Monday, September 29, 2008

He's Gone.

Dad died this morning. He was on a morphine drip, was very comfortable, and went peacefully.

I had a dream about him early this morning. I think he was saying goodbye.

I know that when I hear a voice saying "Did you lock the door?" or "Wear a hat, it's cold!" that it's him, lol!

Maybe he and Paul Newman can hang out together.

Rest in peace. I love you.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Random Thoughts

Remember that sketch "Deep Thoughts" on Saturday Night Live? This is kinda like that. Only not deep. And not nearly as funny, unfortunately.

I won a pair of FREE MBT shoes!!!!!! You know, those funny-looking anti-gravity shoes that cost $250? (You can see a photo on The Great Fitness Experiment. Charlotte has once again placed herself in harm's way for the benefit of the rest of us. Thanks, Charlotte!) I'd been coveting a pair for a while, but the price is a bit steep. Now, thanks to Crabby over ant Cranky Fitness, I will have a pair in my hot little hands! Thank you, Crabby!

A quick list of inspiring blogs: the abovementioned The Great Fitness Experiment and Cranky Fitness. Also, The Weighting Game, Workout Mommy, Shapely Prose, Fit In Real Life, Back In Skinny Jeans, The Shape of a Mother, Autismville, Bag Lady's Blather, Elastic Waist, Every Woman Has An Eating Disorder, MizFit, Dr. J, Nutritious Junk, and the gone-but-not-forgotten Fitness, Kids, and Sanity.

REI outlet has some great stuff on its website right now. And they'll ship free to any REI store, so you can just go pick it up. I mention it because there are some really good bargains! Who doesn't love a bargain?

The kids have a field trip today with their therapy group. It's at a place called Pump it Up. It's badically a warehouse full of jumpy houses, and it's REALLY fun! And if the parents have to get in and jump along with the kids, well, those are the kinds of sacrifices we just have to make.
See, that's one of the dirty little secrets of parenting: yes it's challenging, it can be difficult, you lose sleep, your plans and dreams sometimes get placed on the back burner, and there's an inordinate amount of bodily fluids involved, BUT, you get to do things like go on the swings at the playground and jump in bouncy houses and ride Big Wheels and everyone looks at you and thinks "Oh, what a great parent! look at you, playing with your kids!" and meanwhile you're thinking "This is awesome! I get to do all this fun stuff that if I did while not having kids would brand me as either a weirdo or a pervert!"

Speaking of which, the new California Academy of Sciences is opening this weekend in Golden Gate Park, and they're having free admission on Saturday! I hear it's pretty amazing: a life-sized reproduction of a rainforest, and 5 floors of really cool things. I wonder how much a membership would cost...
And we STILL haven't been to the Exploratorium. Gotta check that out.

I'm addicted to iced soy chai lattes at Starbucks. I was addicted to the hot version when they first came out 9 (?!?!?!) years ago. Last year it was the green tea latte. I may need a Starbucks intervention.

My husband looks REALLY hot on his motorcycle.

I think that's it for now. Feel free to post your own random thoughts in the comments! Have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

NOT Freaking Out. OK, Maybe A Little.

Yesterday we went over to the in-laws for a BBQ. My SIL, her hubby, and the baby are flying back to Hawaii today. My hubby was there, but had to leave for school. My BIL calls my in-laws' place "The House Of Yes." I call it my workout.
There are 3 floors, 5 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, and nearly 30 years of tchochkes. There are also windows on the 3rd floor with no screens, let alone window bars. And they scare the crap out of me. 'Cause the kids like to go up there, and they like to climb on things. The first thing i do whenever we go there is run around closing windows and closing bathroom doors (our daughter likes to play in the toilet. Lovely).
They recently had some new windows put in on the first floor. Along with window seats. And yesterday, I forgot to close them. So my daughter was leaning on a screen, and she fell. The screen crumbled underneath her and cushioned her fall, but she did scratch her head and, of course, was scared. I was tending to our son and didn't see it, but my SIL was right there, and she ran outside and scooped up my daughter, who, despite her crying, was already getting to her feet and walking towards the fron door. SIL told me what happemed and I calmed my little girl down (it didn't take long: 2 minutes later she was laughing and playing again).
Now I'm trying to calm myself down,lol!
My son also got outside and started running around where he's not supposed to go (and knows it!), and the dog followed my BIL around because he was doing the grilling.
Sometimes I wish I was (were?) an octopus. Or at least had stretchy arms like Mrs. Incredible.
But at least it's never dull!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Some People Never Learn!

