My Whim is Law

…where a single parent in Portland still believes that wishing will make it so…

Damn right I’m 50 years old today. Got a problem with that?

I’ve been hearing the sniggers for days now. The teasers among y’all have been revving your motors, just waiting for the day… rubbing their collective hands together in glee.

Even my (normally) mild-mannered co-worker couldn’t resist throwing that graphic taunt my way. (Of course, he was 300 miles away before he dared fling it remotely, courtesy of Twitter.)

Guess what? To those threatening to festoon my desk area at work with coffins… to the daughter who said (with a straight face, no less) that she “just didn’t know how she’d be able to handle having a 50 year old mother – it’s HARD on me, you know!” The ones who think I can’t keep up, can’t remember, can’t kick up my heels.

Guess again.

I’m happy with where I’ve been. I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished – especially in the last year or so. (Per my doctor, my lipid panels are to die for, while I’m keeping the prescription drugs at bay.)

And if 50 means I can splurge on the occasional birthday donut from Little T – yet will inevitably follow it up with my now-daily bowl of salad greens (go, kale!) for lunch? Am limber enough that I can go dancing with my guy on a weekly basis – yet still bound out of bed the next day to take care of business (or head to the coast to go crabbing at dawn)?

Well, then – I’ll take 50. Because I’ve earned 50.

Happy birthday to me!

Posted in Boss Lady, Get Betsy Healthy | 8 Comments

On using the #stupidhappys to GSD* already

Yes, I haven’t written here lately. Why? I’ve been busy already.

Doing what, you wonder?

WEEeeellll…cleaning my house, for starters. (BO-ring, says the crowd.)

Building yet another site for yet another volunteer effort or two. Surely my budding diva deserves her own vanity domain, while her jazz band could use a new shiny site as well, no? (Ahem – still boring, Richter. Got anything else?)

Getting my girl teenager off to high school every morning – which apparently requires homemade egg/cheese/meat sandwiches lovingly made with my own two hands. Thankfully, it does NOT require getting her to said school – a task I was able to set aside after 12+ years of managing school arrivals for one or both of my kids.

With that extra 20-30 minutes of peace & quiet before I need to leave for work, I’ve been knocking off small house tasks while I’m still alert enough to polish them off speedily. It’s not unusual these days to have the dishwasher get unloaded in the AM, or loaded up with dirty dishes from the AM breakfast endeavors. And the peace? Not to mention the quiet? Heavenly, after years of moving into harangue mode to prod one kid or the other out the damn door already.

And because my chores are largely done before I leave for work? That leaves evenings free to schlep @CouldBeSun home from jazz band rehearsals 3 nights a week. Build in a quick grocery store trip, or fling a load of clothes in the washer. Make food – actual edible food that’s recognizable as such – for myself, if not the kids. (What is this with all of the domestic crap, says the crowd. Get to the whole #stupidhappy part already, will you?)

Continue reading

Posted in Boss Lady, Oversharing | 2 Comments

Pulling out the roadie equipment for this weekend’s benefit concert!

The Kia’s got a full tank of gas? Check.

#SheTeen’s dress is already at the dry cleaners? Transportation schedules coordinated between the two co-parent taxis for rehearsals this week? Check and check.

And just why are we moving into performance mindsets already – well before school starts/band rehearsals kick in?

Well – there’s a Big Benefit this weekend for the American Music Program. With any luck, the monies raised will help offset the travel expenses that go along with the ambitious national competition plan already laid out for the band this year.

We already have Esperanza Spalding on board, no less. AMP alumna Spalding loves to support the efforts of her mentor, director Thara Memory.

And the band loves playing with Esperanza – along with the many local professional musicians & vocalists who’ll be taking part. (Watching at practices have been a who’s who of PDX jazz/soul talent, to be sure!)

But just having Esperanza jam with the kids isn’t enough to get them to Monterey. And it definitely won’t be enough to get them to NYC.

And that’s where YOU come in. Buy a ticket already to be at this show, ok?

Sunday, August 26th, 2012
Divas of Jazz at the Gerding Theatre in the Armory
7:30 pm (doors open at 6:30)
Tickets: $35, 50

Why? ‘Cause if we can’t raise enough money, I might be forced to putt-putt my little Kia to Monterey next year. And no one really wants that to happen…

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“Hey, lady? I almost killed your kid yesterday…”

The little boy had to be 5 years old. Maybe 6.

He was clearly all excited about riding his ‘big boy’ bicycle. He had his helmet on, and a big ear-splitting grin on his face.

I remember seeing that grin – that helmet – as he went rocketing down his driveway and out into the road in front of me.

Missing my car by, oh, a foot. Maybe two.

I slammed on my brakes (easy to do – I was only going maybe 20 mph on SE Stark at the time). Watched as he made it to the other side of the road, so very proud of himself for going as fast as he was going. Without! Falling! Over!

And then I sat there, shaking uncontrollably for the next few minutes.

His mom? (Or so I presume, anyway.) Came trotting along – but she was a good 20-30 feet away. Started calling to him to stay where he was, up on the sidewalk on the opposite side of the street. Flashed an apologetic grin or two at me, as I sat there in shock with my hands over my mouth.

(Did I mention that this wasn’t a quiet residential side street? Uh, no – Stark is one of several different east-west arteries through NE/SE Portland, in fact. There were all kinds of people on this road trying to get across town, and it was 5:30 pm – still rush hour.)

I finally thought to glance into my rear view mirror, to see that cars were lined up behind me (wondering what was up, I’m sure). Thought about pulling over to talk to the child’s mother – but I wasn’t yet in control enough of myself to have a rational conversation.

So – after making sure that the child was staying put – I inched off down the road towards my own house. Breathing deeply, trying to prevent the hysterical reaction I could feel bubbling beneath the surface, scanning every single side street, every single driveway.

What could I have said to her, anyway?

“Lady, I almost killed your kid. Where the FUCK were you?”


“At least he had a helmet on – but maybe you should have taken him to the sidewalk right across the street to practice riding (as opposed to the secluded 45-degree slanted driveway that serves only as an accelerant into traffic)?”

So instead, I went home and had a quiet nervous breakdown for 10 minutes.

24 hours later, I still shake every time I think about it.

I have the feeling I’ll have that reaction for the rest of my life.

Posted in Boss Lady | 2 Comments

Green light to get back on the horse!

Saw my new physical therapist yesterday to more thoroughly evaluate the issues I’ve been having post-auto-accident.

It was mostly good news, coupled with exactly what I’d expected (AKA, the ‘not so good news’ part).

He likes the exercises I’ve been doing already to deal with what’s been going on (the nightly yoga + foam rolling work, for example), says I can resume #whimstrolls in a careful way – plus I can go back to the gym & pick up a weight or two, hooray! All in all, I’m instinctively on the right track already, he says. Of course, he gave me a few additional exercises to add to the nightly yoga routine every night to focus in on the problems he was able to verify for himself.

However, he also said that what’s going on is real, needs to be dealt with in a measured way, and is most definitely related to the accident – so while #whimstrolls are fine, #whimstomps are not. Oh, and he verified that my left leg is, in fact, shorter than the right leg. (Yep, I have the new, improved heel lift in my shoe. Yes, it seems to be helping some, but it’s too soon to definitively tell…)

Earlier, I said this:

Feel free to kick my ass if I’ve not been to the gym again (or, alternately, talking about doing early AM squats on Twitter at home) by mid-July, though – pretty please?

I’m getting started again this weekend – so am opening up the invitation to kick my ass. Got it? Good!

Now use it if warranted, please…

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