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Got Friends?

I have 300 friends, or so Facebook tells me.  THREE HUNDRED??  I don’t think I can name 300 friends, let alone “friends” Facebook says I have. Let’s set aside larger questions of what is a friend, and when does someone become a friend vs. an acquaintance. Also a topic for another day —  whether someone who was a friend many years ago once again a friend today because, through the magic of Facebook,  I am constantly aware of the mundane details of their lives…they are a Yankees fan instead of a Mets fan, their kid was a robot for Halloween, they are sitting in traffic on 95…

I can’t remember when I caved and joined The Great Timesuck — it may have been around reunion time a couple of years ago when the curiosity about the kid who sat next to me in Mrs. Passor’s 5th grade class got the best of me. It gave me something fun to do on the train, too. I  friended everyone I used to know,  just to see what they were up to now. I accepted Friend Requests from everyone whose name I recognized…and some I didn’t. In at least 2 cases I had to message another FB friend or my brother (who refuses to get on FB because “if I wanted to be in touch with these people, I would be…”) to figure out who has contacted me.

Fulfilling voyeurish tendencies quickly lost its charm and, like many FBers, the “I wonder what happened to so-and-so” folks comprise a pretty large portion of the 300 “friends” I rarely interact with anymore. Unfriending them seems mean and unnecessary so there they sit. I don’t know why I care, as I am well aware I have been unfriended by several people I quite like and I don’t care (Joanna, Penny, Melissa, I’m talking to you…) so I don’t know why I think other people would care. Bygones.

Beyond scoping out what happened to the Head Cheerleader, Facebook has had some unexpected benefits.

I have a large, extended family. Raised Italian Catholic, it’s a requirement. Also typical for Italians, half of my family is not speaking to the other half at any given time. This means that I have a lot of cousins I have either never met, or haven’t seen in 20 years. I actually had to have one of my cousins raw me a family tree to help me figure out which kds and spouses went with which member of my dysfunctional family. But, Lo… through the magic of Facebook I chat with them far more than I otherwise would. Sometimes this means weekly instead of biennially; sometimes it means weekly instead of “ever”; sometimes it just means the potential for contact is increased.  My cousin Anna, who I more or less grew up knowing decently well, checks in every so often and we’ve reached out and touched someone fairly frequently. I’ve even seen her a bunch of times.  My cousin Jessica — I actually haven’t seen or talked to her since she was about 4 (she’s maybe 23 now) but we touch base and trade a few words at least weekly. Kinda cool, I think, and it has made me seriously consider making a trip to her hometown to see a lot of her aunts and uncles. My cousins Jeremy and Jenna…I don’t ever remember meeting them…but it’s nice to know they are there. 🙂

Reconnecting with friends I used to be pretty close to but since drifted away from. Jeanne, one of my best friends in high school, for example. We were close for years, we argued over something stupid, feelings were hurt, we drifted apart.  Bang, 20 years and one 20-year HS reunion later and I can’t tell you how delighted I am that we have reconnected. She is also conveniently married to another old friend I am delighted to get reacquainted with as an adult, and they are now one of my must-do visits when I go back to my hometown. A college pal, Ali. Three years younger than me, we didn’t overlap a lot in college and in all honesty she started out as one of those “oh wow,I used to know you…wonder what she’s been up to the last 18 years.” But guess what — if we go 3 days without touching base even  if just briefly, it’s a long time. And I am reconsidering Colorado as a potential location for work travel so that I can see her in person again. Claire in Australia, my uncle in Louisiana, and Megan in Pennsylvania — same deal…people I don’t see nearly enough, but have more of a connection to now.

Yes, it’s a time suck and yes, there are far too many stupid annoying applications and dumb pointless games…but overall, I’m hooked.

 

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On Being a Gleek…

It is a well-established fact among my family and friends that I am a total dork. My kids know it, my husband knows it, my parents are *proud* of it (I think they believed that dorks don’t do drugs or get pregnant in high school). One of my friends and cow-orkers once counseled, “you really should let people get to know you a little bit before you show them what a spaz you are.” Not only am I a dork, I’m a musical, theatrical dork — and have been since I was 8. If there was a chorus, a choir, a church folk group, community chorus, or a cappella choir, I was in it. The group in my office that sings spoofed songs at holiday parties and summer picnics? Yep. Every musical and drama from 7-12 grades? Dork, Represent! These days, I sing at weddings, funerals, and karaoke bars (and office parties — see above). I sing in the shower and in my car. Yes, I’m the girl sitting next to you in traffic belting out Total Eclipse of the Heart into my water bottle-microphone.

