Archive for Personal Crap

28 Mar 2012

Blurry Eyes and Bus Drivers

12 Comments Personal Crap

I had an eye appointment at 2:45 yesterday. My husband dropped me off because my eyes were being dilated and I wouldn’t be able to drive myself home. The plan was for him to take me to my appointment, pick G up from school, take him home for a snack and to change into his gi for karate, then bring him to pick me up at 4:00 so we could all get to his karate class by 4:30.

At 3:40, after a half hour with the doctor who did my prescription check and dilated my eyes, my appointment was not even close to being done. I called Russ and told him to just get me after karate class at 5:30. Although I was not excited about the prospect of sitting at the retirement home disguised as a doctor’s office for another two hours, I saw no other choice.

At 3:45 a nurse came to the waiting room to tell me my doctor was running 40 minutes behind, but I could see another doctor immediately. I opted for choice 2 and was out of there in 15 minutes. I’m not sure this doctor knew what he was doing, but that’s beside the point. I wanted to see Garrett in his gi. With my ever-blurring eyes (from the dilation), I mapped the bus route from the doctor to karate on my iphone. I had to find shade to see the screen. I would have to walk nearly a mile to the bus stop and take the bus 2 miles to karate.  The bus would be there at 4:14. It was 4:05.

For some reason, I was now DETERMINED to make it to karate before it started. As far as G-Man knew, I wasn’t going to be there at all… But I was. Oh, I was.

I started walking at a fast clip, then did my famous Olympic-Speed-Walk, then began jogging. By the time I got to the bus stop I was sweaty and probably did not look too hot in my glasses with the dark, plastic inserts to protect my insane, headache-inducing, dilated eyes from the glaring, painful, headache-inducing sun. As I came upon the bus bench I saw a huge trench between me and the street. There was construction going on here, and there were the orange cones to prove it. I looked to my left and saw my bus pulling away from the curb across the street. I raised my arm as if to say, “BUT I JUST RAN HERE!” And the bus stopped. In the middle of the street.

As I hopped inside, the driver looked at me in disgust. Was it my sweaty hair? My pathetic excuse for sun glasses? “Do you really think a bus would be stopping here with all this construction going on?” He didn’t say it. He seethed it. I said, “I’m really sorry. I didn’t know where the other stop was.” No response. “How much is it?” “A dollar fifty”, he said with pity in his voice.

With that, I put my two dollars in the slot, (I had no change), and sat down. I was surprised at how clean the bus was. It’s been a while since I’ve been on one in the middle of the day. I took one recently to get on the train downtown, but that bus was crowded and dark and every seat was taken, so I really have no idea how clean it was.

I looked around and tried to act like I take the bus all the time. I put my hair back in a ponytail to try to stop sweating. I pushed my glasses up onto the bridge of my nose so the inserts would stop sliding out. I felt super cool.

About 12 minutes later, I hit the STOP button on the pole next to my seat. (I learned from watching others). At the next stop, the doors opened directly in front of G’s karate class. I walked in just in time to take him to pee before he would bow to his sensei. And I felt proud. I had braved the tough streets of the San Fernando Valley half-blinded by eye drops and sunshine, I had weathered the anger of a weathered bus driver, and I had made it to see my son punch things in his new class.  His smile when he saw me was enough for me to forget how horrible I must have looked.

Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? If I have somewhere to be for my son, BY GOD I’ll get there!!

You can start your applause now. Oh, don’t stand! That’s too much.
Thank you.

27 Mar 2012

Catching You Up

8 Comments Personal Crap, Uncategorized

I want to always remember the phase my son is in right now.

He is Mama’s Boy. Period. He wants me around all the time. He holds my hand, he KISSES my hand, he tells me I’m beautiful and the best and that he loves me more than the world. He talks endlessly about everything. Yesterday he told me he wanted to build jetpacks for all of us so we could get places easier. He wants them to shoot out fire and to have wings that help us turn. And he wants to be able to land easily.

