Tuesday, July 29, 2008

In which i go for a hike


Cool rock formations.

Kim demonstrating the proper downhill technique.

The snow.

PIKA! Wookit him's widdle ears!

The view from the top.

Trees and boulders.

Someone with whom to share my lunch.

Things i almost mistook for lemon gummy bears.

Ibuprofen. (Vitamin I)


Bee sting.

Fucking assholic hikers who leave their trash behind.

Old knees.


Look how Smokey is holding his nose!

Jabba the Hutt?

Friday, July 25, 2008

Pay attention to the cats

A picture of my cats, in order to distract you from this post. Is it working?

This is odd, because i consider myself an expert at anticipatory grief. I can get myself all worked up, sometimes to the point of tears, with my 'what-ifs.'

Em is leaving for college in less than a month, and i am totally in denial about how sad i am going to be.

The two of us went to see Mamma Mia this week. (A movie you don't need to actively avoid, but you don't need to seek it out either.) There is one scene where the mother is helping the daughter get ready for her wedding and it is a tender, poignant moment (at least for those of you without my cold, black heart.) At my side, i hear Em sniffling a little, but i resist mightily because, dammit! I will not be manipulated by Hollywood. So i just got a little misty-eyed, undetectable to any other movie patron. Whew.

In the car after the movie, Em asks if i noticed her crying. I lied and said "No." She proceeded to burst into tears with "How am i going to leave you? I'm going to miss you so much! I don't want to go." She cried for a good 5 minutes whilst i said what i hoped were comforting things.

We continued on, went grocery shopping and went home. Em disappeared upstairs.

When she came down an hour or so later, she apologized for crying.

"My God!" i said, "don't apologize. It's scary out there and you know i'm going to miss the hell out of you too."

"Yeah, that scene hit a little close to home for me," she continued. "You are basically my best friend."

I may have wept, a little, then.


Here's the deal. I know she has to go. I believe that it's a good thing she's going. She's going to learn SO much and grow SO much and she can't do that with me there. I know all this. I feel SO LUCKY to have a daughter who likes me, and i continue to be amazed that such a relationship can exist between any mother and daughter.

She's making it harder for me to continue in my little bubble of denial, but my will is strong.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Marriage tip from Meno

The Mister and i were at a party recently and we were chatting amiably with some friendly strangers, as one must do at parties, when they discovered that we had been married for 26 years.

(An aside, i do not like going to parties with The Mister, and usually i manage to avoid him when i do, but we were eating and i was trapped. I don't like going to parties with him for two reasons; because he takes over the conversation and is touchy about what i say, so i tend to try and not say anything.)

So the other two people, who had been together for about 6 months, smiled at each other with googly eyes, asked the inevitable question: What is your advice for staying together?

(The irony of them asking us for relationship advice is that i was busy thinking dark thoughts about The Mister because i couldn't get a word in edgewise.)

The Mister answered them with something about listening and humor and trust, all that true but treacly stuff.

If i had answered, this would have been what i said:


Friday, July 18, 2008

My friend = her mentor

I went hiking last weekend with my friend Eileen and The Mister. Em really likes Eileen, so i used Eileen's presence to entice her to go hiking with us. (I try and sneak exercise into Em's day through whatever devious methods i can think of.)

Eileen is about 20 years younger than i am, which makes her much cooler than i in Em's eyes. During the last part of the hike, The Mister and i could hear Em and Eileen chattering away behind us. It pleases me a lot that Em has adults other than boring old mom and dad who like her and listen to her and to whom she looks up.

It's important in a young person's life to have these people. People you know will give good advice and say things that you are okay with her hearing. And that your child might actually listen to because it isn't you who said it.

(I will say that Em listens to me pretty well, but it's always nice to have reinforcement.)

The Mister and i smiled that Indulgent Parent Smile at one another and kept out of their way.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

In which i expose my own ass

No there will not be any pictures you perverts.

I seem to be on a roll lately with the ass posts. In keeping with that, i will now report on my first experience with Colon Cam yesterday.

When you turn a certain age, doctors go nuts. Mammograms, heart tests, and last and most fun, Colon Cam!

I found the idea of this so mortifying that i would have avoided it using the Nancy Reagan tactic of "Just Say No", except that my doctor, who is younger than i am, has had this done several times since she has a family history of colon cancer. So i pretty much had too.

Some thoughts:

* [begin rant] It speaks volumes about our fucked up health care system that i would be considered a candidate for this invasion. I have no symptoms and no family history. It cost about $2,500 for the procedure. I am lucky enough to have health insurance that pays for this, but not everyone does. It pisses me off that only insured people have access to preventative medicine. If you are poor, you better not get sick. Vote accordingly y'all. [end rant]

* The preparation involves a special diet and drinking this horrid liquid that leaves you clean as a whistle, inside and out. Yes, it's about as much fun as it sounds. Butt hey, i lost 4 pounds in 2 days!

* It's a little weird meeting people and knowing that in a few minutes they will be sticking a flexible camera tube up your ass.

* When the doctor came in and introduced himself, i didn't want to shake his hand, as i didn't know where those hands had been.

* Afterwards, they give you pictures. Pictures! In Color! Of the inside of my large intestine! I don't have a real problem with this as i am the curious type, butt they could have at least assked first. Also i bet they charged the insurance company $200 or so for my copy of the pictures. (See rant above.) Maybe i'll carry them in my wallet to impress new friends. "Hi, i'm meno, want to see some picture of me?"

* The drugs are awesome. I floated home in a haze of relaxed happiness, ate a hamburger and took a nap.


I am the perfect ass.

