Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Something REALLY Scary, VB Story III

Again, this picture has nothing to do with anything.

Time for a scary story, and the final post about VB (Vituperative Bitch), my SIL.

To bring you up to date, VB has dumped Husband 1.0 and has moved in with Boss1, after Boss1 dumped his wife that is. (Go here for parts
I and II.)

VB quit her job working under (heh, heh) Boss1 and got a new job working under Boss2. She is living with Boss1 and his two adorable children in Boss1's cool house with a view out over Puget Sound.

The Mister and i were living in Colorado when we got a call from his mother, telling us that VB had had a HUGE fight with Boss1, and had moved out and was living with Boss2. (Boss2 was later to become husband 3.0.) Apparently she really had been "working under" Boss2.

Three weeks later, we get another phone call. VB had gotten married!!!

A puzzled Mister said, "To who?"

A good question as it turned out.

To BOSS1, who had now become husband 2.0.

We lost touch with VB when The Mister's father died and VB, and Boss2, with whom she was again living after divorcing Boss1 (aka husband 2.0) accused The Mister of stealing money from his dad.

The funny thing about this is that the stealing of money is something that VB did, which is why she would even think of accusing The Mister of it. You will have to believe me when i tell you that The Mister would NEVER, EVER steal anything. He's boring that way. (Not so me, once i took a piece of butterscotch candy from that store that used to be in an old boat in San Francisco.)

All we know now is that eventually Boss2 (aka husband 3.0) divorced VB and she married yet again. I'm sure that husband 4.0 is true love.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

I'm sorry, so sorry...

Gratuitous photo of some sculpture, with a stunning Seattle day in the background.

Two things. They are related i think, as it is the same person who said them to me.

1) My daughter made me buy ______ for her.

Really? She MADE you? Were there firearms involved? Blackmail?

2) I'm sorry, was i in your way? I'm sorry, i should have gotten that. I'm sorry, was that too loud? I'm sorry.

What is it about someone who cringes all the time that makes me want to hit them?

I was at lunch the other day with two mental health professionals, and i was talking about how uncomfortable it is for me to listen to constant apologizing. They were then explaining the victim thing to me, how some people are comfortable in the victim role, and they try to cast others as their victimizer.

And in looking back at the times when i have acted this way, times when i was totally beaten down emotionally, i was just trying to get someone to feel sorry for me, or to do what i wanted because they felt sorry for me. Pathetic.

Em does this sometimes. She is pushing that big red button on my forehead because she knows i hate it.

"I'm sorry," as an active lifestyle choice, it really is lacking.

Friday, October 26, 2007

A bunch of pictures

Scott, in Oregon asked us to take pictures within 50 (or was it 100?) feet of where we sleep, and since i never need much excuse to weild my camera, i did.

This is what i woke up to outside:

Ice on the table:
Summer shoes, all sandy from the beach. There's a snail hidden in one of them, can you see it?

What on earth is this? Pretty colors though:Drying my wings in the morning breeze:

Frost on the Lamb's Ear:

Oarlocks, not Warlocks:
Why can i not go out too? Oh, i can:
The pump house is almost disappeared:
I can't resist fall leaves:
Big leaf maple leaves, lining the path:

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

I don't get it

I was prowling around in a used book store, a favorite meno haunt (Halloween is coming, so please note clever insertion of the word haunt,) when i was stopped by the Employee Recommendation table.

There was a blurb about the book Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt. The blurb went something like this, "Hysterically funny yarn about growing up dirt poor in Catholic Ireland. You will laugh right along with Frank as he grows up." Without regard to the ending of this sentence with a preposition, i couldn't believe this "review".

I have read this book. I cannot say that the word hysterical ever occurred to me whilst i was reading. Wry, self-deprecating, horrible...all those might have come to mind. It makes me wonder if the person who wrote this even read the book. Or did i miss something?

