it's all about ME

I got mad fashion skillz, yo

I have this problem with sunglasses.

Wait, let's start a wee bit before that.  I'm a blue-eyed girl.  It's common for blue-eyed peeps to have a really hard time in the sun.  I can get around just fine on a sunny day, but if I try to drive without sunglasses, I eek along with tears leaking out of my face, trying not to crash into things.  Master race?  Only if the world is overcast and dreary.

But damn if I can't keep ahold of a pair on sunglasses for more than five minutes.  I break them, lose them, or just leave them in random places.  I suck at sun-glass retention.  That's all there is to it.  If you look back at photos of me over the last couple of years, you'll see a whole selection of sunglasses, most of which I paid no more than $5-10 for.  I've tried owning really expensive ones on the theory that I don't value the things enough to hang onto them, but then I just feel very, very angry at myself when I inevitably lose/break/forget them. 

So I have a new philosophy on the things: I shall wear what the universe supplies.  Namely, I shall rummage around in lost-and-found boxes and take what I can get.  Then I won't have to be so sad when bad things happen to good glasses.

Of course, this is leading to a great deal of mocking from my friends.  Last month I had the aviator style:

Aviator Glasses
License and registration, Sir.  I SAID, license and registration!  GET OUT OF THE CAR, PUNK!

 

The glasses above threw an arm so this month? Going with drunken housewife:

Drunken Housewife look
Anyone have a martini?  And no, I can't change my expression... too much botox!

But hey, if the universe is trying to teach me some humor and humility through sunglasses, I'm open to it.  Now, if only I could lose the rapidly silvering of my hair by rummaging around in a lost-and-found box...

the post that was lost

I just wrote this whole post about being happy.  It was about how, despite the issues going on around us (friend's wife descending into mental illness, a dear friend who wants to be pregnant riding that all too familiar roller coaster of hope and disappointment, the hottest day EVER, etc), I'm experiencing these random flashes of utter and complete happiness.

Yeah, well my blog just ate that freaking post so my happiness is not as much as it was.

Dammit.

I even had a whole bunch of photos from our trip posted, with thoughtful comments below each one.

It was probably the best post ever.  Like, you all would have nominated it for an award or something.  Probably would have even sent me gifts and asked me to return them autographed.  Wow.  I could say anything here and you'd have to believe me.

HOLY CRAP!  It did it again (only I'd done a nifty copy/paste function FIRST, so I win)!  I'm thinking the computer must be melting inside.

Anyway, here's some of my favorite photos from the trip.  Enjoy:

 

totally dramatic

In a vacant lot just outside of Gustine, CA.

 

Still handsome at 94

Mark's devastatingly handsome Grandfather, at 94-years-old.

 

so cute, it's kinda sickening 

My ridiculously in love friends at Golden Gate Park.

 

running in Grandma's yard

Lily running wild in her Grandmother's backyard.

 

all grown up and stuff

Anya cackling like an old lady in her Grandmother's favorite coffee shop/used book store.

 

saying goodbye

Saying goodbye to Grandma.

 

puddles are the BEST

Lily splashing in puddles at her Uncle Steve's house.

 

after tasting chamomile flowers

After tasting a wild chamomile flower.

 

sisters

My beautiful girls on our walk (also at Uncle Steve's).

 

Here's hoping I can get this baby to save before it crashes again!

1500 miles

Tomorrow, after Lily's Jog-a-thon, the girls and I are hitting the road.  The Mister's staying home but nope, not us.  We're traveling!

Tomorrow we drive up to Mark's mom's house (550 miles) where the girls get to hang out with Grandma and their Auntie.  I leave them behind to head into San Francisco (150 miles), then down to San Jose to visit some friends (50 miles), then back to The City (still 50 miles), then back to Mark's moms (150 miles again) and then back home (550 miles).  But see, all that driving?  TOTALLY WORTH IT for a couple days in The City, kid free.

