Tuesday, September 29, 2009

bubbled over

I'm a fan of love stories in reel life as well as real life. No wonder then that upon learning of the screening dates for "Hannah Free" I immediately marked my calendar, determined to attend at least one of the screenings.

Very soon after I began making my plans e-mail from one of my newer meet-up groups announced a meet-up to the 9/25 screening.

Hot Dog. I rsvp'd!

The night of the 25th I found myself in the famed Gene Siskel Film Center, ticket in hand, domestic beer on the table talking with Linda. She relayed to being new to the area, finding herself suddenly and surprisingly single after 14 years with, "the love of her life." She accepted a job in Chicago, packed up and moved. She joined a couple meet-up groups, signed on to attend this screening and here we are, trading tales.

I confessed to lacking confidence in these kinds of situations, but was determined to force myself out, expand my zones of comfort. Linda thought I was doing very well, engaging, making eye-contact. She thought I seemed at-ease, quite comfortable.

A few sips of a domestic beer and being in a roomful of amiable lesbians might have factored in my level of comfort. Or not.

Me, Linda and others (it's not clear if we were there to meet the same meet-up group or if we were parts of two groups) found seats and chatted a bit more before the movie began. Just prior to lights out a group of women (and a couple of guys) walked toward the stage to address the audience. Sharon Gless was one of the group. AND she spoke!

Be still my ♥ !

The evening, already a pleasure leaped to sheer joy. The only downer, not on the evening specifically but for the past couple of weeks, and especially the last couple of days, my emotions have been in hyper-drive. I cry at the drop of a pin these days.

That is buggin' me out and driving me to distraction.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Another Day, Another Holler

Renee lingered in bed long after the alarm chirped. The snooze feature was deactivated because Darlys preferred to perform those duties in her own unique fashion. Renee counted down, 3, 2, 1 here it comes, "GET UP RENEE!" Darlys yelled from the bathroom. Renee emitted a grunt and a prolonged groan.

Darlys caught the tail end of that groan and pursed her lips to say for the umpteenth time, "if you don't like it, quit. Another groan followed closely by a sigh. Darlys kneeled down next to the bed, searched under the covers until she found Renee's hand, she squeezed lightly and whispered, "I understand honey, but it will be ok. We'll be ok." Darlys released Renee's hand as well as the topic. Renee would come to a decision in her own time.

This has been going on for weeks now. Each day brings a new frustration. Renee is no longer challenged by her work, yet she is rooted to the place, not just because it is her mom's place but also though she doesn't like what she's doing now, she doesn't know what to do next. She's conflicted and though she won't admit it, scared.

I wrote this some weeks ago for the Weekend Wordsmith prompt that week, but never posted it because I couldn't finish it before the next prompt went up. It still isn't finished but I figured what they hey, I'd didn't want it languishing in draft mode. I suppose I could have deleted it, but no, it shall serve a purpose as being the buffer to yet another CAT post.

This is about the other cat.

The first words out of my mouth this morning (to a human) were, "YOUR cat shat in the dog's bed." Had I been in a poetic mood I suppose it would have come out, "your cat shat on the mat."
But no, poetry wasn't on my mind.

When Buttah does something inappropriate HE is HER cat. Otherwise, he's mine (or our ) loving, lovely orange kitty. This morning he (and his shit) were all hers.

She groaned and asked, "is it soft?"

It wasn't (very) and I told her so adding, "he's cleaning his feet." To which she yelled, "HE JUST DID IT!!?" Another groan.

Buttah hasn't ever done anything like this before and we're hoping it's an aberration rather than a new bad habit. We are routinely quite diligent about cleaning the pans. I'll admit to being a tad slow about it this morning, but they didn't seem that soiled.

I stood corrected.

It would appear that the morning routine might need some tweaking to accommodate the little prince's early morning poo-ti-tude.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Pete is sitting atop my cd/dvd/video cabinet. He isn't supposed to be there, he is not usually there. He is resting upon a placement one of the kids made in kindergarten. He is flanked by a Rubik's cube and a Rubik's(?) snake, currently fashioned into a sphere.

