Tuesday, June 30, 2009


I am not an athlete. This is not to say that I am not active, because I am. I walk a lot, bike a lot, dance a lot, and do yoga less than I wish I did. But, organized sports and I are not friends.

Growing up, I loved baseball. I was born during the heat of the Tiger's 1968 Pennant season, and grew up hearing stories of watching my first World Series. I couldn't wait until 3rd grade when Little League started. That day that the marigold-yellow fliers were passed out at school, I carefully wadded mine in my thrilled fist and ran to the bus. Now I could join the actual game; I was anxious to get home and get Mom to sign me up.

Mom, though, had other ideas. "Little League is for boys," she said.

"But, Mom, there's a girl on the picture too," and there was, next to the cartoon boy, a cartoon girl, wearing a cap, holding a bat. Couldn't she see this?

"No. Boys play Little League." And that ended the conversation.

Fourth grade was about to end, and again the Little League fliers were sent home, but this time, with it came a different flier. One for girls softball. With no way to stop me this time, Mom allowed me to play. Several of my friends were on the same team (I don't remember the name, but our shirts and caps were purple! We all constantly chewed Grape Bubble Yum to match) and so I always had a ride to games and practices - Mom and Dad never made it to a game. I loved playing; I was terrible, but so was our whole team, and I was playing baseball.

Life was good.

The next year, Andy was finishing third grade. My little bro is, and always has been, more interested in taking things apart and putting them back together than in sports, but, as Mom told me two years eariler, "Boys play Little League."

It was terrible. She made him play; they went to every game; he came home crying 50% of the time. I continued to hitch rides with my friends to softball.

Life was.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Dreeeeeeam Dream Dream Dreeeam

Some friends of mine belong to a Dream Group; this is a place, they explained, where members describe and then discuss their dreams to maybe figure out some meaning behind them. I thought it sounded interesting, so when they invited me to join in one day last week, I didn't hesitate. It was a bit surreal, but at the same time very cool, and it has gotten me paying more attention to and thinking about my dreams.

I have long had several recurring dreams. One is about work - whatever work I am doing at the time - and dates back to high school and McDonald's. These dreams don't really leave me much wondering about meaning - I take my work fairly seriously (yes, even at McDonald's), and the dreams are usually about me failing at some aspect of the job that I shouldn't have a hard time with. Probably reflective of my previously documented insecurities.

A slightly embarrassing one to share is the bathroom dream. In this, I am searching for a bathroom. Usually, I find one, but it's truly disgusting. Like beyond the worst gas-station bathroom I have ever seen. Flooded with backed-up sewage, all the toilets are brimming, and there's no privacy. This one's easy. I have to pee.

My other repeaters are perhaps less obvious. Frequently, I am living in whatever house is actually currently mine, and happen upon a whole room, floor, wing that I didn't know was there before - and it's super fabulous. Perhaps this speaks to my near constant and very mild discontent with life as is? Maybe that great things are in my life already, I'm just not always seeing them?

Or I'll be living somewhere that is unfamiliar in my reality, but again super fab, and to enter this fantastic space, I have to wriggle through a small opening of some sort. A few summers ago, I helped a friend in his crawl space. The crawl-space itself was fine - a pit in the earth, but a fairly clean, dry, spacious pit. Entering, however, was reminiscent of those dreams. We had to crawl around under his deck, turn around backwards, and slide into the space. I was a bit freaked here, but not so in my dreams - it's just the way I have to enter. In fact, I'm never perplexed or put out by the openings in said dreams - any more so than I am when entering my true home through the front door. Clueless as to potential significance with this one.

My favorite is the naked dream. Nothing at all sexual about these. They always take place in public, usually, but not always, at a workplace - though, interestingly, never at school. Really, mostly at the casino - a place at which I haven't worked for nearly 10 years. Here, I'll be doing whatever it is I should be doing, when suddenly, I realize that I'm naked. Shit. I then am trying to figure out how, exactly, I'm going to get out of where ever I am and get some clothes without alerting everyone to the fact that I am without. Sadly enough, no one ever does notice. What does that say, do you think?

Monday, June 22, 2009

Writing Territories

Who and what do I write for?

Well - I write as a teacher - I try to write decent lessons, prompts, and questions to challenge my kids' thinking about the world around them. I write personal notes to my kids to encourage them, comfort them, or connect with them. I comment on student writing and ideas in an effort to recognize triumphs and gently but firmly push them forward. As a teacher, I also write to adults - communicating with parents, peers and administrators concerning myriad ideas from school dances to the place standardized tests should have in our schools (on the sidelines).

I write as a student - sorting out my thinking on various subjects including my profession, but also motherhood, morality, and meaning.

I write as a mother - texting my daughter regularly, leaving notes for chores, reminding my children how important they are and how proud of them I am.

I write as a woman - keeping track of my dreams, working through my pasts, making goals for my future.

I write as a writer - sometimes to archive my life, sometimes to entertain, sometimes to learn, sometimes to vent.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Insecure me

I think this goes back to my mother. Doesn't everything right?

