Wednesday, December 31, 2008

not quite what i had in mind

It was just about this time of year two years ago when I met Neta. I was drinking wine, trolling the various sites where I had profiles posted, checking the traffic, listening with half an ear and watching with half an eye TV. At some point that night I remember the movie Sideways was playing.

After several glasses of wine over some period of time, I saw Neta's profile. I was in the middle of a quasi-chat with someone not that interesting but enough to fill some empty minutes. I read Neta's profile 2, 3, 4 times and then decided to write. Not just a hello, but a real full-on, howyadoin' greeting. While I was composing same I saw that she'd written me. Be still.

We "talked" off and on the rest of the night and littered one another's boxes with mail messages over the next several weeks. My heart.

Last year, on this eve I was there with her. Right about this time I think we were napping, gearing up for the night. The plans were to go to her parents for shrimp cocktail and back home for steaks from the bar-B. I remember it was very, very windy. I remember the steaks were fuckin' awesome.

For a number of reasons we couldn't be together this year on this eve, physically. But we are more than ever together in every other way. Miss her wildly.

The cat I told my daughter she couldn't bring home has become quite the snuggle Buttah. Still, I have visions of . . . otherwise, on this eve. I'll be on the phone workin' some of that out a bit later.

To my love, I wish you a Happy Glorious Joyous New Year and heres to seeing you soon!

To one, to all, happy, happy, joy, joy and much Peace.

If you together with your loved one(s) be glorious! Celebrate, happiness, togetherness.


Four-hundred and Forty-Nine

He pinky swears to not taking a swig nor was he trying to hide my Skyy. I haven't decided if he can be believed. There have been incidents.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Sun Not Fun Day

I wish that I could blame it on "the holidays" but I can't. In truth, I probably wouldn't, even if I could because that would be a cop-out. I think it has to do with limbo. I think it has to do with stagnation. I think it has to do with...I don't know what the hell it has to do with.

Maybe the weather. But then again, maybe not. Today's weather was great by late December standards. There was much rain yesterday (flooding for some) and there was fog. But the temps climbed (yesterday). Though colder today, the sun shone and I walked some 4 miles.

There are a number of things (and people) making me happy these days but there seems to be an equal number making me sad. In some cases they are the same things (and people). Odd, that. Maybe that's . . .

I was looking forward to Christmas and the day was fine as far as that goes, but the day left me feeling. . .flat. The days since I've been scrounging around for something to fluff me again. Pie and the new obsession, peppermint ice cream help, but clearly a temporary fix not to mention offering the potential for even further angst-like feelings.

Things to do. I need things to do. I have things to do, like finding bowls for the dozen or so Tupper, Glad and various ware tops hanging out in my cabinet. Or not. There are other things of a much more vital nature. But, getting into them, problem.

Groove, none. Gone.

Temporary, yes. Hope.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Simple Requests

If you're here in the Chicago area and you've been dreaming of a white Christmas, please, enough already! Many thanks. AND oh by the way, have yourselves some nog of choice and . . .

merry, merry, joy, joy!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Lost Weekend

D: Leave the man alone, he's probably having a sex fest.


Saturday morning I'm at mom's and she asks about M. Well, I talked with him Thursday but not since. Mom reports that she called him Friday and as yet hadn't had a return call. Not unusual, given his schedule (it's a performance weekend) much, much too soon to take note, let alone be concerned.

Much later Saturday mom calls me, "Have you heard from M yet?" I hadn't. I promise to call and leave my own message.

Sunday afternoon and no call back. I surmise that he must be having problems with his phone. I was expecting him to call to tell all about the special reading of "Polar Express" he was hired for that took place on Saturday. Besides, he wouldn't ignore messages.

Mom still hadn't heard from him Sunday night, she called me. I tell her it's probably the phone. She runs through a laundry list of every possible calamity that could have be-fallen him and, "we would never know!" she finished.

Ok, so now I'm anxious. I tell her again about it probably being the phone. He's been talking about getting a new one for a few weeks now. Further, I relate that he'd likely call from work Monday morning and that if he didn't, I'd take it from there. Still, the damage was done. Those thoughts are in my head. I know I'm his emergency contact. I know there is one other person on that list. I know him to be a careful, considerate and conscientious young man who steers far afield of dangerous situations. Still, I find myself concocting my own what ifs. Shit happens.

I go to my daughter for some perspective, some calming, some I don't know...and she says, "leave the man alone, he's probably having a sex fest."

I am rolling, yes, on the floor and the rest. If you knew my son, you would know the absurdity of this statement. Still, the statement did the job. I regain my positive thought bearings and gear up or rather down to turn in for the night.

Monday morning, 9:05 A.M. Harley appears at my office door and announces, "your son is on line 101 for you."

Good. I pick up the call and M goes on to tell me about his long, grueling, sometimes fun, mostly frustrating weekend. And yes, his phone crapped out on Saturday in-between events.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Perfect Day For a MeMe

There was a thought of going outdoors. The thought was dashed as it is, well, this. I don't do sub-zero. Even diva D balked at walking, though business meant we must. She took it as much as she could and then just stopped, turned and headed back home. I think she willed the poop out as it kinda slid right out of her, she barely even squatted. Beyond that, taking out the garbage is the only other outing planned. Word is we're in for more of the same tomorrow thus, I must mentally and emotionally prepare for the laying on of many layers of clothing for the trip into and from work.

In the meantime, indoor chores and a meme. This one by way of Jess.


1. Wrapping paper or gift bags?
For a long time it was wrapping paper. Now I use newspaper. I no longer subscribe to printed newspapers but on occasion I might pick up a daily or in the case of my town, weekly news. Some time ago one of Chicago's daily papers started printing a small, bullet-point type edition of their daily. This, they give away. So I pick up these or snag them from the break-room. For gift wrapping I select one of the more colorful pages or a page that has some loosely connected story or pic to whatever I'm wrapping or to whom the gift is directed. A couple of years ago someone gifted me with gift bags, boxes and wrap. I use those as needed, where appropriate.

2. Real or Artificial?
Now, artificial. At one time, when the kids were really young, real. I will likely do real again.

3. When do you put up your tree?
There is no hard and fast rule except, not before the 15th. I usually pull it out or storage, put it up and together affix the lighting. D is usually in charge of the ornaments.

