Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Turning that Frown Upside Down

  I am cautiously optimistic.

The Unitarian Universalist Association, a longtime client, has hired me to edit two big documents, one a sexuality education curriculum for grades 4–6, and one a guide for parents as the sexuality educators of their children. This is right up my alley and also good steady work. Yay!!!

In my ongoing quest for the perfect second job, I just had a phone interview that went very well (I think. How do you ever really know what someone else thinks of you?) for a part-time assistant job at the UU church in Belmont.

It pays very little (though comparable to what I make subbing), but the work is easy and plays to my skills (organization! administration! doing things the way they should be done!!), and the hours are flexible. And the woman I would report to (my interviewer today) is a part-time animal massage therapist! How cool is that???

I would love to get this job. And then I would have a regular (tiny) paycheck to supplement my editing, and maybe I could exhale a little.

And then think about . . . getting back to losing weight??? Maybe.

I'm still seeking a new therapist for Mimosa; we have appointments set up with two, and I have phone appointments with two more. I believe and trust that we will find the right person, yet it all takes time, and I do worry about my pumpkin.

One potential therapist asked me what I was doing to take care of myself while I helped my daughter, and I said, "I drink coffee and watch Jeopardy."

Currently I am obsessed with Jeopardy, particularly my snarky deadpan Jeopardy husband Alex Jacobs:

He is not for all tastes, but I totally love him. Go, Alex! Take down Matt Jackson! I'm behind you all the way, baby.

I finally worked my way through a massive pile of library books (fun, yet oppressive, in its way); here's what I'm reading now:

I dream of having a whole day, 24 straight hours, to read read read. Alas, these children are not going to raise themselves. Jerks.

Back to UU sex ed and a nice fat paycheck.


— Lady C

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

"My Life Has Been a Tapestry of Rich and Royal Hue"

Last night, Mimosa and I saw "Beautiful" at the Boston Opera House (this was her "big" present for her 18th birthday). What a glorious show! We love love LOVED it!!!!

The Boston Opera House is simply stunning, though by the time we'd climbed up 400 flights of stairs to get to our seats (Mezzanine, row M), and after I'd already climbed up and down another 30 to find the Ladies', my knees were sobbing and I was ready to have a stroke — which is in fact what I said to the nice usherette when she asked me how I was doing. "About to have a stroke," I panted, hot-flashing like mad. "No, you're not," she said, rather flatly, handing me a program. Well, thank you, Usherette M.D.! What thorough training you must have!

Except: she was right.

Our seats were high up, for sure, but also dead center; we had a straight shot down to that piano, and when "Carole King" appeared, every goosebump I've ever possessed stood at attention.

The show is brisk and funny and moving, punctuated with, oh, every song you've ever heard of ever. I'm still giggling over this:
Gerry Goffin: These lyrics are pointless.
Carole King: It's fun! Kids will love it.
Gerry (to babysitter): Here, you know every singer. Take a look at these lyrics — who could sing this?
Babysitter (reads flatly): "Everybody's - doing - a - brand - new - dance - now - come - on - baby - do - the" — I have no idea.
Gerry: Oh, come on, Little Eva!

Yeah. Little Eva was Carole King's babysitter. Crazytown.

I saw three people I knew in the audience, including a current client and a former boss, and I choose to believe this was a good omen for future work.

We preceded our meal with dinner at Abby Lane, an adorable little bistro that serves fabulous food. I swooned over my Caesar salad with kale and roasted Brussels sprouts; Mimosa went wild for the hot homemade doughnuts, with dark chocolate sauce, chocolate pudding, and vanilla bean mousse for dipping.

All in all, a perfect evening.

I loved seeing how the "Tapestry" album is really a story — her story — of finding her own voice.

The "Tapestry" album means different things to different people, but for me it represents the one time in my entire life when I was one of the cool girls.

Sierra View Elementary School, my alma mater
I'd been friends with Robin M for years, as she lived two blocks away (and in elementary school, most friendships were based on proximity). In fifth grade, Jenni B came to our class, and I'd known her for years through a mutual friend; she was a new girl and kind of interesting, and we quickly became best friends. Robin was best friends with Terri O, a deeply religious girl who fascinated us with her piety. Robin had always been pretty and kinda glamorous (her parents were divorced! her mother worked at a fancy clothing store and smoked!), and in fifth grade she was suddenly the most popular girl, with me, Jenni, and Terri her popular-by-extension besties. And whenever we had indoor recess (it actually rains a lot in Northern California), our teacher would put "Tapestry" on the record player, we girls would get out the Twister mat, and we would dance, just the four of us, while the boys mostly ignored us and the other girls watched enviously.

