Saturday, September 29, 2007


Photo by The Mister.

I have just finished up one of the best weeks i have ever had. One of my most favorite people flew all the way to Seattle to visit with me for a week, leaving her husband and children behind.

We went on a sailboat ride in Puget Sound on a glorious day.

We went hiking on three different days. The weather cooperated unexpectedly well and my friend ooh-ed and ah-ed over the incredible beauty we witnessed. I was thrilled to be able to share it with her.

We brought back wild blueberries from our last hike and ate them for breakfast the next day.

We went shopping at the tall girl's shop (we are both 6' tall) and were each able to find things that fit with long enough sleeves. We didn't fight over any of it.

We went downtown in search of ridiculously large shoes. Unsuccessfully, but that is beside the point.

We frightened a short waiter at an Italian restaurant. We probably frightened other people too. That was fun.

We talked about things both important and unimportant, from the nature of friendship to hair-coloring, or lack thereof.

We ate excellent food that we cooked together. I am completely comfortable having her as a co-cook. There was wine too, many bottles in fact.

The Mister and i dropped her off at the airport this morning. I shed a few tears as we drove away.

There are plans for next year, including both our spouses, whom i also adore.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

What not to do, a VB story

A true story:

Years ago, when the Mister and i were first married and my SIL (aka Vituperative Bitch) was on her first husband (Poor Bastard, number 1 of 4) she and PB invited us over for dinner on a Sunday.

We arrived, as is only proper, a few minutes late only to find that VB was working that day and had not arrived home yet. PB made us at home and we unscrewed the top from the bottle of wine we had brought.

VB arrived home an hour later, drunk, wearing her boss’ sweater with no bra on underneath. (Boss was later to become husband number 2 of 4.)

She lasted about an hour, and then went off to bed with one of her headaches.


Next time i saw her was at her parent’s house a few weeks later, where she met me at the front door to ask me if i was going to say anything to her parents about “The Other Night.” I said no, but looking back, i should have made her sweat more.

I have many other VB stories that are not dissimilar to this one. I should write a book, but no one would believe it.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Perhaps she'll die

Picture by The Mister

We live near water, so there are lots of spiders. I am not much fond of spiders, but if they stay away from me and don't surprise me, it's okay.

It's starting to get colder here, so the spiders are moving indoors. I have explained my rules about contact to the spiders, but they act like they don't understand.

One of them, a pretty big one, built a web in our sunroom, from the ceiling to the coffee table. The web was at least a foot in diameter. And there she sat, right in the middle of it, waiting.

I mentioned it to the Mister, so that he could carry out his executioner function, but he forgot. Yesterday when i got home, she was still there. I sat on the couch and read a book, about 3 feet away.

I looked up occasionally to make sure that she was not going to leap at me. She sat there so patiently, so still, that i began to feel sorry for her. There was not much chance for her to catch anything inside our sunroom, a last meal as it were. I actually considered trying to go outside a find a gnat or a fly to fling at her web. Why am i feeling sorry for her when the Mister was going to squish her when he got home?

Saturday, September 22, 2007


Last night, as i was almost asleep, a loud cry rent the air, followed by much sobbing. The Mister was still downstairs, so i pulled the pillow over my head and hoped that he could deal with whatever disaster had befallen Em. But alas, it was not to be. A sobbing Em, proclaiming herself to be the worst person in the world, soon found her way up to my bedside.

Em recently acquired two pet mice. We have three cats. Em left the cage open. You get the picture.

One corpse was located immediately, but the other could not be found. We decided to let our noses be our guide over the next few days.

We don't know which of the felines is the guilty party, but i have my suspicions as Brown Cat was strumming a guitar and singing this song:

Love to eat them mousies,
Mousies what I love to eat.
Bite they tiny heads off,
Nibble on they tiny feet. *

I tried to calm Em while hiding my amusement, as these particular mice had originally been purchased as "feeder mice" for a snake. The tale of their stay of execution is long and boring, so never mind.

Em eventually went off to bed, still crying. The Mister and i chuckled a bit, whilst grumbling about the noise level in the house.

This morning, Em picked up her school book bag and found one very traumatized but unhurt mouse underneath. This afternoon we went to the pet store to buy a new mouse, as they do better in pairs. The lady at the pet store asked, "Friend or food?" It seems that if the mouse is to be a friend, there is a 15 day guarantee, otherwise, not. I found that to be most amusing.

*B. Kliban

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Life, and death

I received a phone call last night from my mother. My father collapsed yesterday at a Macy's store and was in the hospital. While i can certainly understand this reaction to Macy's, it does seem a bit extreme. She had spent all day with him at the hospital and was just getting home to sit, alone, with a glass of wine and a cat.

I calmly received this news, and asked relevant questions of my mother, allowing her to talk excessively, which is what she does when stressed.

It seems to be nothing too serious, he did not have a heart attack, which is always a worry given his medical history. It may have been nothing worse than dehydration, he may need a pacemaker or to adjust his meds. We'll know more later.

