How a little nudge changed my life

My BFF Gigi used to have this blog. It's gone now, and I am still sad about that. It was a wonderful blog. She was a teacher, and a damn fine one, and her blog was about education. She read lots of other edu-blogs, and had really interesting things to say about her experiences in the classroom, as a mother, and her unique outside perspective on the state of education today. She's the kind of mother and educator and person I hope I can be someday.

I actually met her through her blog. Her son and I met on a stoop one fateful day four years ago, and he told her about me and she wanted to ask me some questions for her blog about my school experience. So, before I ever saw her face, I got to read all of this amazing wisdom she has stored up. We shot a few emails back and forth, and then one day she wrote this post about me. I wish I could link you to it, because it's the most flattering thing anyone has ever said about me.

Me and her? The rest is history. My point is that she was the first blogger I have ever met, and hers was the first blog I ever read. I was hooked. I followed every link she put up; I read her whole blogroll, daily. My son was just entering Kindergarten and I was eating up anything I could get my hands on to brace myself for the American Public School Experience.

Her son used to hang out with the boys and me in the hallway, playing soccer or gluing stuff together. Every now & then, he'd say something like, "You know that thing you do with the boys where you [insert unorthodox parenting technique here]? You should really write that down. That's good."

No one had ever said I was a good parent before. I had just never thought of these stupid things I do with my kids as good parenting before. I didn't have any other mom friends, and no parents of my own, and really not any resources for parenting tips. I got to thinking about it, and I thought that maybe, just maybe, someone else out there in the internetowebosphere was in my same boat, and that's when I decided to try out this blog thing.

And so, on January 18th, 2005, I put up my first blog post. The first few months of it were choppy and random. I was still relatively new to the internet in general and wary of spending too much time on it. As the months rolled on, however, I got into a groove. The blog started to evolve. People started reading it. Yes, they were extensions of my inner circle of friends, but still...people were reading my blog. And they weren't emailing me threatening to turn me over to Child Services or the Grammar Police.

Now, almost 3 years later, I cannot imagine my days without it. I think in blog posts. I have tried to kill this thing a few times now, but I just keep coming back to it, and every time I come back, I'm a bit renewed. It's my old boyfriend that I just can't dump because god damn it he smells so freaking good. I would totally make out with my blog if I could.

I used to write when I was younger. I was quite prolific and, sometimes, what I wrote got noticed. I had teachers come to me, asking if I was interested in publishing my stuff. I wrote this one poem in fourth grade that got entered in a national competition and totally smoked the asses of kids way older than me and won me a trip to meet the President (Reagan, maybe?). I wasn't allowed to go (thanks, mom!) but still, it was an honor. And then, one day, after a long series of events that don't matter anymore, I just stopped. I stopped playing the guitar, I stopped playing the piano, and I stopped writing.

I have a lot of anxiety over this whole writing thing. I worry that it's not ever good enough and that I'm not clear enough and that I am too sarcastic. Keeping this blog, though, it is helping me get over that, albeit slowly. I still say totally way too much, I love starting sentences with but and I throw a lot of yo's in here, because I am Bart Simpson. I underachieve. I think that keeping this, every day, has helped me realize that no matter what I end up doing, I want it to have to do with the written word. I am in love with writing again. I want to find a way to get all the real, profound things I have floating around in my head between Dora and the science fair on paper. This blog has given me a direction to look in again.

So, thanks, Gigi, for your blog, and thanks, Chris, for pushing me all the time and thanks, January 18th, 2005, for changing my whole damn life.

And thank god in heaven that today is the last day of November.

Christmas Ornaments (or the impending death thereof)...A Continuing Series

My Christmas tree has issues.

I mean, it just can't find it's motivation. There is no theme; no one idea that it fully subscribes to. It's all over the place.

We put it up the other day (if you give me shit about the fake tree, I'll stab you with something dull).

We got it all decorated, too.It's really lovely. And inviting. If you happen to be into music

or a foodie

yep, that's an Idaho spud on my tree. Yep, I'm a dork), or into abstract art or a fan of the animals native to Africaor interested in the sites of North Americaor feel the overwhelming need to buy your daughter-in-law ornaments ONLY in triangular shapes or just awesomely into Batman

well, this tree has got you covered. There is something for everyone. And there are lots of somethings for a two-year-old to smash into tiny bits, which is the best part of Christmas, really.

