Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A Poem, from 1 year and 3 months ago

© 2007 Erin Monahan

Summer passed without the fireflies
and mostly without campfires too.

There seemed to be only fire ants and sweat
and a few gatherings with friends --
some of whom have since moved on, like hope
for thunderstorms on unbearable August evenings.

Now Autumn stands at the edge of the yard,
hands held behind its back, shyly kicking at the dust
like the new boy who isn't quite welcome
at the neighborhood Labor Day picnic.

And I wish I could run to him, laughing
and pull him onto the back of my bicycle and ride off,
playing cards snapping in the spokes,
let our hair blow back into July afternoons,
back to roasted marshmallows, and watermelon
that dripped, unnoticed, onto our shirts.

Dear Anonymous

Dear Anonymous,
Hello Anonymous, how are you? I hope that Christmas was good to you, and that your new year is filled with happiness and wealth.

I am writing about your name. I am curious, as I'm the curious type, always trying to learn something new, ya know? So I'm wondering if that's "the name yer mama gave ya." I'm thinkin not.

So I'm going out on a limb here, operating on the assumption that your name is really something else, something you don't want to share with us. I have to tell you, I'm big on "owning your words." I don't post anonymously anywhere. My blog, my myspace profile, all my online memberships where I interact with others? Yeah, all of them show my real name, usually my WHOLE name. I'm one of those people who believes that if you've got something to say then you should have the balls to say them out loud and to a person's face, and not hide behind some "anonymous" bullshit in order to be able to be an asshole without showing your face. It's an honesty thing.

Now I figure the excuse is going to be that you don't have a blogger/google account, and therefore can't sign in to leave a comment. I call BULLSHIT, everyone has a friggin' Google account, and if you don't, it's free, go get one. And if you have some reason for not creating an account that would allow you to sign in to leave comments, my god, you know your name right? So sign it at the end of your comment.

But I'm not as dumb as I look, or as some (other, manipulative, dishonest types) would have you believe. I'm confident that you have made the conscious choice not to put your face/name with your words. I figure you aren't proud of your behavior? I figure you wouldn't say those things to my face. I figure you know this makes you a coward, and moreso, it makes you a liar. I have no respect for a dishonest chicken shit who runs their mouth while hiding behind the anonymous safety of the internet.

I've tried for 2 weeks to figure out how to make my blog(s) not accept comments from anonymous commenters. I don't want liars around me, not even in my virtual space. Apparently, I can't just automatically preclude you from commenting here. So, I will be deleting any "anonymous" comments from this point forward.

Erin Leigh Monahan

December 30th, 2008

I just wanted to use the date as my title because I have so little time left to write or type "2008."

I'm fascinated with my perception of time, how fast it goes by, and my gut reaction to the passage of time. I find myself feeling so stressed lately. There's just not enough time. Not enough time to get my work done, not enough time to get my house clean, not enough time to play with my kids - but even in the bigger picture, I've suddenly been feeling like the WORLD is rushing by, not just time, but everything in my life. My kids seem to be getting older and more mature at an unbelievable rate. My 2 oldest sons have moved out and are embarking into their own lives, my oldest daughter is becomeing such a beautiful, funny, compassionate young lady, Brendon changes every day - he's more outgoing, more confident, more 11-yr-old-boyish. Even my baby is becoming some amazing little person complete with a sense of humor, an attitude, and an hysterical personality.

I am running out of time with them, it will be just a flash and they'll be all grown up. Part of me feels like I'm rushing by the seat of my pants into a new and exciting future, and part of me feels like I am rushing through life without the time I need to soak it all up, to do right by them...

Maybe it's the new business (that I haven't been able to keep up with over the last two weeks) or maybe it's some strange emotional/mental manifestation of early-onset empty nest syndrom, or maybe it's as simple as realizing that it is about to be a whole new year again...

