Monday, May 17, 2010

Where's the Passion?

Before we get to the passion stuff that caught your eye (I'm tricky that way, no?) let me do a little recap since this blog is really my personal journal of sorts and it's not my fault that you guys choose to read it in its entirety. But I totally get why you do it - I really do. I mean, it's read blogs versus do the laundry or whatever evil task normally looms over you - (lots of people like to theorize about good and evil...good is God....God is love....evil is the absence of love....Satan is loneliness and isolation yada yada yada...for ME? Lucifer is a smoldering mountain of laundry waiting to be exorcised).

So. Let's start with Mother's Day - also known as The Most Disappointing Day of the Year. It sucked. It was one of those deals where Jeff came home after a 2-week trip and wasn't really prepared for Mother's Day and I knew the offspring hadn't really been prepping for the event so I resentfully said (the night before Mother's Day) we'll do it next weekend or something and then they all went HOORAY WE DON'T HAVE TO DO IT TOMORROW and that like totally pissed me off.

So I enjoyed sulking on Mother's Day and then topped it off with a trip to the cemetery because Holy Crap What Would A Holiday Be Without A Visit To the Freaking Graveyard? It was fine. It fit my mood. I sat by my mom's grave thinking that someday nobody would be sitting by my grave seeing as how they would all be too busy to bother (I'm REALLY good at sulking and wallowing in self-pity) and telling my sister that nobody had gotten me anything for Mother's Day and enjoying her appropriate response and the resulting guilt-ridden expressions on my children's and husband's faces and seriously - that really is better than a card.

So my dad was sitting on my mom's tombstone talking about cement or something with Jeff - when he suddenly keeled over. Like Totally Keeled Over. We were all just stunned. I mean, he certainly looked Entirely Dead and there he lay, right over his own grave next to where my mom is buried and so I quickly jumped into action and ran to the sister thought I was going to call an ambulance but really I was just planning on leaving because I AM NOT A GOOD PERSON TO HAVE AROUND IN AN EMERGENCY. Ask anybody.

Jeff ran to Dad's side and kind of shook him and Dad responded like your typical dead person. Jeff spoke to him and again, Dead Man Talking kind of response. And I thought to myself that this was just typical - he couldn't die in a normal place like a bed or something - no way - this was going to be The Story of how Great Great Great Grandpa died right there on his own grave....sheesh....why can't we do anything like everyone else and now my Mother's Day was Seriously and Entirely Ruined not just this year but FOREVER. And then? A holiday miracle. Right before he suffered the humiliation of mouth to mouth with my husband, he was resurrected and simply said, "I'm okay," as if he had just accidentally bumped his head on a chandelier or something. Then he wanted to know why everyone was staring at him.

We don't know what happened - I thought that with the cement talk he'd maybe bored himself to death but he's been checked out by 3 doctors - apparently he just fainted like a girl. I thanked him for not dying in the cemetery on Mother's Day and he was like, "No problem. See? It was a good Mother's Day after all."

He was right. In retrospect it rather was.

But it got better because my husband's niece sent me a card and then one of Ellie's piano students made me a card and my children were truly and properly shamed by the non-immediate family members and semi-strangers giving me cards. Awesome.

Onto other events since the previous post....Part II of the Piano Family Visit from An Apology. They are brave souls and came back for another lesson. I was totally prepared, fully clothed, etc. And while making polite chit chat from the kitchen I noticed their faces going pale and then their expressions turn to utter disgust and I followed their gazes towards the Gosh Dang Wiener Dog who was not unconsciously pooping but was, in fact, eating a pile of her own vomit. UGH. GROSS. I apologized even though it wasn't really my fault in any way - or even the dog's for that matter - and then I ran for the van because I am NOT GOOD AROUND VOMIT. Ask anybody.

Over the weekend Ellie played at a Ragtime Festival in San Antonio. She is a classical musician but the organizer of the event heard her play Chopin at a faculty recital of a local college where she was a guest artist, and he asked her if she happened to know any rags to play. She did and she was really happy to participate. She played in the afternoon at El Mercado, the Mexican market in downtown San Antonio. I noticed that Ragtime pianists perform with their backs to the audience. That was new for me. Ellie said Lizst is the one who changed that for classical pianists. Anyway, the other musicians took Ellie out for dinner while our family went to Mi Tierra for dinner, which is my favorite Mexican place in San Antonio.

