A Hodgepodge

03.1.10

Things with Alexander are better, we had a bit of a blowout and I yelled at him. He didn’t yell back, which is good. It’s not good that I yelled at him, because I hate being the yelling mom, but I absolutely refuse to be the mom of the kid who doesn’t listen. He’s a good little boy, he’s testing the limits, and we’re providing them. I try to take cues from my husband who is so thoughtful. Before the kids turn on the PlayStation he asks them, “how much time do you think you need?” and then he sets the timer. I’ve just been setting the timer. Adding the step that empowers them has been helpful. When they were littler I used to remember that, now I fear we’re all running at so fast a pace that I’m forgetting the details of being their mother.

Krista came over and we sipped wine in the middle of the day (4pm), half a dozen (or more) kids ran in and out of the house, and I installed my new ceiling light. Our girls have been friends since diapers, and Krista remembers Alexander’s birth. There’s magic when the kids get together, I love it.

My friend Tanis was told by a PR rep at Blissdom that she’s too edgy, feral even to work with publicists. If Tanis was a better listener she would know that girls like us shouldn’t cross the Mason-Dixon line. Oh, but Tanis is Canadian, so she might not have known that. I mean, how could she possibly know? She’s busy decorating her Ivory Tower as she has won the 2010 Bloggies at THE BEST CANADIAN BLOGGER. Conversations like that just reaffirm for me that the best Bloggers has little to no use for Publicists. Mommy Hawkers (review only bloggers) are probably the best match for the fake Louboutin PR crowd that dominates in the blogosphere.

I went to the gym this morning to get on the elliptical. Well, actually I go to the gym to watch TV. It’s lame, I know. A run would do me more good than an hour on the elliptical, but sometimes I just want to watch TV. Of course I couldn’t because all the TV plugs don’t work at the gym. I should stop blogging and tell them, because I care about that. After my workout I passed by a smoothie chain and I thought I’d pop in and get one. In the store were two women and myself. One was at the cash register and one was behind her, coughing, a lot. In fact, she was coughing into her hand. After I decided on on one of four smoothies that weren’t comprised mostly of sherbet (which makes them into milkshakes), I handed the cashier my $4.35 and watched the coughing one begin to make the smoothie with neither a hand washing nor a set of gloves. I told her I changed my mind, and that I’d like my money back please. Unlike the gym, smoothies aren’t a big part of my life. I’m not going to complain to a manager (I’m pretty sure one of them was the manager) because I don’t care. I’ll be perfectly content to skip the smoothies altogether, as I probably have 3 a year. The opposite of love is not hate, the opposite of love is indifference. As I walked out of the store I heard the two girls talking about the “crazy lady”, um… I’d get bugged about that, but again, they’re coughing in a smoothie shop all day.

I’m playing with YouTube more and more. I’d love it if you subscribed. I promise no super long videos. Double dog swear. I have a terrible case of YouTuberculosis and I blame Ben Hughes. It’s highly contagious and clicking here just might transmit it.

Kenmore has provided me a Washer and Dryer to review. They arrived on Friday, and I ran out to get HE laundry soap so I could get started. While I was at the grocery store I started sniffing the laundry detergents, because I wasn’t sure what sort of flowers my husband should smell like. Well, I got distracted and came home with regular laundry soap. Although some people might think it’s a crummy way to start, I thought that a mountain of laundry suds was kind of funny. I’ve since bought the HE soap and I’m deeply ashamed that our clothes have been dirty this long.

I’m turning 40 this month. My husband is asking me what I want for my birthday. Nothing. Really. I do have it all, and the things I don’t have I never really wanted. He’s asking if I want a party? Nope, nothing sounds less appealing than playing hostess on my birthday. What about a small one? Oh good, then I can’t even get lost in a crowd. Maybe I want to take a trip? Well, I’d love to ski, but I’m not into spending the money. I looked around for ski trips, and found the Snowmamas, which raises more questions than answers. Do I trust any of those reviews? I went on over to Skidazzle (which is a group I’ve always trusted) and I’m wondering, do I want to review my family vacation for you? Why should I? Why shouldn’t I? Again, I’m struggling with privacy and authenticity. Every time I show up in a group of Mom Bloggers (which is less and less often) I hear the same refrain, “If I don’t have anything nice to say, I won’t write a review.” Really? How is that helpful? And how the hell did I go from turning 40 to (once again) noting that too many people can be bought and paid for? In some circles Yelp is no better.