4. When do you take it down?
As a rule, New Year's Day. NYD 2008 I was out of town so was later. I'll be here NYD 2009 :( so I'll be de-decorating.

5. Do you like egg nog?
Why, yes I do, though, spiked or no I must go easy for obvious reasons.

6. Favorite gift received as a child?
There weren't that many, but the easy-bake oven ranks, as does one of the 2 or 3 dolls I'd ever received as a child. When we were in our teens mom got us 8-track tape players. They were identical and pretty cool. I didn't get a chance to enjoy mine for very long as younger brother took it apart and fashioned himself some surround sound for the 'bedroom' he made for himself out of two closets, one of them mine. That's a story!

7. Do you have a nativity scene?
No, I don't.

8. Hardest person to buy for?
I find it hardest to buy for people I don't know really well.

9. Easiest person to buy for?
By far, D as she tells you exactly what she wants. The challenge, limiting her wants to the constraints of your budget.

10. Worst Christmas gift ever received?
Not worst, but most recently D & M have duplicated dvds. D would give a title for Mom's day or birthday and M would repeat at Christmas or vice-versa. I think now they are conferring with one another. I hope anyway, lest I wind up with another copy of "Happy Feet".

11. Mail or e-mail Christmas cards?
I have always preferred regular mail but lately, leaning toward electronic. I still use regular mail for some extended family and a few others.

12. Favorite Christmas movie?
Well, among the favorites, in no particular order are, Scrooged, A Christmas Carol (1938 version), How the Grinch Stole Christmas, A Christmas Story, National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, It's a Wonderful Life, Miracle on 34th Street and White Christmas (1954).

13. When you start shopping for Christmas?
Usually July or August. The last couple of years it's been later, October and November, though the choosing begun much sooner, the actual purchasing didn't happen until later. Next year I plan to be done by October.

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present?
No, I don't think so. I may have passed on something I couldn't use but not in gift giving form.

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas?
This is a trick question, yes? Seriously, I don't have an all-consuming favorite and about the only Christmas-y food I've run across that I have avoided is fruitcake.

16. Clear or colored lights on the tree?
Currently clear but I have no particular preference. The tree has rocked many looks over the years and continues to evolve.

17. Favorite Christmas song?
I enjoy Christmas songs, traditional and otherwise, for about 2 to 3 weeks and then, enough.

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home?

19. Can you name Santa's reindeer?
Of course.

20. Do you have an angel or a star atop the tree?
Neither. I have a floral arrangement (fake) that has a bell attached to it. Good thing too, as the bell alerts me to when a cat (Buttah) is playing with the tree.

21. Open presents Christmas Eve or Christmas day?
When the kids were small, always Christmas morning. Now it depends as we don't stand on any particular ceremony.

22. Most annoying thing about this time of year?
How The Holidays are co-opted for an excuse or cause for everything, good or bad. The crass commercialism and the fact that it seems to get booted up earlier and earlier every year. The food. Oh, don't get me wrong, the food I enjoy it's the extra doses of will-power required to avoid over-eating that I find annoying.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Snow and Meme

I didn't work today but not because of the snow. I didn't go in to work because of a previously scheduled the day off. I still have vacation days to burn and so I'm burned one today. The seasonal nature of our business, the small staff and my areas of responsibilities make taking extended vacation dates problematic. For the past several years it has become the norm to utilize my vacation days by taking the odd Thursday, Friday and / or Monday combo, extending weekends, throughout the year. This arrangement has worked relatively well, so far.

So a day off, an opportunity to sleep in a bit, yes? No. Daughter arrived at my bedside at 4:30 or so to tell about journey to move her car. She'd parked on a snow route and because of the heavy snowfall overnight there was a high risk of being towed. Just as I was drifting back to sleep (after popping a pill for the throbbing headache) Diva dog skittered to the side of the bed needing...somebody and since my door doesn't stay closed (gotta work on that) I was the chosen one.

We settled in and just as we got all comfy, my cell phone jingled. A robo-call from the Valley View School District with an alert that the schools in their district would not open due to the snowstorm. NO, I do not have any children in school and when they were, it wasn't the Valley View School District. My cell phone number got on their list somehow and I've been receiving their recorded messages periodically for about 6 weeks. A few days ago school closed because a student told a teacher he had a gun. I'll make a call and see about getting off the rotation, in the meantime I'll tag the various numbers they've used.

Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah, asleep, or rather trying to be asleep. The cats started their campaign to get me up and onto the cat crack dispensing about 6:30 or so. I did my best to ignore them and settled back in and in very short order the phone chimed again. Neta and I chat for a bit and during that chat I decide to get up when we're done as it was clear, sleep was over until bedtime rolls around again.

I get on with the business of the beginning of the day then and after feeding the animals and having a bowl of oatmeal myself I don my layers and head out to deal with the snow that fell overnight at at 8 a.m. was still falling some. After helping D dig out I go about the business of clearing the walk and creating a clear path to the garbage dumpster.

The early forecast had us getting more snow, but it tapered off shortly after I got inside and hasn't booted up again. Well, not yet anyway. The the rest of the day was spent grooming diva dog, shopping for groceries and running other errands. Saturday is the day for walking hiking to mom's to take care of some things over there.

Right about here, you're thinking, "so whassup, where's the meme?" Well, that was the plan when I started, but heh, plans change.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

I'm O K

I was a tad sore from my tumble but I'm feeling much better. Or at least I was until the storm and my normally 40-45 minute commute (including walking & waiting) turned into an over 2 hour ordeal at the end of which I had a heap of snow to clear from the front (and side) of the building.

These folks views were better and more artistic than anything I was thinking yesterday, or even so far today.

On the plus, today was the day of our, our, heck, the company sponsored feed bag. The boss (at the last minute) decided to buy the few of us suckers workers not on vacation, lunch. Of course, he looked to me to find a place (he did give me slightly more than a day) to cater the non-eventful event. In very short order I thought of Jerry's. I've taken my lunch there on occasion and found it didn't suck. I asked and yes, they'd deliver and would accept a company check, sold.

The guys raved. The beer cheese (dip) tray with some kind of fried herb-y bread, pretzels and crisp bell peppers went over large. Big, big, plus, there is plenty for tomorrow and maybe even for the suckers guys who'll be at work on Friday.

