Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Beanie's Farding Butterfly Effect Theorem

"The act of applying lip gloss, lipstick or Vaseline to one's lips will immediately result in a localized gust of wind that will blow one's hair into the recently-applied maquillage.

This effect is magnified according to the color depth of the lip product applied."

Beanie's Axiom of Contrived Sleeplessness

"The probability that a child, under the age of 10, will have a screaming nightmare at 3 am is inversely proportional to the total number of sleeping hours available to the child's parents on a given night."


Maxine's Oratory Corrollary:

"The number of minutes it will take to soothe a screaming child back to sleep at 3 am is equal to the remaining number of minutes in the anticipated sleeping period, divided by one-half the number of minutes one is expected to devote to public speaking the next day."

Monday, November 26, 2007


Sometimes people walk out of our lives for a reason. And when they come back, or when we get a chance to learn about them -- how they're doing, where they are -- we can react with too much enthusiasm.

I fear I have overstepped my bounds with someone I care for very, very much and I am terrified I have driven this person away.

I hope I'm wrong. And I hope this person knows how very precious she is to me.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Old, busted hotness

Agent J: Wait, what are you doing?
Kevin Brown/K: I always do the driving.
Agent J: Oh, no.
Kevin Brown/K: I remember that.
Agent J: No, what you remember is that you used to drive that old busted junk. See, I drive... the new hotness.
[pointing at Kay]
Agent J: Old and busted.
[pointing at himself]
Agent J: New hotness.
[Kay looks at Jay for a second, then Jay hands the keys over]
Agent J: Old, busted hotness.

I think I've found my new moniker. Old. Busted. Hotness.

I have bad ankles. Have I mentioned that? Well, I do. Had three surgeries before the age of 25 because I totally roached the ligaments playing volleyball. As a result, I have not been on a pair of ice skates since I was 12 years old. Bad ankles and ice skating are not a preferred combination.

Until this year. My daughter took up ice hockey and she frankly needs practice time to sharpen her skating skills. Ice time is at an enormous premium here -- hockey is as popular as soccer in these parts -- and so we have opted for the Family Skate night at the local rink to get her some much-needed practice.

Tonight, they shamed me into putting on a pair of skates.

42-12 = 30. That's how many years it's been since I was on the ice. You learn to fear falling over the course of 30 years.

Still, I think I did myself proud. I managed not to fall on my butt or any other part of me. Even remembered, albeit briefly, how to skate backwards.

You know, in your hip, there is this muscle. It's one of the adducter muscles. Its primary purpose is the pull your leg straight out to the side. It's rarely used. Unless, apparently, you are ice skating. Then, it appears to be your primary source of locomotion.

That little muscle is pretty wicked sore right now.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

The wonderful gift of thankfulness

First, I want to lend my very sincere thanks to all of you who commented on my last entry. As Susan pointed out, I was feeling pretty raw that day and your collective love and wisdom were a tremendous comfort to me and a reminder that fellowship takes a lot of forms in this world. Thank you.

This morning, researchers at Cornell University released findings that suggest taking time to feel grateful contributes to your overall health and well-being. Apparently, if you tell yourself that you have a good life you will, eventually, have a better life than the one you think you have now. This is not to say you should go and envision that Ferrari and think you'll actually get one, because I don't think it works that way. Oh, what the hell, give it a try; can't hurt and won't the guys at the office be surprised on Monday.

Thanksgiving went off without a hitch today...unless we count that little incident with the exploding marshmallows on the yams and the ensuing oven fire...but really, overlooking that, it was a great day.

For those who are curious: yes, my mother stayed for dinner. And yes, by all accounts she had a pretty good time. Talked and laughed with the other guests non-stop, figured out that the pickled peaches were, in her opinion, much improved by adding a healthy shot of Jack Daniels, had an exra helping of cheesecake for dessert. She toddled off to bed around 10:30, after I thanked her, sincerely, for being here, and after she thanked God that "all those goddamn peope are gone".

And today, I feel truly thankful. I had about 25 people here, between the first wave for dinner and the second wave for dessert (and I got to make my favorite joke Tuesday night: "No, I won't be here tomorrow. We're having 18 people for dinner Thursday and they take an awfully long time to cook"). All seemed to have a good time. It makes my heart glad to have a house full of people.

I found out, as well, on Tuesday that my aforementioned Death March Project was selected as one of two finalists. In a couple weeks I get to go to Washington and make a presentation that, if we are successfull, will allow my colleagues and me a chance to make a big difference to a group of young men and women who really need us.

I live in a warm safe house, with plenty of food and water, and we are lucky enough to afford a few luxuries. I am aware of how rare this level of comfort is in an uncertain world.

I have wonderful, supportive friends, both locally and across the country. What a blessing indeed it is to be able to silently speak your wishes and hopes and fears out into the world and have them heard and embraced.

I am healthy. Sure; I could stand to lose a few pounds and I get a lot of sniffles, but I am lucky to enjoy generally robust physical and mental health. Again, I am aware how rare a blessing this is.

I have a husband who loves and respects me, and I him. I have a healthy, sassy, beautiful girl who brightens every day of my life.

How wonderful to be able to count these as blessings. I feel healthier already.

How about you?

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Is it my breath?

So what happened to this post?

For those of you who were here earlier, I wrote this in a time of anger and hurt. Sometimes those we love can damage us far more than those who are our real enemies. I expressed that pain here and in doing so, I was able to release it.

It's time is over now, however, so it's time to retire this post, so it doesn't cause hurt of its own in ways I don't intend. Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


Ha! Someone who shall remain nameless just pointed out to me that I begin nearly all my paragraphs with the word "So".


