Monday, December 31, 2007

A New Year's Wish for you all

May all of your dreams come true.

The Mister took this picture about 3 years ago. I always thought it would make a great holiday card, but we were too lazy to ever do anything about it.

Back to reality today, but first we spend a last few hours at the beach, squeezing all we can out of this beautiful San Diego day.

My best to each of you out there, the heard from and the unheard. Let's take charge of this new year.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Been spending some time with another couple on our trip. Sometimes spending that time makes me really appreciate the Mister. We work pretty damn well together much of the time. No passive-aggresive shit, just honest requests of what we would like to do.

We vacation really well together. It's just fine to spend a day hanging out. Neither of us feels that there are important things we need to see while we are here. If we miss something, we'll be back. But the important thing is that we relax, and a busy day of seeing sights that we feel we must see is not on the agenda. Yay for the Mister and me.

Today we saw:

pelicans (very cool and prehistoric looking.)




dolphins (playing and jumping in the waves. I longed to be out there with them.)

seals (So damned cute.)

Poop art. Do you think they planned this?
This morning, we ordered breakfast delivered to the room. I had oatmeal, and the Mister had granola. These are the condiments they brought. Because i just love mayo and mustard with my oatmeal.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

This is what Christmas morning was like at our house; Meno-made Cinnamon rolls and bacon on my recently acquired Holiday plates. I ate three rolls and 5.5 pieces of bacon.

Now we are in San Diego, lounging at a fancy hotel, eating too much and walking in the cool, but sunny weather. You'll be pleased to know that there has been no outdoor nudity. Because that would be against the rules. Those Californians are no fun.

There is an ocean here:
And cliffs:

That is all. Carry on....

Sunday, December 23, 2007


Em passed her driver's test on Tuesday. She was very nervous beforehand. She even asked The Mister to take her out and help her practice parallel parking on the morning of the test.

On the drive home from the DMV, i text-messaged the Mister with "The eagle has landed." He was at lunch with a friend and apparently he showed the friend who laughed and said, "Your wife has a good sense of humor."

All The Mister wanted to know was "how did she do on the parallel parking?" She nailed it. Full points.

Her first solo flight was to the grocery store to get a celebratory gallon box of goldfish crackers. As we have learned, in this house, goldfish cure

To date she has made 3 excursions and returned safely, with a huge grin on her face. I think her world just became a little larger.


I had lunch yesterday with
QT, who is in town visiting her family and some friends. It was a typical day in Seattle. That means raining and cool. She didn't have an umbrella or a hat, so we spent a bit of time looking for one, chattering through two different stores. (I can reveal no details of our chattering, as i am a safe-house for sensitive information.)

The Nordstrom's $48.00 umbrella was rejected. Off to Macy's, where the masses shop. We both bought cool style umbrellas which could double as a cudgel. (This is the direct cause of the sun appearing while we ate lunch. It never fails)

Since QT lives in the frozen, landlocked North, we had to find a lunch place that served seafood. Which we did, sitting at the bar in
Matt's, sipping champagne and a Bloody Mary, and chattering. (Do you sense a theme here?)

It was lovely to see her. I hope that it will happen again, sooner rather than later. Did you get that hint young lady?

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


We put up our Christmas tree two days ago. I got the tree for free so it was a happy event. This tree is about 10 feet tall. We had to get out the ladder to decorate the top. I like to call the decorating style "eclectic" which is code for 'whatever shit i have collected or been given over the years gets thrown on'.

At the top of the tree rests a teddy bear who dares not speak his name for fear of getting killed in Sudan by an angry mob.

Of course we had help:

Here is my favorite Holiday tchotchke. It's my favorite because it was given to me my a man who used to work for me. He is Hindu and i am an atheist, and it's a nativity scene. I find that amusing. It plays "Silent Night" and the part of baby Jesus is played by two tiny blinking light bulbs.

The End:

Thursday, December 13, 2007

A Primer

(I was going to call this A Primer for Men, but that would be sexist and i realize that it could also be A Primer for Teenaged Girls.)

It's in pictures, so that even you will be able to follow along.

