It's funny how when i am away from you, my friends, i spend time trying to remember things i MUST tell you.
So i must wander in the weeds a bit, in the telling.
Christmas Day made me hopeful that my extended family (brothers, sisters-in-law and their offspring) can actually have fun together. Because we did have fun. The nieces and nephews had a great time locating their Christmas money inside Kleenex boxes. (I think next year i will steal the idea of gluing the money inside walnut shells.) Then we all went off to see the movie BOLT, which was the perfect Christmas movie for us.
The snow finally ended, and there is very little of it still around. But there are Bott's Dots everywhere. I have harvested a few.
My parents were the first people (my mother kept repeating this fact to anyone who would listen) to move into their new retirement home, right before all the snow hit. This is a huge relief for all of us. We went there on Christmas Eve for dinner and inspection. The place is gorgeous. Their apartment is spacious and on the 9th floor and has a great view out over the city. Plus, did i remember to tell you that they were the first people to move in?
Our New Year's Eve will be spent in a manner befitting geeks. We are going to see a taping of the radio show Says You, and should be home tucked in our beds by 10:30, at the latest.
Em got a stuffed elephant which she has named Rudyard.
I'm thinking of moving. The fact that my daughter reads this makes me feel stifled. So far, it's just a thought. But it's hard to be as dismal as i sometimes want to be, and i never wanted a cute little blog where i always post marginally amusing poop.
Wednesday, December 31, 2008
It's funny how when i am away from you, my friends, i spend time trying to remember things i MUST tell you.
Monday, December 22, 2008
The Mister's fancy-ass SUV FAILED to make it up the driveway on Thursday morning. (Not gloating, not!) This thing is so fancy it has many special settings for driving in different conditions:
What it does lack is a setting for getting it up the driveway.
It's been kind of fun. We venture out once a day to hunt and gather (at Top Foods) and then head back home to watch trashy movies and eat popcorn.
Today i went to the hardware store, hoping to maybe buy a snow shovel. Of course i am the 5,436th person with that idea, but they did tell me that they were expecting a small shipment in about an hour.
After lunch i called the store back to see if they were in yet and was told to hurry back as they were in and going fast. I had to shove a few old men and a woman with a baby out of the way, but i am now the proud owner of a $15 red plastic snow shovel. Wheeeeee!!
More snow expected tomorrow. Thank god i have my shovel.
Posted by meno at 5:41 PM
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
A few years ago, i started playing a little game with my nieces and nephews at Christmas. They are all old enough so that everything they want costs lots of money, so i just give them money, and they can do with it what they will.
The first year, i bought them all white underwear and hid the money inside the undies. They were pretty disgusted with me, until they figured it out. We all had a good laugh.
Last year, i hid the money inside white socks. But they were on to me and found the money right away.
This year i thought i'd just hand them money, because i was too lazy to come up with another idea. But then i thought - Kleenex! I slit open the side of a practice box, and the game was on! This morning i bought 5 boxes of different sized kleenex, slit open the sides, inserted money and some Christmas bells in each box, and glued them shut again.
Bwah hah aha hahha hah!
Evil aunt meno is evil! I can't wait.
Back lit Pampas Grass:
The high temperature here today was below 0 C (32 F) so everything is covered with a layer of frost that sparkles like diamonds in the sun:
Yesterday at the grocery store i saw this display at an idle check stand. I am assuming that it was for training new cashiers, but it amused me. The manager came over to ask me why i was taking a picture of it. I told him "Because it amuses me." He left, but watched me warily after that:
Friday, December 12, 2008
Things that made me smile today:
~walking in to the place i volunteer and having someone who was leaving call out to me, "have a good weekend, meno." It's this little stuff about working that i miss.
~We are wrapping presents for the Adopt-a-Family program, and someone brought in cupcakes from that fancy new cupcake store in the mall. They cost $2.50 each. I ate a red velvet cupcake. MMMmmmmmm. It was worth the money.
~Someone telling me to put ice cubes down my bra, because i was fanning myself during a hot flash.
~The Mister is back home.
Something that made me laugh out out today:
~someone got to my blog by googling "How long do you have to wait to kiss after having meno."
Not long, not long at all!
Posted by meno at 3:12 PM
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
I was all set to announce my appointment as Illinois' new senator, to fill the position that Obama just vacated, but some legal and technical things came up so i had to withdraw my name. Saved me a BUNCH of money though.
The Mister is traveling again. A few weeks ago, he went away for two weeks, really really far away. This time he's just gone for 5 days.
I've always had a tough time when he's been away. I don't sleep well. I'm anxious. (Those of you who get anxious know that anxiety is a lot less pleasant than it sounds, and it doesn't sound pleasant.)
The anxiety is because i didn't trust him to not do something stupid, and a little because i was concerned about his safety. That is shitty of me to say, but it's the truth.
Back when we had a young child, it was harder to be the one at home. (The Mister found this out when i did a little traveling for work one year.) But now it's harder to be the one away. I'm home, in my own bed, surrounded by kitties and he's off staying in weird hotel rooms with other people's ass juice on the bedspread, eating crappy food and dealing with airlines.
With his being gone this much, and with the modern communication devices we have (did you know that you can text message someone in China?) it's really no big deal anymore, and i'm getting used to being here alone. In fact, i kind of like it. And in truth, it's almost annoying how many times a day he texts, IMs or calls me.