We now interrupt your regularly scheduled broadcast

An open letter to Mr. Lady
From: Her hair follicles.
CC: Her skin
Date: 28 Nov 07

Dear Mr Lady,

What exactly is wrong with you? We've been working together for 32 3/4 years now, and so far, there have been few incidents. We have fulfilled our end of the deal with you; you have luscious, full hair, that isn't a terrible color and grows like a weed. You're welcome. We have worked very hard to take all of those Ding Dongs and Coffee Ice Cream treats and turn them into something that we can work with. You're welcome. You haven't exactly made this easy on us, but we have never complained. Yeah, we did give you a little gap in your left eyebrow, but dude, you so had that coming. Maybe if you didn't own 3 pairs of tweezers, we'd consider closing that gap for you. Bygones.

We feel it's time to remind you that nothing comes for free in this world. We sat back silently as you cut us, tweezed us, dyed us, did this shit to us:and now we're fighting back. You have officially crossed the line. The price you pay for that awesome head of hair is this; we will grow wherever we damn well choose, and you will deal with it. Can't handle a few little hairs around your belly button? Not. Our. Problem.

What is comes down to is this...yesterday, that thing you did in the bathroom with the hot wax? That means war. Do you not realize that the hair we grow on your upper lip is delicate? It's like our babies. And you murdered them. You ripped them out AT THEIR ROOTS and we can't ever get them back. We are devastated and we will get you for this. It may take us a few weeks, but we're sending new ones in. We suggest you leave them alone.

We appreciate that you don't have either a degree in biology or esthetics, in fact, we know your lazy, drunk ass never even went to college. Allow us to explain something to you; we grow on your lip for a reason. For your protection. We grow on your eyelids and in your nose for the same damned reason. Mother Nature is not one to be toyed with.

Are you aware that they used hot wax as a form of torture in the Spanish Inquisition (no one expects it, you know)? It is considered inhumane. Cruel. AND unusual. This isn't Guantanamo Bay, toots.

Your punishment for this most unspeakable offense is that we have spoken to the skin, and we're going to make you burn. And then the skin is going to get all dry. Dry, and splotchy. You're going to look like you have a really bad sunburn, maybe even chicken pox, for at least THREE days. It's going to itch. It's going to sting. And don't think we overlooked the Great Chin-hair Massacre of 2007, either. We noticed, and now you will, too. Your mother and her mother and her mother, too, all had the same 3 hairs growing out of their chins that you do. You don't see them running around ripping those hairs out, do yah? Sure, none of them have been laid since Juice Newton was in the top 40, but we're not the reproductive system, so we care not.

And we swear to god on high, if you so much as think about using that wax anywhere south of our equator, we're going medieval on your ass. Don't try us. You wouldn't like us when we're angry.

Sincerely,

Your Follicles.

PSA

Have you started your Christmas shopping yet? Seriously, guys, you've got less than thirty days left. Get cracking.

If you happen to live in Denver, you might want to know that tomorrow is the opening day of the Junior League Holiday Mart. Normally, I wouldn't give a dingo's kidney about it, but....

My BFF Nicole just so happens to design jewelry. Awesome jewelry. Cooler than you've ever seen ever jewelry. She also just so happens to have a booth in the Artisan's section of the Junior League Holiday Mart*.

If you've ever met me, you've seen her stuff. I'm dripping in it. I honestly don't think, outside of my wedding ring, that I own any jewelry NOT made by her. And oh my god she makes baby stuff now. OH MY GOD.

Here's where you can stalk her:
  • This weekend at the Junior League Mart. I'd bet she'll give you an autograph if you ask real nice.
  • Her website
  • Her upcoming Etsy store
  • Her adoption blog, which has much better pictures than I could ever take of her stuff. And her daughter's foot. You'll want to eat it, I promise.

*Yes, there will be other vendors there, and yes they are cool, too, and yes, I actually own a few things from those vendors. But she's the best one, I swear.