The book is killing me. I’m writing like crazy, but I don’t think I’ll be done by the time I’m 40. This is depressing. Everything about it is depressing. I mean, if I put the kids in daycare I could be done in four weeks, but really? Why? I’d rather play with my kids, which is not what a publisher wants to hear…

Skiing and Living With Neither Fear Nor Helmets

03.20.09
30 years ago - Younger than my daugher is now

30 years ago - Younger than my daugher is now

Today there is finger wagging. Natasha Richardson should have gone to the hospital/worn a helmet/stayed at home/wrapped herself in bubble wrap. Today ski helmet sales are soaring, and well intentioned mothers are swaddling their tweens in bubble wrap, lest they tumble and fall. Helmet manufacturers are salivating, but they can’t market to you or it’d appear predatory at best, and ghoulish at worst.

It was a freak accident, she could have just as easily tripped on an evening gown and hit her head on a fire hydrant. My understanding is that Natasha Richardson had an unremarkable fall.

Really bad luck.

My kids wear a helmet when they ski. I do not. I’ve skied since I could walk, and it’s one of a very few things that I know I do well. I ski like I write, I’m fearless and I manage to make a few small leaps and if I lead with my hips I can avoid most hazards.

The few (blissful) times I’ve hut skied, I was required to wear a helmet. I wore a helmet when the ski patrol took me out of bounds on one of our recent trips (dude, I’ve got your back, I’ll never tell who you are). If they’d insisted I wear a tutu, I would have complied. I hated the helmet.

I love the sound of my skis carving into the snow. I love the wind blowing in my hair. I love being a teensy bit cold. I love not being able to see my feet in the powder and the ache in my thighs matching the burn in my lungs. I ski long runs, mostly black diamond, mostly flat and I seldom jump anymore. The reality is that skiing has a very low injury rate, less than one half of one percent.l1070586I no longer own skis and I traded in the 185’s to rent 160’s.

I want to tell you that in the wake of this terrible tragedy I’ll wear a helmet. I can’t do that. It’s not because wearing a helmet isn’t the smart thing to do. It’s not because I didn’t think about wearing a helmet after Sonny Bono died (even though he killed spring break in Palm Springs). I contemplated it even longer after William Kennedy died.

I still skiied without one all those years.

One thing I’ve vowed to be in this space is honest. I may not be literate, balanced, kind, sensible or fair, but I will be honest.

In all honesty, I won’t be wearing a helmet any time soon. There are a lot of things I do that are much more dangerous than skiing. There’s more than a little marketing on the evening news.

Related posts:
Skiing in 2007
Skiing in 2009

Colorado Ski Vacation: Where I Finally Ski

01.9.09

As the antibiotics kick in and Alexander’s fever subsides we start having a little fun. The kids disappear into the snow and build forts. We caution them to stick together, but there is no lecture about the homeless guy on Ventura or the speed of cars. Instead we worry about boots falling off or spats between children.

The kids go to daycare ski school for a few hours and Robert and I take a few runs together. It’s fun, but it’s pretty tame and I’m needing just a little more.

I stand at the top of Outhouse and my brain clicks off. I haven’t a thought in my head other than can I do this? Has it been too long? I cannot think about Robert, the kids, pediatricians, Kasey. I can’t think of anything as I’m planning my route.

At some strange moment before my brain catches up to my gut, I’m headed downhill and carving a path between the bumps. I know it’s stupid, I know I promised Robert I wouldn’t do anything dumb, like ski double diamonds, but I’ve got one life and I’m capable.

Halfway down the run I stop for breath.

Let me tell you the number one rule of skiing the small tight bumps? Don’t stop. Restarting part way down a steep pitch is near impossible, now my arms are flapping like chicken wings and I’m the asshole in pink pants that should’ve stayed in Los Angeles.

And then it comes together. Miraculously, I’m back in control. My hips are swivels, my legs are charged, my arms glide effortlessly and my head is three bumps ahead of my body.

It’s why I ski. Any amount of travel is worth one perfect run.

The afternoons were peppered with physical challenges on the top of the mountain, the mornings came with parenting challenges and the evening alternated between perfect family fun, healing hugs and overwhelming sadness. It was a good trip. It was the right trip to take.

In the midst of it all, the reason I needed to be there was Kasey. There wasn’t a moment that we forgot him. Not even on the bumps.

Dear Mary Jane

01.2.09

Thanks for all the fun.

After a Loss I’ve Learned My Lesson

08.28.08

Skiing in Colorado this December.

Why?

Because sometimes people you love just don’t live long enough, and I’m not about to fuck up and miss time with them.

That and the fact that I’m a really great skiier…