Saturday, June 30, 2007

The Mom Arm

This appeared in my front yard yesterday morning. He (i think it's a he, my deer IQ is low) likes roses.

I have this reflex with Em that whenever she and i are walking and there are cars around i will stick my arm out in front of her to protect her from coming near any car. She was fine with this as a small child as she paid NO ATTENTION WHATSOEVER to cars, that was my job.

Now that she is 16, i still do it. She complained once, giving me the standard "i'm not a child anymore" line. I explained to her that i couldn't help it, that as a mom, it was just a reflex to keep her safe. She accepted this with more grace than i would have managed at her age with my mother.

Last week i was out walking around with a person i hardly know, and at the crosswalk i automatically stuck my arm in front of him to prevent him from stepping into the street.

"Oooh, sorry," i told him, grinning sheepishly, "it's a mom reflex."

Good thing he thought it was funny.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Cats i have known

Nicky and Boots: When i was very young, we had two somewhat feral cats. Nicky disappeared one night (probably coyotes) and Boots got a hematoma in his ear and died. I remember sobbing myself to sleep after the bad news. I found out many years later that my parents had taken him to the vets for an involuntary suicide.

Isis: We didn't have cats for years and years. Until, when i was in high school, i begged and begged and finally, one Christmas, a beautiful blue-point siamese cat appeared. I did not expect my parents to give in to my request for a kitten. She spent her first frightened night hiding in the fireplace, and early in the morning snuck into my bed, leaving little soot roses on my covers with her feet.

Siri: This cat was the issue of Isis, for whom my parents paid $27.50 to get laid so that i could witness the miracle of life and placentas. A wonderful, wonderful cat. the kind with no bones who cuddles under the covers with you all night and purrs.

Emily: With this cat, the Mister and i began our lives together. We got her as an adult from a no-kill cat shelter. She was a beautiful calico and was also slightly paranoid. A sweet kitty, but so scared.

Al Capone: He died of kitty leukemia the night that the Mister's and my parents met for the first time. I'll have to tell you about that night sometime. Hoo boy!

Bucko Photon Uberkatt, Intrepid Space Wanderer and Intergalactic Soldier of Fortune. A wedding present from my brother that i had to pay $45 to fly to San Jose from Seattle, where we were living at the time. We arrived for a visit from San Jose to Tacoma once with Bucko in tow. I thought the Mister's mother was going to shit little green nickels when she saw us get out of the car with a cat. But Bucko ended up charming everyone and making himself at home in the Mister's dad's armchair.

Eliot and Merlot: Merlot was a beautiful red point siamese who the Mister and i paid a fortune for at a real pet store. We got Eliot for an additional $10 at the same time to keep Merlot company. The Mister carried the receipt from the pet store around in his wallet for years because it said "$100, for kittens and supplies." Merlot disappeared in Colorado one day and Eliot lived with us for 16 years until he died, leaving an Eliot shaped hole in my heart that is still there today. He is buried in our yard and sometimes i still see his ghost slip by out of the corner of my eye.

Alice: One freezing night in Colorado the Mister found a very young kitten in a gutter by the side of the road. We kept her for 6 months and got her all her shots and had her spayed. Then we gave her away to some people who wanted a cat but couldn't afford all that.

Betsy: A present for Em when she was 6. She turned into a long haired ball of neurosis. She is a sweet girl, but has never recovered from the arrival of:

Grey Cat and Brown Cat: These siblings also came from a no-kill animal shelter about six years ago. These two tussle, clean each other, and sleep in a heap together. Grey Cat cuddles like a baby and Brown Cat is the talker. Both are excellent company.

The Friday word this week from Mona is Cat, or Kitty, or Pussy. As you can see, unlike some people, i have taken the high road here.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

That's gross!

Mamap tagged me for a meme. Eight things about me. Some of which you probably don’t want to know. There are rules, but i don't need no stinking rules. Please swipe this meme if you like.