Butt we already knew that.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

The Things We Do for Love

I love my daughter. Now i have proof of that love that no one can deny.

Last night i committed this act of pure love:

Yes. Yes i did. I took Em to see the American Idols Live! show. (I apologize for the crappy picture, but it was DARK in there.)

I expected there to be much merchandising and tackiness and sales pitches, but i never expect it to be as much as it is. There was even an intermission so they could make us listen to pitches for more sponsors.

You can see by the ticket that the event was sponsored by Pop Tarts. So naturally there was a person dressed as a Pop Tart milling around. I did not take a picture of the giant Pop Tart because too many other people were and i didn't want to give the Pop Tart the satisfaction. That'll teach it!

I spent some time amusing myself with my camera and was able to add to my collection of ass cracks in public photography collection.

Yes, of course you can see:

In all honesty, i must admit that i enjoyed the show. These kids can really sing.

But the best part was listening and watching Em have so much fun. She sang along, she screamed, she clasped her hands to her bosom in happiness. She held up her cell phone so that her friends could "hear" their favorite songs. She chattered 50 miles an hour the whole way home. It was great

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

What an ass

I came home the other day to find a mostly submerged paddle boat nudging our beach.

"Oh, how sad," i thought, "someone lost their paddle boat. I better go rescue it and maybe they'll come by, see it and take it home."

I started bailing out the wells, and trying to tug it up onto the beach. It weighed a ton. I would bail a little, tug a little and then bail a little more. One of my neighbors saw me struggling and came over to help. (Neighbor man is kind of cute, so that was fun!) Together we managed to drag it up on the beach.

There was a big gash along one side. "It must have gotten damaged in the water," said i to neighbor man.

"Hmmmm," neighbor man replied. (Perhaps he's from Minnesota.)

Then i noticed all the regularly sized square holes all along the side and sprinkled across the top.

Apparently the real story is that someone decided they were tired of their paddle boat, took a railroad spike and drove it repeatedly through the boat and pushed it out into the water. As if something made of plastic and Styrofoam would actually sink.

Now we have to chain saw the bitch apart, as i cannot lift the whole thing, rent a truck and take it to the dump. I briefly contemplated pushing it back out and letting someone else deal with it. But that's not how i roll, dammit.

Thanks jerk.

Y'all can help by thinking bad karma thoughts about whomever pulled this stupid stunt.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

I volunteer at an agency that does counseling for kids. Kids with drug problems and/or family problems. Kids with no money. The term for these kids is "at-risk." I don't work with the kids, as i am not qualified, but i do other stuff that helps the place out, because i believe that all kids deserve to be taken care of as best we can.

The agency just started a summer program that takes some of the kids to various places in the community for free. Places like the zoo and the aquarium and hiking.

Last week i noticed that they didn't have enough adults to supervise the next week's activity, when they were going to go hiking, and i like hiking, so i volunteered to go.

However, last Thursday dawned with rain, lightening and thunder, the likes of which are rarely seen around here, so hiking was out. But i had to go anyway, because without me they didn't have enough adults.


We took the kids to a museum. Here are a few of the comments:

"This is stupid."
"I'm bored."
"I've already been here."
"When are we leaving?"
"Do we have to stay here?"

Honestly, the kids had a pretty good time, but these are kids with behavior and attitude problems, so they complain. And complain. Along with all the other normal but obnoxious behaviors of a group of pre-teen mostly boys. (Spitting, cursing, endless fart references, punching each other, throwing things.)

But i survived, and was grateful to get back to the agency. One of the counselors asked me how it went.

"You know," i replied, "I don't really like kids."

"Who does?" he answered.

Cheered me right up.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Honey i shrunk my world

I see how it begins.

You don't want to drive downtown anymore, because the traffic scares you. So you stop. You still go downtown, but you take the bus. But only during the day, because at night there are scary people on the bus. And not during rush hour as it's crowded and you might have to stand.

Driving at night is difficult because you don't see well in the dark, so you stop going places at night, unless it's somewhere close with which you are familiar.

Remembering the directions to new places is hard, and so is seeing the street signs. Why don't they make them bigger? Your kids tell you to use Google Maps, but you can't figure out how. They show you, but it just never works when you try it.

Crowds annoy you. So you start planning things so as to avoid them. Go to the county fair? No way! It's hot and noisy and crowded. Plus the food is overpriced.

Hey, you can get the early bird special at Anthonys if you get there before 6:00 pm. Cool. Plus it's not dark then, or crowded. Triple score.

The other cars on the freeway are driving past you like you are standing still. Why is everyone in such a hurry? Now you don't drive on the freeway at all. It's not safe.

After a while you just stop going anywhere at night, it's just not worth getting in the car.

Next you make a mental list of the 5 places you are still comfortable going.
1) Grocery Store (plan ahead to avoid going on the weekend or after work. If you go then, all the little carts that you like are being used.)
2) Post Office (but not at noon, or after three. There's always a line then.)
3) The Mall (but only on a weekday during the middle of the day, otherwise the crowds are hideous.)
4) Mexican Restaurant just up the street (before 6pm, after that there might be a wait.)
5) Library. (It's closed on Tuesdays though, and you would never go there on the weekend.)

I watched The Mister's parents go through this process and now i am watching my parents go through it. They are still pretty adventurous, but there are two of them. I wonder how much further their world will shrink when there is only one of them. I want them to fight against this trend, but i don't know if they even see it. Maybe it's inevitable.

I want to fight against this shrinking of my world. I already hate crowds and i take the bus downtown. But that's to avoid paying for parking and to save gas. Really.