Sunday, December 31, 2006

Christmas Wrap Up (a few days late)

So that was Christmas. That was the Christmas that I held so much anticipation and hope for in my heart as I packed up the decorations last year. It, of course, wasn't the holiday that I had imagined last year, but it wasn't completely terrible. And I think that it was because I had absolutely no expectations for it. I didn't try to make it anything that I didn't feel like making it, and I know that is because I had a "heads up" from all of you. I just wanted to smile, get through a couple of days and then take down the damn decorations, putting them back in the boxes with just the simple hope that next year is better.

The big morning at my house was nice. My family came over for breakfast and my sister stopped by without my nephew. As much as it hurts me to think it, I'm glad that I didn't see him that morning. I'm not sure that I could have held it together. That afternoon, we went to Tom's family Christmas and it wasn't baby-free, much to my chagrin. I'm not exactly sure who this girl would be to me...step-cousin-in-law? She and I were pregnant at the same time last year, and she had a little girl in March, I think. Anyway, she was there and she kept giving me these scared sideways looks, like I was completely mental and she didn't know what I was going to do next. Maybe steal her baby and run out the door or something. Oh I'm being dramatic. She probably was feeling the same way I would feel if I was seeing someone who had a dead baby while I held my live one...really fucking bad and uncomfortable. Also maybe a little guilty. The last time that I had seen her was at my mom's house after Nate's burial and I'm still pissed at her for being pregnant at my son's funeral. I wish that she had just sent a card. That sounds nuts and I don't care. I was a total bitch to her after the funeral and I don't care about that either. I was nice to her at Christmas and that's what's important. I even held her kid. How's that? (Actually, if it was a boy I probably would have had to leave. I have a terrible time around baby boys. Duh.) Other than that, the day was absolutely great. As long as I put myself on auto-pilot, didn't think too hard about anything and put lots of Bailey's in my coffee.

Do you know what would have been nice? For people to acknowledge that we had a son and that possibly this Christmas was going to be really difficult. No one wanted to upset me, I guess. I'm so tired of people tiptoeing around me. Like I'm a timebomb. Oooh, don't make her cry. But really, if the last time you saw me I was greatly withchild, don't fucking act like it never happened. Just say...something. Like "I'm so sorry." It 's not like I want to be coddled and I don't want a lot of attention drawn to it, but say something. I don't have much, and the acknowledgement from someone that he exisited means a lot. Because sometimes I think that I made up the whole thing.

Friday, December 22, 2006

As of yesterday, I’m a card carrying member of Catherine’s "Fake it ‘till ya make it" campaign! And it wasn’t so bad!

My sister dragged me out of the house, practically kicking and screaming, and made me go shopping with her. I had yet to do any Christmas shopping. Honestly. The most I had done was to sneak off to the fabric store and come home and sew a few things for people. That’s it. I just could not bring myself to actually shop. Really, I couldn’t bring myself to shower and put on decent clothes before 3 in the afternoon.

We went down to Branson to the outlet malls then had some really good barbeque for lunch. I hadn’t realized how badly I needed to just go do girl stuff and laugh. I’ve been walking around like a zombie and really being quite a bitch to everyone. It was really nice.

Three weeks ago, my mom and the same sister put my Christmas tree up with me. I knew that I’d never do it by myself (Tom was in Chicago), and I had kind of decided that I didn’t care if one was up or not. So, we assembled the big, fake, ugly tree that is definitely on its last leg and decorated it with lights and ribbon. It was then up to me to put the ornaments on. Fast forward to three weeks later—still no ornaments. Hmmm. What a Scrooge I am. I did have ornaments on the little, bitty tree that I had bought on a whim for Nate, except most of them had fallen off and it was all smooshed because the damn cat kept knocking the tree off the table. Anyway, yesterday my sister finally got me off my ass and I dragged out the ornament boxes. We finally decorated the tree, and okay, I admit it looks much better now. I don’t know. I’ve gotten so weird about things—I’m always thinking when I run across stuff: I bought this tea when I was pregnant, I’m not going to drink it; last time I was here, I was pregnant, I don’t want to go in there; the last time I wore these socks, I was pregnant, not going to wear them; when I packed up all of these Christmas decorations, I was pregnant and excited and never so happy in my life—these decorations are staying in their fucking boxes. But now my halls are all decked and stuff and it really looks pretty damn nice. When my husband came home from work he said, "Yay! We have a real tree!"

