Milestone Playlist in Three-Part Harmony

This is a story in three-part harmony.

Drove to Austin listening to my current favorite playlist.  My youngest, McPaddie, was graduating from UT. My solo road trip was extra fun because I could sing at the top of my lungs. SWEET. This morning, I jumped in the car, turned on the tunes, and headed home. SWEET and SALTY. What a difference 24 hours make.

One: BeforeWoke up yesterday morning at Austin Ann‘s peace haven. Something is off – oh, haven’t had coffee yet. Drink my body weight in java, read Nora Ephron‘s, “I Feel Bad About My Neck” from cover to cover. Jump in shower to wash off oompa loompa tan and get all gussied up for the Big Event. The second I see Ann, I tear up. Her baby just graduated from UGA, my baby will have a diploma in a couple of hours. It was a mom moment. Lots of deep breathing.  Fairy Godmother, Poob, arrived, we put our high hoofs on and off we went.

Two: During –  Met up with Miss Peach (eldest daughter) and her dad at the venue. Each school has a commencement ceremony; we were in an enormous venue for The School of Communications.

Yep, we were going to be there for hours. Poob‘s daughter graduated from Stanford; Oprah gave the commencement speech. We were anxious to find out who we would be listening to. Opened the program and OMG. The address was being given by a guy who dated one of our friends in high school and was engaged to another friend after college. I immediately sent a text to both women: Craig Dubow is the SPEAKER!” Furious texts flew back and forth between Austin, Houston, and Fredericksburg. I mean, he does have cred – Chairman and CEO of Gannet Co., Inc. Whatev. We had most excellent seats and McPaddie was front row. She walked, we screamed, and two-and-1/2 hours later we hooked our horns,  sang, “The Eyes of Texas”, and piled out into the Texas heat. Pictures taken all around amidst a throng of other picture takers. My graduate was one happy camper. Another mom moment – proud. Off we went for drinks at the W, very cool. Then Skywalker, the graduate’s fab love muffin, met us at Eddie V‘s for dinner. All great fun, saw the world, including friends we’d gone to UT with. Poob and I left the younger ones at that point; we’d been in graduation mode for 12 hours and it was closing time – for us. This morning, we left Ann with smooches, had a bite with the grad, hugs and smooches all around, and we headed in three different directions.

Three: After – Driving out of Austin for the umpteenth time, I turned up the tunes and pressed the pedal to the metal. But this time, it was different. My oldest has a big life in our home town. The youngest isn’t coming home. They are both amazing. We’ve all experienced a milestone. Listening to the music, tears started falling out of my eyes. Happy, proud, sweet tears mixed with some salty, sentimental mom water. Deep breathing. Nothing is impossible. Life is good. Mysterious, but good.

The Playlist, in no particular order

  • “Raise Your Glass” – Pink
  • “Don’t Stop Believing” – Journey
  • “Gimme Shelter”– The Rolling Stones
  • “Stronger” – Glee Cast
  • “Sweet Child O’ Mine” – Guns N’Roses
  • “Heads Will Roll” – Yeah Yeah Yeah’s
  • “Born This Way”– Lady GaGa
  • Dueling Guitars” – August Rush movie
  • Defying Gravity” – Idina Menzel and Lea Michele
  • On The Floor”Jennifer Lopez with Pitbull
  • Someone Like You” – Adele
  • “Learn To Fly” – Foo Fighters
  • “Sweet Home Alabama” – Lynyrd Skynrd
  • “Shout It Out Loud” – KISS
  • “Daughter” – Loudon Wainwright III
  • Mercy” – Duffy
  • “I Was Made To Love Her” – Stevie Wonder
  • “Hallelujah” – Jeff Buckley

As for the three-part harmony ……..

Peach, McPaddie, Cita/iz

 “A daughter may outgrow your lap, but she will never outgrow your heart.”

Blessed two times over, I am.

Later.

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Are You Superstitious? Fact and Fiction ….

 

Years ago, I wrote a 13 page article about superstitions for a magazine. Have always loved superstitions and had a mighty fine time researching them. Have no idea why they are on my mind right now (am sure there’s a superstition about that) but superstitions will be the topic of this and maybe the following post. Or not. So let’s get started here …….

