Saturday, January 30, 2010

She's So Innocent

My adult tap class had a substitute teacher this week, an adorable, extremely talented......seventeen year-old.  The two regulars are there, 60-something year-old ("P"), and I. "L" wasn't told anything about the class and had no idea what to expect.  She didn't even have the music for our "routine".  She asked us what we wanted to do, and both of us said, "Whatever you want.  We could work on our routine, learn new combos, etc etc."  A very brief and simple warm-up was how we began.  Then "L" asked us to show her our routine, without the music.  Not too far into it, "L" finds something she wants to help us with, a one-footed pick-up.  This step is very quick and thrown in as an embellishment during a bigger step.  I can do it about 50% of the time, and I'm happy with that.  "L" demonstrates - "You do it like this."  I laugh.  I know how it's supposed to look, and how it's done, I just can't do it.  If I could do it all the way across the floor like she demonstrated, then I would have 100% consistency with it in the routine.

""P and I run the routine again, and "L" stops us.  "You're not as crisp as you could be."  Again I have to laugh...."We sound good when our teacher dances with us."  Obviously, our teacher is louder than we are, and her taps are all we hear.  So I think, "Damn, I sound good!" 

Finally, "L" made my favorite comment of the evening:  "You're much better than I thought you would be for an adult class."  I almost died laughing because I knew she truly meant it as a compliment.  She is, after all, only 17.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Crockpotting Anyone?

I am short on inspiration this week, yet I committed to blogging three times a week.  What a dilemma.  Blog entries can be about anything, right?  Well here is an awesome blog I will share.  A Year of Slow Cooking, blogged by the very witty and talented Stephanie O’Dea.  Last year she took on the project of cooking something, ANYthing, in a slow-cooker every day for 365 days.  Yes, that's right...a YEAR.  But not only did she cook every day, she took pictures of her projects and wrote about them.  And now she has her very own cookbook.  She is brilliant, I tell ya!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Well, That's Discouraging

I just read In Her 50's, Looking for Love in the  The author discusses the really poor odds of a divorced woman in her 50's of EVER finding a suitable romantic partner.  Okay, I'm not in my 50's yet, but I am rounding the bend towards that decade, and there's not a damn thing I can do about it.  "According to 2001 census data, 41 percent of women 50 and over who’ve been divorced have remarried, while 58.4 percent of divorced men that age are remarried."  And Dr. Francesca Adler-Baeder says, “Among the divorced, the least marriageables in our society are older women, highly educated who make a good salary.”


I don't make a good salary.  What a relief.

I've been divorced for nearly three-and-a-half years, and I have not gone on one lousy date.  Or a good date either.  I've had a three-month membership in two on-line dating sites, and they both resulted in bubkis.  Men my age want to date women ten to fifteen years younger, seriously.  And a woman with my intelligence, both of the intellectual and emotional variety, are not impressed with the photos men post of themselves posing with their car/truck/boat (ooooh, what a catch!) or when they blank out the face of their last girlfriend with whom they are posing.  I mean really, how DIFFICULT is it to take a new photo of just yourself?  It's that hard to come by a camera these days? 

There was one fellow on one of those dating sites with whom I "advanced" to the phone-call stage.  I hung up from my first conversation with him with a really BAD feeling in my gut.  And I tried to push it away.  I had also told him what times he could call me because I wanted my two daughters in bed or at their dad's when I talked to potential suitors.  The next time he called was exactly when I told him not to.  I remembered that stomach ache he gave me last time, and I told him off.  (Go me!)  And that was the last "dating" thing I did, which was more than 2 years ago.

I know there is no way that I would ever meet a potential mate in my day-to-day life.  I work with children, mostly younger than mine.  Sure, there are divorced dads as part of this work life, but they are, for the most part, younger than I am (remember:  men want to date younger women, they don't want to BE the younger guy), and I'm pretty sure I don't want to get entangled with young children at this stage in my game. 

