Archive for March, 2011


Would you like a wonderful music recommendation? Oh good. I’m glad. Because I have one right here: Susan Enan’s Plainsong. For the next 24 hours you can name your price to own it here: http://www.noisetrade.com/susanenan

Go forth and listen. Savor. Be changed.
Bring on the wonder.

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mio, that little bastard of a cat who often finds himself on roofs of neighbors’ houses, is a saint with the children. fact.

and, ahem:
Yes, that's my cat on my neighbor's roof this morn.

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on lent.

(fyi, i began this post on march 12.)

thank you all for your comments on lent. i love reading your stories–the lenten journeyers and “lent? no thanks…” friends alike.

my experience of lent is a lot like every other event within the liturgical year: sometimes i feel pulled or lured into the familiar rhythm; other times i have no desire to participate. i’m not tied to a church community anymore. i’ve written about that a little bit here over the years, but here is the brief synopsis: i’ve never found a church in austin that is home. i suspect that my church home will always be in nashville. also, it’s not really a priority for me to find a new church at this point in my life. every moment with my family is church. think emily dickinson:

“Some keep the Sabbath going to church;
I keep it staying at home,
With a bobolink for a chorister,
And an orchard for a dome.”

for me, lent is not so much a religious experience as a communal one. participating in lent with my brothers and sisters (in nashville especially…hi!) helps me feel connected and present with them. i love the idea of 40 days of self sacrifice, and the perfect balance between self-accountability and camaraderie: we’re all alone and in it together.

this year, what i gave up is decidedly cliche: alkyhol. yep, it’s true. and h gave it up too. (cue our friends n&c poking fun at h the buddhist giving up something for lent, btw.)

the reason i gave up alcohol, if only for 40 days, is that it makes me lazy. i am still learning how to balance the two worlds of my life: increasingly demanding job and increasingly demanding role as a mother to a precocious kid and growing baby. i rarely have a drink while my children are awake–who has time for that?–but since returning to work, i’ve fallen into a routine of immediately pouring myself a drink, or two, after the kids are sacked out and i am officially off duty. and oh, sweet lord, the ensuing relaxation is downright divine sometimes. i ❤ whiskey. i ❤ wine.

the downside of such relaxation is that my brain goes slack. i lose the impetus to observe, to reflect, to chronicle. if you know me at all, you know that i am a chronicler. it is how i make peace with my existence. it is how i know i am really here, living this lovely life of mine. and when i can’t find the time or space to write, i become anxious.

example: ziggy is now 6 months old. jude is officially 2 3/4. there are so many stories to tell, so many moments i want to keep. and yet. they slip, like so much proverbial sand, from my mind. and i wake up in the middle of the night, haunted by all that is unwritten. i.do.not.want.to.forget.

a prayer from the book of common prayer comes to mind now:

“We have left undone those things which we ought to have done; and we have done those things which we ought not to have done…”

and that’s the point i keep circling around–i am abstaining from alcohol so that i may learn to be a better steward of my time, to be a more mindful mother and partner, to be more intentional in my writing.

altogether, this year has been one of intent. in january, i decided to rein in the way i consume food every day. i have been much more intentional in my food choices. i’ve been more mindful of the less-than-healthy ways in which i use food, and as a direct result of my self-honesty, i’ve actually lost 10 pounds.

thus far, not drinking has simply yielded less calories consumed in a day. my brain still feels slack at the end of the busiest days of my career. i still haven’t stolen the moments to write (or to edit marlei’s wedding photos, oy…), but i’ve found that i’m able to properly unwind just the same without my beloved whiskey. and when the moments to write finally arrive, as i am ever hopeful they will, i’ll be ready. and sober.

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intended posting has been interrupted by ungodly amounts of overtime. my brain hurts from using it in ways i haven’t done since finals season in college. whoosh. i sure am tired.

but, i keep bringing my lappy with me to work every day, with hopes of stealing away for at least a 1/2 hour, so i can write. so far, no dice.


how are you all? st patty’s day plans?

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thoughts on lent coming soon. how about you? is it on your radar? did you give anything up? what and why?
tell me all.

also, have some cute:
Tuesday morning.

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i know that all of you have been checking in NOT to see the cuteness that is my children, but because you’re completely riveted by all the carmax drama in my life. i get it. it’s interesting stuff.

so pull up a chair already. here is the latest:

on 2/24, the [insert corporate sounding descriptor] manager left me a voicemail asking me to call him back to further discuss the van situation. his message was courteous, and he reiterated the “we want you to feel comfortable with your purchase” spiel. however, for the past week, we’ve been playing phone tag, and finally spoke today.

basically, he asked me to bring the van back to carmax for further inspection. he wants to put it up on the proverbial blocks again and look at it with us himself. i replied with my concern that we’ve already done that, and that the service manager wouldn’t even look at the problem areas without charging us. i told him i refused to go through that again. it was a waste of time, and ridiculously inconvenient to maneuver with two kids in tow.

he advised that he would be happy to take off the wheels and look at every problem area, without charging us. he also said he’d be happy to speak with our mechanic so that they would be on the same page in assessing the actual state of our van. he gave me his cell phone number so that there would be no more phone tag, and so we could schedule a time that is most convenient for us to meet.

at this point, i stated our goals to resolve the whole issue:

1. new calipers, 4 new rotors, new shock and strut fasteners.
2. a rustoleum sort of coating for the whole undercarriage to prevent further rusting.

he didn’t commit to anything but mentioned quickly something about “a deal” once the van is evaluated again.

so. before starting this surface vs penetrative rust semantics battle again (which is what i fear will happen), i must say that i am relieved to FINALLY be speaking with a person who is not just using flowery, customer servicey words to tell us no. this manager guy is the first person to actually hear me out. i am still skeptical that carmax will offer anything more than the options already put forward, but it’s the first phonecall that did not end with me shaking in anger.

to be cont’d.

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