Mi Tierra is huge and old and totally over-the-top. It is a tourist attraction but at any given time more than half of the diners are locals. It's open 24 hours a day and has the best breakfasts ever. We sat in my favorite room, the Mural Room. Several walls are solid murals of famous Mexicans (thereby proving what I've long suspected; I do not live in Arizona. If you live in Arizona, by the way, I'm kind of just kidding). How could you not dig it? Carlos Santana, Flaco Ximenez, Freida, and Archbishop Patrick Flores all on one wall! There is also a huge portrait of Selena and the one and only gringo in the place, Bill Clinton. In Clinton's portrait he is jogging while wearing a Mi Tierra t-shirt.

That night Ellie played at a concert for the Ragtime Festival and she wowed them. They were really nice people and a fun and appreciative audience for her. They came from all over the place and were just NUTS for Ragtime. The next night Ellie played at a classical recital and wowed that audience, too. If you want to hear what she played, and if you can sit through the very very very very slow 3rd movement to get to the insanely exciting 4th movement (can you tell I like the 4th movement?) you can go here. Same song, different recital.

So about the passion business. The Ragtime Festival got me to thinking about how there are just people everywhere into everything you can imagine. I mean literally any old crazy thing you can think of - there is an association or a group or a fan club that is nuts over it. Right now it seems as if all of my friends are finding new passions. One friend is a yoga freak, another is addicted to running, yet another is a human rights activist. I'm not into anything. "Well, you don't have time," people say. And maybe that's true but it's not the point. The point is that there isn't even anything I'm interested in! I'm not a birdwatcher or a stargazer, or a collector of miniature ponies or an avid gardener or ventriloquist. Nada, zilch, zip. This girl has no hobby. Writing, you say? You said it. I heard you. Well, I'm not passionate about writing. I'm not even passionate about this blog. For the most part, when I write or blog I simply feel guilty about all of the other things I should be doing. Also? The fiction writing I've been doing is freaking HARD. It seems like it would be fun but it is Just Hard. And then there's the whole ego thing involved in writing....does my writing suck? Will I ever publish fiction like a Real Writer? When you're into miniature poodles there really isn't any ego risk involved, you know? Writing is a difficult and often painful thing that I'm driven to do but I wouldn't necessarily call it relaxing.

Okay - I know what you're going to say next. Parenting! That's a hobby! Well - it was at one time. That sounds bad. It isn't as if I'm no longer into parenting. I totally am. But when all the kids were little I was INTO Attachment Parenting and it was indeed a sort of hobby. I could talk AP with other AP-types (and we are a type) and it was just thrilling and awesome. The Natural Parenting Business? Ditto. I was in heaven talking about cloth diapering, extended and exclusive breastfeeding, and natural childbirth for HOURS. I read about it for HOURS. I wrote about it for HOURS. Now? I'm kinda past that. While I'm happy to share information with people, I'm not passionate about it. I no longer think EVERYONE SHOULD BE DOING IT! If you pull out a bottle in front of me, I will not gasp.

And what about homeschooling you say? Ahhhh....homeschooling. It is like breathing for me now. Again, I am past the point where I want to drool over curriculum catalogs or spend time talking about how rocking awesome it is with other people who like talking about how rocking awesome it is. After 8 years, it is just what we do. The honeymoon is over in the homeschooling department - we're into the homestretch.

All of these things that have to do with my family and our lifestyle are important to me - they make me who I am....but dangit - don't I need a hobby? I mean all I look forward to is LOST and that's coming to a big old probably unsatisfactory end tomorrow. Pitiful, ain't it?

While you're all busy thinking up hobbies for me let me just remind you that I am in fact a Saint and a Goddess and a Person to be Admired because I am driving the teenage Odyssey team to Michigan for the World Tournament. I said driving. In our big bus. Pulling an antiques trailer on loan. In case you don't know, Michigan is officially a LONG ASS DRIVE from Texas. We're leaving on Monday so I need suggestions as to some good books to listen to on tape. No vampire porn because I don't want to make the teenagers all squirmy and blushy and disgusted and stuff. So something interesting for me (no kiddie books) that won't corrupt the innocents.

