Thursday, December 30, 2010

A spoonful of sugar...

So many times...especially throughout the Holiday season...it is easy to think that our kids don't really 'get it.'

But then they casually toss us reminders that--yes--they do, indeed, 'get it.'

And they throw us a bone.

"Mom is so good at Christmas," Gabi said on Christmas morning. She proceeded to explain how she had sat in bed (from about 5:00am until about 8:00am--when Savannah agreed to get up) and pondered how that phenomenon had come to be. She came to the conclusion that during her (and her sister's) first few years on this planet she was less aware and; therefore, I was afforded time to "practice" and get the formula for providing an exceptional Christmas morning experience "down."

I was, obviously, moved by Gabi's recognition of the thought, effort, and heart that has gone into making every one of her 15 Christmases special. I needed the warmth of that memory two days later when she pouted and tried in every way she could contrive to torment me throughout our annual Nutcracker outing (which, by the way, they had BOTH asked for with much enthusiasm).

My girls do deserve 'props,' however, for indulging me in a Moving Out Movie Marathon on Savannah's last nite at home where they both sulked and fought and I ended up in the bathtub sobbing my mother-heart out at the end and the beginning that was happening whether or not I was ready for it.

Then, again, tonite, I texted Savannah for the second time to verify that her heart was still beating while it was in California with her boyfriend's family.

Rather than texting me back, she opted for calling. (Something I have a sneaking suspicion she may regret.) After we caught up on the minutiae of our days (and my dating life) I told her that she must call me later when she could speak freely about the beau's family.

To my delight, she concurred that she did -indeed- need to call me back when she could share with me the 411 on the boyfriend's family. It made my heart sing with delight to know that some things--whether flattering or not--can only be truly shared and understood with family.

I have surprised myself over the past year with my ability to let go and to accept the evolution of my daughters' burgeoning independence and maturity. And--in the spirit of Mary Poppins--those 'bones' so unexpectedly thrown my way from my beloved progeny, are the spoonfuls of sugar that make the medicine (of them growing up) go down...in a most delightful way!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Early Bird Special


Terri's birthday is on New Year's Eve. She called me tonite to let me know that she wants to stay in, have sushi and play games with the fam in our jammies.

"Unless you get a better offer," she added. Noting that she would TOTALLY understand if I wanted to go out instead.

Then she started thinking about if she would rather go out, but then details like babysitters, etc. started creeping in and she talked herself out of it as quickly as she (almost) talked herself into it.

"No!" I reassured her. "Sushi and games sounds perfect."

"But you go out," Terri insisted. "You like going out."

No I don't. Not really.

What I do is go for drinks after work. I like to "go out" between five and eight, when it's relatively quiet and I can enjoy every moment of my favorite bartender who I'm absolutely addicted to. We used to go out between nine and 11--and stay until they kicked us out. It instantly dawned on me that this is how people end up eating dinner at three in the afternoon.

"You seem to be right on schedule," Terri quipped as I shared my revelation with her. The only difference between me and those white-haired early bird diners is that I (apparently) drink more regularly than I eat. Some day I'll be drinking at three in the afternoon and then I'll forget about the early bird special and end up paying full price for my senior meal (if I don't pass out before the hunger registers).

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Scientology Camp

So a few weeks ago a colleague and I (we'll call her "J") were sent to a training for work. Now, I have traveled copiously for work over the years and this quickly became one of the most bizarre and memorable forays into the business travel realm.

First, I must explain that where we were sent was a former convent isolated on 100 private acres in the middle of somewhere near St. Louis, MO. We arrived there in the rain in the dark--driven by a man who texted the entire drive and then inexplicably darted across the road at the last moment (you know, when you see someone deciding and then they commit too late and pull in front of you and you have to slam on your brakes) in front of a rapidly-approaching car in order to enter the compound. And, I almost forgot, but when he met us at the airport he had no sign or other signal in place to alert us that he was our ride--in fact, J had to ask HIM if he was from the place. Confidence was high at that moment.

After miraculously arriving in one piece, we were greeted by a dark, abandoned building and a giant black man. (He was very tall.) We were escorted to our room where the lights failed to come on at the flick of the switch. We were advised that the bedside lamp should work. J fumbled in the dark for the lamp and we were rewarded by a warm glow revealing two of the tiniest beds I've ever seen--they were like toddler beds. We were sharing! Since my last sharing experience was with a brain-dead whore, I was less enthusiastic than my colleague. (Although J is in no way close to either brain-dead or whore. As she once quipped, "It's okay to act like a whore--but with only one guy!")

We put our bags down and rushed out to the dinner that they had "saved" for us. Dinner is only served between 6:00pm and 7:00pm, and since we arrived too late, they had to set some aside for us. We entered the cafeteria area and found some sad, shriveled pizza and a wilted salad bar waiting. We were starving and grateful for the meal, but as we swallowed our first bites we felt (and heard) our tummys start to recoil. This would become our post-eating ritual for the duration--gurgling and bubbling abounded.

While we ate, we had whispered dinner conversation. To emphasize the point, let me just say that basically EVERYTHING about me was too loud for that place. We were given forms to fill out and then told to meet the big guy at the front desk. When the forms asked for our home addresses and phone numbers we balked. I put my former address, and since the post office has messed up my forwarding order twice, I figured I was safe.

After turning in our papers we were given a sort of scavenger hunt and told to wander the building and grounds to identify all of the items on the list. Before setting out on our grand adventure, we stopped by our room and discovered that it only locked from the outside. We had a key, but the keyhole was on the outside of the door. We could not lock it from the inside. This freaked us out. Rooming together was looking much better at this point. When I mentioned this to Gabi on the phone she said to push a chair under the door, and Terri's advice was to call a cab, go into the city and get a hotel room.

J and I began our scavenger hunt for (hold your breath!) the linen room, the laundry room, the ironing room, the lounge, and then it got much more convoluted. We entered various rooms and were instructed to notice five things. We were sent to the different first, second and third floors. As things progressed I kept thinking we'd found where they would kill us and hide the bodies, but then we would end up somewhere much better suited to killing and hiding--and it went on.

In the morning, after I had kept J up all night between my horrid coughing and subsequent snoring, we partook of breakfast (served promptly between 8:00am and 9:00am only) and met the big guy to begin our training. An interesting fact: all the people who work at this place also live on-site. They also (nice as they were) seemed like members of some special work-release program for either a rehab or insane asylum. The best of the bunch was the big guy and he remains our favorite.

"This is in no way associated with Scientology," were the opening words of our orientation. Big guy continued to take us through the life and discoveries of L. Ron Hubbard (the creator of the training we were about to endure) and then ended with rousing testimonials by both John Travolta and Tom Cruise. I just think if you're going to try to avoid association with Scientology, you might want to consider getting different spokespeople.

The next eight hours were spent sitting up as straight as possible, smiling, looking alert and moving through various exercises that seemed designed for, well, people somewhat more "special" than we considered ourselves to be. We had to use random objects to demonstrate how we walked from one room to the next (J graciously saved me from this exercise--she was much better at it than I). We had to define words like "symbol" and then look them up in the dictionary if we took more than one second to answer. Once we defined the word, we had to use it properly in a sentence.

And my favorite--We had to use clay to make a model of "someone thinking about someone drinking a cup of tea." We sat down at the clay table and J immediately set to work making a perfect model of a shapely someone thinking about a slightly smaller, but otherwise identical someone else drinking a cup of tea. I am somewhat intimidated by activities like these--especially when alongside an undiscovered Michelangelo. I did the most logical thing: made a stick figure man thinking about another stick figure drinking tea. However, when reviewed by the work-release instructor, I was told that mine was wrong. It wasn't three-dimensional. My natural instinct was to point out that nowhere in the instructions did it mention the dimensions that were required. However--J and I had made a pact--we would NOT rock the boat. We would follow all instructions mildly, obediently, and in all other ways against our natural rebel natures. (We are both quite outspoken and willing to share our views and, therefore, our colleagues who had gone to the convent before us were taking bets on who would get kicked out first. We were determined to prove them wrong!) Even as the words left my mouth, I started destroying my lovely two-dimensional stick figures and got with the program.

Well, to make a long story slightly less long, we survived and finished a three day program in around 10 hours. We were, much to everyone's surprise, told that we were the best group they'd had out there from our company--AND we should have been in a more advanced class. Yup. That's right. The two wild card trouble makers showed everyone else up. Hey--that's what happens when you add highly competitive and wanting to be the best at everything to the mix. (Not mention a fear of Stockholm syndrome setting in and losing our identities forever!) After being handed our certificates of completion, and handing them back to our instructor so he could hand them back to us in front of the rest of the inmates who work there, we risked life and limb by getting back in the van and racing to the airport to try to get on an earlier flight.

Saturday afternoon (we got home Friday), after returning from the doctor with a diagnosis of sinus infection and strep throat, I received a text from J: "Are you as glad to be home as I am?" I sat there coughing, with a fever, on 2000mg of antibiotics and prescription cough medicine and thought, "Yes. Yes I am."

Friday, November 12, 2010

Is it still Halloween?


"I'm Italian. We don't have that gene that tells us when enough is enough. I grew up in a house with a chandelier in every room."

This is what a friend said to me at work the other day.

The comment was in response to the appearance of another beloved colleague who had walked into the office OD'd on zebra-print*.

*Identifying fashion crimes have been changed to protect the not-so-innocent.
Colleague #1 (let's call her Tracy) has a person who steps in and lets her know when to say no. For example, if Tracy wants to wear leopard-print shoes with a leopard-print belt, bag and sweater, her guardian fashion angel will step in and say, "No!"

Unfortunately, Colleague #2 has no such friend. But her clothes to seem to make her happy and I think that is probably the greater good--fashion police be damned!