Pete is obscuring a blown-up, boxed framed photo of my former in-law's Mississippi front yard and road leading to (& away) from their front door.

In the background, Magda.

The sentry Magda is diligent about alerting about an open door (front or back), reminding us that it is now time to exit after she is armed and that she must be disarmed upon entering. When properly coaxed Magda will even relay a customized message, "greetings, have a pleasant day" was recently deleted.

Magda wasn't speaking during Pete's visit to the top of the cabinet. Pete isn't supposed to perch on the top of the cabinet. It is not a usual place for him to rest. Every now and again Pete sets out to explore. He discovers a nook, a cranny, a place to perch that he hadn't known existed.

Or hadn't cared.

For a few minutes, hours or days he is in kitty adventurer heaven. He is re-located to a more appropriate pet perch or he moves on, on his own, off on a new discovery.

I'm fairly certain Magda didn't object. Or, if she did, she didn't say.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Not Sooo Fried Day

Eleven AM, that’s when I realized that I’d dribbled some of my morning hygiene routine on my shirt. I’d been at work for 3 hours already. Traveled on public transportation with a big (well, not sooo big, but big enough) dollop of toothpaste infused dribble on my shirt.


Some clean up, suffering a temporary wet spot, some pretzel pieces later, and onward went the day.

Which given the givens, wasn’t half bad. I did ride my bike to and from work on Monday and Wednesday. My knees were a little sore Thursday (and still but a little less so today) but not enough to stop the show. I’m sure the shock of so much (sudden) pedaling is making them moan. I have an {app} for that. Me and my knees will be back at it in the mid-morning.

My mind is moving in about 45 different directions in about as many different speeds, so I’ll close off with a summary update:

*Many months ago I put up a profile on a couple of meeting / dating sites. Zilch. Well, nearly but nothing to get excited about, much. note to canada: yo, you're in canada. I do enjoy chatting with you when we manage to catch up with one another.

*I started another recently on another site, but didn’t follow all the way through. As a result I’m getting (daily) matches by mail that are . . . male, kinda Christian, kinda don’t know if they want kids. I either need to finish or delete, as clearly certain presumptions have been made on my behalf.

*The owner’s new business (housed in the bank of rooms next door) has (so far) put on the payroll: Jeff, JR, Joanna, Jason, and most recently, Justin. Odd.

*I prepared eggplant for only the 2nd time in my life last night. I don’t recall ever seeing, having eggplant as a child and thus, no reference in my early adult-hood. I didn’t care for it (much) the first time, though that likely had as much to do with my preparation than the vegetable. I enjoyed it much more last night, more efforts to follow.

*I haven’t been cooking much lately, but I sense a shift in the making.

*I didn’t join FB to keep up with family. Mother provides all the updates and relevant (or otherwise) commentary.

*My fantasy football team, dubbed deb, won last week’s match-up. Yay. However, my Top Chef pickings are getting trounced, week after week, after week. Sigh.

*Tonight: stuffed peppers and spinach salad. Yum

*Tomorrow: (a) county fair, with some thrifty queer adventurers. Yay

*Every time I want to type county, I type country and have to correct.

*Though sickened and angry about much that is going on in the city, country, world there is goodness, there is positive energy flowing, and there is hope. Join me in serving up some good, positive vibes to all who could use a dose. Thanks

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

New (or rather Re-Newed) Attitude

I rode my bike to work Monday. I plan to ride again Wednesday and again to a meet-up event on Saturday. Each round trip to and from work is about 13 miles and the Saturday round trip will be closer to eleven.

Riding to work isn't new, but Monday was the first time this year for a few reasons. One, the weather for much of the bike season had been too un-predictable. Two, to be perfectly frank I was scared off the road. Riding a bike in city traffic is not for the faint-hearted. And while I've been riding Chicago neighborhoods since I was seven years old, and don't consider myself faint-hearted, last year I encountered some situations that proved a little stressful.

