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Archive for August, 2008

This is my 500th post.  I know I’ve written over 500, having deleted a few posts from the archives over the years, but as of today I now have 500 and I want to celebrate.  For the first time ever, I’m going to host a giveaway.  Weeeee!

Back in February I posted a meme here that listed the first 10 songs that popped up on my iPod when I set it to shuffle.  This resulted in an admission that my taste in music is eclectic at best and that I would love to be introduced to some new artists.

I’ve been looking at several music related social networks out there and happened upon Simplify Media, a peer-to-peer music program that allows you to listen to your friends’ (or your own) entire music library over the internet.  The service is free, but there are some limitations.  While you can listen to your friends’ songs, you can’t download them.  You also can’t play any songs your friends have downloaded from iTunes or any other files with DRM limitations attached.  Anything that has been ripped from a CD is fair game, and my available library currently stands at over 2200 tracks.

Here’s the part where I start to sound like a dirty slut.  I’d love to hook up with you if you’re interested in hooking up with me.  If you want access to several Baby Einstein CDs and more John Williams soundtracks than you can shake a stick at, simply download the software from the Simplify Media website, create an account and drop me an email with your user name via the “Contact Me’ tab on this blog.  I’ll show you mine if you show me yours, though Simplify Media will only allow me to whore my music out to 30 friends total.  Somehow I don’t think that will be a problem.

And here’s the part where I offer to give stuff away.  To celebrate my 500th post and my quest for musical enlightenment, I’m offering one lucky reader a $20 gift card to either the iTunes store or Amazon.com.  Did you know you can download DRM-free music at Amazon?  Well, you do now.

In order to be eligible for the gift card, all I ask is that you leave a comment here between now and Sunday evening August 31st at 5:00pm.  You don’t need to Digg this or Stumble it or Kirtsy it or even link back here to bump up my Technorati rating.  Just post a comment with the name of the last song you either heard or sang along to that day.  You can comment more than once, but please limit your comments to one per day.  So wrote the woman who just listened to “Stairway to Heaven” and is working her way through “Lady Madonna.”

The winner will be chosen at random Sunday evening after 5:00 pm and will be posted here next Monday with the gift certificate of choice being delivered by email shortly after.

Good luck, everyone.  Happy listening.

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Guilt and little white lies

Today I sent a sick kid to daycare.  Autumn had a fever that spiked at 103.5 at about 1:30 this morning.  She had been sick most of yesterday and was very listless throughout the day.  For the first time ever, my child was able to tell me she was sick when she actually was sick.  Most of the time she tells me she doesn’t feel well after she puts us through a wicked tantrum and has expelled all her energy by making us miserable for several minutes.

She seemed better this morning.  I took her temperature twice and she was back down to normal, but she obviously was not herself.  She didn’t want to watch “The Wiggles” and didn’t put up a fuss or kick her legs as I tried to get her dressed.  All she wanted to do was lie down on our bed.  It really was quite pathetic, but as I stood over my daughter looking so worn out, I couldn’t resist using the moment to my advantage.  I put my hands on my hips and looked at her sternly.  “See what happens when you eat your boogers?  Didn’t Mommy say you’d get sick?”  And Mommy did say that.  Mommy said that just yesterday before the child got sick.

I decided  to send her to daycare because today is the first day of classes at the university, and if there’s one day I really shouldn’t miss it’s this one.  As we pulled into the driveway at daycare, Autumn’s weak voice piped up from the back seat.  “You have to tell C- I’m not feeling well,”  she said, perhaps afraid she wouldn’t get the same amount of sympathetic kisses as she would at home.  Broke. My. Heart.

I told C- to call me if she thinks Autumn should go home.  I’m kind of hoping she does call because I really think my little girl needs her mom right now.

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Today I’ve decided to let go of something that has been bothering me for months.

Letting go means coming to terms with what has passed and accepting that whatever is broken will remain so.  At least in this case.

I used to be friends with a group of women, but because of some things that were said and written and implied through things that weren’t said, we’ve become estranged.  They are still friends with each other but none of them are friends with me.  Looking back on the relationship I had with them, I don’t know if I was ever really a part of their circle, but whatever may have been has now been replaced with me being the odd man out and the reviled party in this whole mess.

No one is perfect.  I’m fabulously imperfect and will be the first to admit it.  I’m also not averse to admitting when I’m wrong.  I was wrong, but I wasn’t 100% culpable.

