Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Back Home Again In Indiana

I do love me some gritty city:

[picture the El platform with folks bundled up in hats, boots, coats, gloves and scarves. I'd actually post the pic I had to take to capture the 40-something degree weather on May 26, but I can't actually figure out how to do it yet on this itty-bitty iPhone. Quite frankly, I'm amazed I've figured this much out. The bundled up pix are not of me. Oh, no. I was wearing khaki capris, an adorable little cardigan and open-toed flats. I'll choose cute over comfort every time. I did throw on a windbreaker (um, stylish...not stupid.) but I promptly checked it upon my arrival at the Art Institute.]

And some not-gritty city:

[picture the green patina of the iconic lions standing guard over some of the world's greatest masterpieces. And, my favorite place in which to lose myself. Beyond them, picture pot after pot after pot of brightly bloooming flowers following the same line of perspective as the just-lit spherical streetlamps.]

But today? Today I may as well be in a whole other world: Northwest Indiana. Imagine, if you'd like, steel mills and small-town life. I don't see any of that. Well, I do, but not right now and not in my heart when I depart the Calumet Region. Today I see a rolling pasture, a red barn, flowers and the rich green leaves of hardwood trees. In. Every. Direction. I. Look.

And I see this, too:

[picture the majestic Leo, a Palomino whose blond mane is whipping through the wind as he comes in to nuzzle my neck. And the petite Scarlett, who shyly comes over for a carrot only after Alpha Horse has had enough and decides that, yeah, this little solid black mare with a tiny white star on her forehead can have a snack, too.]

I hope you can picture it, because it's pretty freakin' awesome. And who knows when the hell I'll figure out how to load pix through this portal?

Oh, and Jen Lancaster? I told you I wasn't a stalker. I know there's no way in hell I'll see you in Indiana.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Cathleen Day 2011 Is Here

Today marks the 43rd anniversary of my arrival on this planet.

In 1968, my Nana received (her words) "the best birthday present ever" when my mother delivered me on the date of her mother's birth, a happy twist of fate that has always made me feel a little more special, a little more lucky and a lot more blessed.

The date of my birth is also only two days prior to my mother's, which has also always felt like a gift, as well. The symmetry of a mother and daughter each birthing a daughter within two days of their own birthdays has always felt, to me, like a multigenerational trifecta. The fact that the three of us look exactly alike (Yes. Really.) is, in my not-so-humble opinion, no accident. Although I chose not to have children, I do admit to wondering if Mr J and I would have created a brown-haired, green-brown-eyed, Dorothy-Judy-Cathleen clone. And born on May 30, of course.

So. With all this magical thinking, is it any wonder that I treat my birthday like a national holiday? It doesn't help matters that it always falls within close proximity to summer's first fireworks, parades and hamburger/hot dog event (Which, bee-tee-dubs: three of my favorite things. Next to cake, anyway, but we've covered that topic...)

Or maybe I'm just a raging narcissist. Hmmm...

I'm gonna call it a draw.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Cake. It's What's For Dinner. (And Breakfast. And Lunch.)

HRH Princess Snarkerella has declared today the official start of Birthday Week 2011. Typically all of May is Birthday Month, but everything in Halfglassistan has been wonky these past six months.

(CatCon and Tilly, however, would like it noted that they began celebrating my existence at 12:00:01 EDT May 1 and haven't stopped. Which isn't much different than the way they act every day. So I've got that going for me. Which is good.)

I may be getting a bit of a slow start, but by the order of HRH (you might not think so, but she can really be a bitch when she wants to), I am commanded to have fun. So a little less than 36 hours from now, I'll be with one of my ATL munchkins, who just happens to be the most awesome boy one of my siblings has ever birthed. The fact that I get to watch the eerie reincarnation of my sister as a toddler giving herself hell is just icing.

Then less than 24 hours later, I'll be on my way to my Midwestern tribe of munchkins in Chicagoland — provided the TSA, ATL and MDW all cooperate. And no random atmospheric activity mucks it all up. (Iceland? I'm talking to you.)

You can call it running away from home. It's OK. I am and I'm lucky enough to have my choice of awesome homes to which to run. I need tickles, giggles, oohs & ahhs, sister, cousin and munchkin therapy. And lots and lots and lots of love.

And cake.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Are You There Jen Lancaster? It's Me, Cathleen.

Yes, I know the device has been done. It works. So I'm using it.

Are You There Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea was a best-seller for comedian Chelsea Handler (big fan, BTW). Colossal success. I turned to vodka (even bigger fan of it) to get me through my current crisis. Colossal failure. (Although Chelsea still gets me through the insomnia. Thanks ... girl.)

Are You There God, It's Me, Margaret? was every adolescent girl's dog-eared coming-of-age primer. In it, and her other bestselling young-adult-all-human-no-vampire-or-wizards (no offense, Twihards and Muggles — I just didn't grow up in the days of sparkly skin and quidditch) fiction, Judy Blume taught me what I needed to know. I wasn't afraid to get my period or a bra — and I knew it was normal to be confused when talking to God.

