Taking a bow

Don’t think of this as good-bye.

Well, okay, maybe a little.

Friends, after months of periodically mulling things over, noodling, waffling, and otherwise staring into space for extended periods of time I’ve decided it’s time to end my run here at One-Woman Show. For over two years I’ve shared my tales of juggling life, laundry and love, and blogging has been a part of this juggling. But in the last six months or so I’ve realized how important it is for me to simplify my life a bit more, or at least to focus my time and energy a little differently. And with that comes choices.

For now, I’m choosing to focus on new — and renewed — pursuits instead of blogging:

Like writing a new humor column at The Imperfect Parent!

I’ve spent the last year dishing about single parenting and divorce in my Dinner for One column, but it’s time to change focus, particularly because my single days are winding down. (Woohoo!) So, I pitched an idea to the editor for a new yet-to-be-titled humor column and he liked it. I’ll be starting in late June so check back here or at the Imperfect Parent website for more details!

Like writing and submitting articles, essays…and, eventually, another novel.

I didn’t discover a love of writing until my late 30’s; I didn’t discover blogging until 2007. I’ve often wished I’d made these discoveries earlier in life, but now I understand (or at least begrudgingly admit) they came into my life at exactly the right time.

This blog has helped me find my voice and hone my writing style. It’s also opened up writing opportunities for me — other potential blogging gigs, my first column — plus helped me connect with potential agents, authors, writers, and, yes, readers like you whose feedback and friendship I value so much.

What I haven’t spent as much time doing as I’d like to is writing outside of OWS. I’m excited to change gears now and do more pitching and submissions. Build my portfolio. Collect those clips. Get more paying gigs! Start work on Novel #2.

I don’t know how or where this will all go, but I have confidence it will go somewhere.

I want to (or maybe I have to?) give it a go.

Like volunteering — through blogging!

Yes, you read that right. I’m combining my interest in non-profits and writing by helping to start a blog for HEARTH, a great organization I’ve been involved with for about 5 years. HEARTH helps up to 15 single moms and their children find their footing again – through safe housing, mentoring, parenting and life skills classes — plus a lot of hard work on the women’s part. I hope I can keep up with them as an occasional guest contributor.

Like spending time away from the computer.

Despite all I’ve written about, well, writing, I’m looking forward to spending more time outdoors, more time exercising (because I’m actually exercising again!) and just enjoying more of life with the wonderful people in my life.

That’s what I really want to do when the curtains close.

Oh, there is one other thing.

 

 

Heh. I’ve always wanted to say that (and it’s true). 😉

From the bottom of my heart, thank you for reading and sharing your comments here.

I’ve loved blogging at OWS and wouldn’t be surprised if I find myself blogging again someday. In the meantime, I’m linking to some of my favorite posts below. Please enjoy them… and see you real soon around town or the internet!

Susan

Best in Show / Vintage Susan/ One Woman’s Favorites to Write:

I Will Beat Myself Silly with a Limp Lizard (One of my all-time favs!)

Scenes Not from an Italian Restaurant

Italian Genes Do Not Equal la Dolce Vita

Query Me This A really fun one to write. Seriously, I cracked myself up.

Party Moms Gone Mad

Complicated Like This

This is My Life

Take A Flying Leap (or Watch Me Take One) Probably the last time you’ll see me jump out of a plane on purpose!

You Tarzan Me Be Jane

Embarrassing Dating Tales I: Mothballs and Me

And MORE Embarrassing Dating Tales: Dwight Was Right (oh, and these are just the “best” tales – oy!)

Wake Me Up Before You BloNoGoGo – A pseudo tribute to NanoWriMo…and if you don’t know what that is, well, never mind

My Life in Poetry (or Not)

Dating and the Patience is a Virtue Experiment

Better yet, when my patience finally paid off:

A Blog, A Law and a Little Luck – Part I

…and Part II (yeah, it’s good 🙂 )

Cheetahlicious thanks

 

Or “What I learned about ‘giving thanks’ at a Cheetah Girls concert.”
 
I took Drama Girl and her friend to the Cheetah Girls concert Wednesday night, a belated birthday present to my daughter. Despite joking around earlier that day that I would need a few shots of vodka – or a spike through the head – to get me through the evening I actually had a good time. Ok, so part of it’s that I like a lot of different kind of music — everything from the blues to rock to folk to some hip-hop…and, yes, also pop. (I’ll even admit to singing to teeny-bopper music once in a while.) But that aside, I think the concert was perfectly timed with Thanksgiving. I never would have guessed it, but watching the Cheetah Girls reminded me of just how thankful I am:
 
