Thursday, August 31, 2006


This has been the longest week in the longest month of the longest year ever recorded in history. Ok, clearly, I’m exaggerating. It’s only limping towards the end of Thursday, though I feel like I’ve survived three Thursdays already this week.

Being sick is one culprit. You would think that with all the medication and the resulting coma like states that time and days would fly by-but oh no, they are plodding and trodding like the edict came down from some high place, for time to stand stock still. It’s still Thursday of a very long week and I’m still sick and I've been working, hard. Lovely.

One aspect of my job, the office, that I really enjoy is the autonomy. I have a boss and I do have to keep regular hours (M-F 8:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m), but once there, my day is my day, for the most part. I wear many hats at the office and while everyone is aware of my responsibilities, no one knows day-to-day, what I do or how I get it done. The end result is all that counts.

Personally, I think this is a dangerous way to run a business, especially one as small as ours. I’m always after my boss to implement a cross-training program. He has, on a limited basis with the primary sales and customer service fellas, but my functions have been off-limits to everyone (including him-which really baffles me). Anyhow, the autonomy usually makes for a relatively stress free day. There are days when I’m busier than a beehive but the salvation is that I have control over much. My days can and often are driven by: phone calls, faxes, emails, nutty comments and anecdotes from co-workers and in-box bashing, but otherwise, I have control, yes I do.

The department-of-one does have drawbacks. The primary down-side is not having a back-up for my days off, planned or un-planned. For planned days off I must put in extra work to put things in order to minimize any surprises during the absences. My responsibilities cover so many vital areas of the day-to-day operations, scheduling days off around certain events becomes problematic. Hence, I haven’t had a real vacation yet this year. A day here, a couple of days there-nothing of any real substance, yet.

By the same token, being ill is well, like my kids coaches used to say, "not an option during the season". Our business and work flow is seasonal, generally. We are currently in our busiest season. For my position, it is compounded at month-end. I cannot be M.I.A. at the end of the month, any month. The three to four days leading up to the end of the month and the three to four days of the new month are busiest of the busy days for me.

So, I’ve been slogging through these days, slurping hot tea, sipping non-drowsy formula cold remedies and sucking enough Lemon Mint Sugar-Free Ricola TM to make me wish I, or someone I knew very very well, owned stock. At the end of the work day, I retire, crashing after taking the yes please, drowsy, cold remedy of choice.

Any wonder why the placard I saw adhered to a wall of a vacant building struck me instantly giddy? It read:


I had to wipe some spiggle (that’s giggle spit for the un-initiated), I did. Then found myself spending countless walking minutes re-positioning the W’s; Wild Women With Wicked Warm Wonder or Warm Women With Wild Wicked Wonder or Warm Wicked Women With Wild Wonder

or just a bit more playfully, Wickedly Warm Women With Wonderful Wildness.

The letter W has been brought to you by Alka-Seltzer PlusTM

Tuesday, August 29, 2006


Having ever so briefly emerged from the drug induced coma, I was driven to check emails. Now, I must dwell, ever so briefly, hopefully, on the fallout.

Getting theonlydaughter a date initiatives entailed, among other actions, spiriting a request to join an on-line group peopled by local lesbians, looking for connections, be it friendship or otherwise.

A couple of weeks have gone by and my mind swirls with questions. Did I send the email? Check.
Did I include the correct return email address? Check. Did I spell everything correctly? Check.

Why haven't I heard back? I don't know the make-up of the group, so I wonder-Am I too old or not old enough? Too ethnic or not ethnic enough? To what or not what enough? Could the leader or moderator tell any of that about me, based on the briefest of brief bio included in the email?

I finally get a reply. "Your request to join the CL group was not approved." Turns out the moderator of the group was too busy or just couldn't be bothered. If an application isn't approved in a given about of time, the request is automatically rejected. The automatic email included some ying yang about high quality of service, you may try again, dum ditty dum ditty dum dum dum.

I'm going back to bed.

Monday, August 28, 2006


So is the Internet contagious? Oh, I don’t mean contagious like addictive, I know the answer to that question. What I need to know is, if one visits oh, I don’t know, 4000 bloggers over the past 36 hours. And maybe 40% of them have posted about having just gotten over, currently suffering from or feel like they are about to come down with sniffles, headache, body aches, fever, coughing, sneezing and more. Is it possible to freaking catch what they got through the screen, keys, speakers or osmosis or something? Can you? HUH? Answer me, dammit!