Even though I never knew why He did or didn't let something happen — I knew enough to know I wasn't supposed to know — I never stopped talking to Him. I didn't stop while Mr. J was sick. I didn't stop when Mr. J was healing. I didn't stop when Mr. J was well. And I sure as hell didn't stop when Mr. J was dying.

And I still haven't stopped. But I still know enough to know I'm not going to get any answers from God. I get strength. I get patience. I get comfort. Every now and then, I get a little peace.

But I don't get answers. No one tells you what to do when you're only 42 and your husband's cancer returns and he's dead within two weeks. Two days after your 11th wedding anniversary, which he remembered even in a haze of Dilaudid. One week before his 48th birthday — and on his father's birthday. November 1st. All Saints Day.

Judy Blume didn't have a book about that. Chelsea Handler (thankfully) never talks about it on the Round Table. And it's not in the bottom of a bottle (or two) of vodka. Or pills, for that matter.

I started writing this blog while Mr. J was going through an excruciating cancer battle. But I never doubted he'd make it through. I was scared, but I always believed that he was strong enough to survive. Because he believed it — and because he survived anything God threw at him.

Until this.

So. Now what? God can't tell me what to do next. Judy Blume can't. Chelsea Handler can't, even though I'd love some vodka right now. So you're probably wondering how Jen Lancaster is going to help me.

Glad you asked. She's not. But she reminded me how to help myself.

Last week in Phoenix, my sweet CVZ attended a book signing for Jen Lancaster's If You Were Here. Unbeknownst to me, CVZ was getting a copy signed for me. So Jen asks, "So who's this Cathleen," and probably thinks "and why isn't she here?"

CVZ replied that I was in South Carolina, the tour wasn't. She went on to tell Jen that I was the one to turn her on to her blog and her books, adding: "In fact, you follow her blog on Twitter."

Jen: "Really? Which blog?"

CVZ: "my half-glassed life."

Jen: "She hasn't written in a while."

I don't know if she meant I hadn't written her in a while (I doubt she'd remember the one and only fan e-mail I ever sent). I don't know if she meant I hadn't tweeted her in a while (unlikely my name stands out among her thousands of followers)I don't know if she's actually ever read my words.

What I do know is — she's right. I haven't. What I also know is that the only way I'll ever find the answer as to how to get through this is to write about it. Writing has gotten me through every crisis of my life — and it will get me through this one.

My story is far from over. And I'm not afraid anymore to tell it.

"Really? Which blog?"
Hah! PROOF! It's on its way from Phoenix, but won't arrive in time for my flight to Chicago.
So. Guess I'll have to buy a copy to read on the plane and add to its climb up the bestseller list.
What's that? My flight to Chicago, you ask? My trip that coincides with the Governor of Jennsylvania's
return to the Windy City? Uh, yeah. Coincidence?
Um, yes. Totally.

But ... if by any chance ... you're actually reading this, um, Jen, please do know I am well aware
of how weird it would be to hunt you down try to run into you. Besides you're all up in the 'burbs now and
I'll be down in Bridgeport with family, so not likely it's gonna happen. I'll also be at Lincoln Park,
the Shedd, the Art Institute and across the water at Indiana Dunes.
Just sayin' ... 

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

(Not)Wordless Magical-Mystery-Flower Wednesday

©2011 ccw/halfglassistan
So. As if enough signs from the universe haven't already been telling me to get my glass in gear (I'm talking about you, @altgeldshrugged at your PHX signing. Stay tuned. I've got something coming with your name all over it.) — this popped up. 

Mr. J bought random plantings because he liked how they looked at Lowe's, and then subsequently in the yard. Never paid attention to whether they were annuals or perennials. No particular planning or coordination. What mattered was a funky shape and an unusual color. The leaves on this what-appears-to-be-some-kind-of-lily are what attracted Mr. J to the above bloom. That and the hot pink ombre petals.

In the five summers since it was planted, it hasn't returned every year. Just a couple of times. Thus, the name we gave it. This is my first summer without the magical Mr. J, yet the flower is out in full force.

Mystery? I don't think so.

Thanks to CVZ, the Governor of Jennsylvania and the amazing Mr. J for the kick in the glass. I needed it.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

BREAKING NEWS: Renovations in Halfglassistan


HRH Princess Snarkerella has announced that Halfglassistan is expanding and undergoing renovations to better express its ideology and full potential. Immediate increases to the kingdom's Gross National Product will be largely fulfilled by Half-glassed Design. 

"The time is right to go public with our graphic design for print, web, wearables and home decor," stated HRH's official press secretary CatCon. "Lucky customers also receive three decades experience of professional writing and editing." The outspoken CatCon went on to add: "Win-win, no?"

Improvement projects are already underway, and announcement of official launch date is expected imminently.

Related Posts with Thumbnails