Today's minus, our telephone system went whackadoodie. The boss is not amused. Of course, it'd been giving us warnings for months. Warnings that went un-heeded. But, shhhhh you didn't hear that here. Hopefully, our repair guy, "Daryl" will be able to secure the part for our antiquated system by tomorrow morning and that said part is indeed, the problem (he diagnosed via telephone). Otherwise. . . gosh, I wish I could take tomorrow off.

Monday, December 15, 2008

In The Beginning

Daughter: My first thought was what if I couldn't pick you up?

Me: 911

I was fine. I thought I feel it the next day, but I didn't, much. The tree and other decorating paraphanlia is now out of storage. The tree and the lights are done. That's where it ended until later in the week. By Thursday all will be done, perhaps.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Chills. Random.

I was outside with Diamond. She had business but was taking her sweet time. Normally, this is not a problem. But, normally it’s not 14 degrees. Still, I was dressed for the weather and wasn’t overly bothered by her dilly-dallying. I used the time to peep some of the neighbor’s decorative efforts.

Some lights are brightly shining.

I like Christmas decorations. I don’t particularly like that they get booted-up earlier and earlier every year. However, now is about when I start to feel the mood. The town decorations aside, the neighborhood is somewhat slow (by general current standards) to go ablaze with lights and such.
Some have been bitten by the bug and have their decorations up and shining.

On this very cold night I’m happy for the sight and for the diversion.

The lights sparked some song memories.

Not Christmas or holiday songs as you might imagine.

The first, D. Boone’s “You Light Up My Life” flashed in my head and the refrain ran in a loop for a couple of cycles. No, I didn’t and don’t like the song but it is buried there, somewhere in my head, sparked by…lights. The effort to push this song out of my head clinked my mind to the line, “. . . it can’t be wrong, when it feels so right . . .“ which prompted L. Ingram’s “If Loving You Is Wrong”
If loving you is wrong I don't wanna be right
If being right means being without you
I'd rather live a wrong doing life
Your mama and daddy say it's a shame
It's a downright disgrace
Long as I got you by my side
I don't care what your people say

This is a song about a married man who is being loved by a woman beside his wife. The other woman is being pressed by family and friends to give up this relationship which to them is clearly a no-win situation for her. The man, per the song, shares a love for the woman but not so much that he is either willing or able to sever the relationship he has with his wife and two little children.
Am I wrong to fall so deeply in love with you
Knowing I got a wife and two little children
Depending on me too
And am I wrong to hunger
for the gentleness of your touch
knowing I got somebody else at home
who needs me just as much

Now, this isn’t going anywhere that will lead to anyplace good. So, BE GONE wrong love songs.
I forced a gear switch. The gears focused on the 14 degrees and “Let It Snow” and it’s line, “the weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful, and since we’ve no place to go, . . “
Well, we do have someplace to go, INSIDE. I stamped my feet, shook my head and exhorted Diamond to finish her biz so that we could do just that.
Once inside I booted happier tunes.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Bone Dry, That's Why

Tiff and NCP both did the 46 odd questions thingy. I liked them both. I started my own. I answered down to question 22, realized that number 23 was missing and skipped on to 24. I got down near the end and stopped because I’d run out of time. I was going to come back and finish and post it. Then I changed my mind.

I saw Maria’s “Ask Me A Question” post and I did, ask her a question, that is. I visited over at Val’s and saw that she’d followed Maria’s lead. I asked Val a question too.

Then I thought, hey, maybe I could do that too. But then I thought, maybe not.

~~If, however anybody wants to ask me a question, shoot.~~

So then I was stuck for what to post.

Immediate family? No, not today. Extended family? You don’t want to know, trust me.

Work? No, much too mundane, not worthy of any elaboration.

Politics, religion, or the economy? I can’t wrap my head around any of these topics enough to pull together enough coherent sentences.

Culture or hobbies? I’ll take that under advisement.

So, what? Pets? Done, well except to say this doggie’s snores are nothing compared to Diamond’s.

Then what’s left? Underwear?Nah, can't talk about underwear, especially party underwear. But, that's exactly the topic I keep looping to. A Top Chef contestant mentioned party underwear a couple of weeks ago and I just can't stop thinking...

Tuesday, December 09, 2008


You may have heard the big news out of Illinois today. Suffice to say today's events will reverberate for weeks, months perhaps years to come. In other news, a major snowstorm hit the Midwest today. Chicago won't see much when it's all said and done, perhaps 4 inches in the upper reaches of the northern 'burbs. Parts of Michigan was hit pretty hard. I heard over 14 inches on one newscast.

Bigger than alleged cheatin' politicos and raging snowstorms is the news that my cats, technically my cat Pete and D's cat Buttah are mad for each other. Actually, this isn't news. We've known this from day one. They like to pretend a disdain for one another (especially when they are caught in the act of lovin') but the proof is in the puddin' or rather, the pictures.

Monday, December 08, 2008


I don’t know.

Over the past 2, 3 or more weeks now I've been missing.

I’ve been missing the commode with the paper.

Not every time, just sometimes.

I’ve been using the bathroom for a very long time and it doesn’t take a Finch-like pitch to hit the mark.


I’ve been missing.

Not every time, just sometimes.

I don’t know.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

MY Rainbow

Brazenly swiped from Lori .

Your rainbow is intensely shaded white, yellow, and gray.


What is says about you: You are a contemplative person. You appreciate optimism. You're good at getting people to like you. You depend on modern technology and may feel uncomfortable without it.

Find the colors of your rainbow at

Depend on modern technology? Uhm, I don't know about that.

Friday, December 05, 2008



1. Slit bag on one side diagonally making a large X from corner to corner.
2. Place bag slit side down on a NON METALLIC BOWL.
3. Microwave 1 bag on high for 4 1/2 minutes or until hot (because of differences in microwave ovens, heating time may vary).
4. Pinch plastic bag from middle of uncut side, lift from bowl.
Contents will empty into bowl. CAREFUL, it's hot.
5. Stir well before serving.

I'll have you know that I didn't follow the instructions to the letter. I was careful. Not my first choice for lunch* but I forgot bring something. .All turned out well enough and along with the apple will get me through the rest of the day.

