Wednesday, May 25, 2011


My dear boss at Side-by-Side is hitting the road next week. She has a sweet opportunity and makes me wish big things for my own life...especially when I am 51 and have three kids and wear cute clothes and have a dog named George Constanza and have friends who are cosmetics buyers at Nordstrom. Wait, I guess I just like her life. ANYWAY.

In no particular order, what I have learned from Colleen!

1. Oprah is worth watching. And quoting. And talking about the next morning. And DVRing.
2. Self-talk is not a cheesy phrase. It's what we all need to pay attention to more often. This is not the same as pretending I am blameless at all times.
3. When you need to correct someone, help them avoid the bad self-talk they will dish out on themselves by being nice a nice person. Whenever I made (small, medium and big) mistakes in my job, especially early on, she'd walk me through an alternative option and say, "LEARNING, LEARNING!" And we would giggle and I wouldn't feel awful. I'd just learn.
4. When your mom is far away, it's okay to let other women Mom's age see you cry.
5. Pay attention to the way of the world and adapt and learn about it, especially if that means more fundraising dollars for your nonprofit. Don't be a stick in the mud just because you like mud.
6. Photos tell stories and should be printed LIBERALLY and rotated often, so we remember all the stories.
7. It's smart to be logged into Facebook during work. You can look up people's email addresses and tag them when you need volunteers at the last minute for boring jobs. And perhaps notice when your volunteers start dating each other!
8. When somebody like Susan Boyle happens to the world, close the dang spreadsheet and WATCH. And talk about it with your people at work, and tell the department next door.
9. Remember that every single soul has a gift to give and a place to shine. No matter how quirky or personally annoying I may find that soul. Let people do jobs they are going to be good at.
10. Grief brings up grief. When a volunteer works with a family who has a sick kid, lots of other ish is likely to flood that volunteer. Because when you're confronted with somebody else's sad story, you remember your own, so it's good to think about how that might happen and reflect on it, so your sad story doesn't drown somebody else's in a really crap way.
11. Back to #3, I think I actually did have bad self talk for a LONG time when I was learning (at my job and maybe in all my life). And so my favorite lesson from Colleen is that learning doesn't have to be so uncomfortable. It doesn't have to include self-loathing and regret. It can mean noticing what to do differently next time, apologizing some of the time, and getting on with the day.
12. Take care of your people. When our staff was torn up about a kiddo who died last year, really, really torn up, Colleen didn't try to coach us out of being (actually, disproportionately) sad, she took us for pedicures. Everybody. We sat there and talked about his funeral and the weather and read People magazine. And that is exactly what we needed. So take care of your people. Spend some money if that's what it takes. But don't talk them out of it--care them back.

No gracias

Again with the Facebook marketing!!! They just suggested I be friends with my dad's divorce lawyer. I mean, can you at least suggest my mom's as well??? WTH. (I'm such a prude.)

PS- Sometimes I know my posts are actually tweets but I cannot handle the linky links on Twitter. I have tried to like it and I do not. Fickle, fickle, fickle. So I tweet here, in your humble blog presence.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Tina Fey's prayer for her daughter

First, Lord: No tattoos. May neither Chinese symbol for truth nor Winnie-the-Pooh holding the FSU logo stain her tender haunches.

May she be Beautiful but not Damaged, for it’s the Damage that draws the creepy soccer coach’s eye, not the Beauty.

When the Crystal Meth is offered, may she remember the parents who cut her grapes in half And stick with Beer.

Guide her, protect her when crossing the street, stepping onto boats, swimming in the ocean, swimming in pools, walking near pools, standing on the subway platform, crossing 86th Street, stepping off of boats, using mall restrooms, getting on and off escalators, driving on country roads while arguing, leaning on large windows, walking in parking lots, riding Ferris wheels, roller-coasters, log flumes, or anything called “Hell Drop,” “Tower of Torture,” or “The Death Spiral Rock ‘N Zero G Roll featuring Aerosmith,” and standing on any kind of balcony ever, anywhere, at any age.

