Tuesday, July 31, 2007

A few observations about airports and traveling, just for fun.

(Scarlett O’Hara voice) As God is my witness, i will nevah fly coach again! Airplane seats are brutally small if you are any size larger than ordinary. Ugh.

Those self flushing toilets at airports feel like a violation of my free will. Add the astonishment of the plastic toilet seat cover tube trying to move while i was sitting and i may need therapy.

This story, about a man who missed his flight and called 911 to report a bomb on the plane in the hopes that the plane would return to the gate really pisses me off. He inconvenienced hundreds of people. Selfish bastard. It did not surprise me to learn he was a doctor. Yes, i know he was “off his meds.” But i’m still pissed at him. You watch, next he’ll be checking into rehab.

There are people who will happily stretch out over 4 seats, even after the waiting area fills up. Selfish bastards.

Airline employees have the patience of saints. Both of my flights were delayed over two hours. Some people were quite unpleasant about it. It never fails to astonish me how people will abuse others just because they can. Selfish bastards!

And finally, for no reason, a picture of 15 pounds of cat stuffed into a 10 pound box:

Monday, July 30, 2007

The last about Blogher, that's a promise.

Something i knew about myself, but i was reminded of it in spades these past few days; I am not good in groups. I knew this, but i chose to ignore it in the hope that this special event would be different, that i would be different.


I had a wonderful time, but not at Blogher. The conference was not for me. It was big and noisy and caused me to have sensory overload. This is not the fault of Blogher, it’s just who i am.

As an example, one of the sessions was about how to get yourself and your blog mentioned in the press, and how to conduct yourself in an interview. I have no issue with anyone who wants this, but i can never see myself being desirous of attention from the press.

I spent most of the time with
Ms. Chica and Maggie, talking, laughing, listening and making fun of the absurdities of it all. We walked all around Chicago and ate and went to the Art Institute and got blisters and waded in Lake Michigan and ate and talked and talked and talked. I am so glad i went.

There are a few bloggers i wish i had met, but i suppose that this would have required me to stick around at the event or attend the nightly cocktail parties.

As i mentioned, i had a wonderful, comfortable dinner with
Jen and Nina. They are both quite beautiful, as well as funny and smart. You will not be surprised to hear that Jen stopped on our way to dinner the first night and chatted with a man who was begging on the street. I think she traded him a $20 bill for $7. She walks the walk.

I also was able to spend a little time with
Antonia and Ian and their adorable wonder baby Esme (who apparently doesn't have her own blog yet, the little slacker!) on the morning of my last day there. I wish we had been able to go and do something together, but alas….no time.

The trip was exhilarating and wonderful and i wouldn't have missed it for anything.

It’s good to be home.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Brief update from Chicago

It was an unexpected treat when i stepped off the plane that a strange woman was waiting for me at the end of the causeway. "Are you Meno?" she asked in a lovely southern accent.

Ms. Chica, it was indeed! Her plane had been delayed and so she had hung around the airport for a little while and waited for me.

At the baggage claim, another woman, this one with an english accent and a baby strapped to her back came up to me again and said, "Are you Meno?" Antonia! I think it was the height that gave me away.

So Blogher started with a bang. Maggie had already checked in when we arrived, but she was nowhere to be found. Ms. Chica and i went out to dinner with QT and Jen at a pretty good Italian place. I still have garlic breath today.

We almost went to a weclome cocktail party hosted in the bar at the W last night. Ms. Chica and Maggie and i wandered up there at around nine. When the door to the elevator opened into the party, noise and darkness and black light assulted us. We bravely turned around and left. (Just so you know, my idea of hell is a disco.)

So, the conference; It seems to me that it is designed for people who want to become famous or make money with their blogging. There is nothing wrong with that, but it is not my ambition. There's some seriously great swag though.

  • a thumb drive
  • chocolate
  • cereal
  • a potholder
  • a cool bag to hold it all
  • a box of lotions, including something called "pillow mist."
  • a pedometer
  • a nail care kit
  • a towel
  • etc....

Here's Maggie with some of the swag:

We went to some of the morning track presentations, and the first afternoon track, and then we ditched and are back at the hotel doing what geeks do best.

More later. Busy busy busy.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Obligatory pre-Blogher post exhibiting pre-travel giddiness.