Tabatchnick Vegetarian Chili

Also, it occurs to me that it is December 5th. It was December 5, 1979 when I started working for the family and throughout all the various previous formats that morphed into my current employer.

1979. What a year that was.

Thursday, December 04, 2008



Please avoid giving daughter anything that has to be assembled, configured, or formatted. Please remember that she IS a graduate of SAVE THE DRAMA FOR YOUR MAMA University. Further, please remember that she is a ready-to-wear, ready roll kinda girl.


PS The boyfriend hinders rather than helps, usually.


Monday, December 01, 2008

A long, long time ago . . .

. . . she of the Dripping with Cheez and Beanbag Chronicle posts dared challenged invited me to participate in a game involving music. The exercise is to have me identify my music likes that tend to embarrass me.

I’ve struggled with this exercise, thrown by the embarrassment aspect, I think. I’m not embarrassed by my music likes. I’m probably more embarrassed by the fact that my head itches when I’m very, very excited. But, then again, I suppose there are musical guilty pleasures, which I suppose further, spells embarrassment.

Do I like what would be considered crappy music? (Is only crap-tastic music translatable to “embarrassed to know you”?) Yes, more than likely. Do I care what others think about me and my liking of said music? No, more than likely. Still, it has taken me forever to tackle and spill. I suppose nailing a listing of anything is part of my issue. I do lists, no problem with lists, per se. I just don't cotton to lists of favorites, most or least.

But, I said, I'd play (a long, long time ago) so here's the stab. However, rather than travel the great divide of the musical spectrum I’ll stick to one most embarrassing (?) genre, TV theme songs. I have watched tens of thousands of hours of TV over my lifetime and I have learned the lyrics and tunes of many, many theme songs. Heck, I have at a time or two owned cassettes of TV themes…volumes 1 and 2. Even today, one of my last cd purchases over the past few years was "Grey's Anatomy" music from the series (Vol. 1), purchased in part, on the strength of the theme song.

There are many that have remained under my skin for one reason or another, but I’ll limit my list, for better or worse, in no particular order to five six a few.

Even before there was a lovely lady who met and married a man named Brady, there were the ladies (and Uncle Joe) of “Petticoat Junction” and then there was “Maude” and the “Good Times” family. The themes (and the shows) made an impression on me that resonated for years following their respective runs.

Later as TV viewing became influenced by the kids in residence, I became aware of shows (and their themes) that I might not have otherwise. My son became enthralled with “Simon and Simon”. He couldn’t hear the opening strains of that theme and NOT get excited. He ran to get his red truck which he dubbed his “Simon and Simon” truck and the rest of the paraphernalia need to re-enact the drama and then some. Thanks to a long run and syndication, “Simon and Simon" was part of our lives for a long, long time.

One of my daughter’s favorite shows was “Saved by the Bell”. Though I cringe when I hear the theme now, I can’t help but smile as I recall her devotion to the Bayside High gang. She recently revealed her belief that SBTB was partly responsible for her skewered vision of the high school experience. Explains some things, hmmmm. The Fresh Prince and the "Living Single" ladies got quite a lot of play as well.

Most of the TV theme compilations I procured included instrumental, jazz-like compositions themes from “Taxi” and “Hill Street Blues” and the like. I do remember at least one volume included the “Greatest American Hero” theme, which I’m not at all embarrassed to admit that part of the lyric remains with me still, ". . . believe it or not, it's just me."

Does the theme make the show more or less endearing? I don’t know and that’s not the topic for today. I will say that the theme sometimes has drawn me in and there has been a time or two when the music in the show has kept me around longer than than the plot-lines and / or performances may have warranted. I recognize that many TV themes are extended jingles. That, I think is the appeal. They are catchy and in some cases well done. Of course, that's just me.

There are hundreds of themes that have crossed my radar and of those several that I count (or have counted) among favorites that aren't mentioned here. I've written too much already, I think. But, I cannot close without and honorable mention going to "Bewitched". The theme is for me only so-so but, well, it's Elizabeth Montgomery. Yum.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

It's A Man! It's A Woman!

The best part of any holiday gathering is having the two of them home together. Thursday's sit down included daughter's boyfriend and also had them checking out early to head out to his family's gathering, which I suppose is a sign of changes to come. Change is good. I mentioned to both my son and daughter that I look forward to being their guest in their respective homes someday, nearly as much as I look forward to hosting any gathering as one part of a pair.
Though the holiday gatherings are sweet, 'tis a sweetness tinged with sour. Sour because a certain someone is not in residence. Yet.
Thanks to son and mom, most of the food of the day is now history. Pumpkin soup remains to be served for my lunches this coming week, which was the plan. I knew no one would try it because no one else likes pumpkin. I'd never tried a soup before and I was very pleased with the result.
I'm happy that we don't participate in the large, extended family gatherings much anymore. The small, sedate gathering of just us allows time and space for a real visit, real conversations. I've noticed though, that my mother has trouble tuning in on protracted tales, partly because of her hearing issues and partly due to a lack of an active interest in many topics.
Also in her last few visits I've discovered her studying my photos, posters and bookcases, as though trying to garner some insight into just who the hell I really am. The 1,001 questions she routinely asks and the answers I've provided don't seem to satisfy.
I don't think the photos, posters and books satisfy either. They tell such a very small part of the tale. What's odd to me is how it is that after 48 years of nearly daily contact, I feel like such a stranger to her lately.
Sure, I've changed over the years, but the base, the essence is
Isn't it?
The photo isn't from Thanksgiving. I didn't take any photos that day. The photo is from when brother took sister out to celebrate her birthday a few weeks ago.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Life is not where I would prefer at the moment, but all things considered, it isn’t so bad. I have my son, daughter and mom who will share in the meal tomorrow. I have my health, though I remain concerned over the health of loved ones. I have a home that is warm and soon enough will be filled with the smells of some things cooking. I have the three beautifully entertaining and loving fur babies. Buttah jumped from one perch to another and mis-judged the effect of landing on a magazine. He’s fine but the “ohhhh shit” look in his eyes as he skidded to the floor was priceless.Once we was over the embarrassment he came to cuddle.

I have friends who keep me entertained and engaged, allowing me an escape from my worries of the days.

