Monday, March 31, 2008

In the Morning

This tale is my entry to this month's Wordsmiths exercise. The groans emanating from the bedroom, slicing into the serenity of Justine’s early morning ritual signaled the return of Rachel’s nightmares. Experience and the memory of a painfully bloody nose kept Justine from making her way to the bedroom. It was too soon. She must wait.
Justine does move to pour another cup of coffee. The steamy aroma taking her back to a similar morning eight months ago. She dropped a cup of coffee then, running full out to Rachel’s side the very first time she’d heard those groans.
Having cleaned up and settled down after being pummeled about the head and face when trying to rouse Rachel, Justine wanted to know if Rachel wanted to tell. Rachel didn’t want, but she did tell some.
“I was seven and my brothers were six and five. Mama’s friend, Papa Jack announced he was taking us to the carnival. Mama was working, so she didn’t go. We left in Papa Jack’s green truck and arrived at the carnival about 30 minutes later. It was cold. Too cold to be at the carnival, I thought. Other people must’ve thought so too, because there weren’t many people there. We jumped from the truck and half walked, half jogged about, unable to decide what to get on first. We were so excited. Papa Jack eventually suggested the Ferris wheel. Mama hadn’t let us try that ride before so we ran to go do that. Papa Jack paid the fee and the man operating the ride strapped us into baskets. I got to sit alone, since I was the biggest and oldest. It was the most exciting thing I’d ever done. I loved being up at top, being able to see the whole world. The boys weren’t even scared when it stopped and left us hanging in the air. Soon it was our turn to get off. The boys got off first and stayed together until I got down. I looked around for Papa Jack and didn’t see him anywhere. I called for him but he didn’t answer. The boys called and still nothing. The ride operator asked me if anything was wrong and I told him we couldn’t find our Papa Jack. He closed the ride and took us to an office. We sat for a long, long time with many grown-ups asking us our names and other questions. The boys started to cry. The carnival people gave us hot chocolate and peanuts. Sometime later the police came. We left with the police. “
It took a long time but Justine was finally able to get this part of the story from Rachel. The nightmares started two years after she left foster care. There is more, but Rachel won’t say. Though Justine has tried to find out what triggers the nightmares, more importantly she has had to learn how to soothe.
The coffee is nearly finished, soon it will be time to go to Rachel and hold her close

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Seven Wonders

While cleaning the building earlier today a few wonders tripped through my mind. For instance, I wondered if...

  • I’ll eventually be able to look over the 3rd floor banister without feeling dizzy
  • Neta’s headache will ease and whether we’ll be able to talk more today
  • The sun will make an appearance and /or the winds will die down a bit
  • I’ll try to get in a bike ride anyway
  • My mom found endearing a former boyfriend’s oft repeated proclamation, “I’m in love with you honey like stink on shit.”
  • That was an original BobbieJoe-ism or no.
  • Listening to music while completing the chores would be better or worse, efficiency wise.

Just to name a few.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Speaking of Crabs

It may surprise you to learn that I had my first crab leg February 14, 2008. My daughter, cuckoo like Co-Co Puffs over crab legs decided to prepare some for the Valentine’s dinner she prepared for her boyfriend. I was invited too since I was, you know, home.

I like crab meat. I’ve always only eaten it though after it was out of the crab. Crab cakes, crab salad, Flounder with crab meat stuffing. You know, like that. I never had any inclination to tackle crab legs. None.

Tackle some I did on February 14, 2008. It came as no surprise that the meat was succulent and quite tasty. In fact the entire meal was delicious. Also not surprising was my dislike of the effort it took to get at that succulent meat. Pain. In. The. …yeah, there.

It probably would get easier as time went on if I kept at it. The boyfriend and D seemed to be having fun (they’d both had crab legs before). People in restaurants always seem to enjoy the effort. Me? Nah. I like tools but the crab crackers don't excite.

Though the meat was yummy, I've probably had my last crab leg, King or otherwise. Probably. Someone might be able to entice me to give it another whirl, someday.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Just A Slice

A/P Lady: I sent you a check for $212.74 ! ! YOU are STILL billing me for $212.74

Credit Mgr. (me): Yes, ma’am. We got your check for $212.74 and we applied the $212.74 to your bill. That is not in dispute. However….

A/P Lady: I DON’T KNOW WHY you KEEP billing ME. WE PAID the invoice!!

Me: Yes ma’am, I’m not disputing that, however …


Me: Ma’am, I am not disputing payment of the $212.74. Your total bill came to $1,704.51. The $212.74 combined with your subsequent payment of $1,279.03 brings your total payment to $1,491.77, leaving $212.74. ~~There were 2 invoices for 1 order, from the beginning someone in the A/P office misconstrued the larger of the two invoices. The $212.74 represents payment of the smaller invoice. ~~

A/P Lady: I don’t see how that is, I sent a check for $212.74.

Me: Yes ma’am you did. We got that check, however….

This went on for about 15 minutes with me explaining every which way how it is that she or rather her employer: a school district is MI still owes the company $212.74. This tussle has been going on for several months. The collection agency dropped it as too small for litigation. I’ll keep it on the books until the end of the year and if A/P lady still hasn’t gotten it it will go down as a bad debt for the company.

