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.