Monday, September 27, 2010

40th Birthday List:: Item #2

I know I wrote in my previous post about my wishes for long, lustrous eyelashes but I'm really thinking that I'm on the slippery slope of superficiality if I go on and on about a permanent solution to my not-so-permanent, "come hither" lashes that are slightly augmented becoming very high maintenance.

Yeah. So. Now the secret's out. I do wake up looking like this, thankyouverymuch.

The great thing about the lashes is that they withstand a lot of daily abuse, including showers, swimming, work-outs, and tears.

Which there have been a lot of this summer thanks to Florida.

But, great music can also make me cry and I'll need good lashes when I go to see O.A.R. for the second time this year!!!

I blogged earlier this summer about wanting to see O.A.R. before I turned 40 and that wish came true earlier this month.

Ten minutes into the show, I turned to my (friend?) concert partner and said, "I'm gonna have to see these guys again!" Without the "concert partner."

Fortunately, O.A.R. is playing on October 10th at a super cool venue in Oakland and my good friend, Cab said he'd come with me. I found great tickets on ebay, convinced him to drive us and once again, the house is filled with O.A.R. all-the-time (thank God for Napster!).

Most people don't know who O.A.R. is, which is understandable since they've had just one Billboard hit. But this is a band that can pack a venue like Madison Square Garden and rock a three hour show. This is a band that keeps everyone on their feet - dancing and singing - with the energy of U2 or Bon Jovi but with a far more unique sound. This is a band that is so lyrically talented that every song hits home, on so many levels. This is one special band and I am (almost) doing back-flips over the chance to see them not once, but twice, before my 40th birthday.

Can you tell I'm excited?

I can't think of better music to commemorate the last decade of my life; music that celebrates life, honors heartbreak, inspires hope.

I'm going to love this experience so much more the second time around. Even if I AM the oldest O.A.R. fan!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

40th Birthday List: Item #1

I'm going to be 40 in December.


My parents are going to have a 40-year-old daughter. Just seeing that in print is probably making my dad shudder.

Anyway, it's time to start thinking about what I want.

And just for the record, I don't want world peace, a solution to global warming or legalized marijuana (although a few "loaded" brownies might be nice to pass around at family gatherings). Just for the record, I'm also not looking to be the next 40-something female who has a crazy, biological clock and insane inclinations to have another child. I'm out - as in O-U-T - on that one.

Nope, someone else can use their birthday wish powers to make those things happen; I'm all about the material items that I know will make my life better.

So, hence, "the list."

First up is quarterly Botox injections.

Or Dysport injections. I don't really care what kind of poison goes into my forehead; I just want something beyond Oil of Olay to relax those deepening lines between eyes.

Just in case you're wondering, Botox (or Dysport) has to be injected regularly to maximize the benefit of the investment. But it is also an "approved" method of easing headaches and with some creative finesse of the Health Savings Account, injections could easily be categorized as necessary medical expenditures. Since I do have those nasty headaches.


I'm all about full disclosure, so if you're completely disgusted by my 40th Birthday List and you're thinking, "what a materialistic, indulged brat," you may not want to be open the next post as it contains information about my specific wish for long and lustrous eyelashes.

Consider yourself warned.

And get the syringes ready!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

August And Everything After

In the words of one of my favorite musicians, Adam Durwitz, here is our own version of "August and Everything After."

I came home from Florida and turned around almost immediately for a vacation with Ben. Talk about switching gears.

Ben and I embarked on a nine day road trip to LegoLand/San Diego. Nine days is a long time to spend on the road with a 6-year-old. But Ben had a great time; LegoLand was so age appropriate and he was enchanted!

Ben spent nearly an hour gazing at the Daytona Race Track, constructed completely out of Legos, of course!

I talked him into one ride: the slow moving boats.

I bribed him - at the end of a very long day - to pose with the Lego family and the Lego car:

He decided that Bionicles might be the next big obsession.

No trip to LegoLand would be complete without a round - or three - of miniature golf. What I loved about the course was the Lego structures that were placed at each hole.

The highlight of Legoland was definitely the water park. Ben spent a full three hours in the water structure on our second day.

After four days of Legoland (two of which my sister took on), we went to science museum at Balboa Park. Ben knew my dad would appreciate "San Diego's Water, from Source to Tap" exhibit and he posed accordingly. I'm sure Grandpa will fill him in on the details once he's a bit older.

There was an entire room of blocks in the museum. We built - and destroyed - several structures.

Finally, a beach day! Our condo was a mere block from the beach but we were too busy with LegoLand and San Diego to get there before Day 6 of the vacation. Big mistake. It was our best day, by far.

Then it was home for a few days and back to So Cal for the wedding a dear friend's daughter. I took my best friend, Kathie. The wedding weekend started in Old Pasadana at a champagne bar...

...and continued on to other bars!

Then to Malibu the next day where there was not a dry eye on the lawn, as the father of the bride walked a stunning Lindsey down the aisle. The mere fact that he could walk her down the aisle was an act of God, as he has been very, very sick for a long time. But the day of his daughter's wedding, he was well. He, along with his wife (my friend) were almost as radiant as the bride. Many, many tears of happiness were shed that day. They should have given Klee-nex as favors. Seriously.

