Monday, January 22, 2007

Ein Hundert

Inspired by others' blogs out there on the web, I decided to steal/borrow the idea and come up with 100 things about Charlie's mom.

100. I majored in German in college and remember very little of it.

99. I have a small chunk of pencil lead stuck in my knee from when around the age of 8, I accidentally stabbed myself in the knee with a sharpened pencil, a bit broke off in my knee, and the puncture sealed before I could get the lead out.

98. I was a cheerleader in 4th grade and wore my hair in pigtails.

97. I used to be able to do a back handspring.

96. I once had fuchsia hair for about 24 hours. I dyed it back to brown before my mother could see it.

95. I bite my fingernails.
94. I have the unusual genetic trait of barely having a toenail on my little toe.

93. I daydream about winning the lottery.

92. When I win the lottery, I plan to in this order:
* Pay off all of my debts
* Pay off student loans for friends (those friends have already been determined - we've discussed it and we have a deal worked out)
* Give loads to my favorite charitable organizations
* Travel the world
* Figure out what I want to be when I grow up.

91. I am learning how to paint with acrylics.

90. I feel that I am often too quiet.

89. I travelled throughout Germany solo for 2 weeks (back when I spoke German).

88. I used to teach English to 9th and 11th graders and am thinking about doing it again.

87. I think I only fully read one of my assigned books in English while in high school. That book was Daphne Du'Marier's Rebecca.

86. Since high school, I have gone back and read almost all of the books assigned to me in English in their entirety.

85. My favorite book to read for a period of time in high school was Ira Levin's This Perfect Day.

84. I think I watch too much television.

83. I got my one and only tattoo when I was 20.

82. I love 80s music.
81. I have dreams of being a park ranger in the Adirondacks.

80. I am not religious.

79. When I was little, kids used to tease me by calling me Cathy Freckles.

78. I can't eat enough cannoli.

77. I am not as optimistic as I would like to be, but my husband often makes up for it.

76. I worry entirely too much about money.

75. I have two vivid childhood dreams that I will never forget:
a) I stood up to a gorilla who was threatening to attack me among the clothing racks at J.C. Penney at the age of about 6.
b) During an earthquake, a friend's evil stepfather fell into the crack in the earth and no one would help him. It is much more gory and detailed, but I'll just leave it at that.

74. I spend too much time reading other people's blogs.

73. I love to shop for groceries.

72. I usually stress over trying to come up with the most personal and perfect gift for people, which I rarely am able to do.

71. I love being a mother.

70. I enjoy taking photographs.

69. I am often frustrated with my job.

68. I eat a salad every day for lunch.

67. I like to vacuum and do laundry.
66. I hate to sweep and clean the bathroom.

65. I used to be a heavy sleeper.

64. I am a liberal democrat.

63. If given the choice, I usually choose to be lazy.

62. My relationship with my mother is better now than it has ever been.

61. I was extremely shy as a child.

60. I have had road rage on more than one occasion.

59. I often long for the days of times gone by, mostly because everything seems rosier to me now than it did then.

58. I would love to live in New York City.

57. I would also love to experience life on a farm.

56. Camping and spending time outdoors is my respite, but I have not done much of either in the past 2 years.

55. I tend to eat healthy, but I am a crummy dieter - I lack portion control.

54. I tend to cry easily, especially at sappy commercials, t.v. shows, movies, or when Charlie looks at me in that certain way.

53. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.

52. Fall is my favorite time of year.

51. Hot chocolate is one of my favorite pleasures in life.

50. If I could be anywhere in the world right now, I would be with my husband, son and dogs in a mountain cabin with snow outside, a fire crackling in the fireplace, and a cup of something warm in my hand (see #51). Everyone would be loafing around on a big comfy sofa in front of the fire, warming up after just having returned from our exhausting hike through the snowy woods.

49. My second choice of places to be is in the same company as above in the Caribbean sipping on a fruity beverage.

48. I am not a morning person.

47. I like to keep things simple and uncomplicated, but life usually gets in the way.

46. I am saddened by our government and the war.

45. I believe that I suffered a mild form of post-dramatic stress in the form of regular panic attacks for about 2 years after 9/11.

44. I hope to always have dogs in my life.

43. I am known to be sentimental.

42. I am easily inspired but am not usually innovative.

41. I hate going to bed mad, which usually makes my husband angry because I am keeping him up to "resolve" things.

40. I am often shocked when I look at my baby with the realization that he is forever mine.
39. I love girly bath products - especially the citrus-y ones.