After Tracy's comment, I couldn't stop thinking about the problem of fashion binging that curses so many. I wanted to help, so I came up with some terminology that I thought could potentially help others keep themselves on the right side of the proverbial fashion line (or keep the black "Glamour Magazine" DON'T bar from across their eyes).

I walked into Tracy's office and said, "I think I have something that might help you when you're tempted to go overboard.

"Think of the term 'statement piece.' A statement piece is something that makes a big splash on it's own: animal prints, red, etc. One piece--shoes, a hat, a scarf--is enough. One piece," I emphasized, "is a statement piece. Head-to-toe is a Halloween costume."

We laughed. Hard. And I like to think that I may have struck upon something that will help others who are also missing certain fashion genes.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Sick and Tired

Those are my excuses for my absence.

I have been sick

and,

therefore,

tired.

BUT--in a quick decorating update, the neighbors have added a rectangular sort of plaque to the door--above the oblong, belly-level, fall-themed welcome sign--that has a thanksgiving-looking pumpkin on it and says, "Dear Great Pumpkin" in a kind of handwriting style font.

I noticed it on Monday.

Last nite it was face-down in the entryway, having fallen when they closed their door. I picked it up and propped it next to the door so they would find it.

This morning it was absent.

Tonite when I got home it was back on the door--although hanging quite askew.

First of all--"Great Pumpkin?!?!" That is a HALLOWEEN thing (not to mention a Charlie Brown thing!)...someone got their signals crossed.

I want to (and have tried) to take a picture of their door to share, but I am held back by two things:

1: I feel like it might be some kind of security/privacy breach to photograph
and post pictures of my neighbor's front door for the world to see

2: I'm irrationally paranoid that they will see me taking pictures of their
door through the eyehole (is there a more official name for that?) in their door

Bottom line: I'm a chicken.

Anyhoo...Teen Wars will be coming soon to a blog near you!

Ciao!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Aggressive Decorating


This blog is dedicated to Terri, who told me that I had to keep my momentum and go home and write this down...thanks for your undying support you bossy control-freak! Loves!

So, one day last month I came home and noticed cute, purple bat lights hanging across my neighbors' patio, and an array of festive window-clings adorning both their sliding glass doors and the kitchen window that faces my parking space.

Walking down the stairs to the landing we share between our front doors, I saw a Trick-or-Treat doormat, a fall-themed welcome sign hanging in the belly of their door (you know--not up high enough, more like it's hanging around the belly button of the door) and two pumpkins: one white, one orange.

The next day when I walked down my stairs I saw that the white pumpkin was now the head of a little iron skeleton that was standing proudly in front of their door with the orange pumpkin at its feet. (The iron skeleton w/ pumpkin head is super-awesome and I would steal it but they might know I did it when it's out in front of my door...)

A couple days later I noticed that their patio bats were now accompanied by three lawn stakes with Halloween emblems on them. A few days after that I spied a wind-spinner-type Halloween ornament staked in the lawn next to the three other lawn stakes. The front door also had a new sign hanging above the belly-level one. It was tin and said something like Dan's Demon Disco and featured skeletons boogie-ing the night away.

I was starting to be amazed at the ever-growing decor--but they weren't finished yet.

Next there was yellow caution tape in a giant "X" across the patio (under the previously-mentioned bats and behind the lawn stakes). The door also boasted yellow caution tape--and a little crafty, wooden, painted "BOO" dangling from a nail at the left top corner of the front door.

This continued day after day--now the white pumpkin had a scary face drawn on it, next a sparkly, lighted Frankenstein was frolicking with the lawn stakes, eventually three jack-o-lanterns appeared next to Frankenstein.

It was relentless!

After Halloween passed this weekend, I was curious to see what would happen next door. Sure enough, on Monday the welcome mat, skeleton pumpkin head, Dan's Demon Disco and "BOO" were replaced with an empty space where the Trick-or-Treat welcome mat had been, the lone belly-button fall sign and...wait for it...a little, tin turkey standing in the skeleton's place--holding a banner that proclaims, 'Thanksgiving Blessings.'

The purple bats were gone. There was no caution tape in sight--and the jack-o-lanterns now stood alone.

Tonite (just to keep me interested, I'm sure) there was a miniature pumpkin sitting proudly next to the tin turkey.

There are things I admire about my neighbors' overly enthusiastic holiday decorating. There are also parts of me that fear people with such little self-restraint.

"Maybe they have a lot of holiday spirit," my work colleague said.

"They have a lot of something," I replied, "And it's not taste."

Terri finds them entertaining and (sadly) quite admirable. When I throw out my jack-o-lanterns (any day now!) and trade out my spider-web doormat for my fall-colored (but mostly regular) doormat, my door will look exactly the way it did BEFORE Halloween--with my fall-colored berry wreath (that, regrettably, is in its death throes) and fall-colored rug.

I won't be switching it up again until Christmas.

Wait...Christmas! Can you imagine?!? How crazy might these people get if they have items to add daily for a non-decorative holiday like Thanksgiving?

I am equal parts terror and anticipation--both so strong that I may pee my pants. What if I try to go toe-to-toe with them? If I get all Betty Lou Who on their ass, will they respond in kind? Could we have a Christmas decorating showdown? If I get crazier and crazier will they go totally off the grid and reach new heights of condo Christmas spirit?

Part of me is planning to diabolically make this happen.

Another part yearns to be tasteful. A very tiny part. Terri is sure to hold that part back. I wonder, in the end, which part will be victorious...

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A few of my favorite things...


Here are some things that I have been just GUSHING about lately (& threatening to blog about) and, to give us all a reprieve from the dating dialogue, here you are:

1) Falsies: It's a new mascara from Maybelline--I'm sure if you haven't already noticed it, you will soon start seeing the commercial for it non-stop. It;s in an obnoxiously large and purple tube, but it ROCKS! I totally LOVE it! I've been trying a lot of different mascaras over the past few months & this is the first one I've purchased AGAIN. It goes on very wet, but as long as you can be a tiny (and I mean super-tiny, it IS me we're talking about!) bit patient, you will have no smudging & I've also had no flaking...AND it washes off easily with my all-in-one cleanser (yay! no extra eye makeup remover step needed!). (BTW--not gonna double-check the punctuation situation back there, but pretty sure that's a hot mess!)

2) Schick Quattro For Women: I have to admit that I am slightly ashamed that I love this so much! I absolutely HATED the commercials (with the women walking by the bushes and the bushes magically transforming into trimmed triangles or rectangles, etc.) but I decided to try it and it's AWESOME! So much easier, cheaper and less painful than a bikini wax (or so I hear!). The only thing I've had a problem with is the holder that's supposed to suction-cup to the shower. I don't know if it's me or my shower, but mine has fallen down, like a MILLION times. It's embarrassing. I was determined to win this battle, but after about an hour and at least fifteen crashes, I had to give it up. The Schick is now happily resting on the edge of the tub right next to a lovely bottle of Skintastic shaving creme. You can't win 'em all!

3) Wasatch Pumpkin Seasonal Ale: Every fall I look forward to trying out the seasonal pumpkin ales. Every fall I am disappointed in the lack of spice and all-around pumpkin yumminess in the brew. Not this time. This beer is Halloween and Thanksgiving and pumpkin pie and changing leaves and the special, fall crispness in the air all rolled into one fabulously brewed libation--drink up!

4) Betsey Johnson Tights: I had the incredible luck of finding Betsey Johnson hosiery at Ross the other day. Not only is one pair fabulously purple, but the other is a black argyle. And the best part of all is that they feel super comfortable! Not too tight. Not at all saggy. Not stretched out and unwearable after just one wear. They amazingly snap right back into shape. I HEART THESE TIGHTS!!! And for $5.99 for two pair--could it get any better?

5) Cougar Town on ABC (Wednesday nites!): So, Shal's daughter blurted out during one recent episode, "This show reminds me of Becky!" It involves a single mom whose kid just went to college, who thinks what would make everything better is wine, and who is engaged in the treacherous practice of grown-up dating. I laugh out loud every time I am able to catch an episode (and I often--much to my dismay--find the subject matter eerily familiar).

6) Sherlock (on PBS-see pic): If you have missed the first two episodes you need to find a way to catch up! I have, for decades, adored all things Sherlock Holmes. This new series, set in contemporary London, combines the quirky genius of my favorite PBS Holmes (Jeremy Brett) and the inspired film interpretation of Guy Ritchie and Robert Downey, Jr. Sherlock is played to perfection by (the most aptly named Brit--EVER) Benedict Cumberbatch and Watson as a post-Afghanistan military doctor is Holmes' perfect counter-balance. You have one more chance to catch the last of the first three installments this Sunday on Masterpiece Mystery! on PBS at 8pm. If you love the intrepid detective you HAVE to check it out!

Well, that's it for this round of 'A Few of my Favorite Things.' Hope you find something here to love as much as I do!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Dating Taco Bell

I have a friend who likes to say "you have to stop dating Taco Bell..." Not to me, necessarily, but in regard to the dating habits of many whom she observes.

I mentioned this to Jeffrey today and he commented on how Taco Bell only has five ingredients, but they keep finding ways to rearrange them so that they seem different and new.

"You keep hoping for something mind-blowing but always end up with a tiny package of something mild," he quipped.

If you don't look too closely, it seems like you're scarfing down something entirely different. You can even go out of your way to order something you've never tried before, and not until you've swallowed that last bite will you notice that it tasted amazingly familiar.

I've been thinking about the Taco Bell theory lately--and whether I'm stuck in the drive-thru. Or (even worse) whether I'm Taco Bell.

Actually, I think I do have a fast food attitude toward dating. I like convenience. I resist investing too much. I get tired of cheeseburgers and look forward to changing it up with a fillet o fish or beef baja gordita. And, at times, I know putting in my order is going to be bad for me.

