the hyphens that define my life

My Daily Blog: T-7 Survival Mode June 12, 2013

My friend said ‘We’re still on for Tuesday, right?’ Wait.  What’s Tuesday?  ‘We’re having lunch.’ Oh yeah, right, lunch Tuesday.  Definitely.  What a flake I’ve become.  Maybe I’ve always been flakey but the mysterious blank spaces in my mind are becoming more and more apparent as our move draws near.  Our family calendar is so crammed full of activities, even with written and electronic calendars which help tremendously, I can’t keep everything committed to memory.  I was supposed to walk with a friend last night during our son’s soccer practice.  Nope, didn’t remember and committed to packing with my husband.  I’m not even focusing on and selecting the fun stuff.  I chose work over fun.  Something is seriously wrong with me.

Perfect timing.  Just what I need for this move is a mental breakdown.  No joking around, I’m concerned.  Yet I question it too.  Why am I forgetting the fun stuff?  Why am I not forgetting the work stuff? Why am I not shirking my move responsibilities?  Why am I meeting my family’s needs?  Why is the laundry getting done?

Oh. Dear. God.  I’ve crossed the line.  I’ve reached the point where I’m so focused on the move and on work that both have totally consumed me. There is no room left in my brain for fun.  EEK!  I should run away. Fast.

Don’t get me wrong, I am having fun, too much fun, and I’m having fun having fun.  In fact, I am having more fun on a daily basis in the past few weeks than I have had in many months, if not years.  Almost every day includes a social event. On a regular basis, I’m social.  I socialize.  But I don’t socialize daily. Let’s remember who I am – I’m on a first name basis with the local librarian!  I’m a bibliophile!  I sew.  I cook.  I garden.  I like getting massages and pedicures.  My hair needs to be cut! Fun is taxing and I miss my projects.  My projects kept me organized and on task.  Without my projects, I am lost.

My mind is not lost.  My life is lost.  Don’t misread my writing.  I love going out with my friends.  We have had good times, great laughs and I will miss them dearly.  With my life packed into 122 boxes and counting, I can not go on much longer sorting, pitching, donating, keeping, wrapping, packing, taping, boxing and stacking my life.  The good, yet sad news is that I don’t have too much longer.  Only 7 days remain.  One week.

I’m in survival mode now.  What would Bear Grills do in a time like this?  He’d probably eat our pets and make clothing, furniture and shelter out of the packing materials so I won’t follow his lead.  What I need is my friends.  What I need, to paraphrase Bill Withers “Lean On Me” lyrics,  is to let me lean on you, because I’m not strong. I need you to be my friend and help me carry on.

This isn’t a cry for help.  It is a plea to my friends for understanding and compassion for my flakiness and general brain meltdown as we are in the final stretch.


T-22 Goodbye Beach May 28, 2013

Filed under: Family,Life — multihyphenatedme @ 6:43 am
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goodbye beach

We gathered with longtime friends on Memorial Day.  This wasn’t a goodbye nice knowing you visit because we’ve been friends long enough that they see our moves as their vacation destinations.  In fact, we see them more often living further away than we do living close by.

Their 7 year old daughter returned my jam jar filled with beach sand and made a card.  In the card she wrote that the sand is “to comfort you” when you move so far from the beach.

I wasn’t expecting an emotional day, let alone an emotional moment yet this little girl grabbed my heart and the tears flowed.  Surprise attack. Kids are good that way.

A little bit of LBC is going to Spokane so I won’t have to say goodbye to the beach after all.


T-24 Day of Rest May 26, 2013

Filed under: Family,Life — multihyphenatedme @ 9:05 am
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The yard sale was a huge success. In six hours, almost everything sold, I managed to get a horrible v-neck t-shirt sunburn tan line, we met a lot of fascinating people who thought my junk was awesome and we managed to bring in a lot of cash.  I love yard sales.

My house is now bare.  Well, almost.  Living room and dining room and patio furniture are gone.  Bunk beds and bookcases are sold.  What’s left is a tiny vintage 4 person table and chairs, my desk (I have to work), our bed and dressers.  The boys are in sleeping bags on the floor and loving it.  TVs mounted, video games hooked up and internet is accessible so all is well in their world.

