Good Enough

Kate at One More Thing is doing a weekly carnival of sorts, choosing a topic for other bloggers to write about.  This week’s topic is “High School”.

High school.

Not my favorite  four years.   Sure, I had some fun.  And I had some good friends, many of whom went to other schools.

But what I had more of was a great lack of confidence, a mentally ill mother,  a decided lack of money, and some really bad perms.  And, worst of all, I was not who I wanted to be.

Still, it was what it was.  And what I can say now, twenty-five years later, is that I wish I had gotten out of my own way enough to really participate with some of the other people there, to be that person I wanted to be.  No horrible longing for what could have been, but just darn!  Opportunities missed.

College, on the other hand, was a complete and total blast!  I met some of my best, lifelong friends there.  I even married one.  And another is Son’s godfather.  That is where I became the person I’d always wanted to be.

Good enough.


Wedding Dance Brings Authentic, Exuberant Joy

Is there anyone in the free world who has NOT seen this?

I. Love. This.

Who decided that a wedding had to be a serious affair?  Who said you had to wait until the reception before having fun?  Why shouldn’t the whole thing be filled with unadulterated joy, exuberance and a liberal dose of oh-so-coolness?

I remember exactly how I felt walking down the aisle on that wonderful day nearly seven years ago, and let me tell you…

I felt like dancing!  I was so excited to enter the newest phase of my life, creating my very own family.  My brilliant smile conveyed my feelings, to be sure, but not nearly as much as sashaying down the aisle!  And I felt that same love and joy at every wedding I’ve been in.  I’d have loved to dance down the aisle at my sister’s wedding, or my best friend’s!!!!!

And why not?  Why shouldn’t a bride and groom  enter their marriage with laughter, love and abundant bliss oozing out of their pores?  I’ve even gotten tears in my eyes a time or two when I’ve watched this (and when I do Husband says, “You’re such a girl!“), because even though it was planned and staged,  it’s so very authentic!

And who doesn’t love this couple?  Who doesn’t get that they are fun, giving (they’ve set up a website to take donations for a deserving charity) ready to tackle life with gusto?

Oh, how I wish I’d thought of this.  I would have completely and totally loved to do this.  Husband, being much more bashful than I, would have taken a great deal of convincing.  And the Rabbi… oy.

It doesn’t really matter, though, that we didn’t actually dance down the aisle.  Every time I think of my wedding, and how happy I was that day, THIS is what I see and feel in my mind’s eye.

Yeah, I placed the same video twice in one post.  Why not?

His Presidency’s First Win

Being a white Jewish girl raised in an uber-liberal household, I’ve grown up to become a  surprisingly more moderate woman than one would think.

I’ve never had Obamamania.  I thought long and hard before choosing the candidate who would get my vote.  I felt there was good news and bad news about both candidates and their philosophies.   I rued the injustice of a two-party system and a media that bars all but the most flush candidates the opportunity to debate and garner coverage.  In the end I made the choice I felt would be best for our country, and that’s that.   No matter who won I would not  be jumping for joy.  There are too many challenges awaiting us, too many unknowns.   We all know who won the election, but we have yet to see if we, my fellow Americans, wind up as winners.

Obama finds himself in an interesting position.  Every incoming  President is faced with the task of uniting the country, but it’s never been more important to do so.  The country is facing such dire threats right now that even the  staunchest conservatives I know are warily rooting for him to do well.  That is so very different from past elections.   and in my opinion this gives us a chance to get through these challenges and find a way to win.  I so very much hope we do.

So, for me today is a day of hope, but it is not a victory celebration.  Still, the little Jewish liberal girl inside me is thinking of those who marched on Selma, refused to sit in the back of the bus,  were inspired by the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  I’m thinking of the people who spoke up and risked their lives, and sometimes gave it.  My heart is heavy and my eyes are wet when I think of what this day must mean to them, and their children and grandchildren.  Knowing that when any American child talks about what they want to be when they grow up, and their parents tell them they can be anything they want to be they don’t just hope it or declare it; they mean it.

All of the rhetoric and entreaty and idealization is true.  It is possible.

And that, my friends, is the first win of Obama’s presidency.

Blog Avoidance

There are 723 unread items in my Google reader.

That is a symptom of my recent blog avoidance; I’m not reading blogs any more than I’m posting to them.

There have been a few things lately that have almost inspired me to write posts.  Posts with names like Leave the Travoltas the Hell Alone and Ann Coulter is an Angry, Childish, Skinny Blonde Idiot.

And I’m sure there are posts to be written describing my frustration over figuring out where the heck I’m sending Son to school next year (the school we’re zoned for scores a 1 out of 10 on  Anyone want a townhouse in South Florida??

So, still mostly in blog avoidance mode. And I’m enjoying Facebook.

But really, I don’t think the two are related…

Posted in just rambling. Tags: . 2 Comments »

Autumn is Good for My Soul

I love autumn. It’s a feast for the senses.

The leaves are so pretty they make me cry. The crisp air is wonderfully fragrant with the aroma of firewood burning.

