Goodbye Doesn’t Mean Forever

Written By: Dawn - Aug• 02•12


Believe it or not, colleges across the country are preparing for the start of the fall semester. Last week the Wall Street Journal published their annual article for parents about letting go (7/25/12 “At Freshman Orientation, Helping Mom and Dad Let Go“) because now parents are so enmeshed in their children’s lives college drop off is physically painful.

I must be an anomaly of sorts because I’m quite looking forward to dorm check-in (August 23- woot!). I confess I feel a touch of envy that Big Boy is at a public state college and instead of a tony Ivy league school that offers handholding to struggling parents.

When we dropped him off last year there wasn’t a special ceremony, a special campus administrator  trained in handling helicopter parents or even edible treats. Instead we all hoped for a parking spot to open up nearest to the right entrance to our child’s dorm.

But we survived. Sure I cried a bit more than I thought I would, but overall I was excited for Big Boy. He certainly was excited.

One of the things I’ve figured out is that the less I know, the less that can upset me when it comes to parenting. I see parents who want to micromanage college  in the same way they did the first eighteen years of their child’s life. Aren’t they tired? I know I am. I mean do you seriously  want to know how infrequently your son will wash his linens? Believe me moms, you can’t handle the truth!

Let go and let God,or the RA, handle it. That’s what they’re there for.

Am I worried about Big Boy’s safety at college? No. Drinking too much? No. State of his sheets? I prefer to pretend he doesn’t have sheets so I can’t even imagine how dirty they are. I don’t worry, I hope. I hope he goes to class. I hope he studies and I hope he asks for help if he needs it.

In other words, I hope for the best.

And while Big Boy’s college doesn’t pander to needy parents, it isn’t an insensitive institution at all. We just got a lovely note from them with special graphics and symbols like “$” and all manner of numbers. Apparently payment due by is the new wishing you all the best. 

Ah, parting is such sweet sorrow.



Crazy, Crowded & Creative: Comic-Con 2012

Written By: Dawn - Jul• 19•12
Dawn With the Walking Dead

Don’t get lost in the exhibit hall at Comic-Con, you never know who is lurking about!


Big Boy and I returned from San Diego Comic-Con a few days ago, but I’m still basking in the afterglow of all that sweat, swag and Star Wars. Say what you will (and the “Muggles” walking around the Gaslamp District certainly weren’t shy with their adjectives for describing Con goers) but at its heart Comic-Con is a celebration of creativity.

The Con is packed with people who have discovered a way to earn a living from their imaginations- artists, writers, musicians, actors (both voice and the regular type) graphic designers, gaming programers and vendors just to name a few. These folks are also at the forefront of using all Media formats to to sell, inform and promote their brand or wares.

In addition to all that, you get to walk around with a lightsaber!

Jedi have a way of finding each other.


So why does a fortysomething mom of two go to Comic-Con? To have fun of course, the silly type of fun we rarely get to tap into in our busy, responsible adult lives. But it’s more than that. I go to see friends, I go to see my favorite stars from my favorite movies and shows both old and new and mostly I go to drink in all that creative energy and excitement.

I scored about half a dozen free Young Adult books for the library I work in from various publishers who had booths. I met a few authors  and chatted with them about trends in YA fiction. I brought back posters and pins and one fab T-shirt that will make a great display for my students.

I heard some of the best writing advice ever during the panel entitled Girls Gone Genre which featured women screenwriters and producers (Marti Noxon, Jane Espensen, Karyn Kusama, Deborah Ann Woll, Angela Robinson and Gale Ann Hurd) discussing writing about women in genre TV and film and being women in a traditionally male-dominated field. Standing room only for that one!

I witnessed a historic geek moment- the 10-Year Anniversary reunion of long-cancelled but much celebrated TV show Firefly and had one of my own when I got to ask my Doctor, Matt Smith, a question in the TV Guide Panel while dressed in my TARDIS costume. And yes, he did comment on my costume!

TARDIS and the Fourth Doctor.


I even made friends with a Dalek.


What is the correct plural for TARDIS?

But all of this crazy fun means nothing without the company of good GWC friends to share it with.

Topgun, Lady D and DawnAZ (We all go by our online handles.)


JollyAndy, me and EvolutionGirl


My best companion by far was Big Boy. We had an incredible time geeking out together and sharing our passion for shows like Falling Skies, Legend of Korra & Dr. Who. We also sang our hearts out at the Dr. Horrible’s Sing-A-Long Blog sing-a-long. I don’t know when he and I will have another opportunity to travel together Mommy & Me style and I will cherish the memories of our trip.

