Wednesday, April 18, 2007

A new meme... I was 'interviewed' by Used*To*Be*Me....Fun stuff!

1. what do you want to do when the kids are grown and moved out?

Travel! Actually, I want to do that before the kids are grown and moved out. Right now, we're trying to figure out how to deal with a 4 year old on a cross country road trip, because we'd really like to go out West on our vacation this year. Any suggestions, other than duct tape? After the kids are grown, I would like to spend my retirement traveling around the world.

2. What happened on your 23rd birthday?

I got my tattoo! It's a Celtic symbol representing the idea that life is a dance. It's on my abdomen and has sort-of survived two pregnancies and c-sections. The doctor did cut into it during the second c-section, which pissed me off given that the *first* c-section was an emergency and the second one was not!

3. What is your favorite book and why?

There's just no way to answer this question. There are so many books that I love that I can never pick a favorite. I can tell you the first book that comes to mind that I love is Empire Falls by Richard Russo. It's sweet and heartfelt and has some cool twists and turns that you don't see coming. In addition to all that, it has some of the funniest scenes and funniest characters I've ever read. It won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, which it richly deserved and there is a wonderful movie (I think it was done by HBO), in which Paul Newman plays the funniest character in the novel perfectly. Also in the movie and giving fantastic performances are Joanne Woodward, Ed Harris, Helen Hunt, Dennis Farina (hilariously perfect casting), and William Fitchner, who was slightly miscast but does an admirable job anyway. Anyway, terrific book, terrific movie. It's certainly *one* of my very favorites.

4. What is your favorite activity to play with the kids?

For S, we have the Tickle Game and the game where she tries to walk behind me on the couch and I lean back and "trap" her.

For W, our favorite activity is just hanging out. He sits in his car seat and watches me get ready for work in the mornings and we talk a little and just smile at each other. He's such a laid-back and sweet baby, I just enjoy his company.

But my true favorite activity with both kids is photography. I'm taking a photography class right now and I have even more reason to take pictures of them. They're so adorable and I just love capturing how darling they are on film.

5. If you could do it all over again, would you? Why or why not?

Hmmmm......there are some parts I'd like to skip or do differently. And there are things I would do earlier or realize sooner. But it has all led me to this happy place, so I have to say yes, I would do it all over again, even the bad parts, because they have made me who I am and guided me to the life I have - happy marriage, great kids, good job, happy in myself and in my life.

If you want to continue, here are the rules:

1. Leave me a comment saying, "Interview me."

2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. I get to pick the questions.

3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.

4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.

5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

I'm so totally playing the lottery......

My fortune from the fortune cookie yesterday -

"An unexpected event will bring you riches"

And underneath are my lucky numbers.

Oh yeah, baby! Powerball here I come!

Lionel Shriver

So I read an article yesterday in which Lionel Shriver, the author of We Need to Talk About Kevin, argued that parents are not honest about the fact that having children ruins your life. Her point was that there's a taboo against saying anything negative about having children and that it's a whitewash of the way things really are.

So....does having children ruin your life? Yes and no. Yes, life the way you lived it before kids is gone. But what takes its place is something new and not entirely bad. You can still do virtually all of the things you did before children, but now you have a little person along to care for or else you have to arrange for childcare. There are some things that are irreparably damaged by having children, though, most notably peace and quiet. If you are a quiet calm person who likes to curl up on the couch with a good book (like, say, me), then you are sorely out of luck. However, in place of my beloved peace and quiet, I have the joyous voice of my daughter as she rampages through the house and the sight of the swath of destruction in her wake.

It seems to me that parental emotions run the entire emotional spectrum. Sometimes all within one day. Sometimes you love your kids so much that you're not sure how you can stand it. Other times, you want to pick them up and strangle them. And a lot of the time, you're somewhere in between. There's a quote I love from the movie Marvin's Room. Meryl Streep's character is talking to her son and she says, "My feelings for you are like a bowl of fish hooks. I can't pick up one without getting a bunch of others." I think that is how most parents feel most of the time. And when someone asks, it's too hard to explain all the subtleties, so parents just mouth some platitudes to get by. Plus, doesn't it sound awful to say, "Well, little Johnny has been such a shit lately that I can't stand him. I'm thinking of moving him out to the dog's pen or selling him to the circus." Because we all have times like that. But some people, especially people without children, don't understand that. So, is there a whitewash on the way things are? Yes, I think there is. Mainly because people don't want to talk about how hard it is to raise kids. People don't want to sound like bad, angry parents about to lose it on their kids. So they talk only about the good things. Because there are plenty of them, too. I think in order to get an accurate description of parenthood, you would have to sit and talk to a parent for hours upon hours. You would have to be able to hear the good and the bad without judgement, without thinking that you need to call child protective services. And you would need to convey that lack of judgement to the parent so that he or she would feel comfortable enough to speak freely.

So, Ms. Shriver, having children does not ruin your life. It changes it, much like many other things do. Things like growing up, going to college, taking a job, getting married. And it changes it in many complex ways, not all of them easily summed up or suitable for cocktail party chatter.

Friday, April 6, 2007

Happy Birthday Ex-Best Friend

A very Happy Birthday wish to my ex-best friend. She turns thirty today. I still miss her, but there's no way I could tolerate her behavior anymore. I had to clean out my life several years ago so that I could break free from some problems from my childhood and she was one of the ones who had to go. I'll write more about her next week, I'm sure I need to exorcise some demons over that.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Stolen from Todd at Death Wore a Feathered Mullet:

Have you ever kicked a guy squaw in the nuts?
No, but that doesn't mean I haven't been tempted.

What is your favorite swear word when you're angry?
Goddamn and Motherfucker, two words I had never used before meeting my husband.

Would you rather your date have bad gas or incontinence?
Ooh, I think either way there's no second date!

My friend, who is of the male gender, threw a Steel Magnolias party. Is he gay?
Hmmmm......that's a toughie. I *love* Steel Magnolias and I know several guys who think it's damn funny. But I don't know a single one who would choose to watch it, let alone throw a party. Okay, that's pretty gay.

Have you ever dated a "Ten"?
Nope. I did date a "Minus Ten", though - does that count?

What's better, pizza or oral sex?
Oral sex and pizza at the same time!

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
My credit score....

If you could feed Simon Cowell through a woodchipper in front of his parents, what kind of pants would you wear?
Oh, I love woodchippers! I would definitely wear a plaid shirt and jeans, and there would be no way I could refrain from saying, "Yah, and I guess that's your friend you got there in the woodchipper, yah?" But can't we use Seacrest instead of Simon? He's far more annoying!

Can you reveal any little-known celebrity facts?
Britney Spears is crazy. Oh wait, you said "little-known" didn't you? Nevermind.

Is there anything more lame than making up your own meme questions?
Only stealing them and using them on your own blog.