21 Mar 2013

Throw Back Thursday 3/21/13

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This is me about 20 years ago, getting my SAG card on the set of Dream On. That’s James Woods rehearsing with me as I practice saying, “Who gets the check?” I had already been waiting tables several years, so this rolled off of my tongue.
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Did I ever tell you about the time I took a picture with Brad Pitt and we both looked terrible? This was after performing at the KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas at the Universal Amphitheater. I asked him if I could get a quick photo with him and he couldn’t have been nicer.
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I’ve always been a tree hugger.
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Another from the worst headshot session ever. This is me jumping in the air because I was excited that one day I would look less like a boy.
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This is me looking less like a boy at my photo shoot for Stuff magazine in 2003. This was a test shot. I didn’t like the one that made the magazine.
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20 Mar 2013

Picture Day

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It was picture day today.
The last picture day of pre-school.
G wore a nice shirt and tie and his new, shiny, black loafers.

There are three more months of pre-school.
Then eight short weeks until Kindergarten.
I will not be sending G to camp this summer.
I will be squeezing every last drop of pre-schooler out of him instead.

Why is each “last” so… Significant?
Why do we place such importance on these moments?

Because we know they don’t last.

But pictures do.

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14 Mar 2013

Throw Back Thursday

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It’s Throw Back Thursday. Yesterday I just so happened to find a WEALTH of pictures from my past, as I began to clean out our closet o’ photos in my office. These are the things you find yourself doing when your son is home sick for the 100th time since January, and you are not feeling so great yourself. Here’s a sampling for you. I’m sure I’ll regret this, even though I’ll probably show you more in the coming Thursdays.

Here is a school photo of me. I do not know when this was taken. I do know my milkshake did NOT bring all the boys to the yard, unless I was playing tether ball. Then, they’d show up.
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This is my sixth grade graduation photo. I was graduating from a Jewish day school. I knew Hebrew, I was a year from my bat mitzvah, and I rocked some plastic pearls.
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This is from my first headshot photo shoot when I was somewhere between the ages of 12 and 14. The photographer obviously told me to look like I was very untrusting of whoever handed me this giant lollipop, while also trying to look uncomfortably embarrassed.
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This is me at 17, in Hawaii for my graduation trip. This was at the peak of me thinking I was a fat cow. How did I live with myself?? (NOTE: I am so fucking mad that I thought I was fat. I should’ve been naked all the time. I also should have had an IV drip filled with butter, because I could’ve put on a few.) I was really dumb.
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This is me, at 20, in a… BEAUTY PAGEANT! I made it to the top 10. I was trying to face my fears of public bathingsuit wearing, big hair, and pageant girls. It was an odd night. But I look happy. Oh, and Avon Rent-A-Car was really proud to sponsor me. (I had to BEG them, as no one else would bite.)
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So there you go. My first attempt at a Throw Back Thursday post. Can I see some of your old photos? Come on… I’ve earned that!!!!

12 Mar 2013

Sick Kid

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My son is sick… Again.
I feel so bad. It’s like 2013 is the Year of Illness in the Arch House. A lot of my friends’ families are going through the same thing. It’s exhausting.
The thing that strikes me the most is this:
My son trusts me to take care of him.

This morning at 4:00AM, G was emptying the contents of his stomach into a pot and looking at me for support. “You’re doing great”, I said as I held the pot steady. “You’re going to be okay.”
At that moment I thought, “What the HELL is going on here???? I’m not equipped to handle a sick child! Aren’t I like, 16 years old???”
These moments, even five-and-a-half years in, are always surreal to me. And I imagine my parents used to think the same thing when I was looking at them, trusting that they knew all the right things to do to make me okay. They didn’t, but they sure acted like they did.

Today his fever spiked to 102.6 and he looked at me with those big blue eyes and asked, “Is it over 101??” I finally learned my lesson and said, “No, honey. It’s just 100.” He wants me to take his temperature about every 15 minutes. He gets a little obsessive when he’s not feeling great. And, according to him, as long as he stays under 100 degrees, he’s not “throw-up sick”. Yesterday I kept telling him the truth. Today I’m lying. It’s going better.

Right now he’s on the couch with Russ, watching Spy Kids… Again. He just asked for some cold milk and applesauce and, since he hasn’t TU’d (He doesn’t want me to say the full words) for over 14 hours, I let him have some. He seems to be doing okay right now.

All I know is, he trusts me to take care of him. Thank God for the internet, otherwise I’d know NOTHING about how to take care of him when he’s sick, other than using my instincts (which are NOT always right). Earlier, when he was resting in bed, I looked right at him and laughed because I couldn’t believe how cute he was and how much I love him. I’m exhausted. I’m afraid of screwing up. And I swear to you, I love taking care of this kid. I am blown away by his trust. And I trust him implicitly to tell me if I’m doing something wrong.

It’s an arrangement I am more than happy to live with, as long as he’s okay with me pretending I know what I’m doing.

11 Mar 2013

Looking for Light

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I went to temple Friday night for the first time in… A very long time.
It’s funny how whenever I go, I hear at least one thing that resonates with me.
Friday it was this (Or something like this, but probably far more eloquent):

There is light everywhere on this Earth.
If you walk through the world seeking this light, you will find it in many places.

