Friday, May 20, 2005

We Can Rebuild It...

I went to get my hair cut today. My hairdresser works at the mall place I go to -- and have ever since my arrival in Denver. I went through a few hair stylists there, then stopped looking when Olivia cut my hair the first time.

I was sad today when Olivia told me she's going through a divorce. Having gone through a divorce myself -- even when it's the right thing to do -- I know it's a hard thing to get past.

As we talked, I shared a little of my experience, and tried to assure her that a year from now, so much of her life will have changed for the better as she picks up and rebuilds. I hope I listened enough -- she talked a long time -- but I realized quickly how those of us who have been through it go through that time when we just need to talk about it.

How many of us have to rebuild and revamp our thinking when life hands us the proverbial lemonades?

My first marriage ended after 5 years. There's no reason to go through why it ended, only that I left after trying to save it, and it didn't work.

Feelings of failure are a natural part of the end of a marriage...I'd hate to think that only the occasional freak of nature would enter a marriage thinking that it's a temporary thing. We all go into it thinking that it's going to work out, and when it doesn't it's normal to feel that we could have done more.

I went to see a counselor after I left my husband at the time, and said those words..."I'll always wonder if I could have done more." To which the counselor said simply "At what cost?"

At what cost is right. As my husband and I have struggled with fertility issues over the past few years, we've also had to measure the emotional toll on us as we forged ahead and tried again -- only to lose 3 pregnancies.

Ultimately, the last loss was our last, I think. There wasn't a lot of talk about trying again, and when my grandma died recently and left us some money, I didn't even entertain the idea of further fertility treatment, and didn't think about it at all until a friend asked. Instead, we bought tickets to Europe and put some money aside for the trip so we wouldn't have to save up.

Yes, we are in the process of rebuilding -- rebuilding our image of parents-in-waiting to a couple who will grow old taking trips and perhaps overspoiling our pets while our friends have their kids and complain that they can't afford to go to Europe.

I find that life is a trade-off, a compromise, and a series of setting priorities and sometimes re-setting them. As we re-define our lives without kids, we find ourselves relaxing about the whole thing, spending more time on each other. Simply rebuilding our image of how our lives will be.

Another lesson in life learned.

Rebuild.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Meet Zippy


Zippy The Fish Posted by Hello

Meet Zippy.

Approximately the length of a pencil eraser and about as thin as a pin, (he's barely visible to the naked eye) Zippy hides out under the Roman Column tank decoration. When he's hungry, he zips from one hiding place to the next looking for food, then he zips back to his favorite hide-out.

My husband and I just got a fish in the tank about a week ago, and got all new fish -- initially we chose just 9 fish -- 3 Zebras, 3 Neon Tetras and 3 Black Molly's. The intent was to make sure the tank was safe for a few inexpensive fish, then get bigger more expensive ones as we've established that it's safe to do so.

One of the Black Molly girl fish we picked out looked quite pregnant to me even at PetsMart, and within a day or two of her being in our tank, Zippy showed up.

We've had one fatality -- one of the Tetras didn't make it, the smallest one, and I have to be honest that I don't hold out much hope for Zippy because of it. But it sure is fun to try and find the Littlest Fish of All in there and see that he's made it another day!

Sunday, May 08, 2005

A Little Piece of Heaven.


Brian's first look at his new iPod Posted by Hello


My husband turned 40 on Saturday. Brian is a musician and LOVES any kind of music there is. It was my pleasure to find the perfect gift -- an iPod Photo with 30 gigs. I enlisted the financial help of his parents, my Mom, and his sister and her husband to help me afford such a great gift.

The night before his birthday, we went to dinner at Jerusalem's and as we were leaving, I asked him if anything about turning 40 was bothering him, as he hadn't said a word about it. Well, he said, I guess I have to get some expensive tastes, like a sports car, an iPod and an XBox.

I bought the iPod a few weeks ago and was very proud of keeping my trap shut and letting it be a huge surprise. He had no hint, no clue that he would get such a lovely gift. So when he opened it (see above photo), he stared at it and his mouth hung open for almost a minute before he realized it wasn't just an iPod box, it actually had an iPod IN IT.

There are few times in ones life when you can find the actual PERFECT gift to give someone. I'm so glad I could do this for him, and it's obvious he's happy with it too.

Happy 40th, Sweetie.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Patriotism

I caution you now that this is a political post. Don't bother flaming me for my ideas, as this is a free country and like anyone else, I'm surely entitled to my opinion. If you can handle it, read on, but get yourself settled in because it's a long one.

I'm no sociologist. There is more than one day I wish I'd at least taken a class in it in college though -- something about Social Problems and Deviance. The next best thing I have is a brother who is a sociology professor, so occasionally I get to ask him a question, and soon we're off to the races about his ideas vs. mine.

I did, however, take a class by the brilliant Professor Jon Bridgeman in college, called "War and Society". In it, we discussed both the technology of war, and how it morphed from rocks and sticks to the nuclear bomb, as well as what a sense of nationalism us Americans achieved in the short time between "The War to End All Wars", aka World War I and World War II.