38. I prefer college sports to professional sports.

37. I wrote my high school term paper on the Armory Show of 1913.

36. I have never been baptized and I'm okay with that.

35. My nickname as a child (besides the freckle one - see #79) was Cathy Wathy Wather.

34. My first job was at Kmart working in the apparel department.

33. I am terrible about keeping up with old friends.

32. My first kiss was at 15 with someone I didn't particularly want to kiss.

31. My second kiss was just weeks after my first with a boy I REALLY wanted to kiss.

30. My favorite Christmas song is Judy Garland's version of "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas." It makes me weep every time I hear it.

29. The first concert I ever attended was Shawn Cassidy (it was the 70s and I was with my mom).

28. The last concert I attended was Jeff Tweedy.

27. I have the unfortunate quality of being one of those people who finishes other people's sentences. I hate that I do it but I can't help myself.

26. I am genetically programmed for anxiety and depression but fight it with a vengeance.

25. I have never broken a bone.

24. My favorite froo-froo drink is a Stoli Orange with Midori - it tastes like candy!

23. I cannot stand people who have a strong sense of entitlement.

22. I collect cookbooks and food magazines that I rarely cook from.

21. My eyes are hazel but often appear green.

20. I once saw David Byrne riding his bike in SoHo while I sat people watching atop a dumpster.

19. On that same trip, Fred Smith (of the B-52s) and I grabbed the same belt at the same time at a swap meet. I let him have it.

18. I am a grammar snob but have no right to be.
17. I married a man with whom I went to high school, but I didn't meet him until 4 years after I graduated.

16. During our honeymoon we crossed at least six states, met at least 2 tow-truck drivers (not including my father), rented a car to drive through Death Valley, and decided to NEVER EVER again own Ford (it's a long story).

15. I love making lists but am finding this one to be very difficult.

14. I probably drive too fast (my husband says, "probably?").

13. I don't like to wear make-up but I do it anyway.

12. Even though I have a white furry dog, I insist on wearing black often.

11. I can't stand to wear socks while I sleep.

10. As a child roller skating at my older sister's East End skating party, I fell down and someone literally rolled right over my head.

9. I have a cyst in my wrist that forced me to quit gymnastics as a child. I found this cyst when a doctor x-rayed my arm after I nearly took my elbow off from running through the house and ramming it into a door frame.

8. I named my son after my father.

7. I am a fan of American Idol, although I am not proud of it.

6. I could eat Indian or Thai food almost everyday of my life.
Because I am feeling tapped out, my husband has agreed to offer up the last five.

5. I have travelled outside of the U.S. 8 times.

4. I am freakishly afraid of roaches and spiders, especially the ones that look like a cross between a spider and a cricket.

3. I think I would kick ass on The Amazing Race.

2. I love to swim, preferably in a mountain lake or pond - even though it scares the you know what out of me.

1. I am a very loved woman.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Deja vu

Tuesday night, Neal and I went out for the first time in a LONG time without Charlie. As a surprise Christmas present, I bought Neal ticket to go see Jeff Tweedy of Wilco, one of Neal's (and my) all time favorite bands. The show was at GPAC, which under other circumstances would have been a pain, but since it is right around the corner from my parents' house, it made dropping off and picking up Charlie before and after the show a breeze!

The show opened with drummer, or shall I say percussionist extraordinaire, Glenn Kotche. He was superb and I was suprised that I was fully engaged the entire time he was performing. His performance of Monkey Chant and Mobile were more impressive that I ever thought possible of a drum act. He is truly creative and inspiring.

Jeff Tweedy's performance was much more intimate that I imaged. My previous experiences with Mr. Tweedy in concert have been on the side of angry, frustrated and annoyed, leaving me a little pissed off with him even though I will always continue to love his music. This show was an entirely different scenario. He was funny and talkative; he even encouraged feedback from the well mannered crowd. The music was all acoustic and was extremely calm and relaxing, much unlike any other Wilco shows I have attended. Neal said, "this is something I will remember for the rest of my life." And he's right, I probably will, too.

So, onto the deja vu part...I can't remember the last time I went to a show. But as soon as we walked into the place and saw all of the unknow yet familiar faces, it was like we had rewound the clock about 10 years. Everyone was the same - just a little older. The vibe of shows long gone was still there - even in Germantown! It was a bit surreal but the strange familiarity made the experience even more of a pleasure.

