Saturday, May 29, 2010

Things I'm Learning About Grief

I've experienced grief before in my life.  In 2005 I lost three relatives in a six month period, and then two year later I lost four relatives in a two month period.  So, yeah, I know from loss.  And nothing about those experiences can even touch the depth of this grief.  So the rest of my family and I are coping with pathetically insufficient patches for a huge, gaping wound.  Here is what works and doesn't work so far.


*Eating 2 macarons and a pint of ice cream in one sitting.  It seemed like such a good and comforting idea at the time, and instead it wound up prompting some massive Tums ingestion and quality bathroom time.  I don't recommend it.  Neither do I recommend my temporary hospital diet of ice cream and coffee.  Different means, same end.

*Staying in jammies and not showering.  Again, this seemed like a healing, cocooning, comforting thing to do, but mostly it just makes me feel dirty and slovenly.  Day-long jammies marathons are for happy occasions, like Boxing Day.  Sadness requires action to battle it.


*It's counterintuitive, but obsessively looking at pictures and videos of Kylie.  I felt like an overzealous grandmother with all the pictures and video I took of that sweet little girl, and I often felt self-conscious and held back with the camera.  Now I wish I had taped every moment I spent with her.  It's like the New Pornographers sing:  "A heart should always go one step too far."  I'm so grateful now for every shot of Kylie and every second of film, and looking at them is a comfort.

*Reading books in bed with Olivia.  Radical Homemakers for me, and Harold and the Purple Crayon for her.  We snuggle up on our tummies, sides smooshed together, and flip pages together.  Sometimes I read from her book, and sometimes from mine.  We're both happy.

* and  As much as I complain about consumption and its ills, my soul cries out in grief for shopping.  It's shocking how many times during the last week I've had the following thought process:  "I need something to eat.  No, I don't.  Well then, I need to buy something," as if any snack or bauble could fill the hole.  Still, the distraction is good for a while.

*SLB.  He is a gentleman, a scholar, and the most compassionate partner I could imagine.  Also, he knows exactly the right insults to shout at Torii Hunter during the baseball game.  Amazing.

*All the support we've received from our family and friends.  Thank you, everyone, for your prayers, kind words, and offers of help.  We really appreciate it.

Friday, May 28, 2010

The Grace of God

All parents have their near-miss stories about their children - the tales of accidents narrowly avoided, of hours spent in the emergency room awaiting stitches, of fevers spiked and calmed, of catastrophes that might have been but weren't.  "Can you imagine?," we say to one another, or "It could have been so much worse."  "That was a close one," and "we got lucky."  We parents get a hushed-voice, illicit thrill in telling these stories because we know that the end of the story is happy before we begin.  Part of that thrill, too, is in knowing that the end of such stories isn't happy for everyone and that we're blessed because we came through the experience with only our story to tell, plus maybe a bump, bruise, or scar as a souvenir.  "There but for the grace of God go we," and so, implicitly, necessarily, that means that some parents' stories are of tragic accidents rather than near-misses.  And we smug, lucky, hushed-voice storytellers usually get to avoid meeting that raw fact head on.  But not this time.

Kylie Marie
01/21/10 - 05/27/10

Last Sunday my niece Kylie sustained an injury from which she was not able to recover, and my brave brother and sister-out-law chose to keep her alive until recipients could be found for her organ donation.  She passed away yesterday at 5:20 in the evening after saving the lives of 3 other children and bringing such beautiful, pure joy to all of our lives.  We will miss her always, we will love her always, and we will honor her memory always.  She has left a Kylie-shaped hole in our hearts that nothing and no one else can fill.  In time our hearts will repair themselves and grow a thick carapace around what's missing, but we will always remember her, we will always wonder what could have been, and we will always, always love our sweet girl.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Taking a Break

Due to unforseen circumstances that I DID NOT FORSEE, I will be taking a break from blogging this week.  This doesn't mean I don't like you.  It just means that I don't want to talk to you.

Until next week...

Me Show

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Special Guest Star: Juniper!

Today marks a historical event on the Me Show.  This is the first ever baby Special Guest Star, Juniper!

Say "Hi," Juniper!

"I prefer not to.  I have a discerning salutational palate."