Internet will be spotty, so if I don't get the rest of my 7 Days shots posted, forgive me.  I'll likely be too drunk to notice*.

* Not really.  Especially if you're my mom. 

Dear Reality,

Listen, I know you'd like me to pay attention.  But it's not my fault.  Really. 

See, Vikki and J move into this place in nine short days.  And that room over there?  The one with all the stuff in it?  Yeah, it's too full of crap.  And if it was really, truly, hand-to-God crap, I could just throw it all in the trash and go about my merry way.  But it's not.  It's photo albums and envelopes with locks of baby hair and craft supplies (SO MANY) and paperwork and books and curtains still in their package and yarn and baskets full of little, complicated things and folders full of long forgotten scripts and office supplies and, of course, toys strewn randomly about.  All of this is covered with a fine layer of drywall dust, which makes it all the more delightful to sift through.

I realize it must be sorted and packed and put away but I'm out of places to put stuff. The shed is full.  Under the house is a mess of mud due to the rains.  The boats are even crammed full of stuff.  And closet space? DOESN'T EXIST UPSTAIRS.  Seriously, there are no closets up here, I've looked.  I even spent a good bit of time ignoring you and looking at the house plans to see if there could possibly be secret passages like in Webster.  I kinda think all houses should have secret passages.  This one does not.

So, I hear you, Realty.  You need me to focus.  Instead, I'm going to sit in the corner and eat my hair, rock a little and try not to cry.  I'll get back to you later; you know, after the problem has magically solved itself.

Thank you and have a lovely day,

Elaine

that mom

silly ani

I don't want to be the mom who runs away from such a sweet face.

But after today, where Anya whined, and had to be touching me at all times, and couldn't do anything she was asked, and was just constantly on me, not allowing me to stray more than five feet from her side ("You're too far away!")... I am SO that mom.

Mark got home from work and before he'd even had a chance to settle in I was cracking open leftover containers and setting out food for him and the girls.  "I have to go away for a little bit" I announced, hovering at the door, my feet trying to get ahead of my explanation.  "Anya told me she doesn't want to live with me anymore, just Daddy, so here you go."

Mark rolled his eyes and sighed, clearly not thrilled with me taking off.  But he wouldn't talk to me about how he really felt other than to tell me what he was planning to do tonight and couldn't if he had to be in charge of girls.  Then the, "but just go, it's fine" escaped his lips and I took off, deciding to ignore the undertone that said (at least in my mind), "You are weak, having to run away from your own kids."

Yep.  I am weak.  Or maybe we can go with "sensitive"?  I don't know.  I just know that for as long as I can remember, repetitive motion, like someone stroking my arm in the exact same spot over and over, makes my skin crawl.  Mark learned early on that if he didn't want me skittering away from him, he better touch me in an open, flowing pattern that never focused on a specific area.    Every massage I've ever had has come with the warning not to stay put too long.  It actually hurts.  Not kidding. 

And of course, what did Anya do all day?  She'd catch me sitting down or standing at the kitchen sink and lean her little body against mine, popping one thumb in her mouth and using the other hand to scritch, scritch, scritch against some bit of exposed skin.  And then she'd cry when my body would involuntarily shudder at the touch and I'd burst out with a plea to stop touching me.  Please.  For the love of all things Holy, GO AWAY.

Not cool.  Not cool at all.

So I ran away.  I'm sitting in the coffee shop where we spend our Monday nights knitting and the lovely owner, who is also my lovely friend, brought me a cup of chai and a dessert and let me talk it out.  Then, and this is why she really is perfect, she left me alone.  I love her.

I wish I could find a way to recharge that didn't come with me running out on my family. 

Anyone have any hints for unwinding without detaching?

Sweet

I'm really hoping this is the last post in the dental drama that is my life lately. 

Sunday.  I'm at work and I pull a carrot out of our snack bag for a bite.  About two of three crunches in, I feel an odd pop and low and behold, my permanent retainer on my lower teeth (aka lingual bar... which sounds kinda dirty to me) has suddenly become not so permanent.  I've had the thing for something like 15 years, so it was bound to happen.  But come on.  Now?  Really?

