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.