Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Flow's new pub date!

Yesterday, in an email from my editor, I found out that Flow's pub date moved, from February to November. Not only that, it's the cover of St. Martin's fall catalog.

I called my mom to share my great news. Her response? That's great honey! Now tell me about Jack and the dermatologist.

Monday, April 20, 2009

putting things away

Everyone's finally back at school/work (!) and finally, after a week and a half, I was able to take a deep breath, come back home after drop off, and get back to normal. My normal anyway. But, there was an overwhelming mess waiting for me. How is it so constant? It seems that no matter how much I put away, more mysteriously/magically/surprisingly appears. This morning there were countless empty glasses in various rooms, sneakers by the couch, breakfast dishes on the table, on the counter, in the sink, piles of laundry in the bathroom, stuffed animals on my windowsill, beach toys by the front door, a frisbee on my desk. Bugle beads and a wig for a peep diorama. 3 pairs of scissors. Pillows on the floor. Magazines in various corners. Both sweatshirts and bathing suits on the floor. Cabinets open. Paperwork scattered. Piles of laundry to be put away.

I wanted to sit for a few, and appreciate the solitude. But while my family left, they left me with all their stuff.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

going green

The current message at Old Navy is going green. For $1 you get a reusable tote bag and 10% off your entire purchase. Sounds good. You forgo the plastic shopping bag, get something you'll use again, and save money. Win win for everyone.

Or is it?

In the end, I bought a bag I don't need, so consumerism wins that round.

To produce all those bags took resources, time, energy. The earth certainly didn't benefit from that.

People on line were so psyched about the discount they were buying more than they had planned. Not great for the planet either.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

diving in

I signed up for a writing course. First one. Ever. And to be honest, I'm pretty nervous. It starts in less than a week, so there isn't time to contemplate and gracefully back out (although the thought crosses my mind often). I'll have to read my stuff out loud every week. Never did that before either. Writing so far has been a completely solitary process. I sit in my living room or a coffee shop and work at it until I'm feeling the flow of words clicking together. When I'm reasonably happy, I send it on to an editor who sometimes has sliced and diced and sometimes has changed nothing. The latter freaked me out—who am I to have words put out into the universe as is? I've only ever written for paid projects—writing for the joy, the need, the thrill isn't part of my story.

Design is the way I see the world. I'm a good talker, can spin an amusing story, can hold an audience. But putting those thoughts and words into a cohesive and entertaining structure is a challenge that often bests me. Writing is really hard. I'm never at a loss for ideas, but harnessing them, pulling them together, making them make sense is very much a work in progress. And I'm just at the beginning.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

why I hate spring break

Spring break as a parent is the polar opposite of spring break as a kid. Before I even get into that, I'm going to be completely up front and say I'm not a fan of school vacations in general. In fact, Monday is my favorite day of the week. I'm grateful for that moment when lunches are packed, socks and sneakers (how many times do I have to ask you?!) are on and quiet falls over my apartment. I've learned, as a mother, how much I appreciate solitude. I can't remember a day, a single day, when I wasn't asked, blamed, ordered around, been yelled at, woken up, caught in the middle. During the week, I can keep it together for mornings, play dates, classes, baths, dinner, homework, reading, bedtime. Barely. But whole days to fill with often bickering people completely wipe me out.

At least weekends are finite. Two days to fill and they're almost over before you know it. But spring break? Well over a week straight of me against them. Only so often these days my kids are battling each other and I'm caught in the middle. Sigh. Make that one exhausted, heartfelt, overwhelmed sigh.

This spring break everyone's out of town. Except us. I'm two days in to "camp mom" as many call it, and I'm done. Yesterday we wandered through Soho until everyone's legs were barely able to move. Today was the Nintendo store and upper east. Places I can't stand. Dylan's Candy Store? What was I thinking? I'll be picking up sour watermelon candy for months. Time has actually stopped moving—I'm just waiting for the day to finally end. By 3 it feels like it should be bedtime and that hour between 3 and 4 feels like and entire day. No one can agree on anything to do and so by dinner everyone's so cranky and pissy we can't stand each other. I'm regressing. I should be able to put on a big smile, break out some game or bake cookies, and make it all better. But I can't. I just want this to end.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

aging skin

For my entire life, until very (very) recently, I never thought of my skin as separate from my body. It was my shrink wrap—it covered me, hugged me, protected me, encased me. I moisturized. I wore sun screen. I took care of it and it took care of me. Yes, there were breakouts, sunburns, flaking skin issues on occasion, but my skin and I were relatively happy. We were always together.

Only now, my skin isn't holding on as tightly as it used to. I can see it separate from my body. My belly has a couple of little (sometimes I'm starting to think not-so-little) skin rolls when I sit down. When I pinch the skin on my arm, it hangs out for a bit before snapping back into place. Ok, it never snaps anymore. It just slowly settles down. My upper legs? Almost the worst. My skin is progressively loosening and droopy down from the tops of my thighs to my knees. Eventually I'm afraid I'll lose my kneecaps in folds of flesh.

The worst (WORST) is the slight sag under my chin. My grandmother had a pronounced turkey waddle and I was petrified, from age 6 or so, that I'd develop that skin flap that had it's own personality. For years I'd almost subconsciously stroke under my chin, as if to encourage my skin to stay put. But the tautness is gone. Unless I opt for surgery or some medieval skin care treatment that entails burning off layers of my face, I'm trapped in the downward spiral.

Last weekend a dad at a little league game, who happens to be a anti-aging doctor (eye surgery, botox, skin treatments and the like) said: who doesn't want to look good?, as if aging doesn't stand a chance of working for anyone. And suddenly, shockingly, I found myself in the middle of my first botox yearning.