Sunday, December 30, 2007

I want to say I'm getting better, but . . .



I'm still sick. Okay, maybe I don't feel as awful as Mr. Gaul does . . .

I managed to be cheerful at work today. And not to look as bad as I feel. I just have to get through tomorrow and then I can sleep til Friday. Just get through tomorrow, just get through tomorrow, just get through tomorrow . . .

I know, Jen, you warned me about stoned blogging : ) I'm going back to bed. Happy New Year to everyone! And have a drink for me?

Thursday, December 27, 2007

It finally catches up with me


Didn't feel well all day on Christmas. Too bad because it kinda ruined things for me. And for my family.
Sore throat. Aching head. Very tired. Trying to do a puzzle with Youngest, but concentrating on little tiny details just is not what the doctor ordered.
And by the way, an apology to anyone to whom I may have sent rambling, goofy personal messages. It's the NyQuil talking. Really.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Friday, December 21, 2007

Variations on a theme

While I was writing about my silly attempt at a boudoir photo, I did a quick Google search for 'reclining nude.' My thought process on that was to find a real piece of art that looked similar to my photo (you know, rather than actually post the photo : ) Because that post screamed for a visual.

Turns out 'reclining nude' is almost as ubiquitous as 'still life with fruit.' I had literally thousands to choose from. Some were stunning. Other were, hmmmm, how to express this politely . . . just this side of porn. That's not quite right. How about, just that side of porn . . .

I'm sharing my favorites. Because I can. Because this is my blog and I can post what I like. Even when I'm being boring to everyone but myself : )


This one is a Renoir. It looks to me like he painted her without her knowledge--as though he came upon her as she was just taking a nap by the lake. Wearing nothing. Nothing but an artfully arranged scarf. That didn't cover her buttcrack. You know, a typical day in the life of an average housewife. But doesn't she have beautiful hair?






This is a Toulouse-Lautrec. I think she looks bitter and hard. And like she used to be so beautiful, but she knows her looks are starting to fade a little. And there's no way of disguising that forever. (And just so you know, naked boobs do not behave themselves like the ones in this painting!)


This Gauguin nude looks hurt and sad (and jaundiced?) Of course, I only see what's obvious in art. I don't see the subtle stuff. I see what looks like her lover in the background with another woman. I have to say, if that were me? I wouldn't be lying on the couch crying. I'd be inflicting bodily harm. That's how I roll . . .




This beautiful young thing needs to wake the hell up before she's trampled by that horse!


I am not an artist. I would never look at this pile of debris in the desert and think to myself, "Hmm, doesn't that look exactly like a naked woman posing?



Once again, I'm just not this clever. I don't see art in the everyday. I would never have looked at one of these statues and said to myself, "I know what I could do with that!"




I love the next one because she looks exactly like me. In that we're both women. And both brunettes. After that, the resemblance begins to fade a bit . . . I love that she is so comfortable just relaxing on the couch--naked, for heaven's sake!--while she's being painted. And she's classy about it. Not all pouty and bedroom eyes. Just straightforward. Honest. In control. I can't identify with that at all.




And my hands-down favorite (I love this one so much I've been using it as my profile photo.) I give you Reclining Nude:



Thank you for your indulgence : )

Another of my brilliant ideas!

The kind that just never quite work out . . .

For at least a dozen years I've wanted to have a different kind of Christmas tree. I've wanted to have a bare, deciduous tree. Flocked. So it looks like an orchard tree in the snow. Decorated very simply with white lights, crystal prisms from a chandelier, and a few subtle hints of color. And a couple little birds. Because I have a thing about birds . . . Sounds unusual and beautiful, doesn't it?

I've been outvoted by my family all these years! And really, that's odd considering that my older two kids can be very out-of-the-box thinkers.

But this is the year! Enough of my family has moved out of the house that I finally won. It was Youngest (in true mama's boy fashion) who backed me during the official vote.

A friend from work gave me two very large branches from some pruning that had been done. Mister and Number One silently scoffed while I directed them as to the most aesthetically pleasing way to join the two branches to form a "tree."

"And how are these pieces being joined together so that they'll stay?" Mister asked. Scoffingly.

"You know what?" I answered, being as easy going about this process as I could. "I don't care. Do it any way that will work. It's going to be flocked and nobody will see how the pieces are joined. Use duct tape if you have to."

"Duct tape?" Mister questioned. Scoffingly. "So, we're having a white trash Christmas this year?"

And Number One couldn't quite stifle a snicker.

"You have something to add, Son?" I inquired. Patiently. Not a hint of irritation in my voice. Or something.

"Oh no! I am not getting in the middle of this one!" He exclaimed. Scoffingly.

"You're not in the middle, Boy. You've already taken your dad's side."

Off the "tree" went to the local nursery for professional, three dimensional flocking. And the nursery flocker scoffed. Well, flock him!

The flocking turned out beautifully! All the women at the nursery loved it. The guy who did the flocking (and charged us $30 up front) swore he will never do that kind of tree again unless he charges at least $160. But I'm happy : )

When it was time to decorate, Youngest switched parties mid-stream. Along about the time he realized I'm not letting him put his Star Wars or Buzz Lightyear ornaments on my "orchard" tree, he realized his error. And started scoffing.

"You know," I teased, although he is way too old for this tactic, "Santa doesn't bring presents to boys with bad attitudes."

"Yeah," he scoffed, with a helluvalot of attitude in his voice! "well Santa isn't known for leaving presents under fruit trees either."

Damn. That boy is good with the comebacks!

Naturally, as it goes with all my best ideas, the tree does not live up to my expectations. It does not have the form of a fruit tree. Or any tree from nature. It kinda has the form of two branches. Joined. But not with duct tape, because that would have been weird.

And the photos cannot do it justice. It's much more soft and subtle in person. And it's kinda big. And in the way. And odd.

Oh well. It's my dream tree. I'm going to enjoy it. I'm going to enjoy every Charlie Brown Christmas Tree moment of it : )



