Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Meisel and Flandrin

my brain jumped this evening from looking up Steven Meisel (photographer) featured recently in an article in Vogue (although it seems his work usually fills Vogue) - anyway, found a photo on art commerce site that reminded me for some reason of this painting:

which is one of my favorites.
I had the pleasure, in my blessed life, of spending a summer in Paris in college. I loved visiting the Louvre although I found its shear mass overwhelming and never did make it through the whole thing... but this painting really struck me for some reason... the beauty of the male nude no doubt *grin*

and one of Meisel's pieces has a man in similiar pose although he is surrounded by many others and so it really isn't a staging of this and it is questionable whether or not it is even a purposeful reference?

the whole mother struggle...

You know
I am struck, by my need to completely push my talents and passions aside to "BE THERE" for all 5 of my kids to the point of exhaustion so that my husband can continue to do his little dream of business ownership - and I look at my daughters and realize that if they take all this energy I pour into them and they waste it all by "BEING THERE" for their kids, I will be furious. And to me it is a waste.

And beyond that I look at my ten year old - the on I feel like I'm loosing because I'm stuck with the four year old and two year old and the seven year old who is really as immature as a four year old, and I cannot meet my ten year old on her level. And I htink - by the time the two year old five, she will be 16. And she'll be gone. Oh sure, she'll love here but she'll be way beyond wanting to hang with me. And by the time the 5 year old is 16, the older on will be 25. And the only way I can think of making it up to the oldest is to be around to watch her children for her in the way my mother refuses to be for me.

And so I will go from "mommy" to "grandmother" and care taker to my selfish mother, and when ever will I be me? And surely I am not supposed to waste my own talents but goodness only knows when in my day I am supposed to carve out time for them.

Monday, April 27, 2009

My brother -

So the sibling rivalry thing - it just doesn't seem to stop around here. You know? A week or two ago I ranted about this big to do for my brother at work. He is currently working out west but his "home base" is here and so the team was in town which meant special props for him. My mother had me crazy by her need to control everything frustrated by the fact that she was absolutely not in charge and no one {among the people pulling this thing together} would tell her anything. We spent Saturday celebrating the company and my brother and his litany of accomplishments. He is disgustingly intelligent, diplomatic, able to get people to do things, total A-List Golden Boy. I managed to survive the brother worship without embarrassing myself, and I'm pretty sure without embarrassing him either. Sunday his kids want to come hang with my kids. After a long drawn out day they finally arrive and after he finishes up his work obligations he shows up for dinner around 7 pm. Somehow it comes up that I "moonlight" for my husband's company.

A.) My husband smirks at my brother and says "well her official title is SERVICE MANAGER." nice. in front of my mother even. I try to laugh it off.

B.) I bring up that I taught SAP Geek how to twitter and how many good contacts did he receive within the first two weeks of twittering??? lots. And if he's use it correctly (key words, interesting bits about what he is doing instead of his flight status (idiot!) ) how many would he connect with? lots more.

C.) the damn blog. I started a blog for SAP Geek's company when they were flat in the water without a bit of wind to kinda add some energy, create a little buzz, whatever. The clients LOVE it. SAP Geek tells me they refer to it all the time. They LOVE it. My brother snorts. "yeah, I came across the blog once. I was googling a link. people actually read that?"

Fuck you. Take your Tom Cruise look alike, brilliant self, and get the fuck out of my house.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Yesterday - social status and the end of the cheerleader

Two separate incidents:

I was at a Birthday Party with my four year old for her little friend Emma. While at the party a mother of a darling little boy, Paul, mentions, "I didn't know you went to High School here, LHS or BHS?" I answer. She wants to know year of graduation. I answer. She was there. She starts running down lists of people she knows and we find a few commonalities, and where did I live and so on.

I reply that we moved here after my dad died and my grandfather built a really nice house for us in one of the gated golf communities. She mentions the kids that live there. I reply that I wasn't accepted by them because despite the address we were living on social security checks while my mom went to school and I didn't fit in with those kids. We talk a bit about how this town is particularly keen on placing people in boxes based on address, attire, ethnicity, and relations. I describe how I'd explained all this to my husband who used to summer here to visit his grandparents but who was never part of the culture.