Third, Bella is ill. I've tinkered and tweaked, but what is ailing Bella will require more than I can manage right now. Luckily there was a long neglected bicycle in the storage area. I asked around and no one knew anything about the bike or owner. It appears she was left behind by a previous condo owner. Beyond some flattened tires and a broken rack she seemed in pretty good shape. I pumped some air in the tires, removed the broken rack and made a few other adjustments. I did some test runs around the neighborhood before venturing further out.

She did well on Monday, well enough that I'm confident she'll hold up for the subsequent rides. She's smaller than Bella and thus, just this side of being too small for me. As a result, rides longer than a six or seven mile stretch probably wouldn't be comfortable. The jaunts to work and back, and similar distance trips will be ok through the end of the season, I think.

I'm back out on the (city)road. Though still a little scared it felt good and I am determined. I need the work-out and I need to take back my streets. Careful, yes. I am. Very. Still, I made pretty good time (in) on Monday. Not shocked but a wee bit surprised. The ride home was longer only because there was more traffic and I wasn't as lucky with lights. I hope the pleasant weather we've been having decides to hang around a good while longer as it would be nice to get in three 10-13 mile rides a week through the end of October. In fact, it would be better than nice.

An aside to the woman with the short blue dress and fierce high heels, thank you, your legs are quite beautiful and double thanks for buying that ice cream cone. Yum.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Sunday Morn / Afternoon

  • Curious about what is whirling in the minds of folks while they stand and watch their clothes whirling in the dryer.
  • I'm trying not to read too much into mom delivering coupons, to D*nkin' D's, B*rger K*ing, Big Micky's and the like. She is fully aware of my quest.
  • Speaking of the quest, yes still on it and yes, still some measurable success. Though, progress (in direct relation to effort) has slowed.
  • Re-energizing focus in that regard as we speak (so to speak).
  • Went to the Newberry yesterday to view this documentary and experience the panel discussion. Fascinating stuff.
  • After the viewing and talking, went on a long walk and more talk with son. Fascinating stuff.
  • The orange cat is almost never out of view. He likes to be wherever you are.
  • I've gone hours now without speaking a word aloud to anyone (but the cats).
  • I think I'll go across the street and place an order. I'm sure to get some vocalizing in there.
  • During a recent purge of empty / near empty hair / body product bottles from the bathroom I came across directions? from one of daughter's many (many) products: use me: message me in. you'll forgive and forget with so much creaminess. rinse and rebound.
  • And with that, I'm going to have some lunch.

Friday, September 11, 2009


So far September has been rather lackluster for me, or to put another way, lacking in the lust---but that means something totally different, doesn't it? Anyhoo...what I mean to say is September has been rather ho-hum, so far.

I don't blame it on the month per se though it isn't one of my favorites, if such a thing were to exist. As you may recall, I'm not big on the notion of favorites . . .

Favorite Books of All Time: I really don't like naming 'favorites'. So many books speak to me for so many reasons. Favorites of all time? There are many. Several. To name but a few would diminish the import of the others.

September is full of not so pleasant memories past . . . my older brother and dad have birthdays in September. My ex-husband's birthday is also in September. I always enjoyed the "back-to-school" excitement when I was a child and when I was raising my children, but that excitement was short-lived by all the hubbub this is back-to-school.

September signals the beginning of our busy season and this year it has been that, busy. Which, of course is grand for business but the affect on me has been less than grand. Though, all-in-all I'd rather be busy than not. And certainly, I pleased to 1. have the job(s)--oh, yeah, serving in the same capacity for the owner's new business--hence the need for an assistant (or two) the second, though, I haven't gotten to know very well because the owner has her assigned elsewhere (for now). hmpf. 2. that business appears to be re-bounding, the past couple of years were pretty brutal. We must exceed the budget these next two months or I fear at least one head will roll.

Still, even in the ho-hum that has been this September so far, I have found moments or even pockets of glee. The new show "Glee" contributed to some of the moments. Football got started, and that always provide gleeful moments, especially since I play in a Fantasy League. I haven't been very successful these past few years but it does add a little extra to the season. There are other teevee related moments, but what led me to this post was my commute the other day.