He was hoping the jetpacks could take us up to Heaven, too. Then he told me he was always going to keep a little treasure in his pocket so that when he’s 100 years old and goes to Heaven, he can share it with our cat, Sonny.

I can’t believe how fast he’s growing and how any minute now he’ll be too big for me to pick up and hold. I want to turn my office into a play room as quickly as possible so he has time to use it before he outgrows it.

I’ve been up nights thinking about next year and Transitional Kindergarten. We had finally made a decision about where he was going to go, then changed our minds. I think we’re actually keeping him where he is, along with several other parents in the same predicament. The school is planning on coming up with a special curriculum for the kids who are returning and a few new five-year-olds who will be joining the class.

Yesterday I walked into Russ’ office in a panic that we had made the wrong choice and that G wouldn’t be getting the Kindergarten prep he needs. “Kindergarten PREP? Lisa, I was home every day before I went to Kindergarten. No preschool, no TK… Just Kindergarten. Our nieces and nephew in Oregon went from day care to Kinder. No “prep”. Garrett is smart and we teach him everything he needs to know right here at home. Let him have one last year of FUN! And I promise he’ll be prepared for Kindergarten. He’s already starting to READ! He’s FINE!” I left his office feeling much better. Thank God I married this man.

G’s taking karate now. It’s the first thing that he has chosen for himself, is pursuing, and has great passion for. Russ and I watch him in awe. He’s only taken three classes but you can already see his love for it. And he’s GOOD.  He’s respectful and coordinated and strong. I can see how it’s going to give him increased confidence and focus. I’m so excited.

I’m still Queen of the Play Date. I think I’m daily trying to make up for the fact that G doesn’t have any siblings. I hope he makes lifelong friends that become his brothers and sisters. I hope when they’re older, they come to dinner a lot and sleep over and call me “Mrs. A” or “Mom”.

I just finished shooting a new pilot for Style. Matt Iseman and I pitched it to the network a year and a half ago, they “bought” it a month later, we negotiated for six months, it got changed a lot, we gained and lost an executive producer, we got another executive producer, it got changed some more, and we finally shot it last week.

That’s what this business is all about: Hurry up and wait. And now after all that time, we have to wait another six months to see if it’s something the network wants to put on the air.

I was very worried leading up to the week of shooting. Of course I was. Worrying is what I do best. I was afraid I wouldn’t be good on camera, thin enough for my wardrobe, or able to sustain the long days. I was terrified I wouldn’t see G-Man before he went to sleep, and that he’d be upset I was gone. But it all worked out alright. I only got home late one of the nights, and Russ and he came to see me on that day. I managed to do well on camera, fit into my clothes, and pretty much stay awake while shooting. And I do enjoy being around a crew, talking like a sailor, and laughing my ass off.

I always forget how much I love to work. I love the job, the people I meet, and getting out of my normal routine for a bit. I’d be lying if I didn’t say I love my routine though. I love taking G to school and picking him up. I love cooking dinner for my family. I love all of that. But I’m truly glad to know I still really enjoy the other side of me, too. I think that’s important to know.

Now, if I could just come up with a show about me and my family, so I could work and still spend all my time at home. The only downside is, I’d have to stop having such a filthy mouth on set. Maybe I’m better off keeping the two worlds separate. Yeah, I’ll keep it that way for now.

21 Feb 2012

It’s Better To Give Than Receive

10 Comments Personal Crap, Uncategorized

I did something today I haven’t done in a very long time. I gave money to a man walking down the street at a red light, holding a sign that said “Hungry”. It was only 50 cents. That was all I had in my change holder. But when I rolled down my window and gave it to him saying “This is all I have”, he said “Thank you. God Bless You.”

Now let me take you back about 15 years. I was a young woman in my twenties, on the way to my friend’s house. We were going out somewhere so I was dressed up, made up, and revved up… Probably excited about the prospect of having men buy me drinks and staying out until 2AM. Looking down at my gas tank, I realized I was low on fuel. I pulled into a gas station, filled up my tank, and got back in my car, doing a final look at myself in the rearview mirror and no doubt being elated at my reflection. Oh wait, I mean deflated.

