Saturday, September 29, 2007

Candyman, Candyman, Candyman...

Candyman is my all-time favorite horror movie. Made in 1992 and set right here in Chicago, it is the story of what happens when an urban legend becomes reality. It stars Virginia Madsen, a hometown girl. Watch it and then I dare you to stand in front of your bathroom mirror and utter his name three times. My husband knew this one actually spooked me and would walk up to me when I was brushing my teeth at night and start saying his name. Creep. Thanks for the fun idea, Splotchy!


I know I haven't been around as much lately. For one, we had some problems with our router, but that got fixed. I am under the gun at work. Even when I'm not, I guess I always kind of feel that way. Time is like the hot breath of a pursuer constantly on your back as you try to outrun it. Time has the ability to undermine all that I do. Time is valuable and frightening all at the same time.

I meet most of the kids I work with when they are quite young. There is always great hope in these moments. Everyone I work with makes very nice progress, but some progress much more quickly than others. It's those kids who don't move as fast that set me in motion. I am tasked with trying to catch them up to their peers in a race where the finish line keeps moving further away. It's exhausting for all of us I can assure you.

This year I have more than a few kids that fall into this category. It has been a rough few months filled with bumps in the road and detours that have wasted our precious time. Many days I work from the time I get up until I go to bed. Maybe this is why I kind of snapped this last week. I am grateful that I am in my quarter break right now, so I can devote more energy to my work. While I know school is important, it is yet another greedy monster, eating up precious hours every week. There are days at work that I feel like I'm battling a blazing house and I've got a squirt gun to do the job. It can be a little overwhelming. Most of the time, I try not to think about it too hard, because it doesn't help to worry.

But right now, worry is what I am filled with. I worry that some decisions that were made weren't correct. I worry that we are racing as fast as we can and that we might not finish the race. I worry about ten years from now. I have to. It's my job to constantly adapt plans as progress is made. I have to remind myself that everything we do is good. I know it doesn't all rest on my shoulders, but I also know that I have to keep running because I feel that hot breath on my neck.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Loose as a Goose

If someone were to judge my character based on my activities this week, I think I'd get labeled with names such as "deviant," "exhibitionist," or "slut." I spent Tuesday morning getting plastered in more ways than one. My neighbor is an artist and in preparation for the upcoming Boobiethon, she cast my frontside and will be painting on it. For good measure we threw the backside in as well. A couple of Screwdrivers made the whole experience a little less, shall we say, tense. I'm starting to like this Boobiethon ritual. It forces me once a year to make peace with my body. Standing butt-naked in my neighbor's home covered in plaster also forces that peace process. For the record, a thin layer of plaster doesn't hide much.

Apparently I didn't have quite enough nakedness for the week on Tuesday, so when I was begged to show up at our friend's bar for a male dance revue, I just couldn't say no. Mind you, I'm not super excited by beefcake. I spent my dating years with some seriously scrawny dudes. I felt a little weird heading into this event, so I did what any sensible girl would do, I drank. When we got to the bar, the four guys who were going to perform were all hanging out in back and were actually just nice guys. I'm not sure what I expected, but they were pretty normal. When our group of girls went in, we discovered that we were pretty much the only ones there. I guess they didn't promote the event very well, and quite frankly, this is Evanston. This is probably the raciest thing that has happened here in years.

We all hung out and had a few drinks and the guys postponed the show in hopes of drawing a larger crowd. Well, it didn't happen. They were going to get paid by the bar no matter what happened so we decided to tell them that they didn't have to perform for just us. They weren't having it. They told us they had made a commitment and were going to make good on it. I have to say I was a little nervous when they put our four, yes four, chairs right in front of the stage. Since I was well on my way to having a real good attitude, I was feeling pretty game. Oh my. Let's just say there were four dancers and four girls and plenty of that special time in the chair onstage. I am really not an extrovert or an exhibitionist, but I am beginning to wonder after this week. I kind of felt like I was enjoying it just a little too much. I decided to just go with it and let those boys fulfill their contractual obligations! Really, normally I don't even like standing in front of a crowd, yet there I was smothered in beefcake and put in semi-contortionistic poses with some nearly naked dudes I didn't know. I'm now wandering around wondering what snapped in my brain this week. All the while, I am planning for Boobiethon...