Interesting... I now live in a different gated golf community per my husband's requirments for a house. This mother, like many others, automatically assumes I am a snob based on my address. I see light bulbs going off over her head as she looks at me with new eyes.

In previous posts I have mentioned (shredded) "Sales Guy" and his "Cheerleader" wife. They did a good job of making my life difficult for a while last year and occasionally rear their ugly little heads and do so some more.

I am delighted to say that SAP Geek has put in motion a plan to push "Sales Guy" to quit so he cannot take % of the business with him. Hip Hip Hooray!!! Maybe I'll start going to company functions again...

Friday, April 17, 2009

Feel Free...

I love it when I plan out my day. It gives me such a grown up sense of accomplishment. And then things immeditely fall apart. Today was one such day. I had it planned, I knew what I was doing and then... swoosh it all changed because Gaye's kids were sick and so I pitched in at school for 3 hours so she could go home... and all the morning errands became afternoon errands... and I arrived home at 3 PM - deposited worn out sleeping toddlers into beds and checked facebook. I am absolutely addicted to facebook. It's like my coffee. Actually, I tell people it is my "cigarette break" although I've never smoked. {never even tried one if you can believe it. they smell so nasty}

and on my facebook is:

Hey Kitty,
I just posted info about S****'s reception on the FB page AND I figured out how to make other people "administrators" of the site (so you can post events, pictures, etc). I made you an admin, thinking back to the consignment sale. (How did that go, anyway? Is there a grand total?) We might was well do the same for everyone on the list. I have to run to a class now, but feel free to go to the members list and make anyone/everyone an administrator.

Amy is not my friend on facebook. I wrote to her about a preschool fundraiser since she had started a "friends of" page for persons who had graduated the preschool. Amy and I have gone to the same church for almost 10 years. She has spoken to me twice, maybe three times. She and her other friends, also all mommies whose kids have gone to preschool and sunday school with my kids for 8 years, do not talk to me. I've posted about them before.

And so even though I want to write back "I am sorry. While you were out with one of your two kids today I had my two youngest running all over town after pinch hitting at preschool today for 3 hours. My two year old was on the floor of Barnes and Nobles taking off her shoes while I looked for a birthday present for my 10 year old to give to her friend this evening. So I appreciate your offer to "feel free" but I'm busy too. It's your page - do what you want."

And instead I will just IGNORE her and her message because that is the BEAUTY of facebook. I adore the IGNORE button. So please, feel free to boss me around. Because I do indeed feel free to ignore you.


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Parent Interviews...

Sent the small ones to bed - and read a bit of Tolkien to the 1st, 2nd and 5th graders. I am a die hard Tolkien fan and my children feel very deprived that I will not allow them to watch the movies. {Although while I was away over a year ago my mother allowed them to watch the first DVD of the first movie - RING WRATHS and ALL! I was, am, most displeased.} I told them that Tolkien is classic, that they need to hear first and then see, and finally play {We are ALL EA Games addicts in this house, fans of Command and Conquer and the Lord of the Rings games as well} in that order or they will miss the depth. To this day people quote Tolkien all the time. "All who wander are not lost" is part of a poem about Aragorn or Strider - there are beautiful passages about death, life, and I'll butcher it but "we do not choose the times; but it is ours to choose what we will do with the time we are given" or something like that... not that they'll get it the first go round but maybe if I'm lucky they will read it again when they are older.

And I've painted my nails "call my m-agent-a" red by OPI. Although if I had an agent would I be painting my own nails???

