Sunday, August 29, 2010

Favorite Things - The Getty

One of my favorite places on earth is The Getty Center in Los Angeles, CA.

I was going through some old pics this morning and came across some that I took on my last visit there. Sharing a few of them with you below; can you see why I love it so? Depending on the light, time of day/year, weather, etc. there is an endless array of interest for the eye (& camera lens) to take in. And I'm not talking about the art that's on exhibit.

It's the architecture and landscape/garden design that inspires me most.

Getty Museum - Vertical

Clouds - Getty

Shadows - Getty

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Quiet Please!

Dudes, sometimes I just want need it to be QUIET!

For me, one of the hardest things about being a single parent is how noisy it can be.

Now I know what y'all will say, that ALL kids are noisy and ALL parents want peace/quiet, so what does being a single parent have to do with anything? But you're just going to have to trust me on this one, it's totally worse for those of us doing this parenting thing solo. Or at least it is for this single mama.

Whenever I really need some down time, or I'm trying to have a phone conversation, work in my office, plan dinner, or ponder the 568 other Mom Stuff related items in my head, that's precisely the moment when my kid needs to be right on top of me.

Frankly, it's already pretty noisy in my head even without all the Mom Stuff. And sometimes I just need it to stop. And when it doesn't stop, my temper flares, and then my temperature rises, and then I get so angry I want to scream. And more often than not, I do end up screaming.

Which isn't right and it isn't fair, because let's face it, a four year old just doesn't get the concept of Mommy-Really-Needs-a-Break-Right-Now-Or-Else-She's-Gonna-Lose-What's-Left-of-Her-Freakin'-Mind. 

I know she just wants my attention - and she wants it now. I get that. The Good Mommy in me really wants to give it to her too, but that mommy is trapped inside my very loud and chaotic brain and that mommy's voice of reason can't possibly be heard above all that bloody racket, so then the Mean Mommy wins and the screaming party begins.

The obvious response of course is to walk away from the noisy situation before it escalates to the point of screaming, counting to three, consequences, threats, "time outs", crying, etc. (which hello? just creates more noise!), but 90% of the time I can't walk away because I'm here by myself (i.e. there's no one to hand her off to so I can go calm the eff down).

I have nowhere to run and nowhere to hide. No way to get away from the questions or the requests for food, bathroom assistance, books, TV, toys, tea parties, boo-boo fixes and kisses, etc. No way to get away, if even only for a moment, from this sweet, beautiful and most perfect little creature who is following me all over the house.

And I know that sounds awful and harsh. It probably makes me a monster. But if I don't find a quiet place, and soon, my head might actually explode & fly off into outer space, never to be seen again.

I swear to gawd officer, that crazy woman's head just POPPED right off her neck and exploded into a zillion teeny pieces! Look, there's what's left of her in that bloody gurgling pool of ooze on the sidewalk. See? Ewwwwwww!

And then where would my kid be?

Orphaned. Duh.

So, please pass me the duct tape. It's quiet time.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Mr. Good Enough is Actually Perfectly Awesome

I was over on Ms. Single Mama's blog the other day and saw a reference to this book:

Do NOT be fooled by this title!

And of course, the title totally made me cringe. But I bought it anyway. And now I'm more than 1/2 way through it, and much like the PAX workshops I've been attending since May, this book is changing my life. Not just incrementally. But like, monumentally.

Cool right?

So I'm sharing it with you my 41 readers.

P.S. You're welcome.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Blogging Blues

Why is blogging SO hard sometimes? I'm no Dooce or @Neilochka - nor would I want to be (what they & bloggers like them do is a full time job and frankly, I'm just not that clever y'all) - but I'd like to offer up something a tad more interesting or inspiring than just pictures of Dexy, or some sad sack whiny wah wah wah about how I miss my parents, or the occasional cryptic post about my single motherhood & dating travails, or my life altering experience/s at a PAX workshop.

Which brings me to the Skitch screen shot of my Twitter account page.

I know a LOT of people that don't "get" Twitter. But then I don't get their love for Facebook either, so I guess we're even. It's cool. To each their own right? For me though, Twitter is the perfect social media site to express myself on. I can go there whenever I want. Or not at all. And I totally don't feel like a bad slacker if I avoid it for a few hours, or GASP! a few days. 

That's not the case with my blog however. I feel all kinds of bad if I avoid posting here, and I don't know why because this kind of writing isn't really my forté any more anyway (P.S. I used to love writing once; have kept journals since I was 9, majored in History and minor in English Lit and Communications at UofA, edited ginormous NIH/CDC research grant applications for my PhD/MD/MPH bosses at the Az Cancer Center and College of Medicine, and of course I adore the very craft of books/poems/plays, etc.).