Big Boy & Mama at Nerd HQ, the gathering spot for fun put on by the good folks from The Nerd Machine which raised money for Operation Smile.


So call us what you may- nerds, geeks, freaks- but those who know how to embrace fun will live long and prosper.

So say we all!

Moving Out, Moving On & Moving Forward

Written By: Dawn - Jul• 05•12

We’ve been in the new house for nearly two weeks now. As with all new spaces, there have been some adjustments, some more challenging than others. We have neither figured out nor memorized which light switches do what. Someone turned on the patio fan two days ago and it remains on, perhaps for eternity. I’ll keep you posted.

We survived the move with help from family (my mother in particular) and friends who lifted, lugged and laid off the the judgement as they moved our “treasures” between houses. This move was by far the most disorganized we’ve ever been, brought on by the heat of summer and a powerful inertia to clear the old house until the last possible moment.  We have a few more stops to Goodwill before we’re finally settled into the new place.

As we’ve gone through this process I’m reminded that the more things change, the more they stay the same. Moving can be a cleansing experience as you purge the unwanted or needed excess of your life, but some things remain constant, fixed points of an existence, no matter how many times a physical locale is relocated.

For example-

The Better Half still bunches up his socks and stuffs them into the seat of the recliner.

Dakota still finds these socks and chews them up. (Sometimes the socks make a second appearance but that’s all I’ll say about that.)

Big Boy set up his computer and was torrenting files within 24 hours.

Little Bug has yet to meet a towel that doesn’t belong the floor of his room.

I really own a lot of shoes. And scrapbook supplies. And craft supplies. And holiday decorations. And books.

It also appears that our family status as the Simpsons of the block transferred to the new address. Despite being a mere 10 miles from our old neighborhood, the new digs are a world apart.

We discovered this last night, on the Fourth of July, when night fell and our happy dinner party of three families and some bonus kids took to the street to light fireworks (which are legal now in parts of AZ). No one else on the block lit up. A family a few doors down came outside to watch us and their small children squealed with delight. The man and woman across the street came out too, almost immediately, but were less than passionate patriots.

Little Bug, ever the good host, greeted them with a warm, “Happy Fourth of July!”

They responded with a terse, “Are there any adults there?”

The Better Half answered their question, moonlight gently reflecting off his wine glass.

Don’t they that 80% of communication is nonverbal? Even in the dark, their displeasure was clear. They abruptly turned and re-entered their home, which was shut up and dark as if its owners where away on a voyage around the world. No hello back to us. No introduction, this being the first exchange between our families. No interest in community.

It’s possible they felt uncomfortable around such revelry. They were vastly out numbered by kids, adults and wine glasses (don’t worry- safety first, they were plastic). Perhaps we’ve misread the the cues in the neighborhood -abundance of German autos, lack of greetings or visible signs of human presence- and mistakenly assumed that the new hood was similar in personally to the old one. Perhaps we’ll defy the odds and get a second chance to make a first impression. Perhaps we’ll need to demonstrate our skills with toilet paper and landscaping.

Change is inevitable, change is good and change brings opportunity. Settling into change can take some time. We spent 14 years in the old house and in that time built lovely relationships with some, but not all, of our neighbors. So I’m committed to give it some time, to be patient and hope for the best.

Hell, if I can survive moving all our junk here, moving heaven and earth should be a breeze!


I’m not in Kansas anymore (or iWeb)

Written By: Dawn - May• 10•12

I imagine that by the end of the year I’ll feel like a pro in Word Press, but right now I feel a little like Dorothy in the Land of Oz as I adjust to blogging in a whole new format.

To be honest with you, I thought change was behind me for a while after starting a new job and sending Big Boy off to college last August. This spring brought more changes in the form of a new opportunity- I’ll be coaching freshmen football at work (more on that later), a new house and a new website.

I am not one of those people who is easily adaptable by nature. My day job in a high school library and my dream of a writing career have both forced me to accept that change is unavoidable and you have to recalibrate your expectations accordingly.

The rise of digital publishing and the demise of brick and mortar bookstores have forced me to look at a writing career far different from the one I imagined while typing away on my grandparents’ old Smith Corona typewriter.

The thing I’m realizing is I can’t avoid change and I can’t control when it comes, but I can control my reaction to it.