Sunday, August 31, 2008


A life-line, for I’d be lost without certain telephone conversations. In a former life I detested talking on the phone outside of work and I did it only as needed to conduct business, shore up plans or obtain information. It was not my socializing tool. With rare exception, still isn’t. Two of those rare exceptions are my son and Neta.

In addition to talking with my son frequently via telephone, I also see him every few weeks. And though I miss seeing him more often I know that we could visit more as he is merely a couple of commuter train rides away. In theory we could have lunch as often as our respective schedules allow. That understanding is a great comfort and lessens the intense loneliness for him I might feel otherwise. Besides, he’s “out on his own” and that makes me happy.

It is different with Neta. She is my lady love and we are working toward being together 24/7. But right now she is 500 miles away and seeing her takes planning, commitment, money and optimally, vacation days. And though we talk on the telephone every day, two, sometimes three or more times a day, I do get lonely for her, very lonely and often intensely so.

During those intensely lonely times, even the telephone conversations don’t seem to provide the salve needed put the loneliness to rest. I try masking the feelings when we talk because I don’t want to bring her down with me. I try fighting or minimizing the feelings by throwing myself into tasks at hand; taking my daughter to have a boil drained, assisting my mom with . . . whatever, the yard and condo association business, studying feline interactions, not to mention dealing with all the additional hair and poop, just to name a few.

Though all these things and more require action, demand my attention and for a time even take my mind and soul from realm of despair, a nugget of emptiness remains. Time though, does heal. Planning helps hurry the utterly desperate times to go on their way. As the days pass, the day for our next visit looms larger and appears fogdog-like on the horizon.

When I break through the haze the sheer joy and happiness felt by knowing she is IN my life and that her feelings for me mirror that which I have for her rests on the other side filling me and pushing me forward.’s my number and a dime, call me anytime.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Think Again

We (me and Neta) have had a few conversations about my conservative taste in clothes, over and under wear. I don't deny favoring comfort and function over style. I prefer slacks over skirts and dresses. I prefer plain shirts over frilly blouses. I prefer pockets, nice deep pockets. I prefer flat shoes. Actually, I can / will only wear flat shoes. She's decided that I should break out of my box (so to speak) now and again. I don't totally disagree and as luck fate would have it a new catalog arrived in the mail yesterday.

I don't, however, think any of these selections quite fill the bill.
At least not for day wear.

. . .there's sumpin' 'bout your love that makes me weak and knocks me off my feet. S. Wonder

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Laverne And Dion

During my child and teen years mom held very few ‘regular jobs’. We were on public assistance. She got money, food stamps and a medical card cover our basic needs. It was hardly ever enough.

To supplement the meager income my mom sold things when she could. As she was ‘sick’ much of the time ‘when she could’ was not very often. Still, when she was up and about she worked at home based merchandising.

There was of course the grand poobahs of home based business, TupperWare, Avon and Mary Kay. Mom also dabbled with lesser known entities to distribute sexy lingerie and ‘adult’ themed candles. And then there was Empress Pearls.

Mom gave Empress Pearl parties. There was food, drink and a tank for the ‘oysters’ containing precious ‘pearls’. Guests played games to win a chance to dive for oysters. The idea was to sell them jewelry for whatever ‘pearls’ were scored. As I recall.

In addition of offering food and drink, mom also offered entertainment.

Entertainment came in the form of Laverne and Dion, the last white people in the ‘hood’. They were a mother / son duo who sang, danced, told jokes and executed basic feats of magic. Mom met them in a bar she frequented, performing for beers and loose change. Laverne was in her late 50’s, wore short flippy skirts, blouses with ruffles and white moccasins. Think a younger, slightly less made up, slightly less psychotic Bette Davis as 'Baby Jane' Hudson and you’ve basically got Laverne. Dion, in his early to mid-twenties was studying to become a clown. He wore plaid shirts and always smelled of pickles. Think Weird Al Yankovic without the glasses, longer, greasier looking hair, scruffier presentation and you’ve basically got Dion.

They were . . . something.

Mom paid them with whatever was on the menu, usually fried chicken (or fish), greens, cornbread and of course, beer.

The Empress Pearl business didn’t last long for a number of reasons, not the least of which, very few of mom’s guests could justify spending what little money they had on ‘pearl’ earrings and necklaces too many times, and her pool of new suckers customers was very small.

But while it lasted those parties were scream riots.

