Wednesday, May 26, 2010


I am NOT, btw, one of the haters of the Lost finale. Au contraire, mon frere....I found it satisfying, delicious, and deep. I was excited and happy about the action sequences (though not blown away - and maybe a good thing as the show can be more than a little violent), thrilled and moved by the many reunions (Sawliet!), and satisfied with the ending. Indeed, I felt as though the ending was a lot like my own life-view and spirituality. Call me wishy-washy, but I think there is room for many interpretations of the higher power and souls. Room also on our planet many religions, and for the questioning of your own chosen doctrine. Lost seemed to ensure us that such questioning is ok, but that ultimately we are all in this together and have to find a way to get together. Only connect, like E.M. Forster said, or realize your purpose on earth is to help your fellow man, a la George Eliot. Maybe I'll get my husband to explain how Blake and C.S. Lewis fit into the finale.

Ultimately, I feel better now, not only about the show ending but about a lot of things...the ending was cathartic and comforting all at once.

And people, I am talking about a TELEVISION SHOW!

So in order to convince you that I am not insane and that I have a sense of humor, I present:

The Shirtless Men of Lost:

Friday, May 21, 2010


I feel like I did when the 7th Harry Potter book was out and I was only a few chapters to the end. I wanted it over with, and couldn't push myself to finish it. LOST is ending - AS YOU KNOW (good heavens! The media are on overdrive!).

And yet....the media attention is warranted. What was great about Lost for me was more than stuff you might think - including the fact that I have a personal connection with the cast (one that I'm surely proud of but don't need to crow about on the Internet). What's great about Lost is the emotion of it. There were nights when I got all the heft and weight and feeling of a novel - from one scene! There were episodes that caused me to leave the tv room sobbing, and nights when I left laughing. Sometimes huge connections between characters didn't really absorb me at all, and then the tiniest moments would make me leap from my chair.

What may also be big for me about this show ending is how the past six years have been those of my children's childhood. The childhood they are basically leaving at this point. They hated Lost, because it meant shortened reading time, or no glass of water brought to the bed, or that they would have to sneak downstairs to get our attention. They loved Lost for one big reason, and we've let them see some of it because of that...and someday, we plan to watch all six seasons as a family (that day is NOT at hand, and I'm looking at you, John Locke!).

And now, we have a real-life smoke monster heading toward the Gulf, and we have Jacob versus The Brother in the world and within our government's and school board's halls, and as for the island? I really, really want to go back. I have to go back.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


For some reason, my husband and I latched onto ADF as young marrieds in the Triangle. Then a dear, dear friend came and interned there one summer (read: free tickets) and we were hooked. Not that we haven't seen crap at ADF - it's modern dance after all! The very Summer of the Internship was, however, when we first saw Mark Dendy and he became our favorite. I vaguely remember also getting free tickets from our DJ neighbor and first seeing the fully nude solo piece, "Bardo", front row center. VAGUELY.


Mark Dendy is a native North Carolinian and recently did a site-specific work for the opening of the spectabulous North Carolina Museum of Art's new wing. He's done some notable stage choreography and been a generally good representative egg for our state.

I think Afternoon of the Fawn is my favorite piece of his. Until he returns this summer. Holla!

Monday, May 17, 2010

The End of Things

Along with May's craziness comes the endings. I thought this year was going to be easy, since no one was graduating or going off to Kindergarten. But no, OTHER STUFF ENDS TOO! We saw our daughter play her last soccer game with a team that has been mostly pretty great for her. She remarked that she might never see some of her teammates again, and that's true! How to ease her through that transition? Well, you know me! I responded with, "Honey, you're right. You probably won't see them again. Or maybe you'll run into them in the airport, as I do with my old lovers." Or something like that.

And our son has decided not to play football in the fall. This is ultimately the best, safest thing. But his coach loved him and we were all "Friday Night Lights" about it and now what to do with Mr. Wiggly Pants?

Two of our elementary teachers and one preschool teacher are retiring. And a friend is moving away - not far, but away.

Stuff ends and stuff begins and the many, varied phases of life continue to bewilder me. I read somewhere recently (ok, it was in Real Simple. What? When your kids have orthodontia you'll read it in the waiting room, too!) that the best way to deal with a furious pace in life is to not "look at the tray". Waiters use this trick to keep their heavy-laden trays balanced - they don't look at it. We in modern America, raising families and media socializing and corporate climbing must not look at the tray. Just take it order by order, drink by plate, hour by hour. And now, a deep, collective, cleansing breath. Namaste.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

First World Problems

I think it might have been Dooce who termed a phrase akin to "first world whining". I have just about nothing to be upset about. A friend has contracted the services of Hospice this week, the Gulf oil spill seems very real to me, and my friends' families in Nashville have it much worse than you have heard in the media.