  • Fridays: For some religions, the term, “TGIF“, should instead be, “OSIF“(Oh Shit, It’s Friday!). Adam and Eve got booted from the Garden of Eden, Noah’s Arc set sail, and Jesus was crucified – all on Friday.
  • Garlic: “Carry garlic to ward off the Evil Eye“. This will not protect you from the Stink Eye, which you will receive in abundance due to the pungent garlic you are carrying. Ah, the sacrifices.
  • Knock On Wood: In the olden days, protective spirits were believed to live in trees. Knocking on wood would “intensify” the wish that was being made. If this is true, American Loggers, you are sooooo screwed.
  • Stumbling: Stumbling when leaving the house and stumbling several times while out of the house indicate bad luck is headed your way.  I think if you are stumbling around, you should quit drinking, do not drive, and get orthopedic shoes.
  • Wearing a Hat to Bed:  I suppose it’s bad luck because you are obviously drunk again.
  • Meeting Three Sheep: To meet three sheep is good luck. It’s the language barrier that’s awkward. “Hello, how do you do?” “Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah.”
  • Right Side of Bed: If you are accused of “getting up on the wrong side of the bed”, you need to know this. The right side of the bed is lucky. Using the left side will assure you a Grumpy Grumbleson sort of day.
  • Crossed Fingers: This symbol is used to ward off the devil; it is also popular at the craps table and right up to the time you can’t remember why you crossed your fingers.
  • Wear Clothing Inside Out: This is supposed to be good luck; I believe people who won’t wear their glasses made this up. My ex house helper used to fold my lingerie inside out. So this superstition, to me, means everything in my house has been broken and the liquor cabinet drained dry.
  • Putting Your Shoes On the Table: this action assures you will have bad luck and you already have horrid manners.
  • A Shrew in Your Pocket: Apparently, carrying a dead mouse in your pocket will ward off rheumatism. Could also get you a one-way ticket to the nearest psych ward.

I have a few suggestions to throw in here. While more fact than superstition, I’m the boss of this page so…..

  • Let’s Do Lunch: If someone says this to you, you can bet the farm it will never happen. EVER. Good luck.
  • Sleep With Wedding Cake Under Pillow: When I was little, it was almost a rule that you took a slice of wedding cake home from the festivities. Wrapped carefully and put under your pillow, you would supposedly dream of your future husband. This is NOT TRUE. You will, however, wake up in the middle of the night and eat the smushed cake. Perhaps the term, “midnight snack”, came from this activity. Fat luck.
  • Purple Teeth: If you drink red wine, you will have purple teeth, temporarily. The more you drink, the deeper purple.  Not the best look. Bad luck/Good buzz.

What superstitions strike your fancy?

Ok, gotta go. My glass slippers are hurting like a mother and my carriage has already turned into a pickup truck.

Later.

Angry Birds, Royal Wedding, Ellen DeGeneres & Other Randamonium

Well, hello there! What’s on your mind today? Here’s what’s on what is left of mine:

  • Angry Birds: If you “know” me, you know birds like to use me as a restroom. But I’m not talking about those birds. Talking about all the Angry Bird games. They are making me crazy. I get the utmost satisfaction when I aim a bird, let it fly, and it decimates a bunch of green pigs. Especially when I give the dastardly pigs names, usually names of people I know. Am greatly stressed at the moment because there are just some levels I have yet to win. Games should be relaxing but this one is making me crazy crazier. Back off, PETA; these pigs are animated and I love animals. Except fake green pigs. Meh.

 

  • Royal Wedding: Unlike most of the population, I’m not pissed I didn’t get an invite. Although I should have. My relative was the Queen of England … for eight days. Have stayed at The Goring, where Kate and Co. will stay until the wedding. It’s quite a lovely hotel and conveniently located right around the corner from Buckingham Palace. The only odd thing about the place is that the bar includes a herd of sit- upons resembling stuffed sheep. Of course, there’s an explanation for this, but I didn’t read the book. Baaaaaaaa! The sheep seats, ha!  These two lovebirds are getting hitched as quickly as possible; weddings are not held in the Anglican/Episcopal Church during the Lenten Season. Usually. And one more thing … Ellen DeGeneres didn’t get an invite, either, and Kate‘s her cousin. Someone has forgotten her manners. Maybe that’s common among commoners.

