Tuesday, May 31, 2011


My mother turned seventy-one a few days ago and to celebrate I took her out to breakfast this past Saturday. Normally, our trips to dining establishments (well, most any place actually) are fraught with,  well, just fraught.  Mom can be a challenge. But, as we both grow older I find that I'm developing a kind of barrier, I guess, to her, stuff, for lack of deeper, more comprehensive word.  I wrote the following for Our Big Gayborhood late last year which speaks a bit to the nature of that which is between me and my mother:

Skimming The Surface

My mother has decided that I’m complicated. Nothing I say or do can dissuade her from that assessment. In fact, everything I say or do, seems to serve to solidify the opinion she has come to in the past year or so since I came out to her.

She is either unable or unwilling to expound on that which renders me complicated. So, I can only speculate.
I suspect that the “complicated” tag transcends my sexuality.  I suspect that my mother is finally struggling to know who I am after all these years. I suspect that she has come to realize that our relationship for most of my life merely skimmed the surface of the who of us. That we never delved beyond the obvious or the mundane. I suspect she has come to believe that I do not espouse all her values. I suspect that said belief makes her extremely uneasy.

The eight years leading into and now the few out of my lesbian-flavored epiphany are all about discovery. I’d spent so many years prior hiding, suppressing, denying, and comporting myself to align ever-so-carefully with what I thought others wanted, that I cast barely a shadow of any authenticity. I walked the walk and talked the talk that everyone expected. Carefully coloring my life within the lines. In my mind, to do otherwise conscripted me to a lifetime of pain and suffering, in line with the messages delivered to me during my early years.

I suspect that she doesn’t believe me when I say, “I’m fine.” I suspect she believes our relationship is tenuous at best and non-existent at worst. I suspect that each time we disagree she believes it will be the last time we speak. I suspect she is afraid. She is afraid that I don’t love her (enough), that I don’t care (enough), that I don’t have (enough) in me to do what she’ll require as she loses more and more of her self-sufficiency. I suspect she doesn’t want that burden for me and me alone. I suspect she’s most afraid that we’ll run out of time, that we won’t be able to repair the mistakes of the past.

These years have been about discovery. I’ve discovered that I’m intensely fierce with my love.  I’ve discovered that my authenticity hasn’t and won’t bring the world to a crashing end. I’ve discovered that my mother is troubled. 

I’ve discovered it isn’t all about me. I’ve discovered that I can’t fix her; I can love, assist, and try to encourage her, to the best of my ability.  I’ve discovered that troubled or no, she is much stronger than she realizes. I’ve discovered that she supports me, complications and all.

She is either unable or unwilling to expound on that which renders me complicated. So, I can only speculate.

I suspect that the “complicated” tag transcends my sexuality and further that all the discoveries will ultimately lead to a happier, more fulfilled rest of each of our lives.

The recent outing was the most relaxed outing we'd shared in quite some time. We haven't worked out many of our issues, but we (or at least, I) have begun to develop behaviors that keep the complications from bubbling over our surfaces.  

Sunday, May 29, 2011


It has been a horrible spring, i.e. beginnings of bike riding season. Leaving aside the cold and wet weather, as well as the skin ills and other stresses there were bike repairs to execute before any riding could be done. 

Repairs executed, Brin* and I did get out toward the end of last month for a few laps around one of the local parks. The plan this year as in years past was to use the early part of the season to get back into biking to work shape. However, the wonky health and wonkier weather has not allowed for much more than an occasional jaunt to the train station where I lock her up and leave her for the ride home (and weather permitting, some extra).     
However, now even that little bit of riding must be tabled for the time being.  Last Friday I'd ridden Brin to the train station and after having suffered throughout the day, the outbreak growing more severe with each passing hour, looked forward to re-connecting with my lovely and having her help get my very itchy self home. But that was not to be. My bad day turned even worse when I emerged from the train station to see Brin leaning, balancing on only one wheel, locked to a bike rack. 

Some cretin with a crescent wrench (or similar tool) had taken Brin's back wheel with the brand new gel filled inner tube and brand new white wall tire.  