But i'll be glad when he's home. I just feel good that it doesn't bother me anymore. I feel stronger and more independent.
I told him this. I think it made him sad, a little.
Thursday, December 04, 2008
I love gossip.
Okay, i'm exaggerating for maximum shock value.
I like gossip.
It's not cool to admit that, but damned if i don't think most people do like it.
The reason this comes up is that i went to lunch with someone today who told me that she does not gossip, and then spent the whole time talking about other people, which, i think, is what gossip is.
The failure to examine our own behavior is the definition of denial. I hate denial.
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
I really want to do a rant about the book/movie Twilight, because i have fairly strong feeling about it being not just harmless entertainment, but pornography for young girls.
But i won't, because it would be useless, and really, in the long run, what does it matter? Who am i to swim against the overwhelming stream of salmon who love love LOVE it? Plus i know i will catch hell.
Do people ever ask you questions that leave you standing there with your mouth open, waiting for something to come out of it, but nothing does?
Today someone asked me if i think i'm "complicated?"
What the hell does that mean?
Complicated compared to other people? And how would i know having only been myself? It's like asking someone if it feels different to be them than it does to be you.
"Oh, yes. I'm VERY complicated."
Seems kind of an arrogant thing to say.
I finally answered that i think we are all simple AND complicated. How's that for not answering a rhetorical question meant to be a real question?
Simple as in we all just want a beautiful immortal person to come along who will love only us forever and ever and will save us and take care of us and make us live forever and ever too. A fictional person that will give us an unrealistic idea of what love is really like, that it takes work, and that no one is perfect, thus dooming all future relationships to disappointment.
Ooops, slipped back into the Twilight rant. Sorry. I know i'm taking it too seriously, but i just can't get over the icky feeling that it's worse than just incredibly badly written crap.
Where was i?
And complicated because everyone has baggage and buttons and experiences and....all those things that give us the deep psychological scars that make us so interesting in later life and keep therapists in toys and cookies.
I should have just replied "Huh?"
Monday, December 01, 2008
I have told you about this before, that i am a wimp as far as visual entertainment. I think it's getting worse.
We tried to watch the series "Mad Men" recently. I made it about half way through the first season. The Mister still wants to watch, but i don't. It's just so sad. The people are all miserable and fucked up, and so despicable towards one other. After every episode i felt depressed.
The Mister can watch if he likes, i will just leave the room. Which means he probably won't watch it.
Imez wrote something about the movie "Trainspotting" in a post. I admitted that i left partway through that movie too, feeling battered and sad.
Imez answered "I never thought of you as the type of girl to wander away from things that seemed depressing."
Oh, yes i am.
It's hard for me to understand why people want to watch/read things about sad, unhappy people who are unlikely to change. It's difficult to watch things that make me feel sad. I have a hard enough time trying not to be sad without any help from media.
We also started watching "Arrested Development" while Em was home for Thanksgiving. I did some laughing, but i also wanted to slap the people and tell them to stop being so self-indulgent and get a spine. Plus the undercurrent of financial desperation makes me sad.
Can you explain it to me?
Posted by meno at 8:29 AM
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
The Mister and i were driving around together earlier today and we passed by (as in didn't even consider stopping) one of the ubiquitous McD*nald's that litter this area. The sign board read:
MCRIB IS BACK!!
The Mister was annoyed by the grammar. "Shouldn't it say 'McRibs ARE back?'"
"I don't know," i replied, "Maybe it's like their hash browns where you order A hash brown instead of SOME hash browns. Maybe it's a single lump of some vaguely pork-like meat reformed into a rib shape and then drowned in a sweet red sauce."
"You make it sound so tasty!"
I for one vow to eat TWICE as many as i ate last time they were available.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Sometimes when i spot a person casually in passing, my mind invents a back story to explain what they are doing.
I was striding through the aisles of the drug store last week when i passed by a slightly rounded Indian man who had a tuft of hair coming out one ear, and one of those brain slugs*, (also know as a Bluetooth,) coming out the other. He was standing in the cosmetics aisle as i brushed past him.
Without me really being aware of it, my mind decided that he was too lost in his brain slug conversation to notice that he was, in fact, in the girly section of the store.
A few minutes later, having completed whatever errand had brought me to the store, i passed by him again. This time he was crouched down in front of the lipstick display, still talking into his brain slug.
"Midnight Frost or Pale Shimmering Frost?" i heard him say in that lovely Indian singsong accent.
Awwww, he's picking up some lipstick for his wife. How cute! And he's not afraid to stand in the cosmetics aisle and utter words like 'Pale Shimmering Frost' for all the world to hear.
This time i smiled at him.
*Futurama reference to an alien life form that attaches itself to your head and takes over your mind.
If you are not offended by the obscenity, this will crack you right up. If you are offended, skip it.
Posted by meno at 3:37 PM
Friday, November 21, 2008
I killed one of Em's mice. One of Those Damn Mice. I feel so guilty.
I was not the actual instrument of death, but a moment's inattention allowed Grey Cat to sneak in and cause grievous bodily harm.
I remember reading the torture scenes (i can't remember if it was in Fahrenheit 451 or Animal Farm, or maybe some other book entirely) where the man kept getting killed and revived and then killed again, in a new and horrible way.