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Brains on the Wall

Went with Sweetness and company to a show on Tuesday night. I was geeked about seeing Metric, but had no idea what brain blenderizing fun the opening band, Crystal Castles, would be. They have made a name for themselves remixing songs from other bands like Klaxons and Bloc Party. My brain is still buzzing with the memory of their set.


Next up, and headlining, were Metric. Every one of them was an accomplished musician and the fact that they were led by an amazing tough as nails and sarcastic chick made them even better. One of the tightest sets I've heard in years. Interesting time signatures and rock your face off dance inducing tunes. If they are heading for your town, I highly encourage you to go see the show.

METRIC-Dead Disco

I'm flipping out and twitching just a bit because there are more than ten shows I really want to see in the next month. I know I'm going to have to pare that list down, but I am giddy with excitement.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Helping is Easy

Some of you have expressed a desire to sponsor a child. I can only tell you that we have had a very positive experience with Children International. When our first child was conceived we decided that since we would not be adopting, that we should help out another child in the world. We sponsored him from age four to age eighteen. What I did not understand when we signed up was that not only would we be supporting a child, but we supported his family and the village he lived in by improving conditions and bringing aid to the area.

We recently finished supporting this child, who lived in India, and are anxious for the next. I have enjoyed hearing about his growing and love receiving his picture each year. The picture of a healthy educated child. A child who has hope. He often wrote to us telling us of his love for art, which is my daughter's love. I hope that as he continues in life that he will continue to have hope and will continue to succeed. I know that our small commitment to him made a difference.

The organization we went through is Children International. They are reliable, non-sectarian, and give a great portion of the money directly to the child being sponsored. I didn't do it to make myself feel good, I did it because it felt like the right thing to do. I have no regrets and can't wait to start all over again.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Hot Spot

I am trying to get to Santa Barbara for a conference, but am socked in at the San Francisco airport. Not really a big deal in the grand scheme of life. Just wanted to let all of you know that I have not been avoiding you, but that we are having issues with our wireless network, the router in particular, and it has been difficult for me to get to my blog and all of yours. So, here I am in a "hot spot" with time on my hands.

I have not been away from my family for three and half years and have never been away for work. It's nice to do something besides what I typically do on a Wednesday. I have homework to do when I get to the hotel, but for now, I'm writing and roaming. Fall has been busy so far getting all of the kids that I work with and my own transitioned into school. It's been a bumpy ride, but we are all making it through. I've managed to hire and fire people in the last week, which is possibly my least favorite aspect of my job. This week I am attending a conference that will give me certification in a newew form of the therapy that I do. The fact that I have to go to Santa Barbara is not unwelcome.

It was my Mom's birthday a couple of days ago. I don't know if it's the medication or the fact that I've been so busy that I haven't really been able to think about it, but I felt like I made it through the day this year a bit better than in years past. The whole fall is filled with last memories, so I approach the season rather hesitantly. The past couple of years, I have felt kind of hollow around this time, but I do feel more full of life in this season of change.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

As Summer Fades Away

As summer fades away I find myself clinging onto the last sunny days spent with my kids. Somehow in my mind, summer marks their changing stages of childhood. Sweetness no longer really enjoys playing in the sand at the beach and I wonder how long before Bink will feel the same way. We are making our last trek to the beach tomorrow before they close it for the season. This year Bink still enjoyed hanging with me at the beach, content to make sandcastles while I read or splashing around in the water with me. I wonder if next summer will be different.

We as a family are sucking the marrow out of the last days, while readying ourselves for Tuesday's drastic change. There's still time for a couple more barbeques, a couple of evenings on the porch and looking for that last cicada. I think for the first time, I'm dreading the end of summer more than my kids. I hope everyone enjoys this last weekend of summer.