There was a time when Juniper would have preferred to say "Hi" to you, me, strangers, dangers, dogs, cats, and signposts.  When we first met she was a leetle baby whose mama, Tonja, was in the same Listening Mothers group that I was.  And BOY was Juniper a delightful distraction in that group.  We'd be trying to have earnest discussions about our innermost maternal feelings, and Juniper would be smiling, kicking, giggling, and engaging us in every baby-flirtatious activity possible.  She has since learned to play hard to get, which is at once soul crushing when she only wants her mama and deeply rewarding when she finally acknowledges me with a smile or the heavens open up and she lets me snuggle her.  There are many times when I'll come home from our book group spinoff of the Listening Mothers group, SLB will ask how it went, and my answer will be something like "Juniper let me hold her hand!  The rest was O.K."

Tonja, who also thought the baby symphony was going to be The Symphony and dressed up (ha, ha, sucker!), and a sleeping Juniper.  Also, all the cool moms have Ergos.  Let the peer pressure begin!

Fun facts about Juniper:

*Juniper is fantastic at locomoting across rooms and homes, but one wouldn't exactly call it crawling because she only uses one leg.  So she'll scoot-drag herself with amazing speed, considering that there's alwasy a "dead leg" dragging behind her.  I tried convincing Tonja to use this skill in Juniper's career as a child beggar, but I don't think she took me seriously.  I suppose there are other ways to earn a college education, but I don't know what they are.

*Once when I was carrying Livy around in the Ergo and showing her different plants in the neighborhood I told her that the bush in front of our house was a juniper.  She got all excited and looked around frantically for her friend.  I felt like a heel for being a Juniper-tease.  We don't talk about that bush anymore.

*Juniper has a big patch of hair on her head that is much, MUCH longer than the rest of her hair.  Livy has a couple of these hairs on top of her head that we call OTB, Original To Baby.  They're the hairs that survived the follicular holocaust that led to baldness and subsequent regrowth.  Juniper has A LOT of them.

Tonja getting ready to show off the OTB's.  Wait for iiiiiit...

OTB's in effect, y'all!  Sideways Cindy Lou who!

Love that baby!  Love that mama, too, but LOVE that baby!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Creepy Crawler!

What a treat for you today, loyal readers!  You get to see one of Olivia's first forays into locomotion and hear one of our favorite songs about an octopus (written by the Morah during a moment of divine inspiration).  Hooray for you!  But even more hooray for Olivia Lee, my little creepy crawler!

Oh yeah, she creeps.  She keeps it on the down low.  Go, Miss Livy, go go go-o-o...

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Greatest Love of All

I believe the children are the future.  Olivia believes this strongly of one child in particular.

Learning to love yourself IS the greatest love of all!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Kissin' Cousins

Last weekend Livy spent the night at Grandma and Grandpa Snyder's house so that SLB and I could go to Lark and eat delicious things with Katie and Jonathan.  Then on Saturday we drove down to the Snyders' for a birthday cookout and my brother, Corey, and his special lady, Amy, drove up with their sweet little Kylie.

Cuteness ensued.

World-weary Livy explaining life to a naive and optimistic Kylie.

"You're gonna be O.K.  You got class, kid."

Livy took advantage of Kylie's wobbliness to smooch the back of her head.

It's a very real hazard for those who look like Gloworms.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Now 80% Mightier!

I took the list to 100, 99 of which you get to see.

Here they are, edited for television:

18. Swim with dolphins in open water, not in a sad amusement park

19. Lead a generative life

20. Fit back into my wedding rings

21. Visit La Casa Azul

22. Help my daughter get through school/adolescence in one piece

23. Travel with The Morah

24. Attend one of Christine Kane’s retreats

25. Teach Howl to teenagers

26. Perfect Walt Whitman curriculum and then teach the shit out of it.

27. Learn how to sew.

28. Get a hammock, and then take a nap in it.

29. Read more canonical fiction

30. Follow 100 pushup challenge and then do 100 pushups.

31. Learn how to make jam

32. Learn how to make pickles

33. Seedbomb the hill behind the house

34. Veggie garden!

36. Mentor a new/student teacher

37. Volunteer in Livy’s classroom and/or on fieldtrips

38. Publish an article in Radical Teacher, Teaching Tolerance, or the like.

39. Publish an article in Brain Child or the like.

40. Learn how to stand up for myself without resorting immediately to nuclear options

41. On my 40th birthday get a glasses chain

42. Accept my daughter for who she is while helping her become the best version of herself she can be.

43. Read more poetry

44. Write more poetry

45. Practice yoga

46. Learn how to meditate

47. Take SLB on a whiskey tour in Edinburgh. Bonus points for taking the Weavers with us.

48. Vacation in the San Juans with Livy and SLB

49. Take Livy and SLB whale watching

50. Go to Buenos Aires

51. Go to a traditional Onsen in Japan

52. Buy something ridiculous from a Tokyo vending machine

53. Get pulled up onstage during a concert like Courtney Cox in “Dancin’ in the Dark.”

54. Raise a courageous daughter who is engaged and invested in her own life and happiness.

55. Eat vegetarian 4 days/week and possibly work up to more.

56. Learn Seattle and its glories like the back of my hand.

57. Take a letterpress class and make something lovely

58. Make this silly little house feel like a silly little home.

59. Say “yes” more than I say “no.”

60. Create lovely and ridiculous family traditions (pancakes on Sundays; Turkey King, Leprechaun, Cupid; fried fish on Leap Year; etc.)

61. Hang out in the front yard more often (veggie garden?) so as to ensnare unsuspecting neighbors in friendship and community-building.

62. Make more ice cream. Eat more ice cream that I’ve made.

63. Conquer fears of making pie crust, rolling dough, and using the coffee grinder.

64. Always feel comfortable in a bikini, and never give a shit when I can’t really pull it off.

65. Invest in good food, good bras, and good shoes.

66. Agritourism in Italy and France

67. Go to the Grand Canyon

68. Adapt Custom of the Country into a screenplay

69. Read all the children’s books I was discouraged to as a kid.

70. Learn a little about photography. Take better pictures.

71. Stay in Germany over Christmas

72. Make real eggnog.

73. Barter

74. Take SLB to SXSW

75. Just once, regardless of price, buy Livy the perfect dress (Prom? Wedding?)

76. Take Livy to Disneyland for her kindergarten graduation.

77. Go on safari. Shoot nothing. Pretend to be Hemingway. Drink gimlets.

78. Go to St. Paul and get my Fitzgerald geek on.

79. Oktoberfest in Munchen, ja wohl!

80. Learn how to pronounce Sartre

81. Be the old chick in front at the rock show.

82. Be the (good God, hopefully) cool mom with her daughter in front at the rock show.

83. Bake cakes for more celebrations.

84. Come to a decision on the tattoo issue.

85. Drink more champagne.

86. Leave encouraging notes around town for strangers to find.

87. See someone break a pickle (baseball-style, not cucumber-style)

88. Take the family to an outdoor movie in the summertime.

89. Host an outdoor movie in the summertime

90. Host an inflatable-pool party for all the babies this summer

91. Learn the German lyrics to “99 Luftballons” and make it one of my go-to karaoke songs.

92. Watch AFI’s 100 best films

93. Write letters of appreciation to writers, artists, and musicians I love.

94. Balance being the fun teacher with being the effective teacher.

95. Do the Great Columbia Crossing race

96. Stop trying to mother people to whom I never gave birth

97. Compile a repertoire of 30 recipes for vegetarian lunches/dinners

98. Face mortality and make a will

99. Get rid of all the books I think I should read but never will (without guilt or remorse)

100. Love this little family, and tell them I love them every, every, every day

ETA:  101:  Ride in a sidecar.  Bonus points for drinking a sidecar while doing so.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Mighty on Mighty Action!

Hi folks!

I've been a fan of Mightygirl for a couple of years, and not just because one of my thousands of nicknames is cmightym (although that IS pretty cool).  Well today I was delighted to be featured among a list of different folks sharing their Mighty Lists, or what I call Life Lists.  Go on and look - scroll past the brass instruments to find my contribution to today's anthology.

Below is the rest of my list as it currently stands for those who are interested.  It's been fun just keeping such a list, and it's also been useful.  Just committing goals and wishes to paper has helped me prioritize making them real.  For example, this:

You feel lucky, punk?

That's me with Lu, my ukulele that SLB got me for my birthday.  If I hadn't reflected on playing the uke as a goal, written it down, and informed SLB that he was getting me one for my birthday I wouldn't be playing miserable versions of "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots" all day and all night, now would I?  And SLB wouldn't be kicking him self SO HARD, Nuremberg-style, for having followed my heinous orders, would he?  NOPE and NOPE.  So, you see, a Life List is a handy thing to have around.

Mine is currently filled with the more grandiose of my goals and dreams.  I've been lazy about adding things that are easy to accomplish, like taking Livy swimming and growing my own herbs.  I think I'll take some time this week to add my more pedestrian entries this week, because it's good to see them on paper and it's good to cross them off once I've done them.