I’m exhausted.  My body is sore.  I think I’m nursing a bit of a hangover and food coma too.  After the yard sale we went to a Dortmund vs. Bayern soccer party with Trace’s soccer team.  Brats, beer and kraut were an excellent post-sale meal along with some relaxing time by the pool (in the shade thanks to my v-burn). This past week I miraculously managed three girls nights out, more than I typically manage in three months.  A wine tasting fundraiser, movie night to see Gatsby and last night a “Thank God 6th Grade is Over” party with great friends, delicious food and wine.

Today I’m laying low. I need a day of rest. Pedicures with my girl on the agenda and planning our weekly menus for our final meals in California.

Enjoy your Sunday, get some rest.


Las Vegas Living April 17, 2013

Filed under: Cooking,Life,Work — multihyphenatedme @ 11:24 am
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Las Vegas isn’t for everyone.  Though Las Vegas does offer something for everyone.  Many years ago I lived in Las Vegas for 6 months.  I wasn’t  a stripper, a cocktail waitress or a show girl but go ahead and think that I was if it  helps your mental picture of me or lend any credibility to my story.  For the past four days I have attended a Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) Conference on Recruiting and Talent Management.  I’m a recruiter.  No, I don’t recruit strippers, cocktail waitresses, show girls or gamblers, but – again – if that helps you, go with the belief.  Most of Vegas, to me, is repulsive.  The smoking, gambling and drinking is gross.  I love Vegas for the gracious delivery of people at their best, in their finest hour.  If you want to people watch or have random interaction with people, Vegas is the place.  Last night, along with a fellow SHRM buddy I just met, we went to Ri Ra, an Irish Pub reported to have good food, good beer and good live music.

Did I say last night?  That’s an overstatement.  It was really late afternoon.  We rolled in at 5:30 PM.  It was early.  Our plan was to go early, have a beer before dinner to get seats before the crowd arrived.

We sat at the bar.  Two women in our 40-50’s with our SHRM tote bags in tow.  We were chatting over our Guinness when this guy from the bar table behind us wedges his way in to order drinks.  The bartender, a woman, asks what he’d like and he gave his drink order and added “Are you from Ireland”?  She nodded.  He added “God that’s so sexy.  Don’t mind me, my wife is right there, I just think anyone who speaks with an accent is sexy”.  He walks away and the bartender says to us “Idiot”.  We laugh in full agreement.

A bit later, the same guy wedges in and orders shots for his group – his wife and two other women.  His conversation topic this time is whether or not “the car bomb” is a real drink in Ireland to which the bartender said no.  He carries the shots to the table, asks someone to take a group photo and instead of the typical “cheese”, they all yell out “car bomb”!  The bartender, my friend and I look at each other in shock.  The bartender says, “He’s worse than an idiot, he’s ignorant too”.  At that point, just over 24 hours had passed since the Boston Marathon bombings.  Car bombs, any bombs, are not something to be celebrated.

The fun is not over yet.  My friend receives a call she had to take out of the restaurant.  The guy comes back to settle his tab.  He sits half a cheek on the stool occupied by my friend’s bag in her absence because he’s really too plastered to stand for any length of time. While he’s waiting to be processed out, he looks at me and says “Can I ask you a question”?  “If you’re able” I reply.  I’m a “may I” kind of person.  I constantly make my children rephrase the question or answer with “I’m sure you ‘can’ but you definitely ‘may not'”.  He was too inept and inebriated to even catch the correction so he asked “If you were on a desert island and could only have one food, what would it be”?  Really?  Fine.  Quickly I respond “Apples”.  He then told me his “choice would be garlic bread” as if I cared.  Then, stumped by my response (where is the bartender with his card?) he said “Really?  Apples.  Apples huh?  Why apples”?  (Where is that bartender?  Where is my SHRM buddy?)  I explain that apples are versatile.  They can be dried, juiced, sauced, baked, peeled or eaten whole.  One thing you can do a lot with.  You’re going to get really thirsty eating all that garlic bread.  At this point his eyes are crossing, his mind is boggled and he is clearly stumped.  He said with little hostility, “You just shot me down.  That wasn’t very nice”. Though I wanted to say “I’m sorry you’re an idiot, choose who you engage with more carefully”, I, instead, said “I’m sorry  you think I shot you down, I’m a foodie.  I think a lot about food”. The bartender then shows up.  He gives me a sideways drunken scowl and returns to his wife and friends.  The bartender notices the exchange and after he leaves asks what happened.  I told her he didn’t like my food choice.  She looks at my plate of fish and chips in front of me and says “idiot”.