Part of me wants to blame it on the current dating climate: online dating is eerily similar to ordering off the menu. The classic American problem of too many choices makes deciding what you want--and then sticking with your decision--more difficult than perhaps it needs to be.

O, for the days of arranged marriage! Or settling down with the neighbor boy down the road because he's basically the only person of the opposite sex that is within a 50-mile radius.

I think dating Taco Bell comes from laziness, convenience and that old standby--a desire to stay in your comfort zone. There's also the possibility that you don't know the difference. You've never been to the Red Iguana, let alone La Caille. In that case, you have no way of knowing why you keep getting the same intestinal payback every time you eat out.

Or--if you have sampled finer fare--you feel like it's better than you, so you never go back.

Another aspect that my friend is alluding to when she offers her sage advice, is recognizing that you usually aren't a Taco Bell person, but you've gotten stuck there. The question is, why? When will you notice and snap out of it?

AND--are other people the only ones who recognize it?

It's usually so easy to see that someone else is with a person who just doesn't seem like a good match. There are the superficial things: looks, height, weight, income, education, what car they own, etc.

Those are usually where the Taco Bell assessment takes place.

But there are also those secret ingredients that are much more difficult to detect: emotional intelligence and maturity, communication styles, family history, belief structure. You can be hitting the drive-thru for those things too.

Thinking back on my dating history since my divorce, I think that I have bounced around a little bit. The first relationship I had was with a man who seemed, on nearly every level, to be the complete opposite (and a whole hell of a lot of steps up on the food chain) from my ex-husband.

Wrong.

Yes, he had a job and was able to keep it. He paid his bills and owned a house. He acted like a grown up. But he was still an emotionally crippled liar with addiction issues. That--along with a pronounced pompous asshole gene--seems to be my favorite thing to order.

My last real relationship was solidly NOT Taco Bell. He was a lot like Mary Poppins, in fact: practically perfect in every way. But this restaurant was bland--like putting ketchup on your burrito and thinking it's hot sauce. He couldn't tell the difference. I could.

Part of me is afraid that I can't really be satisfied with anything other than my local Taco Bell. Maybe that's what happens. We become junkies and our tastebuds can't be satisfied by other, more healthy (more attractive and even more expensive), flavors.

Right now I'm not sure what drive thru I'm idling my engine in...but I'm certainly keeping my senses tuned for whiffs of that old, familiar bean and cheese burrito (with sour cream, of course!).

Monday, November 1, 2010

Back in the pool...

...the dating pool, that is.

I don't know if it's some special brand of masochism or the more unlikely possibility that I have some endless wellspring of hope, but I just can't seem to stay out of the dating game.

This time I went back to Match.com--where I have had the most luck in the past. I'd like to say that I didn't resort to online dating, but after trying to do it the old-fashioned way for nearly two years with no results, I don't know what the viable alternative is.

The great thing about Match.com is that I always get a lot of action right away--AND you get to browse the merchandise without them shoving the dudes THEY think you SHOULD like down your virtual throat.

I've been on for about six weeks, have met four guys, have seen two of them more than once, and one of them more than twice. I am proud to say that I've broadened my horizons and met both a short (same height as me) guy and a dude with a big truck. The short guy was a no-go, but the truck (much to my surprise) is holding his own.

However, I seem to have clung to other old habits--like prematurely stating my complete lack of expectation that this relationship will turn into anything earth-shattering. I don't know why, but I've been told that not only is that ridiculous, but also kind of defeats the whole purpose behind dating in the first place.

I don't know where my reluctance to fully participate comes from, but it is finely honed and quite deeply rooted. Obviously I must, on some level, want a long-lasting, life-sharing "relationship," but I don't regularly, or on a conscious level, recognize or nurture that desire.

I think part of the problem is that I don't feel like I have a missing piece that I'm trying to find. I don't feel like peanut butter without jelly or pepper without salt or unicorns without glitter. I feel mostly just fine--and horribly comfortable and set in my ways. I love being home alone. I love coming home from work and putting on my jammies and rubbing my eyes until I look more like a raccoon than a girl and not caring because no one is going to see me. I love having the bed all to myself. I love being selfish (well, as selfish as a mom can be).

But I guess I don't love it enough to not sometimes hanker for those benefits (and burdens) of engaging in a relationship.

So, much to all of our dismay, here I am again. I just hope it's at least entertaining!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

10 Things I Hate About Miley Cyrus


DISCLAIMER: This post originally appeared on my Wasatch Woman magazine blog in April 2009, but the subject came up again the other day, and I felt it was time to re-visit this ever-so-entertaining topic! Keep in mind that a few of the points below may be outdated, but have no fear that an update is sure to follow soon! Feel free to share the reasons you hate Miley Cyrus & they just may be featured on a future post! Enjoy!

So this may be a totally self-indulgent bottom of the barrel type of entry, but with the impending release of the Hannah Montana Movie (didn't we already have one of those?) I can no longer bite my tongue.

1. The Hannah Montana Movie: Not only has there already been a movie (oh right, that was a movie-fied CONCERT) in theatres last year, but every other commercial on EVERY channel is for this cloyingly desperate attempt at a meaningful, coming-of-age, self-discovery movie about a Disney-made, no-talent, completely not normal teen.

2. Her "voice:" I don't know about most "tween-age" kids out there, but I just don't think this girl can sing--yell and prance around, DEFINITELY--sing? Not so much!

3. Her accent: To me she just sounds like a backwoods hick. I don't find it endearing--or even bearable.

4. It's Still A Felony! To steal one of the funniest lines ever to come out of The Soup, her relationship with a MAN over 20 whom her parents allow to LIVE IN THEIR HOUSE is disgusting. This is America's Sweetheart? I don't think so...and by the way, it IS still a felony!

5. Her memoir: Are you kidding me? This chica just barely turned 16--what does she have to memoir about? I condemn her, the publisher, and anyone who is misled enough to actually buy this book and further contribute to the cult of Miley, which is already more powerful than ten powerful things.

6. Her TV show: Since it's appearance on the Disney Channel, I have disliked Hannah Montana. I wanted to give it a try; after all my kids liked it and I wanted to root for Billy Ray (I mean, I was around for the original mullet!). HOWEVER, I found her insipid and annoying from the beginning. What I do grudgingly admire is Billy Ray's business acumen and ability to pad a fat bank account on the back of his daughter.

7. Her charity work: Oh that's right--I don't know of any! Of all the young starlets out there making bank and living the high life, she is the one most noticably devoid of any charitable or philanthropic cause. Demi Lavatto and Selena Gomez are well-known for the causes they are passionate about. Even if Miley has done something good for the world--with all the press she gets, I shouldn't have to dig for it.

8. The wig: Nuff said!

9. Her mouth: I'm not sure if it's the lips or the teeth or just the way she smiles, but her mouth makes me cringe.

10. She makes me fear that Disney may really be evil: The fact that such a powerful force 100% created by the Disney company can be unleashed on the world with little to no positive impact or image for young girls scares me to death. No, she's not Lindsay Lohan, but she's not sweetness and light either. Her YouTube and MySpace postings, her statutory rape relationship that her parents approve of, her lack of communty and world-wide involvement...these are not the makings of a feel-good Disney classic. Sorry.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Not so orange crush

I am totally crushing on a bartender.

I know.

That sounds totally obvious.

I mean--ME--swooning over the one who serves me lovely spiritous libations...it's SUCH a stretch.

But it's more than that.

He's a totally CUTE guy with awesome biceps and pecs who serves me lovely spiritous libations.

And he serves them with a smile. And a little conversation...or a little MORE conversation--at least tonite.

I find myself wondering about the meaning of this comment or that look--I feel like I'm in 7th grade!

I know it's silly and most likely futile.

But it's fun and it make me smile.

That's worth something, right?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

F'n what?


Effen vodka? Damn straight! That's exactly what you need when your child becomes a legal adult...the blog is forthcoming--savannah's 18, my baby (gabi) is in high school--my mind and heart are processing it all constantly but i'm afraid to stand still in it long enough to solidify it in words...right now I'll just let it keep falling like a soft rain...

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Safe and Sound


Savannah is successfully moved in to her dorm room. I feel proud and grateful and incredulous and sad and happy and excited and scared and ever so slightly old.

She is awesome. I am awed. We made it to this sort of finish/start line and we made it there spectacularly. There's a bit of relief at having gotten this far with so much good and blessing and love. The rest will take more faith than I've ever had--I have to let it all go. I'm not in charge anymore. (If I ever really was.)

Gabi is staying at her dad's tonite.

I am settling into the alone. I know that the future will bring more.

I will text my girls goodnite and loves and we will all tuck ourselves in under the same starry sky.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

eat pray...nevermind

I am reading eat pray love and I have mixed emotions about it. Most honestly (and shamefully) I resent people like Elizabeth Gilbert and Julie from Julie and Julia and a thousand others who have turned their thoughts and drivel--that, while well written, is mostly unexceptional (as is mine)--into a published book.

I read their words and recognize something I could do. They are not really more talented or better at transforming their daily internal detritus into language than I am.

But I think I have come upon a defining difference: they have hit a crisis of identity and confidence that has demolished them. They have had to, for lack of a better word, fabricate an imperative--an impetus--a justification--for their incessant, self-indulgent inner monologue that they must spill out onto paper (or, in this digital age, a computer screen).

DISCLAIMER: This whole theory could just be an extravagant line of defense (and comfort) created by my seemingly over-developed sense of identity and confidence to distract myself from the fact that I just haven't wanted it enough to completely devote myself to one imperative that will result in a book deal.

