Friday, September 29, 2006

Mr. Gump (No, not Forrest)

When we first bought this house, 8 years ago, it was a funny little cabin with a great fireplace and a turquoise ceiling in the living room. One of the first things we did was remodel the bathroom, which was from 1942. I was afraid that someday, while i was in the shower, the floor would give way and i be standing in a broken tub in the basement, wet, naked and very surprised, and maybe with a broken leg to boot. Our contractor found dead rats in the walls among other charms.

Right after we moved in, I found this guy at a store and i just had to buy him. The people who lived here before us had a real moose head on the wall and this one just cracked me up. Em named him Mr. Gump after a creature in one of the Oz books. He looks fetching at Christmas with shiny red balls on his ears, a santa hat and lights strung across his antlers.

After living here for 18 months, we moved out and did a massive remodel that took another 18 months. But after the remodel, the house was ever so much fancier, and the Mister did not want to put Mr. Gump up on our fancy new walls. I, who has much less refined tastes, pouted for 3 years about Mr. Gump not residing over our house. Finally, some people came over a few months ago and we pulled Mr. Gump out of the basement. We were going to give him away to someone who could provide him with a suitable home. These people (whom i had secretly paid $20 each, or i would have if i'd thought of it), fussed and cooed over Mr. Gump so much that the Mister relented.

And so he is back in his rightful spot, amusing me every time i glance his way. I can't wait until Christmas!

Thursday, September 28, 2006


I woke up anxious this morning. Which is odd, as i have nothing to be anxious about. No job to worry about, enough money, healthy, blah, blah..... I knew that i was anxious because i started making lists and doing laundry and organizing stuff. This comforts me when i am anxious, getting my little speck of the world in shape. (The upside of my anxiety is a clean house.) I do wonder what triggered the anxiety. Maybe it's just hormonal or my electrolytes are out of balance, or the moon is in Neptune, or my chi is whacked out.

I think that if i worry about something then it won't happen. For example, if i worry about it a little each time before i play squash, i won't blow out my knee. If i worry when the Mister is late, then he won't have been involved in a horrible accident. And on and on. I am aware of how stupid this sounds, and normally i am very logical. It's just a little superstition, or maybe i am trying to control the uncontrollable. If only i really had that kind of power.

Although i can't spend my life sitting at home with the windows painted black waiting for bad things to happen either.

It's better now. Just musing on its surprise appearance. As an ostensibly logical person, i like to have an explanation for everything. Which is really illogical.

And now for something completely different;

I met a woman yesterday who greeted me by holding out a limp hand for me to grasp. Yuck. I wanted to wipe my hand on my pants as soon as i let go. If she didn't want to shake hands, then why offer it?

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

My Defect is Revealed

When i was 12 years old, my mother took me to the doctor and i did not know why. When he had me take off my underpants WITH MY MOTHER IN THE ROOM, i did not know why. When he looked at my privates with his creepy goateed face, i did not know why.

Back at home, left with no information, my mind went wild with speculation. I was born without one, whatever one was. (You have to understand my level of ignorance about my own body. I did not know that there were any inside bits. I mean, i had heard tell of these bits, but i had not located mine.) My parents never told me anything about sex, ever, and thus i was left to my own devices to try and figure it out. I knew that this horrible thing happened to women at a certain age, and that while it was still ok to go out in public at this terrible time, i must make sure to eat my vegetables and get plenty of rest.

(This was learned from the movie that all the girls were herded into the lunchroom one day to view, after our parents had signed the permission slip. Oh god we were sorry for the girls whose parents had refused to sign, and who had to go and sit in the library during this momentous event.)

My defect had become so apparent that my mother had to take me to a specialist. He gave me pills to take, estrogen, and they made me sick. Maybe these were to help me grow whatever it was i was missing. I lived in fear and shame for about a year, in which time the estrogen did its thing and i "became a woman". I did not tell my mom about this event for as long as possible. She eventually discovered it from my laundry.

Then i was put on birth control pills. I did not know what they were, except that my mother told me not to leave them lying around for someone to see. I was ashamed.