Somewhere in my heart i believe that all life has the same value. I'm not saying that all life has the same complexity, but i don't believe in killing just for the sake of it. (Yes, i eat meat. But being eaten as meat has purpose and meaning.)
I keep thinking that someday, when i die, i will be killed in all the ways that i have wantonly killed. I'll be squished with a rolled up newspaper, stepped on by a giant shoe, flushed down a toilet, ground up in a garbage disposal, sucked up into a vacuum cleaner and lastly, i will have my spine snapped by a giant feline, be stuffed into a plastic bag to suffocate, and placed in a freezer.
Later, after i am a frozen corpse, my body will be placed in the trash.
I had to wait until today to tell Em, as yesterday was her birthday. Happy Birthday sweetie, i love you, and i am SO sorry about Elizabeth. But no, we are not getting another one to keep Rain company.
Posted by meno at 1:54 PM
Sunday, November 16, 2008
My mother, upon learning that The Mister has been out of town for the past two weeks (he's home as of this morning, jet-lagged all to hell, slept all day, still snoring gently beside me at 9pm) decided that i needed to be amused. So she offered to take me out to dinner last night.
Now i am a restaurant whore, so there isn't much i won't do for a free meal, including sit at a table with my parents.
My mother also invited my brother (a tidbit of information that will become relevant in a bit,) as he was also sans spouse.
We met at a nice restaurant, one with real tablecloths and candles. Things were looking good!
My dad immediately excused himself for the men's room, where he spent at least ten minutes before returning to the table.
This repeated all evening. Of the two hours we were at the restaurant, he spent at least 45 minutes in the can. At one point, he returned to the table and before he sat back down, turned around and left again. So clearly, something was wrong.
My dad has had prostate cancer and numerous other urethral/penile problems. I am blissfully unaware of the exact grim details, but i know he has had his exit path re-routed, as he could no longer pee or be catheterized due to scar tissue.
My brother carried on as if nothing odd was going on. He remained calm and friendly, while my mother was freaking out, and i was getting more and more tense in response to her angst.
The evening eventually ended, with no one really saying anything about my poor dad's "problem." (Denial. I challenge any family to outdo us in this regard.)
I came home feeling really sad. "Ooooh," i whined to The Mister on the phone from China, "it was awful."
But, after thinking it over, and taking a cue from my brother, i am being a complete ass.
What do i want the man to do? Stay home and limit his activities because it makes me soooo sad to see him struggle? Oh poor me.
How unutterably selfish of me.
He's out and about, coping the best he can with what must be embarrassing and uncomfortable aging issues. And just because i don't like it, doesn't mean that the end result of living isn't dying. My dad's body is giving out on him, slowly. What i want to do is to celebrate the fact that he's eighty-fucking-two, and he's out at restaurants, playing tennis and traveling; not bemoaning the fact that bad shit is happening to his body.
Love accepts things, even the icky. If he can stand it, the least i can do is be there for him without letting my self-centered feeeeeeelings get in the way.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
I was loitering at the bus stop the other day, looking for some action, when i noticed these little white tubes discarded on the ground.
"What the hell?"
Upon closer examination, they proved to be the containers in which one buys a single cigarette.
I know i am naive, but i hadn't realized that you could buy a single cigarette, all packaged in a plastic container. This is wrong on SO MANY levels, that i just keep thinking of more.
Packaging waste. This just takes it to a new level of awfulness.
Marketing to kids. If anyone believes that this is not a way to market cigarettes to kids, you are move naive and foolish than me.
Marketing to poor people. So you can't find the (what is it up to these days? $4? $5?) cash for a whole pack, no problem! For 50 cents, or whatever, you can still suck some nicotine into your lungs. That this works out to $10 per pack. Nice work tobacco industry.
Just because people will buy something, doesn't mean it's a good idea. Except that of course it's a good idea if you stand to make some money. Bastards!
This just makes me sick.
Saturday, November 08, 2008
Okay, i was going to go for NaNoPoMo* but i've decided to become the anti-christ instead. Seems like it might be easier.
"The Holidays" are coming up. I shudder at the thought. I've been thinking about why that is.
You know how kids are silly and grandiose and say all kinds of things that are ridiculous? Some examples;
- I'm gonna be a lion tamer!
- I can really fly, wanna see?
- I'm going to marry DADDY when i grow up.
- Last night i saw a REAL fairy dancing in my room!
- This hole goes all the way to CHINA!
...and so on, you get the idea. Wonderful imaginative things that are the product of childish enthusiasm.
Family gatherings are an occasion to bring out these memories and ridicule the child that said them. This sport is accompanied by telling the adult that used to be the child that they are too sensitive and have no sense of humor.
That adult very well might have a sense of humor about this teasing, if it hadn't also been done back when the adult was a child and had no defenses.
I've never laid it out so clearly for myself before now. I think the correct tactic might be to say, "That child deserves to be defended, even though it's years later."
*National No Posting Month
Friday, October 31, 2008
Those of you who have kids (this applies to The Mister too, by the way) know they can't find their ass with both hands and a flashlight.
I can't tell you how many times i've responded to a frantic Em by walking into her room and saying, "Look, it's right here!"
