Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Where the Hell I Went... In Case You Were Wondering. Or Not.

For the past 3 and a 1/2 weeks, I've been out of the loop. My only link to sanity/reality has been my iPhone. And I'm pretty slow at writing/revising on such a minuscule keyboard. So where have I been, pray tell?

Well... I went home. To my original home. With my parents. Willingly. Sort of.

Someone famous once said, "You can't go home again". I don't have any clue who it was. I should. But I don't. Because my brain is fried. I think most of my brain cells liquified and oozed out my ears due to the fact that my parents keep their thermostat at the average yearly temperature of Guatemala. Or Panama. Or Mercury. Or Houston. I don't know for sure. Somewhere supremely hot and sticky that I've yet to visit. Take your pick.

The deal is this: my mom needed a hip replacement. My dad has advanced Parkinson's. Add those two together and your result is that the single, childless one has packed her bags to head to the Homefront Lines.

My schedule's been pretty full lately what with all the meds to be given, meals cooked ( that's right.... I COOKED), and Price is Right to be watched (I've added getting on a game show to my bucket list now), so actually blogging has been a no-go. But I've had wonderful friends encouraging me along the way to keep writing ( even when there's no Internet connection and I have to use pen and paper - gasp!). And then yesterday, someone very kindly suggested that I turn this return to my past that's not really my past into blog fodder.

So, when I make my return to the 817 on Sunday, that's what I'll be doing. In all, it has been a good trip, and I'm glad to have done it. I couldn't have lived with myself if I hadn't. But it's been exhausting and trying and sad and painful. But just when I thought I'd reached my limit, and I could take no more, something funny or touching or thought-provoking would happen, and I'd start fresh all over again. I think I've learned more about myself and come to certain truths about life that I couldn't have learned elsewhere. But that's for another day.

Right now, I have to tiptoe out to turn down he heat while the guards are asleep.

See you soon, dear friends.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Parenthood Reversed

For the past 7 days, my life has been a steady revolution of cooking, cleaning, serving, dressing, medicating and chauffeuring. I am up at 3 AM, and then again at 7. Each time I sit, I am needed. Each time I want to be alone, I'm not. Each time I want to give up, I can't.

And I'm about to lose my effing mind.

This is why I'm not sure I'll ever be a parent - or at least not a single parent for sure. Let me tell you, those people are freakin' rockstars.

Friday, December 3, 2010

In Search of a Win

The hardest part about working with kids is that sometimes they are disappointed.

And then this disappoints me.

Tonight my kids worked so hard and then lost in the end, and I've spent the last 3 hours wondering where I could have made it different. In the grand scheme, it's not a great big deal, but on a day like today, I just needed a win.

My only success is that when some other kids talked a bunch of noise, my little hot heads held their tongue and took the high road for probably the first. time. ever.

In my game, that's called a "moral victory". In more ways than one, I suppose.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Turn the Radio Up

I love music. Almost as much as movies and words and books and Diet Coke. Almost.

For me, memories come with a clear scent and a kickass soundtrack. Every important person and moment has a song that I associate with it, and when it plays, it is as if a wave has crashed over me, saturating me with images of days long past.

These are the five most important albums to my life. The Soundtrack of My Existence, if you will.

1. "Thriller" by Michael Jackson-- Yes... I know. But it was one of the very first records I remember owning. And it totally verified, at a young age, that my ability/need to dance in public was sketchy at best.

2. "Mental Jewelry" by Live -- Before they went mainstream... before their verses made lame appearances on melodramatic teen soap operas... just gritty and cool. I thought I was so hip and alternative. I wasn't, but it made me feel as though I was.

3. All the albums of U2 -- Yes... the title says "five albums" but how do you pick a fave? Of course, there has never been a sweeter sound than that of "With or Without You" on a continual loop from the WWII speakers at Lower Pool. Classic.

4. "Ten" by Pearl Jam -- Soundtrack for senior year... spent many a bus ride to games with that in the portable CD player. I still heart Eddie Vedder and Stone Gossard. (sigh)

5. "Rites of Passage" by Indigo Girls -- Reminds me of all the people and the place I love most in the world. Best heard while laying under a cedar tree, waiting for the first star to appear in the night sky. A constant reminder that good songwriting, like a good friend, has no substitute.

Who's on Your Soundtrack?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

One More Reason I Like My Friends

Few things will take the sting out of losing a game you should have won.

My favorite is vodka tonics with good friends. Not many. Not so much that you stop caring altogether -- just enough to lower the blood pressure. And on a school night even.

Even fewer things take the sting out of B-team basketball.