Tuesday, June 24, 2008

I Confess

I’m nervous about Neta’s visit.

When the idea originally germinated it didn’t seem like a real possibility for many reasons. For a time she’d labored over the idea that I didn’t want her here. I have, from the very first time I visited her, dreamt of her coming to visit me here. Though, I must confess, I probably gave off vibes to indicate otherwise.

As this germinated idea began to take root and we decided to just go with it, damn all the work, damn all the details, damn all the…everything, I got beyond excited about the prospect. Yet I confess I got anxious. I also got nervous. Anxious over all there was to accomplish.

The nervousness exists on many fronts.

During one of our email sessions today I was on a rant about work. We’re recruiting and the interview process is, well, in a word, stupid. On and on about this I went. Neta’s final message back to me said in essence…just think, in a few days, I’ll be there. We’ll get to the hotel, un-wind with a de-stressing cocktail and relax. Relax. Relax. And oh yeah, we’ll eat and have sex too! So, F*k ‘em all. So, I am forgetting about work for now. I’m in full preparing, waiting and dreaming of Neta mode. Saturday afternoon cannot come soon enough. I wish it would.

Still, I confess to being nervous. However, I’m getting less so as the hours tick away.

Friday, June 20, 2008


Fade In:
The apartment isn’t shut down for the night yet at just a shade beyond 10 p.m. The alarm is armed but the computer is still up and a lamp continues to burn. Stretched out on the bed/sofa, sipping on daughter’s version of a Pena Colada, waiting for Neta to call, I tune in Logo’s sanitized version of QAF.

Then I'm out.

The next conscious moment comes at 2:30 a.m. I’m not sure what woke me, probably the thumpa thumpa of the QAF re-run being broadcast at that time. I do a walk-thru, making sure all is well, use the bathroom and shut down the computer. I realize I’d not spoken to Neta, so I call.

Neta: Hey baby, what are you doing up?
Me: Not up, really. I slept and something woke me up.
Neta: Well, by the time it slowed down enough for me to call you, it was late and I didn’t want to wake you.
Me: Yeah, I know. I figured. I just wanted to call to say hey. And I love you, and goodnight.
Neta: Goodnight baby. I’ll call you in the morning.

I settle down to sleep a bit more. It won’t come, at least not until nearly 4 and even then it was fitful. The remnants of a dream niggled at my edges.

Neta, D and I were in a house. Not the condo, not Neta’s house. It was some other place. For some reason I’m up very early re-decorating. I’m moving a narrow baker’s rack type shelving full of pots and pans. For some reason I don’t remove the pans. I carry the laden shelving to some type of pantry without dropping a thing. Miraculous, I’m thinking, when my attention is diverted to a hole in a wall. The hole looks like an opening for the beginnings of a small window.
Curious, I look through. I see a lump. Suddenly the lump begins to lumber toward the opening, toward me. I don’t shriek until the lumbering lump takes a leap. I see that it is a HUGE striped tabby. I mean HUGE. Huge, but not like a real cat. This cat was a cartoon-y, puppet-like cat. The fur was felt. The eyes like buttons. But it was HUGE. And it moved. Slow and then fast. Only the head fit through the opening I realized after I’d backed into the shelving, crashing all the pots and pans. Neta appeared at the doorway to the pantry with a WHAT THE FUCK look on her face.

I got up, showered and such, fixed a cup of coffee, ate a watermelon slice and got dressed. D got up shortly after and when she was ready, we left.

D nearly spit out her iced coffee when I told her the dream on our way to the train.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Kinda Out of It

D: What happened to you?

Me: What you do mean? When?

D: Last night. You didn’t hear him?

Me: No. What did he do?

D: Your crazy cat was on his crazy cat shit last night. He scratched at my door, was meowing like…well, like crazy. When I opened my door he darted in here. I can’t sleep with him in the room so I led him out. He kept up the meowing and scratching for awhile.

Me: When was this?

