Friday, December 29, 2006

You Talking to Me?

She has green eyes and short brownish red hair. Her smile is shy. Her gaze is whimsical. We've traded half a dozen or so emails. She's intrigued. I'm flattered and fascinated. She likes the zoo. I do too.

Some other similarities come to light. Some engaging banter ensues.

She suggests a meet. I agree, in principal but suggest that it might be too soon. She admits to some logistical and physical discomfort with emailing, but more than willing to continue, until such time that we are both comfortable enough to move forward. "Take your time, the ball's in your court."

Huh? Ball. Court. Is that a basketball or volleyball reference? Does it matter?

Eyes still a bit phlegmy, head addled by chicken soup and antihistamine seeming to affect my ability to properly process these events. This is exactly what I'm doing on those sites. Trying to meet women. And here is one, who wants to meet. Me.

She is not the first to suggest a meet. She is, however, the first to do so after some sort of playing field had been established. She says things like being intrigued by the images, the emotions evoked by intentional expression. To a woman like me that's some serious playing field.

The ball is in my court, she says. I'm betting it's a basketball reference. Further, I'm of the opinion that the sooner I get my eyes and head clear, step up to the line and take a freaking shot, the better. The fans are getting antsy.

Some good ladies have noted that week one is just around the corner. Suggestive, I presume, of new days.

And the ball is in my court.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Week 52

One, I feel fat. I am bigger, heavier, I believe, than I was going into this week. In fact, I'm sure. The resolve is still there, but the effort has been lagging. I've not been feeling tip-top, emotionally or physically, thus, maintaining disciplined consistency has been difficult, to say the least.

Good thing. This week is a throw-away. It exists for one purpose and one purpose only. To look. Looking back on the year that was and looking ahead to the year to come. No serious work is attempted, let alone accomploshed. Some companies are closed. Those not closed are most likely, half-staffed. I scheduled myself for half-days this week. I will be leaving the office by 12:30 each of the remaining days this week. To do what? The hope is to get some work done towards some long over-due projects, but-looking will be in the equation, I am sure.

This past year has been full of good, some of which has been documented here. Mostly, I've used this place to explore. Explore feelings I have about my past. Explore emotions concerning my present. Explore prospects for the kind of future I'm endeavoring to build. There is a woman out there for me. Yes? Perhaps. Yes!

Working in progress.

Two, beets. You may recall what I had to say on the subject. I had every intention of moving forwad and finding my way to a beet dish. I haven't, at least, not intentionally. I found out today that one of the desserts at the potluck on Thursday, provided by the sig other of one of the office guys, contained beets. If was a chocolate cake. The cake was good on Thursday. Today, now that I know about the beets? Yuck!

Three, cycles. To paraphrase a JFK quote, a mystery, wrapped in a riddle, inside an enigma. Cycles. For many months I've been slogging through a variety of peri-menopausal symptoms. Now, apparently, a cycle has twisted and I find myself in the throes of that drive..and no place for it to land. Watching videos, reading books and...ahem...and.

Finally, a cold. This cold has settled in my eyes. I am clearing phlegm from my eyes, often. This phlegm is affecting no only the mood, but, more importatntly, the eyesight, which, as my may remember, bothers me, to a great degree.

Week 52 is about looking. It would be nice, much nicer, if I could see, better.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Pleasure Pocket

Far in the darkest recesses of my banks of memories are the pleasure pockets. The pleasure pockets contain those memories that are held dear. Those that are guaranteed to bring a smile to my face, a lightness to my heart.

Pleasure pockets, a necessary device of health and survival evolved to combat bad times and bad memories threatening to overtake and swallow.

Thankfully good times have begun to outdistance the bad and the pockets of pleasure are becoming full and more potent with each passing day. These days, recent glumness aside, are amongst the happiest of recent memory. Certainly pleasure pocket worthy.

The holidays, year end thoughts and celebrations tend to evoke trips down the memory lane.

Out of the pocket is a memory of the last happy holiday my brothers and I shared.
I was five that year, mom and dad were still together. We had a huge tree, festooned with ornaments and buried in tinsel. Having discovered a closet with many wrapped packages, we spent many waking hours trying to find a way inside the wrappings without being discovered. W, being the oldest, took charge of the eventual expeditions. Mostly failed effort because we were never left alone long enough to properly explore. Still, the effort was fun and as I recall, exciting.

We still believed in Santa Claus and decided that these packages must be above and beyond whatever Santa was going to bring. We thought ourselves some lucky ducks indeed. Later, when I thought about the expeditions I was always grateful we didn’t succeed. This experience, like many others from my childhood, taught me lessons. I hid presents much better than my parents did.

That Christmas Santa brought me an Easy Bake Oven and a Thumbelina doll, my brothers a train, one of those bouncy riding horses and a football. My parents hugged and kissed a lot and we had a huge dinner gathering with two aunts and a bunch of cousins.

What I remember most about that Christmas is the laughter. Everything was funny. The lopsided cake, my dad’s latest stray getting into the tree-again, the look of my younger brother as he bounced on his horse, his Cowboy hat flopping around on his head. Even my older brother begging to go outside to play football without his boots didn’t disturb the glee.

We all laughed that day. And it was good. And memorable.

I hadn’t experienced another Christmas like that one, until those that included my kids. That Christmas was the catalyst for those I would attempt to create for my kids, hoping to provide for them more than pockets of pleasure.

The one pictorial reminder of that day is faded with age, fragile to the touch. Still it prompts the pocket open, allowing the pleasure to spread. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Scent of a Holiday

Pacing, thinking, writing-lists, have been the sum of my last few days. The next few days will be filled with the same, only more so. I’m forging on out of a sense of sensibility in spite of the current state of internal indifference.

Waiting for the holiday in me to wake up and smell the cinnamon.

I have still, more shopping to do. I don’t want to, but I must, finally and absolutely. My shopping consultant, my bud, hasn’t been available. I'm feeling just a bit paralyzed by her absence and just a tad bit embarrassed about that. Her new work schedule has her working weekends. Of late, she’s been spending her off days and evenings with her boyfriend.

Thrilled she’s working. Absolutely. Thrilled she’s happy with the boyfriend (these past few weeks). Absolutely. Miss her. Absolutely. Plunge ahead, celebrate the good. Absolutely.

We’ll have Thursday. She’s going to come to the company’s Christmas pot-luck. This is a new experience for me. Not Dani being there. She’s attended our dinners before. This is the first pot-luck. I’m not so sure about this pot-luck idea. I’ve seen what these guys eat for lunch. My diet may be safe for another day. I’m making Mac N Cheese. I haven’t made food for non-family members since the church pot-lucks some 6 years ago. Not that I'm worried. I make Mac N Cheese often. Never-the-less, Thursday should prove interesting on several fronts.

The holiday in me wants to wake up and smell the cinnamon.

I call my mom to say hey, howya doin. She replies that she hasn’t heard from my older brother in weeks. The conversation had little choice but to plummet after that admission.

I thought..a that cinnamon?

Michael’s been temporarily side-lined with an aching back; strained by all the physicality related to the recent show and particularly stressful, strenuous work responsibilities. The doc gave him a muscle relaxant and instructions to stay home from work for the next few days. He had to cancel an audition and post-pone his photo shoot.

Maybe it’s not cinnamon I’m supposed to smell.

Some hours over the past several, have been spent contemplating. Work projects, adjustments related to priority shifts, finding a new laundromat, responding to an email from a woman who’s subject line is: intrigued, a possible adventure next month and more.