So, what are your goals, friends?  Do any coincide with mine?  Do any of you want to buddy up and make beautiful lives for ourselves?

1. Go to Chicago as a tourist instead of as an embittered grad student

2. Complete a marathon

3. Go to Tuscany and eat my way through it

4. Mediterranean cruise of olive-eating and wine-drinking countries

5. Learn how to swim

6. Road trip across the U.S. with SLB to ballparks and obscure literary sites

7. Do a one-armed Rocky pushup like Caroline

8. Give homemade food/liquor as gifts

9. Write letters to loved ones

10. Learn how to play the ukulele

11. Send valentines out of season

12. Make cheese  (Cheese kit purchased!)

13. Go to Day of the Dead celebration in Mexico

14. Go ziplining in the Redwoods or somewhere in the US where companies are scared of litigation and very, VERY careful.

15. Go to Dollywood and celebrate unironically

16. Go to Graceland and celebrate unironically

17. Go out for a lovely meal with excellent food and spectacular service BY MYSELF.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Whose Gym? MY GYM!

Just because you're out of shape doesn't mean you can't have wildly high self-esteem.

Me open, and me want cookie after me workout.  NOMNOMNOMNOM!

Or so says the Me Fitness Center in Portland.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

A Star Was Born

It's my birthday, bitches!

Now make with the cupcakes.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

10 Months!

It's the 13th, which means I have to marvel yet again at how quickly my girl is growing up.  10 short months have gotten her from an inert lump of skinny, bruised grumpiness to a jolly little lady whose grins are matched only by her chubbles.  She says both "dada" and "mama" regularly now, is working hard toward crawling, and has started giving honest-to-goodness hugs.  She's amazing, and I'm delighted that she's ours.

Today we celebrated by rolling around on the bed, tackling, tickling, and snuggling.

"I'm gonna get you, Livy!"

"Not if I get you first, Mama!"

We called a truce and got each other.

It was a win-win...

...because we are both such good catches.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

In the Potty

Hey!  Remember this song?

Well, we're going to be singing it a lot today at Me Show HQ because Olivia Lee, feculent genius that she is, just went poopy on the potty like a big girl!  Hooray!  Viva!  And, yes, it's possible that some smug childfree douchebag is going to submit this to a certain snarky website that encourages parents to shut up, but nothing - NOTHING! - is going to stop this family from celebrating a successful poop! 

For those curious as to why I'd even bother putting my not-yet-10-month-old on a toilet, let me explain.  I've been interested in a newfangled phenomenon called Elimination Communcation ever since I saw Mayim Bialik talk about it in some celebrity parenting nonsense interview on Yahoo News.  She was quite convincing in her argument that it's illogical to raise your babies to eliminate into a diaper and then BAM! switch things up on them and start talking about potties when they're toddlers.  Why not pay attention to their potty cues and help them to use the toilet when they're younger?  And, while this sounds like it could easily become one of those strident lightning rods for parental judgment (See: arguments over working vs. staying home, breastfeeding vs. bottle feeding, cosleeping vs. sleeping solo, homemade organic babyfood vs. jarred storebought babyfood, and EVERY OTHER PARENTING CHOICE AVAILABLE SINCE THE BEGINNING OF PROCREATION), most of the material I've read about EC is very welcoming and tolerant of experimentation and partial practice.  Plus, since all the best parenting advice comes from Blossom, I thought I'd give it a try.

So, when Livy started "poopsqueaking," her unique tell when she's about to drop a bomb (the kid's got no poopy poker face to speak of), I rushed her to the toilet instead of to the changing table.  Et voila!  Merde!

Yes, I know that this is uncommon and might not happen again for months.  And, no, I'm not giving up on diapers, nor is that my aim.  But if, as my friend Katie, who gave birth in a Honda Civic and is one of the most level-headed parents I know, says, if it saves one diaper a day, then that's progress toward ecological soundness and potty training.  I can live with a goal like that.

So when you make your poopies on the potties today, readers, give yourselves a big high five and know that Olivia Lee is with you!

"Dear God, please let this have disappeared from the interwebs before my 12th birthday.  XOXOXO, Livy Lee."

