blather

Blathering: Mercury Retrograde

Last week I was joking with some folks on Twitter that some of the craziness we have seen must be due to Mercury Retrograde.  And it turns out I was correct. In case you aren’t familiar with Mercury Retrograde or aren’t as nutty as I am, things go a bit crazy when Mercury retrogrades.  Nothing goes smoothly, especially in transportation and communication. Technically, I’m supposed to be horrifically impacted by Mercury Retrograde because my sun sign is Virgo (ruled by Mercury), my rising sign is Gemini (ruled by Mercury) and Mercury resides in Virgo in my chart.  In short, it’s a lot of damn Mercury, and I’m screwed.

This week was bizarre, y’all.  Major llama, llama office drama: my boss resigned unexpectedly.  I hosted a team member’s retirement party on Tuesday and was still getting my shit together for it literally minutes before it started. On Wednesday, class let out unexpectedly early, and I was summoned to the office for an emergency meeting for my entire group with our executive director. On Thursday I ran from meeting to meeting to meeting.  After work, traffic was backed up on the route I take to pick up Daniel thanks to a wreck, and when I got to day care, I discovered it was on lock-down because a man had robbed the bank up the street.  Thankfully they let us quickly get our children and leave.

I haven’t been sleeping well either, waking up at 3:30 every day as you probably deduced if you follow me on Twitter.  Actually, no one in the house has been sleeping well.  Daniel has woken up super early almost every day.  The cats can sense when my eyes open, and our geriatric cat Bit starts yowling loudly at our door because she knows we’ll let her in instead of risking her waking up Daniel.  Then she yowls to be put on the bed and she yowls until I rub her.  She falls asleep cuddling my leg (which is kind of nice) but leaving me locked on my side of the bed.

We are so ready for this week to be over.  I was ready for it to be over on Wednesday.  And today begins a new month.  That’s nice because February was weird.  At the beginning of the month, I looked out my dining room window to discover crime scene tape and police cars at my neighbor’s house across the street.  When I couldn’t detect any sense of urgency from the officers, I began to fear the worst and another neighbor confirmed it: my neighbor had committed suicide.  His wife had left him, taking their daughter.  We had noticed moving vans there the weekend before.

For weeks his truck sat in the driveway until I noticed a few days ago that it was gone.  So was the wreath on the front door.  I can’t imagine how sad the wife and child must be feeling and how horrible it must have been to return to that house and finish cleaning it out.  It seems silly, but when I drive by the house, it has an air of sadness and loneliness.  What happens to houses after something like that?  Will anyone live in it again?  What kind of psychic energy has been left behind?

I don’t want to end the post on a down note, so here are a few lighter notes:

Daniel

A few days ago, we were going over his behavior chart for the day before bed, and Bit (the aforementioned “yowler”) meowed loudly because SHE wanted to be fed.  Daniel leaned over to her, held out his hand in classic “talk to the hand” pose and said, “Hold on, Bitty-Boo.”  We rolled.  I almost cried I was laughing so hard.

Listen to Your Mother

I am humbled and awed and amazed to report that we received 41 submissions.  41!  I would have been thrilled with 20!  Marty and I had to add an extra day for auditions next week.  And the submissions….oh, it’s going to be difficult to narrow down to around 13-14.  We have amazing writers in this area. The Raleigh-Durham show is going to be awesome!

Socks

I wore my Lady Gaga socks to work today.  It felt good to wear a new pair of fun socks 🙂 Granted, I wore them with jeans, so it was appropriate.  Next time, I’m wearing them with black pants!

Lady Gaga Socks

She was born this way apparently

Marissa Mayer

In case you missed it, Yahoo’s CEO caused a storm of controversy by mandating that every employee needed to be in the office and rescinding working from home privileges.  My first reaction was, “Thanks for the vote of confidence and support from one working mom to another,” but given the challenges she faces, I think she did the right thing.  It takes commitment to rebuild a culture, and it will be difficult to achieve that if the workforce is dispersed.  Unsurprisingly, her decision has been a hot topic in the blogosphere.  Here are a few of my favorite posts on the issue:

And then there’s this article: “The Quest to Find Realistic Role Models for Working Mothers.” Yes, yes, yes!!!  This article hits on my uneasiness with Anne-Marie Slaughter, Sheryl Sandberg and Marissa Mayer. I volunteered to read Sandberg’s book Lean In and write a review of it for Liberating Working Moms because I’m genuinely curious what she has to say.  I also empathize with Mayer’s position as a powerful CEO of childbearing age who carries the weight of a generation and gender on her shoulders and finds her every action scrutinized from a variety of perspectives (but who also has a nursery attached to her office).  I respect Slaughter’s opinion, yet I wonder if her generation and my generation experience the workforce differently.  And this quote from the above article articulated everything I had been feeling:

When working mother success is defined by the achievements, struggles, and angst of an elite group of women, it overlooks what Judith Warner articulated in Perfect Madness: Motherhood in the Age of Anxiety as the ability to “accommodate the more average kind of ambition with motherhood. The kind of ambition that most women and men have: to work a sufficient number of hours, at work they find interesting, meaningful, or enjoyable to earn enough money to buy their families a sufficiently good standard of living.”

