Friday, March 30, 2007

Because Esereth asks.....

The always clever Esereth made up her own meme and then tagged me with it.

The last conversation I had with my mother- She called me last week to ask where i stay when i visit Cannon Beach. They won't be able to stay there though as it is up a steep hill and there are many steps down to the beach and my mother has had 4 knee replacement operations. (No, my mother isn't a dog, but she can be a bitch.)

The last conversation I had with my father- Sadly, i don't remember. He isn't really allowed to answer the phone and when we are all together no one can get many words past my mother, who answers for him. He has trouble hearing so she just jumps in and makes him look like he's feeble-minded.

Do you regret the person or manner in which you lost your virginity?- Yes. Sigh. I should say more i suppose. It wasn't my idea and there was hitting.

The thing your parents never found out about.- Where do i begin? I learned early not to tell them anything that i didn't have to. So here is a partial list; dope smoking, drinking, leaving the house late at night and wandering the streets, happy events, sad events, the three watches of my mother's that i threw in the lake in fits of pique.

How much do you spend a month on groceries.- We eat at restaurants a lot. I don't really know. I never feel bad about buying good quality food though, because it would sure cost much more at a restaurant.

The last lie you told.- I ran into someone that i had hoped not to ever see again two nights ago. She wanted to chat. I said i had to run to catch a bus. I did have to catch a bus, but i had a few minutes. Her lie was "I'll call you."

How often are your comments on other blogs made out of obligation?- Rarely or never. I almost always have something to say, and if i don't, then i don't. I like to comment on my regular reads. And, to paraphrase Esereth, if it's alway a chore then it's time to stop reading. I'll admit i have a hard time commenting on poetry. Not because i don't like it, but because i never know what to say.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Brain breeze

My friend Eileen and i go for walk-and-talks every week, if we are both available. I get a lot out of both the walking and the talking.

Today we were talking about confronting parents about things that happened in childhood, and whether or not it is ever effective. Eileen was telling me about her mother’s religious zeal and how that is the main focus in her mom’s life, so that confronting her mother would never yield any results because her mother cannot even hear any diverging opinion.

I made a conscious effort to stop my own brain from planning what i was going to say next and truly listen. Eileen made a wistful statement about how she wished that her mother’s main focus had been more on her children.

Right then, like a wind rushing through me, i mean i swear i heard that wind, i had a moment of total understanding of how she might feel.

I told Eileen about that wind. She looked at me and said, “Thank you. It really helps that someone understands how i feel.” It was a sweet moment.

I like to say that although i am not religious, i can be spiritual. But i've never given much though to HOW i am spiritual. It's just an easy thing for me to say that sounds good.

I realize that one way in which i am spiritual is that i attempt to truly find a way to understand what it's like to be in someone else's life. Today i was successful.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

If my childhood plans had worked out:

I would be kneeling over the contents of a shark's stomach on the deck of the Calypso alongside of Jacques Cousteau and his son Philippe, wearing a pair of frayed cut-off jeans and a wet suit top. The wet suit top is unzipped so that my ample cleavage is hinted at in a tasteful manner. (That part really is a fantasy.) The shark is the result of my last dive into the uncharted crystal blue waters off the coast of ........somewhere exotic.

A floppy straw hat perches on my head to protect me from the sun, but nonetheless i am deeply tanned and freckled. My hair is streaked with natural blonde highlights. I pay no mind to my stunning good looks.

The excitement is palpable. No one has ever been able to confirm that sharks eat.....whatever is in the shark's stomach; kittens, kelp, Brillo pads, Nemo. Who knows, but we are stunned by this important scientific discovery.

That night we sit in the ship's galley, lit by the light of the swaying lanterns and plan the next day's dive.

During the season when the boat is in dry dock, i live in a beautiful old house with an incredibly handsome man who sees me for the wonder that i am. The house is filled with books and plants. My students come and visit me at home where we stay up late arguing over the latest theory of marine life while dining on some of that marine life. The handsome man cooks.

At night the house elves come to clean the house and hand wash all my casual yet expensive clothes.


Thank you amusing, for this request. I had great fun.

Monday, March 26, 2007

A little silly

I just enrolled Em in a driver's ed class for this summer. Hold me.

I have this slightly odd obsession with weight loss stories. I read all the stories in the product ads. I look at the before and after pictures. I buy books written by people who have lost lots of weight. I read articles about gastic bypass operations. It's kind of odd as i have never been overweight. I mean i have those three six pounds i've needed to lose since 1985, but nothing more serious than that.