Once, four of us girls were best friends. Deanne's family invited all of us up to their cabin for the weekend. my mom said no because. "what if they decided they didn't like you anymore, and left you alone in the woods?"

Terrifying shit this motherhood stuff. What the hell am I doing that Al's going to remember as mucking up her life?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Truth (27 of 100)

I am always a bit surprised when I learn that people like me.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Truth (26 of 100)

I am more than a bit lazy.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Truth (25 of 100)

It's time for me to go back on my drugs.

Ah Sweet Summer, Where Have you Gone?

I live this awful dual life. The one part of me, shall we call her Polly?, loves everything about her job. Everything. Really. And she wants to get better at it, so she signs up for any and all workshops, classes, and professional development opportunities she sees that may possibly increase her level of competence. Often these are fantastic, and really do improve her skills. She's always glad she participated, because at worst, she was able to spend time with other like-minded intelligent improvement seekers.

Then there's Anna. People love Anna; Anna loves people, but Anna often wonders what the hell is going through Polly's head when she book up more than half their glorious, well deserved, summer with all these stinking workshops. Really - five day since they've left, and they have to be back?

"Please Polly," Anna laments, "think on it a while next time?"

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Truth (24 of 100)

It's harder for me to write when my kids are here.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Truth (23 of 100)

I am a consumer. Shit!

Binge and Purge

Summer brings with it so much that enriches my already rich life. Okay - I know it's not technically Summer, but my life truly has two seasons - School and Summer - so for me, summer is here.

I love the way summer allows me to write. I have the time to do it, and less of the guilt that I ought to be doing something else.

This morning, I finished a book before I even got out of bed (reading it, not writing it). No other time of the year can I indulge myself in such a way.

The windows are open constantly - fresh air filling the dank and dusty corners of my soul!!! Sure, some mornings it's a bit nippley in the house, but 56 somehow feels more tolerable now than in the dark months.

Beer tastes so much better on a sunny patio. So much better.

And the dancing begins in earnest. Ah, dancing, the nectar of my being.

But, finally and hugely, my annual purge.

Those of you (don't you love this - what a Pollyanna I am!) who know anything about my Momma know that calling her a hoarding pack-rat is really not a severe enough description for her condition. Quite literally, there are aisles to get through most living parts of the house, and several (yes several) rooms that are nearly impenetrable by humans. And I am using "Literally" in the literal sense, not as a tool of my much beloved hyperbole. People must see it to appreciate - the few that have ventured to Novi to witness, despite my preparations, were astounded by the amount of Stuff. Seriously.

And my greatest fear, despite my love for my parents, is to turn out to be them. Terrifies me (again, I am abandoning the hyperbole) more than anything, including heights, birds, and even Republicans. So, while mom buys lots, recovers lots from others, and keeps it all in her brimming house, I tend to discard anything I haven't used in the last fifteen minutes (okay - now I've allowed my beloved to rear its beautiful head).

The first two weeks of summer are devoted primarily to deep cleaning and thinning out the "Stuff" that I have somehow needlessly collected. I don't know where half this Stuff comes from. I fancy myself a light consumer, but apparently this is self-deception, because every summer I manage to pull enough Stuff into my garage to sit there for an afternoon attempting to lure other innocents into the same traps I fell into throughout the year.

It may not be my favorite part of summer, but it keeps me sane.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Okay - time for some real writing I suppose

I think my 100 truths is an interesting experiment, and I intend on continuing with the exercise, so , faithful reader, don't lose sleep about a change of course. I do feel a need to also do more quantiful writing though, so my intention is to do both. Panicking may cease now.

Tuesday number one of Summer. What a wonderful day. Slept until 8:30 today. Now, at 9:47, I am indulging in my love of writing, mint tea with honey, and The Talking Heads. And, I'm not feeling even a little bit guilty about any of it. Ah, Summer!

Yesterday, the first REAL day of summer, I did something that was perhaps a bit reckless, but turned out wonderfully. But I must back up a few weeks to tell this story.

As I've chronicled before, my latest addiction is Facebook (not really easing off on this one too much yet). I've connected with many friends, past and present, in the past months, and, by making an offhand comment to one friends post, gained myself a whole new friend even. Roy and I have been in perpetual conversation since, and yesterday met halfway and had lunch together. This is where the recklessness came in. I mean, he could have been a Psycho Killer posing as a cool dude, for all I knew. I didn't even tell Susan, because I knew she wouldn't be impressed. I, however, did not worry because, as you all know, bad things DO NOT happen to me - ever. And, alas, that seems have been the case again. Roy and I talked non-stop for about 3 1/2 hours; During which time, we had a lovely lunch with a couple of cocktails, and went on to our other lives. It's nice to make new friends. We can all use them (or at least I can).

The not-so-reckless part of me then went on to have supper with another newish friend, Denise. We were in RCWP together summer last, and have managed to maintain a long-distance friendship since. I don't usually do these well, so I am proud of that friendship.

Okay - this was a lame get back to writing attempt - I'll do better next time:)