Some things never change. Witness this IM exchange:
em: MOMMY :-( I can't find my black dress pants.
meno: uh oh!
meno: are they on the floor of the closet? slipped off the hanger
em: I've looked all over the stupid floor. :-(
meno: under the bed?
meno: behind the hamper?
meno: on the shelves above the closet?
em: I don't think so... :/
em: This means I have nothing to wear to matriculation or for Halloween.
meno: uh oh
meno: did they accidently get mixed into Roommate’s things?
meno: the last time you wore them was that stupid convocation thing i think
em: Yeah it was.
em: So they must be here. But... D:
em: I have no idea. ;_____; I know they're here. I just have no idea where and I can't find them. ._.
meno: in a drawer?
em: Nope. >_< meno: sorry, wish i could help, that's all the places i can think of
meno: i think you hung them back up, so either they are hiding on a hanger, or they fell off
em: But I can't find them anywhere.
meno: i believe you
em: What do I do? I can't go naked to matriculation, even if I have to skip out on dressing up for Halloween.
meno: did you look carefully on EVERY hanger? To make sure they aren't hidden half folded?
em: Under one of my coats. :D: You're a genius.
meno: who's your buddy???
em: YOU! <3
Nice to know i still have the power to find things in her room when she can't, even from 2000 miles away.
Posted by meno at 11:16 AM
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
I wrote the following a few days ago. Thank god i hit save instead of publish.
But now i am going to publish it anyway because it made me laugh at myself and to understand where my daughter might have gotten her propensity for drama. I mean "living death???" That might be overstating it just a bit. :)
You have no idea how unpleasant they are, unless you do know.
Every day, 15 times a day, a reminder that you are OLD. That things in your body are not where they were for the last 30 years. That you are done. That you are HOT, and sweaty, and ugly, and old.
In the middle of the night. 2:15. 3:45. 4:20. 4:50. 5:25. Cats on your hip. Hot. Sweaty. Shit. 5:45. 6:10. 6:25. 6:55.
Another day of living death awaits.
Monday, October 27, 2008
There is this woman i know, someone i thought might become a friend.
I have made plans with her a few times to do something, which she agreed to enthusiastically at the time.
And each time, her agenda begins to creep in, altering the plans so she can fit in other events.
"Oh, i made an appointment to take the car in on Tuesday morning, so can we start hiking later in the day?"
"Of course," i say.
Then a few days later,
"Is it okay if we just go for a short walk? One of my neighbors is having a party at her house and i should go."
And so on. If this had happened only to one of our plans, no big deal, but that it happens every time annoys me.
So i'm done making plans and adjusting them to suit her. Too much work. I'll just stick to the one set time we meet with a group and leave it at that.
The lesson is, don't do this. If you say you're going to be there, be there. If you say you're going to do it, do it. Don't jerk people around.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
It's been awhile huh? How is everyone?
Today i'm going to tell you a story.
Scene: My parent's living room, in the winter of 1981.
Cast: My parents, The Mister's parents, The Mister and me.
Background information: The Mister and i had been living in the deepest of sin for about two years when we decided we would get married. Since we were both graduating from college and The Mister had accepted a job in San Jose, it was either marry, or break up. I say that because my mother had drilled it into my head that i should never "place myself in a position of dependence on a man without being married." There's all kinds of wrong with that statement, but i was much younger then and believed it.
After announcing that we were to be joined in wedded bliss, my mother waited in vain for an invitation from The Mister's parents for an occasion to meet. (According to my mother, who knows these sorts of rules, it's the job of the groom's parents to initiate the first meeting.)
Such invitation was not forthcoming, so my mother decided to (gasp) ignore convention and invite The Mister's parents over for dinner.
Character development: The Mister's dad was a health food nut back before it was popular. He used to make these loaves of bread that we really, really good......for you. They could also substitute for bricks in a pinch. So dinner at their house was accompanied by a discussion of why we were eating skinless chicken and organic kale salad dressed with apple cider vinegar. After dinner he would prepare what i called The Bowel Bomb, a concoction of plain homemade yogurt, wheat bran and lecithin. (Have you ever seen lecithin? It's the consistency of honey, but tastes like motor oil.)
My family is all very tall, and The Mister's family are all very short. The Mister comments that hanging out with my family is The Land of the Giants. I believe i may have mentioned hobbits when visiting with his parents.
During the day that preceded this dinner, The Mister and i had taken our beloved cat Al to the vets as he was very ill. We found out about 30 minutes before dinner that Al had kitty leukemia and would not live very long.
Action: The Mister and i arrived at my parent's house with red eyes, still sniffling over poor Al. (We love our kitties!)
The Mister's parents were late, beyond fashionably.
My mother had prepared her special guest dinner of standing rib roast, mashed potatoes with gravy, salad with blue cheese, french bread with butter, and cheesecake for dessert. Oh, and coffee. I thought The Mister's dad was going to have a coronary right there.
So he picked over his salad, ignoring the rest of the meal. The rest of us, including The Mister's mother, drank steadily.
So picture this, The future Mister and i are huddled miserably in a corner, lightly weeping, The Mister's dad is looking like he smells something bad, my parent's are trying to make polite conversation, and The Mister's mother is getting blasted.
Good times. The evening ended rather early.
Epilogue: My mother waited, again in vain, for a thank you note. She thought that as a military wife The Mister's mother should know that this is required. A few years later, The Mister's mother told me that she had written one, but it had never been mailed as it had gotten lost in her car.
Yeah, i didn't believe her either.
Posted by meno at 3:31 PM
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
The Mister and i are getting up at o'fuck thirty tomorrow morning and flying to Ohio to attend something known as "Family Weekend" at Em's college.