Thursday, December 20, 2007

Judgement (every) Day

[My apologies about the spacing issues I've been having. Makes the posts difficult to read, but I can't seem to fix it . . . ]
"Joe Brown. You should have one prescription ready for me."
Smiling and cheerful: "Okay, Mr. Brown, I have a note telling me that your insurance says it's too early to refill your Cymbalta and they won't cover it for 3 more days."
Stop rolling your effing eyes at me, Brown. As though I am personally to blame for your insurance company's decision. Asshat.
_________
"I'm here for pick up prescription. My husban, Hector Garcia."
Smiling and cheerful. And enunciating carefully: "There's a $56 co-pay for Mr. Garcia's medication today."
"I don' understan? I never have to pay before."
I have the deepest respect for anyone who packs up, settles in a different country and attempts to conduct their new life in a foreign language. But Mrs. Garcia, I don't want to try to explain "in the doughnut hole" (a concept I barely understand myself) in a language you don't have a full grasp of. Why isn't Pharmacist Greg bailing me out here? I guess he dreads this sort of explanation too . . .
_________
"John Stevens. Hydrocodone."
I remember you John. From junior high. From high school. You don't have to tell me your name. You look exactly the same as you did 25 years ago. I can see in your eyes that you have no recollection of me. You were an out-of-touch druggie back then, and you're an out-of-touch druggie now. Your life has been infinitely more difficult than mine, hasn't it?
_________
"Hi there, Mrs. Poldin. Picking up for Pete today?" Okay, but seriously? That "Jean Nate" commercial from when you and I were pre-teens? The one where the woman was shown splashing that nasty ass poison all over her body after a shower? That's not really the way you apply any after bath products or perfumes! Natalie can't wait on you. Her face swells and her neck itches if she's standing--and I'm not exaggerating--within a 10 foot radius of you. Whenever you leave, we plug in our fan to dissipate your cloud of being . . .
_________
"Hi, I'm picking up today."
I remember your infallible face from the first time I saw you across the counter. But why are you talking to me as though I can recall your name from one meeting weeks ago?
"For Curtis?"
Okay, now I remember. Curtis Scott. Sorry about that. And please, stop penetrating my soul with the intense energy of your eyes. You see all my flaws, don't you?
_________
Noooooooooooo! Dammit, dammit, dammit, dammit!!!!! Everybody else saw you coming and suddenly found themselves to be unbelievably busy. And left me to wait on you. Do you know you're batshit crazy? Do you know that when you threaten to take your business to another pharmacy, everybody in the back gets on their knees and takes up the Rosary--praying that you will go elsewhere?
Dammit, dammit, dammit, dammit!!! I'll learn how to do this. They're hiring someone new in a few months and I'll catch on to the art of abandoning the new girl to the assmuppet customers!
_________
"Hello there, Mrs. Roosevelt! How are you today?"
"I'm doing just fine. I came to get my insulin."
"Mrs. Roosevelt, it looks like you've reached your maximum on your insurance for this year. I'm afriad your co-pay for the insulin is $336."
"It's how much? I can't afford that!"
"I am so sorry, Mrs. Roosevelt. The first of the year is close and then you'll be covered again . . . "
"But what am I supposed to do until the first of the year without my insulin? Die?"
Oh no, please don't cry . . . There will be some way to work this out, just hold it together until I can get a pharmacist to help you figure out something . . . Please don't cry . . .
_________
"Joshua Iverson. I just handed in my prescription 5 minutes ago. I'm not sure if it's ready yet?"
You are so, so young to be on Methadone . . . You're coming here more and more frequently, aren't you? How will this end?
_________

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

As long as we're in the 80's . . .

Let's talk about Billy Idol for a moment. Billy and Christmas.

I like Billy Idol. Always have. I liked that back during his heyday he was a welcome departure from the status quo. He was no traditional big haired rocker. He had a harder edge. But not a weird edge, a la the B52s. (Sorry to all you B52s fans : ) He was quirky and hedonistic. And all his songs (at least those that got air time) were about his passions: sex and drugs--and every other sin worth indulging in.

More recently, I adored his cameo role in The Wedding Singer. How could you not love a guy who is a good enough sport to poke a little fun at himself?

And then we have Billy Idol's Christmas CD, Happy Holidays: A Very Special Christmas Album. He sings all the Christmas standards, plus the very special song, "Christmas Love."

I don't know who wrote "Christmas Love." I've heard it a handful of times on the cable Christmas music station. All I can tell you is this: It's very Billy.

It's hard enough to adjust the sensibilities to his raunchy voice singing about peace on Earth and goodwill toward men, but the lyrics of "Christmas Love?" You just have to read them for yourself:

Have a merry Christmas
And a happy new year
Give everyone your blessin'
And spread the good cheer
The best gift you can give
Is the gift of love
It's what the whole world needs
Is what we're dreaming of
Chorus:
So light up the fire
Walk through the snow
Come and stand with me now
Under the mistletoe
We all need some Christmas love
Gonna get my Christmas love
We all need some Christmas love
Children wrap your presents
Put them underneath the tree
If everybody gives
Then everyone receives
I see your pretty face
In the Christmas light
Children are excited
Cause Santa comes tonight
Chorus
Well I see Santa's been here
There's a smile on my face
He's brought all the presents
Put them in their right place
He's probably flyin' high
Across the moon
He'll be at your chimney
Any time soon
Chorus
I'd comment more, but really? Where does one begin?
Love you, Billy, but you lost me here . . .

Monday, December 17, 2007

Which "Breakfast Club" character are you?

I am reminded of this every so often. A lyric from a song on the radio as I drove home tonight led to an idea which led to another which led to a line from a movie. And an inconvenient thought that I choose to bury as much as I can.

I love the movie The Breakfast Club. I think John Hughes got many things about high school life, personalities, insecurities and stereotypes just right. Just exactly right. Sure, there are a few imperfections in the movie, a few cliche moments. But for the most part, just exactly right.

I am "Andrew", the Emilio Estevez character. I can't think for myself. Or I just don't think for myself. Not sure which of those is closer to the truth. There are moments; bright spots along the way. But for the most part . . .

One of my favorite lines is at the very end of the film. The 5 kids recognize that they're all pigeonholed, but they know themselves better. It's the kids who know themselves better that I now understand are the enlightened ones among us. Wish I had seen that back then . . .

From the voice over:

"You see us as you want to see us... In the simplest terms, in the most convenient definitions. But what we found out is that each one of us is a brain... and an athlete... and a basket case... a princess... and a criminal... "

Which Breakfast Club character are you?

TMI. At least it’s fictitious, right?

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to any actual persons, living or dead, events or locales is entirely coincidental.
Wife: Hi, sweetie. I’m so glad you’re home! I need you. On your back.

Husband: Yikes!

Wife: Excuse me? Did you say yikes?

Husband: That’s not what I meant. I overdid it today and my back is really sore and tired. I want you too, but I don’t think I’m up for what you have in mind.

Wife: Did you say YIKES?

Husband: That sounded kinda bad, didn’t it?

Wife: I don’t care if you’ve just been shot! I don’t care if your mother is standing next to you! When your wife tells you she wants to have her way with you, the answer is never YIKES!

Husband: (sheepish grin) Sorry . . .

Wife: You know I’m going to blog this, right?

Husband: sigh Yes. I know.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Let's just finish that thought about the naked pictures, shall we?

"Oh, hey, I have a great idea!" I said to myself. Stupidly.

As a side note, Myself wonders why I haven't learned from all my good ideas of the past that never quite panned out the way I had hoped.

The seed having been planted, I thought it would be a grand idea to take some boudoir photos of myself as a thoughtful Christmas present for Mister. Isn't that a lovely idea? I know, I know. It's really not. We've been together for 23 years, so by this point a nekkid picture is pretty much regifting. But . . .

I learned many things from this humiliating experience. Not the least of which was how difficult it is to take "artistic" photos of oneself without benefit of a tripod or a fancy shmancy camera with a timer thingy.

Step 1: Look around the house for a good location . . . a nice backdrop, if you will. Ideally, you want a surface to gracefully recline on that isn't unmade (the bed) or covered with projects and bills (the kitchen table) or bearing the ghosts of dog crap puppy prints (the couch.)

Step 2: Spend an hour or so scrambling to tidy up the potential scenery, only to discover there are environmental issues not under your control. (Translation: there's still too much crap in the background.) Realize this is going to take forever. Give up.

Step 3: Now that you're all sweaty and out of breath from rushing around confirming that your house, nay, your life is all one tangled, strangled mess that can't be cured in the space of an hour, shed your clothes and try to look peaceful and sexy.

Step 4: Give up on "peaceful and sexy." Attempt "a little less frazzled than normal." That ought to do it.

Step 5: Good heavens--don't look in the mirror!!!!! It's hopeless, I tell you! You'll start by thinking maybe a little concealer here and there would be a good idea. Pretty soon, you're trying to wipe out every dark spot, laugh line, and stretchmark. You'll go through a whole jar of your most expensive make-up by the time you realize there isn't enough Mac in the world!

Step 6: Lounge seductively on the backdrop.

Step 7: Stop laughing at the concept of "lounge seductively." No really, stop. It's making the extra flesh ripple and roll and this does not a pretty picture make!

Step 8: Extend your arm out as far as you can with the camera while holding a smouldering pose . . . and not allowing your hair to slide off your shoulders and cover your cleavage . . . and willing your boobs to defy gravity . . .