At least I look young for my age, or so I'm told.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Stylista I am Not

I now have basic cable, an upgrade from $8/month-just-to-get-the-broadcast-channels cable.  And my cable/internet/land-line bill was reduced $30 for this upgrade.  Weird, I know.  I can watch shows that I've only heard about, and the one show that has my attention is "Project Runway".  I know people are saying this season is the most boring ever, we need to see more Tim Gunn, bring Michael Kors back blah blah blah.  But I missed past seasons, so this season seems good enough to me.

But I have to admit:  I just don't get it, which is probably because I'm not hip, savvy or cool.  And by the looks of my wardrobe...wait, I don't think my collection of jeans and t-shirts could have such a fancy name as "wardrobe".  But I DO have immense appreciation for the process.  First of all, the designers, most of them anyway, know how to sketch.  I'm still making those 5-petal flowers I learned to draw when I was eight years old.  Then they get to go to the fabulous Mood Fabrics with a money and time budget.  They don't get a whole lot of either.  The pressure, the stress!  And then they have to sew a garment or two (or three) WITHOUT a PATTERN!!!  How do they DO that?  Well, some do it much better than others, that's for sure, and if I were a contestant, I would be ecstatic if I could manage to make a toga.

The high-style fashion industry is a complete mystery to me.  The designs that I like, the judges hate.  And vice versa.  I didn't understand why they ooohed and aaahhed over the winning design for this week's episode....

I think my cat could have done a better job.


Saturday, September 5, 2009

I'm Back!

For all my devotees, I am so SORRY that I took such a LONG break from blogging. I know you have all been crying into your pillows at night as you drift off to sleep, brokenhearted at not being able to catch up on the way-cool updates of MY life. I honestly don't have a good reason for going on sabbatical other than I didn't think I had anything interesting, useful, inspiring (no, not that!) or funny to write. Now that I am here, I still can't promise you any of the above, but I was assigned this blogging activity by my Life Coach, a sweet-sounding German woman named Edith, so I am obliged to do so.

Why a Life Coach? And why now? What the heck IS a Life Coach anyway? Well, my very good friend Mitzi, aka "Marty's Mom" (that's a whole other blog entry), is doing a year-long training with Accomplishment Coaching, and the coaching students need people on which to practice their coaching methods. I eagerly volunteered because I love to work on me, myself and I, especially if it doesn't cost me anything. I've been coached for a little more than a month now, and the word I hear the most out of sweet Edith's mouth is "empowerment". Like in, "Does this thought empower you or dis-empower you?" "Was there anything about this session that you found dis-empowering?", and on and on and on.

But I'm finally getting it. I think. As one who is being coached, I need to design projects to work on in order to move my life forward, where ever that may be. One area of my life which sticks out like a very sore thumb is the humongous MESS in my house. I'm usually a little messy, but over the summer things got really, REALLY messy. As in, it looks like college boys are in charge of keeping the place in order. ACK! Of COURSE I want this to be one of my main projects, but I am easily overwhelmed by "stuff". I am really good with most things in the world of energy, but physical matter often has me paralyzed.  Edith tried to make this easier on me by having me think of the overall goal I want to have regarding my house.  Was is that I just wanted it clean?  No.  Orderly?  Not exactly.  These things make me feel tight and constrained when I envision my house that way because I can imagine becoming OCD as I try to maintain this new cleanliness and orderliness.  No, it has to be something else.  Comfortable?  Yes yes yes!!!  So I started to write up my "Design from the Future" assignment that I called, "Project Comfortable Home", and I was really starting to get somewhere.  I could envision a couple of areas in my house being exactly the way I wanted it; I listed some milestones and even rewards I would like after meeting those milestones.  But still, the project wasn't gelling.  "To make my home more comfortable" felt and sounded very passive, hazy, and LAZY. I was starting to envision a house that made me sleepy because it was so comfortable, and that is NOT the effect I am after.  So what was missing?  I'm sure all you smarty-pants are already shouting the answer at your computer monitors.  Wait for it.......

I want to make my home "a place where I feel EMPOWERED."