I was feeling so good, I even went and had my hair chopped off and highlighted! Nothing like a new hairdo to lift your spirits, I say. My hair was truly awful—really mousey and dull and flat. I had lost a ton of hair after I had Nate and it was growing back, giving me these weird little punk rock bangs in my formerly all one length hairdo. And then when I would get sweaty, the inch and a half long bangs would curl. Not the cutest thing in the world. So there was that, and then my eyebrows were growing together. Picture me slumping around my house with ugly ass flat hair, curly bangs and a unibrow, wearing jacked up yoga pants and a holey t-shirt. What a sad sack. (I’m also going clothes shopping, by the way.) Now my hair is chin length and I’ve got real bangs and two eyebrows. I like it!

And for today—more shopping and some Christmas baking with my mom where I’m going to attempt Kristin’s mom’s ribbon cookies!! Faking it ‘till you make it works! Thanks Catherine!

ps--I also went to Walmart this morning at 4:30 to buy stocking stuffers. I'm on a roll now!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Cracked Nuts

So, at about 5:30 Thursday night I was making sweet and sour chicken (which turned out kinda yuck, I think) and the phone rings. It was the personnel manager from our city's big symphony. She said, "Laura! Hi! Symphony! Can you play tonight? We're doing the Nutcracker and the Governor is going to be there." Like a big idiot I say, "Sure", threw on my black clothes and ran out the door.

There is never an opening in this symphony, so I auditioned for on-call a couple of years ago. I got it, but hadn't gotten a call until Thursday. My audition was also the last time that I really played piccolo. My picc had half an inch of dust on it (I'm serious) that I brushed off before tossing in my bag, praying that there wouldn't be many piccolo parts. I have never, ever played the Nutcracker before and I was going to be sight reading it at the performance. I am such an idiot. (And it's all piccolo, as it turns out.)

Anyway, I've played at the theater where they were doing it a million times for musicals. It's over one hundred years old and the orchestra pit is really, really small. They had shoved I don't know how many people in the pit for this show. It was the stupidest thing that I had ever seen, not to mention the most uncomfortable I'd ever been (well, playing anyway). I was practically under the director's stand so I could never see his beats, resulting in me getting lost--a lot. I had a viola scroll in my ear and I can't believe that I didn't lose an eye on her bow. I am not kidding. So there was that, coupled with the sheer intimidation of playing with my teacher from grad school and being so close to the director that he could hear every single mistake which made for an evening of magic for me. And then I did it again last night.

I think, for the most part, I did okay. As it turns out, I was much less nervous the night that I was sight reading than the night that I had actually practiced. I think that was because I was putting more pressure on myself last night. But I realized something about myself, I'm afraid. I'm not back to normal and I'm not able to take the pressure that I used to. I didn't fall apart and I only really screwed up one part last night (which in a two hour show isn't bad, I guess), but I wasn't able to focus very well and I was extremely nervous and wasn't able to shake it like I used to. I don't know. It's frustrating, but I'm not sure how much I can do about it right now. So, that's my Nutcracker story. Not that interesting. I do have something more interesting to talk about (I'm not pregnant, that I know of)--I just need to sit down and write it. We have had some major developments here at the K. house and I'm quickly trying to adjust the best I can to the new changes. Which isn't super easy seeing that I'm completely wacka-doo right now, but I'm doing my best. So...more later.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Happy Birthday to Meeeee!!