 

  • Ellen DeGeneres: She is one of the funniest people I don’t know. And she is kind and generous. She helps people. I’m still hunting for a job. So, I decided to write Ellen, requesting her help in this area. DON’T LAUGH OR I WILL CUT YOU… out of my will.  Am well aware that she gets grillions of letters, requests, pleas and such. Am also aware that I am not her demographic target. Nevertheless, I press on. I do know, from prior work, there are people hired to specifically go through all the communication and cull, giving her what they deem a “possibility” for her show. So I included a note to the person reading my words – “*Pretend I am your mother*” Maybe a tiny guilt trip will get my words in front of Ellen. Am not asking for job on her show – just employment that pays $$ that pays the bills. Will keep you posted re: any communication from Ellen. I don’t tweet, but I can dance. So we shall see ……….

 

  • Be Specific: Need to be more specific with my personal prayer requests. Finding myself in the dating pool at this stage of the game – well, I’ve uttered the phrase, “God help me!” about a million times. Usually after a date. So praying for a nice man or gaggle of nice men to enter my space is most necessary. That has yet to happen … or maybe it has. I live with a male who loves me unconditionally, would protect me to the death, who thinks I’m the nuts and soup. He’s awesome. But he is my dog, Cooper. Methinks more specificity is in order … need to add “human” to the mix. Silly moi.

Okay, Happy Day to all.

Am off to eat my weight in chocolate bunnies.

Later!

Home

 

OMG. Have been a shut-in for too long. Having the flu is a good reason to stay inside but it’s gone to my brain. I just cried my eyeballs out WATCHING AMERICAN IDOL. Before you delete me permanently, let me explain.

This contestant, a brilliant young man with a big old voice, came on stage. I barely glanced up from my computer. And then he sang … and the tears started. He sang, “A House Is Not A Home“, and he sounded just like Luther Vandross. I love this song and I realized, while he was singing, it explains what I cannot. Tried in the past, but just keep it to myself now.

“A chair is still a chair

Even when there’s no one sitting there

 But a chair is not a house

And a house is not a home

When there’s no one there to hold you tight

And no one there to kiss goodnight.

Burt Bacharach and Hal David wrote this; enlightened men, indeed. But that’s not my point.

I have a house.

I want a home.

Back in the Saddle Again …with a Serious Question

Good grief! I never knew I would feel so “isolated” without a way to write (aside from pencil and paper). A grillion membership points, a brand new laptop, and three hours with a computer guru put me back in business yesterday. And I am doing a happy dance. Bad visual, good feeling. Have missed everyone in blog land. More than I could have imagined.

Have a question for you.  It concerns grief.

Someone I am thisclose to is grieving. It is delayed. The loss of both parents in a relatively short period of time and the ensuing fracture of the family infrastructure is just now hitting. Hard.  We all process differently – and at different times. The holidays can be hellish – when everything is going right; add infinite gallons of loss and one can feel downright dismal.  Add to the mix that men and women can and often do process differently. 

I felt a “disconnect” with this person brewing before Thanksgiving. Sensed the sadness, standing quietly by, reluctantly but instinctively. Repeating my mantra, “it’s not about me”. I addressed the disconnect between us last night. It was duly noted, my patience was requested. This is difficult for me as I haven’t experienced these losses nor would I want to be alone when doing so. I think. But this process does leave me alone more right now and it is confusing.

Which brings me to my question for you. Is delayed grief so pervasive it blankets everything in your life? Is it common for a loved one to be held at a distance?  What is the best way to handle this? Any insights would be most appreciated.

Because, in the end, love is the only thing that matters.

Later.

Tight Screws, Cracked Codes, Man Cues, & Stupid News

Good grief! Current events and what passes for “news” are making my brain limp. Er, flatline.

 

 Just Precious

Forgive me for starting out on the hygiene aisle, but this situation is out of hand. A few weeks ago, I got a brightly colored box in the mail. I LOVE surprises. Or did until this one. It was from Kotex; a little gift box of green, yellow, pink, and blue feminine hygiene products. I don’t know about you, but my privacy is color-blind and this was the most stupid advertising I’d ever seen. Until yesterday. I was watching television and a commercial came on. “Mother Nature” and a perky young woman were having a Tampax tiff. Perky woman shut MN down when she proclaimed her “feminine hygiene” product was “cute”. These companies paid the big bucks for advertising. Note to both enterprises: Your Stupid is showing.

