Friday, February 26, 2010


Lolita Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

My rating: 1 of 5 stars
This is - aside from Catcher in the Rye, the worst book I have ever had to read. Beyond the pale horrible. I will give him that he can play with language and words. Pity he did not bother to do so with a story worth reading. Humbert is too stupid to live and frankly the plot plods along. There is nothing interesting or exciting about this book and while maybe Nabokov was going for some sweeping indictment of American Culture or something - it is in short - an epic fail.I did not finish it. Not going to waste my time.

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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Die Mauer

The wall. As a student of German, I can attest to the fact that the idea of divisiveness and Walls is a common theme in post WWII literature. The country was literally divided in half, with a wall which stretched for miles and miles. Across Europe it was called the Iron Curtain. In Germany it was physically a wall or a fence.

In high school, I was in Germany after the Wall came down 11.11.89. My school group was in Berlin in the summer 1990. We walked through the "no man's land." We sat on top of the Wall. We drew pictures and wrote our names on the Wall. Then we took a hammer we had bought in a general store and a small chisel and proceeded to cut out chunks of the wall. I brought home two large chunks and some smaller pieces. I gave them to some friends and I have two large chunks tucked away with my momentos. It is cheap concrete and it is a piece of history.

At 16 or maybe I was 17, I was part of history in a tangible way. I was standing in the Alexander Platz a place less than 6 months ago, I would never have been able to go to. I had seen it in grainy educational film strips. I was standing under the tower the Communist had used to spy on the West. Me. A girl from Central Ohio.

I was seeing things most Americans had only read about, seeing what many Europeans had only read about. I was standing in a free country, a soon to be reunified country. I was standing in a place Ronald Regan had only dreamed of standing in, when he demanded that the Russian President "tear down this wall."

I was breathing history. We are all breathing history, but in this case, it felt alive to me in a way it had never felt before. I felt my very standing in the Alexanderplatz, my walk through No man's land, was history in the making.

We also lucked out and were able to see the Roger Walters show (Pink Floyd) the Wall at the Wall. I have a T-shirt. That rock opera means so much more, when it is performed at the Wall. The music takes on a mystical quality for me. Today looking over lyrics for my Facebook post, I felt that familiar chill. So many young people coming to Berlin to hear music and celebrate freedom.

I have never really taken that freedom for granted. I have always known that with freedom comes amazing responsibility. Berlin is a city with many scars. A city once divided, the place where many resistance fighters were killed, hung with piano wire, the home of a once thriving cafe culture, with many gay performers of the 20s rounded up by Nazis and sent away. Berlin has remains of bombed churches to help us remember, the horrible things we do to one another.

I will admit, I think more of the wall should have remained in Berlin. As an example of what can happen, when people put power over common sense, fear over love and to remind us that - sometimes in great darkness springs forth a light. It is not a political statement, but I truly believe that freedom will always find a way... Freedom is a fundamental human desire or perhaps right or a liberty. I think history will show that a fence can be built and eventually, people will find a way over or around it.

I remember that day, sitting on the wall, looking at the city, once divided. I hoped then as I hope today, that we learned a lesson and that nothing like that happens again in my lifetime.

Because its not just another brick in the wall...

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Being a single mama, sort of...

I have said in the past that I am often a single mama with a husband. That is what it is like being a pilots wife. As I consider my options with my business (which is struggling) and what to do now that I have completed my MBA I am stumped.

I never planned on being the stay at home parent, much less the primary childcare provider for days at a time. With H's change in bases, I am very much about to be back on the single mama train. He will be gone for 4-5 days a week, every week, all the time. When he was in Detroit, sometimes it felt like he would pop in once a week just for dinner.

I have a hard time working now as it is on my business. Evening networking is extremely difficult. Having a social life is difficult also. The only time I have that is mine is M-W-F between he hours of 9:30 am and 3:00 pm. Not alot of work time... and seriously school is always out it seems. Today was to be a work day... Friday is a day off also... and oh wait... Monday too...

And it is not as if I do not enjoy the kiddo time, but I have tons of it on the weekends and what I do not have much of is dedicated work hours, which are not in the evening and frankly after three years of freelancing mostly after lights out, I am over that. The evening is me and house time, not work time...