So what the hell happened? Why do the short bursts of thought, aka streams of consciousness, that one can engage in on Twitter (no matter how lame the content by the way) work better for my mommy-addled brain?

I have all kinds of great ideas for posts. Well, maybe not all kinds, but some. Problem is, I can never retain the ideas long enough to get them from my brain to here, or to even maintain the energy required to get excited about them either. Poof! They're gone in a flash. Or I'm off to something else more pressing, like wiping Dexy's butt. Woohoo.

I have no idea where I'm going with this. I know, I talk too much. Guess I just wanted to share it with you. I need some kind of an outlet for creative expression. Peace and quiet would be nice too. And some colder fall-like weather. And maybe a pony. Ooooh, look! Something shiny. Wait. What?

I digress. I find myself longing for said creative outlet. Craving it. Will go nutso without it. I get stressed and all cranky-pantsed when I haven't had so much as a smidge of creative or intellectual or book-ish in my day-to-day. Just ask anyone who knows me. Especially Dexy's daddy. He's practically an expert on my supreme cranky-pantsness.

I used to draw/paint. Now I do photography (quite poorly btw - compared to some of you amazing bloggers out there in BloggerLand). I used to play music. Now I fawn over musicians and cool radio stations like KEXP. I used to read 3 to 4 books at a time, consuming them within a few hours, or at most, a few days. Now I read e-books on my iPhone Kindle app - in the dark, while my kid is sleeping. I go to art museums, book signings and the occasional concert - when I can manage the $12 - $15 an hour babysitting fees (yes, you read that right you non-single parents you!). I check out other(better) bloggers from the comfort of my couch or home office. 

And of course, I tweet. Like a mad woman.

What can I say? It works for me.

So, I hope you'll keep coming here. All 40 (41)* of you. Or, you could cruise on over to Twitter and say howdy. You'll certainly have a better chance of catching me in real time. Goodness knows, I'm a lot more succinct there. I have to be. It's 140 characters (or less). Or else.


*Psssst. I have over 2,000 followers on Twitter & more than 34,000 tweets. See? I'm WAY more prolific there. Or I work harder on it there, or something.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Missing My Joanie Baloney

Today my mom would have been 81. She passed away in July 2007 after suffering from Alzheimer's for over a decade. And I know I've said it before a gazillion times, but there isn't a day that goes by that I don't miss her, or have an impulse to call her for some serious Mommy Advice (parenting is hard dudes, and my mom was SO smart about Mommy Stuff!). Mostly, I wish I could give her a big hug & just hold onto one of her teeny little hands...

We didn't always see eye to eye. Frankly, I was a HUGE pain in the ass, for a very long time (teen angst that bled well into my late twenties). By the time I woke up and got my attitude in check, she was already getting sick and there was SO much I missed in terms of a loving and informative relationship with her. What a shame, b/c of course I have a million questions I'd loved to have asked. As a young woman. As a new mother. And she would have actually answered my questions now. Really, I don't blame her for being secretive and/or cryptic about her life Before There Was a Me. When I was younger, I so often didn't deserve her trust. And now, now that I so desperately wish I had answers to those questions, there is no one left to answer them.

I love you and miss you Joanie Baloney. Say hey to Grandma Pink for me. I know you two are watching over me and Dexy. Thank you for that. Happy birthday mama.

Paris Metro with my Mom
Mom and I in Paris, 1989/90

Mom and Declan - Aug 2006
Mom and Dexy, summer of 2006

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Amid Life's Crises: One Of Our Own

Amid Life's Crises: One Of Our Own: "Thursday's HNT was an emotional one for me. One of our own, Boo (formerly Boo(duh)) - a fellow parent, blogger and HNT-er - a dear..."

The above post (click on link for more info) seriously made me gasp, and then it broke my heart. Even if you can only give a dollar, or send an email expressing your condolences, or say a prayer... will you? I can't even imagine. I just can't. A mother should NEVER have to experience something like this. Not ever. My prayers and thoughts are with Boo and her family.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Summer Sunshine and Sprinklers

Sun shadows.

Maybe if she just stands at the edge...

Nice boogers Dexy!

Yes, we DO get sunshine in Seattle. These were taken on a hot July afternoon... a few days after the requisite last day of crap "summer" weather (which for those of you not in the know, is usually any time after July 4th).