Archive | March, 2012

Dr. Adams of Sesame Street, Property Owner & Storyteller

I’ve had a pretty crazy week this week, most of it hinging on the fact that I’ve had the flu. Under the best of circumstances – you have sick leave available, you have understand and compassionate tax write-offs in your home – the flu sucks. Under this week’s circumstances – no opportunity to take sick leave, children recently recovered from said flu who seem to have some sort of flu-induced amnesia – it was HELLISH.

BUT I DID IT.

Since I am drained of most things creative and awesome, I am going to borrow a writing prompt from Michelle over at Not Raising Brats. I met Michelle and her BFF Hillary at The Blathering last year and I’ve loved reading their stuff ever since.

Michelle got to day-dreaming earlier this week about her dream job. Which got me thinking about mine.

Honestly, at first I was all I love what I do now! .. which, believe it or not, is true. For the most part. I love the program I support and I love the folks I work with. Are there things I wish I could adjust about it? Yes, sure. But they’re minor. So, um, I’m okay with my job.

Which was a REALLY BORING ANSWER, SARAH. So I started thinking about jobs that I wish I could have but I can’t because I am not at all qualified.

Sesame Street Outreach Coordinator. Hello, I’m Sarah, and I’m an Outreach Coordinator for Sesame Street Workshop! Doesn’t that sound AMAZING? It combines two of my all-time favorite loves: Jim Henson and children. Seriously, I can think of few endeavors that would have my heart and soul more than this fictional position. I’m even specific about it being with Sesame Street Workshop and not Muppets – I am of a firm opinion that Sesame Street has remained more closely aligned with the Henson ideals than Muppets have. Frank Oz, I think, would agree with me. And I would love the opportunity to work with the Make-a-Wish Foundation in bringing terminally ill children to meet their favorite characters.

Dr. Patch Adams. So, there are many reasons I can never have this job. Obviously. But I loved the premise and, again! Children! And laughter! And healing! And these things are obviously important to me. I am such a huge believer in quality of life and making sure that even ill children have laughter and love in their lives. (I’m the weird one who volunteers to accompany pets to be euthanized when no one else will. I just .. I just think it helps to have someone there who loves them, you know?)

Storyteller at a hands-on children’s museum. Oh, seriously. SERIOUSLY. I would not only BE AMAZING at this job, but I would love every single minute of it. But I would specifically like to work with youngish, school-age children: having worked in a kids’ museum before, I think there is this very special and magical spark of imagination in kids from age 4-10, and it’s just an important time to grab on to that and set it aflame. If their love of learning is never ignited at that age, you’ve lost them. Because – TRUST ME – at eleven, they are TOO COOL FOR SCHOOL.

Owner of Several Hundred Acres on Which I Could Adopt All the Puppies. What?

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The Little Green Monster

I’m still feeling woozy from the allergies – poor Tony woke up this morning looking like someone punched him both eyes while he slept – so today is just a big ole blur. Not only that, but I got disappointing blow yesterday at work which was disappointing on all sorts of levels: financial, personal, pride.. you name it, it probably took a hit. Then – obviously because I blogged about how awesome I was doing yesterday – my run last night sucked big ole donkey cahones. Of course Bryan’s fever was raging last night, because that seems like a perfect end to a Monday.

All in all, my week has sucked pretty hard and IT’S ONLY TUESDAY.

Good news is? IT’S ONLY TUESDAY. That means there’s plenty of time to turn things around.

I thought about it last night as I sat in my car and tried to leave that crappy run behind me. Just because I had a bad day at work doesn’t mean I get to never come back. Just because I had a bad run doesn’t mean I should stop running. Just because Bryan is sick today doesn’t mean I should leave him. (OR DOES IT?!)(.. it doesn’t, honey, calm down.)

It’s a day like yesterday that seems to feed my the little green monster that sits on my shoulder. That little green monster likes to point out how the people I don’t like are leading awesome lives. (Yes, SURPRISE, there are people I don’t like.) That little green monster laughs in my ear and grinds in my eardrum and makes me start to envy. And I’ll find the STUPIDEST stuff to envy. Their flooring in their house! Her new haircut! Their ability to have a date night every weekend! Her thighs that don’t touch!

Seriously, as you read this, do you realize how stupid that sounds? All of that?

But the green monster likes to kick me when I’m down. He’s such a bastard.

And even though I know the reality of those awesome lives (spoiler alert: not so awesome), I cannot shake the whispers of that damn little green monster in my ear.

It is a flaw of mine, truly. I am known to envy. Especially when I feel unrewarded or unappreciated.

I keep trying to wrap up this post with some hint or trick or something I use to snap myself out of it, but I don’t really have one. I’ve kind of just learned that when you’re going through hell, you keep on going. I surround myself with great music that I can belt loudly and proudly (I am particularly fond of Jason Robert  Brown’s Stars and the Moon as of late) and I just keep my head down and press on. Because really. That little green monster gets bored if I stop listening. (And inevitably, something will happen to remind me why I don’t like those folks with awesome lives in the first place.)

