Monday, August 31, 2009

dusting off

it's been a few months of not-blogging, of this self-imposed hiatus.

a few months that have dragged their feet, plodding towards...

towards what? that is the question i meant to ask myself all summer: will i blog again? what will i blog about? what do i want from this little corner of the blogosphere? do i have a niche? do i WANT a niche?

and the nagging whisper, the question that wants to be asked, but not too loudly, "am i more than spt?"

in looking forward, i invariably looked back (and i know, i KNOW that breaks all the rules!) i re-read things i'd written two years ago. two months ago. i smiled at photos i'd forgotten to look at in a while. i wrapped myself in the warmth of your comments, stumbled upon misplaced dreams and journeys.

i soaked up words that i had written. and i remembered. i remembered that i started this blog because i am a writer.


i was sort of hoping that i would have had more of an epiphany. i was waiting for the "a-ha moment." (it hasn't come.) at some point, i might have even thought this post would be the glorious unveiling of a new & improved blog, complete with bells and whistles and widgets galore. well, this is not that post. and if you came here looking for that, i am sorry.

i don't think the vibe will change much around here, after all. i feel like blogging, and i am excited for what is yet to be written!

[i have some ideas for spt, as well, and i hope you will be ready to join me again on that journey.]

Friday, August 28, 2009

i have a dream...

46 years ago today was the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. not sure of what that was?

it was the occassion of the "I have a Dream" speech given by the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., representing the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

"I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: 'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.'"

how are we doing, Dr. King?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

wordless wednesday - the "gloom" is lifted edition

thank you, lindsay!! (your sweet email made my day!)

edited to add: no, i am NOT crazy. i realize i posted these photos yesterday. complete with the blue foggy gloom that was hovering over our house in the morning. lindsay made my day with a quick, unexpected edit so that i would have more cheerful photos of the first day of third grade.

edited (again) to add: i ALSO realize i have now undone the whole point of "wordless wednesday."

edited (you can't stop me) to add: third grade rocks!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

third grade.

there was a fog over southport this morning, and it sure made these photos look a bit more gloomy than we felt on this, the first day of third grade.

last night was filled with the excitement of a Christmas Eve. he could only sit still for 1/2 of The Butter Battle Book and 1/2 of one chapter of The Sorcerer's Stone (my son, who is living so easily between being a little boy and a big kid these days.)

jack says, "i've *always* wanted to be in the third grade!"

and here you are.

Monday, August 24, 2009

the best is yet to come

last night, we three marked the end of summer and the beginning of the new school year with a celebratory dinner. (this met with much more success than the end of summer beginning of the new school year shopping excursion to the mall on friday night, but... i digress.)

taking a cue from april and barb, there was candlelight. the reluctant entertainer encouraged me to break out the "good" dishes. and stephanie made me think long and hard about our back to school theme.

we took down the "summer fun" banner that has graced our kitchen window since the last day of school, and created a centerpiece using the summery tchotchkes that have graced our mantelpiece (bonus! the mantlepiece is now clear for my fall decorations!)

Be Your Best.

i really wanted something that would resonate. and transcend. "be your best" came about after a week of trying out different ideas (be kind, be honest, practice, focus, etc.) somehow, as i sat down to make our centerpiece, "be your best" is what came out. i like it. it fits. i have dreams of looking at jack each morning as he bounds out of the car and saying, "jack, just be..." and he will know.

the good stuff
our china makes me swoon. i like swooning. i should really take it out more often. our menu was:
brisket with roasted carrots and corn
garlic mashed potatoes au jus
iced fudge crinkles with whipped cream
pink lemonade

one super confident 3rd grader

perfecting the art of the dollop

a few of the highlights for me... traveling a few blocks to borrow an onion from my sister; coming home from my walk to the smell of dinner roasting; lighting the candles (i have become a battery-operated-tea-light junkie); jack washing his hands (un-prompted, i might add) for 5 minutes so that he could "plate" the desserts; matty (the self-proclaimed bull in a china shop)commenting that he loves to eat dinner that's been served on fine china (uh-oh?); being our best together...

Sunday, August 23, 2009

my genome project

do you use pandora radio? hard to believe that you can capture the essence of music at the fundamental level using a list of 400 attributes and mathematical algorithms. (when i was a young girl, we listened to music the good "old-fashioned" way: on a turntable, song by song, entire albums at a time) (i know! can you imagine? how archane!) (i also believed that there was a little man in the record player who was responsible for moving the needle across the vinyl grooves.)

but, back to pandora. in laymens terms: each song that plays gives me the option to "like" or "dislike" it. the little man in my computer then analyzes the attributes of the songs i "like" and suggests songs that are similar (likewise, he does not suggest songs with attributes of the songs i "dislike.")

