Friday, July 27, 2012


     My year of 35 is over, I’m turning 36 tomorrow.  It was a good year— lots of happy memories made and no major disasters, except I’d like my elbow to return to normal.  But what can you do?  I’ll admit the grey hair count is up since I started this blog, but I’m still not dying my hair.  Take that mother nature!  I just keep wiping mascara to cover the greys.  And ignoring those few and far between strands works just as well.  
     I share my July 28th birthday with Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis (she was born on July 28, 1929).  She summed it up beautifully when she said:
     “I have been through a lot and I have suffered a great deal. But I have had lots of happy moments as well. I have come to the conclusion that we must not expect too much from life. We must give to life at least as much as we receive from it. Every moment one lives is different from the other.  The good, the bad, hardship, the joy, the tragedy, love and happiness are all interwoven into one  single indescribable whole that is called LIFE. You cannot separate the good from the bad. And, perhaps, there is no need to do so either."
—Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis
     In college I lived in an all women co-op my sophomore year.  One of the older students photocopied Jackie’s quotation and slipped it into each of our mailboxes.  I liked it so much that I brought it home with me to read it to my father.  He too liked it and taped it up on a wall in our kitchen.  Jackie’s quote still hangs in our kitchen to this day with Dad’s neat, all caps, block print reading “circa 1995” written below the typed text in black felt tip marker that’s now faded to brown because of the scorching Albuquerque sun.  I guess you could say that quote became our family motto.  It’s a good one if you ask me.   
     And with that I’ll bid you adieu.  Happy Birthday to all my fellow July 28thers out there and to all the other Leos!  Isn’t it fun being a fire sign?

Thursday, July 26, 2012


     Call it an early birthday present, call it whatever you want--a new season of Project Runway started last week and I love that show.  I love the designers working in their work room, the runway shows, the critiques and most of all I love the crazy challenges they have to win.  Who wants to wear that outfit made with materials that came from a pet store?  Well I guess it's time to carry on and make it work, just like Tim Gunn would instruct.  Auf Wiedersehen! 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


     One of my good friends called me last night to a) ask what I wanted for my birthday and b) to tell me that she'd thought of me when a Sex and the City re-run came on the other day.  In that episode, Charlotte is turning thirty-six (like I will be on Saturday) but doesn't want to because she feels like she's getting old.  I found the dialogue on and pasted it below.  I can't really tell who's saying what, but take a read:

Charlotte's 36th birthday is Saturday night.
I say we spinsters take back Manhattan.
I've thought about it and I've decided I'm sticking at 35.
- It was such a good year? - I'm not where I thought I'd be at 36.
- I don't feel 36. l don't look 36, right? - No.
Men are more interested in meeting 35-year-olds. So I'm sticking.
We all turned 36 like big girls. Now it's your turn.
Lying about her age is the smartest thing she's done in years.
Where are we celebrating Charlotte's 35th birthday, the sequel?

     I, myself don't have (that much) trepidation about turing 36.  Yes, it IS one year older, but I don't feel like I'm an old lady.  Sure I might do some old lady stuff--that I've admitted to in this blog!--but for the most part I don't feel like a granny.  So I'm going to go into this new year excited for what's to come.  Hey, maybe I'll meet my own hairy-backed Harry (remember that episode?!), like Charlotte did and truly, madly, deeply fall in love with him.  

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


     Have you ever been to an early bird dinner in Florida?  I have, when I used to visit my grandparents.    Dinner could start as early as 4pm.  Seriously.  I don't know what happens when you reach grandparent age.  Maybe you think there'll be a food shortage and that you'll need something to make it through that really long red light or maybe you don't want to spend money on staples like sugar and other artificial sweeteners.  Whatever happens, elderly people get weird about food.  So they start stealing it.  
     Exhibit A: all the Sweet'N Low, Equal and sugar packets would disappear during early big dinners--and people weren't drinking that much iced tea or coffee.  Entire sugar bowls were left empty.  Cute grandma and grandpa were stealing the Sweet'N Low...just in case they needed those packets later on.  Or possibly because they didn't want to go out and buy their own Sweet'N Low.  
     Anyway, restaurants in Florida, at least in my grandparents' town, caught on and stopped putting out the sugar and sweetener packets.  If you wanted to sweeten your drink you had to request one or two or 100 from your waiter.  I think I saw some in my grandma's pocketbook one time.  They were wrapped, a/k/a hidden, in a tissue.  That's nice.  What was she planning on doing with them?  Beats me. 

