The rain stopped and everyone was up early and out the door onto the next thing except for me. I sunk into my chair buried under a pile of emails and maybe a wee bit of paperwork. Weebee finds her place on the edge of my Polaroid scanner. I try to shoo her off. She weaves her way around the back of the monitor carefully navigating, stopping to sniff the muffin wrapper I lazily set inside my pen holder. She gives it a lick, rubs herself on the other desk lamp and lets me know that she is in need of either food or attention. I pick up a left over tree ornament on my desk and wing it towards the door. She goes to retrieve it and then decides its not interesting enough and leaves. I am alone again. I sit and I oscillate between emails and work. I am grateful to be able to work like this but I also realize that it is easy for me to lock in and not get up except to eat and use the bathroom. Its an unhealthy balance and it one of my ways I avoid stuff and I acknowledge that. I do to busy myself with work work and more work. I have a conversation with myself as I place my earbuds in and fire up meditative music. I glance at the clock knowing that I have only a few hours before I need to be doing other things.
I finally break free long enough to go pick up my daughter from school. I remember that my son has his first lacrosse game of the season and I am supposed to go shoot that game. I make a mad dash to the camera store, as I leave I run into a smiling face from the past, the unexpectedness of it almost knocks the wind out of me. There was nothing random about it and not recognizing that would be a shame. I imagine that is how my husband sees the world, random and disjointed. I on the other had subscribe to the idea of dharma and that behind everything, are universal laws in place to keep us from chaos. Watch for the signs as your guide, they are there if you just look. Queue up The Adjustment Bureau to see what I mean about choices and free will.
I completely forget tonight’s game is 30 minutes away without traffic. Its now 5 o’clock and I’m just leaving. I have lost my mind. I can’t even remember simple things like game start times. I race with my daughter down the toll road, hurling insult after insult at myself. I am aware that I seem to have the filter turned off. I let the first f*bomb drop upon her ears. I look her squarely in the eyes in the rear view mirror. “Hey, sorry. I hate when I am like this, I am just really angry at myself. Not you, me. I’m sorry I said that word.” I feel like such a turd. I look back and she’s avoiding all eye contact. Show me the way of grace, show me the way of grace, I prayerfully whisper. Siri tells me to make a right in 200 yards and as I turn I pull to a stop and see this.
Time to let go.
I get on the field and there is another shooter with an embarrassingly long lens. I smile at him and he looks right through me. Typical. We retreat to our separate ends of the field. I fumble with my settings. I dial up the ISO and throw up a few hail Mary’s, I thought it couldn’t hurt to add in a few request along with the favor to let these boys go 50 minutes without serious injury.
Everything starts out fuzzy and its really hard to tell when you are shooting. I seem to always forget to reset settings when starting each game. Of course it also doesnt help that I arrived with my head on fire practically. Eventually I settle in and find my rhythm.
We loose. I feel badly for the boys they ran hard. I pack up my gear and we head back home and we find late dinner and a cold beer finds me. God, it was good.
The next day I force myself to go to the office so I don’t pull another six hour marathon at home. I eat lunch in the car under the shade of a blooming camphor that smells exactly like fresh ground pepper. After a day of emails and accounting work I tidy up my near perfect workspace and head home. I hit after school care and then the store. I point out to Super A, oooooo lookie someone just got a teeee-kit. I speed by. I check my rear view mirror and notice the cop on the bike has jumped back on his bike, he’s now in the number 3 lane, and now number two aaaaaaaanf now he’s speeding up and oh shit … LIGHTS ROLL. We come to a red light. I am looking in my mirror talking to the cop that can’t hear me, “ME?!?! … YOU MEAN ME!!!???” What the heck? Oh lord now what … I turn on my signal and proceed to pull over. My arrhythmia just said HELLLLL-O! I roll my window down. “Hey officer, what’s going on?” I sound like a long lost friend. Oh, well you know its not your driving. No, I said I figured that I’m going maybe 20 here. He asks sooo did you put this window tint on? Um, no I bought it this way (ok not entirely true the dealer did however tint them prior to me buying it at my request and I’m sure they reminded me about the potential ticket.) “Well, its not legal to have any sort of tint he tells me not even the slightest. You can just take a razor blade and peel it right off.” Great. Does this man not know that glare off cars is one of my migraine triggers (truth). I am so pissed. I guess its a lot dark to him than it is to me, see the back window? That’s the color of my tint, to me. He issues a fix it ticket and then asks me if that’s my daughter in the back. I’m thinking to myself now what. How old? almost 8 When exactly is she 8? March 29th. Ok well I gather here from your license she’s tall like her mom, correct? I confirm and assure him that she’s tall enough for the belts to fit properly. I get off with a warning to measure her. CA peeps any child 8 and under MUST BE IN A BOOSTER SEAT unless he or she is over 4’9″. So now I have to go dig out the booster or a yard stick.