I love the feel of the softest sweaters, and the way they keep me warm yet allow the chilly air to put some pink in my cheeks.

I love that there are corn maizes and pumpkin patches and gourds of all colors.

A BeThisWay original.

A BeThisWay original

I love high school football games, even when I was in the High School Marching band and had to wear three pairs of pantyhose to keep my legs warm. Hot chocolate never tasted so good…

I love making my Son’s Halloween costume, carving the jack-o-lantern and the taste of the pumpkin seeds.

A BeThisWay original

A BeThisWay original

I love the scratchy feel of the fallen leaves against my skin as I jump in a pile of them and watch as they float back to the ground.

And I love the depth of emotion I feel for our families as we celebrate Thanksgiving. The pumpkin pie isn’t bad, either.

I love autumn, and though I’m not experiencing some of my favorite fall traditions here in Florida, I do appreciate all of the gifts that autumn brings me here.

A BeThisWay original

The first Clay Aiken. But not gay. Not that it matters.

Remember Rick Astley?

He was the baby-faced, soulful singer that many thought was pulling a Milli, but instead was gifted with a wonderfully rich voice that made girls all over melt, even though he wasn’t traditionally handsome – at least not in high-waisted acid wash jeans.

He did one of my favorite 80’s songs, Never Gonna Give You Up, and a also had a few other hits in the late 80’s.

Good stuff, that.

Still, when he took a crack at the standard When I Fall in Love I couldn’t help but melt. And Rick? Looking much better in the trench, dude.

Just thought I would share.

Now Clay did Solitaire.

(Sorry, Rick. He gets the embed because I couldn’t embed yours.)


Terrific stuff.

There’s no other point to my post. Clay Aiken reminds me of Rick Astley. A huge voice in a surprising package.

Discuss. Or not.

Square Peg in a Round Hole

I’m not a minute-detail-oriented person. I’d love to knit and have tried to do so many times, but that type of close work drives me insane. Following in my father’s footsteps and becoming an accountant? The stuff of nightmares. I’m not the type that is a secretary. I’m the type that needs a secretary.

As an example: I can’t type. Well, I can a little. I actually took a typing class in ninth grade, but moved to a school district offering fewer class periods per day so abandoned typing after learning only asdfghjkl;. My own weird hunt and peck method results in some occasionally hilarious and all-too-frequent typos, as my online friends can certainly attest.

Why, then, did I take a job that involved minute attention to detail, almost exclusively?

It was a great opportunity, working with a someone I really like and admire. Then there’s the money, which isn’t too bad. Also, I thought I’d pick it up fairly easily; after all, I’m a quick study. Then there’s the money.

It’s perfect! The only problem is I absolutely hate it.

I’m no good at it. I admit it.

I knew I’d need a working knowledge of Word, which I thought I had. And I do, as long as I don’t have to take into account that I must edit very complicated embedded tables set to other computers’ specifications, and try one of three thousand eight-hundred and sixty seven possible fixes, none of which work.

But even more telling, I must first see the error I’d never ever, ever EVER notice on my own. See, this line should span three spaces and not four, and that line should be underlined twice, not once. Or something equally trivial but of utmost importance to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

This is important work. A mistake on my part could be big trouble for the client, and many mistakes put the account in jeopardy, as it should.

I don’t want that kind of pressure in a part-time gig. I don’t want to have to sit around, like I am today, waiting for others to look at a file and make sure they don’t want to make any changes. I don’t want the pressure that comes with filing deadlines and client peccadilloes.

I just don’t want it.

Why haven’t I quit?

Well, there are parts I’m good at. There was no learning curve for me with dealing with the clients and coordinating jobs with sub-contractors. I’m pretty darn good at it. Most of them have no idea how brand-spanking- new this is for me. I have a great ability to sound like I know exactly what I’m talking about when I do not, and I’m savvy enough to know exactly how far out on a limb I can safely go.

And yeah, I’m pretty smart. I learn quickly, but I wasn’t learning this quickly. So out of my frustration and pride grew an intense desire to tame the beast. To be good at it just because I wanted to be good at it. To conquer it.

Now, after two months of struggling and working around things and arranging to take a Word class (which won’t teach me these complicated fixes anyway) and trying to find a way to make it work I had the same epiphany I had after the last time I tried to learn knitting:

It’s okay not to be good at everything. There’s some things that while valuable, and easy for others, are just not worth the effort it would take me.

I’m wonderful with people, a superb marketer, a great project coordinator, a terrific delegator. I’m creative and innovative and dependable and trustworthy.

No matter how hard we try we just can’t make me fit into this work. I’m okay with that, and truth be told I think she’ll be a little bit relieved. She trusts me, and in this unique circumstance she has to have someone she trusts. But she also needs someone who can see all of the grooves in these very complex holes.

And that ain’t me. Thank you, G-d.

Why Can’t Oreos Taste like Brussel Sprouts?