After having looked over the agenda i have broken the events down into three categories:
1.) Sessions telling parents how to butt the hell out while your child attends college and grows up.
2.) Sessions for soliciting money from parents, complete with opportunities to join committees. Wheeee. I LOVE committees!!!
3.) General foolishness; e.g. hot dog eating contests, choir concerts, campus tours, plays and arts-n-crafts exhibitions (I swear if i am asked to weave a lanyard out of cicada skins, i will explode!)
We received a "Welcome to the *insert name of institute of higher learning here* family". Excuse me? Did i go off to college with my kid? Yes, i realize it's a marketing ploy to make me feel all warm and fuzzy so that i will make free with my money. HA!
What we will probably do is skip all that, take Em away with us and spend the weekend eating good food and watching stupid movies. YEAH!
I took the kitties off to kitty jail this afternoon. They spent the entire drive loudly discussing their feelings and criticising my driving. I found this annoying because my driving really isn't that bad, plus i don't know how they could even tell from inside their carriers.
Posted by meno at 5:55 PM
Monday, October 13, 2008
I stopped at a Tully's store this morning (a Starbucks clone for those of you wondering what a Tully's is) to get some tea and a bagel with cream cheese. I asked the young girl working there to please cut my bagel in half.
She looked a bit confused, but said "sure" because the customer is always right.
Here is what i got:
This is why i carry my camera around with me.
Scenes from a kayak:
The Mister and i took advantage of a calm afternoon yesterday to take the kayaks out for a long ride. My big feet pedaling away. Look how glassy the water is.
We stayed out later than we should. It was nearly dark when we returned home.
Posted by meno at 5:44 PM
Saturday, October 11, 2008
Sometimes we do things that don't make us happy. Things we do that make other people happy. Things we do that only make them happy, but do not make us happy. Things that stress us out and make us feel gross. Things that make us feel like we don't matter. Things that follow the patterns that were set out decades ago. Things we can do nothing to change. But things we should probably do because we are a bigger person than the people that do not make us happy. At least we can feel like we are bigger people, but are we?
Enough with the generalities. I did a good thing tonight. But it did not make me feel good. It made other people feel good, but not me.
Patterns. Old patterns. Patterns that will never change, until the people with the patterns are dead.
Do you get it? Do you do these things? If you do, good for you. Good for me. Because tonight, someone is happy, but that someone is not me.
Posted by meno at 9:33 PM
Wednesday, October 08, 2008
A rodent has been exploring my virtual underwear drawer. (Thank you to Ms. Chica for the description.) I think it's time to tip the contents of the drawer onto the floor and expose the mouse.
Someone who thinks i don't know she is doing it, even though she promised she wouldn't, is reading my blog.
Say hi to my daughter y'all.
At first she didn't know. Then she knew, but i didn't know she knew. Then i knew she knew, but she didn't know that i knew that she knew. Now she knows. I know she knows, and with this, she knows that i know that she knows. Got that?
I discovered this mouse in my underwear drawer a while ago. I've been pondering what to do and how i feel about it for a while too. I still don't know how i feel about it. It's a little odd, but i can think of no actual harm done to me. Bemused might be the best description. Such are the risks of public blogging.
With growing up, comes new levels of relationships. Wonder if she'll be brave enough to say hi back??
Love you Fishie, you little stinker. See you in about a week. And if there's anything you've read here that you don't like, too bad. <3
Confidential to person standing next to me on the bus; Even though you can't hear it over your ipod, the rest of us can still hear you fart.
Posted by meno at 12:15 PM
Saturday, October 04, 2008
At her request, i went over to my mother's house a few days ago in order to help her throw things away. My parents are preparing to move into smaller accomodations and thus need to cram 7 rooms of shit into a 3 room bag.
It was kind of fun, in an 'i need earplugs' sort of a way. (My mother's middle name is Prolix.) I pulled stuff off her kitchen shelves, some of which she hadn't been able to reach for years, put it on the counter and stepped back. She looked at the 14 adorable little pitchers she has collected over the years and declared she needed them all.
But i am made of stronger stuff than that. I told her to "pick three of them. I'm putting the rest into the Goodwill box." And she did, after pleading with me for a few minutes.
Then it was on to the dishes. I am not making this up, i counted 57 drinking glasses, from 7 different sets. (This does not include the wine glasses, flutes, cordial glasses, shot glasses, martini glasses, DOF glasses, margarita glasses or brandy snifters. My parents like to drink.) Now she has 16 drinking glasses from two sets.
I have to admit, i get a thrill from ordering her around.
It's because my mother is now afraid of me, when for years she had no problem saying shitty things or exerting her power over my seven/nine/thirteen year old self.
My only consolation for admitting to that little thrill is i am much nicer than she was when she held the power.
Posted by meno at 6:14 PM
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Friday, September 26, 2008
The Mister and i were paying a neighborly visit to the couple next door, chatting about this 'n that, shootin' the shit, flappin' the lips.
This couple is about 20 years older than The Mister and me and Mr. Neighbor has lived in this neighborhood on and off for 60 years. So they have very definite ideas about what is and is not okay around here.
They were showing us the new patio they just had built. It's along the side of their house that faces ours.
There is a large cedar tree/bush that according to Mrs. Neighbor, their patio designer dude wanted them to remove. "You're really glad that i didn't let them remove it though," declared Mrs. Neighbor.