This weekend in Parade magazine, that gossip and inspirational rag lightly disguised as news and information, i was reading something about some football players who had all done some weight loss thing together. There were before and after pictures with little quotes from each player. This one was the best:

"My wife says that my gut is less sickening now that i've lost 20 pounds."

Man, those are some encouraging words. I know i'm inspired. Probably the most honest quote of the whole bunch. The rest were all the usual "I feel better." "I look better." etc.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Music is the Universal Language

Ok, i am done wallowing in the past. It's safe to go back into the water.

I was tagged by QT to do a list of seven songs that i have been listening to lately. I listen to music mainly in my car. I do not have an ipod. I am a Luddite.

1) I Don't Give Up - Patty Griffin from Running with Children
2) The Dreaming Dead- Jesse Sykes from Oh My Girl
3) Pony - Kasey Chambers from Wayward Angel
4) Bring Him Home - the 10th anniversary concert soundtrack of Les Miserables
5) God Says Nothing Back - The Wallflowers from Rebel, Sweetheart
6) On the Radio - Regina Spektor from Begin To Hope
7) Shelter - Ray LaMontagne from Trouble
8) Romeo - Patty Scialfa from 23rd Street Lullaby

I still can't count. :)

As i look at this list, i realize that there are two artists on there that were recommended to me by one of you. People i had never heard of before. How cool is that?

Em is flying off tomorrow morning at the crack of dawn for a five day whirlwind tour of east coast colleges. I am trying not to stress out as it is almost 6 pm and she has NO CLEAN CLOTHES. I am actively reminding myself that this is NOT my problem. She is old enough to deal with this herself and i have already reminded her once.

I am making pizza tonight for dinner. Her favorite meal. The kitchen, and i, are covered with flour.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Witty, yet heartfelt title.

Thank you all for your kind, understanding and insightful words. It means a lot to me to hear what you have to say, even if it's just "I'm sorry."

All right, let me see if i can get this correct, and then we must never speak of it again. :)

I figured out the trigger for my "kamikaze attacks from the past." (Thanks for that phrase Caro, it's perfect.) The Mister has travelled 3 times in the past month. And, of course, that's where this all began, on a business trip.

I am embarrassed as i write this, because how typical, how tawdry. But why am I embarrassed? Because in this culture, i know there are people who think that it must be a reflection on me.

I want to be careful here, because there are thousands of ways to "get it wrong" when describing someone else's issues.

The Mister wants to be attractive to and liked by everyone. A legacy from his father, i believe. Some people, understandably, mistake this for something else, including him. So, the infidelity was just the recognition of this problem, all the way around. The solving of it has taken longer. With slip-ups. Details not to be included as they aren't important. Not major slip-ups, but enough to rip the scab off of my still tender wound.

The Mister has spent the past 13 years working on this issue, trying to recognize and correct the behavior.

I frequently quote Chani on this one. Love is a behavior, not an emotion.

And to quote Patty Griffin from her latest album, "I don't give up. I don't ever give up."

Wednesday, March 21, 2007


Does the past ever come and bite you on the butt?

I have been stewing, chewing, re-living old hurts and lies that were told more than 13 years ago. I was in the shower this morning and i found myself feeling angry. I have to shake myself to STOP THAT. Let it go.

It's been happening with more frequency the past week or so. I need to think about whether or not this time of year, or something else, is the trigger.

It is not healthy for me to be doing this. I think it damages the progress we've worked so hard to achieve. Why can't i let go? Is my anger so precious to me?

My thoughts drift off into some remembered humiliation, which is how being lied to makes me feel, humiliated, and my heart rate goes up and i think "i HATE you." Am i so unforgiving that i can't see the sacrifices and the heart ache that he has lived through to try and become a better person and to make us a better family? Is it fair that he should have to wonder why i am glaring at him?

I need the flashy thingie from Men In Black that erases memory. In lieu of that, i really wish i knew how to let go of the past. I mean, i'm still pissed at my mother, but she's never made any attempt to apologize or make amends.

Sorry for the arcane nature of this post. I don't want to go into it all for my own sake. Suffice it to say that something completely typical happened to me. And i was lied to.

The atypical part is that he apologized, many times, and has spent years working to try and understand why he did what he did.

The nature of trust is that you believe what someone tells you. I wonder if it ever grows back.

Drivel, because that's where my head is.

I took my baby girl to the orthodontist this morning for the first of many steps in the installation and maintenance of braces. Due to my teeth genetics, she is later than most people in getting her adult teeth. As a consequence, all of her peers have already finished with the having of braces.

