Monday, December 13, 2010

Scenes from my fantasy life

Breaking news: This weekend, I watched an entire half-hour infomercial for a Time/Life collection of CDs from the '70s. I grew up with that music—my mom always had the radio on in our house—and I knew every single song they played.

I had the rare chance to zone out because I was away at an event in San Diego. Nissan debuted their fourth-generation minivan, the Quest, and through my work with Redbook I got invited to speak about work-life balance at a lunch for bloggers. (They sprung for the plane ride, my hotel room and a massage, which was nice, as another part of my fantasy life involves being a jet-setter or a lady who lunches.) I thought the Quest was impressive: I liked the wood-paneled dashboard, the rear seats you could easily pull up and down, the low-ish step for getting into the back, doors and a trunk that opened with a push of the button on the handle, a Blind Spot Warning System in which a light on the oversize side-view mirrors flashes if a car is passing (so you won't turn and hit it) and actually beeps if you veered toward it (I tried, just to see what would happen). Here 'tis:

I got to chat and laugh with a wonderful bunch of women: Ciaran from Momfluential, Lori from A Cowboy's Wife, Kim from Traveling Mom, Elizabeth from Traded My BMW for a Minivan, Jamie from Blonde Mom Blog, Romy from Romy Raves, Theresa from Rock On Mommies, Amy from BabyCenter, Caryn from Rockin Mama, Sondra from Happy Healthy Hip Parenting, Sugar from Sugar in the Raw and Courtney from My DFW Mommy.

I forget how bad the entire state of California is for my hair until I see pictures like this. Anyhoo, we got into a good discussion, we ate good food, we had our own hotel rooms (heaven). So there I was, lying in bed at 11:30 p.m. propped up by three pillows because there was no Dave to hog them, and I got sucked into the Singers & Songwriters infomercial. (Word, my friend Sheila Weller wrote a book about Carly Simon, Carole King and Joni Mitchell, Girls Like Us, it's an excellent read).

Then I had a five-hour plane ride home and the entire time, I was singing the songs. I mean, not like I was doing plane karaoke or anything, but the elderly guy next to me slept, and the engines were loud, so I could sing softly: "I'm leaving on a jet plane... Sunshine on my shoulders... Sarah smile... Bye, bye Miss American Pie... In my mind I've gone to Carolina... You're so vain... If you leave me now...." As I sat there I thought, I want to learn to play guitar. And get a gig singing in the pub in town.

Dave, Max and Sabrina were at the airport waiting for me and I was ecstatic to see them. Max was wailing, because he wanted to go somewhere on a plane and meanie parents that we are, we wouldn't let him. At home I bathed the kids, picked up the entire house because nobody else has that talent, caught up on mail and chores and generally got back to reality, where there isn't spare time to take guitar lessons or, for that matter, watch infomercials, although there is plenty of opportunity to drive a minivan.

But, man, I'd really like to learn how to play guitar. And sing in the pub in town.

OK, if you had the time, what would you learn how to do?


  1. I've always wanted to learn how to sing just cause. We'll there's this class offering at Continuing Ed called 'Singing for Non-Singers' that I always want to take.

    But I always convince myself that's a silly use of money but truth is, isn't silliness a good use too if money if you'd REALLY enjoy yourself? And you're not negligecting other monetary obligations?

    Perhaps I'll take when it's offered again.

  2. Hmmmm. I hav a fantasy about running a beach town B&B with my husband but then I realize that might be more work than fun so maybe I'll just say become a great photographer. I almost changed my major from print journalism to photo journalism when I was a freshman in college.

    Wonderful to see you again my friend and enjoy dinner! ;)

    Yeah the California humidity was doin' crazy things to my hair, too.

    p.s. OH can you send me a copy of that group pic (will give you photo cred)

  3. I read "girls like us" last summer. Loved it. I'm a total music nerd and it was right up my alley!!

  4. I have a long list of things but snowboarding is near the top.

  5. OMG, I love that car! It looks like a spacemobile!!!! I am having serious vehicle envy, my car is so old it doesn't even have airbags! The only thing it has going for it is low insurance premiums!

    If I had spare time, I'd probably sleep, actually, but if I had a LOT of spare time (and some money to spare as well), I'd probably go back to school and be the fat old lady in the back of the class!!

  6. The Quest sounds like a great minivan. I am actually thinking of getting one so hearing it's praises was very helpful. Thank you for always providing such helpful information on your blog.

  7. Oh no...I love your blog but I also used it to keep track of al lthe other ones i read...where did the list go?

  8. What happened to your blogroll? I used your blogroll everyday to find others who I also read...

    Just wondering.

  9. Following you for a while now...LOVE Your blog!! Follow me if you like! ;) My Angel, Adams....

  10. Er, I have NO idea where the blog roll went. That is very scary. I'm doing a redesign right now, let me see if designer took it?!

    Felicia: I am with you, I would spend a portion of my newfound career as a singer taking serious naps!!! In between signing autographs, of course.

  11. I'd like to go back to school or really do anything that is just for me.

  12. I'm with Hilary. And, if I could find a class like that, I would love it. My husband and I have always talked about singing and dancing lessons. Some day. Sigh.

  13. Ellen,
    I have to say that I have been thinking about your post ever since I read it yesterday. I guess the grass is always greener, because I envy your life. Aside from the fact that you are ravishingly beautiful, I would love to have writing be my life's work instead of my hobby. But, I also love all of the music you just mentioned especially James Taylor, so if I take music lessons, too, could I be a backup singer?

    What's up with being the only one who knows how to pick up? It is the same way in my house.

  14. I'm a little behind in my Google Reader, but this one was too good to not comment...
    I have a laundry list of fantasies, including in no specific order:
    -Sing. Well. That currently doesn't happen. :)
    -Playing guitar. (I have my MIL's guitar in my closet and it hasn't been opened since the Monkey last asked to see it... a few months ago.)
    -Be a photographer and understand things like aperture and shading.
    -Regularly update my blog.
    -Be a fashionista.

    I've been sucked into the TimeLife 70's as well. There's no shame in James.


Thanks for sharing!

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