I'm leaving, on a jet plane (Yeah!)
Don't know when i'll be back again (Sunday)
Oh babe, i hate to go (NOT!)
But the dawn is breaking
It's early morn, (o'fuck thirty, yuck!)
The taxi's waiting (Nope, it's the Mister)
He's blowing his horn (No way! That would be rude.)

Okay, my guess is that those of you who are not going to Blogher in Chicago might (or might not) be feeling left out. Or maybe you are just sick of hearing about the damn thing. But i assure you, that i will be thinking of you and i will act as your on the scene correspondent.

If there is a cat fight, i will be taking, and publishing, photos. If there is drunken debauchery, i have a camera and i know how to use it. If insults are hurled, i will dutifully write them down and report them. If there are any fashion victims, it will probably be me.

I'm leaving Em in charge at home. The Mister left gum in his jeans pocket and it got all over my new fuzzy (polypropylene sweater) in the dryer and he is in the dog house. Of course, i left a tampon in one of my pants pockets and it blossomed in the wash. Nice.

P.S. Spell check does not recognize o'fuck as a word.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Crime and Punishment

Three young children stand around an old freezer, out on the back porch of the house. They have been summoned there by an angry parent.

"There was a frozen cake in this freezer that is now gone," the parent accuses the children. "If no one confesses, then you will all be punished."

Two of the children have no idea what the parent is talking about. One of them does. But all remain silent. The accusations and the threats continue. None of the children say anything, but they are all afraid of the terrible wrath of the parent.

The parent looks into the faces of each child, trying by sheer force of will to get the information out of the one guilty child. The silence of the children enrages the parent. The parent slaps the face of each child once, the sound loud in the space of the small porch.

But nothing can shake a confession from the guilty, and all of them are afraid.

The confrontation ends with all of the children being spanked, one after the other, and then sent to their rooms.

The case of the missing cake is never solved, but the anger and humiliation of the event will always be remembered.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

In this post, nothing about Harry Potter

I would like to claim that this picture is relevant to the post, but i just like the patterns.

I read the book Siddhartha when i was in high school, going through an emo (Em's word) phase. The take-away from the book for me was that wisdom cannot be passed on, that each of us has to learn certain things for ourselves. That can't be true, i thought at the time, how silly! Of course i never listened to my mother. What did she know?

In her on-line group, Em has always been the Saver and the Peacemaker. I have listened to her stories and made a few comments to the effect that you can't save other people, they have to save themselves, you can help, but only when they are ready. Certain of these young girls seem to not really want to be saved, they want drama, they want some grand emotions to keep them occupied. (My interpretation.) But Em kept at it, sometimes crying when they would do some new foolish or destructive thing. I had to admire her compassion, while worrying about her taking care of her own self.

Em spent $50 once sending some flowers to one girl who was always sick, but would never eat or sleep or take care of herself. The $50 was about all Em had in the world, and this is how she chose to spend it. So instead of rolling my eyes, like i really wanted to, i helped her order and send the flowers. The girl in question never acknowledged the flowers. Em was philosopical about it but i was (in typical protective mommy mode) annoyed.

But mostly i just listened, and asked a few questions, and told Em that if so-and-so was really threatening suicide then Em had no choice but to contact the parents. It has never come to that, thank goodness, but damn has it been hard to not become disgusted and tell her to forget these drama queens and find some real friends.

Had i done that though, Em would have stopped telling me about it.

Recently, she has started telling me that she has had to stop trying to corral these young women into taking care of themselves. It was too hard on her and it never did any good. She is letting them drift on in the world without her.

I guess Herman Hesse was right.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

A few things you TOTALLY need to know

Echinacea, or purple cone flower.

1) I am having a good hair day. The reason that i am having a good hair day is that yesterday, after several not very good hair days, i made an appointment for a haircut.

2) The Mister, Em and i are heading off this evening to drive down to Salem so that Em can take a gander at Willamette University and Reed College.

3) The Mister booked a hotel room in Salem with a separate bedroom for Em. This is all to no avail because i was gleefully telling a friend of mine yesterday that i hadn't had a period in a month and a half. So you know what happened this morning. Yep. One last egg just had to go and try and make me a mommy again. "Me too, me too, don't leave me behind," yelled the egg. I wish there was a way to tell any remaining eggs that it's a fool's mission, so just don't bother. Really.

