Thursday, June 26, 2008

God Bless Cell Phones, Shuffles, and Singing Moms



Heads topic - line for this week. If you'd like to participate, you can click here.

What's my take? Well, I've been perusing the delightfully insightful musings on the metaphysical aspect ...crossing the lines, the lines in our head, etc. Take a tour yourself and enjoy. I even read about Railroad Lines ... love it. For those of you I didn't link to, don't take offense, but I tend to digress a bit, so I have to set some limits. Take heart, no doubt, I'll reference you all at some point (or you can sign the comments below and link to yourselves!).

See how I digress?

Back to the topic ... no doubt you've guessed by the picture ... that my blog for today is about standing in line (of course I had to use our band of Lego firemen ... they are just so cute!).

Not too many years ago, I spent a huge amount of my time standing in lines (airport, car rental, hotel, restaurant ... rinse and repeat). Once Dominic came along, the travel time decreased, but then the types of lines expanded ... especially as he grew older and standing in line with a toddler is another blog all to itself.

I have always enjoyed people watching, and lines are a good place to do just that. You get to see the people who are irritated and angry, the people who are angry about being irritated, the people who are irritated about the angry people, and the oblivious few who have cell phones or shuffles (or any other mp3 device) and have discovered the perfect way to drown out the angry, irritated din of the crowd. These are my favorite people to watch ... they range from animated to nearly brain dead, but are definitely in a blissful state because they have found ways to amuse themselves while line standing.

Which gets me to the rare individual, namely my mother (mom, if you're reading this, it's definitely a compliment), who makes lines into a party atmosphere. Usually, she gets the life story of at least one other person in line, makes at least one new friend, invites or gets invited out for coffee/drinks, introduces people to each other, or my personal favorite - starts a sing-a-long.

Last Christmas, I was her date to a company dinner at a local restaurant. After dinner, we gathered in the foyer to wait for the valet. After about 10 minutes, the crowd in the lobby grew to about 25 people or so ... but still no valet. It was cool outside and a bit rainy, so we all stayed inside ... and naturally started to sing Christmas carols (because why wouldn't we?).

Before you could say, "Silent Night", just about all two dozen people were singing. No one was leaving (and still no valet). It was hysterical. Picture this, a group of strangers, united by the Christmas spirit, good food, my mother ... all singing Christmas carols in a high-end Atlanta restaurant lobby ... waiting on the valet.

We must have sung 15 songs, maybe more, and having a truly fabulous time ... until we ran out of songs. At that point, the festive spirit began to wane a bit ... where is that valet anyway? (we all thought collectively). About then, in a rather awkward bit of silence, we witnessed an angry/irritated couple (no doubt annoyed they missed the Christmas sing-a-long) bypass the group in a Huff (really, it was a Huff ... with the capital H) and go out the side door ... to the valet, who apparently was watching the group in the lobby the whole time and wondering why they weren't giving him any stubs.
Maybe he thought we were a "special" chorale.

Whoops.

I guess no one thought to actually go find out where the valet was because we were all having so much fun standing in line! Thanks Mom!!!!

So the next time you find yourself in line ... if you don't have your shuffle, ipod (or other mp3 device), by all means, start singing!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Taps

A few days ago, I heard a DJ on the radio comment that Mercury was in retrograde. At that point, I should have hightailed it home and backed up my hard drive. But I didn't.

And I paid the price.

Most females learn at an early age to multi-task. You know what I mean (if you're not a female, no doubt you probably at least know one who does this), while you're on the phone organizing a play date or committee meeting, one hand is stirring dinner on the stove, the other hand is sorting mail, and at appropriate intervals, you throw a toy back into play, wipe off the counter, throw a load of clothes in the washer/dryer, and empty the trash (hopefully you have a speaker phone, a Bluetooth, or a good chiropractor). This happens frequently in a corporate environment as well. I can remember participating in conference calls while answering emails, going through files/mail on my desk, blowing the dust off my credenza, putting the phone on mute to tell a colleague what to order me for lunch, tossing rubber bands or boxes of staples to a co-worker, and looking for a binder clip to finish off a report that was due. Currently, my world is blended. Working at times from home to perpetuate our business, I get to participate in conference calls on my deck, while trying to do laundry, make dinner, sort mail, and throw toys back into play.

It's all about balance. But back to Mercury.

So on Tuesday morning, while multi-tasking ... I hastily answered some emails, assisted with making a Lego pirate ship, located some files needed for a conference call, and grabbed my laptop to throw in the car before rushing off to get Dominic to art camp.

My hands went one way and the laptop went the other. It's only a little over a year old but the trauma of crashing into the hardwood floor was a bit much for it apparently - one would think that Apple would drop proof these things.