It turns out that my "defect" was having the potential to grow too tall. In my mother's words, many years later "I didn't want to wake up one morning and find out you were 6'3". I guess my defect really was that i might embarass her with my ridiculous and unnatural size.


I should be able to look back at this and find some humor, but i can still feel the ignorance and the shame of it. I guess it worked, sort of, because i am only 6'1". Practically a midget. I still wonder if that doctor knew what the hell he was doing. And i still wonder what i would have decided to do if i had been asked. My guess is that i would have been all for it, i didn't want to be a candidate for the circus.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Book problem

There is a certain genre of popular books that bother me. I am going to try and articulate why, although i have never been able to do it in my head.

These are books that can be summed up thusly: "After enduring a harsh (awful/abusive/neglected) life, a bunch of fucked up strangers come together to form an unlikely family and heal each other."

Books that fall into this category:
"The Secret Life of Bees" by Sue Monk Kidd,
"Broken for You" by Stephanie Kallos
"Plainsong" by Ken Haruff

All of the books above are well written, but that's not the problem. What bothers me about these books is the falseness and the formulaic nature of the plot. Life is NOT like this. They also feel manipulative, like i am supposed to feel better about the world and myself after reading them.

I am not a book snob. I read trashy detectivce stories and romance novels and god knows what other tripe, although as i've gotten older i have no problem putting a book down and never picking it up again. (It used to be that i felt i had to finish anything i started.) And yes i realize that life is NOT like a romance novel either (waves and waves of pleasure), but they have no pretentions towards art, just soft-core porn.

Another book that bothered me a lot was "The Lovely Bones" by Alice Sebold. I read that when Em was 12, and it is about the rape and murder of an 11 year old girl and the redemption that follows. Redemption my ass, give me a gun. The main character looking down from heaven is just too idealized for me to swallow. This is what we WISH might happen.

I apologize if these are among your favorite books, and i know i am doing a horrible job of explaining why they give me the creeps, but they do. The word treacle comes to mind.

Anybody else feel this way, or am i the only person with a -273.15 degree heart?

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Hair Trigger

We went hiking yesterday. Up in the mountains the blueberry bushes are turning red, the blueberries are ripe and they make a truly lovely hillside of color. The blueberries are so sweet. We returned home with blue toungues and tired feet. A glorious day.

Remember my irritation diary? As luck would have it, i have not been irritated by the Mister since i wrote that. Except once. I wonder if the writing of it was helpful to me.

And about the once, it was my fault. I misheard what he said and assumed that it was something snarky, when in fact, after a few minutes of talking at puzzled cross purposes, it was all straightened out. Which brings me to my point.

I have known some people whom it seems are looking to be offended. I used to work with a woman who had this quality. She was in my office (ok, we had to go find a conference room because i had "rug space" not an office) at least once a week in tears over some insult, real or imagined. I felt both sorry for and exasperated by her.

Exasperated because it seemed as if she could take ANYTHING and find a way to perceive it as a slight.

Sorry because it must be so exhausing to live in a world where "Good morning" can be an insult. (Once i said "Hi" to the person sitting next to her and then "Good morning" to her. She was in my rug space within 10 minutes in tears wondering if i was mad at her because my greeting to her hadn't been as friendly as the "Hi".)

I quit going to a woman who had cut my hair for a long time because she kept acting miffed by every little thing i said. I do not want a miffed person near my hair while weilding sharp impliments. I'd say something like "My bangs are really getting long" and she would say "well, i'm sorry, i'll try and get them right this time." I had this at work, i didn't need it elsewhere.

I don't want to be one of those people. I don't want to be even close to being one of those people. So it was humbling to realize i had taken offense where none was intended.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Best friends

Em is 15, and her best friend (which at her age is a very specific label) is 18 and has just moved into the dorms at a local college. I'll call her Marisa.

I like Marisa pretty well, but i also find her a bit sneaky, and affected. (Oh, is there anything more self conscious than a teenage girl?) One time she tried to get me to lie to her parents about something that they didn't want her doing. Ha ha, not happening. Even if i do not agree with the parents. i would NEVER collude with a kid to disobey them. I also wonder why an 18 yo would have a 15 yo as her best friend. My sense is that she is still very immature.