Oh, never mind. I don’t need to know how I got my freaking cold. I just need a remedy and sleep.
Good Night. Oh, if I’m contagious-I am so so sorry.

Sunday, August 27, 2006


It all started with a twitch. A teensy little crinkle of a nose. It sent shivers up and down my spine. And then, oh and then, she flew, on a broom. Baby, it was a wrap. I was in love with your friendly, suburban witch, or rather the actress who portrayed the fetching sorceress, Elizabeth Montgomery.

Oh my goodness.

From very early on, I remember feeling, wanted to feel, connected to women. It felt warm, safe and on a very primal level, right.

Contrarily, external messages and signals dictated otherwise. What was inside me wasn't at all right. What was a little girl to do?

Later, when I was old enough to form some thought on the matter, I surmised, or rather, rationalized that it had to do with not having a sister. Sandwiched between two boys who garnered more attention, more energy and more focus from our mom left me on the outside looking elsewhere for something, anything, connection. It wasn't for me to question why I felt safer seeking or in the company of females.

A social mis-fit from the beginning, I retreated to televison, music and books; living inside myself. Elizabeth Montgomery, Billie Jean King, Janis Joplin (post-humously) and more were responsible for hours of enjoyment and pleasure on many more levels than I was fully equipped or prepared to handle.

During my pre and early teen years, this exploration was not about sex, entirely. It had to do with admiration for the accomplishments of strong women. Strong, throaty, viable women spoke to me, enlightened me, warmed me. That, was indeed, primal.

Yet, even as I was becoming more aware of my real self which included my sexual self, I became even more reticent about showing those true colors. My family's dysfunction was only partly the cause. During the entire sum of my child and early adult-hood, I felt less than. Less than pretty, less than smart, less than human. The poverty and racial disharmony that permeated my existence, forced the formation of some rather tough and thick shells. Did I really need another struggle?

I continued to minister my admirations, quietly, secretly; coveting the comfort while concurrently seeking possible remedies for the maladies of my real life. It was becoming increasingly crystal that my secret self was for real but, as that was verboten, the treasured secret persona must remain buried.

Ultimately, I became a girl who had to be about wanting a boy. I let him find me. Following some ancient script, we married and pro-created, twice.

I threw all of my energies and fortitude into making this union and the family formed, a success. Nothing was or is more important to me than the health, safety and comfort the people we brought to the show. This job was my new real self. The other, not gone, just deciding to rest comfortably, companionably, seemingly in agreement-going with the flow.

The marriage failed. I was devastated.

I found myself with two teen-aged kids, a mountain of debt, still [other] family dysfunction and entirely new esteem issues to combat. I had neither the time or tools to fully address the anger, bitterness and guilt that surfaced, threatening to swallow me whole. The shrouded, deeply buried persona remained dutifully silent as the public, viewed as normal, capable, in charge, persona, stepped to the plate, swung and advanced the game.

After 21 years of virtual ful-fillment, but real-life emptiness, 17 years of a moderately happy, failed marriage, 8 years of single-dom and celibacy; the anger, bitterness and guilt have been addressed and have subsided.

Leaving, my here-to-fore, greatest joys and proudest moments-my 100% satisfaction guaranteed-progeny, YM and YL, my heart.

And my buried treasure.

The show shall go on.

Friday, August 25, 2006


I was once married, to a guy, no less. He smoked. How and why I married him, in spite of his smoking (and more) is just one of the mysteries confounding the psyche. Yet, there I was married to a man who smoked.

Though the entire sum of my life had been in the company of smokers, I was steadfastly and resolutely in the non column once reaching maturity. So, how did I hook up with a smoker? Well, given the size of the pond the odds weren't in my favor. However, I could not continue to live with a smoker.

YM was a wee babe, very nearly a year old when the "Get Daddy to Stop Smoking" initiative was launched. Early on, daddy was all about the babe and generally protective of his progeny.

Out of a newly purchased pack of cigarettes, came two, the rest I threw away. Whenever YM and I were alone, I selected a moment to show him the cigarette. When I did this in a manner consistent to *lighting up* I simultaneously coughed uncontrollably. YM was encouraged to mimic my actions.