Oh. My.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Happy Monday

Stop at McD’s for coffee on the way to work
Me: medium coffee, 1 cream on the side please.
Cashier: I’m sorry, what?
Me: medium coffee, 1 cream on the side.
Cashier: sugar?
Me: No. No sugar, just one cream.
Cashier: You don’t want sugar?
Me: NO. Please, just one cream
Cashier: Soooo no sugar?
Me: NO just one cream on the side.

He takes my money, goes to pour the coffee, adds the lid, and passes me the cup. I wait for a few seconds to see if he’ll go to the cooler for the cream, he does not and so I ask, yet again, for the cream.

There was a similar incident at the local sandwich shop today. After supervising the construction of my sandwich (you want it grilled? No. No grill? NO. You don’t want it grilled? No. I slide on to the cashier to finish:

Cashier: Anything else?
Me: Apples and water
Cashier: You want chips?
Me: No, apples and water
Cashier: You don’t want chips?
Me: NO apples and water.
Cashier: Ok, you get that from cooler.

Moral: make your own freakin’ coffee and lunch at home, especially on Mondays.

Aside: A customer ahead of me at McD’s ordered 14 sugars for his coffee. If I had to have 14 sugars to make my coffee palatable, I’d drink soda. Maybe that’s just me.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

It's in the Air

It's exciting and new, come aboard....

OC over at Bear's Mountain has passed this honor on to me and I pass it on to all of you who read here and elsewhere, those of you who take the time and make the effort to comment and especially those of you who post your own thoughts, dreams, desires, tips, photos and more.

Love to love you. Cheers!

Friday, August 22, 2008

One Week

Distinctive tone:
Me: Hi son
Son: Hey, hey howzit goin’?
Me: Pretty good, how about with you?
Son: Good. Good. Soooo, frying pork chops, pretty much like frying chicken?
Me: Yep, pretty much.
Son: Cool, thanks. ~~he goes on for another hour or so with stories about work, auditions and friends. He signs off to finish the chops & prepping the rest of his dinner.

A couple days later, distinctive tone:
Me: Hello son
Son: Hey. Hey. Howzit goin’?
Me: Pretty good, how about with you?
Son: Good. Good. Sooo…how do you make gravy?
Me: ~~I’ll spare you the deets, suffice to say, I tell him.
Son: Cool, thanks. He goes on for another hour or so with more stories about work, the audition, fellow actors and former classmates. He signs off to relax by watching “Weeds” (a recently discovered, new obsession) before hitting the hay.

A few days later, distinctive tone:
Me: Hello son
Son: Hiya, howzit goin’?
Me: pretty good, and with you? How are you?
Son: Good. Good. Tired, but good.
Me: Glad to hear it, the good part. Not the tired.
Son: Soooo Labor Day, you going to barbeque?
Me: No son, I don’t have a grill. Remember?
Son: Oh yeah, soooo you cooking?
Me: Uhm, no, I hadn’t really planned on cooking.
Son: Not even spaghetti?
Me: Well, I guess I could.
Son: Fried Chicken?
Me: Sure, I could fry some chicken and maybe make up some potato salad or cole (or broccoli) slaw.
Son: YESSS!!
Me: And you know, that pie is still here (apple, frozen) from Independence Day.
Son: Yes, I know! He might be drooling, not sure. Soooo, you’re cooking?
Me: Yes, I suppose I am.
Son: Cool. Cool. ~~he goes on for another hour or so with more stories about work, the audition (still no word, what’s up with that?), a particular (different) former classmate, his dad and shared that one of his co-worker’s proclaimed that he’d make a good husband someday, to which we both nod (I’m sure he’s nodding or maybe shaking) me in agreement, he not so much, but, sure…ok, maybe. He makes signing off noises but not before confirming that yes, I am cooking.

I say my good-byes but not before suggesting that perhaps he could bring a dish to share.