I feel, most of time, quite content and engaged in my life. I enjoy living it--having a glass of wine on my patio by candlelight; taking myself out to dinner; reading, reading, reading; soaking in the tub; laughing with my friends; laughing with my daughters; watching my girlies become themselves quite spectacularly.

So, whether my underlying reason for not writing Julie and Julia or eat pray love is really a sort of contentment combined with an undeniable imperative to provide a certain life and presence for my children or an inflated and quite eloquently devised self-delusion barely masking a paralyzing fear and doubt, I somehow know that my self-indulgent memoirist tome will not be fully realized or penned until I have (for lack of a better word) nothing better to do.

I find it quite amazing that I truly feel that there is nothing better that I can do right now then exactly what I am doing. And, if Erma Bombeck could use little more than being a woman, wife and mother as fuel for her rapier wit and gift for storytelling, then that is all the reassurance I need.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Names

I keep finding names that fascinate me. Names that I can't stop thinking of. Names, that if I were to ever have another child, I would want to bestow upon them. Names, that quite simply, I am in love with.

When I was pregnant with Savannah, her name was one of the most difficult things to determine. Later, when Savannah was still a babe in arms, I discovered the first name I was completely and undeniably certain of--and knew that if I had another child, her name would be Gabrielle Kathleen.

In writing I have never been able to name my characters. In fiction I write endlessly about un-named people who, after a very short while, become quite cumbersome to keep track of without proper names.

This (and other, less easily identifiable reasons) is one thing that keeps me in the realm of journalistic and memoir-style writing. I don't have the burden of giving anyone a name. Their parents already did that for me.

The name, to me, feels like a heavy responsibility with many consequences. My strong resistance to naming characters comes from a fear of limiting them--restricting them to someone's idea of what a person with that name is like.

But, as I continue to encounter and collide with names that start to haunt me-- showing up in fitful dreams or becoming daydream companions--I think that, perhaps, these names are a gift. A map, if you will, to the people whose stories I may need to tell.

As my daughters continue to grow and the time that they need me as a daily guide grows ever shorter, perhaps these names are the children who will help fill the void. Ease the pain. Stave off the hole left in the inevitable empty nest. Perhaps, after all, I can write fiction. And these wonderful, delightful, daunting names will lead me there.

Perhaps.

Monday, July 19, 2010

re·union

Pronunciation: \(ˌ)rē-ˈyün-yən\
Function: noun
Date: 1610

(Merriam Webster)
1 : an act of reuniting : the state of being reunited
2 : a reuniting of persons after separation

(urbandictionary.com)
a collection of "intellects" gathering over forgotten aspirations that have been transpired by bleak realities...


Other definitions that come to mind at the mention of the word "reunion" include references to torture, masochism, humiliation, fear and (gasp!) cash bar.

For me, it was mostly about curiosity. Even though high school provided me with some lifelong friends, fun memories and great experiences on the school paper (what a nerd!), I tend to think of my life actually starting after high school. I'm sure that this is not unique, but it does take some of the dread out of the inevitable class reunion.

After attending my 20th high school reunion this weekend, my post-reunion hangover is a combination of sore thigh and calf muscles (dance-related), sleep deprivation (again, dance-related--with a dash of drink) and residual delight at how awesome Bonneville High School Class of '90 turned out to be.

While I was a constant presence in high school due to my aspiring journalist ways, I was not one of the popular kids, per se. I was weird. Eccentric. Scrawny. And--as pointed out this weekend--"REALLY a waver."

The coolest thing about the reunion was that none of that seemed to matter. No one put anyone into the box they belonged in 20 years ago. Other than lots of "what are you wearing tonite?" and an impromptu trip to the mall with Kellie and Becky (excuse me, Rebecca) Huntington, it didn't feel very "high school" at all. When Kellie picked me up (as she had so many times before) and we said goodbye to my mom, it felt very deja vu--but having no curfew (and knowingly planning to come home a little inebriated) instantly brought me back to the present.

Everyone, to me, seemed more open-minded, accepting and diverse than I remembered--including me. Growing up non-Mormon in Idaho Falls was neither typical nor easy--and my non-Mormon status is one of the biggest things I identify with my childhood and teenage years. No matter how hard we all tried, it was just one of those things that was always present--and I think that our parents (both LDS and non) were often afraid of us "contaminating" one another and that added to the strange separation that existed.

Showing up 20 years later as a divorced, self-proclaimed wino who swears like a sailor could have been something that would make reuniting awkward--especially with the good friends I had who were and still are faithful "members." But it wasn't. They were just as cool and fun to hang with as those with whom I shared a drink (or three).

We all shook our groove thang on the dance floor. We all hugged and took pictures. We all laughed at the silly prizes (Cradle-Robber was my fave) and '80's nostalgia served up by the dutiful and very brave organizers of the whole weekend.

So, as I hobble (that dancing kicked my ass!) off to soak in the tub and enjoy a glass of vino, it is with fond memories of my classmates and unrestrained enthusiasm for the next time we all get together.

BHS Class of '90--here's to you!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Fireworks

On my way home from Terri's tonite I saw brilliant explosions of color and light through my windshield and in my rearview mirror. I was surrounded by fireworks. And it was awesome.

It got me thinking about how many bright, scary, fun and always surprising explosions happen in our lives all the time.

Savannah graduating from high school.

Gabi's irresistable snicker at an "adult" joke she just shouldn't get.

A puppy nuzzling my neck.

Seeing Bachelor #2 drive by me smiling and waving in the Kaysville 4th of July Parade this morning.

A bevy of young, 20-something guys vying for my affections.

Terri's mom having emergency exploratory surgery to find the source of internal bleeding after a "routine" operation yesterday.

The surge of support and love triggered by a text message prayer chain.

Every day we have many "fireworks" moments. Moments that cannot be ignored. That call us to full attention--whether in awe, in excitement, in happiness, in fear, in gratitude, in anger, in sorrow or in laughter.

The form and delivery of these everyday explosions are varied and often unexpected, but what can be relied upon is that they will happen. It can be that touch on your hand that still feels thrilling after years of marriage or that accidental glimpse of your child being completely themselves when they think no one is looking.

It can be an inexplicable feeling of calm in the middle of a furious emotional storm that you fear may overtake you. Or the simple joy of breathing in the air after a rainstorm.

Some days we are searching for miracles and others they just show up, out of the night sky, in our rearview mirror.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

A page from my secret, fantasy life

Why I should have been a rock star:

With the right hair, makeup, wardrobe, lighting, wind machine and highly-skilled (and patient)photographer (oh hell, let's throw in a couple martinis for good measure) I could look damn good on the cover of an album.

I have been rated a "Hit Artist" repeatedly on Sing Star.

I'd have the perfect excuse to develop a seedy addiction, destroy my life and go on Celebrity Rehab where I would finally meet the dreamy Dr. Drew!

After Celebrity Rehab I could write an inspirational tell-all cautionary tale that puts me on the NY Times Bestseller List and gets me invited to be on shows like Oprah and Ellen (although I would totally pick Ellen--I want her and Portia to adopt me, but that's a different fantasy).

Back in the day, I could totally rock both leather and vinyl pants.

Friday, June 18, 2010

eHarmony disHarmony

So I'm expired with eHarmony.

My favorite Bachelor #2 is MIA.

A hopeful Bachelor #3, whom I nicknamed the Urban Redneck, has devotedly texted me for more than a month of mornings with increasingly "ewww" messages (e.g. Have a SUPERlicious day!) that are very sweet, but just not my flavor.

After too much life and too much work and too many reschedules of our first "let's get drinks" (all but one my fault) arrangements, I decided I had to cut him loose. I know he's not right for me (I present: SUPERlicious, gages in his ears, and a midlife infatuation with tats) and while I'm trying to be open-minded, I know that meeting in person will not turn this into a blissfully happy eHarmony commercial.

But, sometimes, the idea that I will be on my own into the foreseeable future makes me embarrassingly, unforgivably and inexcusably sad. I don't have a crazy dream of a Prince Charming and "happily every after," but there are moments when I feel undeniably alone.

I am not lonely, but I have (shockingly) a lot to say (and most of it I think it pretty damn funny and/or insightful), and a lot that I want to share and when I have only a glass of wine and a bathtub to share it with, I sometimes get the strange feeling that something is missing.

I have tried to be very stoic and strong (at least on the surface) in the face of Savannah's graduation and inevitable move out on her own. I know that those closest to me don't think I've been as "together" as I feel I've been, but the fact that I didn't totally break down at her graduation was a huge triumph for me.

Yesterday, however, when I dropped her of at the University of Utah for her overnight orientation (where she will test-drive the dorms, etc.) I totally lost it.

She didn't know because I had my giant movie-star sunglasses on, but I had to take a detour back to work because I didn't want anyone to be able to tell that I had been crying. Like a baby.

As I write this on the couch, in candlelight, with Keeping Up With the Kardashians on the TV (and the random tear rolling down my cheek), I can't help but wonder if part of my pathetic emotional state is the prospect of night after night (year after year) of being right here. Alone. Typing my ramblings to a few interested souls.

What sucks the most is that I don't think I need a man, a "nother," a partner, etc. to be complete. I don't really feel that I need more than my wonderful (if infuriating) girls, my awesome friends, my family and the gifts of life and beauty and love that I have and experience every single day. So, when I feel these weird waves of...I don't know, nostalgia or acceptance or whatever...that plays my future out mostly by myself and it leaves me sad, I feel defeated and frustrated.

So, in summary, eHarmony is over. I did meet someone that I was interested in exploring more with. It didn't pan out. I found no one else that really offered what I might be looking for. I don't feel a compulsive need to be in a relationship with someone...but sometimes I do feel acutely on my own.