Really.

I was able to pry it loose so it stopped stabbing me, so that was nice.

Anyway, when I got home I opened up the big list of in-network dental providers and turned to Yelp so I could find someone who didn't seem like they were going to stab me in the eye or charge me unnecessarily.  A call Monday morning showed an open spot that afternoon and Lorien came over to mind Anya so I could fully experience the dentist without distraction.

The staff was awesome.
The office had furniture that was made in this century.
They offered to run down and deal with my parking validation for me when they thought I was coming in with my kido in tow.
The Dentist was a theatre geek. We've worked with the same people.
Theatre geek dentist was respectful, aware that I might be in some discomfort as he took a glorified Dremel tool to my mouth and ground down the last of the bonding cement and was ultra patient.
And, when I asked the all important, "What is this going to cost me today" they told me they had figured out how to bill it so it would cost me nothing.

Ladies and Gents, I do believe my bad dental karma might finally be coming to an end.  Can I get an Amen?

What I've learned...

 

pickle jar tips

After two days working in the coffee shop, here's what I've learned:

1. When you're removing the espresso thingie from the big machine thingie, be careful not to bump the back of your hand on the steamer thingie or you'll get one hell of a burn.

2. I really need to learn what the parts are called.

3. It's all about the grind.  And grinds? they're surprisingly personal. And fickle.  Little bitches.

4. People will forgive anything if you say, "It's my first day on the espresso machine, so if that drinks isn't just as you like it, bring it back so I can learn to do it right."

5. If you forgot what you were just about to do whilst standing in front of the register, don't worry, you'll remember while driving home.

6. After six hours on your feet, there's nothing to be done about the pain in your feet and legs. 

7. Thankfully, the pain goes away by morning.

8. Espresso tastes nasty, even when you do it exactly right.

9.  Caramel Macchiatos, however, are very tasty and make the whole world move at light speed!

10. You should really only have one Caramel Macchiato in a day.

11. Mopping can be very zen.  Unless you've been on your feet for six hours.  Then it's more like tiny moments of zen mixed in with the desperate desire to fall down.

12. When you're working with the owners, you get to keep all the tips.

13. People are, sadly, kinda sucky tippers (except Val. I love Val).

14. Storing your tips in an old pickle jar is better than in the bean jar.

15. Without the belief that this will get easier, you'd totally quit. (I haven't worked this hard for this little in years).

 

OK, so that was embarrassing

I've had a little sleep and am feeling much less like the chick I was yesterday.  I still don't think New Year's is the best holiday ever, but I'm less inclined to hold it down and punch it until it cries.  I think I'm just going through another period of feeling overwhelmed.  I got a lot of that crap under control last year (HA! New Year's lets me say "last year" for something only months ago... that's a plus for New Year's!) but with the money crap getting more acute, I think that part of me is going insane again. 

And then there's all this body image stuff I can't find my way around.  A friend of mine recently named her spare tire tummy Phoebe, in attempts to make friends with it or at least not hate it so damn much.  I'm not ready to be so accepting of my own form, but also haven't been willing to make the dramatic changes needed to fix it.  Can't live with it, can't seem to do a damn thing about it. 

So last night I took a couple hundred books off our massive shelves in the living room and culled out everything we're not going to read again.  So far I've pulled about 150 books and still have several shelves to go.  I think that I need to do this kind of thing all over the house, keeping only those items we use and love.  Would it be totally hippie of me to think all this stuff has bits of me wrapped up in it and unless I let some of it go I'll only become more fragmented?  No?  Yes?  Because that's how it feels.  I'm starting to truly understand that possessions don't always enrich us.  I'm starting to really believe that I cannot be whole with all this stuff cluttering my life.  I want to systematically empty each room and only put back a few chosen items.  I want to finally let go of the boxes under the house we haven't looked at in five years.