I have memories of past Thanksgiving gatherings, as I shared with a friend via email recently:
My sister-in-law brought Pork N Beans and burnt pumpkin pies --was that last year? Anyhoo... Waaaaay back when I was a wee lass, we were having t-giving dinner w/one of my mom's sisters. She and hubby got to cussin' and fightin' as they always did and before you know it turkey & dressin' went flyin' across the room. He broke for the door when he saw her reach for her beloved knives, she slipped in some dressing.

Though the kids had been banished to the bedroom we managed to peek and eventually leak out of the door. We didn’t join in the fray but we did laugh our little asses off.

I have a rich (though often fractious) history and relationships with much of my extended family. Conversely I have an equally rich but very much warmer and more companionable history and relationships with my immediate family. I am thankful for it all, for all of them.

Note to Dr. C.: figure out what’s doin’ with my girl and fix it, sooner rather than later, please.

Travelers be safe. Chefs de-stress. Eaters go easy. Well, try anyway.

Happy, happy, joy, joy to one, to all.


Saturday, November 22, 2008

Saturday Night, Alright

Diamond here. I know, I know no picture of me. I haven't been able to get my hair just right and I'm not agreeing to any new pics until my hair is right. Plus, my cable knit sweater is still in the box. Pssst..don't tell the moms I don't like the sweaters and stuff. I don't think Gram D cares much but Mom D gets so giddy when she sees me dressed up. It is my pleasure to indulge this whim. She (well, they both) feed me well. Yummy.

I know you're thinking the scene above probably didn't end well. It didn't. Big Buttah wasn't supposed to be on the bookcase. He's been told, time and time again. He and that Pete are so stubborn and so baaad. Buttah tries to be sweet, jumping in laps and stuff. He's not sweet. he's always begging for food and walking where he isn't supposed to walk.

Very soon after I snapped this picture, yes, I can work a camera, I am Diamond, the diva dog, the phone rang, Buttah moved his butt and the exercise ladies went crash. Gram D was not very pleased, but she seemed to take it well. Buttah got scolded but I don't think he's learned his lesson yet. I think I'll have to help Gram D and Mom D keep Buttah (and Pete) in line. They stay out of my way, pretty much.

I have to go now as it is nearly time for bed. I have an appointment to get my hair trimmed. Maybe next week they'll be a picture to share.

BE NICE!! I'm not yelling at you guys, I'm practicing my "getting the cats in line" voice.

Ta Ta

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Quiz and More

By way of eb the quiz has me pegged:

You're a potato!
Just to clarify, we don't mean that in a "couch potato" way. We see potatoes as full of possibilities. Think about it -- they're great all year round, in potato salad, as mashed potatoes, as French fries... the list goes on. You're always willing to try new things, but at the same time, you're very reliable. As vegetables go, you seem like you'd make a great best friend.

19% of the people who took this quiz got the same evaluation.

.... And

THE WALKING INTO GLASS DOOR STORY eb's take not that far off.

Daughter and I were out shopping, which in and of itself was amazing enough. This had to be a bit over two years ago, we were shopping for stuff to take to Vegas. I think we were in the hunt for a swimsuit and cover-up for me. This was going to be our last (of many) stops that day.

I found a suit that I thought I could live with, though as it turns out I never wore it while in Vegas, but no cover-up. I paid for the suit, gathered my share of the bags, D took her share. We headed for the door. Of course, we were gib-gabbing the entire time, shooting the shit with the cashiers, talking trash about one thing or another, laughing about something else we'd seen that day. Those particular details escape me now. Anyway, gib-gabbing, laughing and walking--toward the door, which of course, is glass, as are the side panels.

The guard, standing near the door was trying to get my attention. He was saying, "ma'am, ma'am, MA'AM". I heard him, but not really. I couldn't gather precisely what or why. I was gib-gabbing with D and one of the clerks who was following us to the door. I has heading the charge toward this wall of glass. In the instant it dawned on me what and why, BAM! my head and the rest of my body had come in contact with the wall of glass. I'd mistaken one of the panels for the open glass door.

The impact (and the embarrassment) knocked me to the floor, the bags scattered. D couldn't hold it together, in the instant she saw I wasn't hurt (my own laughing probably tipped her off) she broke down and guffawed her ass off. The clerk, trying desperately to hold it together, lost the battle and sniggled just a little.

"Ma'am, are you ok?", the guard asked. I assured him I was, rolled to a standing position and gathered the bags. My lovely daughter pulled herself together and proclaimed, "that's the funniest thing I've seen ALL day, hell, all year!"

We left the store pretty much in-tact. She re-told it several times that day, to her boyfriend, M and mom. She's re-told it several times since, to new acquaintances, co-workers (she's worked in 4 different places since) and strangers on the bus. Whenever we need a pick-me-up she asks, "remember when you ran into....?"

Now, I'm going to relish in the fact that I'm a potato and not a pickle. Though, I think it'd be fun to be a pickle. At least once.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Quality Time

Daughter: So you were probably wondering why there are jeans in the floor.

Me: Yes, I did wonder. I figured Pete had something to do with that.

Daughter: No, that was me.

Me: And?

Daughter: Well, I was running late this morning (note: it was yesterday morning) and decided to stop at Wendy's on the way. I don't know what happened but somehow my drink wound up in my lap and all over me.

Me: hehehehehehehehe uhm, I mean, damn that had to suck.

Daughter: Yeah, well, no way was I going to work with mushy pants so I drove back, ripped the mushy jeans off and put some new ones on.

Me: Ahh, so in the rush you didn't have the time to hang the wet, mushy jeans in the bathroom to dry. Leaving them on the floor near a common area closet, exposed to 2 cats and a dog was the best choice.

Daughter: Well, yeah.

Me: So, you think you could pick them up now?

Daughter: Sure and if you're looking for the glass cleaner stuff, I've got that. I got hella sticky stuff to all over the car to clean.

Me: mmmmkay.

Note: It was made clear the car was not in motion so no danger to herself of anyone else. I was glad it was Tuesday and she goes to work much later in the morning, closer to lunch than breakfast, so a cold beverage, not hot.

Note to daughter (should she ever read here): this is a freebie since the story of me walking into that glass door is such a fan favorite among all your co-workers.

Betcha Didn't Know

....that today is World Toilet Day. No, I know I didn't either. Further, I had no idea there was an organization committed to improving toilet and sanitation conditions worldwide.