This is bad:

When you reduce the toilet paper to shreds and can see the cardboard roll, leaving it this way is rude. No really. I know, who would have thought, right?

Look! Right behind you is a toilet paper bonanza, a veritable breeding ground for toilet paper, there for the taking:

There is also a catnip mouse next to the toilet, in case you need something to play with:
Reach out and grab a new roll, like this: Don't be afraid, it won't hurt you, they are very gentle, and soft, and absorbent.

Place your new friend, the fresh roll, into its new home. Look at this, look at what you have accomplished.
Take a bow. You deserve it after this impossible difficult for you task.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

A different Christmas story

This is one of those family stories that gets told while the one person who the story is about cringes and tries not to appear angry.

When my older brother Tim was 8 or so, he had a particularly rough year, behavior wise. (I think he might have been diagnosed as ADHD today.) Thus my mother thought it would be the height of amusement to put a lump of coal in his stocking that year. The rest of the family talked and tittered behind Tim's back for weeks. How clever, how funny, how he deserved it.

My oldest brother, Don, snuck out of the house one night and rustled up a lump of something that was probably asphalt, but close enough, and into Tim's stocking it went.

I thought this was pretty funny back then, but secretly i was glad that it wasn't me who was in line for this humiliation. My 6 year old self's laughter was mostly from relief, as well as from the joy of being included on the "right" side of this joke.

Tim's reaction is lost in my memory to my excitement of a Christmas morning. I know he got all his other presents, but my mother had sent a powerful message. When i think if it, i feel ashamed of my part in it, even though i was 6.

Friday, December 07, 2007


I had to laugh when i read the first line of liv's latest offering:

"another self indulgent post " she wrote.

Isn't blogging really all self-indulgent posts? I mean, here we are writing about the minutia of our lives and the even minuter minutia of our brains.

I wish liv was here today. I need a girly girl to go shopping with me and help me find a top to wear to tomorrow night's work party for The Mister. I want something that will show off the girls, which will be at eye level for most of the men.

The dinner is being held at one of the most exclusive restaurants in Seattle. There will be plenty of libation. We were told to take a cab so we could indulge freely in these libations.

It would cost us about $100 to take a cab from where we live. Some free dinner.


I got a huge laugh today when i was out walking. I walked past a Jiffy Lube place that had lost its "J". Big bold sign declaring IFFY LUBE.

I think my laughing frightened the woman who was a few yards ahead of me. She sped up a little. I could have caught up with her if i had wanted to though.


The symptoms:

  • Staying in the shower every morning until my fingers turn into little wrinkled prunes.
  • Drinking more than a medicinal amount of wine with dinner.
  • Being desirous of going to bed at 4:30 pm, when it is fully dark.
  • Wanting to stay in bed until 7:30 am, when some light finally appears outside.
  • Inability to do housework, or any work for that matter.
  • Eating cake for breakfast, with ice cream.

The cure:

  • Light
  • Sunshine
  • Warmth

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

I am Woman

So here's what i've been working on in my quilting group. The group i joined earlier this year and wasn't sure i would like. It's a table runner.

Here's one square:
And here's the back of another square:
If this doesn't get me a merit badge on my "I'm a real girl" sash, i don't know what will.

My next project will be a quilt for Em to take to college with her. She is keen on that idea.

Monday, December 03, 2007

7 reasons to leave the Northwest for a while

Today: Rain, heavy at times with wind.
Tomorrow: Rain to showers.
Wednesday: Cloudy with showers.
Thursday: Scattered showers.
Friday: Cloudy with showers.
Saturday: Rain at times.
Sunday: Partly cloudy with showers.

You get the idea. Rain. Liquid sunshine my ass.

The Mister planned an after Christmas trip for us this year. He booked it two days before San Diego went up in flames.

Guess where we are going?

Yep, San Diego! We will be staying at a place which is still there, and still beautiful, in La Jolla. We are leaving the day after Christmas and will be returning on New Year's Eve. We will spend the time wandering on the beach, window shopping, hiking and eating good food.