This contemplating is being done while playing with my new toy–bottled frustration.

The object is to get the little wooden ball out of the bottle. Solving helped with the contemplation.


Sunday, December 17, 2006

Frizzy to the Rescue

This is Frizzy. Frizzy was presented to Middle Girl Deborah’s household about this time last year. Frizzy was a gift from Grandma F, who frequently re-gifts freebies gleaned from the many senior functions she attends.

Frizzy was not well received last year. Frizzy is not fuzzy, he is more fleecy. The fuzzes in residence were not trusting of the fleecy, rosy-cheeked fellow. Plus, Frizzy has shoes. Shoes are persona non grata in the fuzzy set.

Frizzy stood, mainly ignored last season, out of respect to Grandma F. He was stored away protected by plastic along with other holiday adornments for the same reason.

Rumor had it that Frizzy had seen his last holiday.

This season, moody grayness has been the rule rather than the exception in Middle Girl Deborah’s household. She’s been thrown by recent events and continuing frustrations. The effort of keeping her head up, putting on a happy face and the best foot forward, has been exhausting and grayness inducing.

Enter Frizzy and his boxed holiday co-conspirators. Frizzy has taken the lead this year because the situation is deemed dire. The usual remedies for the formerly temporary and fleeting periods of gray are proving short-lived and unreliable, resulting in longer cycles of glum.

Frizzy is not at all sure he can help Middle Girl Deborah shake the glum, sustain cheer for any longer terms, leading to better concentration and productivity. That is indeed a tall order to fill. He will use all the powers at his disposal, stomping in with his two big plastic feet to give it his best shot.

Wish him luck and cheers.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Tagged, I'm It

Six Weird Things Game
I've been tagged by Sober and like a good neighbor, State Farm is .. I'm there.

There are rules to this game and they are:

Rule No. 1: If you've been tagged by a new individual, but you have played this game before, you are not exempt, and have to offer up an additional 6 Weird Things about yourself. The 6 additional tid-bits about your personality can not be a repeat of the first items, or any thereafter.

Rule No. 2: The only way out of getting retagged is to offer up a new rule in your new posting. If you offer up a new rule to the game, and it doesn't interfere with the old rules or negate them, then you are at the end of the confessions, and you no longer have to play the "6 Weird Things" blog game.

1. Contrary to the the evidence before us, I do not like talking about myself.
2. I panic when I can't find my eyeglasses, therefore they are never far from my face.
3. I prefer tepid over "ice" cold water and sodas.
4. I take and make notes, there are pens, pencils and paper in every room, always.
5. I love my middle name, but rarely use it or reveal it.
6. Apparently I sleep with my eyes open, on occasion.

So, there you have it, six weird things you probably didn't know you wanted to know.

Feel free to play along.

You've Got Mail

I don't have AOL, I don't even know if the tag and chime still happens, but I hear it each time I log on and see that yes, there is mail.

A lovely lady views my profile or adds a note, I get an email notice. I do a mental jig and get myself on over there to read the message. Sometimes worth the trip, sometimes not, still, the getting is good. A respond is always warranted despite my initial reaction to the greeter. Some stick and some don't for whatever reason. Like meeting folks in person in those early stages, waiting for that new message is not unlike waiting for the phone to ring. In these early stages, the level of investment is low and while unsettling and frustrating, not hearing the chime isn't devastating (almost)

Blogging is a different realm altogether. You read a blog for weeks, months even. You peruse the archives. You build a relationship of sorts, sometimes, even before your first comment. Then, the blogger writes something that moves in a way that extends beyond the commenting box. You send an email and they respond. Sometimes it is a one shot deal. Sometimes emails and / or further comments lead to a deeper connection. A relationship.

You are tethered to each other by emotions and an ISP. These virtual friendships are real. They feed the soul like any other. The first flurry of emails back and forth are intense, full of discoveries, deeper thoughts, jokes. You feel the connection deepen. You offer truths, you are privy to truths. You start to move closer to...friendship. Then silence. No mail. No chimes.

The immediate reaction is a bit of concern-but not too much. Even if your routine has been to email every day or every other day, things happen that might keep a body from emailing. More days past, another of your missive goes unanswered and your concern grows deeper. Not yet friends, in that total embodiment of the word, you don't have any other connection. No other recourse, yet. Your concern grows deeper. You start to question where you might have mis-stepped. You begin to wonder, then understand, then you don't. Was it me? Or is it something else? Out of touch, out of the loop. Out of sorts.

After many days, weeks of joyful noises, I've experienced the sounds of silence from two budding friends. Beside missing the humor, warmth and encouragement, I was concerned, deeply, for them. One has since chimed. And though the contact is indeed welcomed, the reality, explanation of the silence leads to deeper concern. My friend is hurting and there isn't much I can do except answer her chime. *Legs*, this woo woo is for you. You are in my heart and on my mind.

The other buddy remains silent. *Maria Evans* you too are in my heart and on my mind, this spiggle is for you.

May peace be with you both.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Out Art

Work, home, groceries-repeat. Slight variations week to week, but basically my routine is work, home and groceries. For big fun, I might choose Dominick's over Jewel's. Dominicks in my town sells liquor, the Jewel's does not. Well, the small Jewel's, the one closest to me, doesn't The big one does. My town is dry. Packaged liquor sales are banned, or rather, restricted to certain retailers and specific locales. There aren't any bars in my town. By-the-glass liquor is only available in establishments serving food. I'm not sure you have to order food to drink, I usually do, on principle. But then, I don't get out much...bringing me to the point of this post. I haven't been getting out much. The two jobs and other obligations didn't leave a lot of time or energy for play. Now that I am down to the one job I'm looking to get out more, with or without a date. However, with a date would be the preference, of course. Still, out, I will get.

Generally speaking, I am a homebody and that suits, to a point. I like thinking about what needs doing to make it more homey. Thoughts like what to do with a broken refrigerator that won't (or can't) go away, how to repair the potrack attacked wall, and the logistics and costs related to replacing my cracked kitchen flooring occupy a lot of my homebody mind. Additionally, I like hanging out at home with my home mates. Recently however, my home mates' schedules put them home when I'm out and vice versa, except for late night, when we all should be sleeping, but are not. Getting out more, I expect will enhance rather than detract from the big picture.

Getting our more will encompass much beyond eating and drinking. The plan is to include those activities I enjoyed in my youth and some newer, yet to be discovered adventures. Art definitely will be part of the plan. I live near and work in a city that has some pretty impressive art, galleries, museums and fairs. In prior years visits to such venues was sparse, limited to once or twice a year. To prepare my mind and soul for the arts, I've started a new piece. This is the world premiere of the work in progress, "Rubber Two". Rubber is flanked by toys for scale.
It is unclear how large Rubber will get. It has been my experience that these things usually take on a life all their own.

**No, I didn't forget the gym-that technically is work, since I go on my lunch break.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Re-Purpose the Fridge

There is a refrigerator is my dining room. It's not an extra box, an over-flow unit. No, it's just there, hulking in a corner, broken of spirit and cool. The old box, having finally failed to keep its cool, was banished to the dining room because the crew who brought the new (old) fridge opted to leave her for later. Assigning her the deferred refurbish tag.

The plan was for the crew headed the ex-husband, who provided the new (old) fridge, to return, pick up the old broken box and take her to a refrigerator refurbishing practitioner. He was trying to start a catering business and wanted a nice big box. The fridge he'd given us was smaller and not in the best condition, she did get cold, though.