We will definitely have to make a point to go to more shows more often.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

First Day of School

Monday was Charlie's first day of school, a.k.a. daycare. For some reason it makes me feel much better calling this place "school" rather than daycare. We took him for a short day so he could have a little taste of this strange place before having to take the full plunge of being there day after day, week after week. Fortunately, Neal and I were off work for MLK day, so we were able to take him and pick him up at our leisure. We even took the time alone to go see a movie, something we haven't done since we were pregnant!
Leaving Charlie at the school was much more difficult than I ever thought it would be. Charlie has been staying at Nana's since September, and I thought I had already felt the emotions that come with leaving him every day. I honestly believed that I would drop him off and wave goodbye to him excitedly while Neal and I left for a few hours of much deserved adult time away from work. I am excited that he will be among other children his age. I know it will be good for him, he will learn a lot, and he will certainly be happy. But leaving him there really hit me. HARD.

While Neal went to write the enormous check for the next few weeks of daycare, I watched Charlie through the window into his classroom. His teacher, Miss R., sat a happy Charlie on her lap. He looked around at all the new faces. He peered up at Miss N. with curiosity. Miss R. pulled out a book and began to read to my baby. At that moment, I lost it. Looking through that classroom window, I couldn't help feeling torn because this woman was having a moment with Charlie that I wanted to be having, and she will continue to do so for the next several months. My emotions were a mixture of sadness, jealousy, and anger, while at the same time relieved and happy for Charlie. I left a very sad mommy but I was happy knowing that Miss R. is an experienced and capable woman who will care for my child each day. I just wish it could be me.
Did I mention that he already has a cold after less than three days of school?

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Scenes From The Zoo

Dear Gammy, Thank you for giving Mommy and Daddy a zoo membership for Christmas. They actually decided to do something fun and take me a couple of weeks ago. I would have thanked you earlier but Mommy and Daddy have been hogging the computer lately, and they just now let me get on it to submit my post. We had a wonderful time, the weather was perfect, and I was even a happy boy the entire day!

We started with the monkies. This one was sleeping, but he sure was big! Mommy said that she thought he was staring at us, so I stared right back at him, hoping to get a reaction, but he stayed asleep. I understood, though. A solid mid-afternoon nap can sometimes be a tough thing to come by.
Next we went to visit the giraffes. There was even a baby giraffe! They were so tall and long, I was really impressed! Can't you tell by my expression?
Finally, we went to see the polar bears and sea lions. The polar bears were having a great time playing – they were growling and clamping their giant teeth on each others’ necks, diving, and swimming in the icy water. They were so much fun to watch, I could have stayed there for hours. The sea lions were the best part. I got to go right up to the tank and watch them spin and twirl under the water. We even got to see a show! They waved at us, splashed the crowd, did flips in the air, and one of them even balanced a ball on his nose!
Thank you, Gammy. I really love the zoo. I hope Mommy and Daddy will remember to take me often. Maybe next time, you can come with us!

Thursday, January 4, 2007

Hangin' Tough

I happened upon The Outsiders the other night. This movie is an old favorite of mine; I remember watching it as a teen and loving it. I must say that Rob Lowe was a particular interest of mine at the time of this film, well before his debacle in the seedy, sordid, late night hotel affair.

So, on this occasion, Charlie just happened to be wearing a tough white onesie with the sleeves rolled up and a pair of Levi's. I couldn't help but imagine him as a greaser with a pack of Lucky Strikes rolled up in his sleeves (we left that part out, of course). So, here's to Charlie being tough, a stretch I know, but I couldn't help myself.

Holiday Traditions (possibly illegal)

Unfortunately, my husband has decided to implement a new tradition in our family - the annual burning of the Christmas tree. This, I guess, is the closest he will get to Burning Man, but I can't say I am happy about this possibly (and most likely) illegal alternative. Last year launched the premier of this ritual. As I watched and listened to the tree burst into flames, snap, crackle and pop, I just knew that the authorities were on their way to shame us for creating such a hazzard. Fortunately, he lit the tree on New Year's Eve when the rest of the neighborhood was aflame with fireworks and no harm was done.
Inaugural tree lighting...

Burning Tree 2006-7 (doesn't look much different, does it?)
Fortunately, Charlie was safe in his room with Mom (me) at the ready to snatch him up and whisk him away from any danger in a snap. I can't say enough how much I DO NOT CONDONE THIS, but I also understand to an extent - it's been a long time since we've been camping...