Normally, I'm in my own world. Sometimes, not always, ip*d shuffle providing my listening pleasure and a book providing enough of a distraction the keep me from obsessing about the coughing, sneezing, yelling, pushing, pulling and otherwise glee that is commuting on public transpo.

Though, trying to block out the world around me, I don't forget that there is a world around me. I remain alert, at the ready to deal with . . . whatever. Urban Living 101. Back to the story, the other day I'm reading, looking up now and again to assess the surroundings and across the aisle is a woman who looked to be in her twenties. Nothing spectacular, good or otherwise about her appearance. Average, I'd say. I heard her pop the top of a can and saw her take a drink. I nice loooooong gulp of something. I couldn't tell immediately what she was drinking, but when it hit her system moments later her eyes bugged out as if someone at popped her in the back and yelled, "BOO!!" at the same time. The eye (and subsequently, head) movement moved her hand and I saw that she was drinking an energy drink. I thought, wow, that stuff must really pack a punch.

The moment passed and some stops later I hear another pop and whoa, she was drinking another one. Downed it in just a few gulps. Yeah, the eye thing again. For the rest of the day I had moments of glee imagining 1. where she was going 2. what she did 3. whether she was in the company of others while she did whatever she did, wherever..

And oh, to have been a fly on the wall she must have been bouncing off the entire rest of the morning, if not the entire day.

Energy drinks, yay or nay? And...their tag, Feel Real? Energy drink for real people. What is that about?

And one more thing, while today is of course, thatday, it is also the day that a friend celebrates a birthday and to her I say, happy happy joy joy!! Here's a royal celebration!!

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Silent Battle*

Sixteen days. Jasmine had been in residence for 16 days and that meant sixteen days remained. The hash marks on her arms were clear, sixteen days. What wasn’t clear was if this self-imposed quarantine would solve her problem, settle her mind. Jasmine needed to be in the room of secrets. She needed to know if giving herself over to the room would divest her of her own secret.

Jasmine was prepared for the necessary silence. She knew secrets lived in silence and that there was power in the silence. For the next sixteen days Jasmine would remain devoid of tone, yet she would speak or rather leak her secrets onto the floorboards, hoping they’d forge a path to the walls. Jasmine was hoping that by the end of the next sixteen days, she’d be able to leave this room with her secret happy to be cavorting with all the others left by previous occupants.

While Jasmine was prepared for and oddly comforted by the silence, she was not comforted by the cold. The cold was oppressive. And though her partner warned, “Secrets are silent as you know, but they are also cold. Don’t expect to be warm.” Jasmine was still taken aback even though she’d heeded her partners words and prepared accordingly. The extra blankets and sweaters did little to combat the stout chill. Jasmine had to reach deep down where the extra reserve of determination lived. Jasmine’s determination, dubbed warrior was vigilant as well as valiant against the burdensome cold.

It was day sixteen and each moment crystallizing the truth; Jasmine was in for the fight of her life, one she was determined to win.

The hash marks were clear, sixteen days spent with sixteen remaining. Jasmine cleaved to the belief that these days would end the haunting of those frightful days of last year. Jasmine trusted that her efforts during these days would allow her to leave the silence of her secret far, far behind.

Bring on the noise
*weekend wordsmiths writing prompt.

No Intervention Needed

I was running late one morning and decided to stop in McD's (across the big street at the end of our block) for a coffee and possibly a hash brown pattie thingy. As a general rule of thumb I avoid McD's. But they fit the bill in a pinch. That morning I decided against the hash brown pattie thingy and went instead for the McGriddle TM thingy. I opted for the bacon (over sausage) and egg, minus the cheese. Cheese is just wrong here, but different strokes . . .

I didn't expect to like the sandwich. (I know, why order if I didn't expect to like it? I had some notion that I needed justfication for my wholesale panning of the thought...maple infused "pancake" bread paired with egg, meat, cheese. Ick). Anyhoo, I didn't expect to like it, but the sandwich was okay. I'm sure the cheese would have confirmed my initial icky thought, but sans cheese the sandwich wasn't half bad.