There was this movie, quite a while ago, called
After Hours, starring Griffin Dunne and Teri Garr, and maybe some other people. It's one of the most uncomfortable movies i have ever seen. It's the story of this man just trying to get home in New York, and everything weird that can happen does. I have nightmares like this movie, why would i want to watch it on the silver screen?

One night, when we lived in Colorado, we went to another couple's house for dinner and the after dinner entertainment was, yes, you guessed it, After Hours. The couple happily told us that it was hysterically funny. So i had to watch it again. Ugh.

I believe i have a reasonable sense of humor, maybe even a whacked out one, but i was unable to find the humor in either Angela's Ashes or After Hours.

I am curious if you have ever puzzled over something that was described to you as funny, and wondered what the hell was funny about it.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Caution, contents may explode

I've been wallowing, lying low and licking my wounds, castigating myself, knitting a hair shirt.

I totally lost it with Em on Saturday night. I could explain it all and tell you what happened, but really, she's 16, and the queen of passive-aggressive defiance. What more do you need to know? Without regard to what happened, losing it is never cool, never. I screamed, SCREAMED at her like a hyena on steroids. I didn't slap her, but oh, did i want to.

I hate it when i let this happen. It takes me a few weeks to forgive myself. I know i have to, but i just feel like shit for it.

We were out after an event (Julia Sweeney's "Letting Go of God", which is most excellent) and Em was behaving badly while attempting to drive us home. The Mister ended up driving while the two of us cried.

What a great role model i am.

The only upside of this is that Em is behaving herself and listening to my driving suggestions without arguing. I think i scared her.


It's starting to get dark here earlier and earlier. I feel the weight of all that darkness pressing down on me. I try to think about how it only gets worse until November 22, then it's all uphill from there. I ignore the fact that the expanding daylight is an exponential curve.


Thinking of the people in San Diego as i listen to the news today. One thousand homes destroyed, One thousand. I will not whine anymore.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Just for fun

A meme, about food, from peevish. (I am peeved that she thought of such a great name before i did.) You are to take each letter from your blogging name and give a little food fact to go with it.

Thank dog my name is short, although i am not. Heavens forfend if she had said give a food fact for each inch of your height. We'd be here forever.

M: Mother's Milk. (See previous post in case you need an illustration.) Upon being born, Em took one look at these babies and she knew right what to do. It's a good thing because i sure as hell was puzzled. All i was left to do was to figure out how to hold her while she ate. I only breastfed Em for 3 months. Then i had to return to the clean room at school and fuss with weird chemicals in order to make bi-polar junction transistors. I was sad. I missed it.

Oh, and mochi, the kind with ice cream inside.

E: I make great baba ghanoush (wonder what spell check will make of that?) Baba ghanoush is made from Eggplant. A friend taught me to make it. We always set off the smoke alarms until we got a grill upon which to abuse the eggplant. I also love the word "aubergine." Say it a few times. Doesn't that feel good? Aubergine is French, or somesuch language, for eggplant.

Oh and edamame.

N: noodles, udon or soba. Not those nasty pre-cooked packages, but the real stuff from the Asian grocery store. Cook. rinse in cold water, add a little soy sauce, rice vinegar and chopped little green onions, stir, and shovel into your mouth using the chopsticks as a back hoe. Slurping is not optional.

O: oysters, plucked fresh from the slimy, barnacled rocks of Puget sound, opened without slicing my hand, with a little fresh lemon and cocktail sauce that i have carried down to the beach with me. I am alone. It is low tide, so the airs smells like....low tide. I hear seagulls. Mmmm, perfect.


Please do this meme if you would like. I'm too lazy to tag people because it means linking, which means typing, at which i suck, unlike run-on sentences, at which i excel.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Late and Hate

Ever one to jump on a bandwagon, even if i am late to the party, here is a picture of Em feeding at the boob of Meno. Look at my big hand with her tiny fingers curled around it. I just love this picture. I loved breastfeeding. You can see the presence of cats in our life has been constant. This is Eliot. He was a great cat. He died when he was 16, and Em was 10. God i loved him.