After several long hours at the Apple store, sitting at the Genius Bar ... I get teary eyed just thinking of it ... I was referred to an outside consultant. Something akin to a second opinion, I guess. On Wednesday morning, the nice geeks at the consulting firm agreed to attempt data retrieval from said damaged hard drive, but to no avail.

So it's over. All data is lost ... but I have a new hard drive and I get to install all of my softward ALL OVER AGAIN (how great is that?)!!!! And I get to restore from backups ... WOW! But, the sad part is that I've lost some precious pictures (recent prescbool graduation pics and some from the beach) because I don't do daily backups ... . Lesson learned (but it could have been alot worse).

I'm putting Taps on my iPOD and after listening to it will have a moment of silence.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Motherhood continues to amaze me

Last week, Lady Vixen introduced me to a site called, Heads or Tails. Thus inspired, I decided to give it a try ... I peeked on the future topic which was "FLOWER" - and in my mental blog (similar to one's mind's eye), I waxed philosophic on how one should stop and smell the FLOWERs ... I was going to go on about how motherhood has afforded me a fresh perspective on "stopping" and "smelling" ... it was going to be good (at least in my mental blog, the Pulitzer was already being awarded).

But then life happens, as it so often does ... um, yep - that was supposed to be funny. Dominic was enjoying a Beach Party themed VBS this week along with the darling offspring of my dear friend, Esther. Slightly dazed and confused from the mind-numbing din of hundreds of children, we dropped off our delightful progeny. We looked at each other, trying not to grin too much and wondered out loud what we should do with 3 hours of child-free time. As we danced across the parking lot with an uncharacteristic spring in our step and barely able to suppress a giggle, we decided to take just one car and go to the ABC (Atlanta Bread Company for those not in the know) around the corner. We had a casual, but relatively healthy snack and then went to the gym to hit the treadmills for a bit (which was my idea, because of the oppressive heat). Esther, much more of a die hard than I, was ready and willing to "hit the trail running" at the River. Whereas, I imagined myself jumping into the River as opposed to running beside it and since that may not have ended well for anyone involved, I decided to suggest indoor exercise. I'm giving myself tremendous credit for suggesting the treadmill as opposed to suggesting that we just skip exercising entirely.

Anyway, we treadmill-ed, sweat-ed, and expended at least the same amount of calories we had consumed at the ABC and went back to pick up the kids. About the time, we pulled back into the church parking lot, Esther looks at me (I was driving) and said, "Where's my purse?" Fast forward through a few moments of wild panic, frantic searching in the car, a few exclamations of disbelief and dismay ... and minor but general mayhem. We surmised that the MIA purse (replete with her car keys and phone) was probably sitting rejected and forlorn by the treadmill ... wondering why it had been abandoned. So we re-enter the chaotic atmosphere of hundreds of children and retrieve the apples of our eyes with moderate success and only a few bruises. There were alot of kids to be collected and apparently no real directional method of exiting - so envision moms, siblings, dads, nanny's, grandparent's going in every which way trying to locate the correct child and then navigate the sea of bodies to an exit.

Our children (after a quick check to make sure we were holding the right hands) were happy to pile into my "cozy" car. I am currently one of the few moms living in the family centric suburb of East Cobb who does NOT drive an SUV, crossover vehicle, van, or mini-van. It's extremely easy to find my car in a parking lot around here ... I'm not sure I want to give that up. I drive a Mazda Millenia (yes, I know they don't make them any more ... I've had it since 2002, it's paid for and her name is Sylvestri ... and she goes ZOOM ZOOM).

Back to the story ... just so you understand the players, it was Dominic, my 5 year old son sitting on the back passenger side, Esther's 7 year old daughter sitting in the middle - whom we will call "E", and "Z", Esther's 4 year old little boy sitting on the other side. Again - envision cozy (and hot).

So the kids get into the hot car rather cheerfully (bless them) and we attempt to explain to them what we are going to do. It was alot of "We're going to go back to the gym to get the purse ...(but why?] ... and then we're going to come back to the church to get the car ... [but why?] ... because the car keys are in the purse ...[but why?] ..." and so on and so forth. After about 5 or so minutes of that, the real kid stuff began ... "OW!!!!" followed by "She's hitting me" followed by "Mommy, "E" is hitting "Z" (which was Dominic's only child way of getting involved in the fun).

And then it happened ... the little snippet of life that eradicated my mental attempt at waxing philosophic about flowers and stopping to smell them ...

Z: "Poopie"
E: "Stop it, Z - don't say that"
Dominic:" "Mommy, Z said "Poopie"
Esther: "Z, don't say that word".
Z: "Poop"
E: "Stop it! You can't say that word"
Dominic:"Mommy, Z said "Poop".
Lisa: "Yes, Dominic, I can hear that"
E: Of course she can hear it, we sitting on top of eachother"
Z: "Flower" ---> I kid you not ... but here's the best part ... ready?
Dominic: "Mommy, Z said Flower"

I couldn't help but laugh out loud ... then I said, "Yes, he did ... didn't he? Flower is such a pretty word."