By now you’re probably thinking I’m breaking one of my blogging rules by posting my feelings about this here.  I wouldn’t go so far as saying I’m breaking a rule so much as bending it.  Also?  I really have no idea if any of them still read this and I’m not writing for them.  I’m writing for me.

Losing them hurt, but what hurt more was realizing they are perfectly fine without me.  They have no interest in fixing what is broken or acknowledging my attempts to reach out to them.  I had a hard time accepting that, but I’m ready to move on now.

I like to hold on to things.  I’ve held onto this hurt for awhile, but I’m done feeling like this was all my fault.

And just in case one of them is reading, I do have a few things to share:

You all were the first people other than my immediate family to know I was pregnant.

I spoke up for you when there was talk of you being fired before your probation was over.

I cared enough to create a beautiful afghan for your daughter and even let you pick out the colors.

I confided in you.

I cried when you transferred to another office.

I wanted so much for you to be able to have a child of your own.

I had balls when you had none and fought for you when you weren’t willing to speak up for yourself.

I cared for you all but I’m done.  It has become clear that I am not missed and I am no longer going to waste my time missing you.

Comments are closed on this one, folks.  Thank you for indulging me.  We’ll conintue with our regular schedule of levity and sarcasm after the weekend.

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Serendipity at the public library

Last night Nathan and I took Autumn to our local library in an effort to get one TV-free evening.  That child watches way too much television.  Just this past week we found out she knows who Hannah Montana is and that show is never on in our house.  Nathan dislikes any show with overly dramatic pre-teens, though “iCarly” is starting to grow on him.

We first checked out the section of used books for sale.  Autumn sat down on the floor and proceeded to go through the pile of children’s books much like she does her own books at home, which entails looking for something interesting and tossng the rest over her shoulder.

In the children’s section of the library she showed little interest in the books.  Instead, she hung out by the sofas and played with the various puzzles and toys spread across the tables.  Also sitting on the sofas were a woman and her son.  The son, whose name we learned was Christopher, had Down Syndrome.  His mother was a beautiful blonde with sun-bronzed skin and an Eastern European accent.  I wanted to ask her where she was from, but I always feel like such a dork when I ask questions like that since I’m about the most boring person you could ever encounter in a library.

Christopher’s mother and I sat on the sofas and chatted while Nathan searched for books for Autumn.  Once in awhile there would be a little interaction between Autumn and Christoper, but for the most part they each did their own thing.  At one point Christopher got down on the floor and crawled over to Autumn and patted her on the leg.  Autumn recoiled a bit.  Apparently the girl takes after her mother and does not like to be pawed by the opposite sex.  Christopher’s mother (whose name I never learned) assured Autumn that Christopher was only trying to show affection.

We found out Christopher is just a week older than Autumn.  Because of his developmental delays, he looks and acts like a much younger child, but I thought it was kind of neat that these two kids who were born only a few days apart somehow found each other in the library.  I also thought it was kind of cool that his mom and I were pregnant at the same time.  From the looks of it, her body has recovered much better than mine has.

Eventually a little girl and her father entered the children’s section.  The girl, who we learned was named Alisa, gravitated towards Autumn and the two concentrated on a puzzle while her dad sat down and chatted with us.  He was braver than I and asked Christopher’s mother where she was from because his wife is from Moscow.  As it turns out, Christopher’s mother is also from Russia and learned English by working at Marshall Field’s.

Here’s where the coincedences continue.  While a year older, Alisa’s birthay is a week after Autumn’s and her mother’s birthday is also in November (like mine).  Not only that, but her father is a faculty member at the university where I work and go to school.  Christopher’s grandmother, who joined our party after checking out her books, revealed that she, too, had worked at the university long ago when the entire student body consisted of fewer people than we now see in our freshman class alone.

Having no ties to Russia or the university, Nathan felt a little left out of the conversation, but after we left the library I tried to impress upon him the wonder of what had happened.  Three families, all with very diverse backgrounds, somehow happened upon each other by accident only to find out we actually have a lot in common.  I like how the world works sometimes and how these connections, however temporary, can feel so magical.

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Super spy

I’ve been setting my alarm for 5:30 am in an attempt at getting to work on time.  What has actually been happening is that I hit the snooze button for an hour and still wind up plopping my butt down at my desk the usual 2-3 minutes past 8:00.

What amazes me about the snooze time is that so much can happen in those magical nine minutes before the alarm goes off again.  I can actually get back into a deep sleep and let my imagination run amok.  In just nine minutes, I somehow manage to insert myself into a number of wacky scenarios in which I would never find myself during waking hours.