I thought about going back and changing my earlier posts, but then decided against it. Instead, I'm looking ahead and seeing how long I can go without starting a sentence with the forbidden "S" word.

I'm counting on my small but loyal cadre of readers to call me on it if I fail. If I start a sentence with "So" and you're first to spot it, I'll send you a prize from Beanie's Secret Cache of Wonders.

Oh, and don't you just wonder what's in there? I know I do!

Wow, and just so you know; I really *do* have better things to do than this -- but I'm obviously not doing them.

Things I am Embarassed to Know

A friend of mine made reference today to a "Chaotic Evil Druid". Without missing a beat, I mentioned that druids were True Neutrals, by definition.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go straighten my propeller beanie.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Time for a hard reset

So I was thinking abut my slightly panicked post last night and the thoughtful comments I had from some of you about it, both here and at that other place I hang out. Love you guys. Really.

It occured to me around 2 am that I have completely abandoned my maintenance program. It's like 'Oh well, I'm too busy to take proper care of myself anymore and all those things I was doing before were just me being selfish'. Yeah. OK. And then I got on the scale this morning and I've re-gained 3 of the 15 pounds I lost over the summer.

'Ouch' is right.

So as of today, were hitting the reset button here at Camp Beanie. Here are the new rules, for anyone who cares. Maybe I'm just writing them down for me, but hey, it's my blog. Ninnyninny-boo-boo.

  • No more eating after 8 pm. This was a pretty hard and fast rule for me for years and it kept my blood sugar in check for a long time. I haven't checked my sugar in awhile -- I was a chronic hypoglycemic as a teen and young adult, which puts me at risk for developing diabetes now -- but I'll bet it's been running high.
  • No alcohol until Thanksgiving. At least. Yeah, it's only one drink, and yeah, it's only a couple times a week, but on top of the exhaustion and the stress of the last few months, it's that one drink that's making me overeat and not exercise. So off it goes.
  • Back to exercising EVERY DAY. My pedometer misses me. And I think I miss it. I told Hubby I wanted to rake the leaves by hand this weekend, instead of using the leaf sucker.

He thinks I'm insane, but he also offered to help.
Beanie, 1; CouchPotato, 0.

  • I'm going to bed at 10:30 until further notice. At least until I catch up from 4 months of sleep debt. Except for next Friday. We're seeing Lewis Black next Friday. Hey, a gal's gotta live.

I kinda don't want to cry anymore. We'll see how all this feels next week about this time.

Thanks for being here.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

So what gives?

So I finished phase I of Beanie's Death March Project, and while I have Phase II to go through, it's a more known quantity and I have more control over those parts that affect me, so it's looking OK. The rest of my job is going pretty well -- my quarterly report is late, officially, as of today, but I'll have that rectified as of tomorrow.

I've had a headhunter (ahem...Executive Recruiter) chasing my tail for a job in the private sector that looks great, and would be great if it wasn't so travel intensive. I think I'm going to turn it down, but I'm interested to see how big a bag of money they intend to beat me with before all is said and done.

Mom is on the mend, albeit slowly. She's bored to tears in my house with no way to get around, which means that I cannot remove an article of clothing or dirty a dish without it being whisked from my sight and cleaned.

But I can live with that. In fact, I'm thinking about hiring her.

Seriously, though, I think in another month, she'll be back on her feet and back in her house, with a bit of help. So this is a good thing. And she and S haven't murdered each other, so I'm officially declaring victory. Yay!

My daughter is doing well in school. This is a big deal, given that she was expelled from school three times before her fifth birthday.

You think I'm kidding. I'm not.

But she's kicking booty and taking names this year, is making friends, flunking spelling (which proves that she's really my kid and I didn't buy her from a trafficker named Ahmed) and being a great, normal, 2nd grader. And she makes me laugh every day.

All things considered, my life could be a whole lot worse.

So why do I feel like bawling my eyes out 24/7? Why am I jumping on every little perceived slight? Seriously, I feel like I'm falling apart at the seams. I want to sleep -- constantly -- and when I am not comatose, I'm just not focusing.

What gives?

Monday, November 05, 2007

The weekend

So we have no good resolution on last week's dilemma. Lots of people pointing fingers at others, claiming that "I am innocent, but he/she/it is a user and a lying sack of sh*t". I think they all are. But there are three or four family members petitioning to take those kids, and one of them will get them, and all I can hope is that they're close enough that I can help keep an eye on them. Yeah; they're other people's kids. But they're still young enough to have a fighting chance to have a good life and I'd hate like hell to see them lost.

This backdrop serves, as always, to remind me how completely blessed I am in this life.

Saturday morning, S and K and I went to the West Side Market. It's one of those places that makes you glad to live in this city (even though I live waaaaay out in the suburbs): wonderful ethnic foods, beautiful, mixed-up humanity, and a falafel sammich for breakfast. Life is good! Afterwards, we finally got a chance to head over to the glass-blowing place next door when it was actually OPEN. K loved seeing one of the students blow a vase while we were there. S and I are thinking about taking a few classes, just for fun.

Saturday night, I got together with about a dozen girlfriends to have snackies and drink wine and pot bulbs to force-bloom for Christmas. My friend S. dubbed it a bulb-forcing party. My hubby re-christened it our "Fall Pot Party". I think the name will stick. :)

Sunday, I got to spend a day just with my girl. We helped the neighbor mark sugar maples for next spring, worked in the garden together, played on the swings and baked a Texas Sheet Cake, just because. It was a great day.

In fact, it was a great weekend and I feel much refreshed for it.