Lead her away from Acting but not all the way to Finance. Something where she can make her own hours but still feel intellectually fulfilled and get outside sometimes And not have to wear high heels. What would that be, Lord? Architecture? Midwifery? Golf course design? I’m asking You, because if I knew, I’d be doing it, Youdammit.

May she play the Drums to the fiery rhythm of her Own Heart with the sinewy strength of her Own Arms, so she need Not Lie With Drummers.

Grant her a Rough Patch from twelve to seventeen.Let her draw horses and be interested in Barbies for much too long, For childhood is short – a Tiger Flower blooming Magenta for one day – And adulthood is long and dry-humping in cars will wait.

O Lord, break the Internet forever, that she may be spared the misspelled invective of her peers And the online marketing campaign for Rape Hostel V: Girls Just Wanna Get Stabbed.

And when she one day turns on me and calls me a Bitch in front of Hollister, Give me the strength, Lord, to yank her directly into a cab in front of her friends, For I will not have that Shit. I will not have it.

And should she choose to be a Mother one day, be my eyes, Lord, that I may see her, lying on a blanket on the floor at 4:50 A.M., all-at-once exhausted, bored, and in love with the little creature whose poop is leaking up its back. “My mother did this for me once,”she will realize as she cleans feces off her baby’s neck. “My mother did this for me.” And the delayed gratitude will wash over her as it does each generation and she will make a Mental Note to call me. And she will forget. But I’ll know, because I peeped it with Your God eyes.


-Tina Fey

via MightyGirl

Saturday, May 21, 2011

False Cognates

Recently, a certain member of our household confused the words loofah and doula. (Hint: This person's name starts with a Du and ends with a Stin.) The following is a 100% accurate transcription of our conversation.

Confused Household Member (CHM): I really need a doula in the shower.
Me: (Blank stare.)
CHM: I just really need one to scratch my back and stuff.
Me: What are you saying?
CHM: I like the scratching on my SKIN! Why is that weird?
Me: OH HONESTLY. You mean a LOOOOOOOFAH. You are very confused about what a doula does.
CHM: What's a doula again?
Me: A childbirth support person. Typically a woman. She scratches your backs during labor.
CHM: Hmmm. Well, maybe I wasn't so confused after all.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Master Gardener on the loose!!!

Today I am 26 years young. I'm liking 26 so far. Especially because I feel comfortable enough in my own skin that I boldly asked for a pasta attachment for my KitchenAid and a raised bed for vegetables. 2011 is the year of Holly's luxurious vegetable garden.

So we stopped at the UW Center for Urban Horticulture for this fabulously overwhelming PLANT SALE. (You know how typing in caps is rude because it's yelling? Well, I am yelling, and I know you know that I'm booming about 80% of the time, so I feel it's just a more authentic writer's voice. FYI.)

The PLANT SALE was abundantly staffed with the most knowledgeable, eager slew of Master Gardeners as you ever did see. These people love to us coming because we need all the help we can get. I've killed enough impossible-to-kill plants to know that it's worth sounding dull in order to get every detail clarified. (In fact, the women standing behind me must have been whispering about how many questions I was asking. Hehe, get in line, ladies.)

And since those lovely Master Gardeners loved us back, here's the fruit of our birthday labor:

That's 32 square feet of heaven. We're planting three types of tomatoes (Early Girl, Sun Gold, and a basic Roma that's supposedly to be better than the average Roma), sweet peas, rainbow chard, kale, chives, cilantro, Walla Walla sweet onions, polka dot lettuce and a another rusty red lettuce. And corn, if I play my cards right with Dustin, who is unreasonably skeptical about that one.

Here's to another year of messy adventures!

Sunday, May 1, 2011


Remember how disgusting it felt to watch people celebrate after 9/11? Pretty disgusting. How soon we forget.