I guess life continues. I am open to dating, but I don't feel like seeking it out--especially via modern dating venues (i.e. online dating). I am focusing on getting the last boxes unpacked; on getting my elder daughter settled in her dorm for her first year away from home; and getting my younger daughter through summer school and graduated from high school (on time in three years).

Unfortunately, this concludes my eHarmony posts. But--I do hope to be dating in the near-ish future, and will be happy to share my exploits. In the meantime, please send all those eligible bachelors you know my way!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Doing Time

Today I spent 11 hours in a tiny room with two other women, three laptops, four cell phones and wall after wall of "artfully" cluttered "decor"--being choked by aromatherapy diffusers and smothered by relentless piano music.

It was around hour nine that we really started to lose it. The mean started coming out and we couldn't be pleased by anyone or anything except our own, caustically witty banter (filled with plenty of bile and disdain for our captors).

Under the best of circumstances, an accreditation visit is painful. Today it was damn near suicidal (or should it be homicidal?).

"I'm just a resource," is the mantra of our fearless leader. A natural resource--and no one's looking out for our conservation. We, like fossil fuels, will one day run out (screaming).

Today was the latest incident of abuse in a long line of "domestic" situations between campus and corporate. Corporate, unexpectedly, being the victim--and we just keep coming back for more.

There was a sign lying on a filing cabinet that stated: "If your name is on this list you have an unresolved problem." We decided to use that statement to frame the idiocy of those around us. The list of "unresolved problems" we could identify is far too long to even start on here.

The degree of masochism reached an intolerable level as the tedious tinkling of those piano keys once again cresendoed to its peak. It felt like it was attacking me--I even startled my colleagues by actually yelling out in a futile attempt to halt the onslaught.

Finally, nearly five hours after the Campus President left without a word to us, the visiting team also left without a word to us. The team that we were waiting on in the ungodly massage office prison. The team that was our whole reason for being there in the first place. The team whose status report of the day's findings would tell us whether we would need to return to the chamber of torment for another go tomorrow.

All I know, is if I have to hear one more note of "relaxing" piano numbers, someone's going to pay. And it ain't gonna be cheap.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Mustache in Dad Jeans Seeks Honesty

I just buckled down and sorted through my 139 new/unviewed matches on eHarmony. I now have 5 in the "new" category (I'm still mulling them over), 38 in the "communicating" category (but I'm only really communicating with about 10) and 140 in the "archived" category.

Tonite was an onslaught of mustaches, dad jeans and (once again) 9 out of 10 guys who named the number one thing they're looking for in a "partner" as HONESTY, INTEGRITY, MORALS, FAITHFULNESS (and yes--they are usually in ALL CAPS).

I know I have bitched about this before--and I also want honesty, morals, etc. in a "partner"--but come on! I'm not going to look forward to a second date or obsessively check my email or phone because of honesty. Honesty will not make my heart race or compel me to change my clothes five times before leaving the house in the first outfit I tried.

I choose to believe that I can find a fun, attractive, smart, witty guy who is ALSO honest and has morals. Call me a dreamer, but I want it all.

The guys who weren't mustaches in dad jeans either remind me of my dad or obviously have no friends or family with enough balls to tell them that their picture is very sad and that a smile is NEVER overrated.

Maybe I'm just too tired after my never-ending move (that has, finally ended--mostly) or too cynical (as usual), but tonite's exercise makes me pretty excited that I am just around the corner from my final month on eHarmony. Hopefully the newly organized inbox will leave me a tad more excited to check out my next new match--after all, weeding the flowerbed is the only way to make room for more flowers...not that I want to date a flower...or imply that the guys I don't dig are noxious interlopers...actually, this analogy sucks. I'm just going to stop. Now. Really.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Open Casting

Following lantern-related and other adventures in idiocy, I finally have power and a somewhat unpacked living environment. But enough about the boring everyday-life details...on to the dating update!

My eHarmony Bachelorette train has lost some steam. Bachelor #1 seems to have felt the same "not quite right" vibe, and hasn't been heard from since Date #2. It's really so nice to not have to do any overt rejecting, etc. I have a pretty good track record for giving off enough subtle hints that the other person--whether potential amour or slacker employee--will make the choice to opt out before I have to do the dumping (or the firing).

I have grown quite fond of the idea of developing things with Bachelor #2. After our Mother's Day date, he texted me flirtatiously on Monday and again on Tuesday--then nothing. Against my will, I found myself checking for a message. I started to question what could have gone wrong. I began to replay the events of Sunday nite and even re-read our last text communication for signs of where things went awry. I wanted to act like I didn't care, but I really wanted to hear from him.

Holding auditions for the part of my love interest is a time consuming and exhaustive process. I had already given Bachelor #2 a call-back. It would only take one more date to have me considering offering him the role--at least on a trial basis. But I was suddenly in a black hole of doubt, uncertainty and silence. Worst of all, I was facing the possibility of having to start all over.

His birthday was Wednesday or Thursday, so I texted him a "Happy Birthday" in what I hoped was a very casual--but still cute and subtly appealing--manner. (It takes so much thought, review and calculation to be nonchalant but available--removed but engaged--attractive but not trying too hard.)

On Friday, while packing up and cleaning my former residence, my phone chimed--letting me know I had just received a text message. It could be from either of my daughters, Terri or any number of other people. But it wasn't. It was from Bachelor #2. He apologized for his delayed response and explained that some parental issues had arisen with his oldest and, subsequently, been monopolizing his time. He asked if he could explain on Saturday. I replied that it was no problem, I understood, and hoped everything was okay.

I didn't hear from him again until Sunday afternoon--when I got more details about the situation, but no hint as to when or if he wanted to get together again. Being a parent, I know that crisis with my kids would always take first priority, but I still felt a pang of disappointment.

I decided to let him know that I would love to see him again when things calm down, and leave it at that. Give him his space and see what happens. The stupid-girl part of me tends to obsess and imagine that he is just putting me off with convenient and totally acceptable "excuses" instead of just letting me know that: A)He has met someone else who is the love of his life and soul mate; B)I did something that freaked him out and totally turned him off; C)He's just not that into me (so hard to believe, I know, but I MUST consider every possibility!); or D) He was afraid I'd ask him to help me move.

Whenever I take a trip down this irrational trail, I instantly feel guilty and stupid. Guilty because I really don't think he'd use a kid trauma/drama to avoid me--and even considering that for a fraction of a second makes me a ridiculous, slightly crazy and cruel person that he wouldn't be interested in, in the first place! Stupid because I'm exerting this much energy and thought on a guy--and to make matters worse, it's a guy I've only seen three times (despite all of my efforts to avoid it--I end up being a silly girl)!

So...I find myself back to open casting. The role of my love interest is still wide open and a new round of auditions must be held (although I secretly hope that Bachelor #2 is still interested in the role and will let me know soon). Back to the eHarmony drawing board--or casting couch...stay tuned for a new round of Bachelors!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Misadventures and Mayhem--Part 1

Moving is a many-splendored thing...NOT! It is a showcase of my absent-mindedness, overwhelmed-nes, and sad, sad desperate-ness.

Thank Heavens for my awesome friends (and super-awesome Savannah) who helped me survive this very normal life activity for which I have absolutely no talent.

The first stupid thing I did was take Friday off to take care of all those little things that need to be taken care of, like transferring the utilities to the new place, putting in a change of address at the post office, etc. On the surface, it would appear that taking Friday off to do those things was, in fact, a smart thing.

But it was not.

Bright and shiny Friday morning I pulled up to an eerily empty parking lot in front of Bountiful City Hall (that is where the utilities is housed). As I approached the front door with an ever-increasing sense of doom settling in the pit of my stomach, I saw the sign--and it wasn't good. I had forgotten that all government offices have gone to a four day week. Fantastic.

Even better, is that when I reached for the light switch on Thursday nite--to unload some boxes and start putting the kitchen together--nothing happened. The owners of the new place (this is their first time renting) had disconnected the power--not left it to be transferred into my name.

I was screwed.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Schizophrenia

Life has been nuts...here's your re-cap:

Bachelor #1
So I had date #2 with bachelor #1. And I stand firm that he is a GREAT dater! We went to the aquarium and looked at sea creatures. Then we went to Joe's Crab Shack and ate sea creatures. Sort of poetic and circle-of-life in its own, sick way. Then we went to a really awesome coffee shop. Where his dog-lover radar instantly found the barista's pup lounging outside and he was drawn magnetically to rub and fondle and "oooh" and "ahhh" about (the admittedly adorable) pooch. It was then that I decided I had to be completely honest.

"I'm not a dog lover," I said.

He looked at me with a little smirk, and said, "So how do you feel about children and old people?"

"I HAVE children and old people," was my immediate retort. I went on to explain that I am all for people who have and love their dogs, it's just that I'm more of a dog tolerator. I felt it was important to put that out there.

I haven't heard from him since. (Although, I was feeling that it was time to throw in the towel anyway--we're just not clicking on the right levels.)

Moving
It sucks.

Race for the Cure
Team Stacked was out in force. One woman we saw at The Cracker Barrel (where we went after for breakfast & where, seen through my friend's eyes, I laughed my ass off) asked if my t-shirt referred to my family name or my physical attributes. I responded that it referred to my triple-D friend's attributes, and they had taken pity on me and given me a t-shirt anyway. It was pretty awesome to be at the event with my grandma (survivor), my cousins (their mom lost her battle) and my long-time friend (survivor of 3 years)--even though I was a teensy bit grouchy due to walking five steps with grandma and waiting 10 minutes for her rest before taking the next five steps. I know I should be a kinder, gentler Becky--but I'm not. Kellie (survivor friend) seems seriously worried about my tightly-wound ways, while Terri (who sees me more regularly) thought I was surprisingly calm. I'll admit I have a problem--and as soon as I'm done moving and Savannah's graduation is over--I will put breathing and connecting to my inner-zen at the top of my list. For now, I will take another sip of chardonnay.

