Monday, August 23, 2010


I came home from dinner at Spa.go (!!!!) last night drunk with happy. Connections were made. Laughter was had. Copious amount of wine was drunk. This morning, the wise words of Stuart Smiley are ringing through my head: I'm good enough. I'm smart enough and gosh darned it, people like me. (even with two dead babies.)

Dammit. Who let that inner voice into the party?

The day started off with a 5K fun run through the streets of L.A. I chose the "fast" group for the fun run thinking, it's a tour right? We'll stop, look at stuff, we'll talk, we'll run again....

Not so. So as the folks in front of me discussed plans for their next marathon, I panted and prayed for a traffic light to give me just a minute to breathe. Luckily, I wasn't the only one. At one point I heard a gasping, "there aren't hills like this in St. Petersburg!" behind me and knew I had a new best friend. So, my Florida friend and I finished the course together not too, too behind the pack and then basked in our accomplishment as the slower groups made their way back minutes after us.

The day kept that pace until I fell into bed late last night.


I read something last week that if you are looking to meet people, FORM is always a good way to get the conversation started:


And while it's a formula that definitely works, and while I always skip to the "O," it means that this question comes up. A LOT:

"So, any kids?"

So, I have gotten very good at saying, without blinking, "Yes. I had two daughters. They were premature. They died." and then wait patiently as someone processes that, searches for an appropriate response and facial gesture and a way to redirect the conversation. I don't apologize. I don't sugar coat. I refuse to say "No. no kids," and let people get wistful about my seemingly carefree unfettered life. It is what it is. And so far, the earth has not opened, the sky has not fallen when I speak the truth. In fact, I have been comforted and pleasantly surprised by some responses. ("Pleasantly" is clearly not the right word here. Maybe its just the shock that occurs when people manage not to say something horrible. But then again, I'm guessing these are folks who have taken numerous courses on Emotional Intelligence. Folks that are used to handling people in their lives as CEOs and upper management. Or maybe they are just good people and I should stop second guessing.)

Perhaps I am being too plain. But then again, perhaps I was too bold last night when I told the head of a particular city's tourist bureau: "I love my job. I love your city more. Here's my card. Help me find a way to be there."

But the sun is still shining. The earth below me still intact. And day #2 of the conference awaits. Let's see what trouble I get into today.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Ridin' Solo

Doods, I am on an adventure!

This post is coming to you from the food court at O'Hare as I ingest the blandest cobb salad I have ever tasted. This airport is all business, hey? God forbid you get comfy.

In a few minutes I'll board a plane to my final destination - a mega-conference in L.A. that I happened to get a scholarship for (!) A scholarship that seems to include all kinds of bells and whistles, like discounted hotel rooms and invites to swanky post conference parties and soirees. I am beyond excited. And I'm all by myself. And a couple of things are striking me:

1. This concept that sometimes when you take a chance and ask for something, you actually get it.

2. That it has been a very long time since I've traveled solo. Day trips or weekends in DC don't count. I'm talking, covered significant geographical space without M., my fellow traveler, my partner in crime, recipient and exchanger of all snarky sidebar comments.

It feels a little wierd.

But good. I did extend and invite, but I've got a lot of work to do while I'm here and I think he knew I could do that best alone, unworried about how a companion could entertain himself. So he declined.

And usually leaving M. makes me nervous. Just because there is no one to hold the melancholy at bay should it decide to show up. But not this time. We put some things in motion before I left. Things that feel like motion, that feel like movement in positive directions.

Because sometimes if you take a risk and ask for something, you just might get it.
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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

With all due respect

Ok, Tuesday's post. It's gone. I deleted it. Because it didn't feel good keeping it up. Here's the long and the short of it:

My parents don't like each other and they haven't for a long time and that makes me really sad. It's also no fun to be around.

It upsets me when people have a need to explain other people's motivations as a way to justify something that's been said/done. Telling me someone was "terrified" to tell me something does not make that something sting any less. It doesn't negate my reaction. It is what it is. It's kinda like this:

So, while I sit here and try to process and try to clear some of the judgmental and mean thoughts from my head, let's focus on some better things:

We saw one of my favorite bands last night. And yes, it was disappointing that they didn't play songs from the album that M and I love, but they were here. And we were there. And it was a pretty awesome evening.

One of our best friends turns 40 today. And damn, she looks good.

My birth brother (half brother? is that how that works?) took first place in a 10 mile race last week with a time 2 minutes faster than the next guy. 14 minutes out ahead of the next guy in line. Holy crap. He's fast. I know this because the results were in the sweetest letter from my birth dad. One that puts us, after some shaky starts and some restarts, where I think I'd like to be. Where I hope he's ok with being.

And looking at my brother's 1:16:58 time makes me wonder if this running thing really isn't a fluke. Maybe after 3 decades of being labeled as not even remotely athletic, I really have found the thing that my body wants to do. That it was made to do.

Of course that's all a little dramatic, but that realization last night did feel like a "bum bah bum" kind of moment. Lights dim. Spotlight on. Zoom to close up and an expression of realization. Now I just need to get a little faster. Go a little longer. Ten miles is just around the corner, right?