This was about two years ago.

He has since had a stroke and while recovering, it is unlikely that he will be catering anytime soon, if ever again.

The big fridge remains hulking in a corner of my dining room, like a retired sentry.

It doesn't bother me much that she's there. Dining room is a misnomer, really. Aside from the table, six chairs and built-in China Cabinet devoid of china, the room serves as more a repository for spare storage than any dining. We did eat Thanksgiving dinner there, but I was serving family using paper plates. A broken fridge in a corner did not upset the ambiance, much.

Lately though, I've been thinking if she's going to be hanging around much longer, she should have more purpose. She's much too regal a box to just sit there, holding old magnets and stale memories.

I'll remove her doors, spiff up her shelves and turn her into a...crafts closet, or a wine shelter or maybe even overflow office supply bin. Oh heck, I don't know. I saw a project on one of those homey crafty shows. I'll find a use for her. I'll give her an inside out make-over. The old girl will have a whole new look. She could become my Spruce Goose.

And when the time comes, when I get things in a different kind of order around here, she'll find her way outside to stand in state, waiting for the next refurbishing practitioner to give her another life.

Monday, December 11, 2006

All in A Day

Depending on the day and the activities encountered, Dani can go through, at minimum 3 pairs of shoes. She can go longer than three weeks without a repeat the last time I tried to count. Of late, she seems partial to Reebok, but there is fair representation by Nike, adidas, Sketchers and Vans.

Yes, Dani does shoes. Shoes of many shapes, colors and styles. Beyond the athletic and the casual, there are also the dress and the boots. High heels and flats in fairly equal measure. Her closet and under-bed storage are straining from the weight of all the shoes. So full is her closet, that the shoes (and more) have started invading other closets and common areas of our unit.

When I was a kid, I had a pair for school, a pair for play and a pair for church. Quite often the school and church pair would masquerade for one another. Sometimes, they would be one in the same.

This ethic followed me into my adulthood. Sometimes out of habit, sometimes not.

Eventually I learned to embrace shopping, even learned to opt for the madness that is shopping. I learned to shop for new shoes, to elect buying shoes out of want more than need.

The thing is by then, I had a daughter, who loved shoes.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Serving 1 not 8

Oasis Mediterranean Cuisine out of Toledo, Ohio manufactures a product they call Zero Fat Hommus with Roasted Red Pepper. I don't know why they spell it HO instead of HU and I don't care. The creamy, delicately spiced paste came to my attention about three weeks ago. Given my resolve, I am always on the lookout for a reasonably tasty alternative to my favored potato chips, cookies, cakes and pies. Not usually a fan of hummus, this Hommus is very yummy and quite addictive.
The label touts 8 servings per 8 oz tub, serving size 2 tablespoons. Who are they kidding? I eat the whole thing--every. single. time. out. Even at zero fat, I still feel the need to do more squats, kicks and elliptical glides. I've eaten tubs, granted only 8 ounces at a time, but many tubs of this stuff in the last three weeks. I want some more. Now.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006


Today I fell on the ice.
Not once.
Not twice.
Yeah, that many times, on the ice.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

...and in other news

SOS, derived from the Morse code, became an international distress signal in November 1906. I remember learning the dots and dashes in elementary school. It was mandatory. I went to a Samuel Finley Breese Morse Elementary School. Morse created the system originally for electronic telegraphic communications. The system, though mostly obsolete now, was used widely for early radio communications.

The first phonographic record player, the Victor Victrola was manufactured in August 1906. I remember having records. I still miss my records.

In October 1906, the Grand Duchy of Finland became the first nation to adopt universal suffrage, including minorities and women as candidates. Though there had been some small victories by this time in the United States, struggles for full voting rights for women and minorities continued. Finlandia, the Vodka of Finland was the Official Vodka of the Taste of Chicago this year. I remember voting. I did not drink any vodka before, during or after voting. I like rum better.

There were many other notable events during 1906, the registration of Rolls Royce, Ltd., a major eruption of Mount Vesuvius, a major earthquake in San Francisco, Teddy Roosevelt’s trip to Panama to inspect the construction progress of the canal, to name a few. Teddy’s trip marked the first time a sitting US President made an official trip outside of the United States.

Somewhere in the midst of these notable events, a little company was formed.

Today, on this day, 100 years and some days later, I celebrate my 27th anniversary with said company. I started here 27 years ago with quite a different plan. I was spouseless, childless and as it happens, rudderless.

A plan, marvel of fluid necessity, continues to drive me along a course paved with obligation and a desire to eat, drink and be merry. Who knows where this road will continue to lead? And while my little milestone goes widely un-noticed, just like the start of this little company, I continue to take note and remember.

Monday, December 04, 2006


How is it? Why is it? That whenever you are running late, the entire world conspires to keep you that way? School children moving much more slowly than usual, construction zones blocking traffic, bus drivers by-passing your stop, making you walk an extra four blocks.

I overslept this morning. This is a concept quite alien to me. I still however, might have made it to work on time-had it not been for the children, construction and bus by-pass.

Question is, why?

I’m blaming it on frogs.

No, there weren’t frogs in my bed. There were frogs in my head.

In my dream, my bike had gone missing. I searched high and low to no avail. I received a message from an anonymous source, telling me take my search to a neighborhood previously unknown to me.

In this neighborhood, I found a field which was populated by dozens of frogs. There was my bike, sitting, waiting for me to save her, just beyond the frogs. EEKS.

Frogs give me the freaks. I haven’t seen one up-close and personal since I was a kid and my brothers used to bring them home to keep as pets. We lived in the city, concrete jungle. Not the ideal breeding ground for frogs. I suspect they were stealing them from pet stores, but I have no proof. I have since, avoided meeting frogs face-to-face. I leave them, they leave me, alone.

Back to the dream, I muster up my gumption, roll-up my pants and press on to retrieve my beloved bike. I'm tip-toeing into the field. Carefully making my way towards Bella.

I don’t know if I ever did get to save Bella.

I woke up, LATE having lost the rest of the dream along the way.

Saturday, December 02, 2006


As you may have heard, my little town and several others were blanketed with a fair amount of snow late Thursday through Friday. My area got six inches. Some others, twice that amount. My short boots held up well with the slogging I had on tap for the day.
The snow tapered around 1:00 p.m. Friday afternoon. Much of the town looked like a picture post card. These are for Suzanne, who loves snow. Some souls either didn't believe the forecasts or didn't care. No, I would never, ever even think about riding my bike in this kind of weather. Never. But hey, different strokes.
Our pre-winter storm isn't just about the snow. We will be treated with well below freezing temps all weekend. Dictating the theme-hot and steamy. Hot and steamy beverages will be consumed the entire weekend. If not for the actor's play closing this weekend, it's doubtful yours truly would even go outside. But the play is closing and see it I must. Again. Not even ten degree temps could keep me away.

for your enjoyment: Sleigh bells ring, are you listening? In the lane, snow is glistening. A beautiful sight, we're happy tonight, walking in a winter wonderland.

Hypothetically speaking.

Friday, December 01, 2006


My high school physical education classes were broken into units. There was calisthenics, which including jumping jacks, jumping rope and other floor pounding, heart racing exercises. There was a gymnastics unit, which included more controlled jumps, climbing, spinning and rolling forward and backwards. To this day, I cannot roll backwards. Not that keen on the forward version either.