  • For my daughter — her smile and silly expressions, her big eyes and big heart. I’m thankful she has a few good friends, like M. who came with us, and can groove like she’s the only one in the room, not self-conscious at all, something I still haven’t mastered while sober. (And barely while not.)
  • For The Ex, who planned a “guys night” with my son, so I could take DG to the concert.
  • For the Cheetah Girls, who my daughter and girls her age look up to. No risqué acts, no hoochie-mama costumes or song lyrics. No one “perfect” body type or a trio of bleach-blond manequins. Just three young women who at least act like they enjoy what they do – giving off a lot of positive girl power in the process!
  • For the Cheetah Guys, those cute young back-up dancers who could really move! And, no, I’m not trying to be another member of the cat family here –cough-cough Cougar cough – I’m just saying they were equally fun to watch! As Drama Girl practically screamed in excitement during one song, “Look – that guy’s spinning on his HEAD!” How cool is that?
  • For the folks at the arena, who seeing the event was nowhere close to being sold out, moved us and others who bought the “cheap seats” (at approx. $35 per pop!) into much closer, much more expensive seats at no extra charge.
  • For being able to afford to take the kids out to an event once in a while where “cheap” = $35!
  • For the parents and guardians who were also in the audience. Watching them shimmy in their seats, smiling and taking photos of their children singing and smiling, was almost as good as watching the show itself.
  • For the mother sitting next to me. Before the concert we started chatting and she mentioned that a few years ago she wouldn’t have been able to take her daughter out like this; just four years ago this woman was being treated for a rare brain tumor. She told me how hard it had been for her then-four-year-old little girl to understand what was happening to her mother and why she could never go anywhere. I’m thankful Mary is alive to see her daughter in school and to be able to spend time with her – and a thousand other girls on a Wednesday night before Thanksgiving. Meeting her reminded me that I am thankful I and my children are healthy — and that none of us are truly “strangers”.
  • For my readers and this blog, because, hey, I can’t go anywhere now without composing an imaginary or real blog post about it! I think my fellow bloggers would agree: we definitely look at the world differently.
About the only thing I wasn’t thankful for was the overpriced food and outrageously expensive Disney souvenirs. But I’m so, so thankful I live in a place where, as a marketing professional myself, I can admire Disney’s marketing know-how…and still have the freedom of speech (and wits about me) to write a shout-out like: “Disney, you bunch of greedy bastards!” 😉
 
Hope you’re all having a great, thankful holiday weekend!
 
Love,
The Old Cheetah Bag
 
 Photo Credit: DisneyMusic

Complicated, like this

You may remember I put together a nice TV stand back in April or early May. Because I only had a puny, old TV at the time, the stand looked like this:

Well, I bought a swanky new flatscreen TV last weekend, so T-Rex was forced to move his toys away like this:

My dad and I hooked up the new TV, and it went very smoothly, except we found an extra part in the box that looked like this:

In spite of the ominous black plastic with arrows and official-looking “Front” on the piece, we could find no drawing, photo or mention of it in the instructions, nor any compartment that looked like it needed a front, so we ignored it. (Like father, like daughter.)

My parents were nice enough to give me a DVD player they’ve had for a few years but never use. It’s nothing fancy, but, truthfully, this TV is about the fanciest-schmanciest thing I’ll ever buy technology-wise, so I was fine with a no-nonsense DVD player. (Note, too, that my TV’s 32 inches looked pitifully small next to the guy checking out next to me at Best Buy. He was purchasing one at least 52 inches, maybe bigger. Somebody’s trying to make up for a smallish-something-else, I think…)

So this week I got set to hook up the DVD player. First, I looked in my bag of computer/TV-related goodies stashed in my storage room. Don’t ask me why I’ve kept cables and keyboards and mouses from various family members for the last, oh, 10 years, but I have. That mess looked like this:

No surprise it was all useless. (I tossed out most of it, btw.)

Then, I went to Target and erroneously bought this (note to self: read instructions AND look at the back of the DVD player):

I returned it today and bought a colorful bunch of cables. Audio In, Audio Out, yellow, red, white, green, blue. Cables were everywhere and the picture only comes out red. Red. You know I like red, but only where I want it, when I want it. NOT on my TV screen.

So now my TV/DVD hook-up looks like this:

I know it shouldn’t be this complicated, but for some reason it is.

I lost my inner peace with my car keys

I decided to do a little Krispy Kreme run for breakfast this morning. Yes, I know. I know the donuts are globules of sugar and lard (but 0% trans fat!). Yes, I know they aren’t exactly the breakfast of champions. But we haven’t been there in months and the kids press their faces against the window and look longingly at the “Hot Donuts Now” sign whenever we drive by. Besides, I wanted one. Or two. So, no biggie. The kids got their exercise yesterday running around a playground/park we really like; this would be just a little treat.

(Mind you, I enjoyed myself at the park by sitting on my hiney engrossed in a book. Still.)

Everyone got dressed without complaint and the kids got in the car. Amazing! I was such a cool mom!