Bachelor #2
Sunday nite (mother's day) was date #3. He made very yummy salmon and we played Scrabble. He soundly kicked my ass--much to my dismay. In my defense, he is a Scrabble playing fiend while I am just a measly wordophile. I don't know all the tricky two-letter words and 50-point bonuses for using all your tiles. Although, I did challenge him successfully three times--he has a thing for French words. Sadly, not in the Scrabble dictionary.

Then he attempted to teach me how to play Rummikub. He only got as far as "lay your tiles on the rack" and I think the key words in that phrase distracted him and, well, we never played Rummikub. But our version was pretty fun. (And PG-13 for all you perverts out there!) I'm trying to get to at least date #4 before going "adults only."

We've texted since, but no date #4 on the calendar yet.

Mother's Day
I inherited a basic dislike of Mother's Day from my own mother. It is a silly and needless holiday and (may I say) the biggest racket out there! I went to the store on Saturday and when I saw a gaggle of about 20 men gathered in one place I wondered what the hell was going on until I noticed the whole aisle of flowers and greeting cards that they were standing in front of. Mother's Day Madness! The parking lot was more full than Christmas Eve or Superbowl Weekend.

However--it is nice to be acknowledged. My own dear mother and loverly daughters took care of me. A deliciously scented basket of bathing accouterments from my mommy and the sweetest of gestures from my girlies. When I got home from church on Sunday afternoon, things were more awry than normal in the living room (even for moving). Turns out my baby chica decided to sell her Gamecube, controllers and games in order to get some cash to buy me a present. Savannah rode her bike to Greywhale in order to make the deal. They got $44 bucks for that Gamecube, et al. I got a movie & a CD. (And lovely flowers that I am admiring in my final days of the glorious bathtub, from Savannah.)

Well, that's all folks! ;)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The eHarmony Bachelorette

Tonite I had Date #2 with Bachelor #2. Tomorrow I will have Date #2 with Bachelor #1. I'm still trying to schedule Date #1 with Bachelor #3 and there's a new Bachelor #4 who I've been talking to on the phone.

"Do these guys know you're double-booking them?" Gabi asked. She meant "two-timing." Either way, I told her that I was neither double-booking nor two-timing. This was the selection process. This was dating.

Has reality TV taught her nothing? This is just like The Bachelorette--only slowed down to real-life speed. eHarmony is the producers selecting the most ratings-worthy bachelors for me to choose from. Their "levels of communication" are the first cocktail party where a large number of hopeful Romeos are summarily dismissed, early favorites are identified, a colorful character or two warrant a second thought, a kook or two may slide through to the next round and the way-too-nice-guy draws the audience's sympathy.

But--even slowed down--it is difficult dating multiple people at the same time. Everyone has their positives. No real negatives have yet been revealed. Everything is at the new, exciting, 'anything might be possible' stage. But, despite the hardships, I will soldier on.

Tonite Bachelor #2 and I had a lovely dinner at a little Italian place just down the street from my house. The food was great--and we had the whole place to ourselves. Then we went bowling, where I gave him some pointers on his game and then he proceeded to kick my ass. (It may have had a little something to do with my sharing a story about summer camp where one of the pastor's sons introduced a new element to the game: bowling for 'sex.' 'Sex' was hugs and kisses, but it can still have an invigorating effect on one's bowling performance!)

Then we played a couple games of pool (where--with no help from me--he once again kicked my ass). After that he showed me his batmobile. He has a souped-up D.A.R.E. car for his job at a nearby Jr. High (he's works for the Sheriff's dept.). It's a pretty sexy car. Tiny, sporty, red. I got to sit in the driver's seat--although I didn't get to drive. I think it's the first time I've ever been in a cop's car. Pretty cool, actually.

I'm not a cop groupie or anything, but I have long had a fascination with all things crime/justice/legal-ish. I had the Time-Life books on serial killers. I watched forensic science shows before CSI even existed. One of my favorite books is "In Cold Blood," which I read in an AP English class in high school (and which may have triggered my true-crime obsession). I have to take breaks from immersion because I start dreaming about the horrors I read. But, undoubtedly, I dig it.

And he has the BEST stories! (They will be shared when I am less tired and cozied up under the covers.)

So--it was a very nice second date. (I type, with a stupid grin sneaking across my face) Lots of fun.

AND--I am really excited about tomorrow nite's date. We're going to the aquarium to see the ping-yays! (that's penguins) Then heading to Joe's Crab Shack for crabs and some tequila (in honor of Cinco de Mayo!). It should be fun. Bachelor #1 is very good at the dating game.

So, while I'm starting to realize the challenges of dating eHarmony Bachelorette-style, it's a lot of fun. And, for now, I don't need to worry about that pesky final rose--we're still going on our one-on-one dates (and I'm having a great time!).

Monday, April 26, 2010

Extra Credit

Practically the first words out of his mouth were, "You look great!" It's hard to beat that, and (to be perfectly honest) he looked pretty great, too.

Eventually he proceeded to tell me about his two previous eHarmony dates--both of which were with very nice women, who (he sheepishly admitted) seemed to have engaged in "false advertising." This is something my dad spoke of often when he was in the online dating scene. Women would not only post pictures that no longer represented their current level of fitness--but seemed to be off on their age as well (sometimes by as much as a decade).

These stories, combined with his previous tales of women with a "thing for men in uniform" and another one who was preparing to go on trial for the attempted murder of her ex-husband (via running him over), while completely entertaining, made me feel like an amateur when it came to dating horror stories. However, it is refreshing to hear about the mortification of "mid-life" dating from the male perspective...although it did cross my mind a couple of times about what his apparent bad taste (judgement, luck?) in women said about me...

We talked and laughed so much that we neglected much of our yummy food--and the drinks even went down slowly. He brought up a few times that he was "having a blast" and I think I heard the word "gorgeous" once (I'm such a sucker!)--but it wasn't in that charming danger zone where I become the one with really bad taste (judgement, luck?) in men...honestly, it wasn't (Terri)!

The restaurant was ready to throw us out, so we drove (I told him we totally could have walked, and I was right!) across the street to a lounge for a final drink and some more lively banter. I don't know if my years of fascination with true crime and the criminal justice system had any influence on how interesting I found his stories, but I think it probably did. This guy has GREAT stories!! And they all happened in Utah, which is even more amazing!

Finally, we knew it was time to call it a nite--I had my girlies waiting for me to get home and he had to get up for work around 4am. He drove me back across the street and then proceeded to walk me to my car from his car. (He also opened doors and did other gentlemanly things that were endearing, even if bordering on the ridiculous.) Once again, we said goodnite with a friendly hug, a smile and an admonishment to "drive safely." No goodnite kiss--although I don't think I would have balked.

As intangible and inexplicable as it is, sometimes you have to grant a little extra credit for some natural chemistry that makes every story a little more intriguing, every smile a little more pleasing and every thought of seeing them again a little more eager.

Bachelor #2: Date #1

Tonite is my second eHarmony date.

I am strangely optimistic after the success of the first date. Tonite is the first date with another match--that's two down!

This guy will make for an entertaining story regardless of how the actual date goes, because I already know some horrendous online dating stories from the past that he has shared with me. It's kinda fun to see the freaky from the guy's perspective!

Even after his visits to the Twilight Zone during past dates, he still offered to pick me up--at my house--before I'd ever met him. He still has some things to learn about this online dating thing. ALWAYS meet up somewhere public first. This guy's an officer of the law--he should know these things!

But, his modern dating naivety and the fact that he met the cop psych profile aside, I have really enjoyed my conversations with Bachelor #2 and hope that tonite will be a lot of fun!

So, off to make myself pretty (wish me luck!) and I will fill you in later!

Ciao!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

You Can't Stop Progress

This morning I dropped my youngest-born off at her second day of work. Later, after buying groceries, I addressed my first-born child's graduation announcements.

Life has a way of overtaking you like a snowball in The Simpsons that gains speed and girth and levels the whole town.

It's hilarious and frightening and entirely out of our control.

I've tried so hard to avoid the reality of Savannah's departure into her own life, that now--just around the bend from the culminating moment (high school graduation)--I feel what may be a very false sense of calm, mingled with pride, gratitude and lots of deep breaths.

I haven't even begun to avoid thinking about my baby girl having her first job; being responsible for things like showing up on time, managing money and bringing in the rubes (she's running games at Lagoon).

Last nite I made jambalaya and Savannah and I watched Gladiator at Terri's. Terri was shocked that Savannah had never seen the movie (which is one of my absolute favorites--I had goosebumps throughout and I've seen it a million times!). But on closer reflection, she realized that when the movie had originally come out, my kids were about the age that her kids are now.

"It feels like yesterday," Terri said.

No matter how hard we try to run from it, getting older and repeating the lame-ass words of grown-ups before us seems to be a treadmill that none of us can turn off.

When your children are on the brink of adulthood it is strange to remember that not too long ago they were in grammar school and the thought of exposing them to the brutal (but totally awesome) violence of Russell Crowe in a dress and sandals was akin to allowing them to cut their own hair...tempting, but completely irresponsible.

I bought some centerpieces for Savannah's graduation party yesterday. I got her a frame for her Associate's Degree. Much to my own dismay, it seems that I have raised the white flag of surrender. My girls are growing up--and so must I. I've taken my head out of the sand and I'm ready to plan one hell of a graduation party (prominently featuring onions, I think...why else would there be tears in my eyes?).

Thursday, April 22, 2010

A Solid "A"


It was about as good as a first date can get.

He brought me flowers (see pic).

He brought a very nice bottle of wine for us to share. (He even made sure the waitress always filled my glass first--major points!)

