Thursday, March 17, 2011

Play Time: The Full Body Workout

Who's got a potbelly? (Oh sorry--was that not the "politically correct" term? *gagging*)

I figured out the solution to all our "old people" woes. GO PLAY WITH SOME KIDS! For the last 2 years I've been trying to kick that constant baby belly by running. Granted, it feels great and I've gotten the results, but after playing "Tag" and "Mother May I" and "Hide and Go Seek" with my kids for 1/2 hr, wow! FULL BODY WORK OUT. Who needs running--boring, grueling, tiresome, tedious running? Hit the park and adopt a toddler for an hour.

...but don't take him home. That could be bad. I mean, for you.

This is my usual form of exercise. And yes, that's the playroom after 1 hr of cleaning.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Truth VS Fiction

The last entry is mostly true, but I have a few...additions to make.

Truth: It took a total of 10 minutes to write this last entry. For me that's bizarrely concise.

Truth: I grew up in Utah, and YES, I did see rabbits in the snow. It's a rare occurrence, but it happened the first time while sledding with my brothers in the "hollow" behind our neighborhood.

Truth: I SING everything. Just ask my kids about my "dishes" renditions. Actually I compose while doing chores. Alot. But only if I'm happy.

Truth: I answer to Chicken--and the alias was even "cool" in high school.
Truth: I do have a scar that runs from the corner of my mouth down to the opposite side of my chin. It's faded now, but most my youth it was very obvious.

Fiction: The accident occurred when I was 5, and I have never been skiing--despite growing up in Utah.

Truth: I have made up so many stories over the years to explain that scar, but only my husband and self actually know how it happened.


Saturday, February 19, 2011

The Collier Report

(This is a writers challenge for "crusaders".)


Anchor 1: From the confessions of a scar-faced woman we extrapolated the latest: the name Chicken refers to not only a character trait, but an actual alias—bloviated in past middle grade experiences for quirkiness.

Anchor 2: Chicken? Really?

Anchor 1: An alias obtained from a first initial and last name.

Anchor 2: Interesting.

Anchor 1: When asked how she came to be scar-faced she confessed to a skiing accident induced by a stray rabbit across the trail at the ripe old age of eight. Her blades narrowly missed the little creature and initiated a life-long hate of carrot-nibblers. Bribed to speak further by a promised block of muenster cheese, she confessed to serenading her family in perpetual life-induced music.

Anchor 2: You mean she sings everything?

Anchor 1: Just about. Come to find out she wrote a musical (aimed at Broadway) about a vampire.

Anchor 2: Everyone writes about vampires these days.

Anchor 1: Yes, these days, but the musical began in 2003 as the result of a dream. For more about that see her recent blog entry.

Anchor 2: Interesting.

Anchor 1: That must be your favorite word.

Anchor 2: Forgive me not having the most fuliguline vocabulary. Not all of us grew up with a dictionary glued to our fingers. I just have one more question.

Anchor 1: What’s that?

Anchor 2: What’s the deal with the cheese?

Anchor 1: I asked about that. She said cheese equals happiness.

Anchor 2: Interesting.

Anchor 1: ... Well there you have it folks. Thanks for tuning it and join us next time to learn which of these reported facts are real, and which are pure fiction.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Personal Phobias: Where's my brown bag? Breathe!

Some people are afraid of spiders. My phobia is less crawly, and a little more verbal.

I used to perform a minimum of once a month, sometimes every week, and during the Christmas season three to five times a week. I love to sing! I love sharing what's in my heart with others. That's also why I love writing.

So no, I'm not talking stage fright here...although playing piano in public... *shudder*

You want to scare me away? Offer a compliment.

Dorky right? Accepting praise is the most intimidating and awkward thing I have encountered. During those periods when I'd perform, I was always looking for the back door, some way to escape before people came up to shake my hand and offer words of congratulations or esteem.

(What does congratulations mean anyway? Good job on not messing up? Seriously, how do you interpret that as a performer?)

