Bold Fortune

fortune favors the bold

Month: April, 2015

Go Your Own Way

by mollykl

In a conversation today with a new friend, he said, “I came out at about 18, I wish I’d come out earlier. I wish I’d known who I was sooner.”

Well don’t we all. At 47 I keep hoping that one of these days I’ll be comfortable with who I am, in all my fan-girl, feminist-scholar, historian, glory. Instead, I keep comparing myself to others or relying on who I see in the mirror to tell me who I am – and we all know, that way lies madness.

My thought, when my friend said he’d wished he’d come out at 18 was, “Wow, you came out at 18? Most of my friends came out much later.” He didn’t see how lucky he was to have that epiphany so young. It wasn’t young to him, and I guess that’s the point. At 18 I knew I liked guys. I also knew that most guys didn’t like smart girls, but I have standards, and I wasn’t willing to lower them (ok, except occasionally ;-))

Most of us wait our whole lives to discover who we really are, but the reality is we pick it up piece by piece. We’re a puzzle to be put together gradually.

Or as Buffy once said, “I’m cookie dough. I’m not done baking. I’m not finished becoming who ever the hell it is I’m gonna turn out to be. I make it through this, and the next thing, and the next thing, and maybe one day, I turn around and realize I’m ready. I’m cookies. And then, you know, if I want someone to eat m- or enjoy warm, delicious, cookie me, then that’s fine. That’ll be then. When I’m done.”

 

Advertisements

Tom Sawyer

by mollykl

Son j has a school project due at the end of the month, and it’s completely stressing me out. It’s stressing me out because I want him to do a good job. I want him to want to do a good job. And his idea of a good job and my idea of a good job are not the same.

I realize that one school project is not going to define his entire academic career so I needed to figure out exactly why I was so invested in this. The answer was not pretty, because it has nothing to do with being a good parent and wanting him to do his best. It’s all about looking good in front of the other parents at open house. There, I said it.

Does anyone else find this shit stressful? Quite honestly what I should be focusing on at open house is that my kid learned something this year and made it through the school year without getting in to too much trouble. He has a teacher this year who inspires him and encourages his love of science and math.

I remember his first school project very well, because at open house night I was looking around at the other projects and, well, let’s just say not all of them were done by 1st graders. There was obviously a lot of help from parents. We helped j collect supplies for his, but he had to do the entire thing himself. Likewise for this project: I showed him how to do research on the computer, told him he needed to write down all of his sources, and then husband J showed him how to open a Word document  and save it. He’s in there now, typing away.

Granted, I’ve led him in some directions – “what about putting a picture here, and then you can have the caption typewritten so it’s easier to read?” – but he’s definitely doing this project himself. And I’m just being a bitch.

The sad thing is he’s actually excited about this project (that is until I suck all the fun out of it). He did a great job on his first school project, and when looking around at everyone else’s projects he was appreciative and thought they were cool, but not for one minute did he feel less about his because other’s might have seemed better. That’s the kind of kid he is (he didn’t get that admirable trait from me – I’m hoping to pick it up from him.)

It’s hard to not jump in and help, especially when you know other parents are. It makes me feel like I’m putting j at a disadvantage, at least for now.He might not have the best county project, but he’ll have one he did himself. I just have to remember it’ll be worth it in the long run.

Freewill

by mollykl

I’m helping out at another store for a week, and yesterday was my first day there. They have a coffee bar! And hot breakfast! Bacon and hash browns!! I sent pics of the bacon to my friends back at my store – I was that excited. So when my break came I went to town: whole milk latte, bacon, hash browns. And then about 2 hours later I noticed that the music was really loud. And why are the lights in this store so damn bright? I brushed off the shoulders aching as not being used to doing something different on friday (sitting and breaking down the tag bundle as opposed to actually getting out there and busting my ass hanging said tags). It started to get hard to keep my head up, because the pain along the back of my neck was that intense. Everything got more blurry than it usually is (I’m waiting on a new pair of glasses). Then there was the nausea.