Exactly.  I have ambition.  I want to do a good job and advance.  I like working, but I don’t want to be CEO of any corporation.  My ambitions and goals as a working mother are very different from Sandberg’s, Mayer’s and Slaughter’s.  We need more “normal” working mothers speaking and writing and advising (that’s critical) about what it’s really like to be an average working mother and what we really need.

How was your week?  Is Mercury Retrograde screwing you over too?

I Don’t Wear Mascara on Fridays

I don’t. I put on the rest of the make-up I wear for work like I do every other day, but I leave my lashes bare.  I suppose that’s my pathetic attempt at sticking it to the man: Listen up! My lashes will not conform to the beauty standards dictated by a patriarchal society on Fridays.

I think the reason I picked mascara for my rebellion is because I wear contact lenses, and if I don’t wear mascara, I don’t feel like I have to wash my face Friday nights when I’m usually dragging from the weight of a week’s worth of toil. I should wash my face because I’ll wake up feeling gross on Saturday, but not all rebellions are fully thought through.

I don’t think I wear a lot of make-up.  I don’t wear foundation, but I do wear a tinted moisturizer so I can have some color.  I recently started to use BB cream, and I’m still trying to decide how I feel about it. It has a slight fragrance that I don’t like and it takes longer to put on because it highlights every bit of dry skin on my face, and I’m scraping at places around my nose as if I’m scraping a popcorn ceiling. However, once everything isn’t flaking off, the result looks good. I think.  I also wear mineral powder, concealer, blush, eye shadow, the aforementioned mascara (except on Fridays) and lip gloss/lipstick. This regimen has been the same for the last decade although it occurs to me that maybe I should look into what make-up a woman of my age should wear.

I can’t do foundation. I remember watching my mother put on her “face,” foundation, powder, the works and do her hair before we could leave the house, while I felt frustrated that we couldn’t simply get up and go.  I swore I wouldn’t wear make-up like that.

***

This Sunday, Jimmy and I were supposed to head to DC for the Lady Gaga concert.  Yes, Lady Gaga.  Remember, my husband is a Little Monster. Unfortunately, Lady Gaga had to cancel the rest of the tour due to injury, and Jimmy is a sad panda. Instead of trying to piece together an appropriate ensemble for a 35-year-old to wear or making up a tween so other parents at the concert don’t think we’re pedophiles, we’ll be at home, watching our DVD of The Monster Ball Tour over and over, Jimmy clutching his tour t-shirt and me wearing my new Gaga socks. A tear might even be shed.

***

I haven’t updated on my weight loss efforts.  They are going well.  I’ve been low carbing for 7 weeks and have started to notice results in the last 2 weeks. The only thing I’m really craving carb-wise is pizza.  Pizza helped get me into this problem, so I’ll stay strong and experiment with making reduced-carb pizza instead.  Alas, the push up challenge isn’t going as well.  I’ve had a few bad weeks and probably need to start over.

***

I have a few good reads for you:

Braindead Blather

‘Twas the night after the election…

No.  Just…no.

I’m rather brain dead tonight, so you will be treated to rambling and nonsense. Sorry.

  • My household is very happy with the outcome of the election (obviously).  I really hope that magically we can restore some civility to our discourse and not call the President of the United States very thinly veiled racial slurs or cast doubt upon his citizenship or devotion to this country any longer.  I also hope that somehow a sense of bipartisanship permeates DC.  I can dream, right?
  • I’m attending the Internet Summit tomorrow, so you might want to mute me for a bit because I will likely tweet a lot, but it probably won’t be snarky.  Maybe.  Depends on the speakers.  I’m excited to attend because I attended the first few years but missed the last 2, so it’s good to be back.  I love learning about the latest in social media, search and email.  And I’m out of the office.  What’s not to love?
  • Daniel and I had a delightful conversation tonight about what he wants Santa to bring him.  His mind is getting so complex!  I love discovering his little personality.  I wish we could buy him everything.  I know that would likely be a disaster, but oh, the urge to give him everything his little heart desires is strong.
  • Remember how on Sunday I extolled how our first day with the time change had been fine?  Well, then the work week started.  It’s dark when we leave daycare, which is jarring, and Daniel has been much closer to melting down since he’s had no nap and is up a little bit longer than he normally would be.  It’s like walking a tightrope, but so far we’re handling the change OK and avoiding horrific meltdowns.  Our hope is that by the weekend, he will have  adjusted to the time change. Pretty, pretty please with whipped cream and cherries on top.  Truthfully, I think that we’re going to have to split up daycare duties sooner rather than later and have Jimmy take him to daycare while I pick him up so that I can leave earlier.  It felt like we had so little time with him in the evenings already, but the time change has really exacerbated it.
  • We really, really, really want to see Lincoln.  Maybe we can see it over Thanksgiving.
  • I wish North Carolina had gone for Obama like in 2008, but I’m OK with the outcome although I am a little concerned at what the newly-elected state government will do to education.  Again, prayers for good sense and compassion would be welcome.
  • I need a new fiction book to read.  Any recommendations?