Yah-hoo, I'm thirty-two!
That's kinda of a dumb age. I can already do everything, except run for president. Or get the reduced movie ticket price.
My step daughter gave me a card this morning that said:
Happy B-Day to you,
you live in a zoo,
You look like a fluterino (?)
and you smell like one too.
Then she drew a picture of a little dog (evidently the "fluterino") with his body made out of a flute. Very silly. A little Italian musical dog, I guess.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Monday, December 11, 2006

One Down...

At the concert Saturday night, the friendly oboist leaned over and said,

"Hey, didn't we play in [so and so] orchestra together at Christmas last year?"

"Um, hmm. We sure did." (please don't be interested, be totally uninterested.)

"How's the baby?" she asked with a wide smile.

"He died in February," I replied, probably a little too quickly.

The emotions crossed her face that I was so used to seeing--an inquisitive smile, turned to confusion, then embarrassment, then concern.

"Oh my God, I'm so sorry. How did it happen?"

"Well, it was kind of a birth accident. He lived for four days, though." (No one knows what a placental abruption is, so I say "birth accident", which I think is better than "miscarriage"--my former OB's suggestion.)

I babbled some more, like I do when I'm asked this question. I think I ended with, "Yeah, I was really pregnant at Christmas last year, so..."

She said, "I think that I'm going to cry." I've spent the last 10 months making weird smooshy faces to push back tears. Go ahead. I'll probably join you.

Somehow the subject was quickly and mercifully changed and we spent the rest of the time before the concert laughing our asses off at a music professor we both knew who would talk about orgasams in class. A guy that you would never want to picture having sex.

I was laughing, but my heart was pounding and I felt like I was going to puke for the rest of the evening.

Monday, December 04, 2006

5 Things about Moi

Yay! I've been tagged by Artblog! I've never been tagged before, so I'm excited. I feel neato and important, but I also terrible because it took me for-ev-er to do it. I'm so slow on the uptake these days...

Okay, if you are reading this and you know me "in real life", you probably already know most of this stuff.

1.) I think that I've mentioned this before, but my husband and I met on We always joke that when our kids asked us how we met, expecting something like "on a train to Paris", I'll just say "Daddy double-clicked on my face." (Which actually sounds filthy as I see it written out.) After a few emails back and forth, we had a couple of dates and I still wasn't really sure about him. I'm so shy and he's so shy that we both kinda sat there. After our second date, he sent me a gorgeous arrangement of a dozen red roses. I was so shocked! (And no, I didn't give it up on the second date, you dirties.) I thought, potential stalker? Potentially the most perfect boyfriend ever? I went with the latter, obviously and it was true. I came to rely on the florist van pulling into my driveway the morning after a date. And if it wasn't huge flower arrangements, it was gourmet cookies. ~sigh~ The thing was so great because we literally lived less than five minutes apart from each other but there is no way that we ever would have met otherwise. I could go on and on. That could be a whole other post. He's in Chicago right now and I really miss him.

2.) Here's a short one. My nostrils are two different sizes--one long and skinny, one short and fat.

Let's see, what else? This is tough.

3.) When I was a kid, before I started doing crazy color treatments to my hair, I had a big streak of platinum blonde on the underneath portion of my hair. It's naturally dark blonde. I'm not sure if I still have it-- I might be able to see it now that it's been so long since I've highlighted my hair. After Nate had his first ever shampoo, a streak of platinum blonde was revealed in his auburn hair. Right on top of his head. The nurses called it his "skunk stripe". (Not really sure how I feel about that.) I like thinking about that little stripe. I wonder if my future babies will have it. I hope so.

4.) I smoked pot a couple of times and thought it was stupid and didn't work. Then we went to Amsterdam. Tom was fine, but I spent the whole time with a death grip on his hand for fear that I might float away. We walked around and around and around the same block for four hours because I was terrified that we would get lost and miss our bus back to the boat. I've never felt so god-awful in my life. I felt like my face was was melting off. Our pictures from Amsterdam consist of: one windmill, a stoned self portrait of the two of us, a stoned Tom recreating the Mentos commercial and 143 pictures of the Bluebird Cafe.