As I was about to pull away, a man tapped on my window. Literally dressed in tatters, and looking hungry and helpless, he motioned for me to roll my window down. I did and he asked me for money. I reached into my purse and handed him two dollars. He smiled broadly and reached out to grab my hand. Not wanting to insult him, I put my hand out the window to shake his. But shaking is not what he had in mind.

The man took my hand and, in one swift motion, lifted it to his face and LICKED it. He licked my hand. Not a little lick. Not the kind of lick where one darts ones tongue out to touch the tip of it to something. It was a full-on lick from the base of my fingers to my wrist. I pulled my hand away as swiftly as he had pulled it to himself and looked at him in horror as he still smiled broadly.

Rolling up my window and pulling out of the gas station, I started to pound my steering wheel in fear, disgust and anger. “WHAT THE FUCK JUST HAPPENED??” I was crying. I was a good decade away from having a kid, so I had no antibacterial wipes or hand sanitizer handy. I had about five miles to go to get to my destination, and a hand covered in saliva.

I’m not saying I didn’t feel sympathy for this man. But at that moment, I was so angry at myself for giving him money and for trusting him. I was mad that I wasn’t able to say no to people because I was always afraid of hurting people’s feelings. I was mad that it wasn’t enough to give this man money, and that I also allowed him to mess with me. Which, by the way, I don’t think he was doing at all. I think he was thanking me the best way he knew how.

Long story short, my faith was renewed today. I enjoy helping people. I just prefer a “Bless You” over a lick.

13 Feb 2012

The (not-so-awful) Play Date Situation

10 Comments Personal Crap, Toddler, Uncategorized

Something unexpected has come with having a son in preschool. No, not the germs. The moms.

I remember, vividly remember, saying I would NOT let my son’s friends dictate who my friends were. I remember dreading play dates the same way I dreaded nuclear war when I was nine. The thought of them kept me up crying until I fell asleep, a snotty, red-eyed mess. “Dear God, please don’t make me have to go to other people’s houses and make up some bullshit small talk while my son “parallel plays” with their kid. Please God, don’t force me to have strangers over, eating my food while their kids pull out all of Garrett’s toys and put them directly into their mouths.”

Play dates were a thing I had only read about online or heard horror stories about through friends of friends. I wanted nothing to do with them, or anything that came along with them.

But guess what happened? Guess!! Play dates happened. And they are glorious.

First of all, they take up at least two hours of what would otherwise be time that I would have to fill with crafts or art, or arts and crafts, or pulling out my hair trying to think of something to do besides arts and crafts. Not that I don’t adore, relish, and thank the lord for the time I have alone with G-Man. I do love this time. But there are days that are easier for both of us because of play dates. I have an only child. And he sometimes needs a playmate under 40 to hang out with after school.

Second of all, I have met some pretty freaking unbelievable women (and some awesome men) because of these dates of play. These are women I never would have known if it wasn’t for G. These are women from all walks of life, in varied careers, with fascinating stories. These are women who love their kids as hard as I love mine, who take great care in caring for their families, who miss the hell out of staying up until 2:00AM, taking weekend naps and working out five days a week, but wouldn’t trade the life they’re living now if you paid them.

They’re funny and smart and lovely. They are women I have things in common with. I don’t feel pressure to be anything other than myself around them, and I don’t feel pressured to be a better friend than I can be. Some of these women may only be in my life for a little while, but some might be around for the long haul. The great thing is, none of that really matters now because we’re mostly doing the play-date thing for our kids, so that they can be social and learn how to have their own friends.

I just never knew that my kid’s play dates would turn into dates that I looked so forward to. And, having lost friends from my past who no longer fit into my evolving life, nor I into theirs… I feel very lucky to be meeting new people who seem to be the exact people I need at this moment, (and hopefully some for years to come). I hope I offer as much to them as they do to me. It’s true what they say about one door closing and another one opening. I just had no idea it would be the door to my kid’s preschool classroom.