Let’s talk about King Crab Legs some more. Yum, except…

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Define Sexy

One of the topics this month over at The Lesbian Lifestyle is Define Sexy. I think sexy is...

... strong, sculpted calf muscles that jump with amusement when warm hands wrap them in a gentle embrace. It is also higher up, the biceps that throb under the ministrations of soft succulent lips. Sexy is that sound she makes deep in her throat when she realizes you are awake. Moreover it is that sparkle in her eyes when she looks the question in your direction. Sexy is your reply that starts as a whisper and ends with a sigh.

Sexy is reading her suggestive text message with mother sitting across the table.

Sexy is the laughter shared in the early morning hours, the lovingly prepared meals, cheerfully crafted cards, tenderly worded letters and thoughtfully selected tokens of affection. It is the understanding her need to rest and knowing her need to talk. Sexy is caressing her when she needs to cry. Sexy is her knowing the same about you, doing the same for you.

Sexy is 365 or 366 as the case may be. Sexy is love. Sexy is together. Sexy is all I am with you and all you are with me. Sexy is life.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Like Any Other Day

I don't get together with my brothers. The older is in Texas and has no interest in being in Illinois and certainly no interest in being part of this family, or any, perhaps. That may be changing as he appears to be in recovery and softening on some points. But, we don't talk so I don't know that to really be the case. The younger is still in jail. He's been offered a plea bargain deal but he won't take it. His wife is scrambling to get him legal representation. I do try to foster a relationship with his kids, but it is tough as their mother is, in a word...harried for a number of reasons not the least of which is the scrambling with my brother. They do however, have an open invitation to come by, anytime. They couldn't today because they live several miles away and are very active in their church. In years past that was the life my brothers and I led and in turn the lives my two led. Easter Sunday meant dressing up in your finest duds, going to church often participating in a special program and eating a huge dinner.
This Easter Sunday was different in several regards. Mom came by after her church service to share a meal with me and daughter. Son couldn't be here for he had two performances today and the break between them was not sufficient to allow the trip our home for dinner. He'll come by later in the week for the "basket" I packed for him.

As our lives continue to change so too will our "holidays" and our gatherings.
Purdue beat Utah. Fudge, there goes another bracket. Ah well, hopefully all the rest of the seeds will hold court. Either way, YaY for March and the Madness of it all.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

It's Spring ! ! ! !

Forecast from National Weather Service As of 12:03 PM CDT on March 20, 2008
Rest of Today... Partly sunny. Temperatures nearly steady around 40. Northeast winds around 10 mph. Tonight... Mostly cloudy. Snow after midnight. Snow may be heavy at times after midnight. Snow accumulation of 1 to 2 inches. Lows in the upper 20s. East winds 10 to 20 mph. Chance of precipitation 90 percent. Friday... Snow. Snow may be heavy at times. Snow accumulation of 3 to 5 inches. Blustery. Highs in the mid 30s. East winds 15 to 25 mph. Chance of precipitation near 100 percent

I don't care. It's spring and I got it. The fever. And it's burning a whole in my... oh never mind. Happy Spring!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

In My Head

Good Morning. Two simple words, a customary greeting even, if not especially, among strangers. Why…

I was ten or so when my mom began to relinquish her authority over my wardrobe. I was given more freedom to make my own choices and those choices…

On my way to see my son on stage on Saturday I encountered some St. Paddy celebrants all decked out in celebratory garb. Some conversation among the celebrants wound its way to astrological signs and related attributes. One celebrant asked the other “are you like, psycho sensitive?" My mind wonders what…

I checked and double checked my tax forms before my e-filing. Still, I got the rejected e-mail. Turns out I flubbed my SS No. What? I’ve been writing, typing and reciting this number for over 30 years. I know it! What!?! My head is just…

...clogged, like my ears, well actually just one ear. The right ear is disconnecting periodically and it is driving me…

The fog outside is nothing compared to the fog in my head. In my day-to-day I’m slogging through the important, funny or relevant details or scenes. I can articulate them and then I can’t. Consistent coherency is a struggle right now. My thoughts and energies are not here with me, they are there with her. I want ME to be there, right now!

But I can’t be, not right now. So I need to finish a thought, compose a tune that allows me to dance, to function well enough, long enough until there is where I can be.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

More Than A Feeling

It started at the base of the spine. A sizzling sensation radiating up and outward, leaving warmth where there was once a chill. It wasn’t long before that full body warmth delivered signals to my brain and my brain in turn sent signals…elsewhere.

Emotional hand wringing ensued.

I’d known this might happen. The head was already at the resort the body was now begging to visit. But, not now, all evidence to the contrary, mind and body, not ready. Not yet.

She was talking. What was she saying? I couldn’t concentrate. The buzzing in my head, the throbbing…elsewhere; must have been the wine. No, it wasn’t. I couldn’t take my eyes from hers, the blue vibrant, then smoky. I wanted to ignore the eyes, the buzz the throb, but I couldn’t. They would not be ignored.