He got so good, I thought he might really be sick.

A few weeks later, no more smoking pop. Efforts to adjust other behaviors weren't so successful.

When I was very young only daughter, stuck in the middle, yearning to be accepted, I joined the brothers and cousins in a fam favorite, grown-up game. A bunch of little kids mimicking the *cool* adults and older teens in their world. Our cool adults liked card parties. They played cards, drank whiskey or beer, and smoked.

Everyone in my life, in the beginnings of my life, smoked. My mother who started when she was 15, was a grizzled veteran by the time she had me at twenty. I don't recall ever seeing my dad without a cigarette between his fingers, lips or stuck behind his ear. Each and every one of the aunts and uncles, from both sides, that I'd ever met, smoked-around the kids-around the clock.

Smoking was big in my world.

The kids bit down lollipops to use the sticks as props. If we were flush we would get some of those candy cigarettes. We sucked and puffed on the sticks and pretended to be cool, just like our parents and older cousins. Launched whenever we all got together, we played variations of the game for weeks.

My dad saw me, well noticed me pretending one of these times. He chose this day to decided he didn't like what he saw. After smacking me a few times, yelling, "So you want to smoke? I'll teach you about smoking!" He sat me down, stuck a cigar the size of Idaho between my lips, lit it and forced me to smoke it down, until I became too sick to even cry. I was seven.

I never knew why I was signaled out for this lesson. Later, I thought it was because I was a girl. Or he just didn't like me. Aside from our group whippings, my punishments always seemed more vigorous than any my brothers received. Or my brothers were tougher. Much later, I'd decided my dad was a kook-or high most of the time, he was in our presence.

Still, I don't smoke.

The initiative towards getting this only daughter a date has launched. Smokers (and men) need not apply.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Short and Sweet

Is there anything sweeter, than working an 8-hour shift, walking the 2 miles to the PTG, getting there on time and ahead of the bus you would have taken?

Yes! Stopping for White Chocolate Delectable Delicacies, from the Chicago Chocolate Company café, and getting it at a discount.

No, I didn’t stop for the treat, I’m on a diet, remember? But it was a sweet thought. Walking past the café is torture, but we must test ourselves, right?

Wednesday, August 23, 2006


Since tip toeing into the forties six years ago, annual physicals have turned into multi-visit affairs. Generally the marathon of visits are scheduled for early July through early August because this time tends to be the least hectic at the office. This year, however, having been faced with one conundrum after another due to the orchestrations of a Use and Sales Tax auditor from another planet, I couldn't get started until August. I had hoped to have all requisite visits and follow-ups done before the onset of our busiest season.

Before the forties, I didn't expend much energy thinking about my health. No need, really. I stayed relatively active due to chasing around two active young kids. I ate relatively healthful because I fed the two active kids healthful foods. Trips to the primary care doc, every two years, were no muss and no fuss.

Then came the forties and booming changes. I was now a single mom of teenagers, one about to start college, the other high school. I began working longer hours and partaking of fewer healthful meals. I had much less time and energy to get the necessary exercise to counter-balance the fewer healthful meals plus the slowing to a crawl metabolism. The stress I'd been working on packing away, deep, to the back of the closet, inside of the 25 year old bowling ball bag, decided to leak out and settle itself right out there on the rarely used dining room table. Concerns about blood pressure, cholesterol and more became vibrantly relevant.

Over these past few years, particularly the last 12 months, the concerns are being addressed through diet, exercise, slow, deep breaths and lessons in the judicious usage of polite, but firm refusals. Low-sodium, low-fat, and fresh food stuffs are the order for most days now. I work-out vigorously, regularly, if not daily. The judicious usage...a work in progress. Over-all, I'd give myself a B on the efforts.

I knew going in that the primary care doc visit would result in at least one referral, additional visit to a breast center for a mammogram. Much to my chagrin, she also issues two more for radiology for a knee x-ray and pelvic ultra-sound towards pin-pointing cause and treatment strategies for an increasingly achy right knee and tidal wave proportion monthly cycles.