Em made the assumption that she would be allowed to go off and spend the night at the dorms with Marisa. And when i found out that Marisa would be going to college in the area, i knew this would be coming up, and so i prepared.

My gut instinct was to say no, but i wanted to think about it first, chat with the Mister and make sure that i was doing the right thing. But during the summer, the Mister and i went on a hike with Marisa's dad. I was talking to him about this, saying that i was not comfortable with it, but i didn't want to give a knee jerk no. He was pretty quiet, and then, about a half an hour later he told me that if he were in my position, that he wouldn't let Em spend the night at the dorms. He said that he doesn't trust Marisa's judgment.

Wow. What a great thing for one parent to say to another. It can't have been easy for him to tell me that, but i really appreciate him for it. If both of us weren't stand-offish introverts, i would have given him a hug!

I should have trusted my first instinct. After a bit of a fuss, Em has come to accept this decision, although she is still not happy with it. Marisa is welcome to come and spend the night with us, i will even drive over and go get her, but no way in hell am i letting Em stay over there. Thank you Marisa's dad, you are very honest.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Ne'er do well

The other night we were listening to my parents talking about their other grandkids, my nieces and nephews. The two oldest are boys and are having some trouble adjusting to the adult world.

One of them graduated, barely, from high school last year, and the second one actually failed to graduate from high school this year because he didn't complete a necessary project. This boy has always relied upon his charm to get by, but this time it did not work. (He did manage to cash the check i sent him for graduation, but he did not manage to thank me.) He also got fired from two jobs this summer for not showing up.

At one point in the conversation the Mister called him a ne'er-do-well. That bothered me, so i brought it up later, when the parents were gone.

I think there are many opportunities to start over and get it right. I have done it myself a few times. Life is not ruined because you screw up when you are 18 and don't get into the right college.

My first college career was completely wasted (and i do mean wasted as i went to college in the 70s). I just went because i didn't know what else to do and my parents would pay. I would have been better served by taking a few years off and working at some minimum wage job. That would have matured and motivated me like nobody's business.

The second time i went to college, 10 years later, i started completely over with algebra 101 and worked my way up the chain to calculus at a local community college. I ended up graduating with an electrical engineering degree with honors after transferring to a 4 year college. (Note to mom, i AM good at math.)

And then 4 years later, when the Mister decided he loved someone else and after spending 3 years at home with Em, i started over again as a temp worker at the job i quit 11 years later as a manager of an entire group. (Lots of great temp jokes ensued from this position: In many states it's legal to kill a temp, and (from Dilbert) Temps are the people that you don't make eye contact with in the halls.)

I am the queen of starting over, and
right now i have an excellent life. I did get the Mister to retract the ne'er-do-well label.

There are some mistakes that will haunt you the rest of your life, but not these simple immature ones.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

I don't want to talk about it

I woke up last night at around 2, because i was having a hot flash and cramps. That seems inherently unfair to me. I mean, one or the other, make up your mind Ms. Body, really! Maybe i'll wake up tomorrow with a mustache. Sigh.

And to all you young things out there: It will get you yet my little pretty, don't you worry. (cackle)

And to all you men: Really, it's nothing personal, but I HATE YOU.

Menopause, i guess i have to get used to saying it, and thinking about it. I am just entering it, a season of my life ending. The longest one i have had so far. And hopefully one beginning. I must admit to being afraid of the changes that this may bring. My body has been essentially the same for the past 35 years. ( I do weigh a bit more than i did when i was 14, but i was a damn skinny kid, so that's ok.) It is a good body, strong and healthy. Sometimes i am amazed at the things i can do with it. I know some other women, near my age, who can't hike or play squash or (fill in the blank) because of their knees, their backs, their (fill in the body part). That scares me. Because moving has been the only way that i have found to keep depression from overwhelming me.

My mother has had 4 (yes, 4) knee replacement operations. Granted, she has been overweight all her life, and i have not. But i am still a large person and this family history scares me.

I broke my foot once (falling up the stairs, yep). I had to wear a boot and be on crutches for 6 weeks. I remember near the end of the 6 weeks, sitting at the top of the stairs and sobbing over some incredibly minor problem. Finally, Em came over and sat with me and said, "It's okay mommy, you're just frustrated."

