up hill both ways.

i imagine sometimes what it would be like to have grown up in someone else's family. not because i didn't love mine, but because i've always had a fascination with sociology and what things cause people to curb some behaviors and ignite others.

in my family it was love fiercely, support one another, and eat italian. if whatever you were chasing didn't fall in to at lease one (preferably 2-3) of the preceding categories, it was a risky sitch. for my 16th birthday, my then-boyfriend took me to see a spanish play (close enough) and an italian dinner. done and done.

some of my fondest memories are of my mom and i dipping freshly baked french bread in her homemade marinara sauce…for dinner. my mom was generally far too practical to call anything without 3 major food groups "dinner", but she'd make an exception for homemade italian.

then there was my dad. he and my mom were like oil and water. i'm certain the reason they were married was because she was beautiful and smart and he could sell ice to an eskimo. his idea of discipline was to send me to my room and follow up with a short chat.

"don't let anyone tell you to pull yourself up by your bootstraps. you figure out what you need to do and then go do it."

"always peel garlic with rubber gloves."

"the most important thing on a sunday is football. i don't need to go to church to have someone tell me i'm a Christian. i have God for that."

there were hundreds of lines. each sounded like he plucked it from a movie he'd once seen and filed it away to use at a later date. occasionally i'll find myself using one of dad's lines, as if it were woven in to my DNA.

"the secret to life," he'd say shaking his index finger like Marlon Brando in The Godfather, "is this." and then he would pause. he'd hold his finger up, raise his left eyebrow, and smile cleverly as i waited to hear the answer to the most complex of human problems.

"discover what you love to do, and then figure out how to make a living doing it."

at 4:30 this afternoon, as i loaded the kids in the car bound for a bar-b-que, i paused loading up their bikes. it was one of those moments. where you know you're exactly where you're supposed to be, doing exactly what you're supposed to be doing. i was relaxed. rejuvenated, even. and i realized that i'd finally figured it out. the secret to my life.

i had actually figured it out years ago, but in true Amanda fashion i had to beat the idea to death until i was certain.

produce creative strategies in a professional setting whereby loving on my family does not become a compromise.



getting old sucks.

there is this girl i know. she naturally emanates so many things on my "what i want to be when i grow up" list. she is crazy smart, fiercely loyal, speaks the truth, and rocks the casual-yet-hot look pretty much all the time. and she's younger than me, which frankly pisses me off a little.

one day about a year ago we were sitting on a bench outside the hospice house while her son hopped the rocks, talking about my dad. she looked at me with eyes that knew me well enough to realize there just wasn't anything left to be said - and smiled. after a few moments, she said, "getting old sucks."

of all the inspirational and memorable quotes ever spoken, that's one of the few that has stuck with me. it isn't eloquent, or noteworthy. but God, strike me down as i stand, if it isn't the absolute truth.

at the moment, i'm laying in a hotel bed with my laptop, iPhone, iPad, client files, notebooks, the room service menu and a near-empty bottle of wine. just to the other side of a tall lamp and alarm clock is another bed. my mom is sleeping in it. she's exhausted because she had surgery today.

you know how when you were a kid and tied a blanket around your neck and proclaimed to the world you were a superhero? well, my parents were my superheroes. my mom was this crazy smart, fiercely loyal, truth-speaking beautifully feminine woman respected by everyone who knew her. she could take your super-sized non-profit donation and leave you thinking it was your idea.

today she's sleeping in the hotel bed next to me, exhausted. she had surgery today. it wasn't ground-breaking, or death-defying, or tall-building leaping, but it was surgery. they scraped growths from the surface of her cornea. that cape on her superhero outfit is looking a little tattered tonight.

getting old sucks.

no one ever tells you that part of the deal with having a child includes teaching them to poop in a toilet bowl. and no one ever tells you that your superhero is going to need you to take care of them someday.

i love this woman. it doesn't feel appropriate to say that i love her more than anyone else, but i do love her differently. i don't love her because we have fun going shopping together (which, god bless our husbands, we most definitely do), and i don't love her because she taught me how to blot my lipstick and hide an extra $20 in my wallet in case my date was a jerk and i needed to hail a cab. i love her because as much as i've fought my entire life to distinguish myself apart from her, she is everything i hope to be some day. she is crazy smart, fiercely loyal, speaks God's honest truth, is beautifully feminine...and she is my mom.

god, please bless her and keep her on this earth for an extraordinarily long time.


favorite things.

Like classic Babs, memories are hit-or-miss with me these days. Frankly, I'd rather keep them in the corners of my mind, so to speak. I've started and stopped so many blog posts, ramblings, and random writings the last 9 months, my Blogger account is looking a bit like a never-ending game of red light/green light.

But there have been moments like this evening, whereby utter chance, I happened to stumble upon a gem. I was downloading photos from the Canon when *BAM* iPhoto opened a chest of fabulousness. Photos of our trip to NYC.

Yes, we toted the 'nice camera' because there was no way I was photographing the ceiling of the Chrysler Building with my iPhone. I have standards.

And if there were one memory worth lugging the Canon around for, it was that brief moment in the subway. Rediscovering it this evening, I found myself unable to breathe. I closed my eyes and was transported to the station at 42nd Street, where we walked off the platform and found this man playing the cello. It was intoxicating. He wore a tux with tails, shined shoes, and had coiffed hair. He was so passionate about the music, he was living in another world. And he took the rest of us with him. He played the most passionate classical solo I've ever heard. Everyone noticed. Even those with little exposure to classical music noticed. No one took a video, no one took a photo. Everyone was drawn to the music and stopped to listen, intently. It wasn't until he was nearly finished I fumbled for my camera like a nervous fool, realizing I'd better take a picture or lose the moment.

His name is Eric Jacobsen.

Sing it, Babs.