Even if it rains, it will be warmer than it is here. This trip will prevent me from curling into a little ball and staying in my bed with two cats for the rest of the winter and most of the spring.

If any of you have knowledge of San Diego, please chime in with the names of restaurants, places to go, hikes to take, anything you think we should see. Thanks.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Fearless woman, dives eagerly into new adventures.

Man, a lot of the bloggers i read are in a mood lately. Me too, but i'm not going to talk about it, because i know it's partly the dark and the time of year. This too shall pass.

I have realized recently that i need to get some more things going in my life because next year Em will be gone, and i will miss her, and her company, and i will be alone even more than i am now.

I like being alone, but not all the time.

So i have my net out for things. Today i might have joined a book group. A women's book group. This is amusing for two reasons;

1) I don't like to talk about books i have read, unless i don't like them. The more i like a book, the less i like to talk about it. I'll just have to hope they pick books i hate.

2) (This sounds so awful, but it's true) I usually don't like groups of women, especially if they are earnest women. I find myself bored all to hell by earnestness. I like a little smart-assedness (is too a word) with my conversation. Sometimes it seems that women are too fucking concerned with convincing each other how nice they are. Yawn.

See what a great attitude i will be taking into this venture with me?

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Supper time, supper time, sup sup supper time.

When i was growing up, we ate dinner all together, pretty much every night. While i can't say it was always that great of an experience (what with the lima bean* and the table manner fights) it is what i thought families did, ate together, every night.

So i brought that expectation into my marriage, without even realizing that it was an expectation.

I held on to that expectation for a long, long time. The Mister tried to accommodate me, but after we had Em, things changed. (Understatement of the Century.) He worked a lot, and i was home. So he would tell me what i wanted to hear, that he would be home by, say, 6:30. And then he was late, almost every single night. That made me mad. So i was mad at him, almost every single night.

After we were separated, and then weren't, i realized that i would have to give up my image of our family having dinner together most nights. Because being mad at my husband almost every single night was not good for our relationship (duh).

Giving up that expectation has freed me. In fact, the sad thing is now that i kind of prefer it when the Mister isn't home for dinner, because Em and i will eat pretty much whatever is around, and if the Mister is home, i feel like i should make an actual meal.

Although i am happier without the family dinner expectation, i still feel that it's his loss.

*We used to drive my mother wild when she served those awful frozen lima beans for dinner by popping them into our mouths and swallowing them whole, like pills, thus avoiding the need to chew and actually taste them. I thought it was brilliant, my mother, not so much.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Pure Bragging. Deal with it.

One side effect of having friends (me) who have children (Em), is that sometimes you have to listen to them brag or complain about their kids.

Hi friends. I will be bragging.

Parent-Teacher conferences were last week. It was pretty much a love-fest about Em. Em's English teachers have always loved her, and that love has been returned. I knew that she was a good writer, but (in my mind) decent writers are not uncommon. It's not a skill to be sneered at, but it's not exactly unique. Of course shitty writers are as ubiquitous as gum on the side walk.

This is Em's senior year. Her English teacher told us that Em is the most outstanding writer that she has ever seen in high school.

I got a little teary with pride.

I haven't wanted to think that she might really be unusually talented. Because of the kind of person i am, not wanting her to have expectations that are too high, not wanting her to get a big head...Blah, blah, blah. Silly mommy.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


Em, four days old.

See this quilt? This quilt became Lammie, Em's blanket. I think of
someone who's baby lost her own Lammie recently, at the hands of a careless relative.

Lammie is still with us, 17 years later. Em is 17 today; no one is more surprised than me at this event. She still sleeps with Lammie every night. On weekend mornings, she comes down with Lammie wrapped around her body, or her head. Lammie does not look as good as he (Yes, Lammie is a boy) did in this picture anymore, but Lammie is still all of a piece.

Lammie was made by a friend of my mother's. I know she had no idea that this quilted blanket would become so precious to my child.

Lammie has traveled all over the country with Em. A few times, when we thought we might have lost Lammie, she has had to sleep with a "substitute Lammie." But Lammie has always been located.