But on Christmas day, all of a sudden, it ocurred to me that on January 9th, it will be 17 years since Scott and I first met. 17 years! I remember, when I was younger, not being able to imagine being with a person more than a few weeks. I remember knowing in my first marriage that 3 years was much much too long. I remember my mother telling me that she and my father were together for 16 before he left, and marveling at the idea of SIXTEEN YEARS. I have now been with Scott longer than my parents were together, I have outlasted most of the marriages and relationships of most of my friends and family. I have long since passed the halfway point to our silver anniversary, just a single breath it seems from our 20th anniversary. We have been together a lifetime, and yet I feel like it's been just the blink of an eye, and I think to myself, "another blink like that and, if we're lucky, we'll really have an empty nest. Another blonk like that and all my children will be adults, marveling at the passage of time and how quickly their children become little people with driver's permits...

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Is this normal?

I don't want to sound like an ass here. But, when you have your own family (husband/wife and a kid or 3 or 4) plus your parents, your partner's parents, siblings on one or both sides... is it normal to do Christmas with friends? I mean, like, several of your friends, their spouse, and all the kids, to open presents all together??

Am I missing something? Don't get me wrong, I'm not against it but it does strike me as odd.

Or, maybe I just don't have enough sex with my friends to put them in the "Christmas Morning" list. What the hell do I know?

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Day

12:24 am Dec. 26th - Christmas is over, the kids are finally all off to bed. The gifts I bought so very thoughtfully were hits, eyes sparkled, wrapping paper flew, there were smiles all around.

Then we were off to my mother's for Christmas dinner. We are an odd family in that the whole family doesn't get together, ever - usually it's just us + Mom. This year it was us (minus Tom and Kory, though they both did at least call...) plus Mom, Maureen, Alice (Mom and Maureen's new roomate) plus my sister Noelle and her kids. That was ... well... it's been years since I saw Noelle, despite the fact that she and I live within 20 miles of one another.

Food was great, we all laughed a lot. We exchanged gifts, then sat around BSing for several hours. Overall, an excellent day, and though I am bone tired, I am feeling oddly warm -fulfilled even- and content.

That's morethan a lot of Christmases of the past have left me with, so I'm deeming it a huge success.

There are pictures. But, I'm too tired to even find the camera, so there.

Hope everyone's holiday was beautiful, and that you find yourself, tonight, reflecting on the day with residual smiles.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Incredible Edible E

I'm starving. Dunno why, I ate dinner damn it.

We haven't wrapped ANYTHING yet... this is "the year" for Terra, she is SO friggin excited. We were tracking Santa on NORAD and in the middle of a Santa update video, she ran off yelling, "I'm going to sleep now!"and ... went to bed! I had to go get her out of bed to leave milk and cookies and carrots (for Rudolph of course.) But she was so excited, she grabbed the milk and poured it, and got the package of carrots out and ran off again - I had to call her back again, like, hullooo... cookies?

It is 8:30, Terra is out cold - which means she'll be up by 6am. And I'll be up all night wrapping. But like I said, this is "the year" for Terra, and if I'd have wrapped the gifts and kept them under the tree, she'd have totally figured out that Santa didn't bring them.

I'm not so much in the Christmas Spirit this year. I was till Scott lost his job... now, I'm just loving every single second of watching Terra. There are not a lot of presents - but there is so much magic in her eyes that I can't help but smile.

Hope your Christmas is even half as awe inspiring and magical as hers is!

Monday, December 22, 2008

The joys of parenthood.

I am not generally a coddler. Never have been. Just isn't in my nature to coddle. It's, I think, simultaneously one of my greatest strengths and one of my most glaring personality flaws. So here's what happened:
Bren stepped on a tack.

Do I know why he was wandering the house after midnight? Not really, aside from having an overnight guest, which prohibits an 11 year old boy from bedding down on his normal schedule. Do I know why there was a tack in the floor? NO, can't say I do.

What I do know is that the generally accepted practice when such a thing happens is to remove said tack. It's just, ya know, what's got to be done. Unfortunately, in the mind of a sleep deprived, over-tired and grumpy 11 year old boy, it is akin to evil, very close, in fact, to torture. And it tends to evoke a deep sense of outrage - so deep that it is impossible to hold at bay, and is most often expressed with particularly unattractive faces, and copious tears.

Tears, for an 11 yr old boy with an overnight friend, are unacceptable. Humiliating even - which leads to further outrage, in addition to the humiliation. Really not a good combination, adding all that insult to that injury...

