... my husband might appreciate that depending on how soon before bed I did that.

Maybe straws in my nose?!?!

This is worse than when I strained my thumb from sleeping funny.  For 2 weeks, I had to wear a brace, couldn't write or use a mouse BECAUSE I SLEPT FUNNY.  It exacerbated an old injury I have from PLAYING THE TROMBONE.

Now, I am drooling into my ear.

I'm sure you are probably laughing your butts off now.  I just can't hear you.

Because I have drool in my ear.

Welcome to my world.



Saturday, May 26, 2012

To Gray or Not to Gray, That is the Question...

I have been faced with a huge decision this past week...

To gray or not to gray?

You see, my hair going gray.  I am 42.  It's not exactly prematurely graying.  It's time.  I've seen pictures from 40 years ago.  Women my age used to have gray hair.

Thanks to Garnier Nutriesse Cocoa Bean and L'Oreal Dark Brown with Highlights, I've managed to put it off.

At what point should I embrace it?

I'm not ready for it.  My hair is, but I am not.

I am not ready to face my mortality.  That I'm on the downside of the mountain.  Because that's what it really says to me.  And that's a little scary.  I feel like I'm just nearing the peak.

Did I miss it?

From a hair standpoint, however, it's a fairly simple question.

I have curly hair.  It blends in well.  It's coming in a nice color gray-- sparkly, not dull.  My hair is already wiry, so there's no change in texture.  It doesn't look bad.

Assuming, I wanted gray- or in my case silver- hair.

But apparently, I don't.

I cringe when I put a hairband on and there it is.

It takes me 30 minutes to color my hair.

It costs $8.  It looks nice (even per my hair dresser who asked which kind I used).

But then when do I stop?  Do I want to be 75 with brown hair?  When do you decide you're old "enough?"  Do you ever REALLY get old enough to admit that you're old enough?

I also don't want to be the lady with the black hair, white roots and bright red lipstick slightly smudged.  You know her.  You see her and go "How cute...."  I want to be the tanned, silver haired goddess that embraces her age.  I think.  Maybe.

My husband's grandmother looks fantastic with her snow white hair.

My mom doesn't count because hre hair didn't go grey until her 60's.  She had some in her 50's, but no joke, it really didn't start to gray until, well, she was older.  Retirement age.  Her hair waited until it was appropriate.  And let me tell you, she had a few "discussions" about it with her younger sister who insisted she was dying it.  I know for a fact that my mother has absolutely no idea how to color her hair.  Nor would she ever consider dying it.  You'd have to know her to appreciate that.  She's not "that kind" of women.  Dyed hair is up there with tattoos, piercings and other types of loose behavior.

So I'm torn.  Do I let my hair takes it's natural course, suck it up now and allow it to slowly turn silver or do I turn my head, ignore the aging process, be a loose woman and mix my magic potion?

I am in one of the few industries where a little gray around the temples isn't a bad thing.  I come across as young- at least based on the jaw drops I get when I say I'm 42-- so maybe a little gray will make me look distinguished?  Mature?

Or will I just look old?

I am very, very young at heart.  I like to say I'm perpetually 26 in my mind.

My hair, however, is not.

My guess, I'll let it go until I just can't take it.

I just don't want to end up the only person, at 42, when I eat at the Sun City Cafe to have silver hair.

Because honestly, it doesn't seem anyone has gray hair any more.  Or is it me?  Do they hide somewhere? 

So for now, I will continue to contemplate.

But if you call and I'm not "able to talk" it's because I am sitting in a towel, with the timer on, holding onto my youth like dog with a bone.

I guess it's better than being my husband.  He is hoping his hair lasts long enough to go gray.

But for me, I stare in the mirror and wonder....

Because it's just not time yet.


Sunday, May 20, 2012

Anonymous and Nasty Posters

Why does the internet give people the license to be assholes?

Cyberbullying isn't just for kids.

A few weeks ago, I posted an article about the teacher who was fired from the Catholic school for having invitro fertilization treatments.  I was curious what everyone thought about it because honestly, I was a little split.  I think the church absolutely has a right to make its employees adhere to its doctrine, but I truly had no idea invitro was an issue these days.  I have been to baptisms for babies conceived in this manner.  So I posed it to my friends on Facebook.  I didn't check it until later in the day. WOW.  Did I ever stir the pot.