Then the rabbi talked about the person who lets you go ahead of them in line at the grocery store, the driver who lets you in front of them in traffic, a person who holds the door open for you, etc. These are all lights.

These are the kinds of moments that always make me feel a little better about humanity. And when I offer these things into the world, I feel better too.

I’m going to spend this week looking for light everywhere. I know I will find some. And I will try to be some, too.

How do YOU plan on being a light this week? (She says in a New York-Jewish-Mother voice to guilt you into doing something “light-ish”.)

10 Mar 2013

Sunday 3/10/13

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It’s 9:00AM on Sunday.
I’m on my third load of laundry.
G refuses to go to a Daylight Savings event at my favorite, organic, gluten-free bakery. He likes to stay in PJ’s as long as possible. I get it, kid. But I really want a scone.
There’s very little food in the house and I desperately need to go to Trader Joes. See above statement about PJ’s.
Russ is sick and still in bed.
It is GORGEOUS outside. Sunny, chilly… Beautiful. I know this because our laundry room is outside.
I’m going to pour my second cup of coffee, grab my Sunset magazine, and sit on the couch while G plays Wii Sports Resort.
And we’ll see if we get out of our PJ’s before noon.
I wouldn’t count on it.

What are you up to today?

08 Mar 2013

Project Runway Reactions: SPOILER ALERT

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These were my many moods while watching Project Runway last night.

This is going to be a Duck Brand duct tape challenge?
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I want every freaking color and pattern of Duck Tape delivered to my house right now! I have no idea what I’ll do with it, but I want it.
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WHY ARE RICHARD AND DANIEL ADDING RUFFLES? THIS IS A NIGHTMARE!
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Misty and I love Stanley and Layanna’s dress. It’s hot.
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Wait. Is Daniel wearing a CAPE to the runway show? And is Tu wearing a… WTF is that?
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Patricia and Samantha had the favorite dress at the high school?? REALLY? Then who will win?
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Nina Garcia is being awfully whiny tonight. And can’t say “particularly” particularly well.
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I wish I wore a Duck Tape dress to my prom. My dress was hideous.
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DOUBLE ELIMINATION? Didn’t see that coming!
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07 Mar 2013

I fight Anxiety, Anxiety sometimes wins.

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I walked into my bedroom last night and started to shake. Not a full-on seizure kind of shaking, jut a slight shake that let’s me know I’m having anxiety.

My bedroom does not, as Oprah likes to say, “Rise up to meet me” when I walk into it. It does the opposite. It sits there, flaccid and sad, almost mocking me. It’s the bedroom of a college kid who still has her grandma’s furniture, painted green by her boyfriend 10 years ago. My boyfriend is now my husband. And the bedroom needs a makeover. Really quickly though…

KISS MY ASS, OPRAH! IF I WAS A BILLIONAIRE, MY WHOLE FUCKING HOUSE WOULD RISE UP TO MEET ME BECAUSE I’D PAY IT TO DO SO!!

Anyway, the state of my bedroom gave me a little bit of stress. I actually laughed out loud thinking, “I’m 41! When am I going to have a grown-up house?” My thoughts almost always thankfully, swiftly change to how lucky I am and how many things are far more important than the state of my bedroom. But the anxiety lingers.

Today I opened my bathroom cabinet and all of a sudden saw what was in there, not through my own eyes, but through the eyes of someone else who might open it. I am not exaggerating when I say 85% of the stuff in there was expired. And on top of the cabinet? TONS of products I haven’t used in over a year. Shaking, I calmly walked to the kitchen to get a large, black garbage bag. With each bottle I emptied into a ziploc bag, (so as to recycle and not put crap down the sink and into the ocean), my anxiety… Worsened. Thirty minutes later I was done with the medicine cabinet and a small drawer, still needing to tackle the big closet.

As I worked, anxiety-ridden thoughts floated through my head:

How does this happen?

Didn’t I just clean this all out, like six months ago?

Why did I buy THAT?

Do other people do this???

WHY IS THIS XANAX EXPIRED? AND WHY DID I ONLY TAKE A HALF OF ONE OF THEM????

I pace. I eat. I shake. I pace. I stop breathing. I force myself to breathe. I pace. I triumphantly fill the trash bag. I shake my head. I repeat.

As I pace through the house, and often head to the kitchen, I see everything else that I’m doing wrong. There’s a stack of papers on the dining room table. My office, which was spotless two months ago, is unorganized again. Then there are the tell-tale signs of college-living. The ripped couch. The mangled floors.

I beat myself up. I call myself stupid and lazy and pathetic.

I force myself to breathe again.

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I started cleaning out the bathroom about three hours ago. I’m a quick vacuum away from being done. It’s worlds better. Almost perfect, actually. But I’m sitting here on my laptop, shoveling kettle corn into my face, knowing I have to force myself to go back in and finish. I want to run away. I’m ashamed of myself.