Since I’d been sick a few weeks back, and never got rid of the cough I figured either I was getting sick again or getting a migraine. (Which was a bummer, because I got the message in the afternoon that my new glasses were ready, but I knew you can’t try to get used to trifocals if you’re fighting off a migraine)

I went home, had some hot lemonade with Manuka honey, a hot shower, and wrapped myself up in bed. But not before I texted my friend S “Aack. Had a latte, hashbrowns and bacon and now either have a migraine or getting sick again. Lesson learned universe.”

At work our healthy living specialist got us in to a fitness challenge. She started with our current weight and BMI and we’re keeping track of this for 12 weeks. I’ve been doing pretty well  lost 10 pounds so far, and managed to get my BMI down to the normal range. I’ve just been watching the quality of the food I eat. I got the Lose It! app for my phone, which has helped. I’ve never thought calorie counting was a good idea, I prefer to focus on actually enjoying my food, but this has been great because it lets me see the nutritional value of food and then make up my own mind what’s worth it and what’s not.

Migraine, definitely not worth it.

Once I started eating better whenever I would decide, “I don’t want to cook – let’s get a pizza” I would feel awful the next day. While once I was getting a venti latte a day (in addition to my cafe au lait before work), I went to zero. Last week I went back to getting them and the cough got worse and I got more and more tired. I’m trying to pay attention to that more. After a week of eating more healthily a coworker said I looked taller – well, that was because I was standing up straighter, because I had more energy and generally felt better. Not so yesterday.

I know what I should do, sometimes though I need a reminder of why. Got that yesterday. Ok universe, lesson learned.

 

 

Dreams

by mollykl

This afternoon on my last break of the day a friend and I watched the second trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Huddled around my phone and trying to hold it steady our shit-stupid grins just got bigger and bigger. By the end I was jumping up and down and yelling (and now those of my co-workers who didn’t think I was crazy, do).

The funny thing is that the people I know who had similar reactions are not those that I would suspect. Yes, from T I would expect that, but not husband J, who although he loves him some Star Wars, is not the demonstrative type (whereas I mostly certainly am). M said she nearly cried, to which I admitted I got teary.

Star Wars was the first movie I saw in a theater. My dad took my sister and I and I swear everytime I hear that music I’m back in that movie theater (the Century domes, if you know Sacramento).

I think today was a collective moment of sheer elation and God knows we need more of those.

Shipping Up to Boston

by mollykl

The problem with history is that it’s all about death. Everyone’s dead. My “This day in history” app is an exercise in “let’s see what horrible thing happened on this day” – there’s usually a body count. But yes occasionally there’s something happy and I cling to those because they are few and far between. And there are the events that are decidedly not happy but that you can look back on and see those little flecks of gold.

Today marks the 2nd anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing and while it’s sad to say we could actually give out an award for “best city-wide response to terrorist action” it’s clear that it needs to go to Boston. Help the wounded, donate blood, clean up, then home to bed. Done, done, and done.

Stephen Colbert says it so much better than I, so here you go:

 

And my p.s. is this: the Boston Marathon is an international event. Many of those people donating blood and helping out were from other states and other countries.

p.p.s. No I am not predisposed towards Boston because I’m a Red Sox fan.

Let It Be

by mollykl

There are Beatles fans, and there are…not. Yes, classic, genius, changed the face of rock and roll forever, I know. I’ve heard it all. Just don’t care. I’m just not a Beatles fan. Really, I prefer Wings, and I’m sure there’s a special level of hell all picked out for me.

The exception to this is Let It Be. It’s one of my favorite songs and my go-to if I need a moment to defrag. (I like the Paul McCartney Live at Madison Square Garden version).

Ok, now that the defragging is out of the way I present you with this: David Tennant & Catherine Tate being awesome and hilarious. Enjoy!

 

 

 

Song for America

by mollykl

I just finished writing letters to our City Council members and the Mayor. The after- and summer- school program my son attends is being threatened with closure, and if that happens, well, we’re working on our options. We don’t have many. We were really lucky that we found a program we could afford (yeah, we’re not bitching about not getting free child care – we pay for that) and that we could, more importantly, trust.