So it is with a sense of humor that I present to you my upper? middle class white woman woes:

1. The yard guy mowed down my clematis plant!

2. I have plantar fasciatis from all my gym time.

3. My children have EOG testing and I have to make full, hearty, protein enriched breakfasts at the crack of dawn for almost a full week.

4. I am proctoring an EOG exam and better not say anything else about THAT on the Internet or the testing gestapo will get me.
Suffice to say, I am really, really nervous about not being able to drink or pee for 2 1/2 hours.

5. I don't know how to spend the remaining cultural arts funds without making the middle school administration mad.

6. We are down to two burners on our cooktop that work (see #3).

7. I have to go listen to a band of lawyers next weekend.

8. I'm hungrier than usual on a new reduced calorie diet.

9. My son left a cooler and a high-dollar water bottle at soccer practice, never to be found again. And my son & husband lost all of our freezer ice packs at a tournament.

10. Due to big events at work being reshuffled, and my rescheduling for these events, I now am missing them anyway and am getting extra vacation, which is awesome and yet I don't get paid!


Nothing like listing out your woes to make them seem so inconsequential. And yet, I would really love to take some water to the gym today, except we don't have any bottles and my feet hurt.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

For Mother's Day I got a PowerPoint presentation (actually, it was Keynote). Complete with sound! Children and husband singing "Happy Mother's Day", and also a plaintive wail, "I want a bunnyyyyy".

I also got a teacher-led essay that featured such sentiments as, "...even if she is yelling at me I know she still loves me" and "...she makes me laugh when we are in the car and my mom makes a really sharp turn and she screeches like a car" and, describing our mountain hikes, "She always thinks she sees a bear because she would die to see on out in the wilderness but it is usually just a stump".

(That last one? That pretty much sums me up right there.)

I also got a homemade dinner after eating out a few meals this weekend, and working all morning. With china and crystal and sparkly water and fruit, this was a very special Mother's Day dinner indeed.

From Joy of Cooking:

Tomato and Goat Cheese Quiche

Prepare homemade dough, or if you are a husband racing to have a meal on the table for your working wife as we were, use a prepared pie crust!

Preheat oven to 400ºF

Prepare and set aside:

I lb plum tomatoes (about 6), cored, quartered lengthwise and seeded

Crumble into a bowl:

4 oz fresh goat cheese

Slowly mash in wieth the back of a wooden spoon until smooth:

3/4 C half & half or heavy cream
1/2 C milk
*we used half & half and skim milk

Add and whisk until smooth:

3 large eggs
1 tbsp chopped parsley
1 1/2 tsp chopped fresh thyme or savory, or 3 tbsp fresh basil
* we used thyme, but won't the basil be good later this summer!
1/4 tsp kosher salt
plenty of ground black pepper

Arrange the tomatoes quarters in the shell like the spokes of a wheel, with the pointed end (blossom end) toward the center of the quiche. Fill in the center with more quarters. Pour the cheese mixture over the tomatoes and bake until the pastry and top are golden brown, 40 to 45 minutes. Let the quiche rest for 10 minutes to settle, then cut into wedges and serve.

Monday, May 03, 2010

May Daze

I don't know why it is that May is the hardest to handle - but it is. There is so very little down time, and what down time there is is spent feeling guilty that we aren't out enjoying the weather. This week I had some unexpected time off of work, so we...enjoyed the weather. And now I'm exhausted. Here is what we did:

1. NC State Wolfpack baseball. Screw the Bulls! This was cheaper, with better views, and though I did miss having the healthy Durham option of the veggie burrito, there is nothing wrong with an all-beef hot dog every now and again. We stayed for almost all nine action-packed innings and loved the whole scene.

2. The new NC Museum of Art. What a lovely place. Whilst I had some issues with a few things (I'm still not sure the addition has anything to do at all with the existing building, and the restaurant is tiny and awfully close to the art), I found the space soothing and gorgeous and completely welcoming. Certain of the art was showcased oh-so-much better, and the outside spaces are wondrous - full of native plantings, reflective pools, and well-placed sculpture. I'll post some pictures soon.

3. The Durham Performing Arts Center - DPAC. Ok, ok, not outside: but we did have a lovely stroll in downtown Durham from parking to pavilion. My daughter and I saw "Wicked" at a very high ticket price (thanks for the bonus, boss!) and I daresay I enjoyed the whole vibe in Durham just as much as the well-acted and sung show. My current dissing of the Bulls nonwithstanding, I feel certain we'll visit again soon, especially when ADF comes to town and the dancers get to leave the crappy stages at Duke and move to this glistening new theatre. (Yes: I enjoyed "Wicked". The play made a lot more sense of the prequel to "Wizard of Oz" than the book and the music is downright classic. The acting of our traveling troupe was surprisingly effective. And who doesn't love all the wailing, now famous from "Glee", of "Defying Gravity"? Not me! That said, of the very few musicals I've seen in recent years, I still think "Spring Awakening" is the most moving.)