Damn. I'm not a crier as a general rule of thumb (though, since approaching and then turning 50, tears come easier than ever before) and they came right there on the street, just a little bit. I wasn't at all up to unlocking Brin and half carrying, half rolling her the six or so blocks home, but I couldn't leave her locked to the rack, vulnerable to further violations.  

She will be repaired again. It may take another two to three weeks, deep into spring and nearly summer before I will be able to ride. If the recent weather pattern is any indication there won't be ample opportunities in the coming days anyway. 

When she is returned to glory additional safety measures will be employed.  

I detest that I'd been lulled into a sense of security that prevented me from taking those measures before. 

I detest that I'm being forced to spend money I didn't anticipate for additional and now, more costly repairs. 

I detest that that I'll be without Brin's able service (wonky weather aside) for two or three (or more) weeks it will take to secure and replace the parts. 

I detest cretins who troll the town with crescent wrenches (or similar tools) preying on lovely Brins and others like her. 

The very worst wrinkle in this entire episode was speaking to my mother later that evening. Achy from the itching, weepy from . . . everything, I heard myself whine when I began to tell her about my Brin. 

W-H-I-N-E!! to my mother. Oh me, oh my. 

*Yes, I named my bike Brin. I realized in the telling of this tale there is no precedent in the archives. I'd only mentioned "Brin" in other media. ;-)  

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Severe Epidermis Ills

For several weeks now my skin has been under attack. As to whether the cause was some things I'd eaten, some things in the air, some things on my clothes, stresses, or various combinations of those some things or more, ceased being the point last Friday.

Severe eczema outbreak.

For whatever reason none of the usual, tried and true home remedies, diet modifications and the like seemed to stem the hives. In fact, it seemed as though everything I tried served to make matters worse, critical even. Expending every ounce of energy to refrain from scratching began to affect my focus at work and rendered me virtually lifeless at home.

Severe, in the form of pain and swelling.

Last Friday was the beginning of the worst (the worst coming on Sunday). But the new twist that developed during my morning work hours last Friday led me to call my foxy MD's office for an appointment; the earliest possible time, Monday at noon. I just had to get through Friday and then the weekend.

Severe, as in raw, weepy skin and a raw and weepy Deborah.

My "Sleepless in Oak Park" night led to a very lethargic Monday morning. I had to go to work to bring the newest (and very best ever) recruit up to speed on some vital tasks before heading back west to foxy MD's office in the search of answers and remedies.

Seventy bucks and three medications later situation outbreak is coming to an end. The itching has virtually vanished, the pain and swelling are all gone, the residual peeling is less annoying today than yesterday and a LOT less so than Tuesday. Save for the cold, wet, windy weather all is good. But then again, not even complaining (much) about the weather, other places are catching it in spades, much worse than here.

Aside from being uncomfortable and physically unappealing for the past several weeks this outbreak may also reveal a new food allergy or series of allergens. For now, foxy MD suggested I give dairy products in general and milk specifically a pass for the next couple of weeks.

As painful as said avoidance may ultimately prove to be it shall be infinitely less painful than the outbreak.


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Welcome To Wednesday: 4 Letter Word Edition

 What do you mean it is only Wednesday:



Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Welcome To Wednesday*: Summer Edition

1. Well it is an unofficial summer edition. We've gone from Winter to Summer in the last two days and no, I'm not complaining. I have up the idea of having a Spring weeks ago. I'm just making an observation. And those folks bitching about the cold, now bitching about the heat? Well, they just like bitching. I do wish they'd take it somewhere else.

2. Do you know how much energy it takes to resist scratching 'till you bleed tearing your skin off? Not just physical energy, but you're robbed of your mental focus as well. It is a wonder I've been able to finish anything at all. The worst is over now (I'm soooo hoping) but for awhile there it was all I could do to keep from tearing my skin off.