D: Last night, about 11:30, 12:00 something like that, I think.

Me: Hmmmm…I didn’t hear a thing. He didn’t mess with me. He wasn’t even the reason I
woke up at 4:30 this morning. What did Diamond do?

D: Nothing, she slept through it too. I even called you “hey, hey, mom” and…nothing.

Me: Well, oh well. And by the way, my cat isn’t crazy. He’s just spirited.

D: Yeah, spirited, when he’s disrupting my sleep.

It is just Thursday. Bummer. Nine More Days.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Off Stride

How is it that a body can awake 2 ½ hours before it is time to leave for work and still forget to eat breakfast? And because said body forgot to eat breakfast she also forgot to take her meds (just a vitamin and water pill) not any big deal, but still, gives her a wonky feeling.

Lunch will have to come earlier than usual. Ugh

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Honor The Father

What do you say to a father with whom you have no relationship? To a man who alternated between ignoring and making loving declarations over the course of your 47 years? To a man who you’d like to call dad, but can just manage…

It would be more dramatic to begin by saying that the storms that rolled through here about 7 this morning startled me from my slumber. To begin by saying that the thunder, lightning and the crash of tree parts and other debris into cars and onto the streets was a most un-settling way to begin the day would be, in truth, not the beginning of my day, though yes, it was un-settling.

My day began three hours earlier thanks to Pete, the cat! He started, per usual at about 4 with his meows, chin chucking and various other actions trying to rouse me. I did my best to ignore him and eventually he sauntered away, to sit and stare. By six, we decide it was time to eat. He feasts on a breakfast of turkey and giblets, I have cereal and a banana.

The storms roll in at 7 and Pete, the cat is a tad un-nerved. He was perched on the sill of one of the open windows. The crashes and lightning sent him skittering. He’s been pacing about, not quite sure of what to make of all the whirling and blowing. I close the windows against the growing breezes for fear that they might turn from refreshing to violent. Neither of us would welcome that eventuality.

I know you’re wondering, who the heck is Pete, the cat? Well, I adopted a cat at the urging of D, my daughter. You remember my daughter, don’t you? True, she was what…9 or 10 the last time you saw her? But I’ve spoken of her in the many letters I’ve sent in the interim. She’s nearly 23 now and working as a vet tech at one of the local animal shelters. The adoptions didn’t stop at Pete, the cat. Diamond, diva dog, also calls our condo home. Diamond and D will be moving as soon as my daughter can get all her ducks in a row. I’ll miss them both, but when it’s that time, well, it is.

There have been many other changes in my life, our lives since we last saw or even spoken to one other. M, my son graduated from college and has been pursuing a career in the theatre. He is working a “day” job that is very satisfying and will serve to provide him the security to continue to pursue his passions. He moved out a year ago and while I’ve stumbled on turning what was his space in the condo, into my space, the time has come for me to forge full speed ahead with that/those projects.

For the biggest change in the past few years is that I’ve fallen in love. The love is on her way, yes…her way here for the first time. I’ve visited her on a number of occasions because it was easier (since I have daughter here and such), but now…she wants to visit Chicago, me and see, rather than hear, how I live. When it’s that time, well, it is.

I don’t remember when you and I have last talked verbally or in print, but I do remember the contexts. I remember you’re stating, trying to assure me that you love me. I have to tell you, I find your declarations hard to believe given what we’ve shared, or rather haven’t, for the bulk of my 47 years. But, never fear I no longer dwell on whether or not you love me or vice versa. That part doesn’t matter. What does matter is that you’re my father and I would like to, at the very least know you and vice versa. So, on this day, the day set aside for children to honor their fathers, allow me to say, I hope that your life has been and continues to be all you hoped and dreamed. I hope your health and that of your wife allows for relaxing enjoyment during these golden years. Finally father, I hope you are happy.

I hope, you hope, the same for me.
Your only daughter, Deborah

I guess I would start there, maybe.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Start. Stop. Up. Down. Twist. Shout.

