Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Eleanor Rigby

I feel kinda like the people in the song Eleanor Rigby. I'm writing my little blog and no one reads it, like the priest writes his sermons but no one comes to listen.

I'm sad. Things have been rough for me lately and I'm trying to put a brave face to the world. I can't write as if nothing's going on but I can't really write the truth. I feel stuck and the ways to get out are scary. Really scary. I'm getting stronger, though. I will probably have to do some things that are really difficult, not only for me but for my kids. In the end, I think we'll all be better for it but I don't know for sure. I wish I had a crystal ball. Maybe I need to go see a psychic. I wish I was psychic. Or maybe not. I'm so confused.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Details, details

Well, it's official. I am the least detail-oriented person in the universe.

Two highlights of the week:

1) I gave my oldest daughter the wrong dose of antibiotics for nine days becaues I mis-read the label on the first day and didn't bother to check it again. Because I was giving her too little, she has to take medicine that makes her teeth yellow for another 10 days. (Not great for a kid that often has several auditions each week).

2) I screwed up our state taxes because I failed to claim the property tax exemption to which we were entitled (a $233 mistake). That meant that I had to fill out a paper form to fix it which completely obliterated the savings of time and trouble that we got from filing online in the first place. I learned one thing, though. I shouldn't drink a beer before I try to do taxes. I apparently can't handle my Heineken.

Heavy sigh.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Vicarious living

Although I struggle against it, I feel like I'm living vicariously through my seven-year old daughter, if only just a little. She's a budding actress/model/singer (I say trying very hard not to sound like a typical pretentious stage mother). She does commercials, voice overs, a little catalog modeling and she wants very much to be a famous singer someday.

When I was her age, my favorite activity was listening to records and dancing around my living room. My second favorite activity was singing while my mom accompanied me on the piano. I went to theater camp during the summers for ten years and by my senior year of high school, I was taking dance lessons seven days a week. I did everything - ballet, jazz, tap, modern - you name it. I loved dancing (and singing and acting) but ultimately, I dropped out - maybe I was too scared of rejection to keep going, maybe I realized that I just wasn't good enough (by what standards, I'm not sure).

After college, I went to New York to work in the entertainment business - I guess I figured that I could at least be near what I loved, even if I wasn't going to be a performer. I worked at a talent agency, then for a commercial production company and finally for a small television production company. Eventually I decided to go to law school and get a "real" job. What I really wanted to do at that point was be a movie producer but, again, fear won out and I went with what I knew - my dad was a lawyer, half my high school graduating class went to law school. Besides, I hate math so I figured business school was out of the question. (There's that fear-based decision-making again).

Fast forward many years and here I am with a talented daughter. Although it may be hard to believe, from the time she was about two years old, she'd point to children on tv and ask us when she would get to be on tv. She'd point to kids in magazines and ask when she'd get to be in magazines. We were hesitant at first. It's a lot of work schlepping around to auditions and we figured it was a huge longshot for her to get any work out of it anyway. Making money isn't the reason to do it but it's expensive and time consuming and it's nice to get something out of it.

Finally, when she was about five and she still really wanted to do it, we took her to see an agent who agreed to represent her. It was slow going at first but things really ramped up this year and she's been working and auditioning a lot. She recently filmed her first national tv commercial - the holy grail of commercial work. One good national commercial that is played a fair amount can go a long way to paying for a college education.

So now we get to the part about me living vicariously through her. She has an opportunity to audition for the Asian tour of Sound of Music. When I found out, I was really excited about the thought of her getting to tour Asia and while getting paid, no less. My husband, always the voice of reason, pointed out that we needed to ask her first if she even wanted to audition. He was right, of course. If she wants to stay home and have a "normal" third-grade experience, that's ok. It wouldn't be the end of her career and it wouldn't be the worst thing in the world.

But I was disappointed at the thought that she might not want to do it. That's when I had to face the fact that this is her life, not mine and although I can encourage her to do things that I think would be exciting, she may come to different conclusions. And that's ok. I don't think I'm the only mother to do a little vicarious living. I know my own mother did it (and probably still does, a little). It's human nature. The important thing is for me to foster my own identity and interests. Just because I'm (gasp) 40 years old, doesn't mean that I can't return to my creative roots in some way. I may not be able to tap dance like I used to, but I can write and I can do other things that satisfy my urge to be creative. Hopefully it will help me keep my vicarious living in check.