So it should come as no surprise that I fell in love with Glee! from the moment it aired. It’s High School Musical for adults. It’s living vicariously through TV to become, for an hour a week, the thing I wanted most as a kid yet lacked the self-confidence and drive (and probably the talent) to achieve — a musical theater star. It’s the biggest feel-good thing going on TV. It makes me Smiley McSmilerson on Wednesdays. [I’m in withdrawal, though, since it’s been pre-empted for the World Series. I was raised to believe the Yankees suck ass in general, but when they interfere with the only show I bother to watch on TV they move from blechy to downright sucktastic.] But I digress…

If you don’t believe me, check out the football team doing the Single Ladies dance and tell me you don’t Love. This. Show.

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Love that song. Except when it’s my theme song of the day… as it was yesterday.

Adamant about eating breakfast with the girls…who cares that I will get to work at 9:45am… it’s worth it…

Just before I leave I get sucked into a debate about what to do about insulating the unfinished space in Muppet’s room…knock through the wall and expand her room, knock through part of the wall and make built-in cubbies, knock through the wall in a way that allows for a hide-a-bed… ok, we will talk about this when I get home…now I am really late…

Pull out of garage while Husband is pulling out of his side of the garage (in MY car — long story) and, in an attempt to close the garage door on my side, mix up the buttons and close HIS door…unfortunately, while he is backing the car out… Buh-bye, radio antenna… can’t wait to see how much that will cost to fix.

oops.

Drive away totally distracted…and get pulled over in a speed trap exactly 1.5 miles from my house. Thank you, Officer, for having a heart and a) not laughing at me when I told you about the garage door debacle and b) not even giving me a warning.

All’s well that ends well?

Sigh.

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A and I were at the fabric store yesterday picking up some fleece to make a birthday present for a friend of hers. One of the reasons I think A was initially drawn to Maggie is that, like A, Maggie is not a girly-girl. No pink, no flowers, no bows and ribbons, no Jonas Brothers or Hannah Montana. A’s interests are simple and old fashioned and outdoorsy — animals, stuffed animals, skiing, swimming, hiking, camping, fishing (K, on the other hand, was clearly switched at birth. That child is all baby-dolls, dresses, and all hues of pink.)

“Maggie likes sports, Mom. And her favorite colors are orange, blue, and green.” So we look at fabric for Maggie’s blanket. I look at patterns I’d pick out for A; funky stripes in red, orange and brown;  polka dots; animals; snow. We carefully consider the wall of fleece; A rubs her face on bolt after bolt of fuzzy softness, passing quickly over anything that has a speck of pink in it. At the end of the row she says “this one, mama, this one,” tugging at a bolt of royal blue fleece with basketballs, footballs and soccer balls on it.  OK. Off we go to pick a coordinating solid fleece for the reverse side of the blanket. We find, we cut, we pay, we leave.  Awesome.

Except for the little voice in my head that piped up, upon first being presented with the blue fleece with balls on it, “really, that one? that’s a boy’s pattern!” 

WTF??  Where the hell did that little voice come from? We work hard to raise the girls without narrow-minded, limiting gender stereotypes. We teach them — and strongly believe — that they can be anything they want to be if they work hard and set their minds to it; that no doors are automatically closed to them for any reason. I believe so strongly in this it’s one of the reasons I left the Catholic church many years ago. We practice what we preach because it’s just the way we live. So why the little voice? Why was that the FIRST thing that came to mind? I’m saddened by that little voice. Yes, I carried the day in the end – my daughter has no idea that thought crossed my mind. Still – I’m pissed. When I was a little girl thoughts like that often translated into actions. I suppose it’s progress of some sort that I only thought it an didn’t act it or say it.  But when will that kind of thinking become uncommon — even for people who supposedly “know better?”

 ps:  The blanket came out great, in case you were wondering. How cute is this?

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Clearly I am unbalanced (shut up, Michael) because this song had me bawling today.

My Wish, by Rascal Flatts

I hope that days come easy and moments pass slow,
And each road leads you where you want to go,
And if you’re faced with a choice, and you have to choose,
I hope you choose the one that means the most to you.
And if one door opens to another door closed,
I hope you keep on walkin’ till you find the window,
If it’s cold outside, show the world the warmth of your smile,

More then anything, more then anything,
My wish, for you, is that this life becomes all that you want it,
Your dreams stay big, and your worries stay small,
You never need to carry more then you can hold,
And while you’re out there getting where you’re getting to,
I hope you know somebody loves you, and wants the same things too,
Yeah, this, is my wish.