Step 9: Snap a few photos. Make sure you're not accidentally taking video of yourself.

Step 10: Delete the video you accidentally took of yourself.

Step 11: Go to the computer and assess the damage. And now is the time to wonder why you didn't bother to shave your legs first. And why you couldn't have maybe employed enticing (and somewhat covering and supporting) lingerie. And why you at the very least didn't think of lightly touching your skin right beneath your armpits so your nipples would look all pert and firm instead of looking all . . . 40.

Step 12: Perform triage. What I meant to say was: make generous use of whatever photo editing tools you have. Be brutal with this step:
  • Crop out all the body parts that aren't pleasing. (I conveniently lost my legs, hips, butt, arms, tummy and 3/4 of my torso. And I'm still not happy with the end result . . . )
  • Use the blurring tool to soften the edges. (Looking at my finished product makes you kinda feel like visiting the eye doctor . . . )
  • Tone down the color and adjust the light levels a little if you want to lose any visible imperfections in your skin. (I toned it down and adjusted a little extra. My photo is now black and white. Well, mostly white . . . )

Voila! Now you have a grainy, almost unrecognizable likeness of "Sex Kitten Meets Motherhood."

And the final step? Wonder (you know--now, after doing all that work) what you can possibly do with this picture. Save it to a disk and take it to the photo center at Costco for them to print on 11" x 13" glossy paper? Print it yourself, frame it and hang it so all your children, family, friends and neighbors can admire it? Create a wallet print for hubby so when he's out with the boys and has a few drinks he can share it with everyone at the bar?

Yeah. Another one of my brilliantly thought out projects . . .

Photos of questionable content

Recently, a number of men have asked me for, shall we say, "revealing" photos. I get that a lot. (And by "a lot" I mean twice . . . ) I'm one of those women. (No! Not one of THOSE women! Just one of those women.) I put out that vibe. I attract that kind of attention. Could it be because I encourage it? Maybe ; )

In real life, I'm nothing to write home about. I'm of the "kinda cute" variety. But I'm happy to go with the prevailing myth that I'm somethin' wonderful.

So, for you guys who have made requests, I offer these photos. Enjoy : )





Nice breasts, no? Firm. And non enhanced--the way Nature intended:










Legs of a former athlete. A little meatier than I like. I guess a little less grazing during the holidays would help:





















I used to have a great ass. The years have not been kind . . .











And the shot y'all were hoping for:







Ripped off from Geggie. Because I love memes : )

So, dear Geggie, I never did do the 'weird things about me' meme that you tagged me for. I have already done that one a couple times and really? I'm not all that weird--am I? ; ) So I took this one straight off your blog:

The Christmas Meme

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags?
Paper. Until about 1 o'clock Christmas morning and I'm still wrapping--then it's bags, baby!

2. Real tree or Artificial?
Real. Only this year, with a twist. Maybe I'll post a photo.

3. When do you put up the tree?
Usually sometime during the week before Christmas. I like to wait until Number One comes home from school.

4. When do you take the tree down?
Epiphany.
Or MLK Day.
Or Palm Sunday . . .

5. Do you like eggnog?
The beverage that is the color and consistency of snot? Not so much.

6. Favorite gift received as a child?
Baby Go Bye-Bye (She was a doll with a car.)

7. Do you have a nativity scene?
Yes. And a pathetic little stable that the kids and I built together years ago using kindling and a glue gun.

8. Hardest person to buy for?
All the men in the family. Especially Mister who returns everything!

9. Easiest person to buy for?
Beautiful.

10. Mail or email Christmas cards?
Mail. With a personally written, non-generic note in each one. I'm funny that way.

11 .Worst Christmas gift you ever received?
I once received a toilet seat--but that wasn't the worst gift!

12 . Favorite Christmas Movie?
I love "A Christmas Story." Also "Elf" and Jim Carrey's "The Grinch" even though I was convinced I would hate it because I generally don't like him.

13 . Have you ever recycled a Christmas present?
Probably.

14. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas?
Everything! Anything at Clarice's house. And I could live for weeks on my almond roca alone.

15 . Clear lights or colored on the tree?
Opposite of Geggie--clear on the tree, colored on the house.

16 . Favorite Christmas song?
O Come, O Come Emmanuel

17. Travel at Christmas or stay home?
Home--our house as well as the homes of close family.

18. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer?
This question (BTW, not putting any blame on Geggie ; ) originally asked if I could name all of Santa's "reindeer's." I was forced to edit.

And yes, I can.


19. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning?
Morning. Though I have occasionally let the kids open one on Christmas Eve--just to dissipate a little pressure so nobody explodes!

20. Most annoying thing about this time of year?
People asking, "Are you ready?"

21 . Favorite ornament theme or color?
Oooooh, I've done some fun ones. A couple years ago it was candy. Youngest and I had great fun but the candy garlands we made (using real candy) turned into a sticky, drippy mess next to the cold windows with their attendant moisture . . .

22. When do you start shopping for Christmas?
Sometime in December when I'm really, finally in the spirit.

23. What, do you want for Christmas this year?
Honestly? I want to be pampered. So selfish ; )

24. Angel or Star on top of tree?
Depends on the year and what I've done with the tree. This year will be, hmmmm, unusual . . .

25. What do/did you leave for Santa?
By the time my kids were headed to bed on Christmas Eve when they were little, I was usually still making presents so we left out whatever treats we could scrounge up from gifts people had already given us : )

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Really? Even in my dreams?

I had a dream about a vacation with my older son. We were at a lovely, rocky beach. Walking along the shore together, we kept noticing grand staircases going right down to the water that didn't seem to be connected to any of the impressive beachfront homes.

Investigating further, we realized that they were part of a sprawling old decommissioned military fort like Fort Worden.

"Oh, wow!" I turned excitedly to Number One. "These must be from WWII!"

"No, Mom," he answered glibly. "I asked around. These installations were in use during the 70's."

"Really? All the way up to the 70's?" I replied, obviously surprised at the need for such as recently as my childhood.

He looked at me with that funny, sneering little smile, "It's not like it was last weekend, ya know."

Poking fun at me even in my dreams?

Smart ass.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

So there I was, naked save for the plastic wrap and socks . . .

Did you ever start doing something that seemed like a good idea at the time, but part way in--the part where it's too late to go back--you realize you haven't planned it out well and then you're kind of stuck?

Like one day, you think it might be a grand idea to combine walking the dog with some exercise. So you strap on your rollerblades, put the dog on the leash and head out the door. And then you, with the dog trotting happily along, reach the top of the really big hill and you have the sudden realization that:
  1. During the pre-rollerblade planning, you'd forgotten about the hill.
  2. The dog has started charging on down and you're still holding her leash.
  3. You have precious few choices. And they include:
  • Keep holding onto the leash and follow the dog to your own certain and bloody death.
  • Let go of the dog, but it's still not going to stop the momentum that's already begun to build.
  • Plus, letting go of this particular dog means you won't see her again until hours later when an irritated neighbor brings her back and you have to explain the leash, the rollerblades, the hill . . . And as the words are pouring forth you sound more and more like the village idiot.

Is it just me? Anybody else had that experience? No?

I have eczema on my hands. It gets particularly bad during the dry winter. I do many things to keep it in check, but it's still hard to control. The other day, a doctor gave me the same advice I've always heard, only this time with a little twist:

In addition to using cortisone cream, layered with thick moisturizing cream, covered with cotton gloves or some such, she recommended a layer of plastic wrap over my hands before putting on the gloves (or thick cotton socks, as she advised.)

My hands hurt. I was willing to give this doctor's method a whirl.