So let’s all commiserate: what’s the absolutely asinine thing you get jealous about? You don’t have to name names (or you can! they probably don’t read here anyway) but please let me know I’m not the only one who does this.

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Running Away

O HAI GUESS WUT? We’re all still sick.

Something obviously was blooming yesterday – and probably in our neighborhood if not in our own yard – but last night was the worst night we’ve all had. Bryan was diagnosed with a sinus infection on Saturday, so he was already on serious medication, and there is NOT ENOUGH MEDICINE IN THE WORLD to alleviate the allergies we all have right now.

I love living here, but DAYUM. The pollen this year! It’s insane! Not only that, but the weather is GORGEOUS. Sunny! Blue skies! 80 degrees! POLLEN OF DEATH AT DEFCON LEVEL 5.

Bryan is going BACK to the doctor today, which is for everyone’s benefit actually. Bryan doesn’t really get the Dreaded Man Cold, but when he’s sick, his patience runs a bit thin. Let’s just say that there were more than a few timeouts taken last night during a session of Super Mario Brothers Wii.

(SERIOUSLY. I handed him my game with 17 lives. SEVENTEEN. He turned off the machine in a fit of rage in ten minutes, down to five lives. AND DIDN’T EVEN SAVE MY PROGRESS.)

(I am really good at Super Mario Brothers.)

(But am not at all bitter.)

So our weekend was mostly full of suck as a result. A toddler recovering from a horrible flu, a man with allergies that leave him unable to breathe or utilize his eyes, and .. me? That’s just not a fun household.

So I left! What else did you expect me to do? I left them on Saturday morning to go run.

AND IT WAS GLORIOUS. (I am really sorry for the one sentence paragraphs I’m rocking today.)

When I started my group runs, I figured my pace was about 12 min/mile. Because it was. If I ran a mile. But as I soon learned, running MORE than a mile significantly lowered my overall pace because – SURPRISE! – I am not in good shape and have no endurance. So I’ve been struggling with pace. My mind is so hung up on this stupid pace window that I push myself too hard and then suffer for the rest of the run because of it.

Early on, one of our running coaches encouraged us to find a pace that we could talk while running. HA HA, we laughed. NO ONE CAN TALK WHILE RUNNING. And it really seemed that way. Sure, we’d all chat and carry on during the walk breaks, but for the run, everyone would fall silent. Aside from the heavy breathing and prayers for death, obviously.

This Saturday, though, our typical running coaches weren’t there. (It’s Spring Break, so people are scattered to the wind around here.) So Alicia and I decided to pace off eachother, slowing down if we needed to or whatever. About 3/4 through the 2.3 mile run, we realized we had been talking the whole time. Because we are bad asses! We did it! Not only that, but we got through it! We didn’t feel like death warmed over at the end and we were mightily proud of ourselves.

In short, I so needed Saturday morning. I had been feeling so blah all week (being cooped up with a flu-ridden household will do that to you), and I was worried that the run would just be the final nail in the coffin. But it wasn’t. It was what I needed to be reinvigorated, to come home and force my husband to visit a doctor so I could clean the house.

This weekend we are heading to Atlanta to do The Color Run and I’m so insanely excited. This .. could be a complete disaster OR a really awesome lifetime memory for the kids, so here’s hoping that their run next Saturday is as awesome as mine was this week.

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Stranger Danger

I remember Stranger Danger growing up. I was almost never put in a situation that my Stranger Danger prowess was needed – thanks be to all the powers – but I still remember the loud rehearsals in my gradeschool classes. STRANGER! STRANGER!

If you notice a stranger following you, you get away from them.

If a stranger chases after you, you run.

If a stranger touches you in any way, YOU FIGHT BACK.

I guess that’s why I can’t necessarily get behind the allegations that George Zimmerman was committing a hate crime when he shot Trayvon Martin. Before you start hurling the attacks at me, listen.

George Zimmerman is a 28 year old man who lives with his parents. A quick study across the web indicates that he’s had several cases of assault in his past – although in every single one, he’s always claimed to have been attacked first – and he’s tried to become a police officer. His father is a former judge in their hometown. He had the assault charges “pleaded” down specifically so they wouldn’t pop up when he tried (and succeeded) to acquire a concealed weapons permit.

Clearly, Zimmerman locked on to Trayvon Martin because of his race. But after the initial lock, it was all Zimmerman’s mentality from there. (Much like it’s Geraldo’s mentality. And the Sanford, Florida PD’s mentality.)

Trayvon Martin did everything Stranger Danger taught us to do. He was on his cellphone with his girlfriend the entire time, and by her account, Trayvon’s hood was not even up when he noticed he was being followed. He put his hood on to avoid eye-contact with Zimmerman, she said. To avoid a confrontation. She urged him to run, but Martin worried that would make him look guilty.

He was followed by a stranger. He walked faster to get away.