Not surprising though, where there's a need . . .

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Eating In, Part 2

I was surfing working this morning and came across this article, which of course reminded me of this post. I wasn't personally mortified to read the news, I hadn't had one of the little meals since that time. I do feel badly for those folks who enjoy (or have enjoyed) the little meals. Since losing my microwave at home, I haven't even given much thought to LCs or any brand of frozen meal.

Since we're on food (of sorts) allow me to update my physical and health status.

I have been good about eating, basically. I am cognizant of my pre-dispositions. I do take a water pill for my slightly elevated blood pressure. I take regular readings and I seem to hover around the pre-hypertensive neighborhood. My doctor may suggest something stronger than the low voltage water pill at some point. I'm hoping to avoid that AND cholesterol meds. My last readings were high but not dangerously so. The doc feels that as I continue on my diet and exercise path, the next test (next September / October) results should prove favorable.

Though I don't gym anymore, I do try to build excercise into my daily routine. I do this by walking. As often as my energy allows I take the long way home. Recently, I've begun to take the route that includes stairs. Many. (My knees have been feeling much better these days). When the warm weather returns (I do not do frozen biking) I'll be back on the bicycle, daily (or as often as it is dry, I avoid wet biking too). In the meantime, between commuting, I do my own variation of sweatin' to the oldies.

I don't know what I weigh. Honestly. I only get on the scale at doctor's appointments. I don't remember what it was last time. But, I do know that my new slacks and jeans are a full size smaller than last season's purchases. Slow and steady progress.

Lunch today consisted of an orange, 1 cup of yogurt (plain, non-fat) and a tablespoon of granola with raisins and cranberries. I try to vary the non-(or low) fat, low sodium foodstuffs and I almost always try to have fresh fruit in the mix.

Next week will be a challenge as the larder will be stocked with foodstuffs not normally kept on hand (or in much larger quantities -cheese, yum- than usually kept). However, the son will be over and I'm sure he'll do his part to relieve me (us) of the most decadant selections.

One thing for sure, he'll take all the pie(s).

Monday, November 17, 2008

Brain Dump

So many thoughts, so many lists, so many things floating around and I’m having a hard time corralling them all (or any) in any coherent fashion so... random

1. Speaking of random, I still owe her a MeMe effort. I haven't forgotten & I intend to do it.
2. I’m dreaming more (or remembering more). The dreams are nutty, dis-jointed little romps.
3. Daughter insists on getting a drink or some food (or both) before) I begin my dream recitations.
4. I tend to meander when I’m in my re-telling of the dream.
5. I’ve just begin reading
Wangari Maathai’s memoir Unbowed. I am struck by what she said the relationship she & her mom shared: In all the years we were together, my mother and I never disagreed. WOW.
6. Both Neta and I are having "MOM” issues right now.
7. I haven’t talked with Neta much over the past week as she’s been ill and not up to chatting. Boo
8. I’m actually looking forward to the cooler temps, though I do still need to winterize the unit.
9. I can do without the snow.
10. Though we’ve had turkey for T-giving before, it was my mom who prepared it. This year I will.
11. I’m not at all nervous about that, but I am concerned over the veggie selections.
12. Son is in another show and though small, the role is pivotal & the show is quite enjoyable.
13. I’m not out at night too much these days.
14. It was weird being out so late last night.
15. I've got to start packing it in for the (work) day. Ta Ta

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Equal Time

Hi, it's me Pete, the cat! I know you met the others, but they haven't had much time to speak for themselves, so without further delay, I give you my nephew Buttah who is more like my brother and my sister Diamond who is more like a force of nature. Hi, I'm Buttah, the orange tabby. I came here a few months ago and right away got an Uncle Pete and a sister, Diamond. The sister is not a cat like me, but a dog. She's a nice enough dog, but I think she's jealous that I can leap into laps and she has to use the stairs. She's constantly trying to take my moist food, she has to be watched. If mom D or gram D (whoever is feeding us) leave the room she moves me away from my bowl. I can't do anything about it because she's bigger, well, heavier. She isn't mean, just pushy. She does listen when her name is called, especially when the "mommy" voice is used. I notice that Uncle Pete listens to the mommy voice too whenever he's pawing at the walls. I heard mom and gram talking about what to do about Pete and that pawing. He better be careful.

I like having someone like Uncle Pete to talk with. It was lonely outside and then later in the shelter. Mom D met me outside and when she asked me to come with her I did. I don't know why I did, something about her was just purrrfect. hehehehe Anyway, she took me to the shelter and after a few weeks brought gram D around to meet me. I heard gram D say, "no". Mom D was not so happy about that but she told me not to worry. Next thing I know, I'm out of the shelter cage and meeting Pete and Diamond. Gram D wasn't too happy but she warmed to me pretty quickly. I spend a lot of time in her lap when she's watching teevee and typing. I haven't figured out how that paper spits out of that thing next to the typing board, but I'm going to one of these days.

I only have one, maybe two things to say right now. One, I am diva dog and I want, no...I deserve my own times and space. Two, I though I don't like the process of getting my hair cut I DO like the attention I get when I go outside sporting my nice neat trim. Mommy is still working on her technique and she does make me nervous with those scissors close to my eyes, but she does a pretty good job, if I do say so myself.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Why, I Never

There are lots of things that I haven't done for lots of reasons. One of those things is Karaoke. That's right. I've never done it. I've not even ever been in a place where karaoke was going on. Not only have I not ever done it, I haven't seen

That is not to say that I haven't (or don't) sing and dance around in the privacy of my own walls, pretending to be...whomever. But not ever in public. The desire to see others do it has been very, very low on the meter.

I wonder. Do I avoid karaoke because I'm afraid?


I've operated under the premise that I just didn't get the appeal. But maybe, just maybe, I'm afraid. Maybe I need, lessons.

Now, I have to find a signature song. Any suggestions?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Be Mine

I was tooling around the 'net, trying to find inspiration or better, some funny. I'm in need of funny today. Not funny strange, but funny ha-ha. Anyway, I was looking around and got routed to a sight that proposed to show me a video in response to my search request: artistic lesbians.

Well, of course, before I could see said video, (which by the way, had me declaring to being over 18--yes!) I had to register. Ick. I don't have time, energy, inclination or .. well, you know, I didn't wanna.