Oh Facebook you were feisty last week. I got all kinds of slack for posting this: Travoltify Your Name. I certainly didn’t intend to inflict pain on anyone who suffers from dyslexia and as someone whose posts would appear that way if there wasn’t spell check. I completely get it. But then someone else pointed out what is its early onset Alzheimer’s to which I couldn’t stand it any longer and counter posted with ‘No matter, Scientology doesn’t believe in either.’ It didn’t take long for the next issue to crop up …. and then another.
Within minutes of posting about my daughter and her first experience selling Girl Scouts Cookies, I got an email from CCFC (Commercial Free Childhood Campaign) asking to speak out against the 2 million dollar partnership Girl Scouts made with Barbie and Mattel. I sunk in my chair. No no no no not now. I sign a letter and add my two cents:
I have such a hard time with this as I am a huge supporter, former scout and mother of a Brownie. I am so happy that Barbie is not something my daughter is interested in because I find their doll image superficial and demoralizing to the self-esteem of young girls. Barbie’s unnatural proportions are not an accurate representation of any of the girls scouts or mothers I know. I WILL NOT PLACE ANY PATCH ON MY DAUGHTERS SASH THAT ADVERTISES A BRAND – this included Build-A-Bear which I also have issue with (themed bears). PLEASE reconsider your partnership with Mattel. We don’t need another channel of advertisements disguised as something empowering for our girls.
Which then leads me to another story CCFC shared on their facebook wall about Amplify unveiling of a new curriculum at SXSW designed to replace textbooks with tablets. My blood begins to boil. Perhaps I should have simmered on it but instead, I share and immediately get a response that I won’t get into here but will say there was definitely a disconnect between someone I normally have a great rapport with. You can read how the whole thing went down on my personal facebook page, its a pubic conversation as it should be. We all have our opinions about the subject and I happen to feel very strongly that we should use more caution when letting our children use internet connected tablets that choose technology over human beings. Here is an excerpt:
The issue is about replacing ALL TEXTBOOKS in the classroom “Klein said the new ELA digital curriculum ‘eliminates the need for textbooks. It’s a one year sequenced curriculum controlled by teachers and designed to meet the rigors of the common core standards’” and one of the goals of COMMON CORE is to kids to consume MEDIA “The need to conduct research and to produce and consume media is embedded into every aspect of today’s [Common Core] curriculum. In like fashion, research and media skills and understandings are embedded throughout the Standards” and ULTIMATELY its about BIG DATA which equates to you guessed it M-O-N-E-Y, “[Amplify} expected to generate about $100 million in revenue this year—mostly contracts with about 200 school systems around the country.Klein said .” source: http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/digital/devices/article/55012-news-corp-s-joel-klein-outlines-amplify-education-unit.html. Equally important to know who financially benefits from these internet connected tablets and question their motivation. These software programs are designed and distributed by Amplify, owned and operated by a News Corp venture (a Rupert Murdoch owned branch), CEO Joel Klein, believes that this product will reform the current “broken” educational system. But who says the current system is so broke it needs a complete overhaul? Their argument is that we have dumped in more money into our education system without yielding results? They focus on studies that report low test scores but fail to acknowledge that the results are flawed and were achieved using a method that does not take into account that statistically United States has the most variance in socioeconomic levels with our lowest group falling lower than other countries used in the sampling. The fail to recognize that not all monies were invested in infrastructure and what they refer to as antiquated textbooks. over 50% of funds (with highest rate of increase) went to educators and aides for students with disabilities (social, emotional, developmental and learning) something that was not covered prior to 1970. http://www.epi.org/files/page/-/pdf/bp281.pdf. How can you attribute those dollars as a contributor to the decline of our educational system. This is about the potential money to be made by selling proprietary data from your kids and their tablet use. Learn the value behind data scrapping and the link between motivation and money become perfectly clear. I really doubt those invested are interested in improving anything other than their profit margins.