Z: "Flower, Flower, Flower, Flower ...."

I have a witness - Esther, did I get close to accurate?

Just so there's closure for those who need it ... the purse was by the treadmill completely in tact and we made it back to the parking lot without any incident.


Wednesday, June 4, 2008

An oldy but a goody? Thanks alot Bob

I'm still running ... albeit not 45+ miles a week as I was in December, but I am still running. I like the "me time". I like running slowly, as it extends the "me time". I lasted a little over 45 minutes in 90 heat yesterday. I wanted to do more, at least another mile or two, but I ran out of water and decided to make the wiser choice (besides that, I had some fresh blueberry muffins in the car - that I swear I heard calling my name ... no doubt the sound was carried by the wind).

Today, I ran on the treadmill - inside, with air-conditioning and a ceiling fan - both on high. It was 93 and a code orange - which I took as a fairly obvious sign that I should run indoors. But, there was a fairly good wind gusting today and I still sent my 5 year old son to baseball camp from 1pm to 5pm. Huh.

On my first morning at the beach, I decided to wake up early (ok, it was 7:30am, but it's all relative) to go for a kick off run on the beach. I got out there by 8ish and headed north on the beach. I'm making the direction up, because I have no idea ... really ... I entered the beach perpendicular to the water and turned right ... does it really matter the direction? My dear, sweet, husband seems to be sensitive to these things and I'm sure there are others like him out there, so if you know the real direction sweetie and you're reading this, please let us all know - no doubt it will be important to someone.)

Anyway, I was amazed at my speed ... I figured it was the inspiration of the ocean ... the seemingly never ending vista of the water and sand. There were a few other runners out there, but overall it was fairly deserted ... which made identifying the long legged blond in fluorescent pink running shorts all the more easy to spot. Well, actually, I heard her first ... I had left the ipod indoors charging (poor planning on my part) but thought I would enjoy the hypnotic sound of the waves. About 15 minutes into the run, I heard footfalls behind me ... it was pretty rhythmic, I gaged about every 3 footfalls of mine, there was one from behind. And then it stopped. Now at this point, I hadn't turned around to look - but I imagined it was someone tall with a 6 - 8 foot stride based on the footfalls. I ran for about 15 more minutes or so and decided to turn back. Still amazed at my speed or dazed into confusion by the sun and the sand.

And that's when it hit me ... the wind. The only thing I could think of was the old Bob Seger song, "Against the Wind". Now I don't actually know the lyrics to the song, except for the stupid refrain ...

Against the wind. Against the wind. Against the wind -- still running.
Against the wind -- I'm still running against the wind.
Against the wind -- I'm still running.
Against the wind -- I'm still running against the wind.
Against the wind -- still running.
Against the wind -- running against the wind -- running against the wind


Yep ... over and over and over and over and over again in my head ... I couldn't get rid of the tune and since I didn't know the rest of the lyrics, I couldn't sing the rest of it. So I'm running against the wind (thanks alot Bob), and the temperature had reached about 90 and of course I didn't have any water with me because that would have been too easy ... so I stopped to walk a bit. And that's when I saw the tall pink shorted blond girl. Apparently, she stopped to commune with the ocean for a while ... I guessed it was her who was behind me on the way out because quite frankly there weren't that many people around. So, as I passed her, I began to hear the footfalls again. I wasn't running as quickly AGAINST THE WIND and I had already taken a walk break, but I would say it was at least a respectable jog.

Soon, she was running at my same pace, but again, for every 3 of my footfalls, there was only 1 of hers. I'm talking some long legs ... and the day-glow shorts ... and the blond pony tail. Now, at this point, I'm not feeling especially glamorous, attractive, or even remotely cute. My face was flushed, I was dripping with sweat (not glowing daintily), and my hair (although in rough sort of pony tail) was not bouncing as in a shampoo ad, it was windblown and sticking out at all angles. So when the blond jogger decided to keep my pace, I decided to stop. Her pony tail wasn't bouncing to the beat of the Seger song in my head and I was done anyway. And, I'm pretty certain that I ran further and expended way more energy than she did. So there.

Monday, June 2, 2008

The Big Day



My son is now officially a graduate. Here is one of the anticipated photos of the big event. I've been slack and haven't put the others in an album, online or otherwise. They clearly have not marinated long enough - it's only been 11 days ... sheesh.

But for those of his adoring fans ... here it is. We're off to baseball camp in a few minutes and I'm still in recovery mode since returning from the beach not more than 16 hours ago.

Stay tuned for a post about my running experience on the beach. I should have stuck to the sidewalks or treadmill.