Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Needing to say ...


I generally like to post happy, heart-warming things, thus sending a little more good humour and kindness out into the universe. And I have a few of those things to mention. Later.

Right now, though, I'd like to climb up on my soapbox, and yet again say how very disappointed I am in the Board of Directors of the Girl Scouts of Tulip Trace Council. I am overwhelmingly disheartened by their too-little, too-late approach to involvement, stewardship and oversight, and completely disgusted by the board president and her utter disregard for the well-being of the girls served in those 11 counties in southeastern Indiana.

That doesn't even begin to capture how I'm feeling about these people, some of whom I've known for years, and had a lot of faith in, and their actions over the past 90 days (and inaction over the past three years) -- but I guess as Forrest Gump would say, "that's all I have to say about that." (*puts soapbox away ... for now ... *)

In happier news, I finally picked my books for my co-worker's baby -- Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey, and If I Ran the Circus by Dr. Seuss. These are both childhood favorites, and I found a particularly compelling quotation from one of my favorite writers, Anna Quindlen, to add to the inscription in the Seuss book:

'I would be the most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves.'

Speaking of which, I need more. Bookshelves, that is. 

And Dr. Seuss.

I'll close here with one of my favorite passages from my very favorite Dr. Seuss story, If I Ran the Circus.

'Ei! Ei! What a circus! My Circus McGurkus!
My workers love work. They say, "Work us! Please work us!
We'll work and we'll work up so many surprises
You'd never see half if you had forty eyeses!"'

Don't you wish *your* workers felt that good about their jobs?

Thursday, June 11, 2009

A proper celebration

My friend C. is experiencing a bit of an existential dilemma. Faced with a difficult and unexpected transition, she's having to carve out a new plan for herself, and that's definitely made the last few months stressful. Last night was the night-before-her-last-day at her current job, and being nothing if not helpful, I had decided several months ago to cheer her out of any pending gloom by providing the ultimate in late-90s-women's-college-celebratory-traditions, tickets to an Indigo Girls concert.

[Disclaimer: okay, so my motives were not *entirely* unselfish; cliched or not, the Indigo Girls happen to be my very, very favorite musical group, and it's been awhile since I've seen them live ... and they just happened to be performing at Wolftrap in Vienna, VA -- a hop, skip and jump down the Beltway from my dear friend's home.]

However -- no matter the reason (my heart or my shoes, and what-not), as we headed to Wolftrap last night, both of us were exhausted from work, and just generally feeling not so much like being out late on a school night. Because we're old. We were totally talking ourselves into going and being excited about it. 

But ... we got ourselves to the show, and I can speak for both of us in saying that we are so glad we did. First -- Matt Nathanson was the opener, and he absolutely rocked. He's cute, funny & chatty -- all of which are highly desirable in an opening band -- and he started off by dedicating a song to Miley Cyrus, and asking the ASL interpreters if they would sign dirty things. Love it.

Somewhere in the middle of falling in love with Matt Nathanson, the skies opened up and it started to rain. And then it started to pour. Cats, dogs and giraffes. Giant, ridiculous, Midwestern-style thunderstorms. Wolftrap is an open-air pavilion with pavilion & lawn seating. We had front orchestra seats, but as the storm kicked up and the rain started to blow in, it felt more like we were on the Maid of the Mist than sitting in a performing arts venue. Luckily, we were sitting by some pretty terrific folks who were better prepared for the elements, and let us scoot to the middle of the row, from the aisle. 

I've got to say -- Indigo Girls fans are a fiercely loyal bunch, and very few people gave up and left -- even those hale & hearty souls sitting on the lawn, huddling under ponchos and umbrellas. The Indigo Girls themselves were awesome -- and their new accompanist, Julie Wolf, is insanely hot -- their new music is great, and they played enough of their old standbys to keep me happy. 

Most importantly, though, I think for a few minutes, C. and I both forgot that we're grown-ups with serious, important lives, and remembered what it felt like to be in college, so sure that everything would work out for the best, and not beginning to imagine what life would be like at 30. For a few minutes, we were 19 again, just lost in the music, singing along and feeling full of hope and happiness. We forgot that change is hard and transition can be sad, and just enjoyed each other's company, and the company of the thousand or so other happy, singing-along fans.

That, my dears, is what I call a proper celebration.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Panic at 0620

My phone rang at 6:20 this morning. It wasn't my work phone, and jolted out of a dead sleep, I recognized the ring-tone, being one of those vaguely lazy "I like to know who's calling before I bother getting up" (okay, totally lazy) folks that sets ring-tones for most of the frequent callers in her life. 

It wasn't someone who should usually be calling at that hour. (Is there anyone who *should* be calling at 6:20 on a Saturday morning? I think perhaps not.)

Of course, I instantly went into crisis mode, assuming the worst and trying to figure out how quickly I could get to Bloomington (because of course something must be wrong with Mom. It's not. She's fine. She's probably sleeping. It's early still.). 

I called back immediately, not waiting for the voicemail to come through, and got the on-the-other-line beep for what seemed like an eternity. 

At this point, I'm wide awake, irritated as hell, and heading toward panic, for real for real.

I sent a "what's wrong?" text.

I continued the compulsive redialing.

Finally, I get regular ringing. The owner of the cell phone picks up. I immediately demand "what's wrong?"

Um, yeah. Her bag called me of its own accord. I'm touched. I'm flattered. I'm *going back to bed.*

Ah, the miracle of modern technology -- making our lives easier. ;)