Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Normally, I think of myself as someone who really doesn't complain much. I like to think that I can cope with a lot. But lately, I just feel every day like I'm this close to completely snapping.

I barely keep my head above water at work. I had to complain yesterday, because everyone else's work is being given to me, simply because they know I'll do it well and on time - qualities apparently not in abundance in my office.

I'm overscheduled - Mondays it's the Hash, Tuesdays choir, Wednesday knitting lessons, Thursday Ultimate Frisbee, Saturday I spend the day looking after Milo while my husband runs, and bikes, and relaxes. Then Sunday there's church, then jorge's frisbee match in the afternoon. On top of that, add all the social engagements. This week it was a dinner, a luncheon, and tonight we are hosting a big Mardi Gras party.

Of course, I don't make it any easier on myself. I take on too much. I don't have time for all this. This year, I decided I need to finally get in shape. So on top of everything, I work out 5 times a week. Those con artists who tell you exercising improves your health and relieves stress are full of baloney. When they tell you "you don't have time not to exercise" they are pushing lies! I don't have time to exercise, yet I do it anyway. In return, I am tired, stressed, and I'm getting sick again, even though it's only been a month since my last cold. When you are as immunologically challenged as I am, exercise is basically just obesity prevention, no more no less.

I used to get massages once a month to help me relax. Until the economy took a dive in Ireland and I was informed I'll be taking a 20% pay cut this year.

And then, of course, there's the whole working mom thing. The first time I have any time at all to myself in the day, it's 8 at night. And that's assuming my dear husband will let me have any break at all. I am being a bad mom right now and have stuck Milo in front of an episode of "the Muppet Show" just so I can type this. And I'm typing fast, believe me. The other day, Jorge and I cooked a nice Valentine's Day meal. I thought it would be nice to go put on a pretty dress, maybe put my hair up for dinner...I was literally out of my husband's sight for two minutes before the plaintive cries started:

[long pause]

So there you go. The reason I don't blog. The reasons my jaw is constantly clenched, my shoulders are ever hunched, and my heart is always racing.

Sorry, no time to spell check this. I've got a pitcher of cocktails to make, a little boy to entertain, two king cakes to decorate, and a shower to take, all before Jorge gets home from his run.

Happy Mardi Gras, y'all.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Ready for the game

Neither Jorge nor I is a native New Orleanian, but we met there, wooed there, and wed there, and we hold the city close in our hearts. Even though we have been away for almost 4 years now, we still consider New Orleans home. There is no place in America with such a unique but cohesive sense of self. When you live there it seems everyone knows the same jokes, listens to the same local radio shows, loves the same restaurants (although which are the best is cause for very long debates). And when good times come around - and hard times, too - it's amazing how everyone pulls together.

That is why we are so nostalgic for home today. There is no place in the world we'd rather be right now than parading through the streets of New Orleans, cheering for our Saints.

Instead, we're supporting from afar. The house has been blaring Rebirth Brass Band all day, and we've got our gear on.

Jorge's Saints jersey was a lucky find. We were out walking one day, lamenting how he had no Saints paraphernalia to wear for the game, when a few minutes later we walked past a Malawian wearing a Saints jersey. "You have to buy his shirt!" I told Jorge. But...we had no money! What to do? No problem, this is Africa. The barter economy is alive and well. So Jorge literally gave the man the shirt off his back , and we walked home with Jorge in the sweaty, smelly jersey. I think both men went home feeling like they had gotten the better end of the trade.

So, we are ready. Unfortunately, the game comes on here at 1 AM in the morning. And I have a big donor meeting tomorrow, so there will be no all-nighter for me. Instead, after I go to bed tonight, I will be off the grid. No e-mail, no Facebook, no BBC World News...not until tomorrow night when I can watch the pre-recorded game for myself.

So, New Orleans friends and family, no matter how excited you get, no calling at 6 AM cheering over the Saints' glorious win...I want to experience it myself!