We sign off to some hearty laughter. Well, at least the pie will be gone, finally.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Gold and "The Boys"

With Abby out due to an injury I didn't expect the ladies to make it to the gold medal game, let alone pull off a win against the extremely quick, tenacious and physical arch rival, Brazil. Cheers!!
The Boys, as they have come to be known, are getting along famously. Buttah tends to take a more submissive stance in during their wrestling matches but it is clear he is no pushover. Pete, never able to get the drops on Diva Diamond, he's enjoying the power, even if it is fake.
Pete came to us one year ago today. Since then he's made a nuisance of himself, himself known what with the leg humping, midnight crawling, 4 a.m. cat calls for feeding (or whatever) and any number of his annoying amazing feline feats. Since then he's been pushed around by a short, stout, curly dog and has been able to mix it up with the orange eating machine*. Since then he's celebrated a birthday an has been able to avoid being dressed like a taco doll.
Since then he has allowed me to hug him so long as I don't hold on too tightly or for too long.
Since then he has become one of "the boys" though they are still out numbered by us girls.
*Buttah EATS much, but not for much longer. It's not a diet, it's a lifestyle.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

One Hundred Foods

. . . you should? eat. Sassy asked and so here's my list. The foods I've eaten are in bold. Some of these I've not heard of before and now I'm intrigued. I still might not eat them after I learn what they are, but at least then I'd know what it is I'm not eating.

1. Venison
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos racheros
4. Steak tartare
5. Crocodile
6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Calamari
12. Pho
13. Peanut butter and jelly sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart
16. Epoisses
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foi gras
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn or head cheese
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
27. Dulce le leche
28. Oysters
29. Baklava
30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Salted lassi (mango lassi and sweet lassi)
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float
36. Cognac with a fat cigar
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly
39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects
43. Phaal
44. Goat's milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worl $120 or more
46. Fugu
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald's Big Mac Meal
56. Spaetzle
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV
59. Poutine
60. Carob chips
61. S'mores
62. Sweetbreads
63. Kaolin
64. Currywurst
65. Durian
66. Frogs' legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
68. Haggis
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings or andouillette
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost or brunost
75. Roadkill
76. Baijiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Bellini
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict
83. Pocky
84. Tasting meno at a three-Michelin-star restaurant
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare
87. Goulash
89. Horse
90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue mountain coffee
100. Snake

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


There's a mirror moving inside my mind
Reflecting the love that you shine on me
Hold on now to that feelin'
Let it flow, let it grow, ya, ya
My heart is on fire
My soul's like a wheel that's turnin'
My love is alive
My love is alive, ya, ya, ya
My love is alive
My love is alive
My love is alive
My love is alive
My love is alive
My love is alive
My love is alive
last verse, refrain from Gary Wright's "Love Is Alive"

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Way Back When

For my birthday this year mom gave me photos, mostly of me. Many I didn't even know she had, just as many I didn't remember ever striking the pose. Some of the photos were copies of those I'd given to her some years prior. Mom's been purging, giving away photos, trinkets and other boxed evidence of lives once lived.
I started drawing and painting more, thirty-four years ago completing my first year in high school. A favorite teacher talked me into entering art and craft fairs. Lo and behold I won a few. Mom was there for at least one award ceremony. She came with me once to the Art Institute and from that moment on, she deemed me, "weird."
Daughter asks, "was that a velour shirt?" Indeed it was and while don't remember this the circumstances of this photo, but I do remember that shirt. No doubt it was a hand-me-down from someone, though not my older brother because I was bigger. Mom framed this photo as if daughter needed any further evidence of my lifetime geek-dom.
Twenty years ago I was twenty-eight years old with a young son and even younger daughter. Though un-raveling day by day, the seams of marriage held for nearly another decade more. Besides the joys experienced by being an active participant in the growth of aforementioned son and daughter that decade yielded little in the way of bliss. It was probably the most troubling of the four I've spent in this here life. The three years between 15 and 18 were no cakewalk though.
As you may have guessed looking at the photos has kicked up a dusting of memories. Some good, some bad, some vivid and some a tad fuzzy. The memories and the photos sparking same are evidence of a life once lived, for better or worse, it is the way it was.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Dinner Possible

I love burgers. Love them. Daughter said Tuesday morning that there would be burgers for dinner. Ground beef marinated with buffalo chicken wing sauce, fried with mushrooms and onions, topped with crumbled bleu cheese and served on a whole wheat bun.

Oh goody.

I thought about my burger all day. A light lunch of a pb&j (apple) sandwich and a glass of skim milk barely kept me going. I did manage to survive until check out time, by which I was more than ready for that burger. The train ride and long walk home seemed to take longer than usual, nearly too long.

One step inside our vestibule however dashed all hopes of a hot, dripping with juices burger, spicily sauced and surrounded by steak fries, sour cream, salsa and extra bleu cheese, for I was met by the unmistakable stench of burnt beef. Damn. I moped up the steps, un-did the locks, entered the unit and said a less than hearty hello to all the fur babies. Daughter, who was coming from the kitchen, was treated to my mournful expression. The question scorched the lips but refused to be spoken. She said emphatically, “I don’t want to talk about it!”

