Friday, July 29, 2011

Things that make you go hmmmm...

So, last night I attended an alumni event for my undergrad. It was a nice event, but it did leave me thinking. Overthinking, probably. And I left stone cold sober. Why, you ask? Well, because I am frugal. And because it's my form of civil disobedience. To protest the ridiculous hike in the alcohol tax in this state. Anyway, that was NOT the point of this post.

First, it was a well-attended event. St Mary's people are so awesome. I loved that the new president talked about The Pub opening on campus. Yes, we have a pub and that's exactly what it is called. We don't need any stinkin' hyperbole at SMCM. The Pub will suffice and it states exactly what kind of establishment it is, thankyouverymuch. See, St Mary's is an interestesting place. Full of history, academically challenging, free thinking, progressive, crunchy and highly regarded. Most students can be found barefoot, carrying a frisbee, high/drunk, protesting, but always keeping up with schoolwoork. I LOVED my time there. For once, I actually fit in, which was tough to do at my huge high school. I also did not need to be preppy, country, punk, or whatever. Just being me was fine. Accepted. Respected. Appreciated.

Then, why did I find myself doubting myself. I felt a little strange. Kinda like I did when I transferred from CofC. Like an outsider. I also feel like I have struggled with my career and personaly choices for quite some time. Most SMCM people marry a classmate, go to grad/prof school, settle down. Not me. I went to grad school (twice) but eloped with someone twice my age in another state. Not the same path as the people there. I was wowed by an old professor that I only encountered to sign off on some paperwork when he was the acting provost about 15 years ago. Gosh darn it if he didn't remember me. Like really. He remembered my major, focus of study, etc. Weird. But that's SMCM. I remember being on a first name basis with the dean, being a campus leader, graduating Phi Beta Kappa. But did I miss out on things? I remember striving to hear Summa Cum Laude after my name. I got it, but at what expense? I skipped parties, preferring to study. Would my experience have been more memorable if I had been more sociable?

As much as I was friendly and outgoing in college, I did not keep in touch with friends. Granted a lot was because they were not people I had grown up with and I broke up with the "college boyfriend" soon after. I guess I just left feeling a little disjointed. Like I did not fit in with anyone. Oh, brother. Not that feeling.

The last few years have been pretty tough. I remember never wanting to leave St Mary's yet, after a couple years, I feel like I don't really belong. Am I just remembering all the good things? The sunsets, the water, traditions, having class outside, fun professors...Was it not as fantastic as I remember? Now that I have been gone from NC for a few years, I find myself doing everything in my power to return. If I don't, will I someday find that I don't fit in there either? Or, is that where I am destined to be?

Maybe I just need a drink.

St Mary's College of Maryland

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Pennies from Heaven?

I don't know if anyone reads advice columns, but people have often written about "pennies from heaven." People who believe in such things, believe that these are messages sent from loved ones who have passed away. I sometimes see cardinals, my Aunt Mary's favorite bird, and am certian she is trying to tell me something. Well, yesterday I found three pennies in totally different places throughout the day. Is someone trying to tell me something?

I haven't been very open about things in this space, but hopefully I will have more evidence of positive change to share in the near future. As if finding random pennies isn't evidence enough of something on the horizon? Speaking of safe spaces and positive change, I am happy to report that I have found a sanctuary here in Annapolis. Similar to Body of Santa Fe, my beloved Spirit Moves, and the beautiful yet short-lived Branches, I have found a safe place to dance, center, find my and This place and my favorite thrift store in DC have really made living here bearable.

I am also happy to report that Sullivan is thriving. His speech continues to improve and I am constantly awed by his demeanor. Such a sweetie. And fine motor skills like nobody's business. Check out the little man in the photos below. More soon.

He'd rather look at vacs than toys!

Always making new friends

Sully loves Ikea meatballs!


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Justice for Henry Granju

I haven't yet "gone public" with this blog yet, mostly using at as an escape from the stress of life, but yesterday was one of those days that I really want everyone to know what I'm saying. Will I bite the bullet and share it via facebook? Not sure yet, but I know I have something to say today.

I had an awful day yesterday. Bad day at work, then found out -- once I got there -- that my dance class had been canceled. The one I look forward to every week. GRRRRR! I also went home to a grump toddler who picked last night to wake up with a night terror. Just bad all the way around. Still, none of this was the really bad part. See, I embraced the awfulness of the day and even kissed my little boy in the midst of his screaming. Because he was there. And I am glad.