I suppose most the problem stems from a flexible face that says exactly what I'm thinking. A regular mental dialog post-performance may go as follows: "Keep that eyebrow down. Smile. Nod. Smile. Nod. Say thank you. Don't giggle! What did she just say? Is it over yet? Hurry, run away!"

Awkward. But awkward is fun, right? No.

Forgive me if you ever stop to shake my hand and my face goes instantly blank. I'm not being rude, just bracing for impact.

What are your strange phobias?

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Remember Your Promise

For Christmas/New Years I made a goal or promise not to yell at my kids. At all. (--Which is exceedingly tricky since we home school and I'm with them 24/7.)

Now I realized when I set this "goal" it would take a significant amount of effort, especially after a sleepless night (thanks to kids nightmares) or when faced with child-induced and world-shattering disasters. (We have our abundance.) That's what we are as people, right? A work in progress? I know I am. Most days it's tough to see how far short I've come on who I want to be or what I hoped to accomplish. My husband says I do an okay job, and I try to believe him. Perhaps my problem comes in setting lofty goals, and--as my 9th grade history teacher would attest, I am absolutely obsessed with perfection.

Having kids has changed that some. I still stress about the details, but the realization hit while living in NYC (with no family local, having just birthed my 3rd child and undergone major surgery,) there are limits on what a person can do.

Yelling at my kids is not one of those...limits I mean. When I found my 4 yr old on top of the ironing board in my closet (no doubt searching for candy) my first thought was: "Get down from there before you fall!" But I didn't yell. Until I saw the mess below him.

My husband spent 7 hours on Saturday cleaning our room--thanks primarily to kid mess, and I put in two hours on top of that. You understand my agony then?

As fate would have it, I bent to clean up all that "stuff", and there in the pile was a key chain:

When we're honestly trying to do what we should little helps and reminders pop up. There is someone out there watching over us, trying to help us become our best self; someone who always keeps his promises.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

A Reading. A Reading! Oh boy, another reading?

I am frantically preparing for--dum-dum-dum--you guessed it, a reading. What exactly does that mean? Well, for me it means 3 hrs of running over music and script to make sure everything is perfect and ready to go, printing scripts for people to perform/follow along, AND 3 to 5 hrs of concentrated cleaning.

Shoot me now! We need an inflatable living room that we can tuck away just for these kinds of occasions. I swear 30 to 50% of my life passes in cleaning. Some days I stop to wonder, where did all this mess come from, and then I hear them screaming in the background. Monkeys. Hoodlums. Kids.
Of course there are other moments, the quite ones spent cuddled up together reading a book, or tickle fights, or sitting and watching them play at the park. Then I wonder, how did I get so lucky? 

I suppose the lesson is, there's no joy without the pain. That's something I have to remember in the coming months as things get intense with the musical. Pain=joy...eventually. 

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Revenge and Home Schooling

We welcome you to a dose of Collier Home School for an episode of Daily Drama.

Quin--"Mom, she broke my nano-bug."

Me--"She what?"

Quin--"Kaily broke my nano-bug!"

Random--"Yeah, she bit it."

Me (disbelievingly,)--"She what? Kaily!"

Kaily (sweetly)--"Yes mom?"

Me--"Did you bite Quin's nano-bot?"

Kaily (gleefully)-- "He was mean to me so I broke it."

(Unable to believe my ears...) "You bit it?"


And as my jaw hangs she grins away.

Then time for the lesson...

Me-- "Okay Kaily, I guess you no longer have a nano-bug. Quin gets yours, and you get his."

I'm reminded that so often we act in passion, then spend hours, days, even years regretting our choices. Phineas (the vampire hunter in Immortal the Musical) started out that way: impulsive. After twenty years of diligent hunting he learned to react more carefully, and in the end that's what saved him a world of hurt.

I'll never look at a "nano-bug" (hexbug) without thinking of some little kid crunching it between her teeth, and hopefully it will serve as a reminder to respond wisely when passions flare.