1) After i take a shower and before i towel off, i use my hands to squeegee myself off in the shower stall.

2) I love little baby ducks, coffee in a cup, slow moving trains and rain. Oh, sorry. I tend to recall the lyrics of odd songs at the least provocation. And i like pina coladas, getting caught in the rain, and the feel of the ocean, and the taste of champagne. Damn, i did it again. It clearly doesn’t have to be a song i like.

3) I don’t wear underwear. Yep, it’s true. (Although i often, but not always, do when i am wearing a dress.) For some reason i just can’t stand them. They cause me to spend the day plucking and scratching at myself. I’ve tried thongs and bikini and high cut and low cut and boy briefs and corrective underwear. None of them work. I also have to take the tags out of shirts too or i scratch the back of my neck until i bleed.

4) I am going hiking on Saturday with someone i met blogging. How cool is that? Most people i know, including the Mister, only pretend to like to hike, so i hope i have found someone who really likes it. (Hi Schmoopie.)

5) I am a salad snob. I make fantastic salads. I use all kinds of unusual ingredients and i don’t own any bottles of dressing. I have 7 different kinds of vinegar and 4 different oils and fresh lemons. There is no need for anything else. Most salads are served with too much dressing. It’s supposed to be a dressing, not soup.

6) Sadly, one of my biggest accomplishments for the day is that i did NOT slap my daughter, but i soooooo wanted to. Oh yes i did. But i didn’t. That’s good.

7) The Mister has been out of town too long. I can tell because i am starting to kiss the cats with my eyes closed. But we have been having the best conversations on the phone, which is odd because i hate using the phone.

8) I learned how to make a Gin and Tonic, light on the tonic, when i was 8. It is a skill that has served me well. I also make a mean margarita, on the rocks, no salt.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Meno, again

Today is my first blogiversary. One year ago today i made what i thought was the brave leap into the uncharted waters of blogging. Why? I don't have a snappy philosophical answer. It looked like fun, and i like to write. I had been reading blogs for over a year at that point, and had, also bravely in my mind, left a few comments.

What i have found in doing this blogging thing has been a surprise to me. It has been more fun than i expected, and easier. I never stress about posting. If i don't want to/feel like it/have anything to say, i don't. But, me being me, i usually have plenty of things to say.

I know people that i've never met. How odd. And how easy.

Blogging friends are a group that self select. Y'all read about me for a while and get to decide whether or not to participate. It's a method of test driving people. A perfect way to interact for an introvert.

What i want to do today is to re-post my first post, because in some way, this story, that moment, is the reason i started to write.

Please don't shower me with presents or money. Instead, tell me a story. Tell me either why you started blogging, or where the name of your blog came from, or why you read blogs, but don't have one. I love stories.

Here's your summer re-run:

I am riding in the car with my husband and we are headed downtown. It's hot and the traffic sucks. We are on a freeway overpass moving intermittently forward, as fast as the goddamned traffic allows. I am bored and cranky. Up ahead i see three young kids walking along the side of the overpass, where they most assuredly should not be. They look all teen-age-ish in their scruffy clothes and dirty hair and they have their arms around each other. The girl in the middle has pink stripes in her dirty blond hair.

"Goddamn kids," i think to myself. They are probably the cause of some of this traffic mess. They annoy me. I think dark thoughts about them.

Eventually we catch up to them and slowly pass them. I look in the side view mirror and i see that the three of them together are carrying a dead dog. A yellow lab. And the girl is crying.

This is the kind of thing that lets me know i am a judgemental bitch. I start to cry as well. For the dog, and that other bitch too.

My husband looks over and wonders what the hell is wrong with me.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Poor poor pitiful me.

I've been in a tiny funk the past few days, wallowing a bit in my own introversion. Why doesn't anyone ever call me up to come out and play? Wah wah wah.