12 Feb 2012

Valenblah’s Blah

17 Comments Personal Crap

So Valentine’s Day, right?

I’m going to be honest with you. It pisses me off. I find it insulting. It’s a holiday that makes men feel incredibly pressured to buy the women in their lives last-minute gifts like flowers, chocolate and jewelry because they’re told that if they don’t… They’re going to pay.

And it makes women feel pressured to buy frilly lingerie and make exquisite meals for the men in their lives because if they don’t (along with some hot sex)… Then why did the man in their life run out and buy them the bullshit gift in the first place?

I’m not a fan of gifts, or sex, under pressure. I’m also not a fan of going to a restaurant where they’re going to feed you the same food they serve every other day of the year for a much higher price with less-attentive service and an hour-long wait. It’s the same reason I never go on on New Year’s Eve, and haven’t for over 10 years.

My husband and I love each other. We tell each other daily, even when we’re incredibly sick of each other and wish that one of us would get a job over seas for six months. That’s off-topic. We love each other, is the point. And we even like getting gifts from each other. We’re not necessarily great at the whole gift exchange thing, but when it does occur, we like it.

Russ likes it when I bring a shirt home that looks great on him and fits. I like when he brings home a necklace (Not diamond, mind you. I’m more of a $17 costume jewelry type), or picks up some flowers at the supermarket. I love the surprise ass grab in the kitchen (if I’m not holding a hot beverage), the times he holds my face in his hands to convince me how beautiful he thinks I am, and the amused looks we sneak each other when G-Man makes us proud.

I love when I come home to a vacuumed house (this actually happened today!), and when he tells me he loves my cooking. I love how he looks at me when I tell him he’s the best dad in the world.

I just can’t stand the thought of a holiday that forces people to tell you how they feel, especially when it seems like it HAS TO come with some sort of present. It’s unfair, and it makes people feel like failures.

I’m not a person who doesn’t like to celebrate things. In fact, I love to. I am just not a fan of this particular holiday for all of the reasons I told you above.

Having said all of that, my mom and dad used to celebrate Valentine’s Day like their marriage depended on it. (It did not depend on it, by the way.) My dad would always buy my mom jewelry, they would exchange cards with flowery language, and they would go out for expensive meals either alone, or with other couples. My mom has never understood why Russ and I don’t celebrate it with the same ferver.

Last year was my mom’s first Valentine’s Day alone, so we had her over for dinner. It was a sweet evening, she was thankful to be with family, and we were glad to have her. This year, we’re celebrating with my mom and my brother’s family at his house. We’re having a potluck so that everyone pitches in. We’ll eat together in the usual chaotic way, chatting about our lives and stresses, laughing at inappropriate jokes, and razzing each other (mostly my mom.)  My niece will beg to make everyone coffees and my nephew will tell me he loves my pumpkin cupcakes. My son will beg his cousin to tell him more about Star Wars and my brother will do annoying magic tricks. My sis-in-law will talk me through my stress about public schools and my mom will steal kisses from her grandkids as often as possible.

In short, we will be celebrating love on Valentine’s Day. And I am totally okay with that tradition.

(I’m also okay with store-bought flowers or a sweet card. But it doesn’t HAVE to happen. At least not on Valentine’s Day.)

Oh, and please do not think I’m judging you if you love to celebrate this heart-filled holiday. It just ain’t my thang. Looks good on you, though!

09 Feb 2012

Tonight, Here.

8 Comments Family, Personal Crap

I want to post real fast just so I don’t forget that…

Tonight Garrett made us watch the Madonna Super Bowl half-time show (again) so we could all dance in front of the TV. And that he made us pause it so he could get a drum and play along with the marching band. And that he gave me a microphone so I could sing along, and Russ got a maraca.

Then we showed him “Material Girl” and “Get Into the Groove” and we sang along and danced a little more.

And that I did the magic spell over G’s cup of water to make sure he wouldn’t have any dreams. Not just bad dreams, mind you. This kid doesn’t want ANY dreams. And that he smiled so warmly when I did the spell that I almost melted. And that he laughed when I took a sip because I rolled across the room when the drink pulled all the dreams out of me. And that when he took a sip he said, “WHOA!  That knocked all MY dreams out, too!”