So my son stepped on a tack, I pulled it out. He is physically fine. Unfortunately, I think he hates me, and may be emotionally scarred for life. And yet, even that didn't hit my coddle switch. No, I am an evil mother. My response was, and I quote, "Well what the hell'd ya think I was gonna do!? Leave it in there? And then what, have special shoes designed that would accommodate a 1/2 inch long fuchsia push pin in the bottom of your foot? Good lord boy, yer not even bleeding, suck it up!"

Unless some cleaning, ointment, and a band aid constitute coddling? I am such a bad bad mother. No June Cleaver in this house.

Friday, December 19, 2008

The Law of Attraction

According to proponents of this law, thoughts have an energy that attracts like energy.[2] In order to control this energy, proponents state that people must practice four things: [8]

Know what you want.
Ask the universe for it.
Feel and behave as if the object of your desire is on its way.
Be open to receiving it.
Thinking of what one does not have, they say, manifests itself in not having, while if one abides by these principles, and avoids "negative" thoughts, the Universe will manifest a person's desires. [8]

Are you a believer, or non? I am a believer, although I admit freely that once I began to subscribe to this line of thought, my focus on the positive (and my purposeful habit of disregarding or refusing to "absorb" the negative) creates a breeding ground for synchronicity, causing me to be completely unable to truly, objectively, decide if it has caused more good to come into my life, or if it has just caused my perception and focus to shift.

Not that it matters, really - either way, life becomes more positive. Clouds start having silver linings, which I continue to focus on. And so the circle goes on.

the flu sucks

I am apparently having an allergic reaction to my house. I felt great the whole time I was in LA - walked in my house Monday night, and within 30 minutes, I was knocked on my ass with the flu. I am so whiney and miserable and achy and coughing like I'm hacking up a lung. My sinuses are playing the part of Niagara Falls, When I talk I sound like a frog. I can't breathe, and making it as far as the toilet leaves me panting and out of breath.

I don't get sick often. When I do, it is generally right at Christmas - I actually slept through one Christmas when my kids were little because I was so sick. It is a somatic response to the stress I feel every Christmas. Christmas is, sadly, not one of those joyous wonderful holidays for me. It is pure stress, because of the expense of it all.

People think I hate Christmas because I am so non-religious. No. I hate Christmas because it is so damn materialistic and expensive that I can't possibly do what I want to do for everyone, let alone give my kids the gifts they really want the most.

Especially this year, since Scott lost his job this week.

I'm going back to bed. Blah.

a few pics (Photobucket Slide)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

i did it

I got lost. In LAX. Twice.

I was there an hour before I managed to find the right place to catch my flight. I knew it was gonna happen. (which is probably exactly why it did happen.) That place is the biggest damn thing I've ever seen. Thank goodness they have color coded signs where the appropriate busses and shuttles stop to take you where you need to be. Too bad they told me I needed to be waiting under an orange sign, when I actully needed to be under the blue sign...

LA was chilly, all weekend. Actually, it was warmer when I got home than it was while I was in LA.

I had fun, I got a lot of work done, I bought some too-expensive silly shit. I saw the Hollywood sign. And Sunset Strip. And Venice Beach. And Santa Monica Boulevard. And the Hollywood Hotel. And the Playboy Mansion. And many old studios and recording studios, and cool clubs, and Fredrick's of Hollywood IN Hollywood. Cami's place is just a block off Sunset, and it's full of the artistic (especially musical) people. And the air vibrates with a certain electricity. I don't know how she ever relaxes or finds solitude - LA is too energized for me to stay long term. But man oh man what a great place to visit! Every time I went out on her balcony I got all jazzed up and smiley. The air just vibrates around you.

But I am incredibly addicted to my family. I thought I'd be OK without being homesick or missing them so much. I missed them SO MUCH. Them, and grits. So we hit Waffle House on the way home for grits.

Everything (and I do mean every thing) in LA was completely different than here. I think if I'd have been there as a teen, I totally could have loved it and called it home. Of course, I'd be a different person now - prolly wouldn't like myself nearly as much as I do now - but yeah. Anyway. The whole place swings on a pendulum between 2 opposite ends of the spectrum.