I think that’s all the blather I have.  I hope to resume more interesting and substantive posts tomorrow.  Have an awesome Thursday!

 

Blather On (Kind of like Ramble On without the LOTR References)

In which I blather or babble or talk about nothing at all (much like Seinfeld.  A high school classmate once told me that I reminded him of the characters on that show, and at first I was flattered (since at the time it was a huge hit and considered a cultural touchstone and funny) but later I wondered if it were actually an insult since the characters are quite shallow and narcissistic.

  • Life has been a little out of control lately, one of those times in which thing after thing goes wrong and you begin to wonder what deity you offended and ponder researching karma cleansing.  We went to Asheville for our honeymoon in December 2001, and on our way to Chimney Rock, we passed a small house (more of a shack really) that advertised tarot readings and roadside colonics.  I wonder if that place is still there?
  • I’ve been trying to write a post for over a week, but the spirit does not move and I wonder if I will ever complete it or if it will remain forever in purgatory.  And if I do finish it, will it be worth reading or will it be a piece of pretentious crap?  You all don’t want to read yet another post inspired by Breaking Bad, do you?
  • I’ve been in class since Monday, and it’s been frustrating and I’ve been taking out my frustration on Twitter.  It’s a market intelligence class focused around teaching us how to perform that service for clients.  In theory, I’m hot and bothered to do that.  I’ve wanted to do more market research for years and thoroughly enjoyed my research classes.  I’m hoping to become a practitioner for work.  In reality, the class is excruciating.  I could teach this class.  Hell, my cats could teach this class.  The class does not need to be 3 days, and we are learning cutting-edge topics like how to use Wikipedia as a “smart pill;” how to conduct an interview; the pros and cons of contacting people via email or phone.  And the instructors read the slides.  If you have been following my tweets about the class, thank you for indulging me.
  • I’ve been reading Gone Girl  since Sunday. By the time I post this, I might have finished it (was able to sneak in a few chapters during class; multi-tasking you know!).  What a bizarre book about two people who are almost completely unlikeable and therefore well-suited to each other.
  • It’s October.  I love October.  Fall energizes me, and I can almost feel the energy pulsing through my veins.  The downside is that the year picks up speed as we approach the end of the year, and there is not enough time to do anything.  I bought mums in September that are still not planted and living in containers on my porch.  I need to find a Halloween costume for Daniel.  I need to get out my Halloween village.  It’s only October 3, but I already feel behind.  I did swap out some of Daniel’s books for books on Autumn and Halloween.  That may be as good as it gets this year.  Oh, in case you missed it, Dresden coined the phrase “Tree Porn,” and that’s porn we can all love.
  • Lightning took out our coffee maker and cable box on Saturday.  Our kitchen is now filled with the sounds of non-stop Thomas DVDs and a jittery lack of caffeine.  Farewell, unwatched recorded episodes of Through the Wormhole.  Adieu, Tuesday night Chopped marathons. On the other hand, no more Guy Fieri and Diners, Drive-ins and Dives!
  • I was mortified to discover that I have been using “utilize” incorrectly. However, I wonder if it is correct in this context: I utilized “utilize” in a sentence to have some meta grammar fun. No?
  • We took Daniel to a Day Out with Thomas two weeks ago, and we had a great time.  It was a much better experience than last year because a) he was a year older and b) it wasn’t raining.  He loved riding on two trains, including a beloved caboose.  It was little boy heaven.
  • I tweeted and posted to FB this amazing article about infertility, but if you haven’t read it, please do.

OK.  I’ve wasted enough of  your time with this blather.  Here are a few pics from a Day Out with Thomas:

Daddy and Daniel

 

Mommy and Daniel on the caboose

 

Tell me something good or odd in your world right now!