I'm watching the Emmys. Yes, another awards show. I learned NOTHING from the VMAs!!!!!!!!
Wow. There are a lot of Desperate Housewives now! Maybe they should change it from Wysteria Lane to Hysteria lane. Ha!
And Josh Groban is gonna sing 30 TV theme songs?!?! Wow. That's kind of a lot. And kind of a waste of talent.
Guess I'm feeling a little catty tonight. Sorry.
Cabin fever, I think. The kids go back to school tomorrow (Daughter was home sick all last week) and I am going to go out, sit, have a cup of chai, and read. (Do we know how to party over here, or what?)
Wait, what is David Blaine doing NOW?!?! Hanging upside down in NYC blindfolded?
Um, why?
Remember when he used to do, like, magic? Now he's all stunts.
Young people. Oy.
Wow. Whoever decided that all these reality hosts should host the show should, well, never do that again ! AWKWARD!
Bring back Ellen Degeneres to host! She rocks!
Zjelco Ivanek just won! Yay!
OK, enough of this live blogging from the Emmys. Except to say that Ricky Gervais is brilliant. And so is Steve Carrell.
Have a good night, all!

Friday, September 19, 2008

I Knew I hadn't Dealt With I When...

I was struck with a sudden urge to bake last night. After taking care of the kids all day, cleaning the house (yes, I did it! Except for the closet. Ahem.), cooking two different dinners (one for me and the kids, the other for hubby for when he got home from school), and doing the dishes.
Which meant I had... Stuff To Think About.
On Wednesday I subbed a pilates class. Nothing new there, I've been doing a lot of that. But this time I was subbing for our wonderful master teacher. She is going to be a grandmother (of twins!) soon (which you really wouldn't think, to look at her), and she's trying to free up some time in her schedule. So, unbeknownst to me, the subbing was a bit of an experiment (Charlotte will be so proud, lol!) to see if I could take the class over.
I showed up early so I could relax in the cafe with some water. I was still recovering, so my equilibrium was off, and I was a bit tired. But happy!
There was a mix-up, however, with the scheduling. We were supposed to be in the main studio, on the first floor, which meant that the reformers had to be brought down from the yoga studio on the 3rd floor, in which there was a yoga class schedules. But, alas, there were no reformers to be see. So, after 15 minutes of running up and down the stairs and a bunch of folks meeting to figure out what was going on, it was decided that the two classes would switch places.
Eventually we settled in and started the class. I decided to teach off the reformer, walking around the room and checking the clients' form. I was a little warm, and tripped over my words here and there, but, overall, I think I taught a pretty solid class. (One of the clients gave me a nice compliment afterwards, which was great to hear!)
Later that afternoon, the gym offered me the class permanently. Whooohoo!

Then came yesterday. And A VERY angry (and long!) email from one of the clients who had been in the class. The email wasn't sent to me, but to my supervisor (who is a WONDERFUL teacher, mentor, and administrator). She was my first-ever pilates teacher, the one who convinced me to try teaching, and is a good friend.
Apparently, this client is through with pilates at this gym. She was angry that there was a sub, a sub who was obviously not as experienced as the regular instructor (um, who has been teaching for 3o years! Sorry, I didn't start teaching when I was 9!!!!), the mix-up with the rooms, and the (ahem) QUALITY of the class. Harumph.
So, instead of teaching the new class 2 days a week, I'll be teaching it 1 day a week. Which is fine. And I'll be doing in-depth with my supervisor ( and a couple other new instructors) on the reformer, which is AWESOME, and exactly what I need! And she's not charging us a cent! But it does kinda suck that one incident of negative feedback put her in the position of having to defend me to her bosses. And now I have to prove myself, even though I've been teaching there for a few months now. Never mind that my other clients have been very positive. But I guess that just comes with the territory when replacing a much-loved (and deservedly so) instructor. Add I HATE that it has put my friend on the spot! She's put her confidence in me, and I kinda feel like I let her down. Not that she has even indicated that to me (she apologized for what happened!!!!), but still.
All in all, it's a positive thing. I'll be getting great training, with her and in some upcoming workshops, and all will be well.
But I'm teaching a class this morning, with some new clients, and I must say I'm nervous about it. ("Please like me! Prettypleaseprettypleaseprettyplease?!?!?!?!") And feeling a little down about the whole thing. Hence the baking. Helps me think. Calms me down. And my family now has cupcakes.
I also noticed the plethora of negative thoughts about my body, last night and this morning. 'Cause it's easier than dealing with all my feelings of inadequacy when it comes to teaching, right? Or the fact that it brings up all the negative feelings I had about myself when I was acting? Or dealing with my grieving mother, my dad in limbo, my brother and his family in Houston dealing with the aftermath of Ike, etc.
So, I've decided to just FEEL that damn feelings, already! Better than stuffing those cupcakes down my throat!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Of Skinny Jeans, Closets, And Exhaustion