The Mister is out travelling on business, which always puts me off my stride a bit. Can't sleep because of the noise from all the people trying to break into the house all night. I have to remain alert for that you know.

I know what to do when i get like this. I will only allow a day or two of snorting around in the mire, and then i get off my sad, sad ass and arrange a few things, make a few phone calls.

After i get a few things on my calendar, of course people start calling me. Can i sub for bunco on Thursday? Am i available to go out to lunch on Wednesday? Can i take over someone's shift at the clinic Tuesday afternoon?

I remember that i can have breakfast for dinner and not brush my teeth before bed if i don't want, since there's no one here to care. It's kind of peaceful.

Sometimes i am so silly.

Friday, June 22, 2007


"How will you ever learn to take care of yourself?"

"You should go to college so you'll always have something to fall back on." (Subtext: In case that snagging a man thing doesn't work out.)

"Too bad you got your dad's awful hair."

"Don't make me ask you again."

"Stop crying or i'll give you something to cry about."

"I didn't want to wake up one morning and find out you were 6'3"."

"Those big thighs come from your grandfather."

"Remember how you used to wear your hair? Well, i really liked it back then."

"Will you be QUIET?"

"Children are to be seen and not heard."

"Stop wiggling."

"No, we can't stop. You'll have to hold it."

"You make me sick."

"You can't carry a tune in a bucket."

"Get your nose out of that book."

"Why can't you behave, just this once?"

"You're driving me nuts, go outside and don't come back in until i call you."

"I swear you'd lose your head if it wasn't attached."

"Your clothes are a disgrace."

"Go to your room and don't come out until it's clean."

"I'm going to call you Nasturtium, Nasty for short."

"What IS your problem?"

"Don't you ever listen?"

"For god's sake, go brush your hair. It looks like a rat's nest."

"I already showed you how to do that."

"What would YOU do with a bra? Keep your dirty socks in it?"

"Why are you always so negative?"

Mona's Friday word is crush.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Boys Rock Your Girls

Let's see, how can i do this so i get it right? I know!

I was tagged by Lynn over at A Tired Mama as a Rockin' Girl Blogger. I have mixed feelings about this. I enjoy getting tagged and having people say nice things about me. I still find it surprising that people come here to read at all.

On the other hand, i don't like selecting only 5 other blogs as Rockin' Girls because i like all of the blogs i read. Plus, what about Rockin' Boy Bloggers? I think that the majority of bloggers are women, and i wonder sometimes if the men feel left out or ignored.

So, here's what i'm going to do. I am going to select 5 Rockin' Boy Bloggers, because i can change the rules to suit myself, so i am. If i knew how to change that button i would, but that is beyond my technical skills. I tried a bit, but i just bungled it.

So, in no particular order:

1.) Scott from Oregon. Scott tells great stories with a bit of a smart ass edge. His layout is constantly changing so i look forward to visiting so i can see what the look of the day is. Scott would never end a sentence with a preposition like i just did.

2.) Irrelephant. Isn't that a great name? He writes in a gentle and thoughtful way about his life, memories and trains.

3.) Stucco. Stucco is beyond a bit of a smart ass. I like that in a person. His posts carry a sense of his outrage with the craziness of this world. I like that in a blog. And i have met him in person. His wife is a wonderful woman and she loves him. That counts for a lot with me.

4.) Jeremiah. My biggest complaint about this guy is that he doesn't post very often, but when he does the way he writes can give me shivers. His inner landscape is interesting and varied.

5.) Monkey Boy. A man who is not afraid of tears or tenderness, with some much silliness thrown in. Plus he's about to become a daddy.

I would mention Bob at Greens-n-Cornbread, but i mentioned him in my Thinking Blogger post. I would consider tagging Lazy, because of his writing, but he's taken his blog to password protected and i'm too chicken to ask for the password because he's often mean.