There was sports. Basketball with Mrs. Orange. Softball with Miss Apple. Volleyball with Miss. P. (No Ms. Yet-at least in my hood). Mrs. Orange was old, at least to us, she was maybe 35. To us this was ancient. Miss Apple was not married and a, was the term tossed about, was not well received. I thought she was a fine teacher, a little shy, but she knew her stuff and when the loudmouths in the back shut-up long enough or had to drop out due to pregnancy, she could be quite effective. Miss Plum was hot. Hot with two Ts. Boys and Girls alike were drawn to her like pastry chefs to butter. She ruled. Miss Plum was elected Teacher of the Year twice during my four years. Mondo popular she was. She was a good teacher too.

Dance was the worst except for Square dancing. The square dancing was the most popular of the segment because, I think it was closest to the Hustle.

And then there was marching. Left, Left, Left Right Left. Mrs. Orange was wild about marching. Most of the girls hated the marching. The rest of us hated the standing. Mrs. Orange wouldn't start a cadence until all was quiet, orderly, regimented. And of course, the loudmouths in the back, did their level best to disrupt the formation. Such a tedious exercise, marching.

Much of what I was taught in high school, made sense to me then, and some of it followed me beyond, into the real world. The marching not so much. Maybe. Will I be thinking about marching as I slog through what is expected to be our first winter storm? It's not winter yet, but that's a small point.

The prediction is 4-6 inches of snow in my area. For such a puny snow, the low boots will be sufficient.

Left, Left, Left, Right Left. I really didn't like the marching. I really don't like slogging through the snow. I do, however, like the low boots.

~~Orange, Apple & Plum-not their real names, you know.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006


The weekend weather was perfect. Picture perfect. I don't have a picture. I have trouble remembering to take the camera with me on my casual outings. When I do manage to remember to take the camera, I forget to point and shoot. One of these days it will all mesh.

On these picture perfect weekend days, I rode. I rode up, down and all around. It felt good. Very good. In addition to the rides, I stretched with my 4-Way AB band, concentrating on leg stretches.

Feeling pretty pleased with myself, having gotten my new resolve off and running, I went to the gym on Monday during my lunch break. You see, I'd fallen off track a bit. My expected work-out partner, wouldn't and then couldn't keep a regular schedule. The gym underwent some renovations and while not closed, working out during the construction was not an inviting notion. The post-Vegas malaise kept me off the circuit every couple of days. Development arrested.

I'd made a promise, something about holiday, food, not overdoing. Or, work-out. Work-out. Work-out.

I'm resolved to work-out. Hence the bike, the band and the gym during my lunch break.

The plan on Monday was to put in 40 minutes on the LifeFitness elliptical. I've logged a few miles on this machine and felt pretty comfortable with the motion and the work-out it provided. Somewhere, out of nowhere, the idea struck, like bad sushi, to try the other machine. The Cross Ramp EFX 5461. This appliance simulates running up ramps, adjustable to target particular muscle groups. That's the marketing da da. On the real, the torture instrument simulates running up baby mountains, after having had your right leg trade places with your left.

Two minutes on the machine and I realized I'd made a mistake. A big mistake. But, I can't stop now. There are people in the gym. People, who upon seeing me give up will whisper...wimp, chump, lightweight. I knew this to be true. I could hear them.

I stayed on the machine, struggling through the opp leg strides for EIGHT more minutes.

Then, somewhere, out of nowhere, the idea struck like, yeah, that. Hey, you're a gym rat. You're on a mission. You got more in you girl. Get on over there to those LifeFitness machines and work it out baby, no twist, a little shout.

Back on the original plan, the favored machine, gliding and striding for 35 minutes. I got into an acceptable rhythm after a rickety rocky beginning. Burning calories and strengthening resolve.

Tuesday morning I awoke sore. Both thighs. Sore.

Lunch break Tuesday, however, found me back at the gym. No pain, no gain and all that. 35 minutes, plus a 5 minute cool down on the LifeFitness glide and stride machine.

Tuesday night, both thighs VERY SORE!

After a good soak and a DIY rubdown. I was back in the gym today.


Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Rev Up

It's that time of year. No, not that, yet.

Delivery of the 2007 calendar refills, however, spell the beginning of budget talks. Visions of sugar plums may be dancing in some heads. Mine is filled with talk. Talk of revenue, health insurance premium increases, revenue, cost-of-living increases, revenue, postage, revenue, catalog production costs, revenue, and still, more revenue.

To quiet the cacophony of costs versus revenue talk going on in there, I turn my mind towards my own year end assessments and projections for the coming year.

When 2006 began, I was a 45 year old, divorced mother of two, seeking answers to silent questions.

I am now a 46 year old, divorced mother of two, with much shorter hair. Some of the questions have been answered. Some questions remain.

They are, however, no longer silent.

Monday, November 27, 2006


The first taste is tentative. Slow, silent appreciation for the soft, silky sweetness. Each sip thereafter is a hurried response to a craving. That hurtful, hungry and fierce desire that must be soothed, now.

Iced, she bites. She struggles in your mouth, attacks your teeth, gums. She pretends to be offering the elixir for your fuzzy tongue trembles. Merely chilled, she offers crisp, cool caresses that leave you breathless.

She calls to you in the early morning. She begs for late night visits. She searches for moments to entice throughout the day. When you seek her out, she promises glossy satisfaction in every drop.

Before long, you realize you're hooked. You can't go a day without a taste, a gulp. You devise reasons to tap. A cookie, anything. You cannot get enough. You must, must have more of the sweet silky softness.

Got Milk?

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Day After

I had positively no intention of venturing out of doors on Friday, save for a bike ride. I had plenty to do indoors. Plenty. Should I find a need to venture out of doors, in no way, shape or form, were those out of doors ventures going to include going anywhere near any sort of retail outlet.

Mom called at 7:30 a.m. Friday morning. She would like to go to Target, if I don’t mind, which in our mother-daughter lingo means, come now, pick me up and take me to Target. I was able to stall until 9:30 a.m.

Target bled into Walgreens, which bled into CVS, which bled into the post-office, which bled into a fast food joint. Then home again, jiggity jig. My head hurt.

Daughter Dani decides that we should go get some cheapy sweats in preparation for her work next week. She’d purged all of her junky clothes several weeks ago. The only sweats and ratty jeans in her closet now are not suitable for public view.

She’d handed over the keys to her car for my mother-daughter errand with my mom, so off again, I go jiggity jig. "Mom, you know, we need bread and milk and ..." she reports. Wait! A grocery store too!?

Oh for Pete’s sake!

Friday found me maneuvering among the masses, probably my least favorite activity on earth, except for perhaps, a root canal.

The upside, the weather was wonderful, I did manage a bike ride after napping, excising the demons of the earlier day outings from my system.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Hot Buttered Buns

There will be buns, yams, greens (mustard/turnip mix), birds, stuffing, pies and more. We will gather about my dining room table laden with food prepared by careful hands. My mom, I’m sure will have her contributions done, ready for transport by Wednesday morning. I will rise early as usual, Thursday morning to produce my parts. There will be the four of us, unless my brother and his family make an appearance. This will be his first Thanksgiving with them in six years.

For the food and the company, I am thankful.

Though this year has been trying both physically and emotionally for my mom, she has revealed some incredible resilience. I am thankful for her strength, even if she doesn’t see or feel it and for my ability to be of assistance.