One woman took it as an opportunity to personal attack a friend of mine calling her nasty names like liberal (and yes, I say that tongue in cheek).  But it was a horrible attack.  She felt that this article was a direct threat to her ultra conservatism and my friend was a tree hugging, Obama loving, anti-Jesus fool.

My friend is actually a Republican Baptist who is unable to have children and had stated her sympathy for the woman.

My last blog was about my high school band.  Some tool decided to personally attack our band director (who while no one is perfect, is one of the best people I've ever met- EVER) and me.  I was some talentless fool who was handed the role of drum major.   And of course, the commenter remained anonymous.

Now I didn't have to publish the comments- I started monitoring them after my pro-gay marriage blog took off and people with nothing but hate in their hearts posted nasty comments.  I published them because I think this person has a right to his/her opinion and I also thought it was kinda funny and pathetic.

It also hurt my feelings what this jackass wrote.  Because I am human.  Because it was nasty, mean spirited and hateful.  Because it attacked not only me but someone that I love dearly.

Our home town paper has a comment section below the articles.  I used to read the paper online, but I stopped because of the moronic, nasty, hateful, illiterate commentaries below in the comment section.

I welcome discourse.  I have many, many conservative friends.  My friend are about 50/50 conservative/liberal.  No joke. I have friends of many faiths.  I like to discuss things, learn different points of view.

Most of the time, I can post something and people have an educated discussion on it.  Or if I do post something that someone finds offensive, they will have the class to send me a private message, not air their deep seated anger at me in a thread.  I respect that.

Articles on USAToday or Yahoo News always seem to end in nameless morons personally attacking people for voicing their opinions.

Here's my thoughts on the whole situation:

  • If you wouldn't say it in my living room to my face, don't write it on my wall or on my blog.
  • If you can't sign your name, then it's not worth saying in a public forum.
  • If you feel compelled to personally attack someone, don't.  Block them. Hide them.  Be an adult.

I think the internet offers a great forum for opinions, idea exchanges (which, believe it or not is what it was designed to do-- not play games, sell stuff or porn) and stay connected.  The anonymity is provides, however, is feeding the anger that so many people feel.

I am very interested in hearing opposing views-- it influences me and can even change my mind.  I tend to post controversial issues when I'm not really sure where I stand or I'm completely convinced on where I stand and don't understand why people don't agree. 

Being called a stupid poopy head, however, doesn't inspire me to rethink my position.

So from now on, if you can't sign your name to a blog post (and I don't mean can't figure out how to add your name-- I know it's a pain)- I won't post it.  Not because I'm a chicken or because I disagree, but because the poster is too chicken to sign it.

And I really encourage people to start blocking the nasty few that like to ruin it for the rest of people who enjoy reconnecting online. Just politely delete their posts, send them a note saying "You're a bully" and maybe they'll stop.  Or maybe they'll all find each other and can be nasty to each other.

As for me, I will continue to live my life online as I do offline- with respect and consideration for others.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

And One Time at Band Camp....

My high school band is having a reunion over the 4th of July.  The band director's husband, Bill Graham, who was also the drill designer and color guard instructor, as well as a fantastic math and science teacher, has been posting pictures from the 35 years of marching band.  It has been great to walk down memory lane.  What really sticks out in the pictures is that no matter the year, they show kids smiling, working together and loving it. 

My high school band wasn't your typical band.  In fact, our entire music program wasn't exactly typical.  It was exceptional.  And this isn't my memory enhancing itself.  I've stayed somewhat involved in music throughout my adult life and I often run into people- 2,000 miles away from my hometown- who know my band director or have heard of the program.

We competed nationally against bands from New Jersey to California.  Huge schools out of major cities.  We played in the Hoosier Dome, the Silver Dome, at universities. And that was just the marching band.

I was fortunate to play in a percussion ensemble that played at the National Music Educators Association conference in Chicago.  Ms. Wenzel our percussion instructor was amazing.  She also directed our jazz band and it was a blast.  (I still remember playing for a supermarket opening, getting stuck in the frozen food section and passing around fish sticks).  I was in a brass quintet that could hold its own against any professional quintet I've heard.  In fact, in college, when I had opted out of music, the instrumental music director found out I was there and begged me to play.  Sadly, I had really let my chops go, but he had heard our quintet at a festival and remembered it 5-6 years later.  And I went to college out of state.  But he knew Mrs. Graham.

