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Archive for the ‘musicals’ Category

Years old!

Today was my birthday.

Through fantastic home cooked meals, disproportionate investments by offspring, phone calls from loved ones, and yes, Facebook Wall posts, I felt as loved and celebrated as I wanted to.

And through 10s of thousands of documents that HAD to be reviewed today, and the ever-growing to-do list at work and at home (i.e., kids’ school commitments, which may or may not include, oh, i don’t know, producing a major school play????), I was reminded that 3 dozen is far from 3.  Or One Dozen.  I am old.  And my birthday does not matter all that much, except to those who are dear to me.  And I thank them for their love and consideration.

Onward !!!  (because tomorrow is Beloved’s birthday!  And I have gifts to wrap, and a cake to wrap!!!)

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E was in a play this weekend.  She was Mushu the Dragon – sidekick to Mulan.

Listen – E was one of the lead roles in her school play in April, and I was happy for her, and I was proud, but I wasn’t all over her, and I wasn’t on and on about how great my kid is, and what a great actress she is.  She struggled in some ways … she had a lot of pressure on her.  She was at the top of the heap after climbing the ranks in the proper manner during her young years.  6th graders have the major roles – no big deal.

BUT — As the dragon?

My kid rocked.  She was stellar.  She was funny, she was confident, she was GLOWING.  Just glowing.  Man.

But the best part:

After the show, the kids go back stage and change out of their costumes, and then surge out to the applause of friends & family.  Of course, being kids – they more want their friends – not their family.  So I didn’t rush over to her, and took my time getting across the room.  When I finally found her, she was talking with friends and her friends’ parents, and she looked up and saw me and ….

Smiles!  Beaming!

“HI!!!!!” she said!! Leaning in for a hug.  She accepted my compliments and showed her excitement.

It was just a fun, loving moment.

It’s a funny time – this adolescence.  There are windows and there are waves.  She’s sick of me 30% of the time, but is warm and sweet and cuddly 70%.  I find myself so appreciative of that 70% of the time.  I used to have 100%.  I know it used to be frustrating.  I didn’t want to be cuddled constantly.  Sometimes, I wanted to just be me.  No appendages.

Now that E is shrugging me off part of the time – I’m savoring the rest.  Savoring.  Every smile – every time she doesn’t shake my hand off when I grab it to cross the street.  Every “I love you” before we hang up the phone – is precious.

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And now, my life – my work load – my frantic-ness – actually matches that fact.

What happened?

I worked a LOT during the week between Christmas and New Years.  I was pretty much the only one in the office, because most people had taken the week off.

But working a lot worked.  We had no kids.  Beloved worked as well.  It was FINE.

But yesterday I got slammed.  A lot of dormant issues became live issues and “narrow research questions” became very, very broad.

I also decided back in September that I would take on a certain kid-related extra curricular role.

That started today.  I had a meeting in my town at 8 a.m., which ended at 9:30.  I then RAN to the office, where I worked for just over 9 hours before rushing home to pick back up on the duties for the new school-thing.

In the meantime, I had to coordinate my book group’s next meeting and take care of some details for another kid-related meeting.

Did I mention I have a lot of work to do?   I have a deposition transcript sitting on my lap right now.  (ha!)

Did I mention that my life rocks?   I mean  – Obama’s speech on t.v., my kids dreaming of their first opportunity to vote, exciting and engaging work on my lap, in my office, a vibrant community role that allows me to be reaching out and stretching and meeting new people, a fantastic husband, and the world’s best cat.

What more could I ask for?

[a house]  [shut up!]

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And I suppose he is right.

But when did we see Wicked? Early October, right?

ONE MONTH LATER

J is in the shower.

E is in her room, huddled with a black witch’s hat on and the soundtrack insert in her hand.

“Defying Gravity” is coming from both mouths, at high volume, in very different parts of the song.

What have we done?

E is begging to go see it in New York.

It’s like she’s 2.

“Again! Again!”

(which for her, at 10 months, was “Ah Dah! Ah Dah!”)

I wish my kids would stop singing.

Beloved tells me there are people who wish their kids would stop playing video games, and others who wish their kids didn’t watch so much t.v., and others who wish their kids would stop drinking and running away from home.

That perhaps my kids constantly singing songs from soundtracks isn’t so bad.

But … I think they’re (or at least E) bordering on obsessed.

___________________________

Today, I was productive. I did unbelievable (for me) amounts of work. Wanna know what I did?

