Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Au revoir, mes amis.

I think we can safely admit now that this blog is defunct. Even though I still often think of things I want to say here, I never seem to make the effort to do so, and as such nobody much makes the effort to read the few sad pebbles that I do shake out of my pockets. Ah, for the days when Ms. Kate Lilac got a full night's sleep and got her daily energy from 3 chardonnays and a pack of smokes. Not that my life was any more interesting then, but I had more to say about it.

What to say now? I'm no mommy-blogger, but I am, for 24 all-consuming hours a day, a mommy. I haven't developed a knack for making that cute or funny, though, so though it pains me somewhat horribly to admit it, it's time to hang up my no-longer-cool-or-expensive ballet shoes and go home. I won't take the page down, because it would be nice to have a place to start over if I ever feel so inclined, and I am quite fickle so you never know, but in the meantime, it's just me and my boring old facebook page. I do make the occasional pithy comment there, so if you want to be my friend-o, you can always send me an email and I might DIVULGE MY TRUE IDENTITY to you and we can become real-life friends of the sort who exchange inanities in the land of social media for oldsters. I promise not to try to make you sell me a plot of land in Farmville or whatever happens there.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


Mad, mad, mad. I'm mad about everything. I'm mad because I don't understand how so many voters are swayed by the absolute nonsense thrown out there by a new breed of power-hungry politicans. Same old story, except now apparently people can win elections with the messages of "no" and "we're angry, durn it" and "we hate smart people; they are elitist and out of touch" instead of offering up any agenda other than "taking back America's values." It's such a thinly veiled threat to return this country to an isolationist, "just folks" kind of land where people know their place.

It just seems so terribly misguided to me.

But anyway.

On a more personal level, I'm mad because I am not going to London. Well, not mad exactly. Resigned, a little bitterly, to my fate. R. and I cannot make plans to get away from the kids without them falling through 48 hours in advance. This time, my stepmom got sick, so they couldn't come out to watch the kids. Of course I feel terrible for her and all that - you can take that as a given - but this is my place to whine about ME so that is what I'm doing. Anyhoo, my mom generously offered to step in and watch the kids while we went anyway, which sounded great, but by then the enticing seeds of doubt about the wisdom of the trip had been sown in the marital noggin, and so we are not going.

We moved the trip to April or May; we'll see if it happens then. There is no reason to think it will, since the universe has had its say and it says:

1. The Lilacs shall not travel sans kids, and

2. America = Roman Empire, Part II.

That universe is a real joker, don't you know.

Thursday, October 21, 2010


Some people here at work thought it would be funny to take pictures of all the lawyers and superimpose them on various movie posters. Talk about incongruous:

I am the most bored and sour-looking badass in the history of the movies.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Professionalism on the job and at home.

The atmosphere in my office today is toxic. It looks like a law firm – everyone is all suited and booted; looking very professional and, hopefully, employable. Walking by the office next to mine, I could see on my colleague’s computer screen that she was working on her resume. Yes, it’s merger season around these parts, and today lawyers from our acquiring company are here interviewing lawyers and paralegals and staff for positions with the combined company. Ouch. Our general counsel made some noise early on about how these meetings were not interviews per se, but all pretense around that has been dropped and the 30-minute slots are now being called what they are.

I’m as lucky as an employee could be here right now; I don’t have to interview because the person who would be my boss in the new company is the same person who is my boss right now. There is no guarantee I’ll keep my job, but at least she knows me and has given me great reviews for the last eight years. Nonetheless, I am all tarted up like a real lawyer today – or should I say, tarted down. Looking in the mirror this morning, I saw all forty-one years of me staring back at me from a somber shell of expensive, well-cut fabrics. It was so jarring I had to remove my pearl earrings. I still looked like somebody’s mother.

In other news of being somebody’s mother, two people asked me yesterday whether our trip to Asheville had somehow gotten the kids to sleep through the night. I was able to reply joyously that YES, somehow they were doing much better and we had now enjoyed a solid week of decent sleep.

Naturally, I jinxed myself.

I was up 4 times last night with those little rats – responding like Pavlov’s dog to Eeyore’s bellows from the comfort of his toddler bed.


Mom, shuffling like a blind mole into their baby cave: “What is it?”

Eeyore: “I’m cold.”

Mom: “Jesus Christ, Eeyore. You know how to pull up your covers yourself. One more time and you won’t get your magnet in the morning.” (Reward system for not bothering Mom and Dad during the night = special magnet, 2 days of magnets = 1 lollipop.)

An hour later:


Mom, seriously pissed off: “Eeyore? What is it? You’re going to wake your brother.”

Eeyore: “I tee-tee’d. Can you change my diaper?”

Mom, sighing: “OK.”