Dani has been out of work for a bit over a month. She’s gone on a handful of interviews and was growing increasingly concerned about the burden she felt she was becoming. Yesterday she was offered a job by
The Anti-Cruelty Society. Orientation and training starts on Monday. This is a full-time job with benefits, working with animals. Of all the applications she’d filed, this was the job she wanted. I am thankful for the drive and gumption she showed in going after this job.

Michael has worked extremely hard and has been acutely focused with networking, auditioning and performing, while holding down a very demanding day job. He’s also tried to have some fun and continues to expand his horizons, despite the taunting. I am thankful for his spirit and verve.

The forecast is for pleasant temps and sunshine. I will be able to get outside for a vigorous walk or ride, to keep those hot buttered buns from having such an impact on my cool, when-you-dress-Caress, buns. You bet your stuffing, I am thankful.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Snack Food

Popcorn has a long and storied history, which I won’t regale. You may read about some of it here here and here.

When I was really young, there was always popped corn. My mom ate it by the bucketfuls. She hardly ever bought pre-popped or flavored corn. She only bought kernels and she popped at home. It wasn’t long before I was the pop poppiest kernel popper. It was the one thing she taught and allowed me to do in the kitchen besides washing dishes. My mom could have popcorn for breakfast, lunch and dinner. She did even on a popcorn diet, until she became very weak. Her sisters intervened. Even afterwards, she continued to eat a lot of popped corn.

Ever had left-over popcorn. Out from the refrigerator, with congealed oil into the popped pockets?

Sometimes Jiffy-Pop and microwave corn made special appearances, but mom was very loyal to the vintage methods of pop corn preparation.
As an adult, popcorn and I shared an ambivalent existence. It was a favored snack when Michael and Dani were younger, its popularity waning considerably over the years.

A resurgence may be on the horizon. The actor had an audition a few weeks ago, for a small film role. He was called back for a second look-see. Much too soon for exuberant spillage of glee, but hmm, movie theater popcorn, the sounds, the smells, the taste.

Thursday, November 16, 2006


Anna writes, ‘I need a lesbian gurl friend.’ I know because she told me and the thousands of women registered to one of the four sites of meet and greet her.

The registrants proclaim themselves to be women looking for other women to like, love or lick like a lollipop should be licked. Me? I’m in there somewhere.

Towards that end I floated some balloons. The very first list was the least productive in terms of prospects and respondents. It remains so. Two of the next three have been a bit more promising. The third is new, so the jury is still out.

C is in a relationship, she’s looking for pals. She has a partner who has a 9 year old son. She’s a buckeye and sounds (writes) bubbly.

K is a single mom. She has an 11-year old son. She lives in England and ‘came to the conclusion’ she was gay in 2001. The tale she tells so far is intriguing.

P is single and enjoys cooking for her siblings and friends. She works at a newspaper and doesn’t feel confident enough of her grammar to enjoy writing. No, she doesn’t write for the paper.

Others responding to a HI didn’t reply to my email. No harm, no foul. I got some HI s that raised my eyebrows a bit; the 19 year old I had to delete immediately. 19? That’s younger than my daughter, idonthinkso. The 22 year old was almost deleted, but she emailed me before I could and all but dared me to email her, ‘don’t let my age discourage you..’ Well I’m no chicken, I clucked her up, a week and counting and not a peep.

Some hellos were followed with ‘I’m not really good at writing, here’s my cell number.’ Dani tells me this is a BIG RED FLAG. ‘Mom, don’t! She’s probably some crazy stalker!’ I’d figured that part out, but she likes to give me advice, I like to let her, sometimes.

So far, so hum. I’m not as active as I probably could be, but looking at all those profiles is dizzying. Besides, there are other projects looming and are threatening to make themselves a nuisance. They must be addressed.

The anxiety expressed a couple, three weeks ago has pretty much evaporated thanks to some feedback, time and to this blogging community into which I find myself immersed. I’ve laughed out loud, silently cried and furrowed my sparse brows having been provoked to entertain a different point of view. Some have extended themselves beyond the blogs. Those connections are precious to me and continue to drive and inspire.

Y’all are the shiznit, yo!

lick like a lollipop should be licked - salt n pepa

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


WMS? Women Must Sing? No.
WMS? Wild Monkey Stew? No.
WMS? Where's My Stuff? Bingo.

Jack calls and asks,"where's my stuff?" Before I can address Jack's question there is a question or two of my own to pose, like the purchase order number, billing name or zip code for the billing address. Jack will rarely know the purchase order number and often has difficulty either remembering or relaying simple factoids like a zip code.

Customers call. They call with a query, a concern or all-out problem. Hardly ever does a customer call to say, "hey!" or even, "I think you guys are doing a great job!" No, customers have problems. I get that call and it is my responsibility to solve that problem, no matter what.

I am no longer in the day-to-day trenches of incoming customer service. My responsibilities beyond debt collection, bookkeeping and other office management functions are to plug in missing spots and to be the voice of authority when a matter escalates. There are customers for whom blue is not blue or 'the last straw' is a regular emotional register.

Jacks often thwart their own goals by failing to offer accurate and/or logical information. Jacks feel that providing just jack is sufficient data to pull up their order.

Efficient and effective customer servicing requires knowledge of the company's products and processes, a calm and diplomatic demeanor and above all else the ability to stifle the exasperated sigh. Jack will certainly test a service representative's command of the situation.

Jack was asked to confirm his email address:
He replies: J as in um, um, J-ump, P as in um, um, um F-one
Jack, I'm sorry, was that B as in B-one?
I see, that was P as in P-aul? "Yes! P as in P-eople!
Jack's email address is eventually confirmed as

Fanatical customer service is not a single act. It is a habit practiced every minute of every day.

Jacks command nothing less.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Two Full Days

Inauspicious beginning what with the high winds and heavy rains greeting me as I left work on Friday evening. Suede shoes, cotton socks and double knit slacks paired with the gale force winds assured soaked extremities.

The condo was quiet, both Michael and Dani out for the evening. I shed the wet, trading for dry, heat soup leftover from earlier in the week. A check of email unveiled some pleasant surprises which prompted some quick replies. I trade the empty soup bowl for a mug filled with a warm beverage, settle in front of my trusty heater. Not a fireplace, but will suffice.

Satruday morning dawns, me fairly well rested. The kids and I share our various breakfasts, trade some stories and laughs of the week just past. It's still a bit chilly, calling for indoor chores. The book on Saturday closes with delivered Chinese and a rousing game of Scattergories with Dani and her boyfriend.

A 7:57 a.m. call from mom signals the start to Sunday. Well, not really. Sunday actually began at 2:00 a.m. I was shaking off the effects of a disturbingly funny dream when I heard Michael come in from his show and more. Fully awake now, I putter for a few hours, online and off, finally dozing off to the tail end of Hitchcock's Birds. The 7:57 a.m. called signaled the second beginning to Sunday morn.

The rest of the day progresses without incident. Our plans to attend the roller derby championship being shelved in lieu of preparing a pot roast, watching football, soccer and more football.

I discovered that roller derby was alive, somewhat, and well in Chicago only a few weeks ago. Too late to attend any matches. I found myself on the mailing list for the Windy City Rollers. I hope there is another season, as I do, so much, want to see a match in person, finally.

Two full days, back-to-back, felt like bliss. I'd forgotten how much I missed feeling anything like this. Future weekends I'm sure won't be quite so easy breezy. There are some projects looming ahead that might result in an ordeal or two or three.

But for now, Sunday lobbies to join Saturday in the favorite day derby.