Not that there is anything i can do about this, except keep moving. But i never expected anything this ignominious to happen to ME.

Monday, September 18, 2006

For Antonia

Antonia asked us what was the weirdest food at our local shop. This was almost too easy as we live near a large Asian market.

This was hands down the weirdest thing there, to me. Remember, she asked for this:


Although this looks a bit weird too:

And these puzzle me as well. I mean are there really little hamburgers in there? I put my well manicured thumb in the picture for a size reference.
(A woman came along as i was snapping pictures of the fish and the coils of octopus tentacles and asked my why i was talking pictures. I told her it was for a class assignment. )

And there you have it my English friend. And i left out the pictures of the cow stomach with barbeque sauce and the bag of frozen Pu Pu.

Sunday, September 17, 2006


In answer to Esereth's questions:

Some good things my mother taught me:

  • Respect your surroundings (don't litter or spray paint your name on rocks or trees). We had no money growing up as my dad was in the military, so we always went camping for vacations. I loved it.
  • Good table manners that i can call upon when needed. The mister once told me that when we first met, he thought i was elegant because of my nice table manners.
  • How to sew. Although i don't like sewing, i do own and know how to operate a sewing machine.
Some bad things my mother taught me:
  • You can use the power you have over another human to humiliate them. As kids we were encouraged to tease each other mercilessly when we discovered a tender spot. I still feel badly about some of the things we said and did to one another. Tim, i'm sorry.
  • The best defense is a loud, noisy, scary offense. I try hard not to do this, but it's still my first reaction to criticism.
  • Children are an unpleasant experience. For years i was fairly certain that i would never have children because everyone knows they are noisy, selfish and will bother you endlessly. All of which is true, but then there are the other things, which i never knew.
Some good things my father taught me:
  • It's okay to tell someone you love them. Although he didn't start doing this until i was well over 20, but better late than never.
  • It's okay to sit quietly and not talk. Communication is still occuring.
  • How to sail a boat.
Some bad things my father taught me:
  • Sarcasm. Whew, he used to be the king of that, but for the last 25 years, he rarely does it. But i still learned well from those first 25 years.
  • Passivity in the face of abuse. My mom treats this man like crap sometimes and i just wish that he would tell her to fuck off, just once.

It's so much easier to come up with the bad than the good.

Friday, September 15, 2006

The Ugly Truth.

What is this irritated impatience i sometimes feel with the Mister? I don't feel it with anyone else. (I don't spend that much time with anyone else either.) It scares me because it reminds me of the irritated impatience with which my mother treats my father. I refuse to use the "that's what was modeled by my parents" defense. I will not be held hostage by my past. I have broken other generational chains of behavior, why not this one?

I don't show the irritation as often as i feel it, but am i as successful as i think at shielding my emotions? Body language and tone tends to convey more information than we think.

Is this the result of 27 years of togetherness? Why am i so annoyed by the simplest things? What am i punishing him for? Why do his socks and toothpaste mess matter to me? Am i (the dreaded word) controlling? Of what benefit to me is my irritation? I can't help think that something about it must be working for me or i wouldn't do it.

He is a good man. He is smart and funny and has taken damn good care of us. And he craves my approval. Is that why i withhold it? Is it the introvert/extrovert difference? It is true that i am uncomfortable with open displays of emotional need. But i am not unaffectionate. I love hugs and hand holding and... other stuff. Is it about trust?

I hate this about myself. I wish i were a person who could shake it off. And take a deep breath and move on. Actually i wish i were the sort of person that these small things wouldn't bother in the first place.

I have to be honest here, it's not the socks and toothpaste that annoy me. Neither one of us can lay claim to being overly neat. It's things like him shouting for me when he gets home. Turning on the music and/or the radio and then leaving the room. Buying CDs and then never listening to them.

But, anyway, despite my wanting to make a long list so that you can see JUST HOW ANNOYING he really is, none of these things are important. And i don't want to throw my hands up in the air and say, "Well, i guess i'm just a bitch." Because that's the coward's way out.

