Thursday, July 9, 2009
A whole month has gone by and no I have not been camping. When I originally titled the last entry I was on a things that start with the letter 'C' kick and had just returned from taking my girl scout troop of 9 year old's to Camp Hoover.
Surprizingly, Camp Hoover was as bad as I expected even with all the giant spider webs and bugs. The weather was perfect and the girls actually slept (I thought we'd be up all night soothing homesick children). Girls were in tents. Leaders in cabins. Bears all around.
Seriously, we had various altercations with a mother black bear and cub who had decided to say 'hello'. I actually never got to see the bear, but my troop did on the way to the lake. Brave leader that I am, I was following them in the rear when the bear rambled up the path. My co-leader and I were just strolling along, oblivious to the bear, until all the girls came running. They described it as a huge creature with sharp fangs (another reason I'm so shocked no one got up during the night-- phew).
Later my co-leader heard the bear when she went to retrieve water bottles from our campsight. It was growling in the shelter area blocking any access she had to the siren you're supposed to use to scare the bear away. Instead the bear was successful in scaring my co-leader away who was a wreck from that point on. Personally, I think the bear was just looking to bond. And I left Camp Hoover relieved it was over, but disappointed I never got to see the bear myself.
Monday, June 8, 2009
It's taken me almost 2 weeks to get back to blogging. To quote John Lennon, "Life is what happens when you're busy planning other things" (or something like that). So true. I can make to-do lists, swear I'm going to get my act together on something today, and everything is easily derailed.
It started with a last minute invitation to a concert in NYC for a band from Virginia called Carbon Leaf, but it was worth it. I found myself completely mesmerized by their Celtic mix of poetic lyrics and awesome compositions. The band had an interesting look, too. While the lead singer wore a 3-piece suit minus the jacket, one of the guitar players looked like he would be a better fit in an 80's metal revival band.
The crowd was as mixed up looking as the band. Twenty something's in birkies, band groupies and adults who looked like their parents (did I?).
Hours earlier a bunch of us late thirty-forty something's crammed onto a little commuter van so everyone could enjoy a few beers. And we did. From when the opening band Alternate Routes, who was great, went on until midnight we were all back in college.
The next day I paid the price though. Getting up with my three young children at 7AM was like running a marathon without training. Painful.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
I did try selling the sex toy thing for a little while. And it really was empowering, but late night parties with drunken women take a toll on your enthusiasm. You have to be on even when you don't feel like it. So suddenly not only did I have to pretend to be turned on for my husband, I had to do it for a bunch of women drinking wine. Exhausting! Selling toys was an experiment and I'm happy I gave it a whirl (or a buzz), but it was on to the next endeavor for me.
I wondered if I should just go back to working in Manhattan? The mad pace of the ad agencies I'd left behind on Madison Avenue were just a NJ transit ride away. Of course, many of my past coworkers were out of work, too. Who said I was going to find a job? I was 3 years out of the biz, 3 kids out of my mind, and 3 eons behind the freshly groomed, eager gen y's who were probably being paid a lot less than they'd have to pay me to schlep back into NYC.
But I missed it. The bitching about the crazy clients with my team. The bitching about the crazy team with my clients. The creative possibilities with the start of every new project. And the feeling of accomplishment when a box of crisp new brochures was finally delivered from the printer. The memory of the painful journey somehow lessened. There was a lot of crap I didn't miss though. The long hours, office politics and whiny adults. Sounded similar to my current situation, just with whiny children instead.
My last job was as Account Director for an ad agency that created all the automotive brochures for Mercedes-Benz. I had what might appear as the ultimate flex time job. The agency I worked for was in CA, so I either worked out of my house, was stationed at the client in North NJ, or at our partner agency in the city (and they paid for my parking!). I was not chained to a desk and did not partake in water cooler banter unless it was via conference cal. I began this job in 97', when mobile access was not as commonplace and it grew with me. I think I had one of the first Blackberry's back when the fruit was still more popular.
Working out of the house was great especially before I had kids. I could go for a run and get on a client call without having to shower. Once I painted all my kitchen cabinets between calls.
Kiddies changed the whole thing. I hired a nanny. She was supposed to be me, but better, after all I was paying her a lot. Being present but not present is hard to explain to a toddler. When we moved to a bigger house with a finished basement I thought things would get better, but the kids learned to climb the stairs. Sometimes I had to lock myself in the shower, in the bathroom of my bedroom, to take conference calls while one or more screaming children banged on the outside door. Yes, the nanny should have handled that, but when a kid wants their mom sometimes there is no stopping them.
Now both the clients and my nanny are gone, but I still lock myself in the shower stall while the kids bang outside the door.