This picture was taken on her first Thanksgiving. The Mister and i were still in the fog of "Oh, shit, what is this thing we have done." The Mister went to the store on Thanksgiving morning and bought a turkey breast and some potatoes, and we fixed a meal and the three of us, all alone, ate our meal in wonderment. Em did not have any turkey, except maybe second hand.

It remains a favorite memory, this first Thanksgiving, and our baby, wrapped in this item that was to become a legend in our family.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Sew what?

This is my sewing machine. It is well over 50 years old. I find it compellingly beautiful in its art deco simplicity.

My mother guilted (is too a word) her father into buying it for her right after my oldest brother was born. He had forgotten her birthday one year and she told him that she would feel much better if he bought her this fancy new sewing machine. It cost $100 dollars.

When i went off to college, i sort of appropriated the machine, because right about then my mother had bought herself a newer fancier Bernina sewing machine that could do things like zig-zag and embroider. The one above goes forward and backward, and that's it.

Over the years i have sewn some wonderful Halloween costumes. One year i made a dragon, including silver and gold lame wings. It still exists somewhere deep in the depths of chaos that is Em's closet. Perhaps i will mount an expedition sometime soon and try to find it.

Last year my mother asked me if i ever used this machine, because her fancier Bernina had bitten the dust. She was trying to get it back! HAH! As if. She was forced to go out and buy another machine to replace that cheap piece of junk.

Soon i will show you what i have been sewing on it. Because i know you care.

Thursday, November 15, 2007


A young Em, sitting pretty at about 4 feet above the floor.

My to do list today is long:

1) Vacuum

2) Put vacuum away (if i do vacuum, i can never seem to manage this last step. Makes it easier to get the vacuum out if i never put it away, right? Tripping over it for a week seems a small price to pay.)

3) Clean kitchen (this means mopping the floor too, as the cats are NOT neat.)

4) Move laundry along (I never say "Do Laundry" as the laundry is never ever truly done.)

5) Grocery shop: zucchini, hamburger, mushrooms, good bread.

6) Even up quilt blocks for table runner.

7) Cut sashing for said quilt blocks.

8) Make bed (AWWWW, there are sleeping puddy tats on it. Mustn't disturb.)

9) Go to bank (where they will try to cross sell me some shit. I hate banks, not least of all because i worked in one for YEARS.)

The list sits there and mocks me while i play
Text Twist on msn games. How many words can you make from the title of this post?

The good news is that i am having a good hair day. I am growing my hair out a bit, not from any real desire, but because the lady who USED to cut my hair started charging $60 for a haircut. With tip that's $70!!!!! I can't bring myself to justify that.

The bad news is that the only people to see me today are Em and the lucky peeps at the grocery store. Yesterday, when i went out in the evening, i was having a decidedly mediocre hair day.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Yes, but.....

The interaction between me and a friend, who is complaining about her weight and not getting any exercise;

I suggest walking. I offer to go with her. "Yes, but that hurts my knees."

Swimming? That's easy on your joints. "On no, my skin is too dry to tolerate chlorine."

Sit ups? "They kill my back."

But sit ups will help your back, really. "Yes, but i just hate doing them."

How about biking? "Yes but the seat hurts my fanny." (Yes, she used the word fanny.)

I give up.


I wrote the above a few days ago, thinking to be all superior. Maybe you would comment about how great i am, and after some token arguing i would agree.

Then came the part where i realize that i'm an ass.

There are a few things that i need to work on, but my very own "Yes, buts" get in the way. Not so superior am i. I will try to say goodbye to my "Yes, buts." Then, when i am perfect, probably by the middle of next week, i will feel free to criticize others.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

a small scene

The Mister and i were loitering at the appliance store yesterday waiting for a service person, when i heard a woman say "Hi Mister" to him. Seeing who it was, i suddenly became extremely interested in a display a few feet away. The Mister chatted with her for a few minutes, and i ignored them. After a while it was our turn so i said "hi" to her and we left the area.