And that I’m lucky. And happy.

And that even though I’m stressed and a little worried about “stuff”…

Wonderful things happened under my roof tonight.

I just didn’t want to forget.

07 Feb 2012

A Good Day

8 Comments Personal Crap

In the last four-plus years, I have had many happy days. Let me rephrase that. In the last four-plus years I have had many, many glorious, joy-filled days where I felt blessed and happy and grateful.

Most of the joy has come from my family and friends. I am an incredibly lucky girl who has immensely good people in my life, a son who brightens every moment, a husband who should write a book on husbandry, (Wait, he doesn’t breed or raise livestock. You know what I meant though.  Husbanding?), an extended family I adore, and friends who make my life even better.

But today was a different kind of day. Today I made my own happiness from being creative, from working at my craft, and from believing in myself. These are things that haven’t happened a lot for me lately, and I think I forgot how important they were to me. I felt, and feel, energized in a way I haven’t in quite a while. And then when I came home and played “Star Wars School” with G-Man, I think I had a little more to give to him than I usually do. And that’s saying something.

I just wanted to share with you that I found a type of joy today that I thought I had lost. And it was a good day.

17 Jan 2012

January 17, 2012

13 Comments Personal Crap

“Watch this, mom. Watch. Watch. Watch this. Mom? Watch this. Are you watching? Watch. Watch this.”

He’s sliding across my office floor on an office chair. Back and forth. Using his legs to push him off the wall, into my desk. Then using them again to push himself off of my desk into the wall.

He has croup and is home from school today. He was home yesterday. And he’ll be home tomorrow.

I like it when he’s home. But it makes it hard to get stuff done.

I need to go grocery shopping. I need to fill out applications for schools for next year. I need to come up with some show ideas and an outline for an idea I’ve already had. I need to do a pushup or two before my arms become completely atrophied. And I really want to get into the blogging groove again.

He’s in the living room now. We made a fort out of blankets and he’s in there with a variety of toys, a few books, and my iphone on which he is currently watching pictures of Princess Leia set to classical music.

I fear in his later years he won’t be able to “perform” unless Mozart is playing in the background, and he’ll expect his lover to grace him with various poses that he can control by swiping his finger across a screen.

Luckily, this is not really one of my fears. Because my fears these days are taking up enough space in my head. I don’t have room for fake ones. But they make me laugh.

I’m shooting a pilot in three weeks and I’m anxious to say the least. Besides the fact that it’s been a while since I’ve shot something other than a clip show or a Disney guest star, I’m out of shape. I mean that literally and figuratively. I’m really, really out of shape. And I’m out of practice. I’ve been so immersed in mommy-hood for the last year, it’s difficult to get myself back into work mode. It makes me a nervous wreck. I’ve had a few meetings where I’ve had to put together outfits which didn’t include jeans and sweatshirts, and I even slapped on some high heels. If felt like the equivalent of being in a foreign country where you’re familiar with enough of the language to not be a complete nuisance, but not enough that anyone has the confidence in you to order for them when you go out to eat.

Garrett’s now asking if he can watch Apple TV. We got it as a gift from “People in Television” for Christmas, and it’s his newest obsession. He likes to watch YouTube videos of anything that has to do with Star Wars or the Peanut Butter Jelly Time song. If we can find the two of them meshed together (which we have), we’re in business.

He watched all of Star Wars on Sunday. The whole movie. We were going to wait a few years, but we didn’t. And, frankly, it was all fine. He probably sees scarier stuff on the giant pirate ship at school. He loved it. And now he can tell all his friends all about it. I’m happy for him.

I should go in there. He very well might be watching something inappropriate. Even though I have our settings set to “strict”, he happened upon a very naked drawing of a well-endowed Princess Leia-ish woman the other day. It was difficult to get my iphone pried out of his little fist.