After i hung up, the Mister listened to me relate the contents of the call, and then asked me, "Will you be devastated when your dad dies?"

The answer is, i don't think so. My dad has been a shadowy presence in my life for years. I think as a casualty of the relationship between my mother and me, as a result of no effort on either of our parts and of deafness (his, not mine.)

My dad is a nice man. But i have no idea who, if anyone, is in there. I am not sure if he has any idea either. He's been playing the congenial but vague man for so long it may, like the Velveteen Rabbit, have become real.

Think i'll invite him to lunch soon, if i can engineer his escape from my mother. Or maybe it's to late for us. But i should find out.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


Someone did something really sweet for me last week. It was a total surprise. This is someone who i consider to be an acquaintance, not really a friend. But from her actions, she sees me as more of a friend.

How odd. This makes me realize that i don't expect people to like me.

That is absurd because if i stop to think about it, i realize that this isn't true. I am wondering what opportunities i have missed from having this expectation.

Where this leads in my mind is to the people i consider to be among my favorite, whom i have never told. Because i don't want them to tell me that i am not among their favorite. Or perhaps because it's not important. Would they stop being among my favorites if i was not among theirs? Nope.

Would it hurt my feelings? Probably. Would i get over it? Yes.

Mulling it over in my head.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Mood elevation

Yesterday it was raining.

Such was my mood and paucity of finer feeling for my fellow humans that i felt an unnatural happiness at the ruination of all the outdoor weddings that were planned for the day.

So the Mister and i took ourselves off to see the movie Dragon Wars. I have a thing for dragon movies. I get a huge thrill from Sleeping Beauty when Maleficent rises from the castle in a blaze of malevolent glory. My heart soars when the beast in Dragonheart flies. I bought the video of the movie Dragonslayer so that i could watch that wonderful beast fly through the air. (I think that one is my favorite movie dragon.)

I even went to see Eragon, although during the closing credits i felt compelled to lean over and whisper, "I'm so sorry," to the friend i had dragged with me.

I am such a geek that i think The Lords of the Rings is probably the best movie (i consider them all as one movie) ever made.

Not all dragons are okay, i loathe Barney.

Dragon Wars is a Korean movie that took 8 years to make and really is a glorious mess. The acting, the plot, the editing, all are......really, REALLY bad. But the dragons were SO COOL!

I haven't laughed that much at a movie in ages. And it is not a comedy. Just what i needed.

Friday, September 14, 2007

It really is sweet

I met another mom from Em's school in the school library the other day for something or other and Em happened to come in while we were there so i called out "Hi Sweetie," to her.

"Hi Mommy," she replied.

The other mom practically melted. "Awww," she said, "she still calls you mommy. I miss that." She has a boy who is 12, and apparently he decided a few years ago that mommy was for sissies, or some such. Or maybe his friends convinced him, i don't know.

When Em was first learning to talk, i tried to teach her to call the Mister and me by our first names instead of mommy and daddy, you know, because i just think i'm so cool sometimes. (Ha!) That worked until she started going to preschool. She just started calling us mommy and daddy and has ever since.


I am having some trouble with reality the past few days. I want to just keep on reading books so that i don't have to be in this world. I want to live in a world where the dialogue is clever, the vocabulary is large and love wins in the end. I want to live in a world where magic is possible, good triumphs over evil and the conflicts have an end. Sigh.

I think i've been listening to the news too much.

Monday, September 10, 2007


Thank you all for your comments on my last post. It really made me think. For now, i will keep it and wear it, but when the right time comes to give it up, a la a really lovely suggestion from a self-proclaimed brilliant yet vulgar curmudgeon jerk geek (i may be paraphrasing a bit,) i will do so without any hesitation.

Dear Diary,

I woke up this morning at 3am. I did not go back to sleep. My eyes are burning with the tired. I must sleep tonight so that i can get up in the morning and kick my squash partner's ass. Thank you,


Ms. Chica and her spouse are in town. This morning they arrived at my house and allowed me to take them on a bit of a hike. The weather is GLORIOUS and we had a lovely time. It was very sweet to see Ms. Chica again, i wish she lived closer, and Mr. Hombre was very congenial and easy to chat with. You know how some people say things so that you will know how important they are in the world? He did not do one bit of that. The sign of a secure person, and somewhat rare.

I forgot my damned camera, so alas, no pictures. Suffice it to say that the view from the top was sensational.

Plus Ms. Chica brought me cookies that she made her own self and carried on the plane with her. I told you it was sweet to see her again, i meant it literally.

Saturday, September 08, 2007


I bought a thing. Several years ago, back when we first had some money. Back when it was a new thing to me, to have money.

I should back up a little, to explain. The Mister and i have this agreement. The amount of money he spends on his cars, and it has been a lot, is the same amount that i get to have to do as i please. That way i don't resent the car money. Now he has a fancy car, and i have a great savings account, which makes me feel safe.