So thank you Lynn. I hope it's okay that i switched genders over here.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The Pity Party

A new restaurant opened near us a while ago. So we went there to check it out. When we got there, the gaggle of hostesses at the door asked me for a last name.

I looked around at the mostly empty restaurant, and then looked back at the girl, wondering why she needed my last name. "Smith," i told her.

We were seated, and when our waiter approached the table he said "So, how is the Smith party today?"

"AHA!" i said, suddenly understanding the request for the last name.

The waiter looked slightly embarrassed, telling us that the management requires them to do this.

The Mister decided that now that we know this, we are going to have some fun with it.

"Donner!" i cried.
"Grandold," chimed in the Mister.
"Pitti," i added.
"Tupperware?" says Em.

I am so ready for the next time we go there. Got any more for me?

Monday, June 18, 2007

Support Us

Thank you all for your response to the last post. Some very thoughtful and impassioned responses. I know that the person who asked me to do this appreciated your input as well. If i find out what happens, i will let you know.

This all made me think of the weddings i have attended over the years. Religious, not religious, gay commitment ceremonies, whatever.

Almost all of them have included the part where the wedding official asks the audience if they will support this marriage. We all clap or say "we will" and promise to do so.

But do we? And really, how can we? What can we do to support the commitment that we have witnessed?

When my own marriage was failing, i kept it a secret for as long as possible, because i was ashamed. I kept hoping that i wouldn't ever have to tell anyone. I didn't tell anyone at all until my husband finally decided that he wanted to separate. And i only told then because i had to.

It was a lonely and horrible eight months. I can still feel the shame of finally having to tell.

So why can't we admit that marriage can be very hard, and that there are times when i just fucking hate this man? Does everyone but me feel all lovey all the time towards their spouse? Would it help to realize that other people don't have the perfect marriage? And that the nature of commitment is to keep on going? (Aside: i do not condone staying in any marriage. Drugs, abuse, repeated adultery......these are commitment breakers.)

This is something i read in a book called Not Just Friends by Shirley Glass.

"On good days, i am committed to my wife. On okay days i am committed to my marriage. On bad days i am committed to my commitment."

This man i married, he is as good a man as i am a woman. We are both good people. People with baggage, and issues, and anger and insecurities. So back to my original question, what can we do to support the partnerships of the people we know. Maybe just to admit that we all need support sometimes?

Wow, this is not the post i started out to write. I think i've been hijacked by my feelings.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

An ethical dilemma

This picture is for Lu.

One of my readers sent me an e-mail today and asked me to ask you all for your opinion on this situation.

Reader X has a brother who is getting married in the Catholic church later this year. X was originally not asked to be in the wedding, which was fine with X, but brother and bride, perhaps thinking that X might feel snubbed, asked X to do a reading at the wedding.

Ok, X is fine with that, and X started researching cool things to read. Then X learned today that there is a list of approved readings, all of which come from the bible, and that X must choose one of these.

X is an atheist. Here is X's question, in X's own words.

"I want you to ask your readership if I'm being inconsiderate, persnicketty, pig-headed, or honest, if I tell them I don't think I can do it. I don't want to be the hypocrite, standing in front of them in their monumental moment, reciting something from a text I don't believe, affirming my and their love to a god I don't believe in.

On the other hand, maybe it's just a gesture that I need to make to show I'm happy to participate in any way in their celebration."
One other thing that i think is relevant to this discussion; The Catholocism of the wedding appears to be driven by the bride's mother, who also appears to be running the show.
I think i know what i would do, but X wants to hear from you about what you would do. Then i'll chime in with my opinion. And hopefully, X will let us know the decision that was made.
X, you know who you are, if i have misrepresented anything, e-mail me and i will fix it.
Thank you.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Why i love Seattle

Today was the Solstice parade in Fremont, a neighborhood in Seattle. I went with The Mister and Em and my brother and SIL.