Even after the efforts of the past year the blood pressure remains a serious concern. So serious I must take another pill, on top of the daily vitamins and mild pain relievers. I really do not enjoy taking pills.

So two, maybe three more visits to various technicians are on tap before going back to the primary care doc for assessment and any additional treatment, in a month. On the upside, the blood work is done and no more being left to the ministrations of not one, but two nurses who whined, while trying to find my very small, mobile veins. I hope.

In the meantime, the regimen continues. Achy knees and tidal wave monthlies aside, I'm feeling pretty well. Some days, like last week when this 46 year old mother of two in the twenties, got carded, pretty damn well.

Never-the-less, note this: crankiness level may change with out warning.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006


Knock, knock.
Who's there?
Orange who?
Oran-gu-glad to see me?

Everywhere I looked, orange. Hats, shirts, blouses, shorts, shoes, thon..well, you get the idea. Hey, it's summer. Yellow, white, lime, orange; brighter, lighter, friendlier color combos are de-rigueur looks for the season. Generally, I tend to eschew the trend, as I am woefully without trend, but that's another story.

Orange, the color, reminds me of orange, the flavor. My brother, the older, developed quite an obsession for many things orange flavored. During one fateful summer, the frightfully uncheerful one had an experience with orange I'll never forget.

OB played baseball. During a good part of our childhood, we bounced around quite a bit. No matter where we were living during the spring and summer, he managed to get on a team. I think for a time, he was pretty good. I never actually saw him play.

In addition to playing ball, OB ran scams. He had more scams than Charles Ponzi. He was small time and it was mostly *chump change* but certainly enough to keep him in orange; Hi-C, popsicles, Freeze-pops, soda, all treats mom never bought, yet never questioned why there were in the house. My brother hoarded and lorded over these treats and consumed them all with gluttonous glee.

One game day, OB donned his uniform, hours before game time. We'd had one of our usual encounters, sending me to my room, wishing he would just leave already. He did eventually, leave, after ingesting, what I can only presume was four gallons of Hi-C, three orange popsicles, and at lease one Freeze-pop, judging by the trash he'd left in the kitchen. Knowing him, like I did, he likely had taken a Freeze-pop or two with him to the field.

After he left, I cleaned the kitchen and retired to the living room to watch television. About an hour later, I heard him run and then trip up the steps. He was yelling, cursing, crying, vomiting and more.

OB had orangery colored fluids emitting from seemingly every pore and orifice. He was one big orangery glob of soiled. He bounded the door, slammed into the bathroom and launched himself into the tub, snatching off uniform, socks, shoes and such all along the way.

Eventually, his stomach settled. Supremely unsettled long afterwards, he begged me to help him clean.

The uniform was never the same.

It took me a long, long time to even look at the color orange, let alone, eat or drink anything even mimicking orange.

Saturday, August 19, 2006


My dad called today. I wasn't home. He left a rather cryptic message ending with mentioning he would call back later in the day. This was 12:16 p.m. When he hadn't called by 5:00, I called him, got their machine and left a message. Now, I wait...

Titivating delayed until further notice.

On the upside, I've been drowning the time with my new Paddle-Ball. Isn't she just gorgeous?

Friday, August 18, 2006

Pictures Worth Thousands

There aren't very many photos of me, anywhere, from anytime. I have a theory as to why this phenomenon has occurred, that, unfortunately I am not at liberty to share at this time. I do know that like most factoids of my contemporary life, it started at the beginning. For those of you who may have been wondering what I look like, I submit these: On top is original art by five year old YM. Produced in 1987 toward the end of his kindergarten tour. The caption above the picture reads: "I love my mom because she makes me silly. She tickles me." The other is original art by 4 and 1/2 year old YL toward the end of her pre-kindergarten tour. The caption here reads: "This is my mom and her necklace. Her likes earrings, but they are hard to make." Both, apparently, see me without my glasses or they too, were too hard to depict.

I am endeavoring to stay off the computer for the rest of this weekend, as I have much titivating on tap. Cheers.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

More Ado About Nothing Much

This by way of SassyFemme by way of Courtney by way of...who comes up with this stuff? Many Memes that I come across, though interesting, have questions that I find honest or flippant replies problematic-this, though a bit long-seemed different, so I thought, what the heck!