It's not to brag, but I want to be clear- this wasn't just a half-time, spring concert kinda group.  It was and is an institution in my home town. 

For me, it was life changing.

I didn't exactly want to be in band.  I love music, but honestly, I wanted to be a basketball player.  At 5'4" at 12, with a decent lay up, that was reasonable.  The trombone was fun, but band was too intense.  But then my asthma got worse, I didn't grow much more and that dream was put on the bench (I still play a mean game of Horse).  I had actually quit band by junior high and Ms. Fiezli who had taught me in 5th and 6th grade asked me to come back, just for the contest.  That was all.  She needed a trombonist.  I figured, why not- she was nice. 

If you've ever played in an ensemble- sports, music or drama- when you're part of something bigger-- it's great.  So I rejoined the band.

Reluctantly.

I really only wanted to do concert band.  Marching was not my thing.  We were the Marching Quakers and wore three cornered hats.  No joke.  With knickers.  I kid you not.  I wasn't exactly cool to start with, so this really pretty much sealed the deal on my inner nerd.  Since I wasn't a partier, I figured why not?  I wasn't exactly on the road to cooldom, so band couldn't hurt.

Then, Ms. Fiezli, sneaky as she was, convinced me to try out for field commander- or as many people call it drum major- as a sophomore.  She thought it would be a good experience.  Not very many sophomores were selected over the years.  I thought I was safe.  I liked to keep a low profile. 

I made it.

Oops.

Now not only was I in marching band, I was one of the leaders.

Unlike many of the prior field commanders, I didn't rush out and buy a varsity jacket with FIELD COMMANDER on it.  In fact, I never bought one.  To me, at first, it was something that I did so I could play in the quintet and jazz band.  I also got a double knit polyester skirt in lieu of the knickers.  A bonus. 

But it was in marching band that I learned how to lead people.  I learned to get over my severe shyness.  I learned what motivates people.  I learned how to get others to lead.  I learned to be organized.  I learned hard work.    I learned that falling off the box (literally, not figuratively) does not break you.  I learned that when the beat is off and you're losing control, focus on the 1-2 people who can really help you bring it back together (the snare line) and block out the rest.  I learned that at 15, I could get 135 kids lined up, quiet, focused and lead them into an NFL stadium as the adults watched from the sidelines.  I learned that sometimes adults don't play nice.  I learned that everyone matters and one mistake, from one person not caring can cost you. I learned that there was life outside of my home town.  I learned that absolutely anything is possible if you work together and dream big.

(I also learned more than there is room to type from the Graham's, but that's a story for a different day.  Let's just say that if you think I'm a nice, good person, thank them.)

My senior year we won our class at Grand Nationals.  It was a first for our school.  We had a lot of second places.  We won a lot of regionals.  But my senior year, we won our class. 

I am 42 years old.  That moment still ranks in the top 10 for me.

We won. Our little rust belt, small town high school won our class and finished 10th in the nation.

For all the crap that I took for being a band nerd, for all the teasing I still get about having been a band nerd (and yes, I do have stories that start "and one time at band camp..."), I have this amazing moment that is shared with 135 other people that I still proudly call my friends.

At the end of the day, I'm just a hack trombonist who loves music.

But that feeling of accomplishment is part of my soul.

So laugh if you will, but one time at band camp, I learned that anything is possible.

Monday, May 14, 2012

More Mother's Day Advice to my Children

Dear Skip & Zoey,

Again, still not your real names, but over the past year you've come to enjoy having your alter egos in the blogosphere.

Like last year, I decided that each year, I would leave you with a letter of grand advice.  I gave you a list of things that I felt were important.  This year this list is short.  It's one thing.

Dance.

I don't mean figuratively as in "dance like no one is watching..." or to live life to the fullest.  Yes, of course you should do that, but I mean, very literally dance.

You both enjoy dancing now.  I do, too.  Since your dad met me, he's found his own special style as well.

Don't ever stop dancing.

When we went to the prom for Dad's high school last weekend, there were 3 types of kids.  There were the kids who were dancing.  They were laughing.  They were having fun.  They will remember what a great time they had.  There were the kids who were too cool to dance.  They sat and mocked everyone else.  They will remember prom as something silly and stupid.  And the third group- sat there, watched and really wanted to dance but were too scared.  They will remember prom as an awkward passage of time.

