Not Always an Easy Question

Aliki asked me today: "How ARE you?"

This got me thinking about the nature of the question.
In most cases, it can be a pretty pedestrian question.
You could walk into an A&P and ask someone, "How are you?"
You would most likely get an, "I'm fine and you?" in return.
Most of the time, the question is asked without any real answer.
Most of the time, you ask the question and you don't want the answer.

I also know that I'm usually a caretaker-type personality.
I'm usually the one that people are coming to for help, advice, and guidance (in real life).
So rarely am I asked the question.

And that is OK.
Most of the time, I am OK.
There usually isn't much to tell.
I'm a pretty open book.

So, when I opened my gmail and saw the comment (in the form of an email) where Aliki asked the question, it made me smile. It made me stop for a moment and ask myself:
How ARE you?

Rather a simple question.
It shouldn't be hard to answer.
But it is.
Today it is. Well, sort of.


I made a lot of progress this past year letting go of the little girl who was screaming on the inside.
But she's back.
She's back after my mom told me that she is leaving my stepdad.
I'm a grown woman, I know.
But the way in which my mom does this knee-jerk reaction thing and well,
just brings back some memories which I thought were long dealt with.
On a less selfish, egotistical note
I'm thinking of the implications this will have on Connor and Gracie.

Rav & I have been dealing with a family issue which I really am not at liberty to discuss here.
While it has certainly taken its toll, it has only helped us to talk through some things and take stock.
The ripple effects are heartbreaking.

I'm going through yet another spiritual awakening of sorts and have
come to some realizations that are wonderful, scary, and comforting
all at once. I'd love to blog about this, but I don't know if it will ever come about.

The biggest thing is that, despite turmoil and stress, I'm staying even. I'm not hiding.
I'm good.

Rav and I are strong in our relationship. We have our days, like we all do. But I am so, so thankful for our solid relationship.
I realize how connected we are and how we are lucky to still have passion.

Ours isn't a perfect life.
Far from it.
But we've made it together.
We work hard at it.

And it's perfect for us.

So, to answer the question:
At the end of the day.
When my head hits the pillow
I am thankful.

And I am good.


4 Years and Several Pounds Ago

I gave birth to Gracie.
On July 22, 2004.

My pregnancy caused great stress and I wondered how we would get through.
A double-blow was dealt when I found out that we were having a girl.
I wondered how.

How I would mother a girl.
I knew love and hugs would be involved. That's easy.
But it was all of that other stuff.

Needless to say, it's been fine.
Beyond fine.
I still struggle with the horror of horrors:
Princess crap.
I draw the line at tiaras and clothing with the words princess on it.
But she's a girl.
Through and through.

Despite being my daughter, she is my rock.
She has no idea that there are days when she is what is holding me together.
And I recognize that might not be good.
But all it takes is for her to smile or touch me.
And I know it will all be OK.

She is full of something that I will never possess.
She is what would happen if you mixed the very best parts of Rav and I
but only
made it better.
She is that fantabulous.

I love my daughter.
My girl.
Happy Birthday, my little lovely.

Here is your (latest) favorite song.
May you hold it close. And remember it is so true.


Words Worth

I try to squeeze in all of my leisure reading during the summer.
During the academic year I'm too busy with my required reading to take the time to read for pleasure.
So with my impending (temporary) unemployment and my sojourn from school, I plowed into my first book of the summer.

I was ecstatic when I found out that my main man, David Sedaris, had a new book out. To be perfectly honest, I finished this 2 days after I got it. So that was about 3 or 4 weeks ago.
And he did not disappoint me. I know that he has hit his mark when I have to put the book down and just laugh.

Last night, I got to thinking (for some strange reason) about writers. In particularly sitcom and movie writers, as well as, David Sedaris, Garrison Keillor, Mo Willems and our very own OTJ, and Kevin Charnas. As well as personal favorites Maigh and Flutter.

See they have something that I will never possess.
The ability to write, a wicked sense of humor and the ability to find great humor in the mundane.
Nothing slays me more than a person who can demonstrate wit, cheek, and humor with a single and oft time simply constructed sentence.
And when I use the word "simply" I mean it in the sense that they use ordinary words.
They don't have to flash a $10,000 vocabulary. They don't have to bedazzle you with verbosity.
They just say it and
it's damned funny and thought provoking. Sometimes even emotional.

When I think about characters in fiction or those on TV, I found that I have a recurring attraction to those that are precocious. Being a person who is not all that witty and only sporadically funny, I feel drawn to someone who oozes those attributes so freely. As though through this person I can relate to the sense of humor and the thoughts that get trapped somewhere between my brain and my mouth.

I fantasize about a smoke-filled, over-caffeinated writer's room.
And imagine myself swirling about with my arms stretched wide open, being completely in awe at the wicked smart one-liners that fly about.
Or the banter and mundane events that inspire one another to construct dialogue that will later amuse millions.

I wonder about the process. If a writer walks into the writer's room and innocently shares a story - something that could only happen to them and it becomes fodder.
I wonder about the lives and the real-life characters and happenings that later become my amusement.
A line from a movie such as: "I've always been considered an asshole for as long as I can remember. It's just my style." - Royal Tenenbaum, how does that take shape? What was the inspiration? How do you sit down and come up with something so simple and funny?

The point is: I adore it.
I wish I had it.
And I don't. But that's OK.
I'm just glad that there are people out there that do.


Sunday Morning Song of the Moment

I love me some Ray LaMontagne.
His voice goes straight through me and bewitches every cell, every pore.
I've said before that if I could sing (and if I were a man), I wish that I could sing like him.
Granted, this version isn't great. The album version is sublime.

This song between the artist, what the song is about, and those blessed horns is just the right concoction for a gal like me.
It's a mixture of my favorite things.
I crank this when I'm alone in the car and hit repeat.

Enjoy. He's my man.
But I'll let you borrow him for awhile ;)


Fathers and Daughters

You all have sat through countless posts about time spent with Three Dog Night Dad
when I was a little girl and how those times were the happiest of my childhood.

Well since becoming involved in a mature, adult relationship
and transitioning into mommyhood
my dad and I have rarely spent time alone together.
We'd say with best of intentions that we needed to do it.
And well, you know how that goes.
All Cats and the Cradle and all.

This past weekend provided that opportunity
what with my younglings and man away in Massachusetts for a long weekend.
I packed myself a bag and a beach chair
and met my dad down at his beach cottage.

We sat together drinking a few cold ones and chatting.
And then we went out for a quality dinner together.
Upon entering the establishment we received a few sideways looks.
But I figured it's small-town Delaware, they probably don't appreciate a guy with long hair here.
And I shrugged it off.

Later on, after introducing my dad to some audio versions of David Sedaris, and a few rib-cracking laughs later, we were out walking around near a dock.
Again, we're just talking.
We look over to our left and there's a rowdy, good-natured group of locals who are red faced
and uber-smiling.
Good for them. I think to myself.
Then we hear:
Hey! Hey! Hey, lady!
I turn my head and say Yeah?
She replies with:
I dig your old man's beard!!
My dad and I smile and laugh.
We look at each other and my dad replies with
Uh. She's my daughter.
The lady's face becomes an even more pronounced shade of scarlett and apologizes.
I think that's when it hit me.
How often do you see an adult woman spending time alone with her dad?

I was OK with this.
I have no problems spending time with my dad.
But I think once girls hit a certain age, you just rarely see it.
Maybe I'm wrong or maybe my little state just isn't that progressive yet.
It just hit me as kind of sad.


May The Farm Be With You

Someone sent this to me today & it's just too good.