Monday, August 23, 2010

Getting it balanced.

Last night, husband DJ and I watched Avatar for the first time.  We very very rarely go out to the theater to see a film, but thanks to our new Netflix account, we are catching up on the past few years of Hollywood.

To be sure, it was an amazing 2 hour and 45 minute cinematic experience.  The computer generated film was incredible to watch and had a story that, though very predictable, told a message of the evil of greed. 

We were curious to see how much the movie cost to make so we googled it. 


That's 500 million dollars.  To make, promote and distribute Avatar.  Half a billion dollars.  And so far it has brought in $2.7 billion in box office sales around the world.  And it is coming back in theaters which only means that the revenue will go higher. 

20th Century Fox amd James Cameron must be rubbing their hands with glee.

About a movie about greed.

Hey, I love a good movie.  I love to laugh, cry, be moved and awakened by a film just as much as anyone.  But something just really bothers me about these huge sums of money. 

And talking of we are taking our boys to the NY Jets open practice, where we get to watch big men thowing a ball around, running a few yards, and earning millions of dollars for doing so.

Something just really seems screwed up.

I know I could write a lot about this.  So could a lot of people...We are responding to the desires of our society - people want to see this so they will pay, etc etc.  Our need for entertainment etc etc.

And on the other side...I lived in India for a year, and have had fantastic opportunities throughout my life to travel the world and see how most people live.  It's a far cry from billion dollar movies and throwing a ball around for millions. Sometimes I just get completely overwhelmed by the amount of wealth that is in our world and the depths of poverty.

It just seems really messed up that we spend billions and billions on entertainment when most of the world is suffering in poverty, disease and war.  And I love a good movie and am willing to pay to see one. And I also enjoy watching football. 

So how can we balance it all?  I wish I had an answer.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Running like a mother. For about 7 miles, maybe. MOM!!!

One of my favorite books is Run Like A Mother: How to Get Moving and Not Lose Your Family, Job or Sanity,  by Dimity McDowell and Sarah Bowen Shea.  For me, a mom new to running, it is great comic relief, inspiration and motivation all rolled up into one.  A book that told me I can be a middle-aged, slow, athletically challenged, slightly overweight mother and still call myself a runner.

Well, today I ran like a mother alright.

I like to run alone.  It's my escape from the kids, I mean reality, I mean I like the quiet - other than Eminem blaring in my ears, that is.  Sometimes I end up at the park and meet up with hubby and kids and get offered an air conditioned ride home that I'm usually all too eager to take.

But this week, I screwed up on my schedule.  I ate waaaay too much three cheese ravioli with homemade pesto and lots and lots of garlic one night.  The night when I was supposed to run 7 miles.  Needless to say, the 7 miles dwindled to 4 and I had to figure out when to fit the 7 in. 

That happened to be today.
With the kids.
All 3 of them.
On their bikes at the park.

I had visions of me running the path while they rode their bikes beside me, cheering me on in my marathon training.
Yeah right.

Mom!  My handle bars are loose!
Mom!  My bike is broken!
Mom!  I don't want to bike any more!
Mom!  I want to go on the play set!
Mom!  I want your gatorade!
Mom!  Mom!  MOM!!
This was at mile marker 1.3.  13 minutes in to what should have been a 70 minute run.

What on earth was I thinking?

I managed to squeak out a couple more miles after I sent Collin to the playset with little brother Iain, but of course felt like a horrible mother for letting two of my three boys play without direct supervision.  Even though they are perfectly fine doing that.  I think I got bad looks from other mommies, even though I was never far away from them.

Mile 4.  My BFF Beth and her three boys show up to run / play with us. Great!  I think. The boys can all amuse themselves while Beth and I run my last 3 miles. Her littlest one promptly does a face plant on the path and scrapes up his knee.  Screams and tears.

Mom!  I want a snack!

By this time, I'd spent almost 2 hours at the park trying to do a 70 minute run, and I was barely half way through.

So we parked the little guys under the pavilion, surrounded them with snacks, and ran the short track that is maybe, perhaps, a quarter of a mile around the picnic tables.  I can't remember how many times.