From rabid privacy, and obtrusive flamboyancy.
Everyone in their flashy cars and $1000 shoes and wild hair and polished "i'm cool" looks, living behind rows and rows of 8 foot tall boxwoods and locked gates.

From unbelievable levels of wealth, BMWs and Mercedes, with a shoeless homeleless man sleeping on the cardboard box next to those very bling-y chrome wheels.

I saw almost no fall foliage, and no bare trees... just palms, everywhere, and greenery, and these bushes, more palm-type plants, with amazing flame-orange flowers... and yoga studios. And coffee shops.

Frankly, it was like going to a different country, and suffering from culture shock. I loved every minute I was there, it was a cool experience, and I'd love to visit again. But I could never live there. I am not rich (or poor) enough. Too old, not cool enough. Not ambitious enough to strive for the "acceptable" level of wealth that qualifies you as cool enough. I am not hip, or artistic enough. But BOY was I a grinnin' ass, camera totin', redneck fool of a tourist who soaked as much of it up as I possible could.

Maybe I'll get back this summer! I sure hope so :)

And Cami and Mark... what incredible hosts. I felt so welcome and comfortable in their home. And that's saying a lot - I'm sort of awkward around people, especially those I've never met in person before - especially in their house, without my constant companion who I have never been away from voluntarily. I miss them already.

But I'm still glad to be home. And away from LAX. Man what a place.

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention the chick in LAX. Total hard core butch. Latina. With a shaved head and a baseball cap. Dressed like some sort of gang member, not that I can say she actually was one. But you get the picture - bad ass bitch, a little masculine. With the most amazing eyes I've ever had the pleasure of looking into. She was beautiful. She was in line behind me at Starbucks in LAX, and I had to force myself not to make a damn fool of myself by turning around and telling her I thought she was gorgeous. But god she was gorgeous. Crazy, because other than that Latina thing, she was as far from 'my type' as I can imagine. But damn she was beautiful. I'll be thinking about her for a good while. Cuz, wow.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Venice sunset

My favorite pic from my California Adventure... Sunset at Venice Beach. Unfortunately, it was cold and very windy, so the street vendors had closed up shop... but look at this sunset!

Friday, December 12, 2008

made it :)

made it safe and sound from Charlotte to LAX in one piece. There was LOTS of turbulence flying out of Charlotte - for about the first hour. I left my house thinking the flying was gonna be the easy part, but we had really crappy weather in NC so it made for shitty flying. Once we got past Nashville though, it leveled out.

Once we passed out of the nastiness, the view, thanks to a full moon, was incredible. There's something magical about seeing the curve of the horizon in the distance = especially when there's some unknown city all lit up right there along the edge between eath and infinity.

I'm a cheeseball, but after an hour of trying not to puke ot hyperventilate, it was almost a spiritual experience.

Anyway. We've done some work, we went for a walk down the sunset strip (Sunset is a block from Cami's house) and we had Spinach Ravioli with creamy tomato sauce (at 1am)at some very hip little cafe, where I felt very hickish, and underdressed.

She says we're going to the beach to do our editing tomorrow. And promises that we'll go to Rodeo Drive to make fun of people who spend $800 on shades. She wants to show me around, let me do the tourist thing and says she has to show me "the ridiculousness that exists here."

I think I might have to remind her to take it easy. I might even have to be mean and push the "work" issue ;)

Anyway, it's 2:30 where I am, but 5:30 where my body thinks it is, and I'm pretty pooped. I've been up almost 24 hours, and flown across the country for the first time ever... now it is time for a little bit of sleep.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

I am

'bout to get on a plane! hee hee, I'm a lil bit giggly about it too!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Just so ya know

I'm on flight US Air 1437 flying from Charlotte to Los Angelas tomorrow evening. Thought you guys would like to know that, in case there are any plane crashes, you'll know right away if you can stop reading my blog ;)

I'm in seat 13F. That's a window seat. Thought you'd like to know that so if you happen to live along the flight path, and see a plane screaming toward the ground, you know to check the windows for my terrified little face. No, I'm not waving because I'm excited to see you, so please do not wave back :)

Actually, I'm totally not worried about flying, or about crashing. I'm worried about getting lost between LAX and Cami's house. What a place to get lost, Los Angeles! How terrible that would be huh? Venice Beach sure seems like a terrible place to find myself, alone, with the Pacific Ocean, and the full moon, at high tide. Wow, just terrible.