Just this morning I had a short dream in which I was a spy.  I had a rendezvous with Sydney Bristow from “Alias” and she was a bit miffed with me for being late (obviously a little real life inserting itself here).  She asked me to follow her into a building and of course we didn’t use doors or stairs because no one on “Alias” enters a building in a conventional way.  Sydney leaped through an open window and I stared in horror as she fell several stories before a harness, which I didn’t even realize she was wearing, caught her fall.

She somehow managed to return the harness to me, and as I looked at it I realized what she was asking me to do.  “Um, yeah.  You wouldn’t happen to know the tensile strength of this thing, would you?” I asked.

It would seem that I can’t even have a fun dream without bringing my baggage along for the ride.  Or maybe being fat is such a part of my identity now that it’s impossible for me to imagine myself in any other way.  Whatever the case, you won’t see me donning a leather catsuit and red wig anytime soon.

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Yesterday I had an appointment at the wellness center on campus to go over the results of the fitness test I took a couple of weeks ago.  The test measured things like body composition, grip, reach, lung capacity and a few other things.

It was no surprise that my body fat percentage was in the undesirable range or that my reach puts me in the “at risk” category (I can only bend over and reach so far before I hit the wall-the wall being my belly), but I was quite surprised at finding myself “fit” when it came to the amount of crunches I completed in a minute and the number of times I was able to bench press 35 pounds.

I jokingly commented that their standards must be very low because I am in no way fit, but it would seem my upper body gets a regular workout from being required to pick up a 36- pound toddler.  I routinely wrestle with Autumn in the morning to get her dressed, pick her up to get hugs and kisses and put her into and pull her out of the car seat.  I’m becoming buff without even realizing it.

Now if the bottom half of my body could just catch up, I’d be all set.

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Kudos and confessions

I’ve been nominated for another award!  It would seem Colleen over at Mommy Always Wins and Krista over at Welcome to Married Life are of a like mind and have both nominated me for this award:

Thank you, ladies!  I am very honored that you both thought of me!

So now that I am tasked with passing this on, I have to confess that I’m a horrible lurker when it comes to reading other blogs.  I don’t comment nearly as much as I should.  I know, bad blogger!

That being said, I don’t know if I will be able to come up with seven other bloggers who would know me enough to want to accept an award from me.  So, instead of following the rules and passing this on to seven other people, I’m going to cop out and list seven blogs I’ve discovered within the past month and have enjoyed immensely:

  1. How To Party With An Infant-the first post I read here was “Why Can’t Men Say, ‘Ow'” and have been hooked since.  Kaui has a wicked sense of humor and I have no idea why more people aren’t reading her.
  2. Ring Leader-fellow Michigander Jennifer has a lot going on with being a mortician’s wife, student and mother of four.  Another woman with a great sense of humor.  Am I starting to sound like I’m trying to hook you up with these ladies?  Because I am.
  3. Moody Tunes-Alex is a former IT guy who is giving up the tech life to pursue an MFA in creative writing.  To say I envy his bravery is an understatement.  I’m very much looking forward to reading more from him.  Please, go read him.  You can start with “Ghosts At The Mall” and go from there.  He’s great.
  4. Moosh In Indy-Casey was one of the participants in the Community Keynote that opened BlogHer this year.  She read a very moving post called “The One About The Overdose”, the video of which you can see here.  She’s a great writer, fabulous photographer and has the most adorable little girl.  Seriously, you could die from so much cuteness.
  5. 6 Year Med-I had to sneak Danielle’s blog in here because I often find myself wondering how a person who writes so eloquently could also be a doctor.  I actually started reading this blog in the spring when Danielle was finishing up med school.  She’s now an intern in a pediatric ward and writes unbelievably funny and sometimes heartbreaking posts.  Go read “Held” and tell me she’s not brilliant.
  6. Next Door 2 My Ex-yes, the author of this blog lives right next door to her ex husband.  Read “Welcome to the Twilight Zone” to find out how this all came about.  I believe this would fall under the “truth is sometimes stranger than fiction” category.
  7. Nitro Vista-I like this blog for it’s honesty and humor.  Written from WAHD (Work At Home Dad), it’s another wicked funny blog from a guy who’s just trying to maintain his sanity during summer vacation.

With the exception of Danielle’s blog, I really have only been reading these folks for about a month.  I found them in one of two ways; they were either featured in Blog Nosh Magazine or are members of Entrecard.  Both Blog Nosh and Entrecard are great ways to be introduced to new bloggers and gain exposure yourself.  Check them out!

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