This is in reaction to Facebook, where a decision was made to pull off a picture of a breastfeeding woman because it was obscene. One comment was that it was akin to masturbating or defecating in public.

I couldn't find a picture of me masturbating or defecating (oh, the google hits i will get) so this will have to do.


I am having emotion today. I was sitting next to Em while she was driving on the way home from school. She pulled up at a stop sign to go left, and blocked the view of a woman trying to turn right. This is how this intersection works, she just needed to inch forward a bit more to see around Em.

She looked at me, in the passenger seat, and started swearing and calling Em a fucking bitch and flipped her off. I rolled down my window and she didn't like that so she sped off.

I am furious. The kind of anger that makes my chest heat up, my head feel pressure, my heart pound and then i want to cry.

She called my baby, my 16 year old new driver, who didn't do anything wrong, a fucking bitch. I want to rip out her heart with my bare hands and feed it, still beating, to her.

Rational, not. I know. But i now understand the situation of one of you, who was charged with felony assault because she threw her keys at a car that almost ran her and her two young boys down in a parking lot crosswalk. It could have been me.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


More fucking child drama. Let's see if i can sum this up succinctly.

Em is all freaked out over applying to and getting in to college. I am more relaxed. I KNOW that she will get into a college and get a good education and have a good life.

So, Em really wants to go to a certain large public college on the east coast. The real reason that she wants to go there is because that's where her girlfriend goes. It's scary to go off to college by yourself, i understand that.

My bias is that i don't really want her to go that far away. If something goes wrong, it can be more than a day's travel to get to her. She won't be able to be around for the smaller holidays, like Thanksgiving or her birthday, only Christmas and summer really. I fully admit this is my bias and i may need to just get over it.

There is a slightly better large public college in this area, plus we wouldn't have to pay out-of-state tuition. She is very likely to get into both of these colleges, and a few more that may be even better suited to her interests.

She asked me yesterday is she can apply "early decision" to the east coast college. That means that is they accept her, she has to go. The advantage is that she will know by the end of the year, the disadvantage is that it leaves her no other option.

I thought about it for a long time. The Mister and i discussed it. Then i said no. I don't want her to limit her choices like that.

I am trying to separate my fears from her desires. I think i have. I want to do what is best for her. But i hate having her mad at me. Such is the fate of playing the parent role rather than the friend role. And believe it or not, she hates being mad at me. I think it bothers her more than it bothers me.

Thanks for listening.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Pitch this.

Today i went off and answered phones at KUOW, our local public radio station, during their fall pledge drive. I've never done that before, and i thought it might be kind of interesting. Besides, i am a public radio addict, so i was curious to see inside the station.

There is this whole unpaid workforce of middle-aged and up women who make up the majority of the personnel for everything that i have ever volunteered for. This phone-answering gig was no exception.

I swear to god they are ditsy though. I don't know if it's age, or if it's ditsy women who no longer work. (Yes, i REALIZE that i am speaking about myself. Shut Up!) Or maybe these women never worked. I kept having to show the two women sitting next to me what to do, and both of them have done this before.

At the radio station they call it "pitching" where i call it "begging." They warn you when they are going back to begging so you can be ready to answer the phones.

People are weird. I had one person call so he could complain about a story in the local alternative paper claiming that KUOW has a million dollars stashed away. What am i supposed to do about that dude? I had two people try to give me expired credit cards.

It was easy, and fun, and the free lunch was most excellent. For that alone i would do it again.

Plus i got a free nalgene bottle with the KUOW logo on it. Cool beans.

Friday, October 12, 2007

What not to do, VB story the second

This is a true story, in a land far away and a time long ago:

part 1, if you care to get caught up, but it's not necessary in order to gasp in horror over this story.)

So SIL, aka, Vituperative Bitch (VB) invited the Mister and i over for dinner. She was living in her new apartment after dumping husband number 1, with all new furniture that her father had bought for her.

