Showing posts from July, 2011

My so called motherlode

After the events of the weekend, I felt like I needed to escape into some movies.

A few weeks ago C and I started to watch Peggy Sue Got Married together It was strange. I had seen it lots of times... but through teenage eyes. I related to the young Peggy Sue. Sharing it with my 13-year old was surreal (and a little weird, I had to go check something in the kitchen during the somewhat hot-n-heavy portions). We watched the end of it and it was enjoyable, but strange. Lots of these coming of age movies are strange to see now that I'm on the other side of the age spectrum. Sixteen Candles, St. Elmo's Fire... even The Big Chill all have me older than the main characters! When did I get old??!!!

This weekend we started to watch Moonstruck together. This time I was thinking about MY mother. Olympia Dukakis had my mother's mannerisms to a tee (including assuming someone died if we got an unexpected call). But it wasn't just my mom, …


I don't know what to say. In my mind I'm completely distracted and overwhelmed by what we've seen from Norway. It's too beautiful a country for this to happen there!

I've written and deleted this blog twice. I don't know how to express my thoughts to sound anything anyone would want to read. To me this attack is very person!

* I have been visiting Norway (or living there) nearly every year since 1988.

* My husband and both my children are citizens of Norway.

* My children were at a camp when the attacks took place.

* No one wants to hear the perpetrator's crazy Neo-Nazi propaganda, but as a former foreign resident of Norway, his message of hate hits me personally.

My feelings remind me of 9/11 when my country was under attack. At that point we lived in Norway, and my friends, neighbors and especially my colleagues were exceptionally kind to me. I wish I could be there to console them today.

My hope is that people will focus on the victims and ignore the …

Finding what I'm looking for at U2...

My ears are still ringing from the loud music and my heart racing a bit from the adrenaline. Bono rocked it until midnight and I'm guessing he's still sleeping now. It was part concert, part mission, and while some audience members weren't into the lecture, I drank it up. He celebrated Aung San Suu Kyi's release by having her to speak (in a video) about what one person can do. Later, Bono had a duet with Mark Kelly who was videotaped from aboard the International Space Station, and speaking Bono's lyrics for his wife, Gabrielle Giffords. I was probably most touched was when he dedicated an impromptu song for the recently deceased Clarence Clemons after seeing a poster that said "For Clarence" in the audience. For me, it wasn't just about Bono, it was about the experience.

The wait for U2 was LONG, but we had plenty of fun. At one point a man came through our section of the Meadowlands selling Italian Ice. My friend asked him if he had Vodka to go with…

to me, from me

This year on my birthday I lined up an interview, bought myself flowers and made myself (and a lucky friend) a pitcher of homemade sangria. Tonight I will take 5 friends to see U2. That doesn't count the presents I received that weren't from me! Happy Birthday to me, indeed!

If my 40th year focused on stepping outside my comfort zone, is this the year I put myself ahead of others?

The past two weeks my cherubs have been at a sleep away camp. I haven't been able to speak to them or see them (except in pictures posted online). It has been a test of my endurance and love to see if I really mean it when I say "I'm happy for them!" I am sure you can hear me sigh when I think "if they are happy, then I'm happy".

There is a big disconnect between moms and non-moms. I think that women who don't have children see us Moms as misguided, self-sacrificing martyrs who expect their undeserved pity. Why should they feel bad for our lack of freedom when we …

BRRSD gets a gift...

I missed the big meeting on Monday... but I have a good excuse. It was my birthday, and as I'm not actually on the Board, I get to go on a date with my husband instead of an emergency BOE meeting. If you want to read two viewpoints, here is from Dick Bergersen's Central NJ blog and here is the Patch's take. So this blog is based on what I've read in these two sources.

As a parent I am really disappointed that the BOE chose to give $20 of tax relief per family. It's a symbolic gesture at best. It's less than half of what it costs to fill my gas tank (and for some of you I'd guess it's closer to 1/3 of a tank). It's less than half of what I spent on gifts for teachers in 2010-2011. My Mom (who died 10 years ago today) would probably say "it's 2 bottles of wine".  
We could have hired at least five teachers and reduced class sizes significantly in some of our schools.  this money could have brought back (even temporarily) the costs of many …

Pasta Dinner

(Written Wednesday, forgot to post)

I often tell people that I made my first friends in 7th grade. I claim they were my first friends, and accepted me into their already-well established circle of friends, and I never felt lonely again.

Nice fairy tale, but not exactly true.

Yesterday I saw two of my closest friends from elementary school. DJ and LK.

DJ was the boy down the street. Back in the day my Mom didn't like his dirty mouth (apparently he taught me the F-word, the S-word and showed me the difference between boys and girls), but he was nicer to me than the snotty girl up the street, and I did his paper route with him every day for years. Today he's in his early 40s, living with his mom after a tragic car accident (he was unhurt) a few years ago.

I ran into him yesterday, and he seemed a bit disappointed with his life. After I told him sob-stories of other friends down on their luck, he said he felt much better. He, in turn, made me feel like I was uber-accomplished. He …

A friend is someone who...

...knows everything about you and likes you just the same.

Last night I had a double date of sorts. I took two men to dinner... Dad and his longtime friend Dr G, both men are in their mid-80s.

Dr. G and his late wife have been friends with my parents since before my parents knew each other. My mom and the (then unmarried) Mrs G were both very smart, well-educated and sophisticated women from my hometown, in a time and place when there were smart women, but not many well-educated or sophisticated (in the 1940s-50s). Both men still mourn their wives.

I can see why my parents' friendship with the G's lasted many, many decades. The topics of conversation last night were nearly endless. We talked about art (the G's have a vast collection of native American art that they collected over decades and have recently donated to a local museum) and literature. I told him stories about what is appropriate at a Bat Mizvah in New Jersey ca. 2011. We talked about travel, foreign lang…

Where did the week go???

It's been quite a week!

When last I checked in with you, I was in Evenskjer, Norway. After that I flew to Oslo. I spent time with one of my most talented friends. You have them too - people that you are very happy for, but envy ever, ever so slightly. IRH and I traveled together for about a week in May 1991. We were supposed to last a month... but we were sort of the odd couple of travel. I was terrified after a hostel in Amsterdam which I thought reminded me of a crack-house, bomb shelter and wanted to upgrade to just staying with guests. Inga liked living on the edge and turned it into a career. She became a freelance travel journalist, learned Spanish and has covered the entire world! I've written about my yearn to travel before, and of course, I do travel and am very fortunate. But I am impressed by all IRH has done in her 40 years. She now shares her life with with her teenage son and charming boyfriend from Africa. I was extra lucky: in Oslo, rather than overpriced resta…