5.) This one's kind of heavy. When I was 20, my friends and I got hit by a drunk driver. We were coming out of a movie theater and when we turned on to the main road, we got nailed. My friend Rachel was driving and she didn't see the guy coming because he was going over 100 miles an hour. He rear-ended us. I broke my pelvis and had a concussion, Rachel broke her neck and Chris, in the back seat was hurt the worst. We were in a hatchback Civic and he was ejected out the back, flew over three lanes of traffic and landed on his head against a curb. His entire face was crushed and he was in the hospital for a very, very long time. But he recovered really well and I think he's a teacher now. I haven't talked to him since we all graduated. The guy who hit us was 17 years old. Seriously. I met him about a year after the accident. I was asked to speak on a victim panel to a group of convicted drunk drivers and there was an article in the paper about it the day I was supposed to speak. He had read the article and showed up, listened to me speak and then stopped me in parking lot afterwards. He apologized and cried. I told him that I could forgive him, because I figured that it would be easier to forgive than let it eat me up forever. I spoke to groups quite a bit for awhile and I really think that it helped me heal emotionally. Physically, I still get really sore and my left hip gets swollen when the weather changes. But I'm okay. I'm still amazed that all three of us lived through that accident. Somebody's keeping me around for something, I guess!

Ta Da! Five things about me!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

A Nutjob in a Pear Tree

Okay, I should probably write something.

I go through these sucky blogger phases, where I don't write anything and I can't think of any good and helpful responses to leave for my bloggy friends. I've even been tagged by a fellow blogger, and I haven't done it yet. I have emails to return. I'm terrible! I'm not being lazy--I honestly have tons to say--but I'm not doing so hot right now. In fact, I'm kind of hanging by a thread. I've been trying to keep busy and not think about anything or I'll have a complete meltdown (which I've already done twice since Thanksgiving).

Speaking of Thanksgiving, mine was great! In an effort to circumvent any emotional disasters on my part, I decided to have it at our place! This is a new thing in our family--to have one of the "kids" do the dinner. I thought that everything went really well and we had the Best Turkey Ever. If you haven't tried Alton Brown's Good Eats roast turkey, do next time. It's awesome, awesome, awesome. So, my evil plan was to keep impossibly busy so that I didn't have time to cry. And it worked. But.

Christmas has hit me like a bus. I expected to be really bummed out, but I didn't expect panic attacks. I wish that I could just not be a joiner this year, but I can't. And not because of my family (because they would understand) or because Nate would have wanted me to have a wonderful, magical Christmas (whatever). It's because I have to because of my job. December is the busiest month for musicians, except for maybe June weddings. I could just say "no", but then no one would want to hire me anymore and then there's that extra thousand dollars I'll be making this month. I'm a musical prostitute. Ha ha. Momma wants a new sofa, what can I say?

Some of the same people are calling me for gigs this year. Last time they saw me, I was greatly withchild, lugging my flute bag and dragging my music stand, shuffling along with swollen feet shoved in ugly shoes. No one has asked me anything when they've called, but I haven't played the gig yet and I'm preparing myself for another round of "ooo, how's the baby?" Yeah. Good times.

We haven't really decorated inside. We've gone a little crazy outside--we have the most Christmas lights on the block, and I have to say that I've enjoyed that. That's fun. My husband is the Rembrandt of Christmas lights and he's also really competitive. We've put up lights, gotten in the car to drive around and look at other crazy husband's light schemes and come home and put up more lights. I imagine that our front yard will be a work in progress for the duration of the Christmas season. I'm cool with that. I'm just not in a huge hurry to deck my indoor halls. I just don't really care, you know? If I was decorating the tree, I'd probably just throw a big ol' ball of tangled lights on it and call it done. Since you didn't know me before, I should say that this is not like me. Most things I do these days are not like me. Whatever. I'm not going to apologize for it--it is what it is. My child is not with me and excuse me for not bedazzling my house with baby Jesuses this year. I'm not in the mood, pass the egg nog. No, the one with whiskey in it. Thanks.