Of course, what if I do all that and feel exactly the same?  Well, at least if we do have to move, it'll be much easier!

Also?  I'm thinking we should rename January to "that month where we purge crap and promise to exercise".

the one where I whine and complain and act like a punk ass bitch

I've never been a huge fan of New Years... as a holiday, that is.  Too much emphases on drinking like an idiot, which leads to too many drunks on the road; and then there's the bit about staying up past midnight but without a special dispensation to drug your children so they'll sleep in.

It's just not for me.

New Years is crazy with the anticipation, as well.  It's a new start, they say.  It's a clean slate, they say.  It's full of brilliant possibilities, they say.

Bullshit.  It's just another day.  And honestly, I can't help but look at it with a little twinge.  For us, this is the year we'll likely have to make some huge changes.  This is the year where I'll have to let go of stuff.  This is the year where I'll have to become comfortable with a certain amount of loss.  This is the year where I'll have to say "No" way more than I ever have in the past.

I'm not saying that's a bad thing.  I've made my peace with the concept of change and know that bullshit about when one door closes another opens.  I even have seen that to be true in my lifetime.  Somehow, though, I'm having a real struggle with the optimism needed to write you all a cheery summation of how it'll all be OK.

Don't get me wrong, I know it'll be OK.  I really do.  It's just that I'm running on fumes lately.  I can't sleep.  I lay awake with my mind racing a mile a minute until I finally pass out, only to wake again somewhere around 2am.  Last night I got up and read for an hour before being able to get myself back to sleep, and that was after tossing and turning in bed for almost an hour trying to wait it out.  And I've learned that optimism is wicked hard when you haven't been sleeping much. 

This is where I'd usually start counting my blessings so you all don't think I'm an ungrateful, whiny little bitch who needs a serious attitude adjustment.  I'm not doing it this time.  I haven't the energy.  Besides, I need something to think about while I lay awake tonight and at least counting my blessing doesn't cause hyperventilation.

And so, yeah, comments are off.  I don't want to hear anything encouraging.  Also don't want to hear that I'm an ungrateful, whiny little bitch who needs a serious attitude adjustment.  I'm sure by the time I read your comments I'd be over it anyway.  I tend to bounce back, especially if I get some effing sleep.

Here's hoping this will be the most obnoxiously stupid post all year.

 

Leader of The Plaque

Remember last week when I got a midnight message, reportedly from God? If not, go read it really quick. It's short and relevant to today's post.

Yesterday I went to the dentist after an over four year break. I'm not one of those people who fear the dentist or feel like it's the equivalent of a mini-trip to hell. Mostly I just couldn't be bothered with it. But after dealing with a sensitive tooth for a couple days and making the realization that I don't want my teeth to fall out my head, I took my recently acquired dental insurance and went on the hunt for an in-network provider. Not knowing anything about anyone, I just picked a guy near my mom's house so I could drop Anya off there.

I arrived early, anticipating paperwork and filled out the necessary information. I declined to give them my social security number and asked about what kind of x-rays they did, digital imagine or standard? The receptionist said they use the standard ones and after I made a face, she continued with, "The doctor says he can't really read the digital ones, anyway." Um, I've seen the digital ones (that's what my kids' dentist uses) and even I can read the damn things. This should have been my first clue.

I got settled into the chair almost 40 minutes after my appointment time, but since I had a book to read and nowhere to be, I didn't care mush about the time lag. The doctor came in and introduced himself, looking like he could be perfectly cast into a commercial featuring a cheesy used car salesman.  Except for his smile, which I could not see; he was already masked. Anyone else find it disturbing when you can't even get a look at your dentists' teeth?

He points at my book and asks, "What's that?" I tell him the title and he says, "A novel?" Yes, it's fiction. "I don't read fiction," he proudly proclaims, "I only like to read things that are real." That's when he asked me what I do for work.

