Thursday, January 31, 2008

Now That's Multi-Tasking

While Luke was napping, I was able to do the following:

Take a shower.

Actually wash my hair while in the shower, rather than just rinsing to put up in a ponytail.

Apply proper lotion to proper body parts, rather than slathering the same stuff haphazardly all over.

Dry myself off.

Put on all clothing at once.

Apply makeup and do hair.

It was a miracle. I didn't have to nurse a screaming baby while sopping wet and naked.

I think we might be turning a corner here. It seems as though he's quite the busy bee. Loves to look around at his world and is very curious about what's going on around him. I actually think that me going back to work is going to be a good thing - he'll get out, I'll get out and we'll be happy to see each other at the end of the day.

I will however miss the Frasier re-runs, the bad Lifetime movies and crazy infomercials.

And just because he's so cute - here's my little Lucas-bear.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Breakfast of Champions

I've discovered the easiest way to not feel woozy by afternoon. Eating something. Which as simple as it sounds, ain't so easy with a squeaky, reflux-y baby. I was eating toastable, frozen french toast, which is super-tasty with just some margarine. But that was even too many steps to cook. So I discovered Carnation Instant Breakfast and Quaker Breakfast Cookies. The best part is - is that they both come in chocolate type varieties. I mean, does it get much better than a chocolate milk beverage accompanying a warm, giant, chocolate chip oatmeal cookie?? And even better, I can consume both with one hand while nursing or soothing said squeaky baby.


Sweeney Todd didn't get nominated for Best Picture. I officially hate the Oscars. Up to this time I merely disliked them, but now I hate them.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

And He Wouldn't Want Us To Give it Away

...Not Sweeney. Not Sweeney Todd.

Okay. I confess. I'm a huge huge music geek. Tommy laughs at me often for what I come up with sometimes. My poor son will be subjected to car rides with mom blasting Sondheim, Jason Robert Brown and the like. I laugh heartily at the musical-related jokes on Will and Grace. I laugh even harder at the jokes on Frasier that are musically-related.
I've seen Sweeney Todd in many incantations:

1. My first experience with the show was seeing Hofstra University's Gray Wig theatre company do a production of it. My friends were all playing in the pit and I absolutely fell in love with the show and learned as much as I could about it.
2. The original Broadway production - not in person, but via video. The one most people think of when they think of Sweeney. Angela Landsbury really shatters the whole "Jessica Fletcher" persona there. (Yes, yes, I know she played Mrs. Lovett before the 'Murder She Wrote' lady.)
3. My next encounter with the demon barber was playing in the pit for Calhoun High School's production of the show. It was fun, and the music is great and the kids really did a bang-up job. It's an incredibly hard show to sing and coordinate, but they really pulled it together.

4. The in-concert version done by the San Francisco opera. It featured Patti LuPone, George Hearn and of all folks, Neil Patrick Harris (yup, Doogie himself). It was so well-done, creatively staged for an in-concert production and everyone seriously sang their asses off.

5. The brilliant revival that showcased the actors playing the instruments. Brilliant. Loved every minute of it. I sat there just saying, "That's Evita." "I'm actually watching Evita right in front of me." Patti LuPone and Michael Ceveris - Tony winners. I was glued. And like the good music geek I am, had my picture taken with Patti LuPone and got her autograph.

But the most recent is:

6. The unbelievable film version that Tim Burton brought to life. It was absolutely breathtaking from beginning to end. I loved every minute of it. And of course it was heightened by the fact that it was my first post-baby outing that didn't have an errand attached to it. It was just Diane, Mom and I having a girls' evening out. I even smuggled in Taco Bell to really live it up. The entire cast was perfectly...well...cast. The scenery was the uber-drab London done so dismal, but not to the point of being a cliche. The songs seemed like they belonged perfectly, not like "Hey, let's all break into song right now". I'd be super happy and have renewed admiration for the Oscars if this won Best Picture.

So go see it. Now. It's the kind of film that screams to be seen on a big screen with huge, surrounding sound that really gives you every note of the lush score.

Side note: As much as I like the fact that movie musicals are making a comeback (Chicago, Hairspray, etc.) I don't understand why there was a need to movie-cise the musical "Mamma Mia". This was one of the trailers before Sweeney. I mean, I love ABBA as much as the next gal, but really.....

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Dear Stony Brook University

This is probably too scathing, but after the treatment Tommy's gotten from Stony Brook, I felt it necessary. We received a "Parent Appeal" for money to support Stony Brook in the mail recently. It was addressed to "Parent of Thomas G. J." Which is interesting, since his father passed away 2 1/2 years ago and his mother lives 800 miles away in Chicago. I was insulted as his spouse and as a fundraising professional. Seriously. This is like Fundraising 101, knowing your donors and who you're soliciting. So I wrote a nice little email to the gentleman who the letter was from. And cc'ed the Director of the Stony Brook Foundation and the Donor Relations person.

Dear Mr. Guarino,

My husband is a student of Stony Brook University. He has not lived with his parents in over 15 years. In fact, he lives 800 miles from his mother and his father is deceased. We recently received in the mail the Parent Fund appeal, addressed to "Parent of Thomas G Jordan". This is very disturbing, both as a spouse of a Stony Brook student as well as a fundraising professional. My husband has felt from day one at Stony Brook that the university does not understand the concept of a "returning student" who does not live at home with his parents and who has different needs and concerns than a student fresh from high school. This point is further illustrated through the appeal we received at home addressed to his parents, who clearly do not live with us. It is clear that Stony Brook does not address the needs of their students individually, but rather operates under the assumption that all students entering Stony Brook are 18 and have just graduated high school.

If Stony Brook wishes to raise funds from the families of its students, perhaps it should do some research as to who their students are and how best to suit their needs while at the school. If my husband's needs and concerns were better addressed by the administration and faculty of Stony Brook, we might be much more inclined to return the support financially.

For your records, the appeal was labelled 105700315, 08AFDM04Parent Fall. I do hope this assists in your fundraising and helps Stony Brook to see how they might better help their "non-traditional" students.

T. M. J.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

I'm Supposed to Do What in 3 Weeks?

Answer me this. How am I supposed to go back to work and leave this little, teeny person who needs his mommy all day? How am I supposed to live with leaving him with someone else and not being able to take care of him myself?

I have to go back to work (since I was given a measly 4 week maternity leave that I was able to tack my OWN vacation to) in 3 weeks. This is awful. It's unfair. It's inhumane. Even dogs don't leave their puppies after 6 weeks.

December 27 - A Day That Will Live in Infamy

How could I have just drifted past this day without noticing? I didn't realize the importance of it until I was driving to Freeport to give a lesson. (I had also forgotten how much thinking I get done while driving more than 5 minutes.)

Three years ago on above date, I had my last chemo treatment. Meaning, 12/27/04 was the "official" start of my remission. Meaning, if Dr. B. still holds to what he said at the beginning of all this, I'm "officially" cured of my Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma.

It's so weird to even let myself think like this. When I first entered remission I agonized about how I was going to make it 3 years to be considered cured. How could I get through 36 months of thinking about not having to go through all that again? Every day it would creep up in my mind.

But then I started busying myself with shows, lessons, work. And that helped a lot. And then, with this new little guy taking up my time, I really forgot about how close I was. And December 27th just slipped by without me even noticing.

So here I am. Cured. Hopefully for good.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

They're Cousins, (Un)Identical Cousins

Here's the meeting of the minds at New Year's Day. Ismaeel was very curious about the new baby - his wee little cousin. As soon as Annie and I sat next to each other he reached right over to touch his cousin. Luke was a little hesitant about this encounter, but he seemed to warm up to Issy!