Thanking you in advance, I'm signing off as the Totally Passionless But Not Sure I Care All That Much Sardine Mama


  1. Pillars of the Earth? I didn't read it, but Dwaine said it was interesting. (book suggestion, not hobby!) It's long, "historical fiction."

    I don't know how to tell you this, but you have had more passions in your life than I even can dream about. So stop thinking you need just one! You are a writer. All writers, I think, are hopelessly neurotic and paranoid. That's normal.

    I am so glad your dad made it!

  2. I totally get what you mean by the AP and homeschooling passions being behind you know. I'm right there with you on those - totally into it, but now, yeah, okay, it's just kind of there. This, though, brings up a point that passions come and go. Another will come for you at some point. It'll just happen.

    Davan and I have been enjoying Malcom Gladwell books on CD. So, they at least appeal to an adult and a 12 year old. We've also both liked Animal, Vegetable, Miracle.

  3. you'll be practically next door over there in michigan. bring those kiddos to niagara falls... it's only a few hours more. i'll meet you there. it could be like that movie where they plan to meet at the top of the empire state building but she gets hit by a car and when they finally reconnect she's too proud to admit she's a cripple, not that there's anything wrong with that, but then they finally get their shit together and the orchestra swells... yeah. that one. minus the car-hitting, tall building, and cripple part. not that there's anything wrong with that.

  4. Oh so many good one liners. I wish I could bottle them all up to taste again later.

    One from your profile I particularly like: "we are just sexually irresponsible people who couldn't get 5 kids to school on time."

    Beautifully stated.

  5. I laughed so hard I cried. Again. Three times in one post, just sitting here laughing like a loon! Thank you. As far as passions, there are seasons of life and perhaps this is a season of resting your soul and seeing what's next...except for the whole driving to Michigan thing. Not very restful. Have a safe trip! Glad your dad is okay!

  6. That Julia Smith. She gets on my nerves. I was going to recommend Pillars of the Earth. It figures, the only book that I have read in the past 10 years and, apparently, everyone else has too. Actually, she doesn't get on my nerves, I think I like her. Shhh!
    It's Day 2(glass of Merlot #7ish), without my kids. Thanks for finding me. I was reading your Blog and thought, "Am I reading myself". I think that we were separated at birth. Okay, years apart and different parents but you know what I'm talking about.
    Thanks for trusting in me to watch your kids. It's no problem at all. Mine have already broken everything that meant anything to me so it's no big deal.
    Yes, my name is Mark, and I love Rush Limbaugh. I can't deny my feelings. I'm sure that I would have the most popular Blog on this earth if I was a Liberal. My Partner Fred, and my Mom think that I'm crazy. I don't discuss Politics around anyone. I'm sure that you will hate me eventually too. But here's the deal, you will see hints of my Politics on my Blog but I'll never talk about it directly. For example, I think that the new Arizona Law is dead-on. Don't hate me! You won't ever see me go into detail where I stand on issues. We, ourselves, are having Immigration issues so you think that I would be more compassionate, you would think. I guess I'm a real Bitch. What can I say?
    I hope that you stick around. If you disregard everything that I am and stand for, we'll be great friends. Just don't look too closely. Your Friend, m.
    Bon Voyage!
    Your Friend, m.

  7. Mark, it's okay man, some of my best friends are conservatives. Seriously! Jesus Christ I live in Texas where they just took Thomas Jefferson out of the textbooks. I also don't openly talk about politics on the blog - well, I do kinda sorta of but in a very passive aggressive underhanded way that I'm totally sure NOBODY NOTICES. If you put a ":)" after a political statemement, it fixes everything. For sure. If the teabaggers would put a ":)" or "LOL" on their signs the liberals would just grin and say, "those dang fellas!" Anyway - I think this is the beginning of a long and meaningful relationship. Also? If you were to have a Liberal blog in this here neck of the woods - you would not be very popular...not without a whole lotta ":)'s"
    Sardine Mama