I'm all over the place these days. My mind is going a million miles a minute. There is a condo to brighten and shine. There are supplies and foodstuffs to stock. There is excitement to keep on an even keel, if at all possible.

Neta is coming to town. Soon, fifteen days to be exact.

Oh me, oh my...Neta is coming. Neta. Is. Coming.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


I'm trying not to read too much into Chef Izard being featured in one of the local rags today. In fact, over the past several days there have been a number of Stephanie sightings (and reports). Per this most recent newspaper article, Stephanie is scouting locations for a new Chicago restuarant she's planning to open. Did she pack her knives in defeat or victory? I'll be tuning in tonight to see. Go Iz!

Monday, June 09, 2008

A,B,C more about MeMe

No doubt you've seen this nearly everywhere. Here's my jumping on band-wagon effort:
A is for your age: in a few weeks I'll be forty-eight.

B is for your burger choice: Beef, pink, spicy and hella good.

C is for the car you drive: none, zero, zip, na-da, making those extend your warranty calls on the voicemail every other day pretty annoying. This is your final warning. Don't delay, press 2 to speak with a representative to extend your warranty. Press 1 to remove your name from our list. Message. Every. Other. Day. for about six months now.

D is for dog's name: though not technically my dog, her name is Diamond. I like to call her Diva Dog.

E is for an essential item you use every day: How odd. There are many, seriously. How do you manage without soap AND water? Cheerios AND milk? socks AND shoes? Well, if I have to choose one....moisturizer to combaat ashy knees, elbows and more.

F is for favorite TV show: This is a toughie...mmmm..at the moment, I suppose would get the nod. I didn't like it when it started and for whatever reason was captured by it a couple of seasons ago. I've been watching the replays in syndication to fill in some gaps. I will eventually rent/watch all the seasons in succession. Probably.

G is for favorite game: Duck, Duck, Goose? Naaah, today it's a toss-up between Scrabble and Scattergories.

H is for your hometown: Da Bulls, Da Bears, Da Cubs......Chicago

I is for instruments played: recorder, piano (lessons) and finger cymbals. Finger cymbals rock!

J is for favorite juice: not big on juices but in the interest of full disclosure, drumroll please....V8 Spicy.

K is for what you'd like to kick: the 11:30 p.m. craving for chocolate chip cookies.

L is for the last restaurant you dined at: Demos' Yummy steak.

M is for favorite muppet: The Count.

N is for number of piercings: Two, each lobe.

O is for overnight hospital stays: Three. Tonsils & 2 birthing events.

P is for people you were with today: fellow commuters, bus operator(s) and co-workers.

Q is what you do in quiet times: Savor. Read. Write.

R is for regrets: I regret not picking up the plants & potting soil while I had access to a car.

S is for your status: Totally devoted to Neta.

T is for time you woke up: 4:14 a.m. Pete. The Cat. 4:14 AM. Pete! the Cat.

U is for what you consider unique: Ernestine, 59.

V is for favorite vegetable: Spinach.

W is for worst habit: falling asleep with the television on

X is for xrays you've had: knees & dental, a few times.

Y is for yummy food eaten today: Garlic Lime Chicken

Z is for zodiac sign: LEO. You have a great insight into major events going on right now, and a lot of people would love to know what you know! Sitting in the catbird's seat gives you a great feeling, and you are finally coming to a place where you can truly value your position in life. Resist the temptation to lord your power over other people who are at disadvantage -- you don't want to burn any bridges. Keep your cool and play this out more conservatively than you probably want to. Whatever.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Love of the Game

Chicago-land native Candace Parker rolled into town with the rest of the Sparks in tow to take on our Sky. The ladies played to a sell-out crowd (no, not me.) The Sky rallied from a 14-point deficit to tie the game at the end of regulation. The Sparks, minus C. Parker who had fouled out, won in OT 81-77.

