Today was supposed to be my first day back after my nice, relaxing vacation. Not so much.

To start with, I didn’t get out of the shower until 7:42. Granted, I’m usually on the later side, but I’m at least usually getting myself into the day. 7:42 is twenty minutes later than usual. We’re supposed to leave the house by 7:45.

We come out of the house to find not one, but TWO garbage trucks closing in on us, one from each direction. We manage just barely to get out before the trucks made it the point of no return. At the same time, we’re definitely running later than normal. I get Lucy off with mostly no hitches. The only problem being that I completely forgot to write the note to her teacher telling her that I’m picking Lucy up early. Luckily, I’ve got eight million pens at my disposal in the car. No, wait — that one doesn’t have any ink. Not that one, either.

I finally manage to get her into the building, note intact. Off we go to Will’s school.

Well, maybe not entirely since we’re now stuck behind a street sweeper that is going just fast enough that passing it is obnoxious; just slow enough that I. Am. Going. Out. Of. My. Mind.

Fuck it. We’re driving around.

Excellent — I’m now no longer behind the street sweeper; instead, I am directly in front of it since after swerving around it and being an ass, I find myself confronted with a red light. I choose not to look in the rear view mirror to see the street sweeper driver smirking at me. 

Green light — off we go! I am happy to leave the street sweeper in my dust. Three stoplights later and we’re at the school. Will is being awesome, gives me a hug and kiss (and then a second hug and kiss when I ask for it), is all ready to push me out the door, when Patricia asks if we’re ordering any pictures. Picture day? Yes, of course I knew that — we let Will pick out the shirt for it and everything. Why I thought we didn’t have to pay for it, however…

It is now 8:20 and I am officially running too late to get to the 9:30 meeting that I need to run, my first official act back from vacay. Yet I must pick between Package A, B, C, and D, all of which are overpriced and none of which have the necessary amount of wallet photos. Fine. Package B plus Option W for a total of 8 wallet photos, 2 5x7s, and one class picture, yours for the dirt bottom price of $32. Which, by the way, I now owe to Brid since I have not nearly enough cash and no checkbook.

By the time I get to the parking lot (after more hugs and kisses and Will’s sweet “I won’t cry, Mommy. I promise”), I have realized that there is no way I’m making it to the office today. Not when I have to leave by 2 in order to get Lucy and also have hopes of getting anything done. So I call wonderful Alisa. I tell her I’m not coming in. She doesn’t freak. I love her.

After getting a very large iced coffee, I come back home. It takes me two hours to get through the messages from this morning and yesterday evening (with a half hour conference call to take the place of the meeting I was supposed to run); I’m screwed. Still, I think it was a better plan. I did manage to at least read all the emails that came in last week and even respond to some of them. I have a ton more to deal with, and tomorrow is a completely lost cause since I am in meetings for all but one hour of the day. During the dance rehearsal, however, I will continue to slog away. When I’m done writing this post, of course.

Fast forward five hours and 500+ messages later. I look at the clock and, yay, I’m late again, this time to pick up Lucy. Rush, rush, rush out of the house. No roadblocks — or at least not overly bad — so I manage to make it in a reasonable amount of time. I know I’m in trouble, however, when I see that Esneda has picked up Vanessa a full half hour earlier. Every time I think I’m old hat at this… Sigh. 

Still, we’re doing o.k. — I’ve got the video camera, the regular camera, my laptop, etc.; I know where the makeup is, have even managed to find two hair elastics. Lucy is changing — she’s SOOOOO happy and excited, having chattered her way all the way home and up to her room. Damn, we’re good! I even remember to remind her to get a snack AND a bottle of water. We get to the car — 3:00 p.m. means a whole half hour to leisurely drive there and get her hair and makeup done — she looks through her bag, and… “Mommy, where are my ballet shoes?”

Ballet shoes? You mean the ones you need for the dress rehearsal we’re now on our way to?


I try not to be annoyed. Payless is (kind of) on the  way to the high school, and they happily have a whole shelf full of ballet shoes (as I noticed when we were there on Sunday, and would have just purchased then if we’d known we were missing the shoes, but that’s neither here nor there). Seriously, in the greater scheme of things, being late to the dress rehearsal, especially when I had originally told Deb that we weren’t going to make it on time in the first place, is not an awful occurrence. And, having become more aware over this last weekend of how my reaction affects everyone else, I particularly try to make sure that Lucy is not upset on this day that she’s so incredibly excited. I force the irritation out of my voice and ask how she’s doing in the back seat since it’s so quiet. “Fine,” she says, actually sounding like that’s the case (thank goodness). “Just watching that big cloud.”

Big cloud?  As in, big, honking, 75%-of-the-sky-is-now-pitch-black-and-reminding-me-that-we’re-getting-the-system-straight-from-the-midwest cloud?


There is, of course, no parking whatsoever at  the mall, but we only lose ten minutes (and eighteen bucks) on getting the shoes. And it has not yet started raining. Now, not getting lost on the way while trying to avoid traffic would have been preferable. Happily, however, we are but one of a million cars pulling up to the high school at the same time. Granted, all the other girls have their hair and makeup done already. Not bad, however, considering. And it doesn’t start pouring (thundering/lightning/blowing trees down) until we’re halfway to the building. Without my raincoat, my trip to Dunkin Donuts is out of the question (well, depending on when her dance is). We’re not the latest ones, though, and not the only ones frantically doing hair and makeup as Deb calls everyone to the stage.

We are now seriously underway, and all appears under control. Lucy has run through the opening and closing numbers and is now out in the lobby eating her snack. We did not get hit by lightning, and, so far, the worst part of all this is that my iced coffee is out of the question. (Man, and Esneda’s family just walked past with their bags of McDonald’s takeout smelling so incredibly yummy. I will not succumb. I will not succumb.) Well, that and it’s hard to be here without Cathy and Aitana. Other than that, though, we’re doing good.


A few more links from today’s email:



From January 5-12 Neat New Stuff newsletter

100+ Ways to Organize Your Life

A Big List of Sites That Teach You How To Do Stuff

How to Create a Peaceful, Relaxed Workday

Annoyed Librarian

The Liminal Librarian (Rachel Singer Gordon)

Salon: “What Every Freelancer Should Know”