Fresh out of the shower and ready for bed, I dutifully slathered on a thick layer of industrial strength cortisone cream, followed by a coating of moisturizer, wrapped my hands up carefully in plastic wrap, and slid on a pair of hubby's thick cotton socks over the whole sludgy mess. Imagine, if you will, how difficult that preparation was to achieve.

Walking back into our bedroom, I removed my bathrobe and allowed it to stay where it had come to rest on the floor. With my hands all trussed up like lobster claws in a restaurant tank, it was too much work to attempt to hang up the robe.

And that's when the sudden realization hit. How was I going to get my pj's on? Our room is much too cold on winter nights to sleep in the buff so I needed to figure something out. Wrapped up as I was, I had no dexterity. I didn't even have opposable thumbs.

I considered unwrapping my well-packaged hands, washing all the goo off, getting dressed and rewrapping. But the thought of putting my hands in hot, soapy water (especially having just exited a hot shower) was much too painful. I wasn't taking this mess off until morning.

I tried using my feet, my teeth and my flippers to maneuver my way into nightclothes. I had all the adroitness of a Muppet.

Still wearing nothing, I paced between the bathroom and bedroom several times. Maybe if I . . . no, that won't work. But what about . . . hmmm, that's no better.

Giving up, I walked out to the living room where sweet, long suffering Mister was sitting in his chair watching an engrossing episode of "Mythbusters." Standing there naked, except for the plastic wrap and socks, I asked for his help.

"Wha . . . But how . . . Never mind." He shook his head and told me I'm the strangest little person he's ever met. And then he helped me get dressed.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

He inherited Dad's sense of humor too . . .

Recently, when the subject arose of Beautiful's ex-fiance (Crap Weasel) Youngest had this to say:

"That guy was about as useful as sand in my pants."

Well said, Youngest : )

Monday, December 3, 2007

She gets it from her dad.

On the way to a Trans-Siberian Orchestra concert with Beautiful:

"Ooooh, Mom! I hope they play Christmas Canon!

"Oh, wait. I guess they can't unless they're like Michael Jackson and travel everywhere with a boys' choir . . . "

Friday, November 30, 2007

Thursday, November 29, 2007

$%#!@*& Cheek!

So. I am not psychic but there have been occasions in my life when I have had a gut feeling about things. That little voice inside my head that tells me, "This doesn't apply to you."

Like when I was a kid and my gymnastics team was set to go see Nadia Comaneci perform on her American tour. The talk every day in our gym centered around this blessed event. I wasn't all that excited. I just felt it wasn't going to happen. The enthusiasm didn't apply to me.

Sure enough, Nadia put on a few pounds and became rebellious about training. The tour was cancelled.

Some years later in our Lamaze classes while I was pregnant with Number One Son, I had the sneaking suspicion that I really didn't need to pay attention. All the breathing and positions weren't for me to be concerned about. The birth process magically didn't apply to me.

Sure enough, Number One ended up being a not-quite-emergency Cesarean delivery.

But there is one area where my inner voice has failed me. All the talk I've heard since I was a kid about getting old, getting wrinkles, gray hair, sore joints, saggy boobs, excess weight--without a shadow of a doubt I knew that tedious business didn't apply to me!

Turns out? My sixth sense was too busy watching Scooby Doo to see the truth . . .

Crow's feet do appear, whether or not I thought they would. Greys occasionally sneak in, though I was convinced that would never happen to me. And boobs? Yeah, draw your own mental picture there . . .

And all the stuff everyone says about how much more difficult it is as you age to maintain weight, take off extra pounds, keep fit and toned and flexible? It's all true. And? It actually does apply to me. F*ck.

That is why I sucked it up and joined kickboxing bootcamp. Which, you may recall, ended up being a bit of a disappointment. And now that I'm healed, I attempted rejoining. But my work schedule is constantly at odds with class times. Sigh.

I was thinking yoga would be a healthy alternative. But again, the classes I was interested in are scheduled during times I just can't be there.

I resigned myself to go back to ralking (Beautiful's word for my running/walking.) Only I can't do it before work because it's dark out. And I can't do it after work because it's dark out.

As that bitch Fate would have it, Cheek happened to post this article about hula hooping performance art. Reading through it, I noticed the woman, Suat Ling Chua, mentioned she had been doing her hula hoop "routine." Curious what a hula hoop routine could entail, I did a quick Google search.

What I learned is that hula hoopin' is the next big thing in exercise fads. I am never one to do the "in" thing, but I decided an exercise regimen with a hula hoop was definitely what I was looking for. I was, after all, the 3rd grade hula hooping champion. Champion, I tell you!

Know what I discovered? I discovered that holy crap it's been a long time since the 3rd grade!! And I am no longer in champion form . . .

It took 15 or 20 tries before I could get beyond one revolution. And every time it hit the ground, it smacked into my ankles first.

So here's my first piece of advice for anyone considering joining the hula hoop revolution:

Don't do it naked.
(I'm assuming this would be a good rule of thumb. I was barefoot during my trial runs which is why it hurt my ankles so much. I can only guess at how the rest of me would have fared without my protective clothing!)

Also:

Buy a top of the line hula hoop. Not one from Toys 'R Us.
That's engineered for a standard 3rd grader . . .


A good adult hoop should be fairly weighty (1-2 lbs is good.) And not partially filled with water as the counterbalance like my cheap plastic crappy one is. It's like the hoop has a tide all its own. And the hoop tide wasn't always in sync with my moon . . .

And finally:

If your inner voice is telling you that this is kind of a bullsh*t exercise
"program" and not to waste your time--trust your inner voice. The coming
hula hooping wave probably doesn't apply to you. Unless you're looking for
one more piece of cheesy exercise equipment for your next garage
sale.



Must run now. I have to do some research on where I can buy a quality hula hoop . . .

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

It's not a waste of time! It's not, it's not, it's not!!!

My lovely daughter, Beautiful, moved out again a couple months ago. We use myspace to keep in touch.

Now, before you go judging me for being 40 and having a myspace account, let me explain that it’s a cultivated and practical way for mother and daughter to keep up with all the important news and information we used to share in person.

For your consideration, a transcript from last night:


Kristin: I just gave Youngest the ‘birds and bees’ talk . . .


Beautiful: blahhh!!! not that talk : )


Kristin: He kept hinting and asking. What was I supposed to do?

So I told him that it's a beautiful mystery. You get married. You pray for children. One day, you go to the hospital and pick one out. Unless you're a bad, bad sinner and you're not married . . .


Beautiful: and you'd be in that category i believe : )


Kristin: Oh. I had conveniently forgotten that fact . . .

Well, let that be a lesson to you!

Also, don't have sex. You'll die.


Beautiful: but you didn't die. oh wait, your soul did ; )


Kristin: How is everything going for you tonight--other than the dreadful fact that you are the offspring of a soulless entity?


Beautiful: well, aside from that great disappointment and the fact that my body wants me to get some sleep i'm doing alright. how you doin?


Kristin: I'm okay. I'm reading an interesting (but poorly written) book.

I thought you had already gotten off-line. I was about to accuse you of being all inconsiderate in your behavior (not saying goodnight or goodbye, just logging off with no manners whatsoever . . . ) but I see you're still on. You are forgiven : )


Beautiful: huh, you must be reading shakespeare. the stories are somewhat interesting, but it’s just like with homer--written like a male would write.

oh, and augh! [indignant kelso-from-"That 70’s Show" sound] not inconsiderate! just very busy



Kristin: No, I don't mean poorly written like Shakespeare. I mean this dude's a total amateur! It would have been better if he had told his fascinating story to a real author and let the literature commence from there . . .