I would like the answer to my questions though. What i am going to do is keep track of when i am annoyed, and see if that tells me anything. You know, like some people keep a food diary to help them lose weight. I will keep an irritated diary to help me lose annoyance.

I'll get back to you on this.

Thursday, September 14, 2006


I love to hike. Sometimes i am successful in encouraging my family to go with me. When Em was about 4, we made a big fuss one day that we were going to go HIKING and isn't that GREAT and what FUN it will be. With the beautiful enthusiasm of a child, Em was really pumped. We got about a quarter mile from the car when Em says "This hiking is a lot like walking."

I can't fool her for a minute.

This summer i forced her to go for a short hike with me. Because i can still force her to do a few things and i think it's good for her. She kvetched and moaned the whole gentle 2 miles up to a small lake. "I HATE hiking," she told me. "This SUCKS," she said. "My feet HURT!"

We finally made it to the lake, and we sat down on a log next to the water to eat our well-earned meal. A few minutes later this little chap showed up to help Em with her sandwich. While the little guy was nibbling directly from her hand, she turned to me, her face shining with happiness and said, "This is the COOLEST thing that has ever happened to me."

She was even a little sheepish on the way down about all her bitching on the way up.

The reason that i am telling this little story is that i struggle with how much i should push her to do things, with her inertia pulling her the other way. She has an opportunity to go to Japan next April with her Japanese class. She called me from school to beg me to tell the teacher that she couldn't go. Many things that i think she should do, like play a sport, or join a club, or invite a friend over, i don't force upon her. I am going to put my large foot down about this trip, and if gentle persuasion doesn't work, force her to go. (There are two reasons why she doesn't want to go, one is that an internet friend might be here for a day in April, and she doesn't want to miss it. The other reason is that she is scared of going to Japan and trying to speak Japanese with real Japanese people.)

But maybe going to Japan will turn out to be the coolest thing that has ever happened to her.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

What next?

This morning as i was driving out of the gym parking lot, making a right turn onto the main street, a guy on a bicycle riding on the sidewalk ran into the back right side of my crappy rental car. The noise scared the shit out of me. I put the car into park and got out expecting to see a bloody puddle. But he was standing up and was bleeding a little from his lip and forehead. Wear your bike helmets people. He said that his brakes failed. Some kind pedestrian took the bicyclist off to his house for first aid and that's the last i saw of him.

We are having really bad car karma right now. First, someone hit the Mister in my car, which is why i'm driving the crappy rental car. Then, the mister backed into my brother's car at the party, and now this. Which we will also have to pay for because i wasn't quick enough to think to get the bleeding guy's contact information before he was taken off for bandages. I was shaking and sobbed the whole way home. If things happen in threes though, we are all done. I hope.

So, since i am not leaving the house again, ever, unless on foot, would one of you mind picking Em up from school for me today? Thanks.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Well DUH!

This appeared across the top of my gmail inbox a few days ago:

Kissing Balls represent romance, friendship and goodwill.

I know the Mister would totally concur! I agree with the romance part, but i think that's taking friendship and goodwill a tad far.

After i stopped snickering, i did go and see what on earth this was all about. Here's the scoop. You'll be pleased to know that the balls in question are floral scented.

And to continue on with the theme, the domain name is I wonder what marketing genius came up with this tag line, and if they had any inkling that it might be misinterpreted.

Yes, i am still 6 years old.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Party on

Whew, i turned into a foot stamping 3 year old on my last post. But i am okay with it, because sometimes i am a foot stamping 3 year old.

(The phone just rang, we have caller ID. It was my mom. I didn't answer. I'll go down and listen to the message later.)