As you can see this topic hits a nerve, Common Core being the root of it, I read the 2nd grade Common Core standards, something you as a parent need to do if your child attends public school. 45 states have adopted this program, my husband thinks we should move to Texas where did not or Nebraska, Alaska, Virginia and Minnesota. Or the other choice is to move the youngest into a private school. At back to school night last fall, our 2nd grade teacher warned us that we should expect to see misspelled words on projects hung on walls by students, that Common Core standards encourage the effort and accept phonetic spelling. Yes that is not a typo, just taking a shot at spelling counts more than getting it spelled correctly. I already went ‘on record’ at our first parent teacher conference that this was not OK in our house. My mother was an English teacher for God’s sake. Oh and by the way we write cursive in our house too. I don’t care that the public school systems has replaced cursive prompts with online typewriting homework. Everyone learns cursive in my house. I have a love affair for good penmanship, my sister and I often competed as kids in prizes on it. My sister usually edged me out of it, but not by much. I think I lacked the competitive gene. I can tell you this my son has a unique writing style he developed in middle school. The lefty started writing in what I can only describe as a hieroglyphic font and it stuck. I still smile when I see it.
Somehow my sister and I were able to get away, just the two of us!!! for a belated birthday dinner Thursday. There were no photos just 2 hours of non-stop talking and tear producing laughter. We returned to our favorite, Enoteca Cucina, burrata with roasted garlic confit in a jar, baked arctic char with grilled tuscan kale, cannellini bean, caper berry, tomato, rosemary breadcrumb and limoncello butter sauce. They even put a candle in my dark chocolate budino. Ok, I did shoot this view, opposite the restaurant patio. I’m a little irked that one bar of neon is out (hell-o OCD).
Friday tulips are on sale and it’s almost 80 degrees outside, which isn’t that great for my film.
What’s better than roses on your piano? (if you know that joke then you are as twisted as the person who told me that one.)
The weekend is here and I manage to get the youngest out of the house for a few hours so I can dig out from my office. Not entirely a free day though as we are up early with Lacrosse. Its’ already 9:00 am. The mood is unusually quiet. No one from the organization says hello to me. I start to worry that my decision to announce my retirement from managing the team website may have been a bit premature.
Tonight we are back at the home with horses for our season kickoff party. The sunset is breathtaking.
I quickly learn why cool reception at the morning game. Turns out the girls lacrosse coach had passed away the night before, she was only 21. The news is crushing, I have neighbors who run that program, I guess the entire school district had been just up the street most of the day, I had no idea I didn’t find out until our team kick off party that night. Hard to be social when it was obvious that there were people hurting there that night. We all talk about the dialog that will come about as we talk to our teenage sons about depression, knowing that leaving this world by your own doing creates a devastating ripple of pain. It’s never an option I tell him. I love you, I whisper as I squeeze him hard.
I love that kid so much it hurts.
Clocks back and we are up early in the predawn darkness. I can’t sleep in anymore. Overnight Santa Ana winds reek havoc on my internal barometer (they trigger my trigeminal neuropathy) but leave the most crystal clear skies in its wake. I break out the Polaroid!!!! I forget how much fun it is.
I decide some grocery shopping may be in order.
Inspired by Bobby Flay’s Tips For Building The Perfect Burger in Bon Appetite (he adds potato chips like I do to my tuna fish sandwiches!) we make the tastiest hamburgers and pretend its summer. I have a photo somewhere but I can’t find my memory card soooo here’s the inspiration from BA.com
Burgers feed my soul.
So does C.E Lewis.