Oh yes, I like the women. I love the women. However, I don’t have any co-workers who share a passion for the women’s game. The NBA follower co-worker smiles, nods and just pretends to understand. We do not discuss.

We don’t talk about how rookie Parker is leading the Sparks in scoring, rebounds and assists and is odds on favorite to score rookie of the year honors. We don’t talk about the other touted rookie, our very own Fowles, being out with a knee sprain suffered in the 3rd quarter of the battle with the Sparks. Or that Fowles ranks as her team’s third leading scorer but second in rebounds and first in blocked shots. Further, we don’t talk about how badly the 2007 champion Phoenix Mercury are struggling right now. How Cappie, Diana and Tangela have their work cut out for them but being up to the challenge.

We don’t talk about how with the addition of veterans Yolanda Griffith, Swin Cash and Sheryl Swoopes, the Seattle Storm are hoping for a return to the championship podium.

And of course we don’t talk about the Comets, Dream, Fever, Liberty, Lynx (who are hot right now, by the by), Monarchs, Mystics, Silver Stars, Shock or the Sun. And if we don’t talk about the WNBA, you know we aren’t talking about the NCAA women. Bring on the Madness!

Play on ladies. Seriously.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Not In the Game

Eventhough I've told him that I'm not a fan of the NBA anymore, a co-worker wants to know every morning following a play-off game if I saw the game. Every morning I tell him that I didn't. He proceeds to give me a run-down of the more scintillating moments. I listen to be polite. I even make a comment or two.

But I don't care. Really, I don't. Knowing who plays and who wins is simply an accident of memory. I check in with SportsCenter (for other sporting news), there are the crawlers along the top (or bottom) of the screen during my local newscast, I might catch a flash of conversation on the bus or train or glance at the sports section of some commuter's newspaper. The data enters and sometimes it clings whether I want it to or not.

The Finals start tomorrow. The Boston Celtics will battle the Los Angeles Lakers for the title in a best of 7 series. A decade (or more) ago I would have cared. Not now. Except if I did care I'd want Boston to beat the Lakers because "Doc" Rivers played HS & college ball in the area and I always liked his play and demeanor. Conversely, I really, really, seriously, really don't like Kobe. Seriously. One more look at his tongue (you ever notice how often he licks his lips when he talks?) and I'm going to hurl my salad. Seriously.

Play on but I don't care. Seriously.

Monday, June 02, 2008


I was tagged (again) to do 10 (different number) things about me (meme). I’ve been thinking about this much and then again, not much at all and then much all over again. I’m hung up on the quirky. Quirky quirks me out perhaps. But, alas, quirky or not, here we go:

1. My first fried chicken dinner was a complete bust. The chicken was beautifully, golden brown outside and a bloody un-done mess inside. I was eleven, I think.

2. I redeemed myself eventually, but then, by that time I didn’t care about preparing food for anyone in my household.

3. Still, the skill came in handy during the rearing of my own children. They grew up eating a lot of fried chicken.

4. My mother had no active role in teaching me how to cook. Ergo, I learned most of what I know long after becoming an adult, a mother.

5. I do not like my water (drinking) or most any other beverage iced, usually. Chilled is ok, iced is generally too much. Waiters (more than waitresses, oddly) tend to question my –no ice- request.

6. A co-worker revealed to me today that he loves peach cobbler and loves to prepare it but can’t stand touching fresh peaches. The fuzz quirks him out. I, on the other hand, don’t care much for peach cobbler but I do adore fresh peaches. Canned peaches (his preference over even frozen peaches) quirk me out.

7. Generally, I don’t like sipping through straws. Obviously in some cases (milkshakes, smoothies) straws are a must, but otherwise, I do without.

8.I found out today that I like cranberries in tuna salad.

9. I don’t like green grapes, but I like all the others. I especially like the sweet grapes added to a buffalo chicken salad.

10.Buffalo chicken salad makes me think of Toot’s, which makes me think, Tennessee, which makes me think Neta, who makes me feel all quirky inside and out. Yum.