But I did. I used nuggets of my data, shaded enough to not really be me but when it was all said and done, I couldn't even view the freakin' video. Or, I didn't know which (if any) video to view. There were hundreds,thousands, heck maybe even millions.

Oh well.

Anyway, since joining I've received half a dozen requests to my junk mail box to be friends with other members.

Wha??? Why do you wanna be my friend? You don't even know me.

Oh well.

I asked for it, that's what I get for playing around the 'net, especially at work. I need for it to stop raining so I can go outside, get some lunch, clear my head and think about being a friend.

Or not.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Another Day, Another Shot

So as you may imagine I didn’t go into Monday morning in the best of moods what with all those thoughts rattling around, going to bed much too late and rising much too early. Monday began with a whimper rather the bang needed for a Monday morn.

It was cold, but the sun was shining so I decided I would shine as well. Onward I intended to forge.

Very late Sunday night / early Monday, Pete, the cat took a walk across the entertainment center and sent my Granny Racer set to the floor. It scared him silly (he's ok) but the sight of him racing out of the living room & hiding under the dining room table . . . I told daughter about it before leaving work we both got a chuckle out of it and him. He’d been told time and time again to stay off the entertainment center. I’ll get the little dears back on track, but I don’t know where I’ll re-lay the track. His little escapade probably helps...something. So, anyway off I was heading into the Monday workday.

The ride in was un-eventful which is always a surprise and a big plus.The remainder of the morning progressed without much of a hitch. I got mama B’s (Neta’s mom) birthday gift shipped and while I wasn’t feeling tip-top, the sketching and punching out the post about Sunday's emotional ride improved the mood enough. I put my head down (metaphorically speaking) and forged ahead.

Then my daughter called, crying.

Frustration over her job and her future had her all choked up. I was able to talk her down, ease her tears. A brief chat with another of her mentors and the promise of a meeting with her boss had her feeling much better by the time she called later in the afternoon.

Shortly after my daughter, Neta called to say she wasn’t going to work (either job). She’d been feeling poorly all weekend (longer, actually), the fatigue and more hadn’t improved by noon Monday. I was (and continue to be) worried about her and tearing what little hair I have out over not being able to be there. But, she's following doctor's orders, taking meds and precautions. I have to just...well, be there for her, here.

In the meantime work beckons. I knocked out a few more to-do items and took myself to lunch (yes, I lunch late in the afternoon, a longtime habit developed back when there were small kids home, so I wouldn’t be starving immediately upon walking in the door, because dinner would still be a ways off yet). A sandwich and cup of soup later, I was beginning to believe the hype…”You CAN do IT!”

Then the space heater in the office crapped out. Poof, no more heat.

Well, damn.

Another minor work-related disaster later and finally, time to pack in it and go home.

A conversation with daughter, brief chat with Neta, a light dinner, a stiff drink and a viewing of “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” and some lighter fare later, I went to bed prepared to put my happy face mask on and go for the gusto this Tuesday morning.

So, here’s to Tuesday morn and more.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Quiet Day

A bit more than half-way passed the first day of autumn leading to the first day of winter, Sunday felt closer to winter than autumn. Cloud cover, whisking winds and cold temps made going outside an un-attractive choice. Were it not for walking diva dog I wouldn't have gone out at all. It was a nestle-in day. If only I'd had the foresight to whip up a hearty soup or stew.

Daughter had to work so it was just me, Pete, Buttah and Diamond. We all agreed I would clean in the morning and then we'd settle in and watch some football games and surf the channels for the odd Sunday surprise showing of...something, anything whenever we tired of watching our teams (lose).

It was quiet except for Diamond's periodic snores, Buttah's sniffling and eventually play-by-play. The chill and the quiet conspired to put thoughts in my head. Nothing in particular but everything in general crossing my mind.

I couldn't shake loose of thoughts of my father.

Seeing the images of President-elect Obama with his daughters (over this past week especially) listening to item after item contrasting 1968 Chicago with 2008 Chicago, mom's knowing prediction, "it's the kids who will suffer the most" with regard to the news that my sister-in-law intends to file for divorce from my repeat offender brother and that he intends to fight this action, "tooth and nail" put thoughts of my father in my head.

And try as I might, I couldn't let them go yesterday.

Thoughts like what it will feel like when I get the news that he has died, wondering IF I'll get that news. Thoughts like if the memories of our few good times will totally disappear, finally becoming swallowed by the decades of bad or worse, nothingness. Thoughts like when or if I'll ever see him again and what I'll say to him if I do. Thoughts like if he ever really thinks of me, my son or daughter and what he would say to me, us should we ever communicate again.

Normally I relish my quiet Sunday afternoons. This past Sunday, an aberration, I'm sure. Future quite Sundays will be heartily embraced and quietly enjoyable.

Note to self: For the rest of this season and into the next, Hearty Soup Sunday.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Word Up

Pssst, can we talk? This is me, Pete, the cat! I took over the contraption so I could talk with you, thought you might want an update. The outfits? Not happening, no way, now how. I'm trying to keep those goofy chicks (well, just one of them is all about 'dressing' us) in line. What the taller one said about me and Buttah, 'tis true. He's so cool. He's kinda nutso about moist food, he makes the most racket when it's time for the moist but otherwise, he's a pretty decent egg. I'm the 'bad boy' so he leaves it up to me to get tall chick up in the morning, at least I think it's morning, so we can eat. He thinks being all cuddly and loving is gonna move her off that thing she's laid out on, uh uh, you gotta get physical. Sometimes we forget about food while we're playing. We try to be quiet but, well, I guess sometimes we get a little rambunctious, she doesn't seem mad when she says, "good morning boys."
That diva dog thinks she's the boss of us, but she's w-r-o-n-g. We just let her think that because, well, it's just easier that way. Besides, we feel kinda sorry for her, she has to wear those dorky looking sweaters and stuff. The shorter chick has a few sweaters for the dog. She put one on Buttah once but he slipped out of it, it was sooo funny. We talked about it later and we made a deal, the sweaters will be for that kooky dog, us cats will not be clothed, hatted or otherwise accessorized. We both could use new collars though, new collars would be good. Buttah keeps taking his off and mine has seen better days.
Well, I have to go now, it's time for my afternoon-evening nap.
Hope you guys have a fantastic day.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Seasonal Change

When I left for work this morning the sun was shining and there was a light breeze and the temperature moderate. In short, it was a pretty typical autumn morning.

he sun has since disappeared. The winds have picked up considerably, the temperature has dropped and there is a chance that by the time I leave at 5:00 it will be raining or snowing or both.