By tradition, the parade begins with naked people on bicycles. For the first few years of this parade, the police tried to hunt these people down and arrest them, but when they did, they were let go because it was found that they didn't violate community standards. Everyone expected it. So the police ignore them, and it is a colorful sight. They are mostly clad in wondrous body paints, bicycle helmets, and little else. Everyone along the route was grinning.


Notice anything yellow in this picture?

Patterns, and one guy who is just naked:

Dragon Ladies:

Golden Man and his friend, Throwing Caution to the Wind:

This man is not Jewish:

And there are many more. Here is a picture of one of the coolest floats:

This man paused to show me his fabulous boots, size 12 mens:

A political comment in the end:

Friday, June 15, 2007

Sitting in Judgement

This picture has nothing to do with anything.

I've been retired for nigh on to 3 years now. It's such a relief not to have to get up and go to work every day.

The Mister still works, but that is his choice. The past few weeks he has come home talking about "the review process," wherein groups of people get together and rank the folks who work for them. And then those people's bosses get together and rank them, and so on. He came home yesterday and i could tell right away that he was anxious, even though he attempted to hide it. He finally told me that he was anxious because he knew that today was the day that his bosses are sitting around ranking him.

How i hated doing reviews and getting reviewed when i worked. I was afraid of the judgement of people i respected, and i was disgusted by being judged by people i didn't respect. I never had a bad review, but i certainly worried about them beforehand.

I developed a method for reviewing the people who worked for me to help reduce the anxiety. I told them that NOTHING bad on any review should ever come as a surprise. If there is a problem, the first time to let someone know about it is not during their annual review. That's just mean and a way to throw power around.

I also would give each person their written review about an hour before we met, so they had time to read it and think about it without me breathing down their necks.

But what i really thought about last night as i was listening to the Mister, was that one of the BEST things about being retired is that i don't have to sit in judgement, or be judged EVER AGAIN.

Of course people still judge, but i don't have to listen to it and my career doesn't depend on it.

I feel so free.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

My time in prison

I had one of those moments in a conversation recently where i was happily explaining something and the other people just looked at me with complete incomprehension.

It went like this:

Em and The Mister and i were at lunch somewhere. I was talking about what i would do if i ever found myself in solitary confinement. Like, what kind of games i would make up in my head and how i would pass the time between being interogated? Would i exercise, all alone in my cell? Would i be able to figure out how to communicate with the other prisioners by rapping on the walls. Would i try to dig a tunnel and escape? Would i be allowed to have a crossword puzzle book and a pencil? What about a deck of cards? Would i make a pet out of a passing rat? Or would i have to eat it to survive? And so on.

They both just looked at me. They each said they had never even thought about it. They exchanged a speaking glance. Em raised one eyebrow at me. I guess i may have read too many books and seen too many movies with this theme.

  • Like Darkness at Noon by Arthur Koestler and
  • The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas and
  • I cannot remember the name of it but i read this terrific book about 20 years ago by a woman who was put in prison in China by that asshole Mao.
  • V for Vendetta
  • The Terminator 2
I can't believe they never thought about it at all. Maybe i read my books a bit too seriously.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Stomach Love, a true story

Deb over at TiredMummy reminded me of this beagle story.

I grew up with beagles. The one we had they longest was named Pokey, short for Pocahontas. Those damn dogs will eat anything, absolutely anything.

Pokey used to hang out under the dinner table. She would eat the brussel sprouts that i managed to sneak to her. In that regard she was a godsend. One time she ate an entire pound of butter, including the box. Another time she ate a two pound tube of liverwurst, including the plastic wrap. Go Pokey!

She was also partial to dirty underwear, cat shit and used sanitary napkins. Not so cool.

My parents used to own a small lot on an island in the San Juans in Puget Sound. Not a big island. This island has no store, no motorized vehicles are allowed, and you have to get there via a private motorboat. So anything that you needed, you had to schlep up there with you, including all food and drink.