Ta DA!  How easy is this?  Now I can go about the task of de-cluttering, rearranging, cleaning, and keeping/tossing while asking myself every step of the way, "Does keeping this pile of crap in the middle of the living room floor empower me or DIS-empower me?"  "Storing the backpacks and dance bags WHERE will make me feel most empowered?"  I don't have the answer to that one yet, but I can assure you that where they are now, in the dining area where I constantly trip on them, does not make me feel empowered.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

It's Not My Party and I'll Cry if I Want To

Last Thursday Elizabeth B. marched into preschool and proudly announced that today it was her birthday. Oh the excitement!!! She got several special birthday privileges that day including getting to be first to choose her job for the day, wearing a special birthday crown at snack time, and choosing a prize from the Birthday Prize Box. At the very first privilege bestowed upon Elizabeth, several of her classmates loudly announced that it was their birthdays also, which was followed by "It's MY birthday!" and "No, it's MYYYYY birthday!" followed by tears. This became a repeated theme throughout the morning. Until one little girl named Sophie M. gave up on stating it was her birthday, folded her arms, and proclaimed that it was NEVER going to be her birthday. Over and over again. "It's NEVER going to be my birthday!" Tears tears tears. Oh the drama. All of this prompted Mrs. Singh to look at the class roster to see when everyone's actual birthday was. Our next celebration won't be until next month. And Sophie M. has to wait ALL the way until January to be the Birthday Princess. It's so hard being 3.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

The Preschooler Whisperer

In case you're not up-to-date on my work-life, several weeks ago I took on an additional position at work as a Three's Preschool Class Assistant. The real name of this position should be Kitten Wrangler. Nope, not even Cat Wrangler. What makes this preschool unique among preschools is that it is housed at a dance and gymnastics academy. What do you think we do every day? and gymnastics. Oy.

Thursday mornings is the day we do gymnastics. It's a nearly impossible task to get 13 three year-olds lined up, let alone getting the lined-up kids to walk downstairs in single file. After some shoving and pushing down the long staircase into the gym, they are supposed to line up with their little feet on a line on the gym mats. Hahahahaha. Besides my class of 13 little ones, there is our counterpart class of 2-1/2 to 3 year-olds AS WELL as at least one other gymnastics class for preschoolers in progress. It's too bad we don't make the groups wear matching t-shirts, because all kids that size look about the same. This is where I become a kitten wrangler as I get one of our kids back into the herd just as another one is trying to escape to the other group because that group is doing just the thing that the escapee wants to do.

How does any of this make me a "Whisperer"? Switching topics now, one of our activities is a potty break. Andrew is a kid that likes to take both his pants and underpants completely OFF before he sits on the potty. Which means that one of us, usually me, has to help him get them back ON when he is finished. Andrew is not very coordinated. I know this because he usually stands on TOP of the pants that I'm fervently trying to pull up onto his body, so I have to pick up both a naked him and his pants to get them on. Andrew is a tall and solid 3 year-old boy. This isn't easy. I've heard my cohort plead with him to keep his pants down around his ankles while he pees, to no avail. The other day it was my turn. I told him that I knew he could sit on the potty with his pants pulled down but not completely off. I explained as I sat him down that his pants were doing to stay RIGHT THERE. I closed the stall while he did his business. I fully expected his pants to be in a pile on the floor when I opened the stall, but LO and BEHOLD, they were still perched at the end of his feet. Progress! I praised him up and down, and he grinned with pride. Later I told his mother that Andrew had a milestone today. I knew she fully expected me to talk about some neat thing he said, and that I could understand him completely. Andrew's speech is hardly there, so far. Nope, I told her with a grin, Andrew kept his PANTS on while he went potty. Oh boy! She said her husband will be SO happy to hear that since he, in particular, gets rather frustrated with having to dress him every time he goes potty.

I'm a Preschooler Whisperer, I tell ya. I can't wait to see if by next Tuesday Andrew will repeat this major feat. I'll keep you posted.