She was waiting for her boss, her future second ex-husband, to leave his wife, so she had taken up with Ray, her tennis instructor, in the meantime, to fill the gaping hole, so to speak. Ray had also been invited to dinner that night.

The Mister and i arrived ahead of Ray. I remember watching VB pour too much olive oil over the salad as she told us that Boss was planning to leave his wife that night, then come over to her apartment afterwards. If Boss did end up doing the dumping deed, she was going to have to find a way to get Ray to leave, because Ray had the expectation of staying the night.

The Mister and i immediately offered to leave and re-schedule for a better night, as we understood that Boss might not want us there.

"Oh, no," she answered, "he really wants to meet you. Besides, if he (Boss) doesn't do it, then Ray will still be here."

We should have insisted. I poured a glass of wine.

So Ray arrived, dinner was eaten, conversation happened. He seemed like a nice guy, although not overly endowed with brains. We moved to the living room where Ray took off his shoes and wristwatch, and poured himself another glass of wine in anticipation of a red hot game of trivial pursuit.

The phone rang.

VB disappeared into her bedroom with the phone.

**Insert stilted conversation between the Mister, Ray and myself here.**

VB reappeared and dragged Ray into the bedroom. He came out after about ten minutes ( i can't even imagine what story she told him) and slowly put on his watch and shoes. His face was all flushed, i suspect because he was mortified. I know i was. And so he left.

VB came back out of the bedroom whereupon the Mister and i repeated our offer to leave. VB insisted that we stay as she really wanted us to meet the love of her life.

I poured another glass of wine. Boss arrived about thirty minutes later. I poured another glass of wine.

**Insert VERY stilted conversation between the Mister. Boss, VB and myself here.**

I poured another glass of wine.

Truly an evening to remember.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

My husband has something to tell me

The Mister came home from grocery shopping last week with these gourds and squashes. "I thought they would look nice on the table," he said.

Then he proceeded to show me the Mr Clean Magic Eraser sponge he bought. He told me that he had read the information on all the sponges and these were very cool. He excitedly told me all about them, including their magic qualities.

Oh My God! My husband is gay! Holiday decorations and cleaning supplies? I guess someone has to do it. Maybe i have something i need to tell him too.

Then again the form that our love takes is unimportant, just that there is love.

National Coming Out Day y'all.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

And now for something completely different....

How do you like them potatoes?

Ok, maybe not so different.

Whenever i post something like that which is below, i have dreams of abandonment. I wake up and have to transfer my consciousness to reality, reminding myself that i am not abandoned. I wake up feeling heavy and sad.

And just to be clear, i IN NO WAY, criticize any decision that any one else has made. Couples cannot and should not always stay together. Abuse, drugs, repeated infidelity..... are not to be forgiven.

And while you were all complimentary to me, you must realize that the pasting back together of this family was not accomplished by the sheer force of my will alone. There had to be two of us. One willing to TRY and forgive, and one who was truly sorry and wanted to be forgiven.

Okay, that's enough of that.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Interview with a vampire

This is where the fairies dance in my yard at night.

I asked Chani to interview me. I have had these questions from her for over a week. I think they are quite beautiful, but they have been hard to answer. I have written and revised, and edited, and then edited some more. I am still not satisfied, but i realize i will never be.

1. You woke up this morning and by some miracle, you are a lawyer. What would you choose as your specialty?

Hara-kiri? Ok, just kidding, i couldn't resist throwing in a lawyer dis. First off, that would be a miracle.

If i had to be a lawyer, i would choose either environmental law or child advocacy. Well, now that i think about it, i would have to say environmental, because i think being involved in divorces and abuse cases would suck the heart right out of me. Suing the ass off large corporations that rape the land and poison the world would please the hell out of me.

Or maybe a public defender. I am pretty smart, and talking care of people who would normally get screwed because they are poor, that would be good.

2. Meno (of Meno and Socrates) says that virtue is a desire for honorable things and the power to attain them. Ignoring Socrates' nitpicking, what do you consider to be honorable things and how do you attain them?

