Friday, December 28, 2007

Little This, Little That

I've never done an end of the year roundup (that I can recall, lest someone unearth one) for the masses - the masses being my family and friends that I might send a Christmas letter or New Year's letter - which I would prefer having many non-Christian and non-religious friends, and so I just don't have any experience with it. So, apologies if it is clunky.

The Good, The Bad, and The It Is What It Iss

I began the year writing my first play, a one-woman show for myself to perform. I had high hopes for the play and my performance and, as you can't really help, how it might change my future. The play by the new year was already in pretty good form and almost done. I spent the first four months of the year then rewriting and rehearsing, peforming my first, of twelve eventual performances over the course of the year, in April. It got reviewed very well. Many friends and family came to see the play and liked it.

It was a mixed bag overall though. I feel proud of meeting the incredible challange and pushing on despite all the road blocks that kept falling into my path, it seemed all along the way. I think I did it well and professionally and with a certain amount of grace despite not getting the numbers of butts in seats I would have wished for. I found publicity a constant, uphill and in some respects invisible battle - you never know who what and/or how you've hit, if at all.

My Grandmother passed away in February. She was in her early 90s and so had had a long life. I don't know if she got everything out of her life she would have wanted, or if in the end she was satisfied with the life she had led... I wish I had asked her, though I am not altogether sure if she would have been able to hear the question if even answer it. I loved her dearly.

S.O. and I celebrated ten years of marriage in May. I had wanted us to take a trip together somewhere since we never had a honeymoon - we went to Universal Studios the day after our wedding with 11 of our family and guests of our wedding, which was an amazingly fun day, so I can't completely complain. I would never characterize it as romanitic though. We didn't get to take the trip but on our anniversary, as we were getting ready to go out to dinner with the kids, the phone rang. It was the middle-income housing program we had gotten into and were waiting for a house (we were in the 3rd and last phase of building, almost last in line) calling to say that a family had fallen out and needed to shift to the 3rd phase would we want the house. We moved in this July, almost 2 months to the day we got the call. Incidentally, as of this writing the 3rd Phase of building is complete but owners have not yet moved in.

Over the course of the year we have had our down moments, S.O. and I have had some marital struggles but we didn't get the 7 year itch so maybe we were due. It has been an opportunity more than a negative because it has put us into the position where it was logical and necessary to renegotiate our relationship, our marriage and our family life. I would recommend it to every married couple - voluntarily of course. I don't wish strife on anyone, though I hate to say I think it's inevitable.

S.O.v.1 started kindergarten this September and was immediately smitten. Where earlier in the year we showed him the school and he thought it was too big and daunting, now he is exceedingly proud to be a student and particularly at his school. It really has changed him leaps and bounds in small ways, but significant nonetheless.

S.O. (if you read his blog you already know) lost his job in November, just before Thanksgiving. That in itself has been a mixed bag. There is the stress of less income and higher expenses than we are yet used to because of the new house. But it beats the hell out of the stress that his crazy schedule was putting on the kids and me. During the off-season he was home all the time, worried about hours, raises, promotions that alternately would and wouldn't be forthcoming. During the season he would work so much that after about a week of his absence the kids would stop asking "Where's Daddy?". I would worry about the toll the work would take on his body. He'd be so tired he could hardly function and many a night he had very few hours of sleep and then turn around and go lift heavy objects again for many hours. I worried that he would get hurt, everyone was so tired and volatile on the job that an accident seemed inevitable. Or a heart attack, or a car crash on the way home from work at some late hour after 16 hours of heavy lifting...

No job visible yet on the horizon but it is the holidays and so things tend to slow down. We hope there will be prospects in the new year.

I have had projects bloom and fade this year, some still in growth mode. I've gotten a couple of assignments for a local magazine, one where I got to stay at a Moroccan themed spa hotel for a night. That was hard, yeah, real hard. I am very close to finishing a novel which is an accomplishment in itself.

I guess this year has been one of three steps forward, two steps back. New house but job loss halted decorating and landscaping progress. Got projects off the ground only for them to fall apart. Did my play but not enough audience to cause momentum... a mixed bag as I say. But I suppose if you look back at any block of time there would be ups and downs. The ups are grand of course but they wouldn't look that way without the downs.

Happy New Year everyone!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

The Toothbrush Tragedy, a deux

So, ya know, you try at this time of the year not to give in to the demands, nay almost blackmail, your children give you for toys and things using the excuse that soon it will be Christmas and thus no presents are forthcoming today.

But then there are 3 year olds, who are not really aware of the date let alone are they capable of working their minds around "a couple of days" let alone "Santa will bring it for you on Christmas" as I have found out this week.

It was a practical stop at Target, not meant to include any sort of toy or gify buying. Little did I know that an automatic Hello Kitty Toothbrush and Toothpaste combo would be so appealing. I thought I had dodged the bullet by saying that Santa would bring it to her on Christmas. Little did I know that S.O.v.2 couldn't concieve quite yet that Christmas was more than a week away and she would have to wait that long. She thought I meant Santa would bring it to her before it was time to brush her teeth that night!

I had completely forgotten about the toothbrush when bedtime came and it took a good long while of fuss and crying before I got her to tell me that Santa had disappointed her. Reason not being very effective on toddlers either, she was not calmed at the prospect of me promising to go get the toothbrush "tomorrow". She kept insisting that she wanted Santa to bring it on Christmas, believing that was actually before tomorrow. There's that whole problem with the time space continuum again. I get that too though, especially around my birthday when it just doesn't feel possible that I turned WHAT! age again?!

This morning I went back to Target again, this time for Christmas shopping - ick on a Satuday, what am I insane!? - and promised I would bring home aforementioned Hello Kitty Toothbrush. Well of course you can't bring home for one and not the other. S.O.v.1 needed a new toothbrush anyway so... but they didn't have any Cars automatic toothbrushes so I figured I'd just get a Cars regular toothbrush and look in another store later for an automatic one - afterall we got Cars toothpaste for him yesterday, which was why I was in the oral hygene aisle to begin with! He won't mind, he'll understand, he's 5!

OK, so as teeth brushing commences with one happy toddler whirring away I notice S.O.v.2 holding his new toothbrush, neat little cylinder of brand new toothpaste, not brushing looking sad. And all over again...

Of course the larger problem is really that their world has kind of turned upside down. S.O. has recently been fired from his overworking underappreciating underpaying company and is now home all the time. I on the other hand have been working more with new projects coming online, writing assignments and my company making a film, so I am home way less than I used to be. I finally worked it out of S.O.v.1 that he is really missing the routine he'd become accustomed to, and was feeling that when I am home I am too busy with chores (listen up ladies, just because he's home all the time doesn't mean he's doing all the housework, as if!).

Man... what are ya gonna do? Well, I guess the bathroom can wait... the babies can't, not really.