My friend Katie (well, we've not yet met but I feel like we'll get along famously when that happens) posted something on her blog. She can be found over at Except, unfortunately, she can also be found over at I say unfortunately, not because what she is doing isn't incredible for all the people she's helping. Rather, it is incredibly tragic and awful that she has to put her own time into fighting for justice rather than just grieving the loss of her beloved son. She has gone through what no mother should have to endure and yet some people just seem to want her to hurt even more. And, to use a word that even I despise, it sucks. Or, as my Aunt Mary (God rest her soul) would say, it's putrid. 

Katie shared that Henry's case has been closed by law enforcement after an "extensive investigation." One in which most of the witnesses and even the victim was never interviewed. I'll leave it to you to follow all the detective work she is done to help solve her son's homicide and let you draw your own conlusions. Maybe you'll disagree. I can't see how anyone wouldn't think this case is fodder for an investigate reporting show. It is truly unbelievable.

I know there are some of you that think Henry deserved what he got (Lord knows there are hundreds on newspaper comment sections). I tend to be a libertarian who believes in a more sensible drug policy, but there is so much more to this story. And Katie has been more than willing to share Henry's struggles with addiction and even point out that he took responsibility for his actions. That's not what this is about. It's about criminals who took advantage of someone who was incapacitated and did not get him the help he needed. They should at least get as much time as Casey Anthony was given (that's another story).

I am extremely lucky that I did not end up on the same path as Henry. I come from a long line of addicts -- nicotine and alcohol on my maternal side, hard and prescription drugs on the paternal -- but I was fortunate enough to have a strong will and loved ones who helped protect me from them. In Henry's case, he had that, too, but even his loving family couldn't save him. Addiction is that strong. My heart aches for Katie, knowing that she has to be thinking "what more could I have done."

Katie did her best. Even making the difficult decision to take a "tough love" approach. Nobody can bring Henry back. The most we can do now is honor his memory, what his family has done with Henry's Fund to help others battling addiction, and find justice for him so that other moms don't have to go through what Katie is facing.

And last, but not least, never miss a chance to tell your babies that you love them. I'll be hugging my boy extra tight tonight and thinking of a mama who will never get that chance again. Come on Knox County law enforcement, get it together and provide Justice for Henry Granju.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

First Sleepover Friend

So, Sully had his first sleepover on Saturday. Our good friends, Doug and Jules, came down from Philly with their adorable son, Edan. They were actually the first people who we told we were expecting, as we were staying with them and I didn't want them to think I was terribly ill from the morning/all-day sickness I was experiencing. Doug and Jules called a few months later with the exciting news that Sully would have an instant best buddy, due just one month after he was to enter the world. Well, Sully was a little too excited to join us and Edan was apparently very cozy in the womb. So, they are actually two months apart. I was very proud of my Sully. He is a very good friend. He shared all his toys and was very sweet to his guests. He is not talking as much as his friend, but he is still learning.

Sully also, unfortunately, came down with a nasty virus. I hate having a sick boy. As a mom, I just feel so helpless. I must say, though, I enjoyed having some time to get things done while he was resting. Is that terrible? I am glad, though, that he is back to his old self...for better or worse. It was also a bad time for me because it really made me miss my Aunt Mary. When I was little, my mom would always call Aunt Mary to ask for advice. My first instinct when I felt his hot little forehead was to call her. Yes, I did have a little chat with her when I went out to walk Jasper. To quote the country song: "If heaven wasn't so far away...."

Edan and Sully 

Friday, July 15, 2011

Delayed Reactions

I have, for many reasons, been incredibly busy the last few weeks and have not been able to blog. Hopefully soon I can catch up and post some of the exciting things that have been happening. In the meantime, I came to a strange realization today. I seem to always discover things just as they are being discontinued. I've never been much of a trendsetter or even follower, but I hate stumbling upon things just as they are making an exit.

I am already not looking forward to not having the excitement and...let's face it...eye candy from Lie to Me and Human Target next season. I hate thay I was left hanging on The Unit and Without a Trace. And American Dreams? The best show on TV. All canceled. Meanwhile, crap like Jersey Shore and ridiculous reality TV shows are still popular.

The latest example is a chai latte creamer. I like a good chai every now and then and I found that Coffee-Mate makes it. Or, more accurately, MADE it. Yep, bought some discounted (with coupon) with the label "LAST CHANCE" staring at me. This is, in fact, my second experience with discontinued chai. The first was Harris-Teeter's exceptional decaf sugar-free version.

I could go on, but I think I'll stop here. I need to get out and do some things before I miss them.

Happy Weekend!