Friday, November 10, 2006


Ok. I don't need an anvil dropped on my head. I get it. Several days, a purse pack and roll from home later, it obvious the building management will not be supplying personal paper products to the ladies rest room anytime soon. Previously lacking BigRolls or any of the kissing cousins, the room is now also devoid of bountiful towels. There are some options open to me, the purse pack, I've exhausted. Some others uncovered by Wendy, though intriguing, are simply unacceptable.

I find it necessary then, to add to the current list of home at the office provisions of foodstuffs like oats, skim milk, cottage cheese, fruit, tuna crackers and coffee, other necessities, like vitamins, pain relievers, aunty flo accessories and utensils..


The office is becoming too much like home. How many more days until the next vacation?

By the way have you ever been to a toilet paper museum? It's not the M C A but give it a whirl.

Thursday, November 09, 2006


Saturday is my favorite day. Why? I don’t put on a watch. I don’t operate on a schedule. Saturday is my grocery, laundry, dry-cleaners, yard, sweeping, mopping, and many things in-between day-accomplished in no particular order, with no specific design, unless a task is related to my mother.

If I had any kind of social life to speak of, Saturday would also be my Queen-For-A-Day day, but that’s another topic.

There are constrictions and restrictions, the weather and retail business hours, but otherwise, it is my one and only loosey goosey day, where I can do what, when and how I want, generally.

That is, however, provided I can stay on my feet.

After the Sunday through Friday work week that encompasses about 70 hours including commutes to and from both jobs, Saturday morning has begun to arrive all too quickly after about only 26 hours of sleep through the week.

Lately, Saturday has been my crash and burn day. The day starts with promise. I rise, do some stretches, drink some java, eat some oats, take my vitamin and Glucosamine and get to crackin. Two hours in, I take a breather, have some water and contemplate the next moves. I do my best contemplating while sitting on the sofa. Next thing I know, the second college football game is in the second half. Holy boondoggle, I’ve slept away the rest of the morning and a chunk of the afternoon.

Being that it is my loosey goosey day, I’m not stressed about what didn’t get done, the chores left undone are deferred for another Saturday. However, weeks of this kind of tom-foolery leads to chores bleeding onto an errant Tuesday, or even worse, a Thursday evening, because loosey-goosey or no, the stuff must get done, eventually.

Nothing I’ve tried has yielded any more sleeping hours. Nothing. Am I destined to crash and burn every Saturday thereby insuring that extra sour cream is constantly being added the already loaded weekday?

I have one more, no-holds barred, come hell-or-high water plan to salvage my Saturdays.

Quit the second job. This week will be my first two full days weekend, unless I’m sick or on vacation weekend in five years. Two full days, the possibilities tantalize the senses.

I was saving this for when I get a date, but I think I know where I can find another, Yee Haw!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


The results of this quiz reports that I have the personality of a badger. They further define that personality as: Grumpy & hardworking. You seem to have a hard time enjoying the simple pleasures in life, but this doesn't seem to bug you. People find you cynical, but you appreciate the ones who treat you with love and respect, Which you give back in bulk. You're not as bad as people think you are.

After reading it, I was all fired up, ready to rip quizilla a new one for the grumpy description.

I AM NOT G R U M...oh wait, perhaps, just perhaps I logged some ticks on the grumpy meter.

I do believe that Ms. Grump appeared when I realized I'd once again donned the socks that routinely lose their way and find themselves tangled down inside my shoes, limply clumped around my toes.

Madam Grumpy may have reared her frazzy head when yet again I discovered the upstairs neighbors failed to deliver their garbage bags all the way INSIDE the dumpster or recycling bins.

I'm quite certain that Gramma Grumps made a guest appearance when the boss asked for the hundredth time if we (the business) could afford a new printer and I responded, after the pre-requisite pause, that we couldn't afford not to.

So quizilla, grumpy in her various frocks has indeed popped in from time to time. I don't abide by the suggestion that she's taken up permanent residence. I couldn't get through the days with grumpy grumps hanging on my shoulders like Nevada heat in August.

Now if we could talk about this cynical comment and what the heck is this about me not being as bad as people think I am? That's just bunk! I am bad to the bone, but not at all grumpy.

This message inspired by Betty and paid for by the committee to rationalize grumptitude.

It's An Express

Much to my delight the public transpo service nearest my home added an express bus to one of the various options for my commute to work. This express bus versus the non-express shaves 20-30 minutes from the commuting time.

The new service, in operation for about 12 weeks now, keeps me off the train and the mountain of stairs leading to the platform. At 7:30 a.m and frigid temps, a mountain of stairs is a tough feat for my less than supple joints. I was not looking forward to another Winters worth of commuting.

The express service is working very well for me with one exception. Many patrons along the route have not quite grasp the idea of express. They continue to expect the bus to stop at every other corner. They continue to rant, rave, stomp feet and wave fists from the back door; "Hey! Let Me Off!"

Driver's have been instructed to amplify the signage; 'this is an express bus' before boarding and often throughout the ride. Over and over, 'this is an express bus'. Still, some patrons are ranting, raving, stomping feet and waving fists, demanding to be let off. The rides are not nearly as pleasant as I expected.

Perhaps I'll try the non-express bus, it's likely pretty empty these days.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Revolution Evolution (?)

The talk around the house has been about revolution. Not the New England MLS team nor of the A-1 spinning tops, but the movements for rights; civil, human, voting. The battles for equality.

Battles that were hard fought. Results won with the blood, sweat and tears of many valiant revolutionaries.

All those battles, all those years ago, bring us here, to where we are today. Folks, many of them Black, tossing around the N word like confetti. Black folks chiding others for 'talkin white.' Folks embracing, even celebrating and perpetuating CP (colored people) time. "Chile, I don't have no tolerance for White people," or "why you always reading books by White people?" and similar statements follow many Blacks who step outside the box. There are folks who don't want to know you if you don't eat, sleep, drink and bleed Black.

Michael is going to the opera, Salome . He mentioned it to a few cast mates and he was ridiculed and had his loyalty to 'his people' questioned. He, we are proud of our heritage. We support, attend and pursue many activities, representing a number of cultures. We do have those rights, those freedoms. No?

A life long revolutionary with no revolution to feed her passions, pain or obsession engineers events, she hopes will galvanize the community to rise up against 'the man' and the injustices that she believes still permeate the Black community. This is the basic premise of Panther Burn, Michael's current stage work.

I saw the play on Friday. He was fabulous. The play is limited in its scope, I think the playwright could have told a more intriguing story. But, he told the story he wanted to tell and the performances were fine. Michael's role called for him to be angry, very angry the entire time. He is such a cheerful, optimistic soul, it was hard-yet fascinating to see him sizzle with that much heat.

The talk around the house has been about revolution. There are battles still to be fought. There is homelessness, joblessness, lags in education and resources. Not to mention the 'darkie' mentality. There are results yet to win.

Question is, is it a battle against 'the man' or the man in the mirror?

Friday, November 03, 2006

Pet Pups

We are a fuzzy household. We'd like to be a household of furries with breath and a pulse, but for now we are a household of fabric fuzzies. There have been a bevy of fuzzies that have passed through and passed on. Several remain still. The top two of the menagerie of muppets are Wags (the tiger suited fellow up top) and his sister Wagette (all decked out in her skeleton sweater).

Wags and Wagette, gifted to Dani on consecutive Christmases in her 8th and 9th years hold very special spots of honor in our hearts and home. They have their own chairs and with the help of a master, their own voices. They hold court over Mollie McBear, Babs Bunny, Diggy Puppop and a host of other critters.