I have an umbrella for the rain.

I have on sweater(s) and had a coat hanging in my office space to protect my body against the cold.

However, I forgot to stash a hat and other colder weather garb.


Thursday, November 06, 2008

I Lied

. . . to my mother. She called last night on the land line while I was talking with Neta on my cell. I know it was mom because of the programmed tone. It was late (for her) so that concerned me a bit, so I screened. When I heard her message I decided not to call her back until this morning.

Mom: So, you were out. Did you get my message?

Me: Yes, I got your message.

She presumed I was out and I didn’t correct her. Had her message been of an emergency, health or otherwise issue, I would have picked up, but it wasn’t.

The call had to do with family bullshit drama. There has been a death, a cousin of mine and every day since that event there has been family bullshit drama.

Mom (on the machine): I don’t understand what they’re doing. I’m sick of this shit. Portia wants to have food at the house. Reggie thinks sandwiches at the Temple are plenty. Daniel’s not going and Ronnie IS his son. What kind of shit is that? Portia wanted to know if you would sit with him at their house. I told her I couldn’t answer for you, she should call you. Call me when you can.

Call me when you can, just so you know, is code for WHY AREN’T YOU HOME TO ANSWER THIS CALL? & CALL ME AS SOON AS YOU HEAR THIS MESSAGE!

I called her this morning and after side-stepping question after question about where I was, whether I was with M or D, how late I was out (since it was after 9 and I didn’t pick up the phone), yada x 3. I got the answering machine version with details, many, many details. There is some back-story that I can't get into here, but basically my mom feels and has felt short-changed by her family for many, many years and events like this tend to bring those emotions to the surface.

After she wound down about that, the election, folks running around trying to get ‘historic’ newspaper editions, needing to find another way to cart her stuff around, her newest therapy and most recent diagnosis, she needed to know if I could braid her hair on Saturday, when no doubt there will be even more and / or more of the same to relate.

Me: Of course.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008


Election day started at four a.m., dog snoring and cats roaring through the condo, Buttah leaving tufts of orangery, furry balls in his wake. The alarm (a useless appliance these days) is set for 5 and I try to stay in bed for a bit longer, hoping to catch a few more zzzzzs .

When the “the boys” realize I’m awake their daily campaigning begins. By 4:30 I realize it’s futile. The day has begun.

I flip on the bedroom and kitchen lights, moving through the unit to the bathroom to dispense with that little task.

The cats follow me as if they don’t believe I’ll return. They camp outside the door. Diamond is slower, but eventually stirs. She stretches and moves from her bed. By the time I return from the bathroom she is lying in the doorway separating the bedroom from the kitchen…waiting.

The cats hover, whine, meow and bump my legs, “bring on the food, woman!” scream their antics. Diamond, the silent sentry peeks up at me through her own tufts of hair, eyes pleading, screaming just as loudly, “bring on the food, woman and this time, me first!” The day has begun.

I’m out the door and on to the polling place by 5:55 arriving just a shade past 6. There are already 30-40 people lined outside. I join them and in just a shade over an hour I’m done.

Off to work and then home again. The day and now evening progressing as most do with a couple of exceptions; this evening I have an telephone interview and of course, election results to view. In addition to the interview I talk with mom, daughter and Neta. I watch with wonder, shed a few tears and go off to bed.

Now, another day has begun, again at 4, again to the snoring of a dog, cats tearing through the unit and me with the same duties to be done as the day before. This day has begun, but oh, what a different day it is. The ride down on the bus with the too many stops further illustrates that fact. There were smiles, excited utterances, preaching and more.

The owner of the company is in town today from his home base of Denver, CO looking tired but jubilant. He told of making phone calls well into the evening, watching results and then...the speech. He spoke as so many have, of being inspired of being filled with.... h-o, you know, that four-letter word. He said like so many others have, "he has a very tough job ahead of him, but not just him, we all have a very tough work ahead. This is only the beginning."

Yes, the election is over. Now, the work must begin.

Monday, November 03, 2008

In a Word

I’m going to say one thing about the election: If you haven’t already done so, V-O-T-E!! (Emphasis intended).

Ok, two things: California NO to Prop 8, Arizona NO to Prop 102 and Florida voters NO to prop 2--- Great. And Thanks.

Sunday, November 02, 2008


I don’t have many dreams or rather I hadn't had many. i seem to be having them more, or rather, remember them more. The memories, the dreams of late, anyway, are not beginning, middle and end events. I'm remembering snippets only--those leading to wakefulness.

A couple of weeks ago I was driving a bus. Not a school or even a city bus, but a tour bus, a tour bus without tourists.

I was handling the very large vehicle with relative ease until *thwack* something smacked the bus. I don’t know what it was, but there wasn’t time to ponder the what, for the smack down had made me lose control. In fact, the impact of whatever it was had thrown be about the bus. I reached my arms out, trying to grab hold of the steering wheel from several rows back.

I woke just as the bus was careening over the side of a bridge.

A couple of days later the dream was about the cats and a mouse. They caught a mouse, but instead of the images being live action, they were animated, “Tom & Jerry” inspired animation to be precise. They were having a grand old time with the mouse. My role was that of the human you see only from the knees down. I woke to legs chasing the trio down a flight of stairs.

A couple of days ago the dream was about my bedroom light switch. Inexplicably it had fallen from the wall. Instead of moving to repair it, I fussed over how to get the lights off (apparently glossing over the fact that if the switch were repaired . . . voila). I woke at the height of frustration at not being able to extinguish the overhead lighting.

I know folks believe that dreams mean something, heck, they probably do, in fact I'm pretty sure they mean something if not the dreams themselves, certainly the fact that I'm more active in that arena lately.

Still, I haven’t given either of these too much thought, well, except for the cats and mouse one. I’ve thought about that a lot. Not about what it means but rather, why my feet were wearing such ugly house slippers, especially considering I don't wear house slippers.

Good Night.