It is what it is, but we’re not going down without a fight, hence the letters.

But it’s disheartening. At campaign time politicians blah, blah, blah about how important families are and how they understand. Meanwhile, they approved spending 8 million dollars on art work for the new arena, and they will vote on closing 4 after school programs because they need to save $500,000. Um, yeah, I was an English major and even I can do that math. Instead of spending time and effort on real concerns of the city they spent their time on the decoration in front of the arena. Apparently children’s well-being and development is trumped by the cache of a piece of art by Jeff Koons.

So it’s more important that we look like we can play with the big boys than actually serve the next generation. Ok, got it. You’d think at this point I couldn’t be more cynical, but thankfully politics keeps pushing that event horizon.

A note, though: remember boys and girls, I’m a registered voter, and I’m not afraid to use that power.

With a Little Luck

by mollykl

This week we got word that son j’s after-school and summer program is in danger of being shut down. Bean counters…blah…blah..blah…and they chose the district with no current representation to shut down (hm…no coincidence there at all). So now, in addition to the myriad of other things to worry about (upcoming truckload, husband J traveling for work, dealing with medicare…again) we also have to worry about what to do about the summer, when J and I both have to work.

It’s all going to be alright, because luck is on our side. And when I say luck, what I really mean is a lot of hard work and preparation. Husband J is drafting letters to the city council and the mayor and he’s going to attend the council meeting. I’m going to start researching summer programs and getting recommendations from friends.

Because that’s what luck is – you prepare and you look for the good in a situation. It’s not some magic fairy dust that some people get doused with. Make your own luck. Go on, get started.

Don’t Look Back

by mollykl

I don’t really do the thought-provoking look back on my life on my birthday. I figure the mistakes I’ve made I obviously can live with (for obvious reasons), the path not taken is so far gone as to not even matter any more, and if I’m not the person I thought I’d be by now (i.e. a grown-up) then it’s come with its own trade offs. I don’t look back on my life, but if you know me then you know how much I love history.

1968 was not a banner year for a lot of reasons: the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., the Tet Offensive, the assassination of Robert Kennedy, the Battle of Khe Sanh…oy, do I have to go on? But amidst the funereal theme of 1968 there are a few standouts- some are biggies and some just elicit a smile.

On April 11, 1968 President Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act. Do I need to explain this any more than that? Nope. I will point out that it was the boorish redneck Texan who saw this one through – not some smooth politician who could play the game. Sometimes in politics you just need a really large set of balls.

For my sci-fi friends November 22 was the date of the first inter-racial kiss on television…on….Star Trek of all things. When the network censors balked at showing it, and wanted a non-kiss version, William Shatner reportedly ruined all of the other takes so they had to use the take with the kiss.

Some of the greatest bands, can I say in history or is that bravado?, were formed in 1968: Rush, Yes, and a little-known group (you’ve probably never heard of them) called Led Zeppelin.

Songs from 1968 include, and I’m just listing my faves here: All Along the Watchtower – Jimi Hendrix, Blackbird – the Beatles, Carolina in My Mind- James Taylor, Springtime for Hitler – Mel Brooks, Wichita Lineman – Glen Campbell and Sympathy for the Devil – the Rolling Stones. So much about me is becoming clear, isn’t it?

And finally, on December 24th, the first manned spacecraft orbits the moon.

400px-NASA-Apollo8-Dec24-Earthrise

 

“Earthrise” the photo taken of the Earth by Astronaut William Anders.

Of the thousands of congratulatory telegrams received by the astronauts upon their return one offered a sincere thanks after a year of disaster: “You saved 1968.”

 

Point of Know Return

by mollykl

In -5 hours I turn 47, which at some point seemed REALLY old, and now seems still young enough to get away with wearing Vans and Levi’s to a restaurant. Not a good restaurant, but a restaurant none the less.

Every year I say I’m going to start acting like an adult….but if I were you I wouldn’t hold my breath.