Speaking of total amateur, I've just started looking at on-line writing courses. I could definitely improve. Like I could learn to write dialogue. Or fiction. Or something interesting that isn't a silly rant about my absurd daily life . . .

Let me demonstrate my clever and witty craftsmanship with dialogue:

And then she was all, "Dude, your soul is dead."

And I was all, "Dude! Shut up! You're freaking me out! Plus, you’re, like, so rude!"

And she's like, "Augh!" [indignant Kelso sound]


How's that for some fine creative writing!


Beautiful: now that right there is a world class piece! That's what she said ; )


See what I mean about myspace being a cultivated and practical mode of communication? Almost right up there with beautifully written letters from long ago . . .

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

google me

I'm sure we all have the shared experience of chuckling over the odd google searches that lead folks to our blogs. I've had lots of funny ones, but I don't compile them so they're forever lost in the hide-and-seek crannies of my mind.

Strangely, I get a lot of traffic from people googling the phrase "when she says jump." (Why would so many people google that?) And more than a handful from the phrase "Oh, no, you ditn't!"

I'm sure every guy who has ever checked out my blog late at night after searching for the word "undieless" has been woefully disappointed >: )

But the weirdest one to date came a couple days ago from Sri Lanka. Someone clicked on You can dress me up, but . . . after googling this:

wife dress me as a lady

Um, ewwww?

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Monday, November 19, 2007

influence again

I was working on a post about the impact of best friends. It was almost complete, but I couldn't make it work. It ended up sounding trite. Not what I was going for : )

Rick posted something that said everything I wanted to say anyway. So I'm stealing Rick's post (thanks, Rick : )

Spanning 35 years of best friendship: For Linnea, Tosha, Susie, Rich, Wendy, Tracy, Mary, Beautiful and Mister. Include as well the other friends--the ones who aren't quite as intimate, or those who slip quietly in and out of the pantheon but leave in their wake a silver ribbon of wisdom and truth (Clarice, Angie, Michele, Doug, James, and all the others . . . )



Oh the comfort, the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person, having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but pouring them all right out, just as they are -- chaff and grain together -- certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and with the breath of kindness blow the rest away. -George Eliot

Sunday, November 11, 2007

And again, Chuck Norris is a curse to me!

I promise--this will be the last time I talk about sex. For, like, 5 minutes anyway . . .

I am here once again to dispense wisdom. Without further ado, a tip (pretty much only applicable to the ladies):

Should you happen to retire to the bedroom with your significant other for a little, ahem, quality time . . .

And should you happen to turn on the TV in the bedroom to provide subterfuge because there are children in the house and children should never overhear their parents having sex . . . which you know for a fact . . . because you've been down that road before . . .

If per chance when you turn on the TV you decide you don't care what happens to be on, just so long as it provides an adequate aural screen . . .

Think again!

For, should the TV in the background be playing an episode of the insipid 'Walker, Texas Ranger' . . .

And if, by coincidence, during the segue between foreplay and the main event the insipid TV program reaches the pivotal, inspirational, emotional moment . . .

And the song accompanying said inspirational, emotional moment turns out to be "Climb Every Mountain" at the very moment that your husband is, ummmmmmmm, summiting a small, wife-shaped mountain . . .

You might (since you can ignore neither the song nor the coincidence) accidentally giggle.

Do not giggle!

Significant other might think you are giggling at him . . .

He might, in fact, worry that you are giggling because you are comparing him to Chuck Norris.


  • Chuck Norris secretly sleeps with every woman in the world once a month. They bleed for a week as a result.
  • Chuck Norris doesn't pop his collar, his shirts just get erections when they touch his body.
  • Chuck Norris is not hung like a horse . . . horses are hung like Chuck Norris.

Giggling--followed by chortling as you deny the accusation of making unfavorable Chuck Norris comparisons--might not enhance the mood.

The mood might suffer.

The mood might be lost.

The mood, in fact, might disappear for some time. Some long time. Some looooooooooooooong, indefinite, lonely time . . .

Not that I know this firsthand, of course. I'm just guessing at what could happen if you tried to have a nooner while Chuck Norris is on TV in the background . . .

Thursday, November 8, 2007

influence

Yesterday, standing in my kitchen slicing cheddar cheese, Kate popped into my mind.

I was almost 15 when I met Kate. She had just moved to this area--a freshly minted law degree and two daughters in tow. I became Kate’s babysitter while she embarked on her new legal career.

I admired everything about Kate. She was everything the women in my family were not. Unapologetic for her status as a divorced, working mother (this was in the early 80’s--the beginning of the so-called "Mommy Wars." It was a big damn deal.) Tall and very thin. Educated. Professional.

She stayed out late. She came home drunk. She occasionally brought men home with her. And her men were all over the map. Some were older. Some were obviously far below her socioeconomic class. One was appreciably younger than Kate.

Kate was adventurous. She acted in local stage productions. She skied and sailed. And she was a hella good softball player on her firm’s team, The Ms. Demeanors.

More important than anything else, Kate treated me like an adult. She trusted me implicitly with her kids (who became like sisters to me.) She paid me well, included me in family activities, and wrote a glowing recommendation when it was time for me to move on.

It is said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. That’s where the cheddar cheese comes in.

If my mom were slicing cheese to accompany crackers, she would make nice, even little squares--just smaller than the crackers--arrange them on a plate and serve them properly. Not Kate. Kate would stand at her counter, knife and brick of cheese in hand, and make outrageously uneven slashes. This was revolutionary to me. Everything about her life was outrageously uneven. I wanted to be what she was.

I imitated her gait. I realized yesterday I also imitated her cheese slicing method. Cheese--of all things. And one other thing I’m aware that I copied from her is the way she answered the phone. I still answer after her fashion to this day.

And I realize something else. "Phil," the young man who I had a long and committed motherlike friendship with, now answers his phone like I do. Our friendship is over, but that little detail softens the pain of our parting.

I know I’ve been influential in his life, and in much bigger ways than just a phone greeting--but that one little compliment to me . . .

I confess, I hope one day when he’s 40 he notices someone in his life answering the phone like he does and he remembers where that came from. I hope his memories of me are as full of admiration and gratitude as mine are of Kate.

How’s that for egotistical?

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

The rest of the story

I had questions. Questions to which ‘Jude Law’ alone had the answers. I just could not wrap my head around the suggestion this man was making, so I e-mailed him. He was frank about his ideas. And justifications.

I started to post the transcript of our conversation, but felt it was too big an invasion of privacy. Jude may have answered more fully (or not at all : ) if he knew his thoughts were headed for public consumption.

Instead, I’ll briefly sum things up:

It appears that he loves his wife and that they have a good partnership except there isn’t enough intimacy to satisfy him. His solution has been adulterous relationships with long term partners who are in the same boat, so to speak.

And why did he invite me to this exclusive party? I was vainly hoping it was because he found me clever or funny or interesting or intelligent enough to hold a conversation with or, you know, something flattering like that. The real answer is that he finds me physically attractive, I’m married, and I live geographically close to him. In a word, he propositioned me because I’m convenient. So romantic!

As to "where is the ‘intimacy’ conducted?" He and his previous partners have used their own homes. I’m just going to directly quote his reasoning because there is no need (or room) for interpretation: "Infidelity is bad. I don't feel at one's house makes it more acute or egregious." I’d be willing to wager his wife would feel differently . . .

Finally, speaking of his wife, I asked him if he thought she ever suspected what was going on. Again, I’ll quote him directly: "No, i don't thnk she has. I'm pretty good at compartmentalizing. My guilt is assuaged by my lack of sex at home."

I’ll bet you’re all thinking what I’m thinking--that he has managed to blame his wife for his infidelity. I didn’t call him on that. I didn’t call him on anything. It was all too Twilight Zone.