"Oh, it wouldn't have bothered me if you took the tree out. You should do what you want," replied i.
"OH NO," she insisted loudly, "YOU ARE REALLY GLAD THAT WE LEFT IT THERE. YOU REALLY WOULDN'T WANT THAT TREE GONE." Then she gave a long list of reasons why i was glad. Pretty selfless of her to sacrifice like that for our happiness.
Well, okay then, i guess i'm glad. I mean, she would know, right?
(I admit that we made gentle fun of her later.)
Last Sunday morning i tried this tactic on The Mister. "You would really like it if i had a nice cup of tea and the newspaper, " i said.
"Nice try," he replied.
Posted by meno at 2:18 PM
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Sometimes people send me email asking questions.
Someone sent me email. A 'new' blogger asking for advice. Me, an old hand at this after a little more than two years. Ha! But it puffs up my vanity to have someone ask my opinion, so...
Advice?? Oh HELL YES! And worth exactly what you're paying for it.
Here it is:
You will never become a famous blogger. You must blog/write for yourself. You, like i, are very late to this party. Besides, are you really willing to do the
whoring marketing required to become famous?
If you start blogging for money, i will drop you like a hot potato. I have no problem with ads, i can ignore those (except pop ups, UGH!), but the pay for post thing is offensive. If i wanted to read a post about Oil of E-coli regenerative cream (or whatever) i would google it.
Never, never, never begin a post by apologizing for not posting.
Never, never, never begin a post by saying that you have nothing to say. If you have nothing to say, then don't say anything. (For more information on these last two points, click on the BWO button on my side bar.)
Blogging will not save you. It will make you feel good when your blogging friends affirm you, but don't neglect your real life friends.
You will have so much fun with the bloggers you meet for real. It's like you can pre-select friends who already know who you are. But they are not here. they will not save you. You will have to save yourself. I'm sorry to tell you this. But 'tis true. They can laugh and cry with you though, which is of immeasurable value.
Despite the temptation, do not tell anyone who knows you in real life about your blog. Start anonymously. You can tell people later, but it's really hard to untell them. If your mom is reading, you will censor yourself. Do you really want to do that?
Oh, and please, as a special favor to me, don't put word verification on your comments. It makes it much less likely that i will leave a comment, and junk comments are easy to delete. I think i've gotten maybe 6 of them since i started. If you start getting a lot of them, put WV on, but only for a while, and apologize for it.
Oh, and don't threaten to quit, either do it, or don't. You can always start back up later. If you do quit, at least say goodbye.
Who's got something else to add?
Posted by meno at 1:15 PM
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Familiarity Breeds Contempt
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Tell me you can stand one more post in which i go hiking. If not, well, best away with you then. I promise it will be the last one for.....at least a week.
First off, i had these fancy new socks to test. They're purple! They have toes! The toe part is supposed to reduce friction and thus prevent toe blisters. I was skeptical, but they're PURPLE! What could i do? They make me smile just looking at them.
Can you find the ptarmigan in this picture. There were four of them. (Only one in this picture though, so you needn't look for them all.) A mom and three teenagers. I practically ran over them on the path and then mom, making the cutest cooing noises, herded them away.
As one of my hiking partners was noshing on a pear and leaving seeds behind, someone may have made reference to a ptarmigan in a pear tree, but i can assure you, it was not me. Nope.
This beautifully made rock stairway led up to......
The toilet! Kind of disappointing as it looks like it should lead a secret shire.
The view at lunch.
The report on the purple toes socks is that they rocked! I took my usual socks with me in case they sucked, but they actually performed as well as the marketing poo-rah claimed. When does that ever happen?
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
I have to hurry and get these pictures up before Neen does. (Only two pictures Neen, the rest are yours. :) )
We went on a wonderful hike on a beautiful day on Monday.
This critter came to very politely ask for a taste of our lunch. How could we say no? Nina had guessed that it's a Lesser Scaup and after looking it up, SHE IS RIGHT! This is a Lesser Scaup, non-breeding male. Poor guy has no girlfriend.
Look at that beautiful yellow eye and that crystal clear water. We found out using empirical methods that the water is Extremely Cold.
And these butterflies were getting frisky amongst the grass.
I have been having so much fun lately. I have made a concerted effort to keep myself busier than usual in these first few weeks of non-parenthood. Hiking, lunches, squash, quilting..... it's all good.
I am a lucky person to be able to pursue all these things without the ditraction of work, i realize that. It also helps that the weather here is just spectacular. If it were the middle of one of our dark, dreary, rainy, endless winters, i think i would be spending most of my time in bed with the covers pulled over my head.
Posted by meno at 7:03 PM
Monday, September 08, 2008
I learned a new word yesterday.
I was IMing with Em (say that 5 times fast) and she said, "Today i got sexiled."
Yep, it's exactly what it sounds like. Use Google if you're unclear.
She continued, "I wandered like a little lost lamb, from Erin's room to Aline's room to Megan's room, waiting for the call that would let me know it was safe to go back into my room." (Em can be very dramatic. :) )
I was torn between annoyance that my sweet daughter had to vacate her dorm room so her roommate could lose her virginity, and amusement at the perfection of the word 'sexile.'
Things to think about:
1) This may only be a problem in my own repressed mind. Em seems okay with it, although she admitted it was 'awkward.'