I am wondering if I should just look for a traditional job, but honestly, that is also a challenge. No one to help with drop off and pick up and I am not sure I want to put the kiddos on the rat race treadmill. Did that once with L was a baby. It was brutal.

I also worry about my health. My gut can only take so much stress and then it rebels. I am finally feeling really good again. I feel strong and healthy again. I need to be good to my body...

So as I sip a glass of wine and think about my options, as H packs for NYC, I am not really thrilled with any of them... not thrilled at all.


Literally, I am lighter. By nearly 9 pounds since before Christmas. I am at my lowest amount of body fat since I was training for the half marathon. All of the inflammation from last years gluten ingestion is gone. My clothes are fitting great if not a bit large.

In addition to losing the weight, bloat and swelling, I am feeling better. My digestion is better, not perfect but better. At the holidays my gut was in overdrive, stress does that to me, but now I am settled and feeling more zen. Physically I have been tried, but I feel better.

I should see my new doctor in a few weeks. She just got the reports back from all the blood work.

I wish I could say I have done something special to have reached this new lightness, but I haven't. I have been eating more fruit and more herbal tea. I am as always very vigilant about my diet. I know all the hidden sources of no-no's.

Now this has a downside, I know, what could that be? The downside is what happened during my training for the half mara. I simply could not eat enough and the weight loss just keeps going. My body fat is at its lowest, bot my physical weight. I have seriously cut back on exercise at the suggestion of my new doctor. She said my body had no chance of healing, if I kept using all the calories up. She said I needed to be gentle to my body, both with what I nourish it with and how I care for it in general.

Recently I have rededicated myself to yoga. Yoga is good for the mind, body and soul. I want to start spinning again, and I plan to try next week. Just to see if I can stay in this healthy place and still enjoy the rush of a good spin. I think I am done running. It is too hard on my body. If I can get the same high spinning, I am all for it. Easier on the joints.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

The home stretch

I did it. After about 10 years of stops and starts, I finished my MBA. Turned in my final paper minutes ago. In a week once the final grades post, I have to apply for my diploma. I could sign up to "walk" somewhere, but I have little interest in that. Scratch that, I have no interest in that.

I also wrote a piece for Stiletto Woman about the process, so once that is published, I will post a link to those reflection here.

Suffice to say, I am so glad I finished. I am proud of myself for sticking to it and seeing it through. It was a huge sacrifice in terms of time and H has been very helpful, with helping me balance school and family. There are dozens of movies I have not see, my to be read pile of books is epic. I dropped out of my book club for almost a year, as I could not keep up.

I have a few craft and sewing projects to catch up on and I aim to get back to writing my novel, now that my writing time is not being eaten up with papers.

I posted to Face book, that this feels a bit like the last mile of the half marathon, only minus the urge to throw up. I am having a party later in the month and very much looking forward to my life as an MBA and no longer an MBA student.

Friday, February 5, 2010


February is always SUCH a long month, never that it has the fewest days of any month. Last years was all kinds of craziness and this year is shaping up to be the same.

Today we are getting an insane amount of snow. Always a pleasure. Luckily H is home and he has been shoveling it ever few hours. H went and collected the kids today, as school let out early.

The big news thus far in February is that H is likely being transferred to NYC to be based at LGA. For those of you who have followed me here for awhile, I might have blogged about his time being in Detroit. He was based in Detroit when E was a baby. This mean his scheduled trips begin and end in NYC and then he has to commute home. It is an added layer of complexity. No the airline does not pay for his hotel or apartment in NYC, he is on his own. That is an added expense.

It also means he is home less or potentially home less. When E was a baby it was really really hard and his mom was sick then also. Now E is almost in school full time, so hopefully this will be more manageable. I often say that as a pilot's wife, I am a single mama with husband. Starting in March that will be more so.

We have made some changes to the after school schedule and I think we are in a position to adapt.

Now February is not all gloom and doom. I am pleased to announce that I am done. I have completed my MBA with the University of Phoenix. I am writing about it for an article which will appear in an upcoming issue of Stiletto Woman. I will post a link when it is published.

Now I am looking forward to rebuilding my business and perhaps teaching.

For now, I am going to curl up and read a book and pretend that there is not going to be nearly 2 feet of snow outside my door come morning.