4) Yesterday was very rainy. Last night i went to an outdoor concert at the Woodland Park Zoo. I bought a shower curtain for us to put our blanket on top of. During the concert it began to rain in earnest. Many people left. We stayed. Patty Griffin was wonderful, as usual.

5) I have a new addiction. It's green tea bubble tea. Not too sweet, but with fun little black pearl tapioca balls to suck up through my straw and chew on. They are the texture of gummi bears. I made Em stop on our way home from Driver's Ed today so i could score one. I could stop any time though.

6) I keep having to turn off the radio when a story comes on about the famous quarterback who was just indicted on charges of participating in dog fighting. I haven't the words to tell you how utterly horrified i am by this. Is this man even a human?

Sunday, July 15, 2007


Sometime last year i received a call a from a person i have known all my life, but that i rarely see. He is the son of a friend of my parents and someone i grew up with. Bryan was calling to tell me that another son of another friend of my parents had been killed in a car accident. Marcus was also the brother of a troubled friend of mine.

"Oh my God!" i said, and like many shocked people, i added, "what happened?"

"Well, the police don't really know," Bryan answered.

hmmm, i thought, that sounds odd, but whatever.

I went to the funeral, not out of any personal sense of loss, but out of loyalty for old relationships and family ties. I saw and comforted my used-to-be friend.

A few months ago, i happened to be reading an article in the paper about the aftermath of someone who had been hit, and very seriously injured, by drunken driver. That driver was Marcus.

I've been muddling this over in my mind for a while, sorting out how i feel. Now i know. I am angry with Marcus. I see the illogic of this. Marcus' family was no less sad for him than if he had been sober. His two young boys and his wife are still without him. I am not sorry i donated money to an account for the boys. I am not sorry i went to the funeral.

But i am still angry. I feel like we were not told the complete truth, because it reflected badly on Marcus.

I don't know what i would have liked to have seen happen instead. The funeral was not the appropriate time to bring this up. But Marcus almost killed another person, and did kill himself.

I wonder what chance for a lesson was lost in this subterfuge. I wonder how that lesson could have been presented. Perhaps something could have been said about the man that Marcus almost killed, asking for help for him.

It's all such a damned waste.

All figured out

These beautiful day lilies are in bloom right now. I love the colors.

I was listening to the radio this morning when a feature came on about Cringe readings, or something like that. It's where people get up in a public forum and read some of their impassioned teenage, or younger, angsty writing. It was pretty funny.

So for your reading pleasure, i present a bit of writing i did while on a camping trip with my family in 1972.

Here, on this camping trip I have discovered myself. Here I Am! This is an odd thing for me to say as before I was a cynic of people who went out to discover their so called true nature. But mine has presented itself for me to inspect and I am pleased and a little embarrased to admit I like it.
I just hope that i can muster enough confidence to keep it and display me to the world. I do not like acting, but it is nessesary. Actually display is not the right word, but I use it for lack of a better one.
I think it's very cool that i figured me all out since I am only 14.

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.

Yes, i am cringing. But at least i have learned how to spell necessary and embarrassed.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Not where i thought this was going, but probably more true for that.

Someone i admire did a post recently that has me thinking about the ways that the relationship between the Mister and me has shifted over the many, many, many years eons we have been together.

In the beginning, i was the one who was fiercely protective of the relationship, wanting to spend most of our time together. I felt that i was more committed to the "couple~ness" of us.

For example, if he was away on a business trip, i wanted him to call me once each day, if at all possible. I became anxious and unable to sleep if i didn't hear from him. He thought this was excessive and that the anxiety was my problem. I still don't have a clear answer on that one. Is it obsessive to want to know that my family is safe and where they should be at night?

Over the years, it now feels like he needs me more. Now when he travels on business, he will call/IM me sometimes up to 6-7 times a day to report on his activities. It can get a little annoying. I no longer wait up at night until he calls, telling him if he gets in past 11:00, to not call as i will be asleep.

I wrote this a few days ago, and whilst it has been sitting and gathering computer dust, i have been mulling it over in the shower, in the car, while listening to music. Just what has changed, and why?