 

Teen Text Codes “cracked” on GMA

In an effort to inform and enlighten parents everywhere, “Good Morning America” did a segment explaining just what some cell texts hieroglyphics really mean. I’m sure I’m the worst parent ever, but I’ve never pried the cell phone from either daughter in order to read their texts. That would require surgery as the phones are permanently implanted atop their right hands and I have no interest in that sort of endeavor. Nevertheless, here’s what I learned:

  • cu46 = see you for sex (really?)
  • gnoc = get naked on camera (I think not)
  • 53x = sex (raging hormones, always a problem)
  • wtgfa% = want to go for a drink? (and the drinking age is?)
  • doc = drug of choice (the more things change … blah, blah

 

Wedlock/Deadlock

Writer Bernadette Anat did some asking around on behalf of Glamour and MSN.com regarding “What 12 Things Smart Women Know About Men“; I found two I thought were spot on and not absolute “duhs”. Those are”Be picky” and “Be friends”. On second thought, duh.

Staying on topic, I located a factoid at yahoo.com/answers; it seems the U.S. average age for couples to marry is 25 for women, 27 for men. I was 27 when I married the first time; the jury is still out whether I’ll attempt that again. Marriage, not 27. Then I read about this woman in Taipei. She’s hired a wedding planner and her big bash is set and ready to happen soon. She is marrying herself! The highlight of this rather sad tale was the brilliant anonymous comment that followed …“I give it three months”.

Morons with Money 

A human(?) recently paid $302,500 for a Barbie doll at a New York auction. You must be so proud of yourself. Really, throwing down serious change for a doll when people are starving in … America! Jackwagon. 

 

 

 Political correctness is slowly but surely imprisoning the American population. Those two words sound innocent and proper to me. They are anything but. Freedom doesn’t exist in a place where you must carefully edit your speech and actions, where you can be punished for your opinions. I get that extreme cases require extreme measures. When these measures also apply to Average Joe and Jane, you and me, resulting in loss (job, money, brain cells), then we have a BIG OLD PROBLEM. I’d find a way to fix this if I were smarter, but if you have a good idea, count me in.

Enough!

Later.

 

Letter to My Daughter

 

Dearest Sweet Pea,

You will always be my baby. When I was pregnant with you, I was fearful. Fearful because I’d already had your sister and I didn’t know how I could love another baby as much as I loved her. Those worries evaporated the moment I first saw you. There is no measure for the love I have for you, my beautiful child.

As you know, this letter has been requested because you will graduate in May. And, as you know, I’m prone to whimsy. With that and this request in mind, I turned around and invited my amazing blogger friends to offer tips and advice for a young woman preparing to make her way in the world. Much of what you read here was graciously offered by these fine people. And so we’re off….

  • If it takes five minutes, do it.
  • Two words:  duct tape.
  • Always keep your eyes on your own paper.
  • Say, “I don’t know” when you don’t.
  • Live BIG. Paint your life with broad strokes using bold colors.
  • Keep your words soft and tender as you will have to eat them sometimes.
  • Don’t dig a debt hole and jump in.
  • You always have a home with me.
  • When you need to scream, go somewhere appropriate and do so.
  • Soon you will soon wake up – not go to bed – at 6 am.
  • You always have a choice, even if it is only a choice of your attitude.
  • If a man tells you that you are too good for him, believe it!
  • Skills to learn: change a tire, unclog a drain, drive a stick shift.
  • Know the difference between spontaneity (good) and impulsivity (not so much).
  • The ground is level. Don’t judge anyone unless you go to law school, pass the bar, get elected, and have a gavel.
  • Two people can look at the exact same thing and see something totally different.
  • “Just because someone doesn’t love you the way you want them to doesn’t mean they don’t love you with all they have.”
  • Every rule has an exception.
  • Albert Einstein said, “God does not play dice with the universe.” There are no coincidences.
  • You have a million dollar smile. Go to the dentist regularly so you keep it.
  • “Men are like Government Bonds; they take soooooo long to mature.”
  • “Having it all doesn’t mean having it all at once.”
  • Trust your instincts. Period.
  • Always try to be present. And take deep breaths.
  • When you are hungry, eat. When you are tired, sleep.
  • Laugh as much as possible.

Enough for now. You are beautiful, bright, wise and kind, all wrapped up in a unique package of loveliness. Do not fret about the new world you will step into. I assure you, the best is yet to come!

You love me and I love you more. You will understand this when you have your first child. It would be nice if you married beforehand. But not right this minute as the money tree has been reduced to a weed.

Love you to the moon and back, Sweetie.

Mom

P.S. All “borrowed” jewelry, purses, shoes, dresses and anything else I don’t know is missing yet may be returned in June, which we’ll call “Amnesty Month”.

P.P.S. I’m sorry we called you “Cousin It” and “David Letterman” when you were little.

P.P. S. S. Did I tell you how much I love you?