And had my tea - and now I'm off to finish this application for this private school for my son. And tomorrow at 9 AM I have a parent interview with the school principal. Do you think she'll be impressed by my nice pretty red nails? Not likely I know. What do they ask in parent interviews? Is it like college? Why should we allow you to come to our school? Well, the child is brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. He could put together BRIO train tracks when he was two. He randomly spelt "HERSHEY" from a chocolate bar while at a playdate when he was not quite three. He can read anything. He comprehends everything. And he is so immature and insecure it kills me. So please, would it help if I got on my knees? I'm begging you, let him go to school here, where there are a whopping ten kids in the class rooms - in theory - the parents value education that is why they are paying for it - and the studies show that persons with a higher regard for education are less likely to be racist and more likely to expect their children to be tolerant. And on top of that some how - who knows HOW - 40% of the student body is adopted. That makes him NORMAL! Do you know what that could mean for him?

So off I go - to fill out my paper work and plan my outfit - and make sure my morning goes well so I can ace my interview and get him into this school. And then, after that, we've got to figure out how to pay for it. But I'll think about that tomorrow...

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Thoughts flying off the carousel

Today is one of those days where things are spinning and I know that somehow it is all connected but I cannot quite get my fingers on the fragments long enough to find the connection or where it is all headed. Do you know what I mean? Some 15 years ago in art school I collaged an image senior year of a person whose head was opened up (not gross but cartoon-like) and inside was a merry-go-round spinning madly and things were flying off it helter skelter -

that fits this day

Been having issues with one of the kids. Well that is no surprise, he's had issues or has been an issue since day one.
Doing well with my little business but trying so hard to keep it up.
SAP Geek has all kinds of things lined up and ALMOST happening - but mostly it is extended family

I'm trying really hard to let it go. let them go. STOP the insanity that is family. I'm the oldest sister and it has fallen to me, or I took it I can't remember really, to keep things together.

And I'm just off the phone with my mother who is sort of being a downer lately. Not in any particular regard. It isn't that something is wrong or she isn't well (at least that she admits) it is just that she is negative and whines and I don't have time for it. And my brother is coming to town for a hoopla with work. And his wife and his kids and his in-laws. And they are all staying in a hotel one town over where the company is and my mother is put out that no body is staying with her.
Franky I'm relieved. The brother, wife and three kids stayed with me last time they were in town and it was a bit tense. My old dog was dying for one thing. My sister was getting married for another. And then my brother just wanted the kids to all get lost and go play. But I kept coming across his six year old "my natural leader" he calls him, shaking my three year old by the head because she had the train he wanted. Seemed to me they needed a bit more adult surpervision. So by the time they left we were all glad to see the end of one another.

So he's coming to town from 1/2 way across the country for a big weekend with work and I think he and his wife are looking forward to seeing their friends here. And there is some sort of recognition lunch we are all invited to and attending. And I'm trying to just be a gracious guest - sort of like the groom's family at a wedding - and keep the hell out of it. Which is really rather big for me because I tend to meddle.

And so in this I realize; I'm trying desperately to untangle from my mother who (whom?) I've parented for the last 20 some years.

And I'm trying to keep my husband out of it because some how he thinks that we should have my brother, his wife, his kids, his in-laws, and the rest of the team flying in up to dinner even though I'm rather sure they have friends they want to see and I'm quite sure that we (and 200 of their closest friends) will see them only at the luncheon thing.

And I think the Aunt and Uncle who refused to attend my sister's wedding last summer are showing up for this. Which will be odd and tense.

And in the meantime - We've gone from famine to almost normal in a matter of two weeks. I KNEW that no sooner did I take the job at preschool then SAP Geek would see things start rolling and while it is still slow it is MOVING - things are happening at work. And I want desperately to quit but I won't do that to my new boss and we aren't quite there yet.

AND I've decided quite independently to enroll one of my children in private school as soon as possible adding some $700.00 a month to our anemic budget.

And I'm trying to look the issues in the eye in regards to said child. And not repeat mistakes with the other one.

And I've realized, I don't have time to deal with family members who don't want to deal with me. And I don't have time to be my mother's parent anymore. If she hasn't gotten it together then she hasn't gotten it together. But that isn't my fault.

And somehow, all of this connects to something I cannot quite grasp and it is just out of my reach...