Kate at One More Thing wrote a post asking about our own particular (and perhaps peculiar) comfort foods, then wrote another asking us about other foods that we have peccadilloes about.

I answered her first query in her comments section, as it basically boils down to McDonald’s, bread and potatoes (Honestly, I can imagine how anyone sees vegetables as comfort food, but to each his weird own).

Foods that I have peccadilloes about needed a post all their own for me to answer. Because I have them, in spades, as anyone who knows me will tell you…

There’s these:

I hate onions, but I like onion flavored things (onion bagels, onion dip). I will even cook with onions to extract the flavor but I will not eat the onions themselves.

Conversely, I like strawberries (though I didn’t until I was in my mid-thirties) but I cannot stand strawberry flavored things. And I don’t like any other berries, except cherries. But I looooooooove cherries.

I love nuts, but I don’t like them in anything or on top of anything. I will eat roasted peanuts, cashews, walnuts, and almonds. But please give me my brownies sans nuts, and don’t even think of sprinkling any on my ice cream.

Apples? Love them! Just don’t cook them. Especially in apple pie. When I was a kid my Dad told me I was un-American because I disliked it so much. But I do like baseball and Chevrolet, so I think I’m okay. And my Dad? He likes rhubarb pie, for goodness sake! What does he know?

Some things change as I age. Mushrooms? Could not stomach those slimy suckers until I was at Herb Alpert’s wonderful Vibrato Grill in LA last year and my sister-in-law ordered carmelized mushrooms to garnish her steak. Oh my. Ohhhhhhhhhhhh. Myyyyyyyyyyyyyyy. Now I can’t get enough of them.

Veal and lamb? Used to love me some veal parmigiana and lamb chops when I was a kid, but now I can’t stomach either.

I’d eat more vegetables if I liked them better. Did anyone ever notice that the unhealthiest foods taste the best? They do to me.

Why can’t Oreos taste like Brussel Sprouts, and vice versa?

I’d be so skinny if they did!

Posted in just rambling. Tags: , . 2 Comments »

Where Summer Is Appreciated

I have lived in South Florida for twenty-five years (with a few short interludes elsewhere). Florida, where there are only two seasons: Hurricane and So-Hot-Hell-Would-Be-a-Reprieve. If we’re lucky we get a few really nice days in January, but if you plan to step outside between now and September you’ll need a change of clothes by the time you get to the car.

At least there’s no state income tax…

Yesterday I got on a plane to visit family in New England. Son wanted me to pack his mittens, as he was expecting the weather to be the same as it was the last time we visited. We arrived late last night in the afterglow of a summer rain and didn’t make it to my sister’s house until about 12:30 am.

We woke today to some very glorious weather. Yesterday was my nephew’s last day of school, and I wanted to make it really fun. We went to a brand new park with a terrific concept: “A place to play for every child of every ability…” and did a bunch of other things fun for an almost four-year-old and an almost nine-year-old. At lunch I overheard my nephew say to himself, “This is a really good day!”

And I noticed something interesting. Everyone was in a terrific mood. Everywhere we went sales clerks and patrons and passerby were smiling, polite, and cheery. These people were enjoying the perfect day perhaps more than I. They wait all year to wear shorts instead of overcoats, and to sit outside on their porches and watch their kids run through the sprinklers. They wait for their ice cream stores to open, for their pools to be warm enough not to cause hypothermia, to see a shade of green other than the dark forest green of an evergreen.

As we drove around this lovely New England town with the windows down, wildflowers of every color of the rainbow decorating mile upon mile of development-less acreage, each kid licking a lollipop given by the purveyors of the local car wash, I reveled in the perfect 73 degree, blue-skied, perfect summer day. I must have passed fifteen garden centers, each ablaze with the beautiful colors of lilacs and hydrangea and sunflowers instead of the mums, wreaths and Christmas trees I saw on my last visit. And they were full of smiling, happy people.

These people appreciate summer.

I appreciate a gorgeous day, but it’s been twenty-five years since I truly appreciated summer.

Thanks, people of New England, for reminding me how glorious it could be.

I won! I won!

No, I didn’t win the lottery. I won something better because I won’t have to pay taxes on it, or share it with a group of twelve machinists from Detroit!

Pinyo at Moolanomy offered The Best Wedding Tips and Stories Giveaway. I wrote A Frugal Girl’s Decidedly Not Frugal Wedding and linked back to Moolanomy because I liked the topic. I completely forgot it was a contest until I received a lovely e-mail from Pinyo this morning.

There were a total of 33 entries that are eligible for the $50 Amazon gift card (or cash transfer via Revolution Money Exchange) and little old me won.


Thank you Pinyo! I was going to promise to save, invest or spend the money frugally. Then I reconsidered. Instead I’m going to use the money to get a pedicure and have my eyebrows threaded (ladies, if you’ve never done this you should definitely try it!) to prettify myself for the Bar Mitzvah I’m going to in a few weeks. I was going to do it on my own dime, but now I’ll do it on yours.

I hope you feel good knowing you’re making the world prettier. I know I do.

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