Getting over a rather nasty cold. But thank goodness for Zicam! That stuff really does shorten the duration. Am now entering the disgusting, getting-rid-of-the-guck phase.
Sorry. Is that TMI?
I just read a great post on "Back In Skinny Jeans" about all the reasons to get rid of the clothes in your closet that don't fit anymore. You know the ones; those jeans you wore before you had kids, or that pants/dress/ skirt you bought as an incentive to lose weight, that still has the tags on it.
I agree that getting rid of that stuff is a good thing. You release yourself from ridiculous expectations, AND, if you donate the clothes, someone else can wear them! So you get self-acceptance AND you can feel good about helping others.
There's just one problem: you have to actually, y'know, CLEAN OUT YOUR CLOSET.
As I posted on the site, I was born without the housekeeping gene. I will do the bare minimum: clean up areas that are in plain sight, wash dishes, do laundry, sweep/vacuum (preferably without moving any furniture)/mop, and get rid of some of the clutter. Often by dumping much of it into the closet. Which brings us back to cleaning out said closet.
Don't get me wrong, I will tackle it every few months. But it's so DAUNTING! I admit to being jealous of people who have neat, clean, beautifully organized houses. Especially if they have kids. Of course, most of those folks (at least the ones I know personally) also have either nannies or a maid service.
I also admit to using my kids as an excuse for my cluttered, not-quite-pristine environment. After all, they're very young, and they have Autism! Isn't it more important for me to spend time with them, rather than ignoring them to clean the bathroom? Also, I am their primary caretaker. Plus, I work part-time, and I'm tired!
Which is true. (Cue violins.)
I was like this WAAAAY before we had kids.
Does that make me a bad person? A bad mother?


Monday, September 15, 2008

Just Want To Add...

To all the folks in Houston, (esp.) Galveston, and anyone affected by Ike:
We're thinking of you, and will do whatever we can to help. Take care!

Monday Shout-Outs

So, there are a lot of people I admire and want to write about (including you guys), and I will, but today there are three in particular who are on my mind.
The first is Valerie Frankel. She's a writer who has written some of my favorite books (mystery, chick-lit, and YA), as well as magazine articles (she posed nude for "Self" last year and became one of my heroes), but her latest book is a memoir. It's called "Thin Is The New Happy," and it's about her struggles with weight, body image, and how she finally learned to face her demons. I think she may believe I'm stalking her, and I guess I am, in a read-everything-she-writes-and-comment-on-Amazon-about-it way. And I'll email her sometimes to tell her how much I enjoyed something she's written.
Hmmmm. Maybe I AM a stalker?!
Yikes! I need a new hobby. (I don't think worrying counts as a hobby.)
Anyway. If you have a chance, pick up the book and give it a read. It's pretty awesome.

The second person is Margaret Cho. She's a comedian/actress and has a reality show on VH1 called, oddly enough, "The Cho Show." She also released a concert film about 9 years ago called "I'm The One That I Want" which is hilarious and sad and maddening. There's a bit about how she was treated on her sitcom from the early 90's called "All American Girl" that is just unbelievable. She was screamed at by producers to lose weight and ended up going on a crash diet and lost 30 pounds very quickly, which sent her into a downward spiral for years.
About 5 or so years ago she gave up dieting and now loves her body. She also inspires other Asian-American performers to fight against the stereotypes Hollywood still propagates. She's amazing.

Finally, there's my brother. He works for a government agency, has been helping our mother with all the stuff going on with our dad and all the practical stuff (paying bills, grocery shopping), and last week he flew home to Houston to be there with his wife during Ike. (They're all OK. My niece is in school in S. Carolina, out of the path of the storm. The dogs were scared, but made it through.) In a few days they will pack up their car and drive from Houston to Boston (The dogs are going with them!) to stay with Mom.
When I was there, feeling guilty for having to leave after a few days, he said "Don't worry about being here all the time. You need to be with your kids."
He also just spent 3 months in a bunker in Iraq. He can't talk about what he did, but he did say that their work caught some bad guys before they could do more harm.
All this, and he still plays on the ground with the pups, kvells over my kids, and acts like a 6 year-old when his daughter is home and they go swimming.

He's my hero.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


Scientists are re-creating the Big Bang. Republicans are crying sexism. Lance Armstrong is going to ride the Tour de France again. Britney's healthy (yay!). People are arguing over promise rings. The tree sitters have been removed. (See Berkeley.) Shrek is on Broadway.

What the heck is going on in the world?!?!?!

Is it me, or does it seem like the past couple of days have been wackier than usual?
And where did summer go? It went by so quickly. Not that I'm complaining, mind you, it's just...wasn't it just Memorial Day? Why is time moving so much faster?