I have always valued family very highly, probably above everything else. In the beginning, i felt that the Mister did not share this value. He was a young man, just getting started in the world. There were jobs to devote his life to, other men to impress with his business prowess, and money to be made. I often felt like an afterthought. I felt like that afterthought for many years. It didn’t feel very good.

(Caveat: these are my feelings, i make no claim as to the Mister’s feelings.)

After damn near dynamiting this family into oblivion, the Mister really does value me, and his family, his only family really. That feeling is what i have been seeking all along, someone who shares the value of a family with me, and understands that things need to be done to nurture this family. Now that i have that, i do not feel the need for hyper vigilance to protect my little corner of the world.

So it is much more likely to be me who is traipsing off into the world by myself on any given night, knowing that all will be well when i return.

Trust gives me freedom.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Long ago, in a galaxy far away...

I am working on a post, but i am having some trouble wrangling the words into submission, so i am stealing this meme from flutter, and from chani too for that matter.

It's about High School.

1. Who was your best friend? I didn’t have a best friend, except maybe in 10th grade when i met Michelle, who was a foster kid with these really religious people. We would go to their house every day after school, while they were still at work, and smoke dope and drool over that picture of Cat Stevens on Catch Bull at Four. (Hi Cat!) She moved away before the following year and i never saw her again.

2. What sports did you play? I was on the swim team junior year. The next year i was not because i did not have a way to get to the pool. It never occurred to me to ask my parents to help with the transportation.

3. What kind of car did you drive? Ha. Drive? Not.

4. It’s Friday night, where were you? What year is it? 10th, probably with Michelle. 11th, probably with my two friends who were seniors. 12th, probably off with my Explorer Scout troop. Yes, i joined the boy scouts the first year they admitted girls.

5. Were you a party animal? Ha. No.

6. Were you considered a flirt? Ha. No.

7. Were you in band, orchestra, or choir? No, no musical talent is possessed by me.

8. Were you a nerd? Not really. Just inept.

9. Did you get suspended/expelled? Me? No way.

10. Can you sing the fight song? If we had one i am unaware of it.

11. Who was your favorite teacher? Miss Fine. She was my English teacher, the one subject at which i was good. She took a shine to me and once said that if she ever had a daughter (unlikely, as she was about 40) she would want her to be just like me. Boy, did that feel good to this attention starved girl.

12. School mascot? A patriot. Yeah.

13. Did you go to Prom? Ha. No.

14. If you could go back and do it over, would you? Only if i were who i am now. Who i was then was very unsure of herself and spent lots of time looking at other girls and trying to figure out how i should be acting. But i was secretly repelled by the behavior i saw around me, so i was mostly just inert.

15. What do you remember most about graduation? I wore this really short dress, completely out of style, a nice blue green polyester print, that i had made myself.

16. Where were you on senior skip day? I don’t remember if there was one, i don’t think so.

17. Did you have a job your senior year? Nope.

18. Where did you go most often for lunch? The cafeteria.

19. Have you gained weight since then? Yes, about 30 pounds. I am a fine weight now, i was really skinny.

20. What did you do after graduation? I worked all that summer at a girl scout camp in McCall, Idaho for a grand total of $125. A wonderful, intensely emotional bonding experience. Here’s a funny story. My parents put me on an all night bus from Seattle to McCall, where i was picked up by one of the other camp employees in the morning. My parents had not asked me to call when i got there, and it had never occurred to me to do so. About 2 weeks later the camp director got a telegram (because my parents didn’t know the phone number of the camp) from my parents asking if i was there. I still have a copy of it. I’ll scan it for you. That telegram became part of the camp lore for that summer.

21. Who was your Senior prom date? See #13.

23. Are you going / did you go to your 10 year reunion? Wild Horses couldn’t drag me to my high school reunion.

24. Who was your home room teacher? If we had a homeroom, i don’t remember it.

25. Who will repost this after you? Are you asking me to predict the future? I am not that good.

Monday, July 09, 2007

In which i complain

1) This morning some pin-headed, shit-brained, low-life, scum sucking slime-infested, unfed burp of a human being washed his/her car and hosed the residue directly into the lake, causing a soapy streak to appear in the the water and this foamy crap to wash up on our beach. Dirt bag. Lame brain. Haven't these people heard of the environment?