"I'm a writer." I laughed. "I also work in theatre."
"AH, theatre! I love theatre!" Maybe this guy can save himself if he truly loves theatre until, "I love that kind of theatre that the kids do with all the singing, you know, like the Christian Youth Theatre they got out there."

His idea of theatre is musicals. Sung by mostly untrained children. I should have gotten up and left the room.

"Theatre is mostly fiction, you realize?" I point out.
"No it's not. It's real. I can see the people right there."

There is no answer for that.

Then he came at me with the pick. I know that scraping teeth is not meant to be an enjoyable experience. I get that. But I have never, in my whole life, been treated so roughly by anyone. He dug the evil tooth torturer under my gums and with a quick and violent motion, yanked it forward over and over again. There was blood all over his freaking hands. He then made a comment about how close together my molars were and switched to a tiny electronic tool that made high pitched tones bounce off my jaw bone and made me think he must have learned his craft from the dentist in Little Shop of Horrors. As performed by an adolescent. Who was tone deaf.

When asked at the end of my visit if I'd like to set an appointment for six months from now, I replied in the negative. I was too sore and chicken shit to tell them that I would never be back, not even if they paid me. And I was still bleeding some when I woke up this morning.

So tell me, my friends. In light of my divine message about taking care of my teeth, why did it go like that? What's the bigger message here? Is it simply that even though I thought I'd been taking horrible care of my teeth, the fact that I got out of there with nary a cavity (and alive) means that I'm taking better care of myself than I even realized? Or was it something simpler, like God has a sick sense of humor?

Discuss.

Digging out

I had an appointment last week with my midwife, who is also an acupuncturist and herbalist and all sorts of amazing "ist"s. She stuck a bunch of needles in me, sent me home with some foul tasting Chinese herbs and a mongo list of supplements she wants me to take, mostly so I can stop acting like a crazy lady. You should see my bathroom counter now, it's a SEA of bottles and little pill cases so I can keep track of all the doses and times. I'm feeling intimately familiar with my grandparents daily lives.

Last week happened to be the one week out of the month where I don't think evil thoughts about very nice people or where I don't want to crawl under the covers and sleep for days at a time, so it was hard to tell if any of this was working. This morning, the evil kicked in and I spent about an hour yelling at people. Mark offered to take Lily to school and I took a couple deep breaths, realizing that we would have to be playing with dose for a while, just as suspected.

Then I had a thought: If I couldn't make order out of my own mind, I could at least find some order at my desk. Thank goodness for internet television. After three episodes of Chuck, I was looking at a gloriously ordered space and feeling infinitely more zen. Thankfully, Anya spent that time playing quietly with a stack of sticks and a ball of twine, reading books to herself and then following me around while she touched her hand to the small of my back. It always surprises me how aware she is of what I need.

But here's the really cool thing: a month ago I would have gotten all ragey and still watched Chuck, yet unable to even consider the thought of a task so big as the horror that my desk had become. I would have spent the rest of the morning trying to get Anya to leave me alone, and she wouldn't have stepped off for a moment. Just last month, this would have been a very bad day.

I might not get everything done today that I want to accomplish, but I'm doing more than I did a month ago. It's a tiny step, but dammit, it's mine.

OK, then.

I sat up in bed last night, grabbed a pad of paper and a pencil and wrote:

And God said, "Look, I gave you two sets of teeth, which is really rather generous of me.  So do yourself a favor and just take care of the fucking things."

And then I fell back asleep.

Um, if those are my new set of Operating Instructions, I guess all I need to solve everything is to simply brush, floss and rinse.

Nice.

Sometimes I...