It was a woman that used to work for us around the house. She bugged me because she would flirt with the Mister. When he wasn't around she would often bring him up to me by saying something like, "I know that the Mister likes ____" or "I know how ____ bothers the Mister." As if they were best friends.

I didn't not like it in a jealous way, since the Mister didn't flirt back, it was just stupid and i felt a vague sense of embarrassment for her.

Our next stop was lunch and i was telling the Mister that she annoyed me and why. He said that on his part, he felt as if she disliked him, and it was creepy to talk to her.

I don't see why we aren't both right. Flirting as aggression.

Friday, November 09, 2007

A truly beautiful story

Today something so rare and so beautiful happened to me that i just have to share it with you.

I was driving in my car, headed straight through a light, when some person in a minivan shot over from the right turn only lane so she could get ahead of me at the intersection.

I swore at her, annoyed but impotent to do anything about it.

The next intersection was a four way stop sign, at which she failed to stop.

But wait, there was a cop sitting a little way back from the intersection, monitoring. I look over at the cop and think, "Oh please, oh please, oh please." The cop pulled out, lights blazing and stopped the minivan.


I passed the cop and the van pulled over on the right and looked right at the pinhead driving.

I smiled and waved.

I think i probably didn't use all of my fingers when i waved, but my smile was genuine and heartfelt.

Thursday, November 08, 2007


In my dream last night:

  • airplane crash
  • missing cat
  • broken glass
  • bleeding arms
  • abandonment
  • food spilled all over, twice
  • crying
  • dead baby birds

I woke up at 4 am feeling heavy and sad. I moved over closer to The Mister so i could reach out and touch him. In my sleepy state, i wondered why i keep having these dreams the past few weeks.

Then i remembered that it was during this time of year that the worst thing that has ever happened to me began. In the cosmic scheme of things, it's not all that bad, but it was a disaster for me.

This happens every year, and every year i get to figure out what is happening all over again. I wonder why i do this to myself. Something about it must work for me, but i sure as hell don't know what.

Monday, November 05, 2007

When i grow up

Deb, at Tired Mummy asked me to do this here meme:

Write five things you want to be when you grow up. Big dreams that seem like folly, but in your heart of hearts are very real and dear to you. Things that maybe you have forgotten about in the ebb and flow and toil of the everyday, but that never really leave your soul. What you would do if anything was possible?'

1.) I want to sing, to be able to sing. I feel sorry almost every day that i can't sing. And i really can't. Even i can hear that i'm awful. I don't want to famous, i just want to sing, beautifully.

2.) I will write a novel. A science fiction/fantasy novel. Set in a world that makes sense, but has some mystery. Maybe underwater. As an example, i love John Varley's Titan, Wizard and Demon. I want to have written them. I don't write them because i lack the drive and the discipline. Oh, and the writing skills. Maybe someday.

3.) I might study to become a physical therapist. I have always been fascinated by the body and how it works. In biology class, when the teacher was showing those open-heart surgery movies, and everyone else was gagging, i was leaning forward in my seat to get a better look. I love those posters of the flayed human, showing all the tendons and muscles and ligaments.

4.) I will open clinics for women all over the world that will provide them with free birth control, free knowledge, free adoption services, free abortions, free fertility treatments, free medicine. It disturbs me to think of all the women in this world who do not have basic control over their bodies.

5.) I want to be more serene, less reactive. I want to understand more quickly how little of what happens is about me. I want to express curiosity in the face of criticism, rather than defensiveness. I manage these things sometimes, but it is not my natural bent. When i was younger, i saw my future self in this way, but i'm still working on it.

I don't usually tag people, but if you are a NaBloPoMo-er, TAG, you're it. I mean, if you want to, you know, because it's not required or anything.

Friday, November 02, 2007

The Case of the Missing Pants

When i went to bed last night, i had on pajama bottoms.

This morning, they were missing. (Cue Twilight Zone music.) During the course of an extensive search, I found them within throwing distance of the bed.

In order to get to the bottom (Hah! Bottom.) of this mystery, this evening I will round up the usual suspect and interrogate him.

It's a sad thing when one is not even safe in one's own home.

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.