Monday, July 23, 2012


     My sister and I aren't big texters.  I'm just not that into it and neither is she.  We prefer to call each other and our friends on the phone.  Or heaven forbid, see these people in person. 
     Most of my friends are big time texters and I KNOW I put a damper on their flow when I call them or don't instantly respond to their texts (or let's be fair--respond to them at all).  I should also mention that the other side of this is that not many people text me.  My phone doesn't buzz off the hook.  And I'm ok with that.
     When I hung out with my sister and her best friend recently, her best friend and I were talking about texting.  I asked the friend if she texted with her mom a lot.  Our friend went on to tell me how much she texts with all of her family and friends, except for my sister.  "Your sister just doesn't text that much."  I smiled and thought atta girl
     My sister and I haven't ever discussed why we don't text, we just don't.  Maybe it's how we were raised or because we're technologically challenged (not her, me).  I'm not sure.  But I do know that I like calling my sister and I like it when she calls me.  (In fact I like it when any of my friends call me.  It's nice to talk on the phone.)  I talk to her all week long, but like clockwork every Sunday night I hear the phone ring around 9 p.m.  It's my sister's end of the week recap phone call, her check in before we get busy with Monday.  It's the best phone call of the week; the one I look forward to most. 

Sunday, July 22, 2012


     I was dating someone recently and invited him to a work event.  He met a lot of the muckety mucks at my company, including the owner.  I raved to my date about working at my company and how the owner makes everyone feel valued.  I talked about how generous the owner was, how he supports his employees, how he's such a good father and good husband, among other things.  I explained how he is a good man.  My date looked at me stupefied, as if he'd never heard the term or didn't know what a good man is.  Maybe he was waiting for me to say that he was a good man (which I never did, because I didn't think he was a good man, ummm, hello, we're not dating anymore) or maybe he's never been in the presence of a good man.  But I have.  And when you compare these good men with all the other men out there, the differences are so obvious.
     I've had the good fortune to first work for a good man when I clerked for a federal judge.  He mentored me and taught me so many things that a young lawyer needs to know.  And besides that, beyond our working relationship he cared about me as a person.  He asked about my life, my family, my interests.  When I was robbed in a Walgreens parking lot, he gave me money after I came to work the next day and started hysterically crying in his chambers.  He said "you're not going home tonight."  My judge and his wife brought me home to their house.  They cooked me dinner and let me sleep in their daughter's room.  I made it through that terrible time because I had him as part of my support system.  I later learned that my judge told his own daughter that he enjoyed working with me during my clerkship year.  He told her that it was like coming to work with his daughter everyday.  It was a great compliment to hear.
     That clerkship set the bar high for good bosses.  I didn't get another boss like that until my current job.  It took 10 years.  My current boss is a father of 6.  Four of his children are daughters.  He is a brilliant attorney, a former naval officer, a good husband and an all around good man.  I can't get over it.  He never ceases to amaze me with his kindness and his praise.  I feel so lucky to work for him and for the owners of my company, who are just as incredible.  For example, this weekend before the writing conference my boss sent me a good luck all caps.  And on Saturday, the company's owner sent me a text asking me how things were going.  In that text he told me how much he believes in me and how he thinks I'm a good writer.  I've never worked at a place like that--a place full of such good men.  
     And then of course there was my father.  The good man who raised me.  The good man who I wish was still here.  The good man who got what I was talking about.  The good man who got me.
     Maybe this is why I haven't found the right guy yet.  I'm holding out for a good one.  I'm waiting for someone who's like all these good men I'm so lucky to be surrounded by: someone who will care about me when I'm sick, by asking me if I'm feeling ok and by bringing over chicken soup or ice cream; someone who will support my dreams as much as his own; someone who loves his family and speaks highly of them to others; someone who's not afraid to dole out compliments to others because he's secure enough; and someone who wants to see the people who work for him succeed.
     I don't think these qualities are that unreasonable to expect a man to have.  But the way that guy I was dating scrunched up his face as I listed the owner's good-man-qualities made me rethink things.  My date was basically asking what's the big deal?, and why do you think those things are so important?  I'll tell you why, because I believe in character and integrity.  Being a good man, like being a good woman (like being a good person, actually) is about how all those little things add up over time.  You don't get to be called good man because you do one kind thing one time in front of an audience.  Most of the time the things that make a man a good man is because of how he acts when no ones is watching.  Maybe that guy I dated was waiting to hit his stride.  My advice: hurry up.  Life's too short.  And by the way scrunched-up-face-man, you've got a long way to go.

Saturday, July 21, 2012


     The writer-in -residence talked about that place all writers live while they're writing, re-writing, editing, re-editing, and just writing, writing and more writing.  He coined that place the pain cave.  It's back to the pain cave for me.  No book deal...yet.  However the feedback I received was invaluable.  My workshop facilitator said that my memoir is well-written and then gave me great advice on structure.  He also told me that he sees a publisher touting my memoir as "the perfect Father's Day gift" one day.  I'll cheers to that.  And until then, I'll be in my pain cave.  Please come visit.