Ah, the glory.

But just for that one year. The following year, Terri moved away, Jenni was in a different class, Robin became best friends with Cori M, and I was still part of the group but didn't have a bestie. At one point, to save space, the teacher asked us to pair up and share a desk, and I was the only girl with no partner.

Popularity is a fleeting thing.

Before signing off and getting back to work, I want to quickly note another recent theater-going experience: Mimosa and I saw our dearest friend Mrs. Cynicletary in a delightful romp titled "5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche."

Mrs. C is second from the right
I love watching Mrs. C become someone else onstage. I know her so well — and then there she is, a totally different person, right before my eyes. She never fails to surprise and amaze me with her awesome talent.

My only disappointment is that for a brief moment she planned to wear one of my dresses as her costume (which blasted me right back to college, when everyone came to my room to borrow clothes whenever they needed a costume for something. Doesn't everyone have a selection of formals, elbow-length gloves, and boas???). (Zanzibar, this is one of the vintage dresses you gave me back in the day — sleeveless with blue flowers, rhinestone buttons, and a cinched waist — remember it?) It was thrilling to think of my dress starring in a play, but alas: She found an even better one, a flattering black number not depicted here.

Anyway! I love nothing more than live theater, and live theater starring one of my besties is the greatest thing of all.

Must start my day now. Sending gratitude into the world for all veterans everywhere (including my dad, whom I faithfully called on Veterans Day every year), and lots of love and healing vibes to Lady Darcy, who's having a major ladyorgan removed today.

All will be well, and all will be well, and all manner of things will be well.

Semper fidelis!

— Lady C

Saturday, November 7, 2015

When the Plate of Daily Life Is Overfull . . .

I woke naturally at 8:30 this morning, no alarm clock, no yowling cats (a small miracle!), and it was a quiet joy to pad downstairs (painfully — my knees are killing me) with nothing more strenuous on my immediate docket than coffee, cat feeding, and e-mail. Today is Chore Day, of course, and I will take down some Halloween decorations — all good — and this afternoon I have an outing planned with dear Brunie. Nothin' but good times ahead.

And then I sat down at my computer with my coffee, and my Actual Usual Real Day began:
  • It's time to pay my car loan bill. I tried to log in to my online account; it is frozen for some reason, so I will have to call someone and deal with this on Monday.
  • Two other big bills are due on Monday, and I don't have enough cash to cover them. I continue to dance with my lousy partner, Debt and Credit, and the financial future looks bleak.
  • I need to find a new therapist for Mimosa, ideally one who takes our insurance. The good news is that you can search online for therapists in my geographical area who take Blue Cross Blue Shield (though I must further subdivide between BCBS HMO and BCBS PPO, only one of which will work for me, and that requires a phone call or e-mail), but the search produces a long list of names and faces, all of whom are strangers. I will have to send dozens of e-mails and set up many initial appointments to find one who's the right fit, yada yada yada. I told Mimosa that she has to sit with me while I do this, but finding time that we're both available (and I have mental energy) is surprisingly difficult! She is a busy little pumpkin — as am I.
  • No response yet to my latest job application. All I want is a regular part-time second job to supplement my editing (which has been light of late), and I am barely able to net a phone call in response to my efforts, let alone an interview.
  • The last agent who read my first novel gave me extremely discouraging feedback, which I suspect is balls-on accurate. I am sad and depressed. My sweet old-fashioned book is pretty much dead in the water unless I make some major changes, I fear.
  • I currently chair the Religious Education Committee at my church. Almost nothing has been done to/with our website in several years, as it has been the lowest priority of the people running the program. The sheer tonnage of the work ahead of me is wearying. I should take it bird by bird, I know, but right now all I can see is the entire aviary.
  • "Write D.C. travel diary" and "Begin college financial aid application process" have been on my to-do list and pile since the beginning of time. I am oppressed by their presence.
  • The bills grow ever larger, and my pool of paying work is suddenly very small. I keep reaching out and checking in and job-searching and applying, and I don't know what else to do! 
  • My knees hurt hurt hurt and I just get fatter and fatter. I am old and tired and discouraged.
  • Someone needs to go grocery shopping!!
  • I sent 14 e-mails this morning so far — accepted a subbing job, dealt with some committee stuff, paid a bill, rescheduled a fun breakfast date, followed up with two book agents— and yet the pile and list before me remain enormous. I feel like I removed a microscopic chip from a towering iceberg.
This is how I have felt every single day in October and November. Something has to give!!!!

