Saturday, October 31, 2009

Not Real Brains?

I went trick-or-treating tonite with my best friend and her boys. Terri was doing her makeup for her mummy costume, and even though I had decided not to dress up, when I watched her turning her already pale face even paler, I wanted to play too.

Zombies have been my secret shame as of late--I'm really digging the ravenous un-dead. I decided that being a zombie would be perfect because they're just regular people who are dead. And gross.

We deadened-up my pallor and blackened my eyes, but one thing was missing: blood. In a pinch, Terri found some old red, gel frosting in a little tube. It was perfect. I smeared it over my mouth and down my chin and decided I was done.

Marius was hiding in the living room and I decided to go show him my face. His eyes almost popped out of his head.

"What are you?"

"A zombie."

"Why do you have blood on your mouth?"

"Because I eat brains."


He continued to be fascinated and disturbed by my face throughout the night. He would look at me intensely and then gesture toward my mouth and say things like "freaky," or "you need to get rid of that right now."

"You really don't like this, do you?" I asked him.


"It's not real."

"Not real brains?"

"No," I couldn't help but laugh, "Not real brains."

He leaned close to me and whispered, "I'm not really spiderman, either."

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The first day of snow...

O, curse-ed day when snow first flies
O, dreaded sky my heart screams “why?!”
Your wet, white flakes fall down with scorn
Such a cruel welcome to a new day’s morn
I will try, but to no avail
To keep my cool, and not to wail
And, against your truth I will close my eyes
To hide my sorrow and drown my cries
As my boot-ed foot steps out with care
Into the (ugh!) squishy wet everywhere

Monday, October 26, 2009

You can take the blonde out of the hair, but you can't take the blonde out of the girl

I was getting ready to sink the orange ball in a corner pocket (I'm a real pool shark!) when Crishawn walked up and handed me my cell phone.

"You need to talk to Savannah," she said. "She can't find the car."

We were spending the weekend in Park City at Savannah's grandparent's condo to celebrate Crishawn's (Savannah's aunt) birthday. We had just finished the birthday feast and Savannah was heading down the canyon to take Shalamar home (her pesky pooch needed tending) and spend the night in her own bed for easier access to her 8am class at Weber in the morning.

Three things immediately went through my mind:

1-Savannah hasn't looked far enough up the road for the car

2-She accidentally parked in a towing zone and we got towed

3-Someone stole the car (but WHO would bother to steal THAT car?)

Savannah had parked on the street after driving back into the city (with her grandma) on the night of our arrival to rescue Crishawn from running out of gas. Since she had returned, we hadn't moved or even checked on our car, but we both swore that we had seen it that morning as we left to get lunch and take a drive to Sundance.

Cell phone pinned to my ear, I walked out into the crisp, fall night in my bare feet, quizzing Savannah as I went: "Did you lock the car?" "Maybe you parked it further up than you thought." "Did you park in front of a no parking sign?"

As I met her (and Shalamar and Abi schlepping all their bags and other weekend getaway detritus up and down the empty, dark, sharply inclined street) where we thought the car had last been seen, I just couldn't fathom what to do next. I felt strangely calm--and somewhat giddy.

Savannah looked at me pensively, pleading for mercy. We hiked our booties up that hill one more time.

I could not see my car.

I did not see a no parking or tow away sign.

I shrugged and sort of laughed, and kept saying, "I just don't know what to do."

There are times in life when, for no very good reason, your common sense takes leave of you. Hopefully, when that happens, someone else's common sense will charge to the front and take over. Savannah and I met Shal, Abi, and Grandpa Bob at the bottom of the hill. Grandpa Bob was the bearer of common sense.

He and I both discussed the possibilities, and reviewed mine & Savannah's trek up and down the hill. We both said over and over, "I just don't think anyone would steal that car--do you?"

We walked back to the front desk, and Bob asked for the number of the towing company that usually tows around there. As he waited on hold for either confirmation or denial of my car's towed status, I felt my mind drifting auto insurance policy floated by: "full coverage" it said. Even though I knew I would only get what my car is worth, I didn't think I could end up worse off. We had another car--Savannah's. We live right by a FrontRunner station. This wasn't so bad. In fact, having the car stolen would be better in the short-run than having to come up with the money to bail my car out of towing jail.

"You don't have it?" Bob's confident voice jolted me back to reality. "Okay, thanks. I'll try them." Three towing companies later (and one call to law enforcement) yielding no results, we decided to hop into Bob's car and take another look around--this time with the advantage of headlights.

We drove up the street that just minutes ago Savannah and I had scoured. Discouragingly, our earlier assessment was confirmed: the car was not there.

For the hell of it, we decided to drive down to the next street and look there. We hadn't even rounded the corner when those brilliant, BMW headlights landed on our crappy car. Cheers rang out amid several "Hallelujahs!" and at least one "Praise Jesus!"

Savannah had just forgotten on which street she had parked the car. She felt foolish. She was relieved and embarrassed and that led to copious tears. Later, when I called Jeff and Terri to share the excitement of the evening, Jeff (amid raucous laughter) immediately knew what I needed to tell Savannah to make her feel better: "You'll have to tell her about the time you and Terri wandered around five levels of the parking garage at Crossroads Mall for an hour-and-a-half looking for the car."

How quickly the mighty/haughty/gleefully entertained do fall!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Midlife Crisis?

Lately certain concerns have been expressed by my teenage daughters. Concerns that lead them to question whether I am having a "midlife crisis."

Their concerns include the following:
1. Nail Polish: I have been painting my nails in fashionable, trendy colors
like emerald green and midnight blue
2. Skinny Jeans: I have some skinny jeans and I wear them tucked into boots
3. General Teen Scrutiny: e.g. "What's up with your hair? And those boots? And those shorts?

There are a few times in the past ten years or so (sadly) where I have felt like I've been in some kind of pre-midlife crisis--mostly times when I felt compelled to uproot my career and pursue something more "fulfilling."

But painting my nails--and wearing jeans, boots, and shorts--doesn't feel like an outlet for middle-aged rebellion or lost-youth nostalgia.

I asked Terri what she thought. Thankfully, she affirmed my assessment--stating that my nails and jeans seemed "like me," not like some desperate facsimile of me trying to reclaim a piece of my past.

Upon reflection, I had to agree with her. I think that my kids have just started to notice me. As a person. Not just their mom. I think they are seeing me as a woman who has a sense of self-expression and style that they just never noticed before. I think part of them actually likes it, but another part is kind of freaked out.

I don't exactly remember the moment I realized my mom was an actual person--not just some idea of authority and security that constantly buzzed in the background of my life like white noise. But I know that the realization led me to view my mother with more generosity than I had previously. I hope that my kids' realization will lead them down the same path--that this initial judgement and recoiling will give birth to understanding and appreciation.

But maybe that's just wishful thinking. Or, knowing me, I might be skipping right past midlife crisis and jumping straight into dementia.