The Mister had a place made to wash cars in back of our garage that is gravel covered so that any soap can filter through the gravel and the ground before the water reaches the lake. And then he further helps the environment by taking the cars to a car wash anyway. What a guy!

2) Why do women who are damned near 80 years old (hi mom) (no, my mom does not know about or read my blog) insist upon dying their hair jet black? It looks ridiculous and fools NO ONE. Do you hear me? No one!

3) You know those mag lite flashlights? The one that take 4 D cell batteries? And weigh about 20 pounds? The Mister dropped ours on his big toe yesterday. There was copious bleeding (and swearing for that matter) and i thought for a while that he might have broken his toe. His entire foot puffed up and turned purple. It's better today, thanks for asking.

4) So you are a large breasted woman, and you are wearing a bra that doesn't adequately hide the fact that you are cold. Please, for the love of all that is decent, make sure your headlights are both pointing in the same direction. The person i am referring to looked like she was cross-eyed, except a little lower. Yeeps!

Okay, all done now. :)

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Hiking yesterday

Fields of bear grass:

Bear grass looks like fireworks to me:

Yes, that's me, wearing my Mao hat:
Mount Rainier:

Ka BOOM. Can you see them starting to explode?

Wish you had been with us.

All photos by the Mister.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Driven to Distraction

A few of you have asked me how driver's ed is going for Em. And even if you didn't ask, i'm a gonna tell ya.

The first day of class a parent was required to go with her, (this is not your father's driver's ed!) so we could be all supportive of their techniques and shit. Since the Mister was in San Francisco, that parent was me.

We sat down in a small room heated by the breath of 20 hormone cases and their parents. A sign on the whiteboard read: Welcome to SWERVE. We're glad your here.

My little grammar nazi looks at the board and says, "i can't stand it."

"Well then, go fix it, but be aware that this will brand you as the class smart ass," i say. The man next to me starts laughing.

"I don't care. That's pathetic!" Em grabs a marker and goes up and fixes the message.

When she sits back down, the man who was laughing asks her, "Feel better now?"

"YES!" Em declares.

And so it began.

Thanks for asking.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

As an old memory

When i was 11, we lived in Virginia. My family belonged to a little community pool. I pretty much spent all summer at that pool. We would get up at 6 in the morning to go to swim team practice, and spend the rest of the day traipsing back and forth between the pool and home, only going home when driven there by hunger.

Pool trivia: This would have been in 1968 so the girls all had to wear bathing caps, without regard to the length of their hair, and the boys did not, without regard to the length of their hair. This was ridiculous, and pissed me off no end as i had short hair and my older brother had long hair. One of my mom's friends actually bought a bathing cap with hair on it as a protest, which we all thought was hysterical.

I always walked to the pool along this little back pathway that ran alongside the freeway greenbelt. All of us kids went that way, it was much shorter than taking the streets. In fact, i didn't even know how to get there on the streets.

I was walking along the path one day, carrying my beach towel with the lion on it, when i heard running feet coming up very quickly behind me. Before i could turn around, someone jumped on my back and knocked me down.

"Hey," i managed. "Shut up," a voice growled. And then just like that, leaving me face down on the ground, he ran off.

He must have been hiding in the woods in order to get to me that quickly.

I never told anyone, but i never walked that way alone again.

This memory, which i haven't thought about in years, woke me in a panic in the middle of the night last week. I somehow had managed not to think about what could have happened for all these years.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Blood IS thicker than water, my baby!

I happened to be at our local mall the other day with Em when i noticed a sign for a blood drive going on down at the other end of the mall. I give blood fairly regularly but Em has never donated. She has been with me before while i have donated and she has been eagerly awaiting turning 16, so that she could participate.

I told her about the blood drive and we walked down there together. I also told her that she could make her own decision and i told her about the whole process so she would know what she was getting into if she decided to go ahead with it.

She thought about it while i donated, and then bravely decided to go ahead. So off she went, chattering nervously with the technician. I felt pretty proud of her right then.
All went well until she actually had the needle in her arm, and then for some reason her blood kept clotting and so she couldn't manage to get out the required amount. They told her that she needed to drink more water or that maybe she had lots of platelets.

As we left the place she burst into tears because she was so disappointed. I found that to be very cute.