Time for chores. At least that is something definite I can accomplish, even if the effects are fleeting.


— Lady C

p.s. In happier news, here's me as a Peanuts character:

All will be well, and all will be well, and all manner of things will be well. This is my mantra. I just need to keep repeating it!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Blogging Is Far, Far Down on My To-Do List

I apologize to my regular readers, but I've had neither time nor oomph for blogging. It has been a busy couple of weeks, which have included a house guest, Brunie's 50th surprise birthday party, the death of Kind Tina's mother, which necessitated that I fill in for her in RE land at church, teacher conferences, mental health issues, night-time outings, hosting a Halloween party for the local Betsy-Tacy chapter, many mammograms (all good), an evening with Michael Dukakis, work work work, and the crowning event of last weekend: Mimosa's application to her dream college.

Busy times! And my year of YES (which got off to a rather humbling start, as I am not nearly as popular as I thought I was) has taken me to several events now, including one tomorrow night, involving a "clothing party" at one of the Sleek Suburban Mom's houses. I said to her, "I know for sure that I'm not going to buy anything, let alone try anything on; do you still want me to come and drink your wine?" and she said, "Yes! Come be an appreciative audience!" Now, that I can do.

And I did invite three friends to come with me — Nurse Kathy, Writer Jenny, and Mrs. Superdad:
Chicas, this is my year of YES, and I am saying yes to any social event for which I’m available, even if it sounds horrific like this one does. Trying on clothes, ugh. Trying on clothes and modeling them for other people, ugh.

But I love my friend who’s hosting, and I know the wine will be good, and she swears it’s fine for me to come and just be a supportive party guest.

I also promised that I’d invite a friend, so I’m inviting you three. Let me know if you want to come with me. Full disclosure: My clothes are staying ON. 
Alas, they can't come, but Mrs. Superdad totally cracked me up with her refusal:
Thank you for thinking of me as one of the three people (female) you would want to be around in a state of undress and partial intoxication. That means a lot. Really.
 I love love LOVE my friends.

All is basically well, and I'll be back to blogging when I can.

Happy fall!

— Lady C

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

I Guess a Surprise Is . . . Refreshing?

Spoiler: This post is not for the faint of heart or for those grossed out by bodily functions. Read at your own risk.

"Weepy," I wrote yesterday. "Melancholy," I said. "Suddenly burst into tears," I noted.

I didn't mention a heavy crampy emotional feeling or tender boobs, because, hey! That's just what I call Daily Menopausal Life!

I got a period 27 days ago, after not having one for 270 days, and it was one of those weirdo dark-brown periods that didn't resemble anything normal but nonetheless required multiple sanitary products. It felt like my uterus's last gasp, frankly. I'm movin' on, baby! Let's get all this old crap outta here.

So when I got up from my computer chair this a.m., noting an odd stickiness in my nether regions:
  Am I a moron for not connecting the dots?
  Would you have expected a bloody stain on the chair?
  What the fuck, body????
I am currently flowing like a teenager.

But I haven't sneezed once.


(I guess I'll hang on to my tampons for another year.)

Must now remove stain from chair, also nightgown, also pathway to bathroom.


— Lady Bloody C

Monday, October 12, 2015

Autumn Is a Melancholy Season


October is my favorite month, but I have been very weepy this time 'round. I'm still sneezing, coughing, and blowing my nose, so clearly I have something allergy-related going on (or walking pneumonia, that seems possible too), and not feeling 100 percent well is a 100 percent downer, and I am also crazybusy with work and life commitments (and have taken on yet another project, a cookbook for the Betsy-Crazies, don't ask), and I am really, really, really missing my dad right now. I got my Cook's magazine in the mail yesterday and wept because Dad bought me this subscription. I wept while watching High Sierra (great movie!) because Dad loved Humphrey Bogart. And so on and so on.