3. The itching and just feeling blah put a bit of a pall over "Mom's" day which sucked double since I cooked for and hosted my mom. The food turned out good (the kids thought it was great) but mom didn't seem to enjoy the menu of tilapia, mixed greens (& turkey tails) and mac n cheese. And of course due to the itching, medication, and more I wasn't my most patient but scintillating self. Maybe it was my mood spilling over everything. Still, it wasn't so bad.

4. Do I have to say (again and out freakin' loud) how annoyed I am at motorists who run red lights, roll through stop signs, and fail to come to a complete stop before navigating a right turn on red while I'm trying to cross the freakin STREET!!! ?! OH. EM. Gee!! Makes me want to S*C*R*E*A*M for realz, yo!

5. What do you think possesses a person (you know it isn't just the guys and not just kids) to choose to wear britches that slide down and off their asses? Though, I must admit the symphony of movement, the peg leg walk, the constant hitching up said britches is quite the sight. I think we need an anthropological study. I would have thought the fad would have faded long, long ago.

6. Speaking of possession, what possesses a person to lounge on the bus with their feet on the seat next to them, reading their K*ndle (or whatever)? Do you think they are screaming for a confrontation? The little diva just doesn't know how close she came.

7. So, so happy it is bike riding weather (today's thunderstorm not-with-standing). Now, I just need to get closer to 100% itch free to really enjoy. By the weekend, fingers and toes crossed.

8. Major doings going on at work, though not at liberty to discuss and while exciting am also nervous. Major doings going on with the actor. He has gigs strung nearly back-to-back through next Spring (at least). Major doings going on with the daughter, finishing her schooling, extern- ship, and prepping for graduation and full-time job hunting.

9. Not sure if I mentioned before, but I've been cutting my own hair for some time now. Somewhere deep in the archived comments someone suggested I do it myself, "it couldn't be that hard." I hesitated taking up the clippers, remembering the butchering I'd done to my son's head many, many years ago. But, several tries later I'm beginning to get the hang of it. It isn't a professional grade cut, but it's doable and rather neat, if I do say so myself.

10. Finally, the next couple of Saturdays seem promising. I was going to link some stuff *here* and *here* but the blasted linky poo thingy ain't working and I'm too tired addled lazy just too done to DO IT the long way. I'll talk about the events when they happen (or before iffin I find myself back here in the meantime).

Peace Out

*Yes, I know it is Thursday, but Blogger was having issues.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Welcome To Wednesday Rambling Randoms

Wednesday. I'm never 100% positive I'm spelling that right the first time. You'd think it be etched in my memory after all these years, but no, I have to stop and think, for at least a fraction of a second, to be sure it is correct.

It is annoying. I do get annoyed I misspell (or mis-type) something, especially something simple or relatively routine, like "music". I discovered recently I left off the "c" on a piece of work correspondence. And of course I didn't catch it until it was too late.
Color me e-x-t-r-e-m-e-l-y annoyed with myself.

Speaking of annoyed, how about coming home from work to find you have no running water. Zippo. AND to find out the water is off because the treasurer didn't respond to notices and of course, didn't pay the bill. Seriously people? Not to worry, service was re-started within an hour of my arrival, thanks to a neighbor's son who is employed by public works. He called in a favor. Otherwise, things could have gotten ugly. Very ugly. And nasty.

Mom will be having dinner with me on "our" day. This is my treat to her. Going out these days is just too complicated and stressful. Mom can be a . . . difficult diner and what with the transportation issues, well, it is simply easier to play hostess. My kids will treat me some other time. The son is thinking burgers and the daughter hasn't chimed in yet. In either case, on Sunday we'll all be together for a bit and that can be counted as a treat.

And speaking of treat. Look at this great tee shirt:
The treat? I WON the shirt. You see, TLQ ran a contest. I entered and my name was picked from the hat, bowl, pot used for baked beans . . . I don't know the vessel of the picking, but I was picked and I'm tickled nearly pink. Well, not quite nearly. Actually, pretty darn far from pink, but I'm pretty tickled. And honored. And happy.

I so anxious to receive and then to wear my new tee.

Check out the site sometime, there is a widget there in the margin.

It takes a village.