Can you imagine a better backdrop for a wedding? It was spectacular! Perfect weather, heartfelt sentiments, re-connections with old friends and a strong sense of spiritual love. Except that the caterer noticed that I went for "thirds" on the food. She was flattered, I was mortified.

And now, we move on to the "everything after" phase.

What's next for us?

A day at my sister's to celebrate my dad's birthday, a fast trip to St. Augustine to see my beloved OAR, a long weekend in San Francisco, creative "costuming" to accommodate Ben's wish for me to be Tinkerbell for Halloween (can I get a collective "yikes!" on that one?), Halloween itself and mountains of disgusting candy that I will throw away gradually each night, Thanksgiving weekend which is wide open and kid-free at the moment but who knows how long that will actually be the case, Christmas and the long-awaited celebration of my 40th in Palm Springs with some of my favorite people: Ben (of course), my dad, Teresa, Alisa, Alec and Alec's mother.

In this house, "Everything after" = never a dull moment.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

His Tears And Mine

A bad morning is one where your child acts out, lashes out and has to placed into the backseat of another adult's car (the adult in charge of the morning carpool) while in full meltdown mode.

Then I drive away and shed my own tears and carry the horribly yucky feeling of our not-so-happy goodbye all day long.

It all started with Ben's lack of sleep. After nearly seven years of battling his difficult sleep habits, I'm almost resigned to the fact that he takes after me in the insomnia department.

Two weeks into first grade - with a longer school day - and soccer, - with a super long commute to Orangevale, I know he's damn tired. Add the fact that no one would describe Ben as "easygoing;" in fact, I think that the transitions from here to there and everywhere else are really hard on him.

So he takes it out on the one who he knows is the softest. The one who represents the cushy place to land. The one who he can be most vulnerable with.

That would be me.


Me, again.

I called up my ex in desperation today. "His behavior is really out there," I said. "He's pushing the limits on respect. He won't sleep. I think I need to see a parenting specialist; maybe take a class. I don't know what else to do."

"Spank him," my ex said.

"Do you know how many times he would get spanked in a day if that was my first line of defense?" I asked.

I've done the spanking. It doesn't work. Ben meets me emotionally and physically: if I yell, he yells back. Louder. If I spank, he attempts to hit back.

My best leverage is his DS time. Which he covets. It's his currency.

So, today was a major loss of DS time and a big sit-down to review courtesy, manners, respect and listening.

Is it wrong to hope and pray that your child will someday become easier? That you won't have to yank him out of the backseat by his arm because he's ignored your request to "get out of the car!" five times? Is it okay to wish for more peace, more resilience, less resistance, less rudeness?

I guess it's not so wrong to pray for those things in the space of a day because when I picked Ben up, we had a sweet afternoon of coloring, trekking out to soccer, returning home to (edible) grilled chicken, a bath without complaints, a later bedtime (the rational being that maybe he'll actually sleep later in the morning!), and Ben's request "to spend our last minutes on the couch together, cuddling and talking about our day."

I'll take an easier back half. I'll take easier whenever I can get it.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

OAR - Check That.

I'm crossing a huge to-do off my "Holy Crap, Going-On-40-Bucket-List."

No, I am not jumping out of an airplane or getting a tattoo (my dad just let out a huge sigh of relief; did you hear it?).

I am, however, going to chase down my favorite band of all time because they are touring RIGHT NOW in the Southern states and I have the amazing help of my fantastic and beloved sister to help with child care for the two days that I'll be away.

OAR came to me when I was creating a yoga playlist a couple of years ago. And when I say that they "came" to me, I mean that they descended on me with their incredible music and lyrics and I thought at that moment, "I must see these guys live before I die."

Or before I turn 40.

If I ever get married again, I want the guy to serenade me with the words from "Hey Girl." Or at least play the song for me in a special way. Every time I feel unsettled, I listen to "I Feel Home" - the live version, of course - and I want to share that song with all my friends who ever feel less-than-grounded. And how many times has the gut-wrenching, "Shattered" seemed like the mantra for my life? Too many to count.

Yes, OAR has been played and re-played over heartache and hope, and is even my constant "go to" music source for easing pre-date jitters.

The logistics of the OAR event came together easily. Chris, from Florida, offered to pull together the details. A flight into Tampa on Thursday, a five hour drive to St. Augustine, the show, back to Tampa, home. Four clients happened to be out of town on the two days that I'll miss. Ben will be with his dad for two days and my sister is stepping in until I get home on Sunday. In fact, my sister's words to me as I second-guessed the decision to go were: "If you don't leave him (Ben) with me, I'll cry. I'm that excited."

I hope he's sleeping by then.

Two weeks from tomorrow, deja-vu, back to Florida.

This time, it's OAR that I'm psyched about.

And St. Augustine too; the oldest city in the US: I'm told it's a delightful mix of colonial and European flare with Southern charm.

I especially like that my heart's not so much on the line this time; it's more about going after a special experience that I know I'll never forget.

In the meantime, it's OAR, All The Time at our house for the next two weeks. And I'm canceling all my social engagements to concentrate on getting plenty of rest and being in a great space to see my all-time favorite band. Besides, I need to learn all 37 tracks of their newest album...word-for-word.