The boy pup, Wags, dubbed, 'the so fine' is quietly fierce. His personal hero is Spike (from Tom and Jerry) and when the free flowing estrogen threatens to topple him, he escapes to man land, where he and Unkie Mikie can watch man movies, eat pizza and burgers and reset his balance.

Wagette, dubbed, 'diva' likes to wear jewelry and is a bossy little fuzzy. She rules the fuzz with an iron paw. She is quick to add a caustic comment when such is needed. She is drama personified. Wagette has been quite vocal in her lobbying efforts to get a live pup in the mix. She feels same would enhance the homey atmosphere that exists in our fuzzy abode.

Hard to argue with the 'diva.'

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Calendar Daze

As the keeper of the time, it is my responsibility, obligation, duty and chore to assist in the coordination of days off for the other eight employees. I do not authorize or decline the days off, I am the record gatherer, advisor of conflicts and keeper.

For this purpose, I print and release to the two other supervisors and the general manager a blank calendar, save for my own scheduled days. Generally speaking, planned days off are requested, at minimum 10 days prior to event. I usually plan mine a month in advance. There remains room for contingencies.

The managers fill in the appropriate dates with the appropriate codes for all employees under their purview and of course their own dates. Each manager returns his completed calendar, I transfer the data to a master, note and advise of any conflicts, as necessary. Once cleared, the completed calendar is posted in the breakroom.This has been a monthly occurrence for five years now.

I'm DP. The fh shown on the calendar is floating holiday. Floating holidays are personal days. These are above and beyond vacation days. As you can see, I've scheduled a personal day for 11/17/2006. November 23rd and 24th (Thanksgiving and day after) are paid holidays for our business, have been for five years.

One supervisor came in my office to ask me about 11/21 and 11/22. "Do you have anything special planned for those days?" I quickly dismissed that he was asking me out or if I might be available to clean his gutters. I most always respond to questions from this particular co-worker with a question of my own as I can rarely offer the reply that is tittering on the edge of my tongue. I ask the buffer question to give the titter time to dissipate.

He acknowledges that the days are blank, thus affirming that I have not asked for nor been given authorization to take those days. He goes on to tell me how he'd like to have those days because his mom will be in town and he needs to...I don't know, I stopped listening. I don't authorize days off. I re-iterate that I'm not planning anything for those days, if he wants them-he should go and get them.

The general manager, my boss yells from his office, two doors down, "do we get the Friday after Thanksgiving?" Did I mention the Friday after Thanksgiving was added as one of our paid holidays five years ago?

The radio volume is tweaked upward ever so slightly. On this day, it was 70's rock.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Memo First Draft

To: Management of Building --Where Deborah toils.

From: Toiling Deborah

Re: TP ( Toilet Paper )

Sirs, Madams, Drones; the women's room, you know the only one, the locked one, the one with 4 stalls and 2 sinks, on the third floor, that serves, at last count, uhm let's see....ONE female, yes, that one, the women's room has been without toilet paper for the past several days.

I know that Ishmael is aware. I told him and he must have noticed because the mopping supplies are in a closet, inside the women's room. He mopped yesterday.

Now, I know that times are tough. I know that some corners had to be cut.

Given the state of the economy and the pinch you must be feeling, I must admit some shock and awe at the distribution of the space heaters. I'm here to tell you that my elbows and toes are eternally grateful for the whoosh of warmth.

However, if a choice must be made, I'd gladly broker a trade. You can have my portable heat, for a few rolls of Charmin, Cottonelle, hell heck, you could pass on some Bounty.

Your consideration is much appreciated.

Best Regards,
Toiling Female Tenant Office Suite 3B

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

I Did It

I’m going to do it again. And again. And again.

There were many things my daughter and I needed to get and do to prepare for our trip. She’s more traveled than I, so I deferred to her opinion on much. One of those tasks were mom/daughter mani/pedi-cures. I was not quick to jump on this wagon. You see, I’d never indulged. She on the other hand, indulges regularly.

On the appointed day she and I entered an establishment not far from home. We told the intake person what we wanted and were told to ‘go pick colors’. Colors? I haven’t worn colors on my fingers is years. I can’t remember there ever being color on my toes. Colors selected. Slippers given. It was time to release the feet. Dani thought to wear flip-flops, like I said she’s a regular. But, then again, I don’t even own a pair of flip-flops.

The foot spa was fired up and filled with warm sudsy water which was sent swirling. I sat upon a throne fit for a queen, with controls in hand so that I could choose to warm my buns or massage my back or better yet, both.

I was directed to place my feet in the pool of swirling, warm sudsy water and oooohhh, uh, yes, it felt like beyond good. Then the work began. Some picking, scraping, sloughing and brushing. Now, I didn’t know, or I hadn’t realized that I’m a might ticklish on the bottoms of my feet. Well, after the first wave of quite un-queen like squiggles and giggles, I was able to control myself and relax into the sensations being perpetuated on my soles and beyond. When mister man moved up to massage my calves and shins I thought, briefly, of how I could conduct all business right here from this very throne.

The manicure was just so-so and frankly a little annoying.

But, the pedicure was chocolate covered peanuts good, deep tub full of vanilla scented bubbles good, perusing the pulley aisle of the, not quite that good, but very very good. Dani says that the salon we visited didn’t *perform* the massage portion as well as some other places she’d been. If what I got, wasn’t as good as some others...oh, best believe, I’m going to be on those like butter on a lobster tail.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

The Extra Hour

I had myself a party. It wasn’t just any kind of party.

My son’s show opened in previews this weekend and I wasn’t able to go. Physically and financially I was able-but snafus, mis-communications and such, prevented me from getting a ticket and watching him perform. It made me really sad.

My mother’s arthritis has progressed over her fingers, bending several. Therapists fashioned a splint to slow the curvature. She became frustrated with it and took it off. She’s had additional problems with her eyes, medication has been adjusted. Her overall attitude is poor and my brothers are not helping. This makes me sad.

My daughter announced on Friday that she was going to quit her job inside of the next week. The fact that she wanted to quit doesn’t come as a surprise, she hasn’t been happy or thriving for some time now. We’ve been having conversations about being prepared to make the next move. Getting her ducks in a row, so to speak. My extremely emotional daughter can be impulsive and rash, particularly when angered or hurt.

I support her decision to resign as she cannot continue to work under the conditions she has been forced to endure. When the call came in on Friday, though, she was at a fever pitch, which in turn rocked my emotions to the stratosphere. My concern is that she will lose control of her emotions, and react in a rash, unprofessional manner that could prove detrimental to future goals.

My concern is that any protracted state of unemployment, and in turn unhappiness will turn our clock back four years. I’m trying to trust that the relationship and bond we’ve been building since she returned from that brink, will withstand this test.

Earlier in the week, I’d finally completed my profiles, posted them and even floated some interest balloons to some prospects. Nothing. I tried really hard not to be disappointed. I’ve listened to my online buddies (you know who you are) who have encouraged me and advised me to keep an
open and positive mind. I’ve tried to not be too anxious. Lately, I’ve been feeling like Harry Burns,..."when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible." Well, in my case, there isn’t a somebody, but the thought of somebody. I'm feeling very much like a three-year old, I want it now.

I’ve been alone for a very long time. My kids, my mother and even my brothers are here-but all look to me for leadership, for guidance, assistance. For strength. And I am fine with this. It is who I am, what I am. When I divorced, I honestly didn’t give a thought to having a different kind of life. The realization that something different was indeed desired, nay necessary, started to materialize over the years, becoming insistent, developing a hells bells kind of urgency in the last few months.