Damn. I couldn’t chide her. I know how these things happen. I’d had an unfortunate run-in with some green beans a few days ago, and some grits days before that. It has been a burned beyond recognition festival around here lately. What’s going on? Heck if I know.

It wasn’t a total disaster. She was able to salvage some of the dinner. It wasn’t bad, but certainly wasn’t what I’d been salivating about for the better part of a day.

Rumor has it she’ll try again today. I’m trying hard not to think about outcomes, good or bad.

Bon Appetit.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

New Hires

We hired FOUR new guys in July. Not 4 in addition to the 8 who were here prior but 4 to replace 3 and one extra. The extra is a part-timer so in essence it is only 3 and a half, I suppose.

The first new guy was to replace a planned resignation. One of the old guys decided he wanted to attend school full-time, to pursue a Master’s degree in Voice. Once told of his plans we (eventually –too long for my taste, but whatever and the recruiting process? gosh I hope I don't ever have to do this again with this crew) set off to find a new guy. He gave us much notice (March), as this old guy was an instrumental guy in several vital areas of operation. Technically, the new guy isn’t a replacement in as much as he’s a body to be trained over a period of time to see where his motivations and ambitions will carry him. After about a month I feel that things seem to be progressing apace or in other words, so far, so good.

New guy number two had to replace terminated guy. Terminated guy has been a thorn in our side for nearly 3 years. Had it been my choice, terminated guy would have been terminated 3 years ago, but warning after warning after warning after warning later, he finally was put in a position were he “chose to resign.” He left the building, marched over to the un-employment office to file his claim, which I denied. He appealed. I was asked by a state official to supply documentation to substantiate our justification for his separation. I did and so far, the state is siding with the company. Our second choice for First New Guy was hired. He seems to be fitting in nicely and again, so far so good.

New guy number three had to be hired to replace a surprise resignation. A long-time member of the team decided that it was time for him to retire, now, which was at the time, just shy of our busiest time of year. I think he got a bug up his ass about something the boss said and / or did and he just got fed up with that kind of shit (the boss is notorious for ranting about something before he checks all his facts, then apologizing after the fact) and decided he had enough bucks to retire. He’s been talking about it for awhile now, but the timing for our operations was not terribly convenient. A rush new hire can be dangerous. There was no third choice as the qualifications from those applications recently reviewed wouldn’t fit in this case, plus which we felt we’d pretty much shot the wad with choices one and two. New guy number three was a former employee of our former company, so he was a somewhat known entity. He’s a friend of a current employee, who has vouched for his ability and eagerness. He’s been thrown into the deep end, but again, so far, so good.

New guy number 4 (the half guy) is a very good friend of the boss. The boss felt like his friend (“very smart guy”) could just pick up the ball and run with it wherever we needed it to be run. It’s been nearly a month and yet once again, so far, so good.

I mention all this because it occurs to me that I haven’t had to get used to new people in the work-place in awhile. Our previous last new hires were in 2005. To have 4 (well, 3 ½) all at once is kind of…weird. The weirdest is that they don’t know me and are a little bit…intimidated by me or rather, I suspect, my position. I’ve tried to put them all at ease and assure them that I’m happy to answer their questions, assist them in any way that we are a team and yes, that so far, so good

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Feels Like Monday, May Even Rain

One of my co-workers steps into the doorway to let me know about the call parked on line one, “she wants to complain about a bill, or something.”

Me: I’m Deborah, how may I help you?

Caller: I got a bill from you people some time ago you with sales tax. Well, this is a school and we’re exempt. I faxed you a copy of the bill and the “tax letter”. Well, I got another bill and there is still tax. Could you take care of this?

Me: May I have the order / invoice number please?

Caller: uhmuhm…hold on… oh, here it is… is it…109918?

::I take a few moments to punch in 109918:: I discover, well, read on..

Caller: Oh wait, I think you…oh, the tax has been taken off. (In her fax she'd asked for 1. the tax to be removed and 2. a revised bill be sent. Since *I* do all that stuffs for the company, I know, for a f-a-c-t that the bill read: REVISED and a note was included--something about paying said bill.)

Me: Yes ma’am. (Inside I’m thinking how honored I am to have been chosen for this game, today. YaY!!!)