This is a two year process so she will be heading off to college with braces. Poor baby. She has a great attitude about it all, but it's still not much fun. Of course, it should make for fairly effective boy repellant, so there are benefits.

The money that we will be paying for this tooth torture could purchase a small car. Our health insurance covers less than 1/5 of the cost. I am glad we can afford this, but braces should be a right for all children, not just those with money.

I went for a walk while Em was "in the chair." Man, we litter alot. It's so depressing. Next time i will go with a large plastic bag and pick up all the recyclables. But i did find another Bott's Dot. If anyone wants it, let me know. I'll send it to you.

The insincere niceness in doctor's/dentist's offices always sets my teeth on edge. Just give me a People magazine and leave me alone, i don't want to chat with the staff. Especially at 8 in the morning. Bah!

Monday, March 19, 2007

Hidden agenda

I have a brother, Tim. His time is more valuable than yours.

I now know not to ever go anywhere with him. "Oh, i just need to make a quick stop at one of my buildings (he's a real estate guy) and move 6 dishwashers up from the basement. It won't take more than a minute." Yeah, right. Some variation of this happened more than 50 percent of the time whenever i got into a car with him.

Back when he drove and i didn't, i had no choice. Also, i wanted him to like me. I looked up to him, literally and figuratively. (Get this, i am the shortest one among my siblings. My big brother really is bigger than your big brother!) But this always annoyed me. Of course, i was never strong enough to say anything, back then. Now i rarely see him.

Tim invited the Mister out to help him look for a new car recently. This is the Mister's idea of a good time. If i ever want to perk up his weekend, i'll suggest going to look at cars. As it turned out, the car shopping trip involved a stop at one of Tim's business partner's offices so they could try and get the Mister to invest in something or other.

Why not just be honest? "I'd like to invite your checkbook, oh, and you too, out for lunch."

Some things don't change. Yes this is the brother into whose car i put a dead fish.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

tattoo me

Someone recently mentioned that she has an appointment with a tattoo artist. So i thought i would post a picture of my tattoo. Also in honor of the day after St Patrick's Day. (I am a little slow.) I got this when i was 44. It's on my belly, a few inches below and to the right of my belly button, and it's about 6 cm (2.5 inches) high.

It's a slight modification of a Celtic design that i have admired for years. It's all black. My skin is not that color by the way, this picture is in black and white.

I don't believe i'll ever get another tattoo, but i really like this one and am very happy with it. Few people even know it's there. Except for you all.

Do you have any tattoos and where and what are they? Pictures are appreciated.

Friday, March 16, 2007

A view from the outside

I have a woman who comes over and cleans my house for me every so often. (And worth every damn penny too.) I know her because she used to work at the place where i used to work, along with 1,800 other people.

Last week we were talking and she said, "You know, you're really nice. I used to be afraid of you at work."

"Really?" i replied, slightly taken aback, "Why is that?"

"Oh you always walked around so fast and you're so tall and smart and you were a manager and all."

"Huh. Well, i am tall and i do walk fast. And that's scary?"

"It is to me."

Huh. I guess i put on a good show.

My Papa's Waltz

The poetry word for the day per Mona is DANCE. I have been looking for an excuse to give you one of my favorite poems, this is it. I did not write it, unfortunately. If i had been able to write this i think that my life would have taken a different path.

Please take the time to read it out loud, even if only to yourself. Any errors are mine and i apologize for them. I am working from memory here.

My Papa's Waltz

The whiskey on your breath
Could make a small boy dizzy;
But I hung on like death:
Such waltzing was not easy.

We romped until the pans
Slid from the kitchen shelf;
My mother's countenance
Could not unfrown itself.

The hand that held my wrist
Was battered on one knuckle;
At every step you missed
My right ear scraped a buckle.

You beat time on my head
With a palm caked hard by dirt,
Then waltzed me off to bed
Still clinging to your shirt.

-Theodore Roethke

I studied Roethke when i was getting my first college degree. I felt a special connection to him all through high school and college. He taught at the University of Washington, where i completed my useless liberal arts degree. Long before i went there, but still. He drowned in the Boedel's swimming pool, out on Bainbridge Island. I visted the Bloedel Reserve last year and saw the swimming pool, which is now a zen garden and filled in with sand. I discomfitted our tour guide by asking if this indeed was THAT pool.

You will find no comfort here
In the kingdom of bang and blab.