Friday night was the loneliest night I have had in a very, very long time.

I celebrated my extra hour a day early. I had a Whine and Geez party on Saturday. I had myself a good old cry. I cried long and hard and it felt good. Then, I went out into the bright, crisp, very windy day and I rode my bike. The wind so strong it bit. So strong it impeded forward progress, momentarily. I rode to the business district where the town was hosting a trick-or treating event for families. I saw little princesses, cowboys, kindly witches, robots, knights, insects and such. I laughed out loud at the families who coordinated their costumes down to the wagons and pets. I regretted having left the camera at home. It was a happy scene.

I talked with Michael. He said the previews were going fine. There were some kinks to work out, but that’s what previews were for. I expressed sorrow that I couldn’t see it yet, he basically told me to relax, the show was going to be up until Dec. 3rd, that I had plenty of time to see it plenty of times. "Mom, you need to calm down, you are just too proud." I laughed and told him there was no such thing. I’ve secured the first set of tickets to see my actor man perform in the coming week.

I talked with my mom and I think I was able to convince her to try the splint, at least until the next appointment, when perhaps a new, better fitting, less constrictive one could be fashioned. I spoke with her pastor for additional support in keeping her spirits up and to see if we could arrange some assistance with shopping and such.

Dani and I had a long talk. She has mostly calmed down. She was concerned that I would be disappointed in her. She was concerned that she’d be stuck, because she didn’t want to be any more of a burden to me. She was afraid that I wouldn’t understand what being there was doing to her and that she really was trying to ‘hold it all together.’ It’s clear that we both want the same things, which is for her to succeed, to thrive, to continue her drive towards independence. I assured her that as long as we could talk, we would be fine. We worked on putting together her resume, cover letters and interview outfits. Yes, a trip to the mall was in order, she wouldn’t be Dani, without a trip to the mall.

I know that it was much too soon to expect anything to develop from the profiles and interest ‘feelers’ I put out there. I was, in a word, anxious. I got a bit ahead of myself. Completing the profiles was perhaps the one of the most difficult things I’ve done and one of the scariest. Putting myself out here is one thing, but making myself available for the interests of some possible special some ones, is quite another. The pang from the lack of response, the rejection, stung. But I understand. I have gathered my perspective and my strength. Slow and steady, steady and slow, that's the way this thing will go.

There are people out here, out there, going through some hellish trials, mine seem like a walk in the park, in comparison. I heard two songs this weekend that couldn’t be more different from each other, yet, both spoke to me in a way that was primal and re-affirming; "I Am Woman" by Helen Reddy and "Blame it on the Boogie" by Michael Jackson. 'Don’t blame it on the sunshine, don’t blame it on the moonlight, don’t blame it on the good times, Blame it on the Boogie.' There’s a part in the song where he says, under the instrumentation, 'I just can’t, I just can’t, I just can’t control my feet.' I am strong, invincible and I just can’t control my feet. My feet (and my fingers) will continue to do what we do.

What did you do with your extra hour?

Saturday, October 28, 2006


Here is my entry, in response to wordsmiths November challenge. This photo was the inspiration.

I give you Hindsight.

Walking with resolute sedulity for days, no, only a few hours, Trace came upon what appeared to be an old church. There was a steeple, now fallen. Stepping inside what might have been a sanctuary, Trace was taken aback.

This space, filled with overgrown sedum, ferns and other unidentifiable plant life was instantly scary. In that instant she regretted the decision to leave the car. In that instant she wanted to turn and run. But she couldn’t. She wouldn’t.

Trace was tired. She was hungry. As scary as this place was, here she would stay, at least until she could regain some strength, recover some insight, try to understand why Jamie reacted with such hysterics. Jamie’s response to Trace’s news about wanting to move to Massachusetts was bizarre, to say the least. Trace had no idea that Jamie would become so agitated. She had no idea that she would become, homicidal. Yes, homicidal, Trace believed that Jamie was trying to kill her. The fight was more than a fight, Jamie was out of control. She was unstable. She was strong.

Trace got enough leverage to break Jamie’s grip. She pushed Jamie hard enough, to give herself time to run. Trace put some space between them and was able to make it to the door before Jamie recovered. Luckily, her keys were in her pocket. Trace got to the car just as Jamie appeared on the stoop. The car started on the first try, thanking God, Trace took off tires spinning, rubber squealing.

Driving with no destination in queue, Trace’s mind spun as fast as the tires. A million questions riddled her brain; the whats and whys bouncing around with fervor. She discovered she was driving out of town, now on a single lane road. She’d not been lucid enough to take note of signs nor the tank. Running out of gas in the middle of nowhere, she got out and started to walk.

Finding herself in this sanctuary, which she’s decided isn’t so scary anymore. Trace decides it is an old church, but it doesn’t appear it was being used as a church. The furniture suggests some other purpose. Trace decided this place would serve as her sanctuary. She would rest and get her bearings. Trace fashioned a bench out of some of the broken furniture, patting herself on the back for having the foresight to bring some provisions from the car, primarily the blanket.

Thinking about the ads she’d answered which eventually led her to Jamie, Trace thought, oh, Jamie! What happened? Why had the mention of Massachusetts triggered such vitriolic responses? Such violence? Trace slowed her breathing trying to relax. Putting the episode aside, Trace would sleep thinking onward to the hike toward the next town and how the solitude of this sanctuary was giving her strength.

There was company on Trace's road. The company knew Trace would sleep and how she slept.

The company hovered, crowding Trace’s fleeing thought

Friday, October 27, 2006


I’ve been cleaning my closet. The change in the weather is partly the cause, as I need more access to more sweaters. I am rarely without a sweater, even in summer. Air-conditioning and I are not on friendly terms, so I wear or carry a sweater to mitigate the arctic temps of some office buildings, busses and trains. In the wintertime, I’ve been known to double-sweater.

Other than outerwear, coats, hats, gloves and so on, my warm weather wardrobe doesn’t vary that much from my cold weather wear. I do tend to wear more turtlenecks in the colder weather, but a turtleneck, or at least a mock turtleneck or two have made summer stops on my top.

I don’t do pastels, as a rule. I’ve tried. I just can’t embrace pale yellows, greens and the lighter hues of blues. I don’t do prints, especially, floral. My disdain, however, for certain fashion choices hasn’t stopped the flow of these items into my closet. Thanks to well-meaning gift givers, I have amassed a collection of pale and/or printed tops. Many of which are also too large.

I’m a healthy specimen of woman, no doubt. I am not, however, by any stretch of the imagination, buxom. Never have been, never will be. Yet, I have tops that would indicate the purchaser had someone else, entirely, in mind when making said selection.

Which brings me to bras. I wear bras and yes, I buy all my own bras. I wear front hooking bras. I like them because they are easy to get into and more importantly, easy to get out of, a must for middle-of-the- day work-out sessions and the shower which must follow.

I have one bra who is really past her prime. She has served her purpose, outlived her usefulness-but she is so damn comfortable. I can’t bear to part with her. I must though. She has taken to coming undone, without provocation, in the middle of conversations or other scenarios where immediate re-hooking is not encouraged or possible.

And while, being the un-buxom specimen that I am, the un-expected un-hooking doesn’t result in major flipping and flopping, it is still, well, unseemly and unwelcome. Thank goodness I was wearing a sweater, but still, she must go.