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Mother's Day Magic

Up early to play with Livy.  Snuggles.  Breakfast chili with tortilla chips and lots of cheddar.  Funny card.  Awesome gift (digital picture frame because all I want to do when Livy sleeps is look at pictures of her).  Walk around the neighborhood by myself in the sunshine.  Our first Mariners game of the season and the first of Livy's life.  Fantastic seats in the Terrace Club.  Losing streak-ending victory.  Wine.  Ballerina Dinosuar.  Wine.  Play time.  Wine.  Baby bedtime.  Jammies.  Chocolate fondue.  Cheesy romantic comedy.  Books.  Snuggles.  Bed.

I'll meet you back here for a do-over next year.

Happy Mother's Day TO ME, suckas.

The coziness of the Ergo helped her tolerate wearing her hat.

The ensemble.

Baby's first wordS:  "CHONE!  CHONE!  IT DOESN'T START WITH A 'C'!"

Too much baseball can tucker a girl out.

But it's nothing a little Ballerina Dinosaur can't fix.

Clutchosaurus Rex.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

To all you mamas out there, good job making and raising those babies!

And to two in particular, good job making and raising us babies!  Thank you for all your love, support, good humor, and fine genetic material.  We love you!

My mama.

SLB's mama.

And thanks to my baby for making me a mama - it's the best job I've ever had.

And I expect some flowers, dammit, because my stomach still hasn't recovered.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Marking Her Territory

Hey, remember when Livy was in love with Glow and gave her many smooches to prove it? 

Well, she also loves the banjo-playing frog on her music table.  Witness:

She also loves Claire, who endured a big, wet kiss and lived to tell the tale and smile about it afterward.

"Um, Livy?  I have boundaries..."

"... but luckily for you they don't preclude kisses."

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Used to Pray for Snow

It's Cinco de Mayo!  Let's celebrate with coincidences that mean nothing to anyone but me!

1.  Feliz Cinco de Mayo!
2.  Today is the 5th anniversary of my first day at work at my old job where I taught high school English.
3.  And so I DID used to pray for snow - for snow days, specifically!
4.  So listen to this song and boogie:

This album came out in 1996 - 14 years ago.  That makes me feel old.  I bet it makes Liz Phair feel older, though, so I win!

Tuesday, May 04, 2010


Livy swung on the swings by herself for the first time last weekend.  She's so money, and she doesn't even know it.  Specifically, she is chump change, and she doesn't even know it.

I do not know that I am chump change, but I know that I like this swinging stuff.

The grinning head tilt always makes the grown-ups coo.

Laughing with delight seems to impress them, too.

But it's the Carl Spackler impersonation that really brings the house down.

It's a real Cinderella story...

Monday, May 03, 2010

The Morah, the Chicken, and other Weekend Miracles

Friends, I have introduced you to The Morah before.  She is my favorite person whom I neither birthed nor married, and this is the furthest from hyperbole as I can possibly get.  I can't overstate how much I love this lady.  The best I can do is illustrate it with a conversation I once had with Uncle Damon about her:

UD:  If you were stuck on a desert island for the rest of your life, who would you want with you?
ME:  No one.  (Like that misanthropy?  It's part of my charm.)
UD:  Could I be there?
ME:  No way.  You drive me nuts too often.
UD:  What about The Morah?
ME:  Oh!  Yeah!  That'd be great!  I love The Morah!  It'd be awesome!
UD:  What about SLB?
ME:  Maybe.

Yeah.  It's like that.  And it's even better when it's like this (notes from a visit the weekend before last):

*We shopped and bought almost everything on my clothing list in under an hour and a half, which combines my three loves: The Morah, having what I need, and not spending tons of time wandering a mall.  Brilliant!

*We had Groupon deals at Spa Willamina for massages, dry body brushings, and facials.  The spa, the services, and the practitioners are flawless.  I highly recommend it to people in Portland looking for a friendly, warm place to be rubbed into submission by strangers.

*We ate beautiful wood-fire oven-cooked pizzas at Lovely's 50-50 and followed up with housemade butterscotch ice cream.  It was wonderfully delicious and exactly what we needed after an afternoon of virtuous spa high-mindedness.  Without the substantial rib-sticking goodness of rustic pizzas and churned yolks and cream we might have floated away on a blissful bodywork cloud.

O.K., so it's NOT an excellent picture, but that is an excellent pizza.  Sauteed kale and chard with a silken yolky egg on top.  Pictures and words can't do it justice.