-a tiny bit of one of Theodore Roethke's longer poems.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Pillow talk

Ok, on to more serious stuff.

It's Wednesday already! That's enough!

I don't know why but this one silly little hour has kicked my butt. I usually wake up about a half an hour before the radio turns on and then twitch and wiggle for a while. Does this annoy the Mister? I am sure it doesn't.

The Mister gets up at 6:30 and leaves the house with Em at 6:50. (There is not much prep time required. I need more tme, but i am MUCH MORE attractive when i do leave.)

I usually get up right after they leave and make tea and feed the cats (not in that order.) But this week i have lain there in a stupor so long each morning that i risk being late to whatever awaits me that day. Which is not like me because i hate being late. It also causes the cats to stomp on my head and loudly voice their opinions. Which causes me to resort to the flying pillow trick. Which buys me another 30 seconds.

We just need more pillows on the bed.

Monday, March 12, 2007

So here i am talking about it.

I got into a discussion with someone last week about religion. I usually don't mention my religious leanings unless someone specifically asks, which she did. I told her that i am not religious, which sounds less harsh than atheist.

"So you are an atheist," she declared excitedly, with that evangelical gleam in her eye. So much for trying to hide behind make nice words.

Her basic argument (were we even having an argument when i was just saying "uh-huh" or "i see"?) went along the lines that religion is necessary or else people would not feel compelled to behave. I listened politely and hoped that my phone would ring or a meteorite would crash through the ceiling.

It's the old atheist = immoral theory.

I hate this theory. I don't steal, cheat, murder or commit adultery because i have standards, not because i am afraid of going to hell.

Is it true that religious people only behave out of fear? I don't think so. It seems to me that she insulted both of us.

This is why i avoid talking about religion. Better get rid of that scarlet A on my forehead then.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

My life as an addict

If you are of an age with me, then you will remember those horrible, scary anti-drug movies that we were shown in school starting at around 4th grade.

There were slimy pushers chasing people down dark alleys with dripping hypodermic needles. There were hapless ingesters of LSD flinging themselves out of windows thinking they could fly. There were girls who would get into cars with strange men and were never seen or heard from again.

I used to wake up with nightmares from these movies. When i learned that it could all start with sniffing glue i was petrified. I was a glue sniffer. I had taken a bottle of Elmer's glue once and wooshed all the air out into my face. I had then turned and done the same to the girl sitting next to me in art glass where we were making glittery valentine's cards, so she knew about my perversion too. The shame and the fear were overwhelming.

It's easy to laugh about this now, but for a while i truly believed that i was a heroin addict and that it was only a matter of time before the rest of the world found out. When i would somehow be reminded of my addiction my heart would pound and i would run away from wherever i was as fast as possible.

Once i came out of my house and my neighbor's dad, who was restoring a car, had a pot of glue he was using to reattach the convertible top. He saw me hanging around and said something like, "Want a sniff?" He was teasing but...

OH MY GOD! He knew about me! How did that happen? I ran home and hid in my room, waiting for the inevitable. He would come over and tell my parents that i was a heroin addict and i would get into BIG BIG BIGTROUBLE. (Trouble, that starts with T, that rhymes with G that stands for GLUE!)

I was an odd kid. But there was no one whom i could ask about these things and put my fears to rest. I told Em this story once as an example of how a kid can make huge leaps of logic and scare the crap out of themselves worrying.

You won't believe what i did when i learned that you could get rickets from too little sun.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Because I'm a follower

From Gary, via Mona, this Friday's word is tea.

Tea story the first) I have many different kinds of tea in my tea drawer. I don't drink coffee (WHAT? You live in the Seattle area and don't drink coffee? Is that legal? Are you a communist?)

My tea has magical qualities. When Em is upset about something i always offer to make her a cup of tea. Her response is, "Yes, please. Tea always helps." Even if she won't tell me what the problem is, a cup of tea will be well received.

As a mom, i cannot cure the ills of the teenage world, or any world, but i can make a cup of tea and add honey and milk and cinnamon and ginger and some love and make it all a tiny bit better.

Tea story the second) Every morning i make and consume a large mug of tea. I spend a few moments deciding which tea it will be this morning; Decaf Organic Green Tea? Passion by Tazo? (Oh! the smell!) Loose Leaf Roobios Tea? (has a bit of an unfortunate smell, but tastes great.) Chai?.....

What should i add? Honey? Soy Milk? (Can't do that if it's a fruit tea as it will curdle.) Ginger? Half and Half? (If i am feeling decadent.) Lemon?....