So there it was, 4 a.m., and I was changing a tee-tee diaper on the bed. There are a few things wrong with this picture, but the one I’ll focus on is referring to a wet diaper as a “tee-tee diaper.” I am an adult and yet this is how I refer to a certain object. I’m southern, which is where the “tee-tee” versus “pee-pee” thing comes in, but still. It’s just one of those sad little reminders of who I am at this stage of life. A lot of cutesy talk is just the way it goes.

Meanwhile, I wonder if today’s southern children still say tee-tee or if that is some sort of 1970’s anachronism. I certainly never thought I would say it again in my life, since once I was old enough to just say that I needed to “pee,” tee-tee was not an expression that just cropped up in my daily conversation. Yet as soon as Eeyore was old enough to have any reason to discuss the matter with me, “tee-tee” popped out of my mouth (the expression, that is) and once again, that’s what it’s called.

Wow, that’s a fairly jarring juxtaposition between my two topics of choice today.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Oh, Helen, you always know just what to say.

Helen Mirren says that the best thing for good abs is to always keep your stomach sucked in. And for some reason I have been following ol’ Helen’s advice a lot, and with clothes on I do look a lot thinner. Without them, my stomach still looks like biscuit dough that the kitten has repeatedly pounced on, but you can’t have everything. What’s weird to me is that I seem able to motivate myself only when I deliver the advice to myself as “Helen Mirren says…” instead of just “suck your stomach in.” Who knew of her magic properties.

I can’t believe we’re going on vacation in 3 weeks. I had been semi-dreading it, wondering how the kids would do without us, wondering how I would do without the kids, but then a couple of weeks ago R. and I went to Asheville, NC for the weekend for his sister’s wedding and we learned that the answer to both questions was just fine, thank you. Now I’m mostly just excited by the prospect of strolling around Dublin and London, arm tucked through my husband’s, regaining some semblance of me inside my head. Here are things I was able to do on our trip that have been out of reach for the last couple of years:

1. Get through the air travel experience without:
a. breaking a sweat from lugging children and all their accoutrements;
b. having to change a diaper in an airplane bathroom;
c. having a screaming baby kick my drink into my lap;

2. Go to the bathroom without someone running in to sit on the floor and ask me if I am pooping;
3. Eat dinner without having to implore someone ten times to stop screaming, and
4. Read a book for more than the 5 minutes between when I get in bed and pass out with the light on.

But the single best thing I realized while we were away is that there is actually still a functioning mind and personality in this body. Liberated from the non-stop requirement of constant attention to someone else, which keeps an uncomfortable amount of adrenaline flowing at all times, I was able to THINK. Real, full thoughts were in my head, I had complete conversations with others, I was free to peruse menus at my leisure. It was heaven, and now I know it waits for me at Denver International Airport and beyond in just three weeks.

As an aside, have you ever been to Asheville? I loved it! What a nifty, beautiful little town. As soon as I got back to Denver I looked to see if there were any legal jobs advertised there, but no. I have no idea how that place thrives, but it really does.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Developments and a lack thereof.

Maybe I should be more encouraged than I am, but instead I feel there's a pall over my professional life right now - one that I don't know when will be lifted. My company is going through a merger process right now, and it's not ugly, exactly, but it's not pretty, either.

Yesterday, all the vice presidents of the new company were announced. My boss, who is fabulous and who I think I have a great relationship with, was promoted to be the head of my group. Arguably, this bodes well for my keeping my job, but at the same time the proportion of Newco VPs to my company’s VPs showed clearly that there is likely to be something of a bloodbath in our legal department. There are a lot of good lawyers who need jobs, so maybe I’ll keep mine, and maybe I won’t.

Usually, this doesn’t scare me too much because I have a decent severance package, and we won’t starve for awhile. But, this is ME we’re talking about, so there are certainly times I allow my mind to wander down dark and scary paths, or even just a path where my career becomes yet more mundane. My biggest fear is not that I won’t find another job, but that to stay in Denver, I will have to take a job with some company that nobody ever heard of, doing tedious and irrelevant work. Not that my job is particularly glamorous right now, and it sure as hell isn’t relevant to most people’s lives, but it’s good enough that with some work I could swing it out of its Mommy Track Death Spiral ™ and back towards something at least a little more international in nature. I haven’t found that Denver has a lot of these jobs, and whatever there is will soon become raw meat for the 50 attorneys who will be out on the street.

At any rate, my life just feels like a whole lot of limbo right now, waiting to find out how it’s all going to end up. We can’t move forward with the remodel until I know I have a job, so we’re still crammed into our tiny house that is rapidly becoming a casualty of entropy. If I do keep my job, it will likely be at an offer of reduced pay and bonus, and who knows about promotion opportunities? I would probably ride it out until my kids are just a little older and I will hopefully feel like I can commit more time to my own life.

Sag – it’s all so boring.

Not boring: trip to sister-in-law’s wedding on a week and a half with NO KIDS. Sleep, glorious sleep!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Choo choo


Shit's been busy around here (see, e.g., the above photo of my child (r.) on his first day of school this week). Is it not weep-worthy? A veritable milestone, yea, and one that did indeed reduce the child's mother to quivering jelly. My big boy!