More party tidbits:

  • My brother hired this really cute young man named Earl to help out with the party. Earl was THE BEST! He made all the bruchetta, he put stuff out on platters. He didn't bat an eye when the old bat showed up 45 minutes early. He just went and put on his nicer clothes and offered them a drink. And he cleaned everything up afterwards. I want to marry him (well except i don't think i'm his type. He didn't walk in and say "Hi I'm Earl, I'm gay", but if i were a betting woman...) or adopt him.
  • Jesus Christ, old people can REALLY drink. They went through all of the wine and the champagne in record time. And this at lunch time. If i drink during the day it's nap time for me.
  • The Mister backed his expensive SUV into my brother's mini van when he was going out on a balloon run. Ouch. But as the bumper sticker says "Things occur." I found this much funnier than the Mister did, not that i let him see me smiling.
  • My aunt (mother's sister) told me how she hates to listen to my mom being so mean all the time to my dad (who really is a sweet man), and she tells my mom that too. Alcohol loosens another tongue.
  • One of my dad's tennis buddies' eyes are my chest height. And he made full use of that fact.
  • I was the hottest adult woman at the party. One advantage of hanging out with the 80 year old crowd.
  • I have lots of leftover beer.
  • But not for long.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

The immediate aftermath

I survived the party. But it was touch and go for a while. When my parents arrived, 45 minutes early, i had to go upstairs and sit in my bedroom for about 10 minutes with my cat on my lap. My heart was pounding and i COULD NOT be nice to my mother. I had talked to her two days earlier and she said "I want to come 15 minutes early so i can greet the guests." Ok, fine, that's a good idea.

I sat upstairs and realized that i hate my mother. You all can berate me if you wish, because you might be right. But i don't know if i can change the way i feel.

I was talking with the Mister the other night, and i told him that i might be wrong, but i will not be sad when my mom dies.

I can't condense 48 years of life into a single post. But take a breath and be with me here for a moment. My parents never beat me, or abused me, or starved me. But i was never, not once ( and i am not exaggerating, not once), told anything nice. I was always dirty and messy and loud. I never did a good job. I never got an "i love you". And i wish that i could recover from that. I know that other people have had MUCH worse things to rise above. I know it. I feel ashamed that i cannot recover from it. But when my mother is around, and deep inside too, i am still dirty and messy and loud and not girly enough and too big and embarrassing. I want to tell you the story about being taken to the doctor so i wouldn't be too tall. I can't right now, but i think it's important.

Thanks for listening. Maybe a more amusing post on the party later.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Pretty Birdie

I was sitting at my desk, working on the computer when the crows started to scream. "Well, i know where my cats are," i think, as the crows always scream at the cats when they are outside in the daytime.

But the screaming went on and on, and it was LOUD. I turned around after about 10 minutes of this, and saw that both of my cats were on my bed, following their usual strenuous daytime routine. They were sleeping.

So i walked out on the balcony of my bedroom, and saw that the crows were circling around the big pine tree next to the house. Finally i spotted the object of their concern:

Isn't he (or she) gorgeous? I took a bunch of pictures of his backside, before he deigned to turn his head and look at me with one beady eye. He stayed there for the rest of the day, until dusk, about 4 hours. And the crows screeched and dive bombed (dove bombed?) him the whole time. He didn't even seem to notice them.

There are several bald eagles that live around here. I can always tell it's one of them when i see them flying around because of their size. This picture doesn't really convey the size of this bird. (If you click on the picture you can see him better.)

I feel priviledged that he chose to sit in my tree, like i had been visited by an Indian spirit.

Thursday, September 07, 2006


My last post on Em's beginning of school meltdown touched a nerve. To quote Styro, high school was an ubersuckfest.

So what i am wondering, is where are the people who were having a good time in high school? The cute and the athletic and the popular? I have personally never talked to anyone who has said they loved high school. To a person, we all hated it with the fiery burning passion of a thousand suns. (To quote the ever dramatic Em.)

For me, junior high was worse than high school by an order of magnitude. Click here for a glimpse of my coolness on my second day of 8th grade.

By high school i had found a way to insinuate myself into some group or other in order to feel accepted. In 10th grade, i hung out with Michele. She was a foster kid living with a religious family. She got me high for the first time in my life, and we continued to hang out together that whole year and smoke dope at her foster parent's house every day. One time we went through the medicine cabinet and swiped a bunch of Darvons. That was the day my dad actually came to pick me up at Michele's house and told me that my cat had been run over. I was too stoned to react. (At this point i am wondering where the hell my parents were, to let me go hang out at a house with no adults home all afternoon.)
Michele went away after 10th grade, so i had to find a new group.