Then I realized I didn’t have my keys. They weren’t hanging in their usual spot. I looked all over the kitchen, living room, my bedroom and still couldn’t find them. I looked in pockets that I knew they wouldn’t be in and again E.V.E.R.Y.W.H.E.R.E., becoming more and more mad at myself . Who ever said I was cool or had it together? What the hell was I thinking?

I started swearing. I ordered the kids to get out of the car. We went inside and I then began spewing what I like to call Parental Proclamations of Absurdity.

“Well,” I huffed in between cusses not so hidden under my breath, “I guess now we’ll NEVER leave the house, will we?!”

T-Rex groaned or gasped at this. As I marched up the stairs, I heard Drama Girl say, “Now we’ll have to be homeschooled! Yay!”

The thought of this brought tears to my eyes.

I went into the garage again, convinced God was trying to tell me to give up sugar and all illusions of coolness or control in my life. Well, fuck that. I wanted one (or two) of those goddamn donuts — and I had to find my keys sooner or later.

I retraced my steps one more time and ended up digging around in the garbage pail where I had dumped some flower clippings and weeds, plus yesterday’s junk mail. And there they were.

We went to Krispy Kreme and I felt much better.

Life Lesson #8,761

I decided I needed to keep busy around the house this weekend, primarily to reorganize and clean up on Saturday, then to stain the deck and plant flowers on Sunday. I also needed to stay busy because it prevented my mind from dwelling on things out of my control, namely the fallout from my personal life saga. All things considered, I had been doing really well in the last two weeks with letting go of the situation and just doing my thang, but I suffered a setback a few days ago. I don’t know why it happened (the setback, or the whole darned situation in general), but I was having a hard time with it. I was feeling sorry for myself.

I know… you can only control yourself, timing is everything, life isn’t fair, everything happens for a reason, God grant me the serenity, your luck sucks (ok, so that last one’s for me).

In short, AFGO (Another F–g Growth Opportunity), as my friend T at T’s Quest wrote to me, quoting one of her favorite authors. Great. At the rate I’m going with all of these “opportunities”, I’m going to end up becoming my own country song.

So, after pulling the old Nancy Kerrigan Whyyyyyy Meeeeee?, I switched to Nike mode. (I know I’m mixing metaphors — a little country, a little sporty — bear with me.) I determined that the best way to keep moving on is to keep moving and just do…something. I took that FGO and wrangled it into a mixture of potting soil and deck stain. In the end, I at least had control over this:

And this:

Well, I did until late last night when I heard the rain coming down and read that the temperature is supposed to significantly drop in the next 24 hours.

Life Lesson #8,762: Don’t wait until Sunday night to check the weather. There ain’t no controlling Mother Nature.

PS. Do you think Tonya Harding would star in my country music video?

Why don’t we see this on HGTV?

TV Stand

I decided today to assemble my new corner TV stand, which I recently purchased from LL Bean. The good news is that I finished it…today. The bad news is that I spent way too much time fiddling with what appear to be simple gadgets, but are actually tools designed to befuddle DIYers like me (read: unskilled and clumsy).

Let’s examine the tools and project more closely:

Friends…or foes?

1. I must start off by telling you that I find the hexagonal wrench possibly the MOST ANNOYING tool ever designed — probably because one has to use it to tighten bolts in the darkest, most awkward and annoying corners of furniture. I was not a happy camper after an hour of itty-bitty turns and fumbling to get the wrench positioned correctly each time in the awkward, remote corners of my TV stand. I thought things were about to get better when I moved on to the next phase of assembly: using a screwdriver. However…

2. I discovered — yet again — that I don’t have a small enough Phillips screwdriver to deal with tiny wood screws like those that were included for the door hinges. So I did what I always do: I used the screwdriver of my knock-off swiss army knife. Then, I did what I always do next: I proceeded to practically strip all of the screws after an hour of itty-bitty, forcible turns with my fake screwdriver. But I didn’t get them all the way into the wood because I forgot that…

3. “Predrilled holes” are not predrilled at all! Many projects ago I was shocked to learn that “predrilled” actually translates to “pin pricks made by some poor laborer in a third-world country who doesn’t give a hoot about some whacked-out woman swearing at those tiny wood screws when they won’t go all the way in.” The problem is that I never remember this until I’ve almost completely stripped the screws trying to force them in. And then I have to turn to my friend, Drill, for help.

4. I’m sort of scared of Drill, based on my propensity to destroy things with it, but today Drill helped me show those pitiful pin pricks what was what. (What?) Anyway, after redrilling the holes I got the wood screws in almost the whole way! Yeah, WAY! Good enough for me!

(Besides, it’s not like anything is going to be sitting on the hinges, ya know?)

5. You might be wondering about the Sharpie in the photo. Let’s just say it’s perfect for covering up a nick here or there…

Not that any of them came from me, of course.