Then i settle back into my bed with a cat, maybe two cats and spend some time sipping my tea and slowing moving my brain from sleep mode to wake mode. I treasure this time.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

A true statement

Em and i went out to dinner together last night. You don't even want to know what prompted this statement:

"Mom, i'm not going to have gay sex with a man!"

We disrupted the rather quiet restaurant laughing.

Today's Housekeeping Tip

Get a cat. Compassion alone prevents me from having to make the bed.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Morbid introspection

The Mister in in NY for a few days. I feel a sense of profound loneliness. Which is odd, because even when he is in town we don't interact very much during the day. Em is here, but she's absorbed in her world.

I am thinking about all of you woman who are alone through divorce. Does it get easier? In my own experience, when we were separated many years ago, it did get easier, but it took awhile, and came and went.

There is a difference in the house when he is here, but in another room, from when he is just not here.

The psychological scuttlebutt is that we tend to marry our more difficult parent. Not literally of course, there are laws against that. Plus, ewwww. I have never been able to see my mother in the Mister. But in some ways i can see it in me. As in i can see a few similarities between me and the Mister's father. That is a hard sentence to type as the Mister's dad was an ass. Not an intentional ass, but a thoughtless ass. His world view was not impinged upon by the opinions of others.

That is not the part that is like me, i was stalling. The part that is like me is that the Mister looks to me for approval. Which i, um, kind of parcel out miserishly.

It makes me uncomfortable when a person is obvious about seeking my approval. Picture me looking at the person as if they had just farted. I just realized that i consider it to be a social gaffe. It embarrasses me. The last thing i want to do is appear needy, and it makes me uncomfortable when someone else appears needy.

We are all needy. Some of us (me) are just better at hiding it.

Meno, trying to make sense of it all and instead making a bit of a muddle.


i want to thank you all for leaving your silly jokes. I had a great time reading them. Save up your good ones for next time.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Annual Joke Post

Em told me this joke this morning:

A woman goes into a bar. The bartender asks her what she'd like. "I'd like a Double Entendre please." So her gave her a stiff one.

This from my 16 year old.

As a blatant rip off of Prairie Home Companion's annual joke show, i'm going to try it here. This will prove once and for all that i have no pride or sense of propriety. There should be something to offend everyone here. Here are a few of my favorite stupid jokes:

Q: How do you circumcise a whale?
A: Four skin divers.

Q: What did the salmon say when he ran into a cement wall?
A: Dam!
(Em told me this one when she was 6.)

Q: Why do lawyers* wear neckties?
A: To keep their foreskins from covering their heads.
*use whatever profession you like, doctors, accountants, newspaper columnists, i bear no particular ill-will towards lawyers.

Q: How many radical feminists does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: (glaring) That's NOT FUNNY!

Oh please oh please leave me your favorite stupid joke, or two. God knows i need some new material.

Saturday, March 03, 2007


I am having a good hair day.

I got my hair cut last week. Why is it that when i get my hair cut the person cutting it feels compelled to style it in a manner that i cannot, and do not want to reproduce? She puts on goo, and blows it dry with round brushes and then, as a finishing touch, puts on more goo. It's all straight and beaten into submission. I like a little curl in my hair. At least i have cured her of using hair spray.

I had to come home and wash my hair to see how it would really look. I wonder if she would freak out if i asked her to let me dry it and then i could see how it really looked.

Anyone a hairdresser out there? What do you think?

Thursday, March 01, 2007


This is weird.

As some of you may remember, i volunteer at a place that does counseling for kids. I don't do any counseling, as i lack the qualifications, but i do some of the initial screening.

I have a friend, Stacey, who i met in my quilting group (yes, me, quilting. What?) who has been having problems with her 15 year old daughter for the past several months.

Last week when she saw me she came over to talk with me right away and was visibly upset. Her daughter had again refused to go to school and had barricaded herself in her room. Stacey had agreed to let her stay home from school on the condition that she go to see someone. Stacey wanted my advice about the place i work, whom to call and what to say. So i told her what to do.

When i came in later that week for my usual shift, i found out that the daughter is involved with drugs. Also, since the daughter is over 13, she can claim medical privacy for any counseling services.

Bottom line, legally, I can't tell Stacey that her daughter is using drugs. She has no idea. I mean no idea.

I feel terrible. I know she would help her daughter and not beat her or anything horrid like that. I would want to know if it was Em.

I am trying to think about the fact the the daughter is going to get help and start counseling. That's a good thing.

As the Mister said, "Welcome the the Mental Health Profession."