Ten (Not So) Important Questions

Jan 25, 2010 at 1:02 AM
1. What the hell is the name "Gary" short for? And who'd name their poor unsuspecting child that?

2. If the mummy doesn't like cats, why didn't every human in jeopardy that he needed to restore himself just surround themselves in stray cats? Total impasse for the mummy, but it wrecks the movie...

3. Why are goats totally incapable of taking any kind of direction that doesn't involve hitting them? I haven't the heart to hit the goat, so that's why he's still around. And why can't goats poop anywhere but on the porch or in the dog food?

4.  Why does my rabbit want to hump everything except the toy that I went and got him at great expense specifically for the purpose?

5. Where the hell did I put my good wrench? It hasn't shown up since I came home, but nothing else is missing. Hard to believe someone would come all the way out here only for the wrench without taking anything else. Do you think they might have taken it or do you think I've just misplaced it?

6. In farmville, why don't I ever have to feed my animals? Is that because if I had to feed them and forgot, the consequence (dead animals strewn around) is too gruesome for the kids and mommas that play the game? And why am I playing this game when I have a real chicken coop, and real goats and horses and cows around?

7. How do you STOP playing a zynga game? Where the hell is the "pause" or "off" button for Petville, CafeWorld, etc. I want to quit some of these damn games for a while but I don't want anything wilting/dying/running away/spoiling on me. Do I have to just stop caring or is there an off switch?

8. Who has a really nice car they no longer want? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? (ok, no? well, on to plan B...)

9. Why are baby cows cute but grown up cows are just kinda stupid looking? Why is it OK for stupid creatures to be babies, but not to grow up? Or do cows get stupid after they grow up? (I mean the real ones again)

10.  Why are the men in romantic comedies (movies) always kinda iffy looking and the chicks still have to be hot? Aren't women the primary audience? Wouldn't we rather see a great looking guy as the lead actor?

Silly Girl

Jan 24, 2010 at 5:26 PM
Today, and yesterday, I found myself feeling disinterested in the work involved in finding a new love. See, I need to go through hell and high water over the next little bit in order to get to the point where I can be near a place with other human beings in it. I have to move, so I can be near to where other human beings are, so that I can actually find one that wants to love me.

And that's the basic problem right now. I'm sitting in the woods, hundreds of miles from any man let alone the right one, and getting older every day without him. I'm robbing him and me of time together.

And every day, I get a little less interested in finding him. Every day I get  a little more jaded about whether love can exist in my life, whether I have a place in my house, in my life, for a good man.

And, last night, as I stared up at the exposed beams over my head, I started feeling like maybe I should just throw in the towel.  Stay here, live my perfectly wonderful little life without him in it, just become content to be alone. I didn't cry. I'm well past the stage where you cry, now I'm just thoughtful on the subject. It's one of the many steps I find myself taking in the direction of having a heart made of pure stone. And I HAVE to reverse that. For my own good. For the good of the children I may want to have again later on.

I know I don't really want to spend the rest of my life alone. Not really. Especially because I've only got six or so years before my children are all grown up and gone. How much closer to dead would I be without either my children or my love around?

Last night, I knew it was time to take drastic action. I needed to pull out the heavy artillery if I was going to stop myself wandering down the road toward the "I don't need a husband" loner's mountain again.

I pulled something from a drawer, and I tucked it against my chest like a talisman against the encroaching thoughts of giving up.

And this morning, I looked down at my hands when I woke and found it there, I had forgotten about my night time musings, but this morning I remembered and so I slipped it over my head. It was time. This shirt doesn't go with anything I own. It's red, decades old, faded, oversize. It doesn't fit. I've never thrown it out. It sits in my pajamas drawer waiting for a day like this.

The shirt sits softly with the seams down below my shoulders, not like it fit his. It brings to sharp contrast the differences between my own clothes and this shirt. Between my life right now, and the times I knew the man who wore this shirt. The places where it fit him snugly lie loose and flowing on me.

The smell that it no longer has tortures me, reminds me of his damned cheap laundry soap, of the sweet musky male scent of him. The feel of it beneath my skin reminds me of  what love feels like when you send it skimming through fingertips, when you imbue every act in your day to day life with love for another person.

This shirt clonks me over the head with memories of dancing on the beach, of lying together on rooftops, of sitting in a diner playing cards and of lying twined together bruised and laughing after tumbling downhill. Of feeling something - love? - so strongly that the urge to fold my arms around his neck and bury my head in his shoulder was uncheckable. And it reminds me of the strong, pure emotions that were once felt toward me. It reminds me of the first worthy man a young, foolish, trusting girl like me ever loved with all my heart. Silly girl.

The shirt floods me with memories, tortures me, but I wear it anyway. It wakes me up. I am a silly girl for forgetting what it reminds me of...

It reminds me that people are worthy of love, and that I should have someone to love. It is proof that I am loveable.

Sometimes you really need to be a silly girl, to throw yourself into something whether it hurts or not. To dive into something hard and dangerous headfirst for the rewards at the end. So, today, I am waking myself up to the idea that there can be real love.

In a Nutshell: Skilled But Lazy

Jan 23, 2010 at 2:50 AM
I remember when the girls were little, I'd sometimes make something that was awful slightly more bearable by simply making up a song about it on the spot.

I have a knack for that, for making up songs.

However, there are times when maybe I shouldn't have?