I hope you never look back, but ya never forget,
All the ones who love you, in the place you left,
I hope you always forgive, and you never regret,
And you help somebody every chance you get,
Oh, you find God’s grace, in every mistake,
And you always give more then you take.

Oh More then anything, Yeah, and more then anything,
My wish, for you, is that this life becomes all that you want it,
Your dreams stay big, and your worries stay small,
You never need to carry more then you can hold,
And while you’re out there getting where you’re getting to,
I hope you know somebody loves you, and wants the same things too,
Yeah, this, is my wish.

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Music Rocks My Soul

I have always been a huge fan of music. Tonight this Phil Collins song – which I don’t even particularly like, and haven’t heard in ages – speaks to me.

“You’ll Be In My Heart”

Come stop your crying
It will be all right
Just take my hand
Hold it tight

I will protect you
from all around you
I will be here
Don’t you cry

For one so small,
you seem so strong
My arms will hold you,
keep you safe and warm
This bond between us
Can’t be broken
I will be here
Don’t you cry

‘Cause you’ll be in my heart
Yes, you’ll be in my heart
From this day on
Now and forever more

You’ll be in my heart
No matter what they say
You’ll be here in my heart, always

Why can’t they understand
the way we feel
They just don’t trust
what they can’t explain
I know we’re different but,
deep inside us
We’re not that different at all

And you’ll be in my heart
Yes, you’ll be in my heart
From this day on
Now and forever more

Don’t listen to them
‘Cause what do they know
We need each other,
to have, to hold
They’ll see in time
I know

When destiny calls you
You must be strong
I may not be with you
But you’ve got to hold on
They’ll see in time
I know
We’ll show them together

‘Cause you’ll be in my heart
Yes, you’ll be in my heart
From this day on,
Now and forever more

Oh, you’ll be in my heart
No matter what they say
You’ll be in my heart, always
Always

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Srevotfel

“Mom, what’s for dinner,”I’d ask. “Srevotfel,” she’d say. (For the slow kids, that’s Leftovers spelled backwards.)

So…welcome to my Srevotfel — leftover bits and bobs floating around in my head (a scary place to be, I know.)

Hysterical wine labels I have recently come across:

  • Screw Kappa Napa. Sorority porn flick or Napa Valley Cabernet? You decide.
  • Mia’s Playground. How can that *not* lead to a fun night?
  • Menage-a-trois. ‘Nuff said.

Questions I’ve been asked recently that have complicated answers:

  • Are you happy?
  • What happens to you when you die?
  • Why can’t I have a brother?
  • Where does the poop and pee and paper go when you flush?
  • How did the Earth start spinning? When will it stop? (Doesn’t YOUR 8 year old ask you these things at bedtime?)

Whatever is going on in your life at the moment, someone wrote a song that fits it perfectly.

Things people Google in order to find my Blog…

  • nakedlady mia
  • mama mia sex
  • find a pot belly old woman
  • third grader wearing diaper (what?? I can’t find links to the blog when I google that, but apparently someone did!)
  • pretty girl
  • Lions and Tigers and Bears Oh My, soup

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Ho Ho Ho

We had our 4th annual Progressive Dinner last night. Amy had cocktails and appetizers – the hit of that course was Pear and Cranberry cocktails. I had the salad course this year which was easy-peasy (fuji apple salad with cider emulsion – quite yummy and very different.) Chris had the main course, which was a HUGE Asian feast – fresh sushi (both nigiri and maki), steamed and fried homemade hong kong and shanghai style dumplings (which I helped make – fun!), authentic fried rice, pickled cucumbers (funny DH moment…”don’t we just call those…pickles?”), stir fried broccoli, cabbage, sesame noodles…YUM YUM YUM. His mom is Japanese so he’s had years and years to perfect and experiment – it’s SO good. I swear he made enough food for 20 people – we’re having a group lunch today to finish up the leftovers. Debbie brought us home with a pear tart and individual triple-chocolate tortes with molten chocolate centers. WOW.

Before the dinner, I picked up my Christmas present — $1800 worth of new air flow sensors, brakes, and a timing belt. 😦 We also got the Christmas tree and raked and bagged 28 bags of leaves.

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30 Days?

Wow – I haven’t written in 30 days? Where does the time go? College Pal family weekend, family vacation to Cape Cod, 1st day of school, SIL’s wedding…lots of catching up to do. Possibly the lamest blog post ever.

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