The whole thing had a cold, pragmatic ring to it. Not emotionally vested. Dry. Businesslike. Not attending to any personal needs whatsoever--just f*cking for the sake of f*cking.

So--I’m thinking he’s a Grade A pig with a shirt on.

On the other hand . . .

What’s worse? Would I be more hurt to find that my husband was screwing someone else because he wasn't getting enough from me, or to find that he was having an affair with someone he was in love with?

Saturday, November 3, 2007

dude, this is what personal ads are for

All you blogger buddies--you’ll know what I’m talking about. When you have a publicly viewed Internet space, you get a mix of readers, commenters and private messagers. Most of these folks are nice or funny or thoughtful or encouraging or interesting or inspiring . . . But some of them are, hmmmm, well, they’re just a little different.

Over the last couple weeks, a purposefully unidentified man has been e-mailing me with the repeated suggestion that we chat via IM or maybe meet for coffee. Things he said, things he didn’t say, information he wasn’t willing to share all left me feeling kinda funny about what was going on. Instead of being patient and letting it ride to find out just who this person is and what he wants, I bluntly asked him what his deal is.

And his answer?

"I am looking for someone who might be in a similar situation as me: married, and for the most part very happy, but wanting more in the intimacy department. I am patient, not a man-whore, looking for someone with whom I can establish a long term quasi-monogamous (aside from spouse) relationship with. So, if you are interested in something like that, please let me know."

Oh my.

Part of me is thinking maybe this is someone I know (or a friend of someone I know) just jacking me around for the sport of it. Or perhaps it’s one of hubby’s friends who has read my blog and is testing my fidelity?

I asked this man, we’ll call him Jude Law, if either of those scenarios was the case. He assured me it wasn’t anything as sordid as that. He’s just interested in the philanderous sex.

I shouldn’t have declined quite so quickly. I should have played it for awhile--at least until I could get some answers to the million questions I have about his suggested arrangement.

For example, if he contacted me, one would assume he has also contacted at least a handful of other candidates. If he took each potential conquest individually out for coffee and a chat, isn’t that tantamount to the women applying for the position (pun fully intended) of mistress?

Jude claims that he and his family just moved here 6 months ago. I want to know if he had a similar situation worked out in the last place he lived. And how did it end? Was it a tearful goodbye? Do they keep in contact? Does he arrange for convenient ‘business trips’ in order to visit his former long-term-quasi-monogamous partner?

And really? Who’s to say there isn’t more than one partner? How many side dishes has this guy cooked up for himself?

And what of logistics? Since Jude is specifically looking for a married woman, then where is the ‘intimacy’ conducted? If it’s a regularly scheduled tryst, hotels could get expensive. His house? His married mistress’ house? A friend’s place? His car?

What if Jude is into . . . ahem . . . ‘costumes’ or ‘props’ that he doesn’t use with his wife? Where would those items be kept when not in use? Is there a storage locker somewhere filled with the trappings of this extra-marital business? Oh--hey! If it’s a big enough storage locker--maybe there’s also a bed, and a night stand, and candles, and a champagne bucket, and a trapeze and that’s where the actual ‘intimacy’ is conducted!

And what about birthdays and Christmas and the anniversary of the beginning of the affair? Maybe it’s just a girl thing, but I would want to share, or at least acknowledge, special occasions. It wouldn’t be possible though. Under those clandestine circumstances, you’d never be able to go out for a romantic dinner. You’d be unable to give a meaningful gift. You couldn’t spontaneously jump into the car and spend the day doing something whimsical and out of the ordinary. It would be more like a dry business relationship. {shudder}

I’m not up for playing Katharine Hepburn to an unseen, unknown Spencer Tracy. Or any Spencer Tracy, for that matter.

And no--I have NOT spent way too much time thinking about this . . .

Friday, November 2, 2007

And yes, I still do stupid stuff at work All. The. Time.

Monday morning, Pharmacist Greg and I were standing behind the counter unpacking and labeling the day’s order. A still-handsome, confident man in his late 50’s/early 60’s came to the window and slapped a $20 bill on the counter.

What I was thinking inside my head was, "Obviously he expects me to know who he is and fetch his prescriptions. If only he’ll say his name so I can fluidly handle this transaction . . . "

What came out of my mouth was nothing like that. What escaped my lips was, "And what can I trade you for that?"

No, seriously--I actually said that.

With a completely straight face, the man looked at the pharmacist and said, "Greg, walk away--we have a deal to conduct here."

Once again, a satisfied customer is a repeat customer . . .

an unsuck moment

So, I homeschooled my kids. Have I ever mentioned that? A few kazillion times? Yes?

Some days it’s great to be a mom. Other days it just sucks. Many days I wonder if the way we have raised our kids (including, but not limited to, the homeschooling) has been beneficial or detrimental to their development as human beings.

Today, Number One Son gave me one of those extraordinary gifts that comes unexpectedly and radiates with beauty. Out of the blue, for no apparent reason whatsoever, he sent me this lovely e-mail, confirming that I didn’t completely f*ck up everything:

"Hello Mom,

. . . I was thinking the other day about the time we did algebra 1 in a week. I know it wasn't fun for me, and I am sure it wasn't to much fun for you either. But if you hadn't helped me to do that I probably couldn't have taken algebra 2 from Dr. H. Without that I seriously doubt that I could have gone to school as an engineer, at least initially. I just wouldn't have been able to get in, and there is not really the right type of calculus prep classes at the university level to help out. So thank you. It's unfortunate Spelling in a week wasn't quite as successful for me. Of course for me, spelling in a year would still be insufficient.

Hope you have a nice week.

Love,
Number One"

I wish I could wear this letter. Well, first I would correct the spelling and punctuation and maybe take a stab at a little formatting . . . but after that, it’s perfect. Happy early Mother’s Day to me : )



Thursday, October 25, 2007

Wisdom, Schmisdom!

The best part about my older two children having birthdays is the shopping.

Inevitably, the subject of my children’s ages will come up sometime during the transaction. Mostly because I will have made some purposeful and obvious mention of the fact that I am shopping for my daughter or son.

"How old is your daughter?" the unsuspecting cashier will politely ask. Not that she cares, but it’s her job to pretend.

"She’s 20," I reply in the most disinterested, un-smug, voice I can muster.

And now she’s interested for real. "Twenty?!," she’ll exclaim. "You don’t look old enough to have a 20 year old!"

And there it is, folks. That right there is the sole reason I voluntarily gave birth at 18 and again at 20--so that twenty years later I could have a happy little pick-me-up twice a year.

Ahhhhh . . . satisfaction.

I still haven’t come to like this ‘being 40’ thing. I’d probably best get a grip on it soon, because eventually, I’m not even going to have 40 to cling to.

Happily--I have one great genetic thing going for me. We are not a beautiful people. We aren’t overly blessed with great talent of any sort nor with Nobel Prize worthy intellect. But much of my family looks far younger than they really are. I got a little of that. Hallelujah!

Upon meeting most people, I am thought to still be somewhere in the mid to late 30’s range. I like this very much. And some poor fools actually place me in the early 30’s region. Please bless these liars and flatterers during their time here on Earth, for they are surely on their way to hell.

But now, in my new job, I am seeing things that are worrying me. A lot.

Many of our customers are older folks. They look old. They sound old. They smell old. And they take lots of medication to combat old type infirmities. It is beyond me how they could possibly let themselves go like that.

I’m not going there.

Hearing aids and canes? No thank you. High blood pressure, failing eyesight, declining bone density--keep your distance.

I haven’t yet formulated a plan, but I’m working on it. Old isn’t for me. I’ve decided. And that’s that.