So I think I ran about 7 miles.  Maybe.  It took over 3 hours.  In April I ran a half marathon in less time than that!  But at least I kept moving the entire time.  You know, from kid to kid to kid.

Hopefully that makes up for the chocolate I ate for breakfast.

Running like a mother.  Gotta love it.

(Check out their website - )

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Happy Birthday To Me, wrinkles and all.

I love celebrating birthdays. And today is mine!  I'm proud to say I'm 41 years young today this 10th day of August 2010.

Many people like to forget their birthdays.  They don't want to celebrate gaining another year in age. 

Not me.  I like to look at it as another year of life, experience, love, friendship and adventure! 

I get a little disheartened when I see all the commercials for anti-aging products for us women of a certain age - you know, the wrinkle reducers and such.  I have my fair share of wrinkles around the eyes, but I like to look at those wrinkles as 41 years of seeing the world, my family and children, majestic mountains, blue oceans, and the simple beauty of sunflowers and blades of grass.  I'd rather hear about the life that eyes have seen than how to get rid of the life that those eyes have experienced. 

Don't get me wrong. I'm all for looking my best, but I'm not going to go to great expensive lengths to wipe away the after effects of a life well lived.

I like to celebrate.  A couple of years ago, I threw myself a birthday party - a ladies martini night in my backyard!  We giggled, ate really good chocolate and of course made ourselves martinis.  Last year was the best - I was so proud to turn 40!  We threw a great party - 1980s style!  Everyone came dressed in their best neon, jellies and leggings.  We drank Sea Breezes and Fuzzy Navels and danced away the night to Wham, Michael Jackson, Madonna and the sounds of Flashdance.  It was one of the most fun nights of my life.

This year hubby and I and some friends are heading out to a martini bar for dinner and drinks.  A little quieter than last year, but a celebration nonetheless.  And a couple of days ago we had a little impromptu get together at home with some friends and enjoyed their fine company and a delicious dinner, fresh from the garden.

A birthday is a great way to reflect on the the year gone past.  What has been accomplished and enjoyed?  What dreams have been realized?  What new ones are on the horizon for next year?  And of course there are heartaches to consider too.  That is part of life and should be reflected upon.  Goodness only knows our family has had our share of them. 

But this is what life is - an adventure to be be shared, enjoyed and relished.  Every new wrinkle is a sign that I've done something, lived more and gained experience in this journey of life. 

And I don't mind another wrinkle or two.  Cheers!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

12 years of Marriage. Then and Now.

Today, hubby DJ and I celebrated our 12th wedding anniversary.  Such a day is always a good time to reminisce about the past and reflect on what our lives together have become. Here's a comparison of then (newly wed, eager to fulfill our dreams together) and now (3 kids, dog, cat and a mortgage)...

Then - waking up in each others arms, lazily reading the paper and sipping premium coffee.
Now - waking up at 6am with the puppy in between us, licking my face, wanting to be let out for a tinkle and poop, using the paper to mop up any overnight accidents.

Then - gazing into each others eyes, calmly discussing our dreams of the future.
Now - a quick hug in the kitchen, recalling our wonderful wedding day, while the puppy chews on her squeaky toy and the SQUEAK boys chase SQUEAK each other around SQUEAK the living SQUEAK room.

Then - a day trip to New York City, strolling around a museum, arm in arm, window shopping on 5th Ave
Now - a trip to the county fair with kids in tow, looking at pigs, cows and their corresponding poo, cheering on the boys in their respective Big Wheels races.

Then - cocktails, a romantic dinner in a trendy New York restaurant, intimate conversation in candlelight, dessert at our favorite bakery in Little Italy
Now - dinner for 5 at the local Italian chain with our conversation ranging from "don't jump on the chairs! get up off the dirty floor! get your feet off the table!" to the boys' screams of "I dropped my silly bands!  I think there's poop on the light! Iain dropped his Big Wheels medal in the toilet!"

And I bought my husband a thoughtful card, expressing my love for him.  But the dog ate it before I could give it to him.  Really, she did.

What a difference 12 years makes.

Happy Anniversary Dear Husband!