But I'm also gearing up for the next big loss: Mimosa is a senior in high school, and unless something goes terribly awry, this is her last year living at home with us for real. (I know the trend is for college grads to return home to live with their parents, so who knows. It's not what I did nor my brothers nor Husband, and I do hope that my kids will be able to find their own homes and support themselves — but time will tell.)

Yesterday I brought the new North Shore Music Theater brochure into her bedroom in great excitement, saying, "Which shows should we see?" NSMT has chosen a bewilderingly bad line-up for the past few years, but this year I'm excited about several shows. Mimosa said, "Singin' In the Rain for sure" — "YES!" I said — "and maybe Funny Girl? Would I like that?" "It's got some great songs and it's a fun show," I said. "So yes, Funny Girl. And what about West Side Story?"

And my sweet girl said, "It's — in November."


She won't be here to see West Side Story with me. She'll be away at college.

I calmly burst into tears, and Mimosa held my hand and was very sweet.

Loss, loss. It all sucks.

But a different kind of loss, i.e., WEIGHT, would be most welcome! For weeks now I've been saying, "As soon as I'm well again, I will start building up my strength," and the weeks go by . . . and by . . . Clearly it's time to call my doctor (it was probably time to call my doctor several weeks ago), so I will do that tomorrow. Benadryl, recommended by the wise and brilliant Mrs. Cynicletary, is wonderful at drying up my leaky sinuses, but it puts me right to sleep. I need a better strategy.

But I can't call today because it's Columbus Day, we're enjoying a gorgeous three-day weekend, and Mimosa and I are about to road-trip to Wheaton College and Wellesley College, just to check them out, and then dine at Alta Strada, one of our favorite restaurants. It may all be moot, she has her heart set on Emerson College and is applying Early Action, but I'm trying to get her to expand her horizons a bit and see that there are other lovely schools out there (that might be more realistic . . .), just in case, just in case.

Her application is due November 1 and we'll know by December 15 if she got in, and I am expecting the next few months to be EXCITING.

Off to hit the road, Jack!

– Lady C

p.s. Here's what I'm reading:


And here's what I'm watching:

Apparently I'm on a Ginger Rogers kick. I was watching House of Cards, but I realize that I hate every single character and don't care what happens to any of them, so I quit halfway through Season 3 — on to Scandal

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Kicking Up My Heels! (Weakly, I'm Still Sick)

I am still absurdly wiped by this cold (it's just a cold! why am I so sick???), but nonetheless: Many events of note have occurred and should be, er, noted. There is much to celebrate at Chez Chardonnay!

First: Both Mimosa and Martini auditioned for the highly prestigious, highly competitive Madrigal Singers last week . . .

. . . and both made it!! We are over-the-moon happy!!!!

(Plus, this makes the school commute so much easier.)

Still to be determined: whether Martini can be both a Madrigal and a member of the band, as band rehearsals overlap with the Mads two days a week. We were told last spring he could do both, so I'm not sure what has changed. But as much as enjoys playing his glockenspiel, Martini is in love with singing — he knows what he will choose if he has to choose. The high school band teacher is kinda legendary, though; Husband and I devoutly hope that our boy can do both.

Second: My marriage turns 22 today!!!

It's the copper anniversary. Intriguing. I like this idea:
Alas, we have but few copper pennies to rub together this month; large-ish copper entities will have to wait.

So far we're celebrating our anniversary separately; I'm doing chores (natch), while Husband is at church for a Worship Associate training. But tonight . . . tonight . . .

. . . tonight we Time Warp!!!! We're taking the kids and a friend of Mimosa's to see The Rocky Horror Picture Show live and onstage!!! We are very excited.

And we kicked off our celebration weekend with a most excellent dinner party at the home of our oldest couple friends, my Alterna-Husband and his lovely wife. They had invited a new young couple as well, and it was great fun.

So far, my Year of Yes is off to a bit of a lame start; I had to beg out of my church acquaintance's birthday party because I was still under the weather, health-wise, and I haven't been invited to do anything else! But the year's young, lots of YES lies ahead, I have no doubt.

Time to resume my exciting afternoon: vacuuming and blowing my nose 73 more times. Happy anniversary to me.


—Lady C