I was listening to the lovely podcast She Does last week when it featured an interview with documentary filmmaker, Kalyanee Mam.  Near the end of the podcast, in a moment so brief you might have overlooked it, Mam said something so incredibly true and profound that I had to write it down.

When you really love what you’re doing—when you really care about what you’re doing—you don’t even have to exert confidence, it’s just who you are.  It’s just being. But when you’re not sure of who you are and where you belong and what your path is, sometimes you impose confidence on yourself which becomes very artificial and I see it in people and it’s not confidence, but arrogance.

I think when you’re really truly at ease with yourself, there’s a lot of comfort and humility and compassion for others who may not be as comfortable as you are.

Kalyanee Mam

This is so powerful and so, so good.  How many times have I imposed confidence on myself in times that I felt out of place?  MANY.  And how many times must have I looked like an arrogant ass?  I’d rather not think about that.

First Quarter Review

Well with the first quarter of the year officially closed, I felt it was a good time for a review of my progress.  Unfortunately, despite making only two goals for the year 2012, I have made no progress toward either in these past three months.  In fact, I’ve cancelled one of my goals altogether.

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You know what I love? I love my iPhone. I can’t even put this under the What I Love category because it’s so much more than a great musician or floor cleaner.  This is the ultimate.  It’s an iPhone.

I knew I’d like an iPhone but I didn’t realize how much I’d LOVE it.  I was jealous from the beginning that AT&T and then Verizon had the iPhone and I was a loyal Sprint customer left to carry around both a phone and an iPod while pining over all the pretty iPhones everyone else had. Until this past October, that is! That’s when the the iPhone came to Sprint and I got up early and waited in line like all of the other fools to get my little mitts on a beautiful iPhone 4S.

I was worried, at first, and I’m still not entirely comfortable with paying extra for the data plan.  That’s something I never had with my old phone, but the longer I use my iPhone and the more handy-dandy it proves itself to be, the easier it is to pay that bill.

When the world ended for that brief while in October (the SNOWPOCALYPSE 2011 and ensuing statewide power outage) my iPhone proved itself to be worth every penny as I checked in hourly on the CL&P site for restoration updates. I streamed podcasts through one of my new apps so I could listen to something other than my own frustrated breathing while the power was out. It allowed me to vent on Twitter and Facebook and play Words With Friends to take my mind off the cold.  It was my connection to the outside world and I would have paid a million dollars for it. (I just about did when my screwed-up-six-ways-to-Sunday bill came in for October, but we won’t talk about that.)

Love, pure love. And I haven’t even gotten to Siri. She’s is my personal assistant who responds to voice commands to send texts and add items to my calendar.  She looks up things online and tells me how many centimeters in an inch, if I ask.  She also scolds me when someone new learns about her and inevitably wants to sexually harass her. (Just so you know, if you tell her that you’re horny, she gives you a list of adult stores and strip joints nearby, but if you ask her what she’s wearing, she says “LISA, I think you have the wrong assistant.”)

The GPS gave us instant directions on the go one day when we were in the woods of Coventry trying to find a place to launch the boat. The camera is amazing—better than my actual point-and-shoot camera from only a couple of years ago. The sound is so incredible that you don’t even need speakers. I can’t say enough about it.

There is a problem when you love a delicate piece of technology as much as I love my iPhone, though.  I have repeated nightmares about losing it and having it stolen. Last weekend my heart skipped several beats when I missed the pocket of my purse and dropped it right onto the concrete floor (phone was fine, case broke, THANK GOODNESS). So a little iPhone anxiety for a whole lot of convenience and awesomeness. I’d say it’s totally worth it.

Not as Much Fun as We Had Hoped

Well, the force was with us, (we watched The Empire Strikes Back three times), but sadly so was Croup, and a late night trip to the emergency room.

Cameron looked like he wasn’t feeling well on Friday after school and woke up at 3am with a bad rattling cough and a fever. Magical Motrin and an extra pillow and he was back sleeping and feeling fine. He even woke me up at 6 on Saturday by saying brightly, “Auntie Lisa, remember a while ago when we saw Happy Feet? I have to find Happy Feet.” To which I replied, “huh… what??”

My mom came on Saturday to take over for the evening and ended up calling me around 11 on Saturday night to ask if I’d come stay at the house while Alex slept and she took Cameron to the ER because he was having trouble breathing. Too anxious to sleep, I watched a movie and read and washed dishes and did whatever I could to keep occupied until they got home around 4am with a diagnosis of Croup. Poor guy, he sounds so bad, but he’s in good spirits. My poor mom, recovering from a cold herself, got only about an hour of sleep before Cameron woke her again and then Alex woke up, rested and raring to go.

I stopped in again for a couple of hours yesterday so my mom could run out to pick up more prescriptions for Cameron, and he seems to be doing better. He still has the awful cough and sunken-looking eyes, but when I asked him how he was feeling, he said, “Good, can I have a snack?” so I think he’s on the road to recovery.

Not the fun weekend we had hoped for, but we survived. I slept for about 9 hours last night, that helped. I’m hoping that my mom did the same. Maybe by tomorrow I’ll feel back to normal. How do moms do it? I just don’t know.