2) If it is a problem, it is not my problem, i cannot solve it. I can only listen.
3) Last night i dreamed i got locked out of my house. Coincidence? I think not!
4) Dang! My girl really is getting an education.
5) She seemed very glad to hear from me today.
Posted by meno at 7:00 PM
Sunday, September 07, 2008
While cleaning the cage of Em's mice, who for ease of reference will henceforth be known as Those Damn Mice, i noticed how cute they are,
and that their little tails curl around my fingers when i hold them. It's as if Those Damn Mice are trying to hang on, like little monkeys.
There are two of Those Damn Mice. This is the black one. She's fat. The other of Those Damn Mice is white. They are both girls. They have names, which i cannot at present recall.
It's going to be harder to feed Those Damn Mice to the cats now that i've squealed over how cute they are.
Posted by meno at 9:41 AM
Wednesday, September 03, 2008
The Scene: A Women's Restroom
The Cast: Meno and a Long Line of women, all hopping from foot to foot, waiting their turn in a 4 stall bathroom.
Action: When it's my turn, the handicapped stall opens up and in i go. I felt a momentary thrill, the likes of which i seldom get when travelling because i prefer the handicapped stall because there is a little more room.
I accomplish my goal (HEY! Am i the only one who feels as if those self-flushing toilets are a violation of my free will?) and exit the stall.
Sitting right outside my stall is a woman in a wheelchair, who was not in line and was not there before.
She YELLED at me, "That stall is for handicapped people only and you should not be using it. It's hard enough being in a wheelchair without having people infringe on our accommodations." (That is a direct quote, she used the words 'infringe' and 'accommodations.')
I just looked at her, as i had maybe made her wait for, oh, ten seconds. Plus it's unseemly to argue with a woman in a wheelchair.
She continued to yell at me as i washed my hands and left. I believe the word BITCH was hurled my way.
Was i wrong? I don't really think so, but maybe those stalls ARE sacred. It just seems silly to let one stall sit empty when there is a line.
Posted by meno at 2:42 PM
Sunday, August 31, 2008
Gonna write a little while the Mister is in the shower.
We are staying in a hotel near Portland, OR, attending the wedding of a friend of mine. Weddings are weird affairs. The best line from the wedding officiator dude was:
When you are wrong, admit it.
When you are right, shut up.
Words to live by.
A little too much wine and Makers Mark was consumed by me. I must admit that i have felt better of a morning. But it was fun.
Thank chemist for Ibuprofen.
I am trying very hard to relinquish the illusion of control i had when Em lived at home. I fully realize it was an illusion, but it worked for me. Last night she was able to figure out a way to get to the Obama rally in Dublin, OH. I didn't ask any questions, such as 'How are you getting there?', 'Who are you going with?' and 'When will you get back?'.
Not my business any longer. Not to say that i didn't wonder.
What i did say was, "How cool! Have fun."
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Talked to Em last night. Her dad called her and then handed the phone over to me. She was glad to hear from us as she is homesick and lonesome. Her new roommate has already found a potential boyfriend. Em told me a few months ago that roommate really REALLY wanted a boyfriend, so while this was quick, it's not surprising.
One of the things Em said was "I don't really mind if they have sex in our room, but i don't want to get locked out for hours."
This after two nights away from home. Things are different at college.
Guess i should have bought a keg o' condoms while i was at the *mart store.
On the home front, we had brown rice and vegetables for dinner last night, both things Em dislikes. Tonight it will be salad, another dislike of hers. Tomorrow i am going to make beet and carrot pancakes, from a recipe that was brought to my attention by Nina.
I love veggies and am happy to be able to wallow in them. (The Mister doen't like veggies all that much, but he won't admit it so i am going full steam ahead with them.)
Em left behind two pet mice that i now have to take care of. "Here kitty kitty kitty...."
Posted by meno at 1:44 PM
Sunday, August 24, 2008
So here i am in Ohio, dropping my child off at college like a batch of just baked cookies, still warm and gooey from the oven, but perfectly done all the same, just needing that crisp hardening of time and cooler air.
My god, what a scene. There are 400+ kids and their parents, all bumbling our way around the campus and the procedures. It's a zoo. The upperclasspeeps arrive in a few more days, after the freshpeople have done such important tasks as learning the traditional "Greeting of the Upperclasspeople" song, so they can greet the upperclasspeople in the traditional way.
Today i have been to KMart, Lowes and Walmart (twice) in order to obtain things such as light bulbs and power cords and bathrobes and AAA batteries and pillows (because the Fed Ex people absolutely, positively did NOT get it here on time.)
Because of Walmart, i feel VERY, VERY good about my physical appearance right now. I guess i don't see middle America as much as i should, because there are some UGLY people out there.
(I am so sorry for my callous indifference. Those of you in middle America feel free to hate my snotty guts.)
The fun part is that i have been able to play mom for several freshpeople and get things they needed. Em's roommate's dad basically slowed down to 30, shoved roommate out of the car and sped away.
Tomorrow i will drop off the last few essential Walmart purchased items and then get on a plane and leave my genetics behind to fend for itself.