1. How tall are you barefoot? 5' 6"
2. Have you ever been cheated on? Yes
3. Do you own a gun? No-not even toys (water & such)
4. What do you think of hot dogs? Probably the worst food on the planet-especially for us sodium conscious types-but a good all beef Vienna Jumbo frank loaded with fresh lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, hot peppers on a warmed poppy seed bun, can be hard to resist.
5. What's your favorite Christmas song? Deck the Halls
6. What do you prefer to drink in the morning? Coffee-hot with just a smidgen of skim milk.
7. Do you do push-ups? Yeah, the girly ones
8. Have you ever done ecstasy? NOPE
9. Do you like Disney World? Conceptually, I guess. Haven't been--not that into amusement parks
10.Do you like the rain? Anything that will keep me from having to haul out that hose-you betcha!
11.Do you own a knife? Well yes, for which to cut up my chickens n fish n stuff
12.What do you smell like? A woman who has showered with Aloe scented Ivory body wash-unless you are sniffing me right after a workout-in which case I smell slightly...different.
13.Do you have A.D.D.? No
14.Full initials? -sorry no can do-
15.Name 3 thoughts at this exact moment: I should have put the chicken on an hour ago.I should get clothes ready for work. How YM's audition went.
16. Name the last 3 things you have bought today: Lime flavored sparkling water, bananas, Coke
17. Name five drinks you regularly drink: Water (spring, sparkling, tap & flavored), coffee, skim milk, low sodium V8 and tea (usually green)
18. What time did you wake up today? 5:15 a.m.
19. Can you spell? Probably wouldn't win any BEES, but yes, I can spell. As it is a pet peeve, I double, triple check-I get very testy when I make a spelling and/or typing error.
20. Current worries? Will I feel safe, will it BE safe enough for our planned trip to Vegas in October. Will YM get the part he wants-soon? Will YL find someone to do her hair for under $200.00?
21. Current hate? Annoyed & frustrated with and over much, but no hate.
22. Favorite place to be? Home
23. Least favorite place to be? Anyplace that might put me at risk for falling in water.
24. Where do you want to go? Vegas, because I promised-otherwise, I could get with Taos, NM
25. Do you own slippers? Yes-but I really don't like them-must replace soon.
26. Where do you think you will be in 10 years? Talking a steam after my workout, asking myself my wife when YM and YL are going to stop their globetrotting, settle down and start families-for Eve's sake.
27. Do you burn or tan? I am special dark chocolate by nature's choice-No sunning on purpose.
28. Yellow or blue? Blue with yellow accents.
29. Would you give up your current life to be a pirate? Only if I didn't have to be on a ship and there was no marauding involved-so maybe that's a no.
30. Last time your cell rang? Uhm, this is really hard. I'm going to say...1999? No cell for awhile-need to bite the lime though and get re-connected.
31. What songs do you sing in the shower? "Natural Woman"
32. What did you fear was going to get you at night as a child? My dad
33. How much cash do you have on you? $5.00, oh wait, $4.50.
34. Last thing that made you laugh? YM's mimicry of Strother Martin's character in Cool Hand Luke
35. Best bed sheets you had as a child? -nothing special-
36. Worst injury you've ever had? Nasty infection spread over several fingers due to eczema outbreak & resultant scratching and pawing-ouch.
37. Where have you been out of the US? No where yet--traveled to Canada, vicariously through YM-working on my own travel points.
38. Who is your loudest friend? YL
39. Who is your most silent friend? Von
40. Does someone have a crush on you? Unbeknownst to me
41. Do you wish on stars? Absolutely, every bit helps.
42. What song did you last hear? Carly Simon's "Attitude Dancing"
43. What song do you want played at your funeral? NOT a funeral! A memorial? or better yet, a brunch-where Dianne Reeves' "You Bring Me Joy" and other uptempo tunes will reverberate.
44. What were you doing at 12:00 last night? Reading
45. First thought upon waking up this morning? Damn, YM beat me to the shower, again.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Nothing Much

It is 2:30 a.m. and the alarm is set for 5:15 so, by way of Gunfighter, by way of sf, by way of who knows. I'm playing because, hey its 2:30 a.m. Play or nay, entirely up to you.