The fun isn’t over yet.  Las Vegas never sleeps.

The two bar stools to my left become available (the entire exchange with the guy happened on my right).  Two Irishmen sit down.  I know they’re Irish because the Irish bartender knows them and they start raped fire talking in accented tongue that you could maybe catch every third word.  They order Budweiser.  What?  Irishmen ordering Budweiser in an Irish Pub?  I couldn’t let it go, so I asked them “Why are two Irishmen drinking Budweiser in an Irish Pub”?  They tag teamed their reply.  The first guy said “We drink Guinness for breakfast”.  The second said “We drink Budweiser as our early supper”.  Instantly I loved them.

In spite of my love for them, the Irishman on the end got excited about something and knocked over his Bud causing his friend to jump up and knock over HIS Bud, both of which ran down the bar and all over me.  The Ri Ra staff and the Irish gents were all very kind and gracious in mopping up the me and the mess.  In the end I was still soaked.  In Budweiser.  Soak me in Guinness, slather me in Kerrygold and call me brown bread.  Fine.  I can deal with that.  To be drenched in stinking Budweiser was insulting.  I paid my tab and left.

I held my head high as I walked out and traipsed through the casino and hotel to my room.  Smelling like Bud.

Though I add last night’s experience to what I don’t like about Vegas, I do leave with good memories.  The lunch break I spent in 85 degree sun poolside with one of the best veggie hummus spinach wraps I’ve ever had and reminded me why I love resort living.  The conference itself was excellent and provided great takeaways I look forward to implementing soon.  Happy hour at MIX in THE Hotel was a great deal with a beautiful view of the strip.  The lobster cesaer salad and tuna tartare appetizers alone are worth a return trip.  I highly recommend THE Hotel over staying at Mandalay Bay.  A beautiful room with excellent service. Though I’m thankful for the experience and opportunity to be here, Las Vegas, to me, is a good place to leave to those that really appreciate what it fully has to offer.




Creative Project #1 February 25, 2013

Filed under: Creative,Work — multihyphenatedme @ 11:39 am
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One of my personal challenges for 2013 is to create something each month to get my creative juices flowing.  Good idea, but I had no plans or ideas for January.  My employer came to my rescue with a wall mosaic project in which employees had the opportunity to design one or more tiles.  I thought this would be a great family project and signed up for six tiles.  My family, however, was not interested.  A couple of weeks, six tiles, minimal rules were the seeds of my first creative project for January, 2013.

My employer consists of a creative bunch of designers.  And me. We are similar in that we both have ideas.  Their level of execution is incredible.  The amount of raw talent in Ware Malcomb is amazing.  Then there is me.  I try.  I follow directions.  I do my best.  Raw talent, however, is not part of my make up.  Let’s just say I’m still learning.

The project consists of 93 tiles with approximately 59 pieces have a designated black and white area to create a – WM – logo.  Four of my six tiles had a designated black and white area.  These areas could only have black and white, the other areas could be any color but not contain any black.  Here are my tiles:

wm mosaic 6 tiles

Three tiles were painted with acrylics. One was newsprint with an acrylic wash. I hand sewed a quilt block for one and the last I raided my sewing box and created a stars and stripes with fringe, silver lame and hot glued clear stars.

I loved this project.  Not only did I play with different mediums but it challenged my comfort zone.  Submitting the tiles was one of the most nerve wracking, anxiety riddled moments of my life.  Seeing my tiles on the wall, collaborating with this incredibly talented group makes me happy and proud.

wm mosaic