The Difference Between Me and Madonna

I showed up for jury duty today and no one cared.  There were no paparazzi, just metal detectors and a roomful of bored, twitchy people who didn’t want to be there.  Those who had served in the past shared their war stories of what was going to happen to us, and a man behind me fell asleep during the riveting videos about the judicial system and the “honor” of being selected as a juror.  We were told that we were being selected for a civil trial that was expected to last two weeks, and although I was curious to hear the details of the trial, being away from my job for two weeks in March would spell disaster, so I was excused with eight other people clever enough to come up with good reasons not to serve.  Because I was excused for a “hardship” and not dismissed for being a democrat, or a gun-owner, or left handed or whatever crazy reason one might not be chosen for, this was not considered time served and I could be called back to serve again in as little as two weeks.  In the days leading up to today, I was so nervous and anxious, and I dreaded showing up today, for fear of being chosen.  Now that I’ve gone through it, I’m not as scared.  I’m actually looking forward to begin called again, I think I’d be the perfect juror, actually.  If you’ve ever tried to debate me or declare your concrete opinion on a subject in my general vicinity, you’ve probably witnessed my irritating ability to look at every situation from every possible point of view.  I’m open-minded and I love philosophical debates, my favorite topic being “if a tree falls in the woods and no one is there to hear it…” You know that one.  Yes, I could debate you all night on that one.  So anyhow, back to jury duty, if it was any other time than those weeks in March, it wouldn’t have been such a big deal.  Maybe they’ll call me back in the summer and I’ll get a chance to irritate the crap out of eleven other “angry men“.  Wouldn’t that be fun?

The Mall on President’s Day (alternate title: What? Are You Crazy?)

That’s right, Black Friday shopper that I am, I was a bit scared to enter the mall on President’s Day, but my mom and my sister persuaded me and so I went. It actually wasn’t as bad as I had expected, but we were there with the boys which meant spending time at the play area, and play area = the center of the crazy. I’m not exactly a germophobe but with all the kids and all the runny noses and sneezing, that place makes me want to go home and shower in bleach. The boys played for a while, the grownups chatted, and we ran into my cousin who was there with her two kids, so it wasn’t really bad at all.

After plague central the play area, we grabbed a bite at the food court and then rode the carousel, to which I said, “there’s a carousel in the mall?” From the time it opened until the time I actually got a job in the mall, I practically lived there. Now it seems like years since I was last there. And being there makes me feel old. Not only do I look like a mom walking around holding hands with cute little Alex (who complimented me on my shoes, what a gentleman), but most of the punks hanging around the mall are probably young enough the BE my kids! It’s painful to realize that not only do you refer to yourself as a grownup (and in the third person for some reason) but you actually ARE a grownup.  Sigh…

Oh, Hi There, Remember Me?

I’m sorry, it’s been nutty at work lately and we had a busy weekend and I’m so far behind n everything.  Well, everything but my Drawing 365, which I’ve been very good at keeping of top of.  Scanning my drawings, I haven’t been too on top of that, but I should catch up today or tomorrow.  Brenda of Secret Agent Josephine, one of my daily blog reads, stared her own daily drawing exercise a couple of days ago.  Funny, everyone is realizing that they need to draw more!

So what else is new?

I went through another I-hate-my-hair-I-want-to-cut-it-all-off phase again.  My sister, who thankfully is used to my crazy, took it all well.  She gave me a cut and some highlights and politely nodded when I said why don’t you just shave it all off.

After the haircut, I went to CVS to buy more things to help me stop hating the way I look and found something wonderful and miraculous that I now love.  Sometimes I’m too lazy after Luke goes to work at night to wash my face and get my makeup off.  Bad, I know, but it’s after midnight most nights and I’m just too tired to be bothered.  Then I found these Pond’s Makeup Remover Towelettes, they’re wonderful, quick and easy.  A little too perfumey, but the work well and my flaky winter patches of dry skin are disappearing.  It’s a miracle!

This weekend we committed to buy a wood-fired furnace for the house.  Yikes!  It’s a big investment but it’s so exciting to think that the whole house will be warm next winter.  Not just the basement and the living room – the areas closest to the wood stove – but the bedrooms and even the bathroom will be warm!  And the warmth will be from wood, not $4 per gallon oil.  I’m very excited.  And the furnace sits outside and looks cute, like a little smokehouse or sugar shack.  We’ll be putting it in this spring when the ground thaws.  Anyone want to buy a beautiful Jotul wood stove?

We had to join the rest of America and take out a home equity line of credit in order to buy the furnace, and of course the bank convinced us why it would be best to ask for more than we need.  We now have about five times the credit limit that we need which led to all sorts of dreaming this weekend.  Hmm… I think we need a new washer and dryer, or maybe a new motorcycle for me, or maybe a hippo…  No, we’ll be good, but we are planning to pay off my student loans and maybe Luke’s truck.  We’ll see.  Motorcycle season is coming up quickly.

Sunday I heard there was this big football game on?  Anybody watch it?  Luke had to go to bed before the Superbowl started so he wasn’t planning to see the game, and I really couldn’t care less about football, I was planning to watch a movie instead, but I was so tired Sunday evening after running around and buying a furnace (gasp!) and visiting friends, and stopping off to grab a late lunch.  I laid down with Luke thinking I’d take a little nap, and ended up sleeping from 7pm to 11pm when Luke had to get up, then going back to bed around 1am and sleeping until 7am.  I was exhausted.  Spending money and visiting friends can be tiring, I guess.

I woke up late this morning and almost forgot about voting.   Oh no!  But I did vote, and I felt like I had gone back in time with the scan cards instead of the lever machines.  I miss the big lever, that was the fun of voting.  Oh well, everyone get out there and vote today!
Tonight I go to yoga with my sister, it seems like I was just there a couple of days ago.  I am really happy with Lotus Yoga and the teachers there.  My body has been feeling good and my back hasn’t been hurting.  It’s amazing to be pain-free and not feel like you’re fighting with your body to get through the day.

Well, I promise to get my act together today and have my pictures and drawings up very soon.  I have new yarn to show you and a little crochet project I started, plus pictures of Molly and the icebergs in the river.  So many things to share.