As a result, I've been averaging one McGriddle a week for the past several. But, I say here and now, the affair is over. Over. Over Not, however because of the sandwich. No, I still like the sandwich. But, not only is going into McD's regularly contrary to my goals (on a few fronts) it is also not the most pleasant experience.

A typical order event:

McD clerk: Welcome to McD's, may I help you / take your order ?(depends on the day / clerk)

Me: I'd like a medium coffee, one cream (on the side) no sugar.

McD clerk: How many sugars?

Me: No sugar.

McD clerk: No sugar?

Me: No. No sugar --I'm sure I've mentioned this McD trait before and one would think: lesson. learned.

McD clerk: Ok, anything else?

Me: Yes, a bacon and egg McGriddle. No cheese.

McD clerk: You want egg?

Me: Yes, egg (and bacon) but no cheese.

McD clerk: You don't want cheese?

Me: No, no cheese.

McD clerk: you want the meal or just the sandwich

Me: Just the sandwich, please.

Each and every time, the only variation is the greeting. So, while the sandwich satisfied and itch I didn't even expect to have, the thrill is definitely gone.

We're getting a Dunkin' D's in the neighborhood (eventually, slowest construction, except for the transformation of the building that is due to become a Chicken and Waffles establishment). But fear not, I will not be lured there for my quickie breakfast fixes. Their breakfast sandwich is narsty. Double Icky. And the ordering experience can be as vexing.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

A Typical Sunday

Typical of Buttah. Pete is not usually this docile.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Remembering A Time

Memes, I’ve done a few, in fact, two in the past 30 days. Both asked, “Who was your 1st grade teacher?”


I’m sure the woman was quite lovely, capable, endearing, and engaging. I remember having fun, in class. I recall some of what was covered in first grade. I recall being praised for my grasp of the material. I recall much, but her name…gone.

Going to first grade was exciting for me, I recall that as well. I remember being all atwitter at the thought (and experience) of being in school all day. In first grade we came home for lunch, and at that time mom (and still for a bit, dad) worked outside the homestead, “home for lunch” meant going to Mrs. Booker’s, our caregiver.

Mrs. Booker kept a few kids in the neighborhood, along with her own grandchildren while parents worked. She provided before, during, and after-school care. During the school year Mrs. Booker provided breakfast, lunch, after-school snacks, and in some extreme cases dinner. In the summer-time she made ice cream. She sold cones to the neighborhood at-large but those in her care got our cones (limit of one per day) for free. Of course, we got to help too.

I recall the first grade days being some of the most glorious, carefree days of my childhood, except . . .

My older brother was in 3rd grade, during my first grade year. He, by all accounts, was a terror and had been wreaking havoc at Samuel F. B. Morse Elementary school since his K days. I discovered in my first grade year that my older brother’s teacher was beside herself and quite frustrated (note: I didn’t have the language for that IN first grade, only the notion). She tried reaching out to our parents, who were also beside themselves and quite frustrated.

The primary mode of communicating with parents back then was to send notes home. The notes would be (in first grade) pinned to the first grader’s shirt or jumper. In the older grades the notes were inserted into book bags. I remember my older brother being punished (severely, sometimes) after the first few notes were discovered. It wasn’t long into my first grade year when my older brother’s third grade teacher discovered that notes were no longer making it all the way home.

When brother’s third grade teacher came to her discovery, she decided it genius to pin my brother’s notes to my jumper. My older brother got wind of the crafty maneuver during supper one fateful evening.

From that point forward, older brother, who had not shown any interest in walking with me from school (as he was directed) before, now intercepted me routinely. If he saw a note pinned to my jumper he would push me down and take the note. Sometimes as often as twice a week this was the ritual.

Finally, only a few weeks before first grade year would come to a close, no more written notes. My older brother’s third grade teacher came to my first grade classroom and asked me to deliver a verbal message to my mom. I was to ask my mom contact older brother's third grade teacher. She asked, “Will you remember?”

I told my older brother’s third grade teacher, Mrs. Stanley that I would remember.

And I did.