  • Cleaned out my medicine cabinet. It’s now 60% empty.
  • Purged summer clothes from the girls’ drawers (pulled the winter clothes from storage yesterday, while J had a friend over – a friend who could take the items which have since been out grown, so it worked out well. They were also both eager participants in the process, which also helped. E appreciated having the whole thing taken care of while she was out of town).
  • Did 9 loads of laundry. Which was exhausting.
  • Scrubbed the bathroom with bleach. We usually use natural cleaners, and I often assign the sink and the toilet and the sweeping to the girls. But every now and then (in my mind, in my plans – once a month; in reality – twice a year), I do it myself with the powerful cleaners. Today was that day. I last did it the DAY before the bar exam. Maybe two days before. Which is only 4 months … even a little less. Maybe I’m getting better.)
  • Cleaned out the coat closet floor. This entailed much throwing away. Much space-finding for bags (I’m addicted) which have not been used in some time. It was hard.
  • Sorted through our “extras” – which for us is hats, gloves and scarves. I got rid of singles, of those things which were too stained to salvage, of gloves that no longer fit the growing hands in the family. I washed the fleece which seems to be a cat-fur magnet. After they were washed, I went over the more stubborn items with a lint brush. This took at least 2 hours (the lint brush stage). I am so determined that our things WILL NOT have cat fur on them. WILL NOT.
  • Cleaned out under the bathroom sink. It was gross. I filled an entire garbage bag with almost-empty shampoo bottles that I felt, while a student, were too precious to throw away – that I may need them during those days where the loan money had run out and so had the shampoo.  It’s nice to feel that I can now confidently say that when next we run out of shampoo, I can buy some.
  • Took J shopping at the Gap, and bought her jeans that fit; even without the sea levels rising (she’s a 10 Slim, for the most part) and a super-cute dress. I bought Beloved some socks. I bought me black gloves to go with my work-coat, and a grey hat. I bought me funky blue and green striped gloves and a matching scarf to go with my not-work-coat. I bought E nothing. She was in NY.
  • Took J out to lunch at a new place in town. We had a good time.
  • Before the store and lunch, I dragged J to Starbucks with me. I got her a hot cocoa so she didn’t feel like I was a selfish bitch of a mom (I also tricked her BFF and her yesterday into thinking that I was the nicest mom in the world for taking them for hot cocoa after a frigid soccer game, when in reality — it all comes down to my addictions). I later felt a bit conspicuous, walking through the Gap with my Starbucks cup, and my 9 year old child following behind me with her own 9 year old sized Starbucks cup. Hmmm.

I think I will next read Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office, because I am a MILF.

But in the meantime, the family is going to eat brownies – in acknowledgment of E’s excellent progress report 3 weeks ago (oops, we lost track of time) and watch Star Trek … after I vacuum.

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A friend and I were driving around today with the kids in the backseat when a message came along from a co-worker: Free tickets to see High School Musical (The play, not the movie) – any takers?

I whispered “No!

Friend said, “come on!

I said, “No!

Kids were up until then oblivious.

I think to myself: Why? Why “no”?

Well, I told myself, it’s raining out. You’re going on a business trip tomorrow. You have a lot of errands to run. It’s really windy out. It’s an annoying show.

And I look at the kids in the backseat, being so good and patient as we drive in the rotten weather to a store which holds, really, nothing for them. And I think,
but it’s raining out.

Friend says, “come on, Zuska! They’re free!” I look again at the kids.

“Why do you keep looking at me?” E asks.

I say (stupid), “Do you want to go see High School Musical today?

Of course, the answer is yes. Of course.

So we reply to the announcement.

And the tickets are ours.

But I’m tiiiiiiiiiiired.

I marvel sometimes, at how stodgy I can be. I have a set plan in my mind, and I have a hard time breaking awy from it. Why is that? Why am I like that?

I was explaining myself to my work friend the other day, and she said it’s because I am a “J.” She said she is a “P,”* and does not suffer from the rigidity of the mind that I suffer with (which is why she knew that I was coaxable, I believe).

I told her that I have realized that being a rigid “J” (If this, in fact, where my hatred of change comes from) is not a positive thing, and I have tried to manage this “fault” of mine. Rather than instantly say “no” to things, I have learned to say, “I need some time to process this, can I call you back in 5 minutes?” I can now be honest about what I’m feeling, and tell people, “This is throwing me off, let me think.”

Which I think is a good thing. An improvement.

But tonight, even after thinking things through and realizing my reasons were just excuses, and just the old familiar clinging to the Plans As Written … I still don’t really want to go.

It’s cold outside.

It’s wet outside.

Harumpf.

* I am typically an ESTJ.  Sometimes, depending on how the tests are worded, I come out as an ISTJ.  I think that I am more of the ESTJ than the ISTJ … but I am a borderline introvert-extrovert.  The problem is that I’m not comfortable with people I do not know.  If I know people, I’m very comfortable and extroverted, no matter how many people are in the room.

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Wicked Good!

I live in (or around) Boston, so I’m allowed to use the word “wicked!” as if it were still 1982.  Or something.

Wicked was so much fun.  I have small twinges of wishing I saw it on Broadway, but that was only for me, personally.  I wish I could have seen Kristen Chenowith as Galinda/Glinda, and I wish I could have seen if the original Elphaba was more slender, as the character in the book was.

But the kids don’t give a shit, and they had a blast.

It was the perfect show for them.  Just perfect.

Comedy for J, Drama for E – songs for both of them.

The night rocked.

Maybe I’ll save the complaining about the exhaustion that resulted for another post.  Maybe I’ll skip it entirely.

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