*wonders how to make that happen*

I did the online check in a while ago, and printed out my boarding pass. That made it sink in that I'm really going to California tomorrow!. You'd think I was going to another country or something, with as excited as I am. I printed the pass, I hopped up, and cleaned my living room while I danced around.

I don't dance.

I don't actually clean my living room.

You know, just to explain how excited I am.

“Ten Honest Things About Me”

I found a meme, Jannie, the non-memer, did it. In appreciation of the teddy bears her pet donated to Operation Teddy Bear Care, I am going to be a copy cat. (I am also carrying a Kit-Kat on my flight tomorrow, you know, because I think her kitty would appreciate me making that effort to show my appreciation.)

So anyway, 10 honest things:

1. Despite my 'blazing fast' highspeed internet service, I do not connect well. My computer does, I don't really. So like, I love you and all, but I'm not really the type to remember all your personal info, like your birthday. Sorry.

2. I suck at geography. If you're looking for Colorado, don't ask me, or you'll likely end up in Mexico. Don't drink the water.

3. I cuss, a LOT. And I feel that "the c word" should be revered for the power it holds.

4. I'm a bi chick who hasn't had a girlfriend in over a decade, because I think it's too damn confusing for my kids to understand. Hell, it was too damn confusing for ME to understand for years!

5. I don't know if I really believe in God at all.

6. I live my life from one Sunday to the next, when I can, again, at last, FINALLY, get my weekly postsecret fix.

7. I think I should have been born a dude. No, I don't want to have a penis surgically attached, but I reeeeeally don't get the appeal of salons, spas, or "products." (Or drama, backstabbing, & cattiness.)

8. I am legally blind (without my contacts) and could, conceivably, be collecting a disability check. I'm not, but I totally could if I tried.

9. I have cussed out a preacher. More than once.

10. I love the sensation of falling asleep when I've had way too much to drink.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

I am SOOOO...

excited about my trip to California, and yet, SOOOO stressed out by the traveling experience! Rules, regulations, security protocols, required identification lists, prohibited items lists, caarry-on measurments, sheesh! I'm a simple southern girl, this will be the first time I've ever gone anywhere farther then the store alone. I'm a bundle of nerves and confusion! Thank goodness all the rules and shit are on the US Airways website, but seriously, I was in a frenzy looking for a tape measure to check my suitcase dimensions!

AND... lol, my state ID is a wee bit out of date so I'll have to get another one by Thursday. I don't drive, so my ID card isn't something I bother to keep up to date, I mean... it's not like I get carded for cigarettes anymore *rolls eyes* So yeah that's another bunch a rigamarole with lists of accepted ID and shit.

I sure wish this was simpler.

And yes, this is me, whining, about a free trip across the country to spend 4 days doing something I love with someone I adore, in a new place, which includes warm weather and the Pacific Ocean. Shame on me.

Know what my crazy ass hopes? That maybe they could have just a little bitty eaqrthquake while I'm there. I've always wondered what they felt like...

Friday, December 5, 2008


Go over there >>>>>>>

And buy package 2, *insert puppy dog eyes here*

wait, these might work better:

We've only had 40 people make purchases so far, but somehow we've managedto deliver nearly 400 bears to these kids, AND provide them with Christmas dinner before they went onbreak for the holidays. I feel so bad, they're out for nearly 6 weeks... and mmost of these kids ONLY eat one meal a day - at school. No idea what they're going to eat for the weeks they're out of school.

Anyway, seriously, Go to Teddy Bear Care.org and PLEASE purchase some packages for these kids, it's pretty cheap (as little as $10, which buys a bear, a box of food, and some cookies for the kids!) and no shipping costs because our South African team delivers the stuff themselves!