Monday, October 27, 2008

Managing "Up"

Is there any tactful way to tell your boss that, if he's spending more time on the seating chart for a meeting than he is on the agenda, there's probably a big ol' red flag in there someplace?

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Confidential to Edna's Daughter

I hope you understand that when I push you -- when I insist that you stick up for yourself, that you do the difficult things and the uncomfortable things -- it's not because I have a "control" issue, or a need to be right. It's because I worry about you every day. It's because I want you to be as happy and safe as you can possibly be. It's because those are the very things you would -- and should -- expect me to do if our roles were reversed.

It's because I love you.

I hope you know that.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Things that suck

I wrecked my pretty little blue truck the other day. Yes, yes; I'm fine. More importantly, the other guy is fine. All things considered, I was very lucky that the aftermath was more inconvenience than anything.

But my festive blue mini SUV? The one that gets 30 MPG? The one over which I was suffering all that guilt and angst less than a year ago? It's boo-boo'd. Its little nose is all dented in. Makes me sad.

Then, this morning, I had to preside over Annie's job termination. It sure as hell wasn't something I wanted to do. It was unavoidable, however, as many things have come to light in the last two months that have fundamentally changed the landscape for that organization. All through the conversation, she kept looking at me, as though I could somehow wave a wand and make this all better. I couldn't.

But again, the fact that we all were there, at that table, being forced to do that deed, underscored for me that I just hadn't done enough to forestall or avoid the situation. That I hadn't seen it coming soon enough. That I had failed, despite best intent and effort.

I am bothered by this dichotomy of feeling like a failure at a time when others perceive me as being a success. I have been working too much, trying to multi-task too often, forcing myself to be "on" too much of the time. I think it was about a year ago that I stated the need to slow down; I haven't been too successful at that. Much to the contrary, in fact. I often feel as though I'm drowning in a sea of tasks and deadlines. Things fall off my plate. I am over-committed, yet I am having a hard time saying 'no', and I am usually criticised for those few instances when I do say no.

There hasn't been a single family member -- husband, daughter, mother, dad and step-mom, in-laws -- (or close friend, for that matter), who hasn't expressed to me, in one way or another, that I am not reliable for them lately. They don't see me as having the time to be fully present for them.

And yet, I don't know how to escape from this. I have to support my family for another two years; that's my reality. And the others who come to me for help really need my help. "I don't know who else to turn to for this." I hear it all the time.

I want to know how some people maintain this kind of schedule and still manage to keep their centers. If any of you know, clue me in, OK?

Because I'm sucking at this.

Thursday, October 16, 2008


Oliver Stone's new movie, W, comes out tomorrow.

I haven't seen it, and I probably won't. Just don't have time.

However, I have to question the motivation and propriety of releasing a potentially disrespectful biopic about a sitting president, two weeks before an election.

I think it's a very poor commentary on American society. I have no love for our current president, but I think this is in unnecessarily poor taste.

I don't know: maybe I'm old-fashioned. I think you can criticize the actions of your politicians while they're in power, but I think delving into their personal histories in such a public way (and if Oliver Stone's history is any indication, it won't be a game of soft-ball), should wait until they've left office.

There. I've said my piece and counted three.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Know Thyself

I'm nosey.

There. I said it.

It's not that I feel entitled to know what's going on in everyone else's life, and it's not that I'm intent on doing anything with the information once I have it.

But I just wanna know what my family and friends are up to, you know? If someone is having a fight, it kills me when I don't know why. If someone is sad, I can't stand it when they say 'I don't wanna talk about it". You wanna send me up the wall? Stand in my office with a big, shit-eatin' grin on your face and when I ask, say, "Nah, just in a good mood. Must be the sunshine."

Sure; I put up a brave face. "Oh, hey, you know, it's cool; I don't want to pry. Not my business. I'm here if you wanna talk." But inside, I'm yelling, "AAAAACK! WHY WON'T YOU TELL ME???"

Maybe it's "Mother Hen" syndrome. I really need to know that the people I love are OK. Or maybe it's a lack of character. Maybe it's some deep-seated paranoia that suggests that if they won't tell me, it must be because I'm the butt of some joke or so emotionally incompetent that I cannot be opened up to.

Or maybe there's some spinach in my teeth. Do I have spinach in my teeth?

I don't know.

But I want to.

C'mon. Spill! ;)

Tuesday, October 07, 2008


My mother is driving me insane.


Monday, October 06, 2008

No Nose Nanette

I'm embarking on week three of a sinus infection, which in this case means that, in addition to having a headache 24/7, I have virtually no sense of smell.

On one hand, this is somewhat advantageous, as previously stinky stuff is not a problem for me. Rotten milk in my daughter's thermos from last Friday? No probs. I'll clean it out. Cat boxes? Ditto. I now believe, in addition, that everyone in the world has excellent digestive health.

On the other hand, sometimes those noxious odors are nature's little warning bells. Apparently, I hung up an entire load of soured laundry yesterday. And Friday, I didn't find out -- until I started drinking it -- that the milk had expired. Additionally, sometimes I assume that something should be stinky when it is not, and as a result, I am using air fresheners to an excess. Like French Whorehouse excess.

I planned to make festively-scented bath products for Christmas presents this year. This isn't going so well. I find that, unless I am using a pre-determined recipe for a scent (i.e. One I've Done Before), I have no idea what's going together and what isn't. Some scents come through OK (Rose, for example, for some unknown reason) while others are all but hidden. As a result, by the time I can smell the scent I'm adding to the soap, I have managed to transform my entire living space into the previously-described European House of Ill-Repute. Unbeknownst to me, I apparently gassed my husband's hooded jacket with enough lavender oil that he was drawing stares at his 'guys night out' Saturday. My family has asked me to take a haitus from Christmas crafts until my olfactory receptors have resumed normal operation.

Food? Not so much exciting. Pretty much everything is "meh" flavored. Unless it's sweet or salty, I'm not going to know it's there. Umami? Please. Total non-starter.

The only saving grace is that, hopefully, I can finally lose some weight. I'll keep y'all posted.