For instance, when we lived in one of those blah apartment complexes when they were about six years old, the girls got their true first taste of what death looks like when it happens badly. And we wrote a song about it. In fact, it was one of our favorites for a while -  "three days to die". It was about the time it took a raccoon that had been run over and was laying on the side of the road by our apartment to die - three whole days it was twitching and crawling and gross. I called the animal control people and they apparently did nothing. Tried calling the cops and they were not worried about it breaking into my home so did nothing.

Anyway, it's guts were showing, and it bled for a long time, crawled to the side of the road ever so slowly, getting run over but never being quite dead. It woulod twitch sometimes just when I thought it must finally be all the way dead. Then it finally died, but I only really believed it when the birds landed freely on its corpse. After it died, it then bloated and practically popped before the street cleaners got to it. But the point of the song was to make it easier to pass by the damn thing while driving home. While it was dying, the song was "all day to die", then "two days to die" and then "three days to die" and then when it was decomposing in the Florida heat, the girls simply made up more verses every time they were grossed out.

Now, we were only singing to keep from crying.

My children are actually the kind of people who will try to nurse a worm they've stepped on back to health. They're very considerate of all living things.


OK, another example of a song we made up was the "Don't Tell U-Haul" song. It was about all the crazy things that happened to us on our cross country road trip.

Some of the verses I recall were:

We had 15 Mexicans try to steal our Ride
Don't Tell U-Haul!
We're not sure how to work overdrive
Don't Tell U-Haul!
The Insurance Probably Doesn't Cover Carjackings
Don't Tell U-Haul!
Was the e-brake supposed to be off the whole time?
Don't Tell U-Haul!
The busted Axel was already like that, so OK
Go Tell U-Haul!

Anyhow, I did end up telling U-Haul all about the trip in the end, but it sure was fun to have the girls yelling out the (very simple) chorus.

I just find that no matter how crappy, crazy, adventurous, wild, silly, scary life is, it's just better to have a song to go with it.

I wrote one about Costa Rica. It's a damn site beter than the awful other song about Costa Rica that I was forced to endure while I was down there... some folk singer's kid wrote it. I don't remember who.

I was looking at the art pieces on the wall of a gallery in a movie and thought "I could do better than that".

I've been singing since I was a kid, and I can write songs and lyrics with absolutely no trouble. More than just comic stuff. I listen to the songs my daughters love by Taylor Swift and I remember that I did the same thing as a kid. I could totally do that now if I wanted.

I'm just too damn lazy is all.


Jan 14, 2010 at 8:42 PM
When I was pregnant, I remember wondering what there was in store for me. What waited just on the other side of the unfathomable experience of childbirth.

Now my little sister is pregnant. She gets to experience the cozy, calm, tredipacious, itchy waiting period we all go through during the second and especially third trimesters. Ready to have a baby, not ready to have a baby, ready to give birth but terrified of it... it all works out in the end but at the time you have NO IDEA how that's gonna work, how you'll survive, how you'll support yourself.

Right now, she and her boyfriend are living in my house. I may get to have a baby here later this year, which I like and am also worried about. Can you really baby-proof this barn? Is she really ready to bring a child into the world? Am I ready to step up if I'm needed for help, support, love?

What kind of baby will she have? Boy? Girl? Smart? Sporty? Fiesty? Precocious?

So many possibilities...  so much more to imagine about than just what it will be named.

We're all very interested in seeing what happens around here.

Treat Me Mean and Cruel

Jan 12, 2010 at 4:36 AM
So I'm flying on the plane from Florida to Oregon, back home after a month of traveling. I spent three weeks in Costa Rica with my girls. We part ways, I leave them with their father in Florida and I get on a plane alone to head home.

Already in agony, except the guy seated directly behind me is an ex-impersonator - focusing all his dubious skill on one subject - Elvis.

Apparently it was Elvis' birthday on the 8th of January, his 75th.

The guy seated behind me wasn't much younger than Elvis. He was pushing 70 and kept waving his arms around dangerously close to me, and talking at the top of his lungs about his glory days as an impersonator to the woman seated across the row.

He was speaking loudly enough to wake up the guy sitting next to me repeatedly.

About 45 minutes into the flight, I'm already ready to call for the plane to be grounded and this guy let out on grounds of being completely wackadoo.

Now I have nothing against Elvis. What I have a grudge against are people being incredibly loud, annoying and refusing to honor personal space rules on airplanes.

Then he gets up and walks to the front on the plane. He looks intent and walks up really close to the stewardess. I think "Oh, God, he's an Elvis Impersonator hijacker". But no, she gets on the mike to announce that we have a special guest, because Elvis is in the plane and he's gonna sing to us for a treat.

About 15 minutes into the off-key, "personalized", words-all-scrambled medley of Elvis hits, I'm ready to shoot my own ears off. Need I remind you of the terrible quality of airplane loudspeaker systems? And how they whine and get fuzzy when the person speaks loudly?

Then he sits down, finally.

Except he's still right behind me. And he's still singing. Just not on the loudspeaker anymore, thank God.

Elvis, I love. This guy, not so much.

When I finally disembark from the Heartbreak Hotel, I found myself humming Elvis tunes for the rest of the day. In the old man's thready, flat voice.

Apparently, 3 hours of torture wasn't enough. I just got rid of Blue Hawaii for good yesterday.

Oh, wait. Never mind, there it is again.