Zimmerman then assaulted Trayvon, who was a 17 year old of 6 feet tall and barely 160 lbs. To put that into perspective, while he was taller than me, I outweighed him. He was a child. Zimmerman tackled Martin, and Martin did what Stranger Danger teaches us to do.

He was attacked by a stranger. He fought back like hell.

I had the misfortune of hearing the 911 call the other day. The screams in the background were haunting. They were not a man’s screams. They were that of a child.

I have to say that this case has brought out the ugly around us. The people who are defending Zimmerman’s actions (“He was being punched in the face,” they cry, “.. it was self defense!”) are people who I know. I know them and in many many cases, I love them. But. I cannot be okay with the actions being taken by that side right now – trolling his Facebook friends, calling him a gangsta because he had a school suspension due to tardiness. Do you not remember your gradeschool rehearsals? Do you not remember Stranger Danger?

I don’t know how you can be a parent – of a CHILD – and be okay with what went down there. Color aside, because maybe it’s sometimes hard to see past what and who we are, what happened that night is the stuff of nightmares. It’s the stuff that we teach our children and hope they never have to use it. It’s the stuff that sinks our hearts as we explain that some people will want to hurt you, not because of anything you did, but you don’t let them, you hear me? You fight back and you scream and you kick and you punch and you fight.

I am the mother of a white child, so I cannot pretend to even know half of the complications and implications of race. But I am the mother of a bullied child. I have had that discussion in italics there before. I have had to teach my child that sometimes, people will want to hurt you, for no reason that you can control. But you fight back, goddamnit. YOU FIGHT BACK.

And we have these talks, about how grown-ups and policemen and courts are there to save us from the bad guys. We have these talks and then a 17 year old boy is gunned down because he wanted some candy after dark and then I wonder if we’re wasting our breath at all.

I’m hesitantly leaving comments open. I am always one for open discussion as long as it’s respectful. Anything less than respectful and kind will be deleted.

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A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words Anyway

Oh, y’all.

I just have no words. I have no words. I feel like I should be funny here, in this space, and I should be witty and insightful but also talk about lip glosses. Which is fine, because I like all of those things – very much, even – but there comes a time in my life (albeit rarely) when I just have no words.

Typically, those are the times when I VERY MUCH HAVE LOTS OF WORDS but I’m not allowed to blog them.

But also, this week. OH THIS WEEK. A straight week of flu for Tony. (Who, actually today, seems to be turning the corner.) This week of yellow-coated everything, of FORGETTING MY INHALER A DOZEN TIMES, of not sleeping, of having a hot ball of sick attached to my person at all times, of watching kids television 12+ hours a day while trying to multitask.

So I just don’t feel funny. I don’t feel witty or insightful and I have no lip glosses about which to speak. I would give my right ovary for a long nap. TOMORROW’S RUN WILL KILL ME.

But we’re good, for the most part. Tony’s feeling better, I made it through an extremely hectic week of trying to juggle work and home, and Bryan also survived. I am just SO GLAD IT’S FRIDAY. We’re all exhausted.

(Except that little guy. He’s bouncing off the walls and we’re all droopy-eyed and drooling.)

I got REALLY depressed last night because I had given up the opportunity to go play in a trivia contest (Bryan was feeling under the weather and .. look, a sick four year old attached to you all day is INSANITY MAKING), and then we had also agreed to forgo the midnight premier of The Hunger Games. I’m sorry. I love my kids – OBVIOUSLY – but .. I feel like I need a few adult indulgences with a quickness. Our last few dates nights have been .. predictable is the nice way to couch it .. and our Valentine’s Day night was about as awesome (which is to say, not at all). While I’m not jumping on the boat of Let’s leave the kids and go hit the clubs! because BWAHAHAHANO, I am saying that I miss having something to look forward to. And I got all bummed out as we watched yet another hour of Caillou and the reality of it is that I’m at work on Friday mornings by 7:00 at the latest, so the idea of me making a midnight premier is pretty unrealistic anyway, right? I’m a grown-up now. FUN IS OVER.

So I was all poor pitiful Sarah for a lot of last night – and yes, this is all self-imposed – when Bryan and I shuffled to the kitchen to take our medicine before turning in for the night. I remembered that my March photo-a-day prompt was “kitchen sink”, and I sighed deeply as I turned my iPhone around to face my kitchen sink.

My sighs turned to flat-out agitated groaning quickly. “GOD, THIS IS SO BORING. EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS. THE RUNNY NOSES, THE EARLY BEDTIMES, THE ROUTINE. OH MY GOD. EVEN MY PHOTOGRAPHY IS BORING.”

Bryan looked at me, bags pooling under his eyes. “What? What are you talking about?”

I grumbled, “I’m supposed to take a picture of kitchen sink today for the photo-a-day thing. But my GOD, it’s just SO BORING. Like EVERYTHING ELSE.”

Bryan shrugged. “I can help.” And he did, and as always, caught me off-guard to the point that my stomach hurt with laughter.

“Betcha no one else has THAT shot,” he said, hopping down.

Honey, life with you is so very RARELY boring.

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