Which group do you want to be in?  My friends throughout my life have always been the ones that have chosen to dance.  We have great memories and continue to make more.

Dancing is fun- no matter if you're good at it or not.  It truly frees your spirit.  It is music come to life.  It's an expression of your soul.

It can turn a bad day into fun.

It can make you smile.

It turns a party into a celebration.

Be the first on the dance floor.  Set the pace.  Don't wait for other people to make life fun for you- do it yourself.

Don't sit and watch the party pass you by.  Jump in.  Participate.  Enjoy.

There are so many things in life that will bring you down.  This is why it is so important to embrace the good things.

So this year, I leave you with one simple piece of advice:

Dance.

Dance at every chance you're given.  Don't ever be too cool.  Don't ever be too shy. 

Just dance. 

See us smiling?


I love you.  Thank you for being such wonderful children.

Love,

Mom

Friday, May 11, 2012

Hilarious Bassackward Compliments I've Received

I have been buried the past few weeks, but I wanted to be sure and post something this week.  I decided to do a short compilation of really bad compliments I've received over the years.  It's a quick one, but you'll laugh.  I swear, I am not making these things up.

"You're lucky.  As you get older, you'll be prettier because you don't have any looks to lose." - from my grandmother when I was 16.  I like to think she was saying I was classically pretty.

"You don't look smart."- guy at the bar when I was cocktail waitressing and told him I went to Cornell.

"I didn't recognize you.  You look nice."  On the way into my boyfriend's prom at his high school, senior year from a girl I'm still friends with.

"You don't act American.  Your hair isn't permed, you don't wear make-up and you're not loud."- from a European roommate in college.  Well, not all of us act like that...

"I think you've dated more people than me!!"- a colleague I shared office space with who was extremely attractive and was mesmerized that men would want to date me....

"I don't get it.  Why does everyone want to date you?  I mean, you're not offensive looking or anything"- a roommate in my 20's, who eventually came out.  I think that explains why he didn't get it.  I still adore him and it still, nearly 20 years later, cracks me up.

"You'd be really pretty if you lost 20 lbs"- and you would still be rude...

"Your kids are beautiful.  Do they look like their father?"-- no joke.

"Your kids are beautiful.  Isn't it funny how it skips a generation?" -- no joke on this one either.

"You just think you're smarter than me because you have degree in this and do it for a living"- yes, yes, I do.

"That's a nice ring.  I'm sure he can get you a bigger one later."- on showing my engagement ring to a friend's friend that I didn't know very well.

"That is so sweet you would date someone like Shane."- one of my husband's colleagues at a wedding who was referencing his weight.  I replied "Yes and he's hung like a horse" to which she dropped her jaw and shut up.  Mess with me all you want, don't even think of messing with my sweetie!

"Ah, you're the smart one..." which can only imply that I am, in fact, NOT the pretty one....

"Oh, so you work?  That's nice.  I put my family first."- from a mom on the playground at the kids' private pre-school.  She has to work now. HA.

"They must be hackers..."  when telling my dad that I have blog readers in Malaysia and all over the world.


And I'm sure there are more- for whatever reason people seem to think I am not offended-- but it's late.  I'll add to this if I remember more--


Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Super International Blogger Woman

My husband came up with the title after listening to my radio chat with a college friend of mine, Lady Charmaine Day.  She has an internet show called Taboo Talk and asked me to be a guest today.  I asked him if I sounded like his wife or someone much more engaging and entertaining.  He said I sounded like me. When I frowned he said "No, honey, you sounded like Super International Blogger Woman."  He cracks me up.

Anyhow, rather than blog, I thought I would attach a link to our chat.  The conversation is an hour-- and if my husband can listen and laugh at it, it must be okay.  He gets to listen to me all the time and he didn't even fast forward.  It was a little weird to sit next to him, with his headset on listening to me to talk...very weird.

I have to say, I was actually very happy with the final product.  Charmaine and I sound like 2 old friends catching up- which is exactly what we are. Charmaine was one of the sweetest people I met in a college.  If you get a chance, check out her website-- she's has a very interesting life story.  This sweet, smiling woman has been through quite a bit and survived. I was honored that she asked for my insight on balancing work, motherhood, marriage and life in general-- largely because I don't think I do a particularly good job of it!!  But it was absolutely fun to share my stories and philosophies.  If you get a chance, tune in!