Monday, October 22, 2007

The Secret Life of Huckleberry

Our dog is beloved. The entire neighborhood adores this dog. People stop by on an unvaried schedule to visit with her and give her treats. Several folks have actually offered, "If you ever have to move and you can’t take your dog, we’d love to have her."

But she’s not fooling me. I know she’s mischievous and ill-mannered. I know the real Huckleberry.

My hubby allows her in the house in the evening. I do not. She does, after all, have a dry, warm place to sleep on our covered porch.

Her hair is too long and gets everywhere (and does outrageous things to my allergies,) she doesn’t stay in the dog bed Hubby has provided her, she sneaks into the garbage and generally does whatsoever pleases her puppy heart.

Hubby, however, is a softie and looks at me with sad eyes and tells me how cold it is outside for poor little Huckleberry. So the dog is allowed in.

This morning when the alarm went off at 7, I got up and made my way through the still dark house to the kitchen. On my way, I stepped on the warm furry tail which was nowhere near the doggy bed. Huckleberry, disdainful of the house rules, had settled herself comfortably in front of Youngest’s bedroom door.

Knowing she was in trouble since I was the one to find her, she scurried over to the door which leads out to her pen--as though she had been waiting in the hallway so I would notice her and let her out. She had been doing me a favor . . .

Later, after breakfast and a shower, I went to the living room to put my shoes on just before leaving the house. That’s when I smelled it.

By then, it was light enough for me to see The Nastiness Which I Could Smell. But this wasn’t just one little doggie pile. This was a freaking trail of upset puppy tummy--upset because of the garbage she had snacked on all night . . .

The Nastiness Which I Could Smell turned out to be several small, loose-ish piles all over the living room carpet. And a wet spot near the couch. And speaking of the couch--is that? Could that be? NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

Dog crap puppy prints all over the white couch.

"Sweetie," I softly spoke into my sleeping hubby’s ear, "the dog that you allow in the house has left you some gifts all over the living room. Have fun cleaning that up."

And off I went to work.

Just see if he lets the dog in at night anymore : )

Sunday, October 21, 2007

The Value of a Dollar

Beautiful is learning the for-real costs of being a grown-up. She recently moved out on her own again--rent, groceries, utilities, deposits . . .

And for some time now she has paid her own vehicle and medical insurance costs.

Life is expensive.

She came to the pharmacy to have lunch with me today. She was there for less than an hour. In that small span of time she saw a whole lot of how our operation works--including the location and contents of the safe where the controlled drugs are.

When she left, she had but one request for me: "Hey, Mom, if you ever turn to a life of crime--snag me an asthma inhaler? Refills are just so expensive!"

Now there’s a practical girl!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Iditarod

almost 24 hours
I can make it to 24
just 24


push for 48
48 hours
leave it alone
one more day


42 hours
I couldn’t bear a moment longer than 42
it was almost 48 . . .


start over again
just go for 24 hours


think of it like a long trek
like the Iditarod
don’t think of the 1150 miles
don’t think of the brutal terrain
the unforgiving elements
just try to get to one more sunset


but . . .
the race has a finish line
the pride of accomplishment
my goal is nothingness
an unbidden agreement with loss and void


the alternative?
pain
humiliation
rejection


pain ebbs
humiliation morphs into a less hideous memory
but rejection . . .
f***ing rejection


I have nothing tangible
nothing to show for it
I ache for something to hold on to
to look at
proof it really was


it’s best that no object exists
else it would become worn with constant remembrance
it would become a talisman
it would become something it never was
it would keep me hopelessly tethered


another grueling 24 hours have passed
push for 48


something occurs . . .
why isn’t the stabbing pain as sharp?
why doesn’t the hailstorm of moments carry the same sting?
is this healing?
is this growth?
is this resignation?
or is this recognition that it never really was as important as I allowed that other me to believe . . .

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

big news

Yesterday we celebrated a fun milestone:

We have no more teenagers!

Yesterday was Beautiful’s 20th birthday. Number One will be 22 soon and Youngest is still 12. For another 10 months--no teenagers.

It’s not really that big a deal. I enjoyed having teens. I deeply appreciated my relationships with both older kids once they hit 14 or so. The separation portion near the end of the teen years was a bitch. But overall, teens were great.

I’ve mentioned before that Youngest is a young 12. Not matured yet in mind or body. Which is kind of nice since he’s "the baby."

So it just figures that last night while getting ready for bed, he made an important announcement.

He came out of the bathroom and told me, "Hey, Mom--I think I’m hitting puberty!"

Are you asking the same question that Mister and I asked each other? "What was he doing in the bathroom that he suddenly realized the joy of oncoming puberty?"

I calmly asked him, "Oh? How can you tell?"

I know, I know! It was a stupid question! But I was so concerned with keeping a nonchalant exterior that I couldn’t form a coherent (and non-dumbass) question.

"Umm . . . " he hesitated a bit, "Just changes."

"Cool!" I happily replied.

He continued, "And yesterday I noticed my armpits really smelled bad for the first time!"

I gave him a hearty thumbs up on that one. We had a good laugh and discussed deodorant.

My ‘No Teens and Their Attendant Issues’ celebration sure was short lived . . .

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Monday, October 15, 2007

a tip

I'm sharing my wisdom. Please take thorough notes:

So. If you rush home from work and change quickly for your kickboxing class, make sure not to forget the sports bra . . .

There are no accompanying pictures for this post. You're welcome.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

show and tell

I am too bitterly sad and disappointed right now to write anything fun. Maybe someday I'll manage to make a story out of my disappointment and mourning. Maybe not . . .
In the meantime, here are some photos from July when Number One Son summited Mount Rainier with some friends.
From left to right:
A dude, another dude, a different dude, Number One.
He does not share his sister's fashion sense.
Let us not speak of it:
I'm not sure who originally sold this activity as "fun,"
but my son bought into it hook, line and sinker . . .

Confab at somethousand feet:

My boy has seen many sunrises from atop many different mountains,

he says this one was the most breathtaking:

Sometimes there just aren't words to describe the beauty:


Friday, October 12, 2007

The Aftermath

Here is my sweet baby girl before the time of my last post:






And this photo was taken after the Ozzy exposure:




About a week after that photo was taken, we called a Priest. The exorcism went fairly well, although it wasn't 100% successful. Looking carefully at the following photo, you'll notice the lip ring and a black wash over her natural red hair. I swear I didn't realize I was doing permanent damage!



Thursday, October 11, 2007

Inspiration to a Beautiful Life

Beautiful’s soul could not survive without music. She understands and connects with music in an esoteric, unique way. And I have this guy to thank for that:





When my older two kids were little, I listened to rock stations in the car. I was very careful about certain songs ("Cocaine") and a few select artists (particularly metal bands) so as not to overwhelm their immature sensibilities.

There was one song, however, that I really liked from Ozzy Osbourne’s solo period. "Mama I’m Coming Home" was popular when Beautiful was about 4. I liked it so much, I turned it up to hum along with every time it came on.

One day, while listening to my favorite song, I looked into the rearview mirror to say something to my innocent cherub when I noticed her soulfully singing along to the song on the radio. My angelic little sweetheart was pouring her heart into the lyrics of a song by the front man of Black Sabbath. Oh dear God--I felt like the worst mother on the planet!

From that moment in 1992 until sometime in 2006, I never listened to any other than classical music when my children were present.

The kids went on to take piano lessons (studying a mostly classical repertoire,) sang traditional hymns in the church choir, belonged to the local youth symphony, and studied music theory with their homeschool band. Darn if I didn’t make sure all the rock n’ roll from their formative years was brainwashed straight out of their skulls! Even the music Beautiful danced to during her first 10 years of ballet was almost exclusively of the structured, rigid, classical variety.