netflix does something similar. each time i log on, i have a chance to preview movies that have been suggested to me based on the movies i have put on my queue.

you can have your personlized blend of coffee created by gevalia, based on your favorite chocolate or preferred steak done-ness.

iTunes offers you a Genius feature, ensuring that you create the ultimate playlist based on tunes you absolutely will love.

i believe this is also how works (although i did not personally rely on the little man in my computer for help with that one...)

what i'm getting at is this genome project idea. this idea that you can fine tune your (song list/movie queue/beverage) life by tweaking and tweaking, eventually working your way towards perfection? comfort? tolerance?

i don't remember what i wanted to "be" when i was growing up, although i'm sure it vacillated between "writer" and "teacher" (my mom has me pegged to be a minister. we'll see how that pans out...) speaking of which, i'm pretty sure "mother" was in the mix somewhere. heading to college without a clear idea of what i wanted to "be" left many doors wide open for me. french? 'like,' but not enough... intro to psychology? 'like'... research methods? 'DISlike'... sociology of responsibility? 'like'... and so on.

and then graduation. the "what next?" and, guess what? i 'liked' my B.A., but had no interest in getting my Masters in Social Work. certainly i could find a job, and i did. i found several. a succession of paycheck-earning positions that i could tolerate. pre-school teacher? 'dislike'... pool and tennis club director? 'like, but not too much'... gift ware and porcelain doll importer? 'liked' the travel and wholesale discounts, HATED the job...

and what of my social life? girlfriends? 'inherently dislike' (i'm sorry, i'm sorry... it took me a long time to get comfortable with girl friendships!) that guy? 'like'... THAT guy? definitely 'dislike'... those older people in church choir with whom i sit every thursday night and practice harmonies? 'like,' although we probably don't have much in common outside of our choir robes.

do you see where i'm going with this? after almost 40 years, i have 'liked' and 'disliked' my way to this place. this career. this family. i have naturally gravitated to the places where i am most comfortable. and most of the time, i have felt i was on the right track.

i eventually grew to know that there was no little man running the turntable. and i'm pretty sure there's no little man in my computer. but there is friendship and faith and good graphic design and well-written fiction; there are decisions to be made about birthday parties and vacations and hairstyles and hybrids; there are people still to know, and people whom i'd like to forget; there are choices to be made.

and i 'like' that...

Friday, August 14, 2009

too late to apologize

i understand you are here on vacation.

i understand that you are here for your nephew's wedding.

i understand that you left the 70 degree pennsylvania mountains to come to the 100 degree beach.

i understand that you brought your family of 5 to the beach, and expected to entertained by, well, the beach.

i understand that you didn't pack the right things.

but you know what? it's raining today. and there's not a darn thing i can do about it. might i suggest you knock those frowns off of your end-of-summer faces and get out there and jump in a few puddles?!?

Monday, August 10, 2009

happy birthday, Pop Pop!

happy 98 years to my grandfather, Daniel Lawrence Tucker, my Pop-Pop.

this has been a tough year without Grabbie. i am so happy that you are living here in Southport, sharp as a tack, and willing to share so many memories with us.

i consider it an honor and a privilege (and a very surreal experience) to have been able to take you to Facebook today to see all of the birthday wishes from your grandchildren.

Friday, August 07, 2009

photoless phriday - the missing in action edition

we have a show opening tonight. the past few weeks have been filled with "show stuff." if you've ever been in a show... well, then, you know exactly what that means. for those who are interested, we are doing The Music Man this summer ("he's a Muuuusic Man. A What? A What? a Muuuuusic Man.") i made the wise decision early on to contribute my talents OFF stage this summer, so you will find me in the pit orchestra playing the clarinet, and getting approximately 12 out of every 16 notes correct. professor harold hill's "think system" in full effect!!

this summer is seriously kicking my butt. the hotel has been busy (thank goodness, in this economy). every summer, i suffer a severe bout of malaise. rereading the past few summers' worth of journal entries, i remembered that i actually named this malaise a few years ago. it's called "july at the hotel." go figure...

i feel old. O.L.D. i don't think it really has anything to do with my 40th birthday (which is now only 3 1/2 months away. a-hem.) it has more to do with working ungodly hours, fitting in a meal between camp carpool and play practice (thank goodness for the crock pot), coming home and falling into bed without accomplishing any exercise whatsoever. (well, except for the running-around-like-a-chicken-with-my-head-cut-off routine...)

i stayed home with jack and his stomach bug yesterday. (he is fine, thank you. a little Music Man malaise, i believe...) i never even turned on my computer. i partook in some tepid mobile facebooking and CNN reading, but that was the extent of my communications with the outside world. it was kind of nice, actually. but it's left me feeling a little lost today.

so, i have a few hours left before the opening curtain. i believe i will spend some of that time trying to find myself. have a great weekend!