Friday, August 27, 2010

Working from Home

Sometimes when you are working from home all the planets align and even though you might occasionally stop working to throw in a load of laundry, you nonetheless are able to buckle down without the distractions of the "water cooler talk" and the like and you write something totally kick ass and you can actually check off a huge project on your TO DO list, a project which has been hanging like a millstone around your neck, like a big frickin' piece of granite or even a giant block of ice, whatever, it's heavy, dude.

Or sometimes, like today, you decide you will buckle down to work right after you make a big pot of coffee. But when you happily pull out the bag, it is suspiciously light, and you realize in horror you are almost out of coffee. And then you go searching through your freezer in hopes that a random bag of java might have fallen behind some tater tots (which you just mis-typed as tater tits, which is a bizarre notion in itself). And no, no hidden coffee, but then you notice that a bag of edamame beans was not correctly closed, and so there are assorted beans littering the bottom of your freezer, along with assorted coffee grounds. And of course you notice there are things in the freezer that are well past their prime, like pot roast that has been frozen for well over six months, so you go on a veritable freezer purge and a good scrubbing, and then you realize that you have just spent half an hour when you should be working, cleaning out the freezer. And the coffee still isn’t made.

And then you think this would be a funny blog post about procrastination, but then you think you don’t have time to blog, you have a grant to write, and then you promise yourself that if you buckle down and finish it, you’ll write the blog post too. And then you make the coffee and go out to the backyard and write out in the sunshine for 15 minutes so you get some Vitamin D and then you go back inside and type for 3 hours and finish the first draft of the grant and email it off and then boy howdy you feel pretty good about that, so here we are.

Happy weekend to you all, procrastinators and non.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010



I am forty-two years old today.

That is not so bad, right? It is better than the alternative, which is to cease to exist altogether. When you put it like that, it sounds pretty damn good to me.

Over the weekend, we were having some lovely, funky friends over, and I bought an assortment of beers because I was feeing a bit whimsical. Why not try different kinds of summer ales and such?, I thought. They might in fact have enjoyed some rum punch or something, but making some sort of rum punch was a bit beyond me. (They probably like punch. I knew I should have made punch.) At any rate, the cashier carded me. I almost wept, except that I was giggling a little bit. I thanked her and as I handed over my driver’s license as proof that I was of legal drinking age, I said, “I will be 42 next week!” I might have sobbed as I said it. Maybe not.

So here we are, forty-two. It honestly is not all that different from 41, or 40, or even 39, if you want to know the truth, and yes, I can remember that far back. The main issue of being 42, and it may not be related to my age, seems to be that I think I am going blind in one eye. My ophthalmologist can not seem to tweak my prescription correctly in my right eye, and so I spend my days tapping away at my computer with one eye closed in order to see correctly. Since I spend a great deal of time writing for my job, this is annoying. If I open my eye, it’s all blurry and I can’t read a thing. Not to worry, though, I can drive perfectly well! Take it easy out there, Greater Los Angeles!

Today I am looking forward to having Ceeya sing Happy Birthday to me on my actual birthday. She has been practicing the song every day for about three weeks or so. It sounds a bit different when she sings it, principally because she interprets it as “Appo DIRTday to you,” which I love, and I particularly love the way it sounds in the high-pitched gusto with which she sings it.

One final thing: In honor of my Dirt Day, and with a hat tip to Chad Ochocinco, I am changing my name for the day to Lisa Cuatrodos. Encantado.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Pampering Myself (and not with Diapers)

I took a few days off a couple of weeks ago (calling it a vacation seems a bit disingenuous, since we didn’t go anywhere and since I spent most of it working hard corralling the kids without the help of my husband). On one of the days when Viva was in camp and Ceeya was at daycare, I took 3.5 hours at a new salon to get my hair colored. Call me shallow, vain, whatever, but baby, I felt like a new woman when I walked out of there. My new colorist, April, was sweet and down to earth and my hair looks exactly its natural color. I mean exactly.

My hair is very thick and resistant to color, so whenever I color it takes forever. Somehow she managed to cover most of the silver hairs that were cropping up (I did find a few strays here and there later) and she also managed to duplicate not only my natural light brown hair but also the lighter highlights that naturally occur. I’m not sure exactly what went down in the salon—I may have made promises I couldn’t keep, something about free tickets to the Cayman Islands or something, it’s all a bit foggy in my memory, but you know, whatever I said, she hooked me up and my hair looks better than it has in recent memory.

I was thinking, as I walked out, how difficult it is for me to do this kind of thing with any regularity, but how easily it made me feel better about myself. And feeling better about myself makes me better in every other aspect of my life (cue cheesy music here, I mean could I BE more predictable). Sorry for the cliché, but for reals, it’s one small thing that makes a big difference.

Take care of yourselves out there. Give pampering a chance!

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Blog Angst

Much has been happening in my personal life and I don’t feel I can share much of it here, although when I sit down to write, that’s all that’s on my mind. Then there’s the larger question: what is the purpose of me writing here? What or who is it for?

When I began blogging many years ago, I did so at the suggestion of some friends (Splooey and Mr. X, and they know who they are). “Blog? What’s a blog?” I said. They knew of my writerly ambitions and thought it would be a good way for me to get started writing regularly, with no pressure. Maybe they thought I would find my voice.

I like to write, and I like to make people laugh. I think I thought blogging might help me write some humorous essays, a la David Sedaris or something. Maybe. But all I know is I’m not feeling very funny these days, and I’m wondering if it’s because writing is an introspective exercise and when I take a half-second to get introspective, I get depressed.

But when there are these significant lapses between posts, a year later I look back and wonder what happened. Hence, I’m writing this so I can document where I am.

I am exhausted in just about every aspect of my being—physically (we just recovered from a family-wide bout with a nasty stomach virus), mentally, emotionally, the end. I no longer enjoy my work. I still enjoy my kids (most of the time). I miss Sweet Dub because he is in the middle of a manic creative phase right now, trying to launch a new career and get a TV project off the ground. My extended family is a huge mess and I’m trying to stay out of it. Work is really making me unhappy and I feel I have no options for fixing it.

It’s just a rough time.

Follow-up to this post: due to liability issues, one can’t actually tell this prospective employee that she needs to do something about her hair. Total can of worms, and what a shame. She was the top candidate for this job but eliminated from consideration for this one reason. (See the comments section for more info if you'd like.)