I consider it honorable to be living your life in such a way as to minimize your negative impact on the earth and other people. And to allow other people to live their lives as they choose, as long as they don't impact anyone else's life in a negative way.

For example, that Mormon guy who heads that cult is running his life the way he wants, but forcing a girl to become the 5th wife of her 40 year old cousin when she is 13 does not minimize the negative impact on her. I hope he rots in hell. So it's not like anything goes.

As to how to achieve virtue, it can only come from awareness. Willingness to view your own self honestly. I am still working on this.

3. You mentioned once that you hadn't intended to have children. How do you imagine your life would have been different if you'd not had children?

I wasn't always SURE i would ever want to have children, but having Em was entirely intentional.

There are many ways my life would have been different, but chiefly, i would not still be married to the Mister. There are things that i would not have tried to survive with him if i had not had another person's life to consider. But knowing that her future, self-image, relationships with men and understanding of commitment were at stake, i tried harder than i ever have at anything. So without her i would not know what it really means to put someone else first.

Also there would be less laundry, fewer hugs, less noise, and less laughing.

4. In light of that, in what way has your daughter (or any child you might have had) enriched your life?

It is very healing to be able to raise a child with love. I am capable of raising a happy child. How the hell did that happen? She also provides me with great company. She makes me laugh and want to beat her, sometimes simultaneously.

There is no adequate answer for this, really all i can say is that she has taught me how deep love really is. Sorry for the sappiness, but there are no words.

5. What do you consider to be the most pivotal historical event of your lifetime?

I would like to say my wedding or the birth of Em, or some such sweetness, but as a person who questions her own worth, my most pivotal event come from trial by fire, not from love. What has really shaped my life, in ways both good and bad, is beingdumped and lied to by the Mister when Em was 3. I discovered:
my capacity for pain
i can take care of myself
how hard it is for me to forgive
the depth of hate i can feel and not commit murder
how to really be an adult
that i am not immune to the shit the world can dish out (i thought maybe i was special, what a smug ass i was.)
how low i can sink
i am the stronger one in this relationship
how stubborn i can be
that i WILL live, even if i don’t want to

Thank you Chani.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

In Which i try to Pass

Today i tried to go and act like a real girl. I went shopping for quilt fabric with 3 other women. We are going to make either a holiday table runner or holiday place mats.

The prerequisite was to bring a plate from our holiday dishes. You know, so we can match the fabric to our dishes.

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha...heh.

Holiday dishes? Someone does not know me. I do not own Holiday Place Settings. I wonder why i would ever need more than one set of dishes. They would just take up space and need dusting. And they would probably have cranberries or some such as a theme. Cranberries. Me. Ha.

I am lacking in a major girl gene.

I tried to fit in. But they knew i was an impostor. We all had a good laugh because they figured that i was not the type to have holiday dishes. They were right.

But my god, how long can anyone be at a fabric store and talk about color matching and undertones and shit?

A long time apparently.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Jellyfish have no spine

All my life i have heard this phrase and it never fails to piss me off. I heard it again yesterday and my reaction has not tempered over the years.

My husband/boyfriend won't let me.

I translate this into any number of real meanings, all of them negative.

1) I am spineless and weak.
2) I really don't want to _______ so i am using my husband as an excuse.
3) I am married to a controlling bastard.
4) I am a doormat.
5) I think being a woman means i should cater to my man.
6) I don't want to worry my pretty little head about it.
7) I am an idiot.
8) I don't want the responsibilities of being an adult.
9) I married daddy.

He won't LET you? What are you? Twelve?

UGH! Just UGH.

Over the years i have heard this applied to anything from getting a job to cutting off hair to going back to school. Even once to using tampons instead of pads. I am not making that up either.

This kind of statement is a real conversation stopper. I never know what to say other than "huh." And then i look at her as if she just stepped off of an alien vessel.

Do you ever hear this and does it bother you as much as it bugs me?

This rant was brought to you by an acquaintance of mine, who's husband won't let her drive at night, ever.