In 11th grade i hung out with two girls who were seniors that year, who were also strange and smart and geeky. We were on the publicity committee and spent many hours eating and painting ugly signs for whatever school event was coming up. Of course, none of us ever went to any of these events. I wore overalls and flannel shirts and men's tennis shoes every day. They both went away to college after that year so....

I became a boy scout. No, really. The first year that girls were allowed to join the explorer scouts, i was a member. It was really fun, in a very wholesome way. And a good way to hang out with boys with no dating. We used to park cars at the local Elks Club one night a month to make money to support our troup. I would get to stay out until 2 am and drive cars that didn't belong to me, and i didn't even have a license yet. (Again, i could have been off doing anything, my parents never asked a thing about where i was or what i was doing.) Damn those Elks could drink. We would go fetch cars for men who were stumbling drunk. One guy missed the exit and plowed into a rockery instead. He sat there for a few minutes pressing on the gas pedal, wondering why the car wouldn't move forward. (Obviously, there have been VAST improvements in the awareness and prevention of drunk driving since those days.)

And thus i survived high school.

I wonder where all those cute short girls who were popular and all those tall football/basketball dudes are now. Did they all sink back into the ether from whence they came? I'm guessing that they don't have blogs.

*A coy reference to the musical "Wicked".

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Prime suffering years

So, a sobbing girl child after school this afternoon. "Nobody likes me, what's wrong with me?" Hard questions for me to answer. Nothing is wrong with her. There are no answers to these questions, only the reassurance that i understand, that i am sorry and that i care. And hugs.

In her science lab class, there are an uneven number of kids. Em is the one who ended up with no lab partner. The teacher has said that no one can work in a group of three. That seems a little odd when there aren't an even number of kids in the class. Someone is going to end up alone.

I am remembering being not chosen for kickball.

I always forget that the first few weeks of school bring volatile emotions and lots of unaswerable questions. This year, as she goes into being a junior, is no exception.

In the movie "Little Miss Sunshine" one character tells another that these are the prime suffering years.

Ain't that the truth?

I long for the years when the pain could be relieved with an ice pack from the freezer and some crayons.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Pursed lips

So what is it with men, and women's purses? My husband offered to bring me my purse today, so that i can complete a purchase over the internet, and i tell him, "Thank you sweetie, my wallet is in the side pouch, just bring that."

So you know what happens, he brings the whole purse, because he can't bear the thought of looking inside it. God knows what horrific, female hormoned cootied thing he might find. A tampon, bottled water (a nod to the movie "Heathers"), a romance novel with Fabio on the cover, Ben Wa balls. Untold horror might lie within. When normally he's quite happy to associate with things related to my naughty bits.

An aside: Damn it, a gnat just took a swan dive into my glass of red wine. One reason it will be nice to see the last of summer. I know it's just extra protein, but i still can't drink it. At least he died happy.

So, any one out there know what is so scary about a woman's purse, especially when i have told him that it's okay to root around in there?

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Party, bleh

Next weekend we are having a party at our house for my dad's 80th birthday. You can read about how the hell i got myself into this here. So we have spent the day doing projects around the house that we should have done years ago.

I really don't care for parties. I don't much care to socialize with more than 6 or 7 people at once. I went hiking on Friday with my brother Don and sister-in-law Karen. She loves parties and organizing things. She said something that struck terror into my heart. "Wonder what i should wear to the party?"

Shit, i hadn't thought of that. I told her that i guessed that i would be wearing a clean pair of jeans and a shirt, unless it is hot, and then i would wear shorts.

That was the wrong answer. I was told that such casualness might not be appreciated by the old folks. Karen is only a year or two older than me, but sometimes she seems like someone from a different generation, an older one. It was only last year that she allowed her kids to wear jeans to Thanksgiving with the family, when the rest of us have always done it. I am more into the casual (read lazy) lifestyle.

So i will have to steel myself for some disapproval, but it's not like i haven't been there before. And i really do appreciate that she is helping me with the shopping and the food preparation. If it was up to me we would be having chex mix and li'l smokies.

There will be lots of old people at the party. When our caller ID showed a name of one of the oldest men this morning, my first thought was that i hoped no one had died before the party. Ms. Compassion, that's me.

I hope you all are having a great weekend.