And then there was Challenge Day yesterday. Look it up. It's an 8-hour extravaganza of serious emotion and dancing assholery that consists of about 25 adults spending the day in an airless gym with 100 public school kids (in my case, 7th graders) trying to "get real." There is a show about it on MTV called "If You Really Knew Me," and I can tell you that it was one of the most rewarding experiences I have had in some time. It is quite emotionally draining, and amazing how quickly so many of these kids want to talk about things going wrong in their lives. It was a very heartening experience, and I have nothing but the highest admiration for the people who do this for a living. It's awesome work. When I get laid off, maybe I'll look into it.

Hamish (as opposed to our oldest, Angus - our silly sometimes nicknames for the boys and ones I think I will use going forward just for funsies) made his first two-word sentence this morning. He pointed to the lamp that was not on and said "no light." the boy is a genius!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Shit that's on my mind.

Wow, do I still hate gum as much as I ever have. There is this hugely-gay-but-married-to-a-woman guy who often stops at the desk outside my office to chat with the desk’s resident, and he is invariably either chewing gum or eating something – in either case, with great, smacking enthusiasm. He’s like seven feet tall, too, so his joyous mastication rings out across the top of all the cubicles and reaches its ropey spit strands across the whole frickin floor.

Meanwhile, as usual I am too tired. I have been up and down 10 times a night for the last couple of nights, as Eeyore has a bad cold and wakes up frequently to call for assistance. That assistance consists of my telling him, “You’re OK, sweetheart,” covering him back up with the comforter that at 2 weeks shy of 3, he ought to be able to just pull up himself, or putting the binky back in his bed that he could have leaned over himself to pick up. I am a class A sucker. But then this morning he walked into the bathroom where I was brushing my teeth, wearing his little backpack.

“I’ve put everything I need in here, Mommy,” he announced brightly.

“What do you have?” I asked, foamily.

“My triceratops and my bunny,” he replied.

Of course!

My baby starts pre-school in a couple of weeks. I wonder if I will cry when I drop him off (I’m pretty sure that on the first day “dropping off” consists of the parents sitting around drinking coffee outside the classroom waiting to see if their kid will flip out and need parental intervention)? Maybe not – I’m actually very excited for him to attend his new school. Eeyore is such a bright and curious kid, I think it will be wonderful for him to have a place to start to really stretch his little mind, make some friends other than the children of his parents’ friends, all that. And the school itself gives me the warm and fuzzies like nobody’s business. It’s all pretty, young teachers with masters’ degrees (feel free to sneer at me, I don’t give a shit), sunshine through big windows and old wood floors, children’s art on the walls, books everywhere. It’s just wonderful, and I can’t imagine my little boy won’t love it.

R. and I have some pretty retro activities coming up. This weekend, we’re seeing Adam Carolla at Comedy Works, and in September we’re seeing both Pavement and the Cult in concert. Hellooooo, rapidly approaching middle age!

I’m sure you have been fascinated by this update. I know I have!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


This is lame. I opened my August 2009 file to save it for 2010 and write a new post. My topic: autumn is coming; I’m looking forward to my getaways with R., what I think about London in the fall. And guess what the first post was – a big, fat commentary on things I like about London in the fall.

Christ, I am even more on the hamster wheel than I thought. The only things that change in my life are watching my kids grow up and seeing my body degenerate. Even the things I’m looking forward to this fall are the same old shit I’ve already done. Argh!!


Navigating the 16th Street Mall after my daily, lunchtime trip to the gym, head bent so as not to have to see all the unpleasantness that is that lovely downtown thoroughfare, I thought for the fourteen jillionth time that my bestselling novel ain’t going to write itself. As always, however, I have no character, no plot, no location. That makes writing a little tough.

Today’s incarnation – a London girl moves to Denver (why? Who the f*** knows) and has misadventures with all the outdoorsy types here. Then what – she marries one and moves to the mountains? Where she learns to live without her Kiehl’s and hangs their Patagonia undergarments on a clothesline to dry? Yawn.

“Oh, dear lord,” thought Lucy, as one ski, then the other, started to slip across the snow. “What am I doing!?”

Tom grinned, his big, American teeth as blinding as the expanse of snow around them. “You’ll be great, Lucy. I’ll meet you at the Pub in a few hours, when my race is over. Bye!”

Lucy smiled uncertainly, cheered only slightly by the thought of an apr├Ęs cocktail or three. This “relationship” with Tom was leaving a lot to be desired.

How’s that for a rip-roaring scene? Of course, it is based on an episode from my own sad life, apart from being British, natch. Colorado is notorious for providing safe harbor to emotionally challenged, physically blessed specimens of manhood – guys who live solely to fund their own athletic, outdoor lifestyles. If you want to come along for the ride, great; they really could not care less. The delicate curves of their bicycles or skis provide more romance for them than you ever could.