*A leisurely morning spent reading/internetting/staring into space in bed together with her dog, Ollie.  Her husband, the beatifically lovely Marc (seriously - I've never met a better hugger), was out of town, so we snuggled lazily under the covers with Ollie between us.

*Finally, for me a trip to the specialty lingerie shop for a few sturdy undergarments in a size "WTF???"  Tiny rib cage + mom boobs = a trip to Just Like a Woman for expensive, perfectly fitted bras.  The service is expert and kind, and the selection is incredible.  If you've got outlandish hoots like I've got outlandish hoots, I strongly recommend that you save up for a trip to Just Like a Woman.

My friend Jen calls them Circus Tits.  Just look at the baby or the dog if this makes you uncomfortable.

But all was not paradise on this trip.  We, in fact, weathered some BIG! DRAMA! with the strength and grace of a grieving Jacqueline Kennedy.  Let me explain.

See, The Morah is one of those hip urban farmers you keep reading about.  She keeps chickens in a well appointed coop in her side yard, and the coop opens up into the backyard where the chickens can run about at will.  She had just introduced three new young ladies to the flook of old friends, which apparently can be a risky proposition.  She explained to me that "pecking order" and a "pecking party" are NOT always metaphors to be pondered from behind the safety of a book.  They in fact EXIST in the chicken world, and one of the old gals was experiencing them strongly when the new babies invaded her flock.  And when we were at the spa unaware of the conflict brewing at home, the older chicken chased one of the babies into the yard, which the baby then escaped in her panic.  We had a missing chicken on our hands, night was falling, it was raining, and the mean streets of Portland (dogs, cars, and raccoons, OH MY!) are not a hospitable place for a young pullet to bed down.

So, after a mild Morah freak-out (She has feelings that she, you know, feels.  What must that be like?) she organized a search party of friends and neighbors.  We combed the streets and alleys around her house clucking "Here, chick chick chick!" softly as we tried to find the missing baby.  No luck.  After some strong self-talk about the expendableness of livestock, signs hung crying "Missing Chicken!," a post on Craigslist, and a call to animal control, by the next morning we had both given up hope.  Chickens come, and chickens go, we thought.  Best to move on.

Which, Hallmark movie-style, is exactly when a miracle occurred.  Her amazingly generous neighbor, out looking again for the chicken on his own in the morning, saw a big crow across his lawn.  Upon further inspection he found that it was not a big crow, but a small chicken!  A small, lost, lonely chicken!  He returned it to The Morah, who cried tears of relief and tenderly hugged the chicken to her maternal bosom.  She was saved!  We were relieved and amazed to find it so, but, yes!  She was saved! 

Reunited, and it feels so good!

So, with a warm and fuzzy feeling in my now properly holstered chest, I drove home.  As I was flipping radio stations, I heard the Rolling Stones' "You Can't Always Get What You Want" and stopped to listen.  Usually I like this song a lot.  After all, I've sung it to so many pouting students over the years that I have a pretty close relationship with it and its message.  But all it did on my sunny, smiley drive was piss me off. 

Because no, you can't always get what you want.  Clearly.  Naturally.  I think only children and spoiled childlike adults need that message delivered via catchy tunes featuring children's choirs.  But is the best we should be aiming for really trying sometimes and just might finding that we get what we need?  Yes, it's true that this does happen.  But is it worth glorifying?  Because sometimes you find exactly what you're looking for in record time.  And sometimes you're lucky enough to get a perfect afternoon at the spa.  And sometimes your dinner is exactly what you wanted exactly when you wanted it.  And sometimes you're blessed with the financial security to afford such luxuries in a time of recession.

And sometimes you have the best friend in the world, someone who makes you seriously consider that there might be truth in the gag-inducing epithet "soul-mate."  And sometimes you're still so in love with your partner of 13 years that you get butterflies when he grabs your hand upon your arrival home from a weekend away.  And sometimes you get through a difficult pregnancy and labor to have a healthy, happy, giggling girl who makes you radically redefine love and your capacity to give it.  And sometimes, people, sometimes your chicken comes back.

I am not a religious person, but I do love the idea of miracles.  And it seems to me that they happen every day.  So, no, you can't always get what you want.  BUT SOMETIMES YOU CAN, and what a better song to sing - a song of hope and gratitude for the good in the world - than one that glorifies the possibility of mere subsistence.  Maybe it depends on luck, and certainly it depends on what you want, but I'm going to be happy to have what I have - to have what I want - while I have it.