Blogger Perks and Paparazzi Chases

Sacramento Bloggers Mixer at the beautiful Le Rivage Hotel last night. Put on some skinny jeans (a little tighter than last time I wore them!) and a cute scarf. Ended up in my trusty flat boots figuring that painful feet weren't going to help me on my mission to be outgoing. Got there a touch early because I read a great tip that I was trying out: every large party starts out as a small one. Arriving first gives you a chance to meet a few other early birds and it doesn't feel as overwhelming as walking into a big group of people you don't know. Very useful hint. And a festive cocktail doesn't hurt either.

Gorgeous hotel. I love the location right on the river and we were lucky to be outside on the patio facing the iceberg roses and the water. Le Rivage hosted the party...my first blogger perk! So I'm paying it forward with this post and a little high five for them. Everyone was very welcoming, it was a beautiful evening and we even had a special drink, "The Writer's Block," to ward off evil spirits. Yummy appetizer spread and a tour of the Presidential Suite with celeb guest stories as a bonus (Prince, Britney Spears, Natalie Cole.) The idea of paparazzi chasing Britney to the foot of the hotel driveway and being stopped short there by their one security guy was the best image of the night. Did you even know there were paparazzi in Sacramento?

Bloggers, all.


Mostly though, it was wonderful to be in a group of people with a similar passion and reason for being there. I met quite a few friendly bloggers and look forward to getting together again to share stories and tips. We're all hungry for community. And cocktails.



The Post Where She Tries Desperately Not To Lose It.

I thought my days of hormonal swings were past but apparently not...everything seems difficult and annoying in a familiar sort of way. Myself most of all. I'm feeling like a complete failure as a mother (no patience at all), my house looks like a hurricane hit it (probably no different than it ever is) and I've definitely gained ten pounds (not.)


Failsafe solution that always helps a little in DIRE situations like this...a quick list of things that have gone right. (Sort of a cousin to my habit of writing things down on my to do list after I've done them just so I can cross them off. Yeah, I know, you don't need to say it.)

Harvested the basil and made pesto, now nicely stacked in my (cleaned out today) freezer.

Planted new basil and trimmed back the yard. Hosed it all down and it looked fresh and clean for a few minutes anyway.

Grocery shopped and planned the week's meals. Made bruschetta with Mom's tomatoes and my basil and oregano, along with garlic green beans for dinner. Definitely got the freezer cleaned out. Let's not think about the garbage can full of rotting, wasted food...yeah, definitely need to move past that thought.

Had a date night with Ron last night while Chloe had fun at a slumber party birthday. Nice last minute surprise. Macaroni Grill, with a coupon and a gift card (score!); got a cute pair of shoes at TJ Maxx; watched Arbitrage on our big TV. Cheaper than a movie and no annoying people slurping soda and chewing popcorn way too loudly. No movie theatre chili dog smells or cel phone conversations. All good. 

Does watching the first seven episodes of the first year of Homeland count as an accomplishment? I think it does today.

Took a walk with Therese; took Chloe to my Mom's for a few minutes to visit and do gymnastics moves on the trampoline. Got Chloe's hair washed, conditioned, combed out and braided. Did the laundry and PUT IT AWAY. Bought Mom a birthday gift and cards. Refrained from yelling at either my daughter or my husband today although I did have my moments of rather bitchy impatience when Chloe hurt her foot (on her shoe???) on the way home from Mom's. Only a few moments though, so that counts as a definite accomplishment.

Sat in my gazebo and read a book. Had lunch at Dos Coyotes and read the News and Review. Spent very little time on FB (literally, two minutes) for the whole weekend.  Bought a new toenail clipper. Hey, I'm grasping at straws here.

Mostly, I've kept my wits about me by hanging on with my fingernails. I'm here, in my jammies, face washed, kid bathed, taking a few minutes to write, finally. Trying not to beat myself up for not living up to my own expectations. Trying to just be in the moment and have it be enough. Because this is it, this moment, this day, this weekend, this life. This is it.


Sometimes, You Can Go Back.

Sometimes, you can go back.

I spent part of my day reading Joan Didion's Blue Nights, a hauntingly gorgeous book written about her daughter, Quintana Roo. Q died very young, not long after a sentiment filled wedding, and only a short time after Joan Didion's book The Year of Magical Thinking, about the year after her husband's death, was published. A prose poem, this book. All of motherhood there. The dark side of motherhood, the side that is born as soon as your baby is. The fear, unspoken, of your child dying before you do. This book is all about how you cannot go back. The horrible feeling of not appreciating the moments of your life while you are living them. And then, when they are gone, how painful the memories are, and yet, those memories are all that is left of the beloved child. Tears, yes, but, oh, so much beauty. I am such a fan.

I recently heard an NPR interview with Joan Didion and was struck so strongly with how different her speaking voice is from her written voice. In books, her words flow. She is eloquent and poetic, heartfelt and magical. On the radio she was quiet and hesitant and very shy with her words. The interview made me feel at peace. Here is someone I so admire, someone whose words I literally drown in, and she, too, isn't eloquent with the spoken word. It felt like a blessing.

So my morning was all about not going back. But my afternoon, ah, just the opposite.

I've always been a dancer. Better in my imaginings than in reality, surely, but it's always been there, along with my long legs and my arched feet and my freckled arms. I recently read a feature in Oprah's magazine on finding joy; one of those where you finish sentences with whatever first pops into your mind. I am happiest when...I am most at home in my body when... And there it was, again, dance.

Before Chloe came I was taking class regularly. Frustrated often with my lack of skill and being ten years older than most everyone in class with me, but there, still. I remember being six months pregnant, curled over in stretch class, and laughing that I'd need to take a short break because my belly was just getting too much in the way. Ah, the innocence.

Ten years later. No dance classes. I tried once when Chloe was three, went twice, but the scheduling was just too much. Whatever time I had away from her, I really needed to be at the agency. So my jazz shoes stayed in the drawer and the dancing was only in my imagination.

But today, finally, I returned. Friday I took myself to Capezio and was fitted for a new pair of jazz shoes. Groupon in hand I went right from there to Step One and took stretch class. Kim still teaches, the same teacher I loved ten years ago. The class was filled with older women, Kim's stretches had mellowed, it felt lovely. After three hours on the phone with Quickbooks tech support in India I had left work with my shoulders glued to my ears. But when I walked out of stretch, I felt reborn. Like you are supposed to feel after a good massage (which maybe I could experience if I didn't hate being touched by strangers!)

So, today, jazz. New shoes laced on, ponytail fixed. And there was Keith, another teacher I know from years ago. Keith of the lyrical movement, Keith who makes dance class seem like one unending beautiful dance instead of warmup, technique, combination. He, too, is older. He, too, seems to have mellowed a bit. But not entirely.

I was in class for three hours. Yep. Three. Three hours of bliss. Three hours of that old, remembered feeling of being at one with my body. Of focusing on what it can DO instead of what it looks like. Of looking in the mirror and seeing the dancer looking back at me, all long neck and lines and pointed feet. And it didn't matter that I fell out of my turns, that my body was clearly older. All that mattered is that I was dancing again. Sweating and reaching and living right there, in that exact moment. Right there.

For those three hours, I was home.

And the best part is that I am old enough to know it.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...