Surprisingly, i am just fine. The absurdity of this experience has overwhelmed my sadness.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
stream of consciousness
(james joyce would be snorting milk out his nose)
my dad has turned into one of those old men who has his pants belted just under his nipples
he is skinny, even skinnier than i am, even though he used to be taller and is no longer
he wore a long sleeved shirt, even though it was 80 degrees (Fahrenheit)
his hands are covered with purple welts from the coumadin
i can't see his arms, which is the purpose of the long sleeved shirt
he no longer has the grace of movement he possessed as a younger man
he has a scratch across his nose from banging into something with his glasses on
my mother mutters things quietly, even though she knows he is almost deaf
my daughter is one hell of a good sport and sticks around the table even though we are boring as hell
i have told her beforehand that she needs to be here as they are here to say goodbye to her
they drink like fish
i feel like drinking like a fish
they leave early because of a show they need to watch on PBS
i watch them drive up the driveway and wonder how long they will still be able to drive here
that they can drive here makes it easier for me
i wonder how long it will be easy
it's easier for me if it's easy
i know it will be hard when it's not easy
Em writes a thank you note for the present
Posted by meno at 7:16 PM
Thursday, August 14, 2008
I tend to hold certain information close to my chest. Big things that are happening in my life. (This is SUCH an introvert characteristic.)
For example, when i was pregnant, i didn't tell anyone for as long as possible. (Well, The Mister knew, but only because he was there when i got pregnant. Plus the puking was hard to hide.)
When i was growing up, information was the currency of control and ridicule, so i learned to keep things hidden. Having a stray exuberant thought thrown back in your face is no fun. ("Remember when you were 11 and you decided you were going to write a weekly newsletter about our block? Remember how you only wrote one issue? I knew it wouldn't last.")
Sometimes withholding information becomes a form of punishment, a way of distancing myself from those from whom i am withholding. ("I'll show you! I'll never tell you ANYTHING, ever again!")
It appears that i am still stomping around in high dudgeon 39 years later.
The Mister and i will be making a huge change in our lives in about 8 months. (We will be moving.)
I have yet to tell my family.
When i think of having to answer questions from them about it for the next 8 months (or maybe longer, who knows) i feel tired.
The problem with this approach is that then it becomes awkward when you do tell.
"When did you decide to do that?"
"Oh, um, hmm, ah, sometime last year." (Not mentioning that it was in February last year.)
Maybe i should just call them up after the fact and casually mention that i have a new address.
Yep, that'll work.
Saturday, August 09, 2008
Sometimes other bloggers tag me for memes. Sometimes i do them. I'm going to do this one before i forget. It's from Candy, over at Candy's Corner. Candy is no poodle, but i'm not sure why.
I am to list eight things i want to do before i die. Whilst reading Candy's list, i naturally started thinking about what would be on my list. Then i saw she had tagged me. Damn! Be careful what you wish for.
I was struck by how none of the things on her list would be on mine. No fucking way would i want to own a restaurant.
1) Be in good enough shape to hike up Mt. Fuji. I'm not sure i want to hike up Mt. Fuji, but i'd like to be able to if i did.
2) Snorkel in the Galapagos. This might actually happen as i am starting to talk with a friend about maybe going there next year. How cool would that be? This is one of the benefits of being a woman of leisure. Although that makes me sounds a little like a prostitute. Sadly, i have never received money in exchange for sex.
3) Write a book. The trouble with this goal is that i am lazy. Writing a book would be a lot of work, and i hate work. As a woman of leisure, work is for other people. But you never know, i might. I'm not sure i even care if it gets published, just that i would write it. I have no talent or stomach for the self-promotion that would be required to write a book that actually sold.
4) Be braver. This morning at 8 am Em got into a car with 4 other girls and headed off to see something called Warp Tour. She won't be home until tomorrow. The Mister is right-now-this-very-minute on an airplane winging his way to India. I am anxious as hell. I couldn't have told The Mister he couldn't go. I could have told Em she couldn't go, but i didn't. I wish these sorts of things didn't make me so nervous. Odds are that everything will be fine. People fly to far off places and go to drug-frenzied rock concerts all the time. Right?
5) Learn to cook. Or maybe it would be more accurate to say, Learn to Like to cook. I like eating well enough, and i do cook, but i do not love it. It's a means to an end, eating. To me it seems depressing to spend 2 hours (or whatever) lovingly creating a meal, and then having it all eaten in 20 minutes or less. Then there's the dishes.
6) Make a fucking quilt. That means shop for the fabric, design the thing, cut out the pieces, sew them together in a different formation, add sashing, pay someone else to do the actual quilting and put binding on it. Not just buy the pretty fabric.
7) Learn to count.
Posted by meno at 5:05 PM
Sunday, August 03, 2008
I am here:
Many years ago i read that when being brutally honest, you should make sure that you are enjoying the honesty more than the brutality.
This has stuck with me, because i suspect, no, i know it for a fact, that there are times when i enjoy the brutality. It's an easy way to strike out, with the built in defense of honesty. Truth is a defense against libel, right?
What am i accomplishing with this honesty? I am usually striking out in a moment of anger, or hurt. (Being hurt makes me angry.) So i am making myself feel temporarily better. I can usually carry around the self-righteous justification for my brutal honesty for quite a while. I am nothing if not stubborn.
But as to what i am really accomplishing, the answer is more complex. Time to turn the brutally honest beam upon myself. Any other use of it is strictly forbidden going forward.
Posted by meno at 10:40 AM
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Ibuprofen. (Vitamin I)
Jabba the Hutt?
Posted by meno at 4:51 PM