...feel overcome with emotion: sorrow, joy, pain, bliss... they all get together for a party in my heart and make it hard to breathe.
...think there is no way I can make it through the next couple of hours while other times I think that I never want this moment to end
...know how very insane it is that the universe let me get away with it
...am full of so much grace I shock myself into doing something very ungraceful
... have such a deep understanding of how very lucky I am, even when I'm acting like I'm not
...wish I could just let go
...hate that in certain things I have simply given up
...miss the feel of a baby in my womb, even though I know I have no desire to be pregnant again
...fear that this is really it while other times I fear that this isn't
...hear the way my voice sounds when I am angry or frustrated and I can't believe how much I sound like her
...smell the sent of fresh rain and want to move to Seattle
...crave silence
...search for that little part of me that used to look back at me in the mirror with such naked confidence
...wonder when I will figure out who I am (again)
...regret that I spend so much time ignoring the "right now"
...love the way my children can so deeply swing me emotionally (other times, not so much)
...ache for the ability to forgive myself
...am not kind
...believe that all this bickering over who is right will only make the whole world deaf
...cry.
...fight just to make sure he's paying attention
...win, but wish I didn't
...lose myself in the feel of their skin under my fingertips
...confuse my own self worth with their understanding of me in the role to which I've been assigned
...listen to the steady breaths of my children over the monitor and never, ever, want to turn it off
...am scared that this is just too fragile
...am happy about the moment I am sharing with another soul
...imagine that eventually I will stop trying to be and will learn to just be

The End

Maya toes

This shot of Maya's paws makes me very happy, so I thought I'd just throw it in for kicks.

done got broken

There are so many little tidbits I could share with you all.

If I could remember them.

But the tired? It reigns supreme round these parts.

I seriously cannot figure out what the hell is wrong with me.  I'm tired all the damn time.  I have two kids who sleep through the night and yet I feel as foggy and as trashed as I did when they were wee.  I have a cold that keeps coming and going, aches all over my silly self and cannot make it through the end of the day without falling asleep somewhere.  It's ridiculous.

Is this why so many moms from back in the day took up drugs?  Or am I just broken?


The Bitchy, she scares small children

Starbucks Parking

On the way to the park with the girls this morning I found myself in the grumpiest of moods.  The Bitchy, she was trying to get out and I didn't have enough chocolate to tame her.  Before I knew what I was doing, I had turned into the Starbucks parking lot and was unpacking the girls.  I have a little rule about Starbucks: I don't get to stop unless I have my own cup. Period.  No exceptions*.  Apparently The Bitchy doesn't play by the rules. So there I was, ordering a soy chai with an extra pump of chai and trying not to growl too loudly at my kids while feeling guilty about my disposable cup.  The Bitchy?  She was crowing that she'd gotten her way.


We had fun at the park.  Got a little burned when I realized that I forgot sunscreen, but the girls threw themselves into play and mostly ignored me... which was good for everyone.  Friends met us there for playgroup and I got to hold a wee tiny babe, reveling in the fact that he burped so loudly in my ear he had already made it half way through his fraternity rush. 

Getting into the car to go home, however, The Bitchy got out.
"Mama? Do you have my sunglasses?" Lily asked.
"What?  Did you leave them at the park?  We can't go back!  What did I tell you about taking care of your things?  Geeze, Lily, that's like the third pair you've lost and what do you think, we can just go get another pair?  Or that they'll be there when you go back?  You have got to learn, Lily!" I'm afraid I went on for a bit, never letting her interrupt me even though she had something to say. 

Finally she stopped me, "MOM! I gave you my glasses."
"You did?"
"Yes."
I reached into my bag and found them immediately, right there at the top.  "I'm so sorry.  I was wrong."
"And I was right."
"Yes.  I was wrong and you were right and I can't believe I spoke to you like that.  I am so very sorry."
"I was right! And you? You were WRONG!"
"Yes, Lily.  Sometimes Mommy and Daddy make mistakes."
"Not Daddy."
"Yes, Bug.  Even Daddy."

Things cooled down after nap time and I'm trying to forgive myself for my stellar example of parenting today.  Sadly, the day didn't get much better for me.  I managed to leave my wallet behind when I went out to get a wedding gift for friends who marry on Sunday.  We found a solution, thanks to the awesome manager at Crate & Barrel who figured out Mark could call in the order with his credit card and I could pick it up right then.  At least by then, The Bitchy had reduced herself to The Stupid. 