But not as difficult as putting my feet into those damned high heels.

09 Jan 2012

One word at a time…

19 Comments Personal Crap

I’ve stood here before, in the dark waters of fear. Afraid to write, to create.

I go about my days doing all of the other things I need to do, ignoring the nagging voice in my head that says, “Write.”

I have things to tell you, things I want to say. But time gets in my way. No, not true. I can write at night. I can make the time. But I don’t because I’m afraid I can’t do it right anymore. So I stop. And I’ve stopped so many times in my life, it just feels like something I do. It comes naturally.

And so does regret. And so does disappointment in myself.

So I sat down tonight to write. Just to write these words. I’ve given myself no agenda or assignment. Just to write. What happened to that girl who used to go to coffee shops and fill pages and pages? She stopped, too. Then started again. Then stopped again.

I want to stop stopping.

To begin.

So that’s what I did just now.

18 Dec 2011

It Takes a Village… Of Crap

14 Comments Personal Crap, Uncategorized

They say it takes a village to raise a child.

I say it takes a village to get me motivated to clean all the unnecessary crap out of my house.

About a month ago, my lovely friend Jane and I were discussing our frustration over the lack of organization and the overflow of junk in our houses and garages. (And any space where any form of junk could comfortably fit). She is ahead of me in the organization game. When pregnant with her second child, she frantically got ready by making space, throwing stuff out, and organizing what was left. Her needs are more maintenance-driven now. My needs are vast and they make me anxious as hell, so I tend to ignore them.

Jane came up with a brilliant idea. “Tuesday morning I’m coming to your house and we’re tackling your garage. Then next Wednesday you’re coming to my house and we’ll deal with my garage.” I told her I’d think about it. My garage has been reduced to “That scary place where we have a second fridge”. I walk in there only to grab a spare milk or the ravioli that needs to be cooked. I try not to look around because, when I do, my heart beats 1,000 times a minute and I almost collapse from the thought of what needs to be done.

After a couple days I texted her that I was ready to do it, but I wasn’t sure exactly what I was ready for. “It might just be chatting and bouncing ideas”, I wrote. She said she was up for anything.

That Tuesday she showed up, we had some coffee, and we talked about our frustrations. Then she asked if she could see the garage and my heart sank. So did my intestines. I was nervous. What she saw didn’t scare her a bit. We got bags for Goodwill, bags for trash, boxes for things we were keeping and got to work. She did most of the work. I did most of the dry heaving and carrying things out, while shaking my head “yes” or “no” to her questions of does this stay? Two and a half hours later, we were at Goodwill with a full SUV, all of my trash cans and recycling bins were full, and my garage was transformed from “scary” to “mildly uncomfortable”.

I felt like a giant weight had been lifted off of me, and like a giant mess had been lifted out of my garage. The following Wednesday, as planned, we tackled Jane’s garage. Again, after less than three hours, we transformed her space into, well, space!

Last Tuesday she came to me again. We went through G-Man’s toys and books and got his room in pristine working order. I had been avoiding going through that stuff for fear of the pain. There wasn’t as much of a mess, just a lot of stuff G no longer needed that I would have to mourn. The first hour was hard. Very. But Jane and my mom-in-law helped me through it. By the end, I think I was impressing Jane with my ability to put things in the Goodwill pile.

Wednesday I’ll go to Jane again, and then we’ll break for the holidays. I’m praying we’ll pick right up in the new year, because I’m loving this feeling. I want my life to be simpler, with less STUFF, and this feels like I’m heading in that direction.

I think the best part is not only that I’m doing something that I’ve been wanting to do, that I’m turning my house into the house I want it to be, and that I’m simplifying things for my family. The best part is that I’m doing it with a friend, a relatively new friend, who is adding to my life in ways I didn’t know she would. And the fact that I get to help her back feels immeasurably good.

I’m telling you, if you have a friend you can do this with… DO IT! It’s good for your soul, your house, your family, and whatever charity you choose as the benefactor of your unnecessary spending and storing. Assuming you’re anything like me. And, you are.