Our neighbors up there did not have a dog, therefore they were not on high alert with food like we were. Most food was cooked over the fire. These neighbors had gotten their steaks all ready and then returned to the cabin for something or other, probably more alcohol. They left four steaks on a tree stump. So you can guess what happened. They were pretty pissed off, and Pokey was quite sick. We had to give them some canned hash from out of the emergency stock.

Pokey's best stunt however, was the time she snuck next door and ate a half a pan of marijuana brownies. The neighbors had left them out while they went off for a screw. Apparently they were so strong that the people were only eating a half a brownie at a time.

My parents were quite concerned about Pokey, who was staggering around, zonked out of her little doggie mind, so they loaded her up on the boat and took her across the water to the mainland.

As Pokey was attempting to stagger across the front of the boat and jump off onto the beach, as she always did, someone watching from the beach commented on what an old dog she was.

"Nope," my dad replied, "she's just stoned."

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Polishing a future memory

This afternoon i went to Em's school and helped with the reception for graduating seniors and their families.

A lot of balloons and plants and table cloths had gone into decorating the gym so that it would not look like a gym. But it still looked, and smelled, like a gym.

There were lots of hugs and high fives and whooping and picture taking and "dude"ing. The kids are so full of themselves right now, they are the heroes of the hour. All eyes upon them.

I can't help but think that in a year's time, i will be the family member of a graduating senior. The years have both flown and crawled by, but gone they are, and next year a whole era in my life, and Em's will be gone. *Poof*

One of my faults is that i am excellent at "anticipatory grief." I see potential pain a mile, no, two miles away and take it into myself and remember it before it happens, then polish it until it glows all shiny and reflects back my image to me. I want to make it familiar so as to remove its sting. Even though the polishing never works, i still do it. While i am polishing the grief that i might have, some other grief may sneak up on me and smack me right between the eyes. And that hurts, so i keep a sharp eye out for any approaching grief, ready to defend myself.

I am unable to tell what kind of grief, or relief, i might/should/will feel when Em moves away. I cannot find the right kind of polishing cloth right now for that future memory.

Odd that.

Friday, June 08, 2007

But they're not yours, they are my own*

At the request of my third favorite feline, Patches, here is a picture of my hands, with Em's hands thrown in for good measure.

Random meno hand facts:

  • Note my Swiss Army watch, 5 years old from Costco.
  • Ring with BFR (Big Rock) I got this "engagement" ring after we had been married for 12 years. Ladies, if it's supposed to set your man back 2 months salary, wait until that salary is worth it. Actually, i now think that the diamond business can go fuck itself, but 13 years ago i didn't know any better.

  • Em and i have matching $4 silver pinkie rings, because i wuv her werry werry much.

  • I have strong thick nails that i chop off because otherwise they annoy me. This upsets my mother so much that she once cried over it. "You have such nice nails, why can't you bother to take care of them." I swear i am not making this up.

  • Em's fingers and toes look like the Mister's.

  • I don't know if you can tell, but my hands are two different sizes. This is because of a laceration to my left wrist when i was 11 involving a fish bowl, 5 hours of surgery, over 200 stitches, 2 weeks in the hospital and 6 months of physical therapy. The scar looks like i tried to kill myself and extends halfway down my forearm.

*Jewel from Hands

Wednesday, June 06, 2007


I was at my volunteer gig today, talking with a woman on the phone. (I volunteer at at place that does counseling for kids. I don't do the counseling because i don't know beans about it, but i do some of the initial interviews.)

This woman was telling me that her 14 year-old daughter had been caught shoplifting from Nordstom's. (For those of you not knowing what a Nordstoms is, its a higher end department store.) "It's the first time she's ever done anything like this," she told me.

We talk a little more, or more accurately she talks and i listen and ask questions. Next she tells me that she and her husband have been noticing money missing from their wallets the past year or so. A little more information revealed.