Some days are just like this, I suppose.  And others are full of just the right play and sunshine and beauty to keep these days grounded.  But oh, how I have to remember to not let The Bitchy take over.  And oh, how very hard it can be some days.


*It's perfectly acceptable for people to bring me a tasty drink in a disposable cup.  I always welcome that.  Just can't go into the store and buy one myself.  I'm betting you'd call that an exception?  The Bitchy says, "BITE ME" to that.

Yep, I'm a Virgo

You want to know what I've been doing all day?

Making lists.

No really, list after list after list.  In fact, I have a whole book of them.  To date, I've made a list of:

The thing is, I'm pretty sure I haven't made enough lists.  There's MORE to manage, I just know it.  And yet, I need to make some dinner and hang out with my kids.  Especially the one who told me she wouldn't miss me because she likes Daddy and Grandma Heidi better.  I almost turned into a 5yo and told her I liked Anya better, so NAH! But, um, I think I'm supposed to be the adult in the room.

So anyway, if you actually have the time to read this and are going, you can find me at the sessions I'm live blogging on email me at WannabeHippieBlog AT gmail and we'll find a place to meet up.  Or just look for the awkward girl in the back of the room at the parties giggling with Tank Girl

Purdy Mouth Mama

BlogHer Disclaimer

At this point the chance of me actually getting to go to BlogHer seems to be good (thought that last year and then Mark got Appendicitis two days prior, so not promising anything). This means I'm getting a wee bit nervous that I'll be standing in the corner trying not to cry while all the cool kids have a brilliant good time. Sparks and butterflies decided that the answer for this worry was to lay it all on the table and just fess up about her idiosyncrasies now, before she actually meets anyone. Sounds like a brilliant plan to me and so here's my own list:

1. I think what I'm talking about is really important. Especially when I've had a drink. If I suddenly start repeating my point (however vague that point may be) just repeat it back to me; I'll assume you've got it and shut up. For about five seconds.

2. I have what's called Auditory Processing Disorder which means that in noisy rooms I have a lot of trouble deciphering what people are saying. If you notice me staring intently at your lips, it's because I'm attempting to read them. Oh, and don't try spelling something out loud to me or rattling off a phone number. I can make it work, but too often it's like you release the letters or numbers, they fly across the room doing a little cha-cha and by the time they reach my ear they've gotten themselves all mixed up and out of place. Awesome, indeed.

3. I have a lot of gray in my hair and am currently doing battle with color or no color. Leslie says to keep it be since I'm all earth mama and natural, I should just embrace the realness that is my gray hair and move on. I'm struggling with this issue more than you can imagine. So if you see me fingering the locks of hair at my temples, I'll be your best friend if you either say, "WOW! You look amazing with gray hair!" or, "I love the color red you went with, it's totally natural looking on you!"

4. No, I'm not pregnant. My belly just looks like that now. No, I don't do 100 sit-ups every night. Go away.

5. I bite my nails.

6. I currently don't have a place to sleep at BlogHer other than a friends house who is 30 minutes away by bus. There's a good possibility I'll try to sleep on your floor. Or in your tub. Just tell me no.

7. If I'm nervous I will be desperate for something to read. If you don't want to talk to me, just hand me a pamphlet or book, then walk away quickly. I'll be fine.

8. There is nothing glamorous about me. I like comfortable shoes, jeans and tee shirts. I don't like skirts, dresses or heels, have one tube of lipstick to my name and almost never wear make-up. I manage to own the whole Butch thing without actually being a lesbian. That said, I clean up beautifully and if you want me to come with you somewhere fancy, just be very clear about what I should wear.

9. I have no delusions that anyone actually knows who I am.  I'll just feel really lucky if two people do the girl scream when they see me.

Anything I should know about you? Share it in comments or link to your own blog so I can get the skinny before the gig. Here's hoping nobody in my family gets ill in the next couple weeks!