headed out

We’re about to leave on vacation, and I couldn’t be happier. My books are all packed, and I don’t really care if I have enough clean clothes. Up on the reading list for this year’s vacation include: The Historian, The Alienist, Lush Life, and Lullabies for Little Criminals. I’m planning to spend the week on the beach, watching the Potato dig to Australia, the Bee splash in the waves, sipping a mojito and reading for 10 hours a day.

Have a wonderful week! And if you’re heading out on a road trip of your own, here’s a little gift from me to you.


June 26, 2008. family life. 4 comments.


I’m starting to think that I might not be good at making friends anymore. We had two parties to go to this weekend, both of which involved lots of new people, and I really didn’t feel like talking to any of them.
Maybe it’s not that I’m not good at making friends, but I just don’t want any new ones.

I’m tired of feeling like I’m losing track of people. I made a vow this year that I would try to have lunch with a friend at least once a month, and I’m not sure that I’m keeping it, so far.

I find it really hard to balance work and parenthood and being a good friend. Adding new people will surely only make me feel guiltier.

Part of my problem is that I used to see a lot of my work-friends at meetings, but as I’ve moved into more of a statewide job, I don’t have as much time to go to meetings locally as I once did. I mean, hell, this is the first post I’ve put up in a week–I don’t even have time to blog any more! Another part of the problem is that most of my friends are as busy as I am.

Sometimes, I wonder what it will be like, when the kids are grown enough that every day isn’t a rush to pick them up from school, to get home and do homework, eat dinner, have some quality family time. Will I then be able to go out to a casual dinner with friends, the kind that right now takes a month of planning to arrange?

Sometimes I think I should just work harder at maintaining my friendships. After all, how will I have friends left to have casual dinners with, if I’m not working hard to cultivate those friendships now?

How do you keep your friendships going, in the face of all the other competing pressures?

June 22, 2008. random other things. 17 comments.

Happy Dad’s Day

to all my favorite dads out there (including the one I’m married to, of course).

It’s a little odd, but I feel like I’m delurking on my own blog to post today. I think I’ve reached that phase, which seems to happen to so many bloggers, of wondering whether there is really any there there, in blogging.

But not today. Today there is free snark, no waiting.

As I posted a few days ago, the end of the school year is kicking my butt. Still happening, as the end of the school year seems to last from roughly May Day through September 1. Last week, in my role as PTA president, I had the great joy of attending sixth grade commencement (I’ve also had the joy of attending 8th grade commencement and the high school’s academic awards night, in my role as distributer-of-US-savings-bonds).

With all this end-of-year activity, I have a whole new understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of various members of the school community. Particularly the weaknesses. Particularly in the area of public speaking.

NOTE: I realize that many people do not enjoy the public speaking. I am not one of those people. While I wouldn’t characterize myself as particularly gifted, I get to speak in public in various settings a dozen or so times a year, and I think I’m moderately okay at it.

However, if you are the superintendent of a school district of any size, you should probably know that you are going to have to speak at a graduation or two. You might want to, in that case, consider visiting superintendentgraduationspeeches.com, or whatever, and cribbing something. Because lecturing the parents of incoming middle-schoolers about how they (the parents) just need to keep an eye on who their kids are friends with? is not going to endear you to those parents. Especially when you, the superintendent, look as if you may be about to enter middle school yourself.


Also? Giving the same speech to the graduating elementary school kids that you give to the graduating middle schoolers? does not bode well.

June 15, 2008. books for grown-ups, family life, the joys of PTA. 5 comments.

The Power of 8

I was tagged for this meme by Byrning Bunny, whose blog I just recently started reading.

The Rules:

  1. The rules of the game get posted at the beginning.
  2. Each player answers the questions about themselves.
  3. At the end of the post, the player then tags 5-6 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read your blog.
  4. Let the person who tagged you know when you’ve posted your answer.

The Questions:

What was I doing ten years ago?

Well, I was about to turn 30 (guess how old that makes me now?), and landisdad and I were living in CA, planning our wedding.

What are five things on my to do list for today tomorrow?

Calling the place where landisdad & I are having our birthday party; being on three conference calls; making my to-do list; sending out party invites; laundry (is it ever not on the list?)

Snacks I enjoy?

I’m really loving the kettle corn, right now. Fresh from the farmers’ market, yum!

Things I would do if I were a billionaire?

Billionaire? Wow, so much higher-stakes that previous memes! Okay, travel for sure. Also? Buying the best damn election for the Democrats that money can buy. Hell, all the other billionaires do it!

I guess there’s also the whole investing/saving for college/putting money away for retirement thing, too.

Three of my bad habits?

Um, bad money management? Taking on too much. Failure to clean to any reasonable human standard.

Five places I have lived?

New Brunswick, NJ; Boise, ID; Oakland, CA; San Francisco, CA; Union City, CA

Five jobs I have had?

Canvasser, Waitress, Word Processor, Stage Manager, Organizer

Five people I want to know more about:

Jennifer, Mama Em & Mama AFlea, Tracey, & Becky

I would love it if you would choose to add #8 and tell us how you chose your blog’s name.

Well, I’m sorry that’s not a more interesting story. The real story is this–landisdad gave my kids their nicknames on the day that each of them were born, while we were in the hospital. I wish I could take credit for making up my blog name, but I just gave them pseudonyms that they already had as family nicknames.

    June 8, 2008. memes. 2 comments.

    an update from the tantrum front

    So after my bad parenting moment of a few weeks ago, I’ve been working overtime to keep from losing my patience with the Bee. Which has not been that easy, as she has been a holy terror to live with, of late. I have, however, managed to keep my temper, although it did at one point require locking myself in my room to read a book.

    Distraction (my own), it turns out, does wonders for extending the patience. So far, I have sewed, read, done laundry, set the table for dinner and gone out in the yard to weed, in order to avoid yelling at the Bee while she was yelling at me.

    It’s starting to pay off. On Sunday night, when we returned from the beach and she had to live with the fact that her temper had lost her tv access for the whole weekend, she started screaming at me again. I blithely continued on my way, doing whatever it was that I had been doing, and eventually, she went to her room and calmed herself down.

    When it was over, I told her that it was great that she had calmed herself down, and that it seemed much quicker than the other times she’s totally lost it (okay, I didn’t say totally lost it to her, but you get my drift). I asked her if she thought there was something different this time, or if she had used a different technique to get her composure back.

    She said, “No.” Then, “well, there was one thing.”

    “What’s that?,” I inquired.

    “I got bored of fighting with you.”

    Victory through boredom. I’m on to something here.

    ETA: She also told me, in a later conversation that night, “Mom, sometimes I just feel like a toy that someone took out and played with, and just used me up till all my insides were gone, and that’s when I lose my temper.”

    Melting much?

    June 4, 2008. thoughtful parenting. 8 comments.

    first day at the beach

    June 1, 2008. the cutest kids ever!. 5 comments.