Thanks to that background, she has facility with the language of music. She understands why it works the way it does. She gets what a composer of any genre is trying to say with their particular arrangement of notes and dynamics. And all this she translates with profundity into her choreography--choreography that reduces grown men and women to tears. And we owe all that to The Prince of Darkness himself. Great.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

An Update

This is a blog update.

Happy, Rick?

heh heh . . .

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Yes, Kuckie, this stuff seriously does happen to me . . .

A huge proportion of pharmacy customers are elderly folks. They’re (mostly) friendly and cheerful and they talk to me like I’m one of their grandchildren. They aren’t in a hurry and like to visit and I enjoy them very much. But it’s frequently difficult to understand them.

Sometimes they’re a little mumbly, or their voices have that gravelly, wavering quality that happens with age. Plus, there is a whole lot of background noise from the busy store we’re in.

When they come to the counter to ask for their prescriptions by their last name, it can be hard to decipher what they’ve said. "Anderson" can easily be confused with "Amundson" or "Henderson." So I’ve made a habit of asking the first 2 letters of the last name, "Was that A N?" I ask. That eliminates any confusion.

Problem is, I’m in the habit of doing it with EVERY customer, no matter their age or whether I clearly understood the name.

Yesterday, a woman was picking up a script with the last name of "Furnby." I asked, "Was that F U?"

Now I ask the first 3 letters . . .

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Progress Report

So, the new job is going well. I work with a group of genuinely nice people. The work itself isn’t ungraspable. [Oh yes--and one of the kids in the produce department (hi, Bob ; ) is generous with the free samples. O happy, unexpected perk!]

When I have questions, everyone else in my department is helpful and even friendly about it--which is great because the pharmacy’s unofficial motto is a satisfied customer is a repeat customer. It’s a huge relief to know that if a customer has a problem that I can’t help them with, there are 6 other people behind me who will drop whatever they’re doing to be sure that we send the customer away satisfied.

My only serious difficulty with work so far has been the uniform.

I have my choice of wearing the company’s T-shirt, camp shirt or sweat shirt. They’re all nice quality and the colors are flattering on almost everyone.

The T-shirt is fine, but when they issued mine, they didn’t have my size. I’m not quite sure who my shirt was built for, but the size tag in the back says "UG." I’m pretty sure that translates to "Uber Ginormous." It will come in handy for those nights when I’m running through the town . . .
Rapping at the windows,
crying through the locks,
"Are the children in their beds?
Now it’s eight o’clock."

The camp shirt, in theory, would be great. But somehow it just doesn’t look right on me. I suspect that is because the original model that the shirt measurements were taken from was a standard issue packing box. My figure is just a skosh less square than that . . .

So I wear the sweatshirt. Which is fine because it’s a nice cut and color for me.

Near the end of my second day, I was asking Ever Patient Robin (the kind woman who was put in charge of training me) about the uniform requirements. Capri pants are allowed. That’s cool. As are shorts. And company issue ball caps. And then she mentioned that when we wear the sweatshirts we are supposed to wear a T-shirt underneath.

Now I could tell by her expression and the purposeful eye contact that she had been trying to find a way to tell me that for two days. Which I totally didn’t understand because I keep the zipper high enough that you can’t tell what, if anything, I’m wearing beneath the sweatshirt.

Truth be told, I hadn’t been wearing another layer beneath the sweatshirt because I do a lot of just-this-side-of-sprinting in my job and I personally don’t believe a red-faced, sweaty clerk projects the image the pharmacy is looking for.

It wasn’t until later when I stepped into the restroom that I understood why Ever Patient Robin took issue with my attire.

It seems that the mirror in the pharmacy restroom is differently proportioned than the mirror I use at home. Seeing myself from the waist up, rather than from the shoulders up, gave me an extra little insight as to why a T-shirt layered under the sweatshirt is a grand idea.

Evidently, in spite of the warm temperature of my environment, my nipples were being agressively friendly. I just can’t win . . .

Oh well, a satisfied customer is a repeat customer, right? Surely someone was satisfied?

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The grass isn't always so green on the other side

Beautiful has a myspace account. It has provided hours of hilarious mockery for us. Okay, that’s maybe not fair. But we do have some fun with it.

The number of socially awkward and/or predatory and/or stoopid and/or desperate and/or dysfunctional and/or societally rejected guys who try to e-woo her is just plain sad. And scary. And, frankly, disheartening.

So I conducted my own experiment. You know, in the name of science.

Without logging on to myspace, it’s possible to use the "Browse" function. Just for a look-see, I filled out the browse fields, searching for single men anywhere in the U.S. between the ages of 32 and 45 (I know--32 is a bit young for me--but this is science, dammit!)

O.M.G. As Beautiful puts it, the single guys on myspace are rejects from legitimate on-line dating services.

On the first result page that popped up, the photograph my eyes were immediately drawn to--and shocked by--was a naked guy sitting on a stool, holding a cowboy hat over his important bits. Just guessing, I’d say he’s gay? Clicking on his photo took me to his page, revealing that yes, he’s gay. That’s when I realized the Browse function is critically flawed by not offering an "orientation" field in the search criteria.

Going back to my search results, I saw (to describe but a few)

  • A picture of a fairly attractive man with a broad smile. The smile was a terrific advertisement for the fact that he is missing some of his front teeth . . .
  • A man who had someone else take his photo. From a distance of about 10 yards. Looking directly into his prison cell . . .
  • A guy who chose as his profile picture--the photo by which single women form their first impressions--a picture of him pretending to lick a poster of a young woman bending over whilst wearing a pair of those teeny, tiny short shorts. Good strategy, dude!
  • Lots of gorgeous transvestites. And a few ugly ones.
  • SO MANY OTHER-SIDE-OF-40-STILL-HOPING-TO-MAKE-IT-AS-ROCK-STARS!
  • Oh--and guys, just so you know, if you’re past the age of, oh I don’t know, 18? You’re too old to be flipping off the camera. Seriously. SERIOUSLY!
  • The guys--guys who are single and are on myspace for ‘serious relationships’--whose profile photos are of themselves surrounded by women. Proving that they once were able to catch one (or more?) Who is that photo going to appeal to?
  • The guy who could be the love child of Brad Pitt and Ethan Hawke--who also happens to be a model/actor. Okay, so I don’t really have anything snarky to say about this guy. He’s kinda hot . . .

But if this had been a contest, the hands-down winner in the WTF category had to be Brian. Brian is a midget (or do I say little person? Not sure about the PC.) In his profile photo Brian is wearing a shiny black suit and a luxurious fur coat. We could see he lives in Las Vegas. Beautiful and I had a difference of opinion as to Brian’s occupation. Her guess was pimp. Mine was porn actor.

Clicking on his photo took us to his page which prominently features photos of Brian with young, beautiful, (and sometimes not-muchly-dressed) women. Plus, lots of photos of himself with famous (or semi-famous) people. Pimp? Porn actor? We were still undecided.

Checking out all of his bio material and going to his photo page told us that neither Beautiful nor I was quite right. Sometimes Brian is an actor (but there’s no evidence to corroborate my exact theory as to what kind of acting.) Sometimes Brian is a model? Sometimes spokesperson? And maybe emcee? Sometimes he appears in drag in Vegas shows. Brian, if nothing else, is interesting.

What was my point? I don’t remember. Oh--maybe it was that if you’re a single girl older than 22ish--myspace isn’t the place to look for a partner. Or maybe my point was if you need a chuckle, go do a quick myspace browse : ) Or maybe my point was if you’re a single guy and you’re looking for love on myspace--don’t be a loser about it. Or maybe my point was to remind myself that I am damn lucky!