1. Grab the nearest book of at least 123 pages.
2.Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence - if the book you grabbed has fewer than seven sentences on page 123-grab another.
4.Post the text of the next three sentences on your blog along with these instructions.
5. Don't you dare dig for that "cool" or "intellectual" book in your closet! I know you were thinking about it! Just pick up whatever is closest.

Ok, so I have three books currently in rotation, at my fingertips. One, a novel, I just started. The other two I've been in and out of, trying to gain some...well, the titles pretty much say it all.

"The Art of Detection" by Laurie R. King is the fifth installment of her Kate Martinelli series. She is probably more renown for her Mary Russell series, where I have yet to venture, for fear of falling head over time management, anxious to digest all eight in one swallow.

Text: "Sounds like the moon. I had an interesting talk with Mr. Nicholson." She told him about the manuscript, its apparent worth and importance.

"The Whole Lesbian Sex Book-A Passionate Guide for All of Us"

Text: "[N]ot unlike their heterosexual brothers and sisters, and gay brothers, the women met, fell in love and created a life together. Their work and family lives developed and demanded attention and energy, sometimes at the cost of quality intimate time together." Iasenza goes on to say that a "careful" reading of sex research "provides little evidence that lesbian sexuality is less active or less fulfilling than gay or heterosexual sex."

"Everything You Need to Know About Menopause-A Comprehensive Guide to Surviving-and Thriving-During This Turbulent Life Stage"

Text: "Women with a nutritious diet will get most of the nutrients that they need for long-term heart health, but herbs and supplements can provide some extra insurance. Studies have shown that women who take vitamin E supplements reduce their risk of heart attack by up to 41 percent. Vitamin E may help prevent heart disease in several ways.

I'm turning off the lights and trying to catch a few z's.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Do Attempt To Adjust The Set

My mind has been in swirling, swishing, swashing motion. I have lists upon lists of things to start, continue and complete. I’m wondering, more often than not, if the steps I’m taking, the moves I’m making will get me where I want to get.

I’m wondering, more often than not, if I even know where it is I want to get.

Goals, I thought, reasonable and reachable, seem further away with each step taken. I feel out of focus. Having taken the lead in so many areas, for so many people, for such a long time, has rendered me, spent.

My life has sputtered off track. The conductor has taken a break and the *back in five minutes* notice, insolently mocking, provides little assurance.

Some adjustment, apparently, is in order.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Workout News Blues

My gym is a nice and pleasant place, for a gym. I mean the purpose is to go, work up a sweat and get all hot and bothered, is it not? My workouts, during the week day lunch hours, generally consist of 30 to 40 minutes on the treadmill. I try other machines and equipment when I have more time, require more variety or when I workout in the evening. But, for lunch hour workouts, it's the treadmill.

The gym, I may have mentioned before, is a recently converted space formerly dedicated to basketball activities. In fact, there are still two full size courts surrounded by the rest of the gym, behind a mostly glass enclosure. Former and current NBA players and prospects have and continue to workout on the courts. The courts are also a popular destination for those not aspiring to be in the NBA.

All of the treadmills look out over the two basketball courts, so I am often treated to a view of the happenings on the hardwood during the 1:00 - 2:00 hour. The happenings, of late, are 10 guys (of the not aspiring variety) playing five-on-five, full court basketball.

These guys play shirts vs skins.

For the past week or so, it's been the same 10 guys and the teams have always been divided the same, the shirts are always shirts; skins always skins. Three of the skins provide a haven for a lot of hair. These three guys have more hair than all of the King Kongs combined. These three guys have A. Lot. Of. Hair. Covering the chests and backs, up over the neck and down through the knuckles. A. Lot. Of. Hair.

I'm considering asking the gym to install shades, turn my treadmill around or at the least adopt a not shirt - no service policy.

Oh, I guess I could just watch the TV mounted to the top of the treadmill, but don't even get me started on the afternoon TV fare -Maury, Jerry, Tyra, the soaps and the multitude of courts and judges- no, please do not get me started down that road!

Or, I could just close my eyes.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Help! Hardware

I visited the place with the helpful hardware persons recently. They weren't, but that was OK, I was still wet with wonder. I avoid hardware stores because I tend to get cosmic and orgasmic about the possibilities of it all. I have a similar reaction to arts and crafts stores, but it's more controlled because I'm a bit more in my element there. Hardware? Eventhough I don't know what half that stuff is, what it does or what one can do with it, I am cross-eyed with want.