Conversation flowed easily, laughs came readily and there weren't really any awkward silences.

He forgave my (very slight) tardiness and my drowned-rat appearance.

He was an eHarmony virgin, too--we were each other's first!

He was nicely dressed, sufficiently sarcastic and saw a respectable sampling of "new wave" bands back in the day (even though now he considers himself a country music guy).

We teetered on the tightrope of potentially polarizing political talk, but easily navigated into the open waters of tolerance.

He grew up in Utah, but never in the predominant religion.

When he asked me what would be an instant deal-breaker with a match sent to me on eHarmony I answered, "If they wanted kids and if they didn't drink." His answer: "I'll drink to that!" followed by the clinky-clinky of our our wine glasses, the sparkle in our eyes and the laugh in my throat.

He didn't ask me to pay (I didn't even feel the need to offer!).

He walked me to my car.

He asked me to let him know I made it home safely and gave me a very nice hug goodbye. No awkward "do we kiss now or what?" moment.

It was nice.

Score one for eHarmony...or, rather, Terri! (Damn you both!)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Losing It

Tonite's the nite.

I'm going to lose my eHarmony virginity.

I am mere minutes away from meeting my first eHarmony match in person for a dinner date. The excitement! The anticipation! The dread...

Actually, I'm not really dreading it at all (except that it's one more nite playing instead of working on my upcoming move--but maybe that means I'm just dreading all the extra work that will be waiting for me tomorrow rather than dreading the date itself).

You might be wondering, "Is this lucky fella one of those aforementioned gun enthusiasts?" I think you know the answer to that! He is a business owner, a little older than me and a passionate golfer. He has no kids (bonus!) and he doesn't want any kids (double bonus!!). (People often think it is hypocritical of me to prefer dating men without children, but my lovely blessings are nearly grown and I do NOT want to start over. In addition, I am not looking for someone to complete my family, and I don't really want to fill that role for anyone else.)

I must admit that, overall, eHarmony is much improved over my first venture in 2005. I only got four (4!!!) matches in three months and by the time I could actually email the only one that was even a remote possibility, I had already lost interest due to the slow and cumbersome "guided communication" that was meant to identify if we were soul mates based on the "29 dimensions of compatibility" that would miraculously reveal themselves through the insightful questions we were forced to use to communicate, such as "What is your greatest fear about marriage?"

This time I have received many matches, and those that aren't gun-toting psychopaths or obviously still damaged from their last heartbreak (The one thing Rex can't live without is HONESTY, FAITHFULNESS and LOYALTY or The one thing Stewie is looking for in a partner is NO MEDICATIONS) are actually pretty appealing. I have made contact outside of eHarmony (believe me, that is an IMPORTANT distinction) with about five guys.

And now I am, miraculously, on the verge of finding out if there is, indeed, life out there.

This morning I took extra care getting ready--making sure to employ (or is it deploy) every weapon in my arsenal of beautification: push-up bra (who knew how handy these things could be?), eyelash curler, blush, blow dryer, flatiron and (the Rebecca twist on nearly every outfit) boots. I left the house looking fresh, flirty and fabulous!

The weather didn't realize I had a date.

I have been (in no particular order) windblown, rained on and pelleted with hail. I now look like a haggard, drowned rat that has really cool boots.

I guess if it really is all about those 29 dimensions of compatibility, it won't matter...I'll know in about 30 minutes.

Stay tuned!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A Nite in the Life...

Three drinks (Utah pours),a full meal and a brisk walk in the ecstatically warm spring air.

A tearful teenage daughter on the phone, waving me away with an "I'll tell you later" and "I'm really okay" half-hearted laugh.

Whiny kitties looking for their midnite snack.

Law & Order: Criminal Intent rises again after the departure of Detectives Goren & Eames (so sad!). Jeff Goldblum must make up for the loss. Such a heavy burden!

Grinding teeth and tapping keyboard.

Velvety red wine making its soft, slow journey from glass to lip to tongue to throat to chest.

Boxes and piles beckoning, mocking...demanding attention.

Empty fridge. Groceries must be purchased. Tomorrow.

Forgiveness requested.

For lame blog entry.

Contest prep taking precedence.

Patience begged.

Better narratives to come...

Monday, April 12, 2010

The (abridged) Story of Me...or Please, Please Help Me (read below to find out how!)

Once upon a time a baby girl (who bore a striking resemblance to her maternal grandfather, who was, by the way, a very handsome man, but an unfortunate-looking female baby) was born. This baby girl would later say that she was born with pen in hand and words (never-ending words) in both mouth and mind.

In first grade the little girl would write (and cast and direct and perform) her first play. Over the years, this girl would fill up journal after journal with copious words, thoughts, stories, poems, rants and raves. She would enter (and win) an alarmingly large number of writing contests and competitions.

When it came time to pick an elective class for her sophomore year of high school, she (for some strange and to-this-day inexplicable reason) selected Journalism over Creative Writing. That lucky accident would give her the opportunity to win local, state and national competitions, to become editor-in-chief of her high school's nationally-ranked newspaper, work for the local paper as a correspondent during her junior and senior years, and eventually cover a national murder trial for the Associated Press.

Life, love and the birth of another baby girl led this now grown-up girl to take a hiatus from the world of professional writing, although even on hiatus she found her skills and passion sneaking their way into her alternative career path in education and business management--even helping to launch (ever-so-briefly) a national trade magazine.

One divorce, one successful career and yet another baby girl later the girl found herself antsy and longing to get back in the writing game. Her own baby girls were now teenagers ready to venture out ever further on their own, her career was no longer suitable nor satisfying, and her eventual downsizing (compliments of the economy), left writing loudly knocking (once again) on her door.

Blessings and connections and many happy accidents have kept the girl flush with writing and editing opportunities for nearly two years. All the while; however, this cowardly girl (oh, yes, it's true!) has hovered in the shade--resting where it's comfortable and easy--all the while pointing to that spot in the sun where she could be.

Next month this cowardly girl will be attempting to leave the shade and soak in some of that sun. It is the Writer's Digest annual competition. This girl has, previously, submitted a paltry one or two entries into a single category and hoped for the best. However, regardless of how brilliant the girl (sometimes) thinks she is (and how easily she won nearly every writing competition she ever entered in her prolific youth) one stinking entry in one stinking category has not a winner made.

So, the heroine of this little tale is seeking your assistance (her devoted readers and supporters and fabulous friends) to help her mix it up this year. Since the blog is the main depository of my literary aspirations, most entries will likely come from this (and my other blog at www.wasatchwoman.com, which has some posts that were not posted here) blog.

Please peruse your memory (and the blog archives if you have the time) and let me know which pieces have been your favorites. I have mine, but I do not have the discerning ear, eye or heart of the reader. Please let me know up to 10 of your favorites.

I will be primarily entering the creative non-fiction and personal essay/memoir categories.

The competition deadline is May 15 (I believe), so if I could get your votes before May 1st, that will give me enough time to re-work and polish as needed before throwing my little gladiators into the Colosseum.

Please feel free to post your votes in the comments, on facebook or (for those who have my address) via email.

I humbly and graciously extend to you my sincere thanks for your continued support, encouragement and laughter!!!

Thank you for helping me out as I work to take this (almost) middle-aged little girl's writing career to the next level!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Guns, Trucks and Dating


It gets more and more difficult to choke down those eHarmony commercials as they continue to send me men who, when asked "What are you most passionate about?" answer "hunting." AND who, when listing the three things they can't live without, make sure that at least two of them are guns and their truck. (Oh yes, it is possible to make more than two answers out of that, for instance: guns, my truck, and hunting in my truck OR my truck, my gun rack, my guns in my gun rack in my truck while I'm hunting OR (my favorite) my truck, my guns and the 2nd amendment.)

I think it is just fine if people are hunters who like driving around in their big, muddy trucks with guns; however, I am not (and will never be) interested in dating them.

It disturbs me that eHarmony goes on and on about their sophisticated, scientific matching profile technology and then thinks that someone who lists a glass of wine, a good book and a hot bath as the three things she can't live without would want to be dating someone from the tea party militia. Super-scientific matching mumbo jumbo be damned! I don't care if we are both Christian and extroverts. It ain't gonna happen!

These scruffy, lovable hunters also post pictures of themselves in fatigues or camouflage of some sort next to their mud-caked truck;, often holding their guns--and there's always some kind of giant, hunting hound standing off to the side.

This is what happens when you ask a microchip to go man-shopping for you. There has to be some geeky nerd out there who can program the system to take into account the personality profile AND keywords listed in the "In My Own Words" sections that you are able to fill out on your own. Because if the best they can do is put someone who says what they're looking for in another person is "good conversation and wit" with someone who says they're looking for "FAITHFULLNESS and loyilty" then I may as well just throw in the eHarmony towel right now...but it's pretty damn entertaining (if not a little bit sad) in the meantime.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Out of sight...out of mind (sort of)

I don't know exactly when my kids will be home. And...to be perfectly honest...I don't very much care at this moment. I know they are safe. I know they will be home. I know that they are just a text or call away if I need to reassure myself of previously-stated safety and homebound status.

I like these small snatches of freedom. Eating chips and French onion dip with a glass of chardonnay for dinner. Taking a bath at 7pm. Wandering the house naked while I let myself air-dry and both my bedroom TV and the living room TV blare American Idol so that as I wander up and down, from room to room, I won't miss one stupid minute!

Unless you've known the reality (and joy! always joy) of being completely responsible for someone else's life, well-being and happiness every single day for almost 18 years, you may not get my exultation in these increasingly frequent on-my-own moments.

If I could get my cats to hit the road (and stop their incessant whining and bids for love, affection and attention) it would be a perfect evening!

Meow

Monday, April 5, 2010

It just didn't take...