Some what ifs broke through the cacophony momentarily interrupting my reverie. During the break, I heard her ask, “Do you even know if you’re really gay? I mean, you’ve never even kissed a woman.” To which I replied, “No time like the present.” And just like that, I was ready.

After several weeks of correspondence and conversation I visited Neta for the first time a year ago this week. My first night there we talked through the night. We kissed some too. We retired in the wee hours of the morning, falling into sleep, holding each other gingerly. Then daylight came and we...decided to be a couple.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Birthday Suit

He came into my life seven months ago. I wasn’t so sure I wanted what having him in our space meant. Pete the cat, was a new adventure in a time chock full of new adventures. I wasn’t quite so sure I could handle it, but I was willing to give it a go.

There were some humps along the way but we have formed a bond.

We have an understanding and he knows that I am on his side on at least one primal issue.

I don’t think my daughter would actually try to outfit Pete the cat in anything quite so silly, but one can never to too careful. Diamond girl has acquired some interesting wardrobe in her few months in residence. Not a taco suit, but she has a cape with a matching cap, a belted sweater, polo shirt and a fur and more. Wardrobe. Diamond girl balks at some but gives in to others.

I guess she’s picking her battles. Pete the cat will have none of that. Daughter presses on, insists that a cat in, at the very least, a hat is de rigueure. Pete and I are in total agreement. No hats! Or any other suits of clothing while we're on topic.
Pete the cat is two years old today. The celebration, sans hats, is on!

Sunday, March 09, 2008


Illinois...block out, oops too late. Maybe next year.

Comcast... WTF*???

*Fudge. The broadcast on the Tennessee / LSU battle hiccuped during the fist half. Aaaarrrggghhhh. I sure hope you have it togther now, it's shaping up to be quite the battle.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Zip It

The zipper on my warmest parka broke.

Nothing dramatic. Dog. Poop. Squat.


I took it to one of the my friendly, neighborhood dry cleaner / tailor.

Mr. Liu wrote the ticket, telling me to come back in a week, on Thursday.

I paid (dearly) for my parka the next week. I wore it to work the following day.

A(nother) very cold day.

Warmest parka zipped with relative ease. After walking a bit I felt a draft. I looked down. The zipper was apart.

Double Fudge.

After work I go home, change into my other parka and return to cleaner / tailor.

Mr. Liu listens to me, inspects the parka and zipper.

Words (a flurry) are exchanged between Mr. and Mrs. Liu.

I have to hope they aren’t saying things like I’m too fat for my coat. I don't understand the exchange. The looks, though, I've seen those before. Buuuut.. I feel myself wanting to defend:

I’m doing all this walking. I feel the burn.

Mr. Liu says to me, “I fix, come back Thursday." Another seven days with the other parka.

Triple fudge.

I pick up the warmest parka the next week.The parka with another new zipper.

The warmest parka has been worn for a week. The newest zipper has held.

Mr. & Mrs. Liu's exchange was likely about the defective zipper, lack of confidence in their zipper supplier and / or about my warmest parka zipper replacement being one in a series of do-overs.

Or something like that. It had to be. Mr. & Mrs. Liu friendly they are but they don't care one whit about how fat I may or not be, just about the zipper on my warmest parka. Thanks to Mr. Liu my warmest parka is back in top form.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

A Moment of Sun

The sun shone today. For a minute, but it was out there blazing away like there was no tomorrow, if ever so briefly. Taking advantage, I took not only the usual mid-day walk, but another to boot. The need to soak up as much sun, all bright and shiny, is powerful these days. I hope this sun shining folly extends beyond the brief stint it shared today.

Though walking is my most routine exercise regime, especially during these cold weather months, I find the walking much productive when I have a specific destination. Walking around a couple (or several) blocks and then back again just doesn’t hold much interest for me. Obviously the lack of interest doesn’t extend when walking with the dog. When I have the dog with me there is the dog and the dog’s business on which to focus.

I’ve tried listening to music while I walk. Sometimes effective, however, more often than not the music creates a dstraction that I just can’t handle. I have flashes of klutz and those seem most active when my ears are dressed with listening devices. I’ve tumbled up and over my fair share of curbs. I’ve tried to mask the tumbles as dance maneuvers but the moves fall flat just as my body hits the pavement.

The destination for the mid-day jaunt was none other than the land of Ohhhs. Ohhhprah has a store. Not just an on-line marketplace, but an actual brick, mortar, glass and steel structure where wares are sold. The store is staffed by perky folks clad in black, business casual attire.

…and pink silk bunting draped over anything that would stand still. If you know your “Steel Magnolia” quotes you know what comes next. Trade the silk bunting with “O” all over and you have what it felt like to be in Ohhhprah land. Pass the Pepto.

Not quite the thrill ride of say…Elvis’ Graceland, the land of Ohhhs offers its own unique brand of worshipping, right down to the huge plasmas offering favorite Ohhh scenes, interviews and special events. The empire that is Ohhhprah has grown again. What’s next you might ask, a reality show?

As a matter of fact…yes.

I’ll make it back to the Ohhprah store, though not to purchse. It’s just a place to go during my mid-day walk.