I needed to get some caulking materials. YL was with me, I needed the ride and ballast. While pretending concentrating on looking for the aisle with the caulk stuffs, my eyes began to glaze, my head loll to and fro; YL, flabbergasted by my reactions, shook me into the now. "What is wrong with you? These aren't even clothes!"

"I hate shopping!" had been my mantra for years. What I've come to discover is that it's a specific kind of shopping that I find extremely distasteful. I cannot, without serious and creative inducement, shop for clothes, which is the polar opposite of my daughter. I find the places that house items to cover out bodies are some of the most frustrating places on the planet. Besides, building the perfect outfit doesn't provide me with anywhere near the same spark as does getting the materials that will allow the assembly of furniture, repairs and various household makeovers. The eruption caused by the prospect of getting my hands dirty with this stuff is off the scales.

We were leaving the neighborhood hardware place with ideas swelling and visions of acres of wares at discounted prices dancing in my head. I asked YL if she would take me to Menards (a Home Depot type outlet) in the next week or so. She looked at me like I'd sprouted wings, "I don't think I'm we're ready for that yet!"


Thursday, August 03, 2006

A Moment of Your Time

Pajangle: Condition of waking up with your pajamas turned 180 degrees. For those of us who sleep alone, quite the phenomenon, worth pondering, long into the day. For the rest of you, way to go!

Have a delightful weekend.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006


1. Submerge beneath a huge mass. 2. Defeat completely; overpower 3. Have a strong emotional effect on. -courtesy of Oxford University Press

The concept of overwhelmed has been niggling around the edges for several weeks now. Four Three days a week at the PTG I ask candidates for various customer service positions the following: We've all had times when the responsibilities of our jobs are overwhelming. Please tell me about a time when you have been overwhelmed at work. How did you react?

Nine of ten respond with some variation of 'take a step back and / or take a deep breath.'

So, when overwhelmed, you breathe. Step, two, three, four and don't forget to breathe, so says the aerobics instructor.

Further probing is required of the recruiter, me, as I must decide, on the basis of responses to several questions, whether a candidate moves forward. The probe, designed to elicit some sense of what the candidate considers overwhelming and their coping mechanism in response to that situation, is worded thusly; Relate an overwhelming situation and please tell me, what specific steps you take to minimize or eliminate the stress.

Six of ten respond with eerily little variety; you know, what I do, basically, you know, is just, you know, do the best I can do, you know, to actually, you know, get it done. You know?

How underwhelming.

Candidates sometimes relate that they don't get overwhelmed, ever. I believe them, but I must still probe. Some people are put off by the terminology. Being overwhelmed is tough to admit, especially when definitions 1 and 2 are applied. My mom asked me several weeks ago, well, she didn't ask as much as accuse me of not being overwhelmed by the status of being a parent, particularly to adults. She admits, often and in living, breathing color, to being overwhelmed. I know that she uses as her benchmarks, submersion, complete (and utter) defeat and overpowering. She appreciates and resents my apparent calm. However, every stage of parenting has had a strong emotional effect on me. Not crippling, or defeated, but powerfully emotional. Now, I think, more than ever.

Mom and I have vastly different sensibilities.

Anyway, one more stab at getting the candidate to be more specific, or at least coherent. After hearing the probe again, most candidates let loose with a busted blimp whooshing quality sigh and then, 'you know, I just basically, go the extra mile to make sure the customer is always satisfied, actually, you know?

I ask, how they do that and if they could please give me a specific example to illustrate?

I get the telephonic equivalent of a blank stare.

Right, moving on.

And oh, by the way, the phrase 'going the extra mile' and the evil twin sister, 'above and beyond' should be stricken from the customer service representative lexicon. You know?

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

I am the mom.

I know this because:
1. The mailbox key is on my ring. (there is a spare for emergencies)
2. Bathroom linens usually wind up in my laundry basket to be washed.
3. I take out the garbage without being asked, ditto load dishwasher, ditto refill ice trays.
4. The mystery of the disappearing spoons pickles only my psyche.
5. I'm the first one up and the last one asleep, even before this perimenopause crap.