My SIL and her family arrived from Hawaii last night. We saw them 2 months ago, and their son is so much bigger! He's eating solid food and crawling, and he is FASCINATED by our dog! He stares at her, and she stares back, and it's so adorable!
Our daughter's in kindergarten, our son is in 2nd grade, our dog is 10, and Hubby and I will be 40 next year.


Oh. Right. The Inexorable March of Time.

Let me just say that yesterday was one of those ego-crushing days, so that's kinda the frame of mind I'm coming off of. The kind of day that had me wondering if I'm in the wrong profession. Maybe I'm kidding myself and I'm not really cut out for the fitness industry. Maybe I REALLY don't know what I'm doing and should stop before I completely humiliate myself (or, God forbid, hurt someone!)


MAYBE I should sign up for a continuing education program in my chosen field that will allow me to keep working as I learn more. I didn't learn how to act in 5 months, so why do I expect to be a GREAT teacher in 5 months? Every experience is an education, right? Even (especially?) the bad ones? Maybe I just need to pick myself off, dust myself off, find my sense of humor again, and keep pluggin'.
'Cause I really love what I do. Even when my ego is getting it's head run over repeatedly by a semi.

Oh, and note to self: wearing Spanx underneath workout clothes? NOT COMFORTABLE!!!!!

Monday, September 8, 2008

VMAs? More Like ZZZs

Anyone watch the MTV Video Music Awards? I don't know why I bother. They used to be fun, but now they're just lame. Boring. And last night was a train wreck. But not even an interesting train wreck! Seriously, how do you make a BORING train wreck?!?!?!

OK, Pink was cool. She's always cool. And it was good to see Britney looking happy and healthy. But who decided it was a good idea to take it out of a theater and into a studio? Bad idea. Bad.

Especially since it looked like the set of Sesame Street. I LOVE Sesame St.! And to be teased that way? Cruel. During the Jonas Brothers' song I kept hoping the muppets were gonna show, and they didn't!


But I'll probably keep watching other MTV awards shows. Or at least part of them. And hoping. Remembering the glory days. (Mike Myers doing "Lord of the Dance," anyone?)

Thursday, September 4, 2008


Another post has gone AWOL, after it was supposedly posted successfully!!!!!! It was a good one, too. Full of compliments for my 8 readers! Grrrrrr!

I'll have to try and re-post later.

I think I'm a little depressed. Not about the disappearing posts (that's more of an annoyance), but because of the situation with my dad. When I left Boston, I felt calm and at peace, because I really believed I'd found (and I usually hate this word) closure. He's comfortable, he's not in pain, and he's surrounded by family and friends.
But in the past few days I've found myself eating more than usual, feeling completely exhausted all the time, short-tempered, and completely uninterested in, well, intimacy.
Part of it is PMS, but it's more. I can feel it.
Part of me feels torn: my kids need me here, and I need to work, but my mother is 3,000 miles away and slowly falling apart. My brother is taking care of EVERYTHING, and I'm not there to help. They totally understand, but it still feels icky.
He was moved to the hospice yesterday, and showed a bit of improvement. They're not sure if it's the steroids kicking in, or if it's one last hurrah before he goes completely downhill. My mom, I know, is really hoping for the former, and it just kills me that she may be filled with false hope.

This whole situation just fucking sucks.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Back Home

OK, I posted on Saturday night, when I got home, but it didn't get published.

So, I'm back. Dad is going to be moved to an in-patient hospice. He's basically semi-comatose (there's a medical term for it, but I can't remember what it is). He wakes up every now and then, and he recognizes us and knows we're there, and can even answer a few yes-or-no questions. But he can't really respond or use the right side of his body. He has A LOT of swelling in his brain, so right now it's all about making him comfortable and stopping the seizures he'd been having.

My mom is a wreck. She's in limbo, spending all day every day at the hospital. But my brother and sister-in-law are there with her, and I'll be going back in a while so my brother can spend a few days at home. She was able to talk to a social worker, who gave her some very good advice: don't try to take care of everything at once. The house doesn't need to be cleaned and sold yet, she doesn't have to deal with ANYTHING except herself and my dad.

Meanwhile, my daughter starts at her new school tomorrow. The good thing is it's the same class my son was in 2 years ago, and it's taught by one of the same teachers. She spent some time there back then, so she is familiar with it all. And when she and my husband went in on Friday to observe, she seemed very excited. Plus, starting next week, she'll be taking the bus, which she LOVES. (The first time she ever took the bus, we were a nervous wreck! But when she got home, I literally had to pry her fingers off the seat because she didn't want to get off.)
I'm glad I get to be with her this week, though.

It's funny: when I turned 39 last month, I kept thinking that I don't feel nearly mature enough to be almost 40. This week has changed that.
Gotta grow up sometime, right?