In the days post 9/11, when American flags were in short supply, I put a small flag on my car along with most everyone else. The sense of unity following 9/11 was amazing, as our national conciousness was raised to a level never before seen in my lifetime, certainly, and probably not since Pearl Harbor was attacked in 1941.

It didn't take 6 months for me to take down that flag, and to resume flying my flag outside my house only on national holidays. And I think you probably can guess why.

At some point, in my opinion, the wheels came off the bus -- the bus that was asking "who did this?" and turned into something entirely different -- one that said "We're going to find someone's ass to kick for this."

But it went further than that. Initially, it was thought that The Man Responsible was Osama bin Laden, and that surely he must be in Afghanistan. I think most everyone was on the bandwagon that said we should go there and hunt him down.

Then, amazingly, there was a shift. I honestly think George Bush, seeing that all he had to do was pull out the short but dramatic footage of the planes crashing into the towers to get what he was after, decided for some reason (and I still don't know what it is) that we needed to invade Iraq.

I remember with some clarity being in the 8th grade when the hostages in Iran were taken. I remember the footage of them being led as the Islamic militants chanted in the background. Iraq, and Saddam Hussein, were our buddies at the time.

So what changed? And more importantly, why are we allowing ourselves to continue to be led around like sheep to slaughter?

I am an American citizen, one who up until now has been proud to be one. As I approach another trip to Europe this fall, I can't help but wonder what people will say to me, and how I'll possibly answer.

I am sickened by this war, and I believe I am not alone. I am also sickened by the sense that my saying so I am somehow unpatriotic, or worse, "Anti-American". I do not understand why people aren't marching in the streets against this war, and I don't understand why the prison scandal at Abu Graib and the holding and "questioning" (if ever there was an understatement, there it is) of foreigners at Guantanamo Bay is not causing people to question what the hell we have become.

The Germans in World War II Europe kept silent as masses of people were killed in Hitler's Final Solution. I know we're not committing genocide (shit, I guess I have to say "I hope not") but in reality, our silence is simply complicity, and for that even I hang my head in shame.

There. I said it.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

I saw you.

I saw you today, the man at the Safeway. Dirty clothes, messy hair. I've never seen you there before, but you were walking around the store with a cart in front of you, but not putting anything in it.

Just as I went to get into line, I saw you carefully put the cart back and leave the store. I couldn't help but think that you went there just to feel a little normal, to look like you were shopping just like everybody else does.

I put a few bucks in my pocket, and as I left the store, I looked for you. I almost never do this, but I thought I'd give you a little money. I scanned the parking lot and you had vanished.

I made a silent prayer that I could find you, but it was not answered. As I drove home my heart broke.

As hard as life can be for me sometimes, I'm not you -- seeking a few minutes of normalcy in what I imagine is an otherwise difficult day.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Defrag Me!

I’m a responsible adult. Not just an adult, mind you, but a highly responsible one. I just spent the whole day doing awful, but highly needed, things.

First off, there was the 8:30 a.m. trip to the dentist to have not one, not two, but THREE fillings. I think that pretty much proves I’m not a procrastinator -- just dive right in and get the worst of it out of the way. I know what you’re thinking -- if I’m not a procrastinator, how did I get to the point of needing three teeth fixed at once? Only one was a bad cavity...the rest were mere surface things to be plugged now instead of allowing them to get worse. But we’re not here to talk about Brian and his root canal.

No, I got my teeth done by 10 a.m. By noon, I got my lips back.

Surprised that I wasn’t in more pain (only mild feeling that someone was rootin’ around in my mouth all morning) I decided to get a few errands done. So I went to the bank, off to buy dog food, and ultimately to the truly happiest place on earth: The Line at the car emissions place.

So, well over an hour and $25 later, my 1995 Subaru with 182,000 miles on it (it has now become a sporting thing to see just how many miles I can put on this thing without throwing a rod, or whatever it is cars do when they die). Whatever it is, Brian says it’s going to happen soon. I just hope I’m not doing 75 on I-70 when it happens!

On to Chore #3 today. There’s not a lot of “yours” and “mine” talk in my house anymore... most things we’ve bought together over the bliss-filled five years of marriage, but when it comes to the computers, Brian’s is Brian’s and mine is mine. Two HPs born about 6 months apart, both run Windows 98 and are in desperate need of replacement. Brian’s ‘puter is used for the Internet and games, for the most part, mine is housed in the back room and holds all the software and fun stuff for my photos and CD burning, etc.

Well, Brian’s computer is dying, but you can’t tell him that. He’s fried the hard drive a couple of times due to viruses, and always takes it to the computer doctor and has them bring it back to life. For this reason, I am concerned that Living Will or not, Brian is not going to let ME die even if the doctors say there isn’t any hope, insisting they reboot me.

But I digress.

So today, after it freezing while only running one program for the fifth time (and having to hard start it because it won’t shut down), I finally decided to scan the disk and defrag the bugger.

Now, only 3 hours later, the Internet is loading pages faster, and I’m able to type without the computer lagging behind me or skipping letters all together.

Days like this make me think that I’m at least making some use out of my time off, taking care of all that ucky stuff. I just hope tomorrow’s more like one of those unemployed days everyone dreams of -- those days that defrag the soul, like going to a museum, out to lunch, or to the country for a long drive. I’ll have to try that.

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