But i bought this thing, and now i am ashamed of it. It is a piece of jewelry. A silly thing. It cost more money than ANYONE should ever spend on jewelry. It is immoral, in my mind. But i was drunk with the money, and i wanted this thing.

Silly girl.

So now i have this thing, and i wore it for a while. But it made me ashamed. How many people could i have helped with this money?

So i put it away. It sat in my closet. And when i thought of it, i was ashamed of myself. I would see it in the drawer, and in my medicine cabinet, and i would feel like a shit.

I used to wish that i would lose it, so i could get the insurance money, (yes, i have it insured, it is valuable,) and do something good with that money.

But i am not okay with insurance fraud. So i treated it casually, and slung it around, and then forgot about it.

Just yesterday i got it out, having found it in a desk drawer. It's pretty. I am wearing it. I feel like wearing a lesson, a valuable lesson.

I can't decide if it's silly not to wear it, or if it makes me too ashamed.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

NOW who's whining?

Fight with the Mister. My fault. I let something go too long and then blew up about it so that he felt ambushed. Not cool. Wonder if i will ever learn.

But really, i have trouble knowing what to just let go and what to bring up. Much of the stuff that bugs me i just let go, because it's stupid. For example, i dislike how when the Mister gets home he stands in the kitchen and yells "Hello" until i answer. It shatters the quiet of the house. When i come home, i go and find him, i wish he would do the same.

But i've never told him this, because it's not really important. Or maybe it is.

I blew up when he spilled wine on the carpet, and then complained about our glasses. He liked these glasses before, but then he started criticizing them and saying that they cause him to fumble. So use the real wine glasses dude!

But that was just the trigger, the bullet was already full of gunpowder waiting to explode. I am tired of him complaining so much. To my mind, he does it a lot.
  • The weather isn't sunny enough for him to go and take pictures on the weekend. (And then when it is he doesn't go anyway. )
  • He hates his job most of the time. Many details are given, repeatedly.

  • Both his big toenails are falling off due to some too small hiking boots. He's bummed, repeatedly. (I should post a picture, it is soooo gross.)

  • Em is disrespectful to him.

  • He's tired.

  • And on and on.

I usually just listen. But this time i got pissed and went to the weapons-grade yelling with my response. It all came out, how i wish he would stop complaining so much and being so cranky so much.

If you think about it, it's amusing that i was yelling at him, whilst accusing HIM of being cranky. Hmmm, what's wrong with this picture.

I think i don't tell him about the things that bug me sometimes because if i tell him and he still does it, it will make me feel like he doesn't care. And that would make me mad.

This treatise on Happily Ever After was brought to you by meno.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

"Where have you been, young lady?"

You know how when you have something you need to do, but it is a little behind and will take some time and you're not really ready to deal with it, so you ignore it, so it gets more behind so you REALLY don't want to look at it now, so you ignore it some more?

Yeah. That's what i did yesterday. I ignored the internet and read a trashy detective novel instead. But this morning, the internet is still there. Amazing.

We took our Japanese exchange student, Asuka, to the airport yesterday morning and said goodbye. It was sad. We ended up having a really good time with her. She came with a group of students who all stayed with other students from Em's school. There was a large group of kids at the airport, with all the girls weeping and declaring undying friendship and the boys standing around punching each other.

Some observations:

  • The Japanese girls all have the same haircut. One of Em's friends called it The Japanese Schoolgirl Mullet. That pretty much sums it up.
  • None of the Japanese kids are overweight in the slightest. About half of the Americans are. I find that sad.
  • The Japanese eat like lumberjacks. I don't know where Asuka put it all. The Mister says that food is very expensive in Japan, so they eat everything in front of them. Don't know if this is true or not.
  • Asuka LOVED to shop. I took her to the mall and we went into every single store and she didn't buy anything. This was repeated several times during her visit at different malls.
  • She also loves Starbucks. Asuka purchased many souvenir items from Starbucks as gifts, including a pound of coffee beans. I don't think she has a grinder either, but she was insistent upon beans, rather than ground coffee.
  • One family hosted a pool party one night so i got to see all the visitors. You should have seen their eyes whenever i would stand up. I think in Japan i would frighten small children.
  • Asuka used two towels everyday, one for each shower. She would trot out each morning with a small pile of laundry and want to do a teeny load every day. If she had been staying longer i would have had a chat with her about this, but for a week? Eh.
  • I took Asuka to a Top Foods (a large grocery store) so she could buy gifts for her family. Here is a sample of the things she bought; those little boxes of cereal, Chips Ahoy cookies, a bag of Jujubes, Altoids mints, Triscuits.
  • Asuka was always exclaiming "SO BIG!" Our dishwasher, our refrigerator, her bedroom, our cats, our houses (and our house was the smallest one she saw while she was here,) our cars....
  • She was not used to riding in cars and i had to remind her many times to put on her seatbelt. "Oh yes, seatbelt!" she would say.
  • I would host an exchange student again in a heartbeat.