Monday, April 11, 2005


I just feel like I want to crawl out of my skin! Earlier today I felt like someone was sitting on my chest and I couldn't breathe.

I was going to say that I have no idea why I feel this way but if I'm being honest, I do know. Stress. More specifically, stress brought upon by looming deadlines and unfinished business. There are things I need to finish and I can't seem to get myself motivated to get them done! Instead I sit here reading the "news" on the internet. What relevance does Andy Rooney's goofy testimony in some random fraud case have to my life right now? Yet I find myself strangely drawn to reading about how he grumbled about the "so help me God" part of the oath and got yelled at by the judge. Mildly interesting perhaps, but not in any way important. I would totally win any competition where the goal is to completely waste as much time as humanly possible.

Gotta go now. I have a meeting for which I am not at all ready. I also have a million things to do so I'll be sitting at the meeting feeling like I should be doing something else after I've been sitting at my desk the better part of the day getting nothing done. This sucks.

Friday, April 08, 2005


Have you ever done one of those self-assessments where they ask you what you want people to say about you at your funeral? I think they're looking for things like "She was really committed to her family" or "She always brought great pies to the potluck." The idea being that once you have the answers to that question, you'll realize your life goals and start doing things, like baking pies, that can help you reach those goals.

I've always answered that I want people to say "She was really creative." But I'm realizing that creativity, in and of itself, is not really a good life goal. First of all, it's a bit vague. I mean, you can't just be creative in a vacuum, you have to be creative at doing something. My husband, for example, is a really creative problem solver. My mom does creative drawings and collages.

I can knit - but that's not really creative. It's kind of like baking cookies from refrigerated dough - someone already did the hard creative stuff by coming up with the recipe and stuffing it in that plastic wrap, all you have to do is cut up the dough and bake it (preferably without the plastic wrap).

I can sing (basically) in tune but again, not really creative. It's not like I write my own songs or even do any interesting interpretations of someone else's music. I just follow the notes, like following the pattern or the recipe. The creative work is already done.

So I'm thinking that maybe, when they write my eulogy, they'll say that my writing was creative. That is, if I can ever stop writing about writing and actually write something that could be called creative. Maybe I'll write my eulogy . . .

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Too soon

I just heard that a colleague died in a car accident. He was in sales in another state and I didn't have any contact with him. I didn't know him and I hadn't even heard his name until today but word of his death made me incredibly sad. He had three young kids - two girls about the same ages as my kids and a baby boy. I don't want to think about my girls losing their father now, or ever. I can imagine what his wife is going through right now and it hurts.

I know this isn't about me. I know that I shouldn't be wallowing in someone else's misery. Lord knows that I can find plenty of misery closer to home to wallow in. I also know that what I'm about to write is so cliche that I'll probably regret writing it (but I will anyway).

Life is precious and precarious and sometimes too short. Enjoy your life. Enjoy the people you love. Don't be petty. Be nice.

Have a lovely day.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Feeling the pressure

I have long fantasized about being a writer. Mostly I fantasize about being able to sit at Starbucks all day with my laptop and a nice wireless hookup sipping lattes. Maybe the reason I haven't actually done anything about it is that I realize the reality of it won't come close to matching the fantasy.

Nevertheless, it's been on my mind so much recently that I decided to start this blog. I figured a blog would be a way to force myself to write regularly. Part of my fantasy is that someone will actually read my writing and like it enough to come back for more. The problem now is thinking about things to write and feeling the pressure of trying to write something interesting to someone other than myself.

Not to state the obvious, but I know that I'll never be a writer if I don't actually write anything. And writing something but keeping it in draft on my blog doesn't count. So I'll post this and probably no one will read it (except maybe my husband who is the only one I've given the URL to) but that's ok. I'll keep trying and maybe soon I'll say something interesting enough to get someone to read it!

A first

Ok - I know the title is a bit on the corny side. The truth is that I've been spending way too much time and energy trying to pick out the perfect name for my blog. Originally, I wanted something that said something about who I am but everything I came up with seemed to define me too one-dimensionally. Not to be too cliche or anything but I'm a mom, a wife, a lawyer, a friend. I knit, I read, I love movies and television and the occasional crossword puzzle when I have time. I was hoping to come up with a name that said it all but wasn't too long. In the end, I came up with a name that defines what I want my blog to be rather than defining who I am.

That, and all the good names were taken.