I didn't get married expecting to see the end of my sex life. Seeing as I was four months pregnant when rings and vows were exchanged, sex was not the part of married life that I was worried about. I felt that we pretty much had that part handled, and we knew it worked--for both procreative and pleasurable purposes.

Throughout the remainder of my pregnancy things were still good. Very good, in fact. It's liberating to have pregnant sex--one of your biggest worries about the consequences of carnal pleasure has already played out--so ENJOY! However, so many of the things that later went wrong ended up landing squarely in this area.

It's hard to understand why your husband would (obsessively) choose magazines, videos and the Internet over his flesh-and-blood, ready and willing, pretty damn hot wife! Add dishonesty, anger, declining hygiene, perpetual unemployment and incessant nights out with the boys to the mix, and it left me feeling bewildered, defeated and defective.

I thought that if I could re-introduce a level of physical intimacy to the relationship that would help us be able to communicate, trust and deal with the myriad other demons plaguing our marriage. But it didn't take.

At the end, (after years of therapy, struggle, a respectably sized library of relationship, addiction and marriage books, a million second chances, buckets of forgiveness and thousands of hours of thinking, talking, crying to my friends and gallons of wine) those are the very words my ex-husband hurled at my heart.

"I guess it didn't take."

This, at the end of our last-ditch couples counseling weekend that would reveal at its end whether or not there was anything left to work out. I took my marriage vows so seriously. Even though my parents had divorced and it had been the best thing for everyone, all I could ever hear in my mind was my mother's voice saying, "God hates divorce."

I had grown to believe that divorce was the unforgivable sin. I just couldn't give up. I couldn't fail at this. I couldn't disappoint my parents, his parents, my friends, my daughters, myself, my God. I was determined to never ask "What if" in regard to the death of my marriage.

My husband knew this. And, in what I truly believe to be his last act of love for me, he knew that unless he made it impossible for me to continue, I would never let go. And so he plunged in the knife. Deep.

He told me that when he met me I represented all the things that he wanted. He thought that if he attached himself to me maybe it would rub off on him. But, (and he said this with a shrug of the shoulders and a dismissive "you're blocking my sun" kind of sentiment) it just didn't take.

It was a nice experiment, but didn't yield the results that he desired. He didn't care to continue the charade.

Reading that right now, I know it doesn't convey the full brunt of what happened. It doesn't bring the demolition of my spirit to life. But after that final conversation all I remember is barely being able to speak (or breathe) through my sobs as I called Terri to come get me so I could escape from the demolition of everything I had been trying to build (and keep in tact) for the past eight years.

Terri was sick and in bed. Her poor (and wonderfully amazing) husband Jeff was the one stuck trying to interpret my gasping, sobbing words over the phone. I think I probably got one or two incoherent, racking wails out before I heard, "I'm coming to get you. I'll be right there."

Not only was this superman who came to my rescue my best friend's husband--but he was my husband's best friend. And he didn't even begin to hesitate with his generosity, love and protection.

There are good guys out there. When Terri and I see those cheesy commercials that talk about "good guys" and show them traipsing about in a cape, we always threaten to get Jeff one.

But I digress...this started out as a commentary on my sexless marriage. I don't know where that story really should go--this is the first time I've dared to tell it. It makes me feel more naked and vulnerable than I like. I guess I'll have to keep chipping away in order to find out...

Thursday, April 1, 2010

No Man's Land

The strangest thing has happened. Every guy I meet in real life that I'm even slightly interested in is more suited to dating one of my daughters than me. If I could meet someone over 25 that I found attractive and interesting it would be a frickin' miracle.

Conversely, I find myself longing for more airtime from the likes of Dr. Drew Pinsky, Jon Stewart and Anderson Cooper. Ooooooh, those silver foxes are irresistible!

So, I find myself sort of alone in my late 30's. I don't know if it's a Utah thing or not, but I am in a dead zone.

I have no bars.

It's a desert.

Terri (jokingly ?) offered to pay for me to go on eHarmony and give it another go. I have a fervent and abiding hatred for eHarmony. Its commercials belong on the boat with Miley Cyrus, Tyler Perry and Nicholas Sparks. The boat whose bottom I plan to drill a hole through. Far from shore. Possibly in shark-infested waters.

Unbeknownst to my beloved friend, I went ahead and took their little personality profile, posted my pic and signed up for the tedious purgatory of eHarmony. My major problem with them is that you can't freely browse the merchandise. You have basically filled out a questionaire and are now trusting some personal shopper you've never even met to pick out your summer wardrobe. How can they possibly know what will suit you?

Terri thinks I should do this because it's exactly what I don't normally do. Which, given my track record, I can't argue with. I just hate not being in control.

Only time will tell if the cheesy (and utterly exasperating) promises made in those eHarmony commercials will ring true for me. But here's hoping. (I think!)

Is it possible that somewhere in the eHarmony universe there's life out there...only time will tell.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

There's something in my eye (or how I became a big baby)

I used to be a cold-hearted bitch. Nothing could get to me. Not a Hallmark or reach-out-and-touch-someone commercial. Not a sappy movie. Certainly not anything anyone else could do to me. Nothing. I was bulletproof.

Then I had a baby. And damned if that didn't turn me into one big, post-natal, totally wimpy baby.

I was sitting in the recliner in my mother's basement one afternoon, nursing Savannah and watching PBS. There was a show on about a mama lion and her adorable, little lion cubs. They were romping and rolling about--just like kittens--when their whole world (and my momentary, new-mother bliss) was shattered. They were attacked by a cobra and the cubs were just too tiny to survive. I sat there clinging to my own precious cub and sobbing as the mother lion nudged and licked and nuzzled her lost babies.

And--17 years later--it hasn't stopped. It's gotten worse.

How does a (fairly) normal person become someone who is reduced to a slobbering mess at the sight of their offspring smiling, walking, going to kindergarten, singing in the school program, performing in the Christmas pageant, playing their viola, getting their first byline or dancing on stage in their first musical?

Tonite was the opening nite of Gabi's school musical: "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat." The minute I glimpsed her cavorting on stage my chest felt tight, my throat closed and my vision blurred with tears of pride and love and amazement.

And it didn't stop there.

I saw Taylor and Brittney (longtime friends of Gabi) and the little, red-haired boy performing so earnestly--and the kid playing Joseph working so hard and singing his heart out. I teared up at the sight of all of them.

This happens every time. I am overwhelmed with pride and encouragement at the chutzpah and passion of these kids putting it all out there because they are young and bright-eyed and still believe that they can do anything--even make it all the way to Broadway or Hollywood.

I used to be one of them. I was fearless. I can still feel what it was like. And I wonder if my strong response to the brave acts of faith I witness in my children is not only in celebration of them, but also (on some level) mourning...or longing...for that fresh, potential-filled person I still remember.

Or maybe it's a simultaneous exultation of their limitless, blank-slate dreams and the reluctant hint of sadness that life may not give them everything they think it will.

But tonite--and for the next three nites--Gabi and her merry band of Canaanites and Wranglers, Brothers and Wives, are jumping in with both feet and jazz hands. The view from my seat is dazzling, if a little blurry. I must have something in my eye.

Monday, March 22, 2010

enjoy the silence

for some reason lately i just don't want to say anything. and i don't want to capitalize. (what a rebel)

that hasn't stopped the relentlessly annoying narrator that lives in my head and (yes, believe it or not) talks more than i do.

the incessant monologue continues.

and i know it wants to get out.

but i won't let it.

i feel selfish. stubborn. and slightly guilty.

but i'm more mopey than funny lately.

and that's just no fun for you.

although i have some promising directions in which to go...

...i keep fantasizing about ways to silence my cat. (he's more irritating than the voices in my head!)

...my back still aches from an unfortunate and exuberant "cow bell" incident this weekend.

...my ride to work the other day felt like a trip on the knight bus from harry potter--i swear that driver was not from this side of diagon alley.

...i went on a date with a 23-year-old.

so, please bear with me. i will return soon.

in the meantime, enjoy the silence--how often do i shut the eff up anyway?

loves!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Sunday Nite Montage

(If I was a filmmaker, this would be a montage...trust me)

I am trapped by the incessant narrative dancing across my brain. Sometimes I fight to suppress, strangle and suffocate the monologue. I always lose. Why do I resist putting pen to paper, fingertip to keyboard, voice to thought?

Because sometimes it is sad or afraid or irrelevant or ridiculous. O well.

Saturdays are often the perfect excuse to stay under the covers, eat terribly fattening foods and watch Lifetime movies.

I grind my teeth. A lot. People can hear it over the phone...I'm doing it right now.

Watching a PG-13, wide-release movie that would be a rated-R, obscure indie flick if it didn't feature the world's most "dreamy" vampire is a surreal and entertaining experience. Especially when all the teenage girls giggle uncontrollably at the first love scene and even more so when the Mormon family in front of you (who is only there because Alice in Wonderland was sold out and they mistakenly thought this was a good substitute)gets up and leaves after the second love scene and the one, allowable "f@#k" invades the theatre.

Sometimes a wild mushroom risotto is the only way to scratch that itch.

Returning to your first love can be surprisingly gratifying. My first true love was Chateau St. Chapelle's Johannisburg Riesling. Terri and I LOVED that wine--and it loved us back. Since my palate has evolved, the delicious sweetness has become unbearable; however, I recently purchased a St. Chapelle Dry Riesling. It is divine. It's such a delight to revisit your first love and find those arms still warm and ever-so-welcoming.

The realization that I'm almost 40 and basically starting over on so many levels is both terrifying and exhilarating.

I don't think I'll ever stop biting my cuticles. Ever.

The sound of my cat meowing is like fingernails on a chalkboard.

Finally posting a blog after more than 10 days of silence: priceless.