I am not going to let the anxiety beat me today. I’m going to take five more minutes to finish my job, and then I’m going to take my dog on a long walk, until I can breathe again without having to force it, and without shaking.

I take full responsibility for the things I need to improve upon.

And I forgive myself.

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It’s nearly five hours later. I’ve walked into my bathroom several times to see what I accomplished. It makes me feel proud. But the rest of the house is still glaring at me. Not good enough. Not good enough. Not good enough.

I ate too much today and now I feel worse about myself.

But I took Bogie on a long walk and breathed. When Garrett got home, we set up a birthday party for Furby. I cooked a nice meal. We ate together as a family. G and I played Wii and laughed a lot.

I was on my iPhone too much. Something else I really need to improve upon.

I am a work in progress. It gives me great anxiety. But I am fighting to fight it. And breathing. And trying to keep getting better. And forgiving myself.

Do you do this too?

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It is now Thursday morning and I feel like a different person today. I thought I’d let you know that in case you are like me. I’m going to try a new tactic next time anxiety hits like that. I’m going to project myself into the next day and know that I will be fine. And I will force myself to breathe.

06 Mar 2013

My Kid is Gonna Marry Me

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My son wants to marry me.  He does.

I know your kid SAYS he or she wants to marry you. But mine really, really wants to. He’s got it all planned out. We’ll be married, (although he says I can still stay married to his dad), and we’ll live together forever and ever. And if he wants to get married to someone else and have kids, that’ll be okay. We’ll all live in a house together and be happy… ever after.

He really loves me. I know your kid SAYS he or she really loves you. But mine really, really does. He kisses my hand and tells me I’m beautiful. He tells me I’m the best mom in the world. I know your kid says the same to you, but Garrett really, really means it.

We’re going to live in a big, beautiful house. I’m going to cook him all his favorite foods. Any silly face I make will send him, even at 40-years-old, into a fit of giggles so pure people will be watching it on YouTube for years to come. His wife will love me and tell me all the time that she wishes she could be half the woman I am. The grandchildren will secretly tell me they wish I was their mom. In our old age, he will treat Russ and I like a king and queen. And as I lie comfortably dying, in a long white, cotton gown, Garrett will once again grab my hand and say to me, “Mommy, I love you more than anything in the whole world. You have been the best mom anyone could ever, or will ever have. Now, go to heaven knowing that you have loved, and you are loved, completely.”

Then I’ll float away and he will cry with all of his heart. His wife and children will console him, all of them missing me more than anyone has ever thought humanly possible.

The end.

Okay, I get it. Your kids say the exact same things to you. They look at you like you hung the moon and they tell you they want to live with you forever. I know it’s their age. I know it’s a phase. And I know they mean it with every fiber of their being.

But, if it’s okay with you, I’m going to pretend that I’m the only mommy in the world whose son loves her enough to marry her. And I give you permission to do the same.

05 Mar 2013

Listen to me Complain

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I just spent a full fucking hour of my day on the phone will creditors. Medical creditors. One bill had already been paid, one needed to be paid over the phone with my credit card, (I was on hold for 17 minutes), and one had tried to go through my insurance but said my insurance was unavailable at the time of service, which it most certainly was NOT. When I called to figure this out I listened to horrible, loud, muzac for a full eight minutes while being told to press 3 if I wanted the voicemail, but otherwise to stay on the line. At minute 8 I was transferred to voicemail ANYWAY, where I left my name, account number, phone number, and death threats.

Then I think “There before the grace of God…” when I realize if GOD FORBID someone in the house was really ill… Not only would it be devastating, but the amount of paperwork that would have to get done, and the money that would be flying out the window. Then I realize how lucky I am. Then I get back to the following complaining:

I wonder how we’re supposed to get any real shit done with our days when half of our days are filled up with shit that should be done by the person whose job it is to do it!! I mean, can’t you just take the extra second to check my insurance? Or take a minute to call me and see why my insurance is saying it’s not mine anymore?

Why, for instance, do I have to gather every pay check I get through my union every year, tally it all up, and tell that union how much money I made??? They want to “make sure I’m getting my pension credits”, but aren’t they paying people to check records?

And if Target charges me a late fee when my check to them was ON TIME, should I really have to spend 13 minutes on the phone convincing them to drop the $25.00 late fee??? (Okay, it was 24 HOURS late. Seriously. And that has never happened before. It was a holiday week. They shouldn’t have charged me.)

I have enough trouble figuring out what I’m going to cook, defrost, or order for dinner, how I’m going to make my husband feel appreciated, and if I’m going to be able to muster the patience to play one more (imaginative) game of “follow the pirate map around the house” with my (adorable) son WITHOUT all the extra work I have to do during the day because other people aren’t doing their jobs right.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to gather my son’s t-ball gear, a snack, and head out to CVS where I’m hoping they sell flasks that look like iPhones. And don’t worry, I’ll just fill mine with chai tea. I’m one of those moms who wishes she was a heavy drinker, but isn’t. I should probably start now, though. Maybe I’ll realize I just need to calm the hell down a bit.

P.S. I really do enjoy following the pirate map. I’m just tired from all the bullshit phone calls.