Caller goes on to gush about how sexy my co-worker sounds, “Is he tall? Dark? Young?”

Me: 1 for 3. Thank you for calling, we value your business, have a nice…yada x 3.

Saturday, August 09, 2008


Buttah, not Butter as previously reported, is trying to adjust to the life of an indoor cat. Has has been interviewing Diamond girl for some insight on her life outside. Buttah and Pete are doing what I've been told is a typical male cat dance. There aren't any decent pics of their tango just yet. Everyone seems to be playing nice. This is pleasing.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

One. More. Pet.

This is Butter. I came home this evening to find This, after I expressly and quite distinctly said, "no more pets."
The back story, if you're interested; D found him a few weeks ago wandering in a neighborhood where she was house-sitting. He didn't have tags and he seemed...lost, which obviously, he was. She scooped him up and took him to the (her) shelter. She scanned him for a micro-chip and came up empty. She fed him, gave him water and cleaned him up a bit. She isolated him and over the next several days the vet ran the usual checks and tests. He was deemed healthy.
Having not been claimed and deemed adoptable, preparations were made to take him out of isolation. D told the staff she was interested and asked them to put him on hold him. She told me about him last week and asked me to meet him, which I agreed to do, saying all along, "no more pets." Tactical error, I fully admit.
After a very tearful meet-and-greet session she finally said, "ok, I understand", though I think we both knew it wasn't the end. "Mom, I found him" were the last words she uttered on the subject until I came home today and found him, here. And here he is, meeting Pete and Diamond. Pete is curiously cautious or cautiously curious depending on your point of view and Diamond wants to hump his butt. Butter (ha ha coincidence) is having none of that.

I am angry but that will pass. Butter at approximately 18 months is younger than Pete by nearly a year and is very cuddly and has the cutest little mew.
Daughter and her crew will be moving, someday. Sooner.
In the meantime, no. more. pets. And that's final.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008


I had a chilling thought this morning. Soon, I must begin the process of pulling out for assessment my fall and winter wardrobe. I know already that I need shoes, everyday walking in the rain and snow type-shoes. More slacks and maybe more sweaters too. I probably should have started a few weeks ago, but I haven’t wanted to think about it. Not about the winter, so much, I’m used to that. I am not looking forward to the shopping.

NO I do not like shopping at all. I am, however, least bothered by shoe shopping. I even almost enjoy shopping for shoes. That though, is probably because I feed off daughter’s energy. She takes shoe shopping pleasure to a whole. nutha. level. Truth be told she's like that about clothes shopping too, but that joy, for some reason doesn't pull me in as much.

While I was doing the touristy thing last week, I met some women on a trolley. They were sisters traveling with their children and they were from Tennessee, Nashville, in fact. They asked among other things, if I’d ever been to Nashville. I told them of my very special friend who lives just outside Nashville and yes, I’d been down there many times in the last couple of years.

They asked if I’d been to any of the clubs (a couple) and offered that I might enjoy living in the Nashville area. They said in unison, “the winters are really mild.” I told them that I was hoping to convince my TN friend to come here for a spell during the winter. I was thinking how fetching she’d look in boots and a fuzzy hat.

That thought warms me, though the 80 plus degree temps today (and through the weekend) plays a part in that warmth. Yum. Enjoying it much, while it lasts.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Squish Squash

Is there anything worse than walking out your front door, getting very near the train station and having the cloudy and overcast day darken to night?

Yes and that is getting off the train at your appointed stop some 10 minutes later in the midst of a down-pour. A big, honking, gushing, windy and horizontal sort of down-pour. I was met with even darker skies, thunder and lightening as well. Not a pleasant beginning for the first day back after the mini-vacation.

I hate, absolutely HATE getting wet on the way to work.
Thanks all for the happy birthday wishes. It and the days that followed were fine and fun. I realized this morning that over the course of the last five days I did not have even one piece of chocolate cake. I did however, have peach cobbler which was good and some kind of brown sugary, cinnamon, pound-y type cake (both at the anniversary party) which was not good, in fact it was nasty, very. I would rather have had an armadillo cake, at least there would have been something to talk about. Speaking of cakes, I ran across this site recently. Hmmm.

Anyhooo, now it is back to the daily grind which on this day meant wet, squishy . . . shoes for a good portion of the morning. Thanks to my heater I'll be dry before I have to go back out. I hope the rain has moved onward for today, at least until I'm back home.