A little later in the conversation she reveals that her daughter has been showing up with new clothes and that the parents don't know where she got them. More information contradicting what she told me at the beginning.

"What does she say when you ask her about the clothes," i ask. "Oh, she says her grandmother or her aunt bought them for her."

"Have you asked them about that?" i say.

"Not really, i don't want them to know about the shoplifting incident."

I then had to stop her and say, "So what you told me at the beginning, that she has never done anything like this before isn't really correct."

"Well," she hemmed, " i just don't have any proof."

I told her that all the things she had been telling me were proof that something isn't right.

The proof is staring her right in the face, but she doesn't want to see it.

Denial is a powerful force.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

My cup runneth over

Sometimes in our house laundry gets mixed up. Em has done her own laundry since she was twelve, but she still sneaks downstairs and pulls my stuff from the dryer when she has, say, run out of clean socks.

I am not the swiftest person first thing in the morning. I wake up slowly over about an hour. This morning, i had to get out right away, so i was still asleep as i was dressing.

I grabbed my bra from the drawer and strapped it on. I looked down and noticed that my heaving bosom had grown considerably since yesterday. "It's a miracle," i thought, and i fell to my knees and praised jesus.

Then my brain kicked in. I was wearing Em's bra, which is close enough in size to mine that i can wear it, but there is stuff oozing out the sides. So i got up off my knees.

I love starting the day with a huge laugh.

Monday, June 04, 2007

In which i violate the spirit, if not the letter of my own law

I have a few blogging rules, one of which is that i will not ask for money.

I am not asking for money now. But i am not immune to the appeals of others, despite my cold dead heart. Therefore, i am directing you to Jen's post asking for money for a very good cause. Even the name sounds nice, Open Arms.

See, i didn't really break my own rule. Well, not very much. Okay, fine, i broke my rule, but only this once and i didn't realize what i was doing so it's not my fault.

On a completely unrelated topic;

When it's slightly cool outside, but sunny, i love that frisson of warmth from getting into my parked-in-the-sun car. I sit there for a minute, shivering from the delight of all that heat. Does anyone else do that as well?

Sunday, June 03, 2007

A sad story, and my snarky response.

This happened a few years ago. I found it shocking, truly sad. But maybe i am just a snob. Tell me your reaction.

This was a conversation i overheard at the post office between the clerk and the woman right ahead of me in line, who was buying stamps.

Clerk: What stamps would you like? We have Love stamps, Herman Melville stamps and Flag stamps.

Woman: Who is Herman Melville?

Clerk: I don't know, people have been asking that all day and no one knows.

Woman: Why would they make a stamp for a person nobody knows?

Clerk: I have no idea.

Me: (thinking) i can't stand it.

I did tell the clerk who he was when it was my turn. And it's not so bad that these two women didn't know, but that NO ONE knew all day.

Next up: the Lindsey Lohan stamp. She's puking on the side of the road while Paris Hilton holds her hair and Britney Spears flashes her snatch.

Friday, June 01, 2007


I close my eyes, and this is what i hear;

  • Waves lapping gently.
  • A ski boat driving by, the people on it whooping and laughing.
  • Em singing from the other side of the house, oblivious to any listener.
  • The radio in the kitchen, murmuring NPR.
  • The lamp next to me ticking gently as it heats up.
  • A plover shrieking from the water's edge.
  • The neighbors mowing their huge lawn with the riding mower. Crunch! Oh, they just hit a rock or something.
  • From the highway, far away, a siren is wailing. Someone is having a bad day.
  • Cat toenails on the wood floor.
  • The keyboard clicking as i type. (I opened my eyes for that.)
  • A small mew, and then a ka-thump up onto the bed.
  • The desk computer whirring as it thinks its solitary thoughts.
  • Swallows chittering as they fly up under the dock.
  • Purring.
It's the end of the day. The beginning of the weekend.

Tell me, what do you hear?