30 December 2011

A Hi-Point 9mm and Five Jars of Hydro

current state of mind: concerned

There's yttrium, ytterbium, actinium, rubidium
And boron, gadolinium, niobium, iridium
And strontium and silicon and silver and samarium,
And bismuth, bromine, lithium, beryllium and barium.
~ “The Elements” by Tom Lehrer

I asked my friend, ‘Ash’, what handgun would be best suited for a female with my inexperience and he told me to get a Glock 38 If I were going to wear a concealment holster. One really nice thing about ‘Ash’ is that he is very knowledgeable about guns. drugs, and the legalities of such. He’s on a gun and drug team for a major metropolitan law enforcement agency. I trust his expertise in these areas. He has also told me that I need to consent to an automobile search if stopped by an officer because if I say I do not consent, they will just get a warrant and search it anyway. And we are not talking about a standard Terry Stop. ‘Ash’ warned me that if I were to refuse a search, I would likely be detained for a considerable amount of time. Now, if you ask an attorney, he/she would say that one does not consent to a search without a warrant ever, as the police are not our friends and could plant evidence or violate all kinds of Constitutional rights if allowed even an inch. So, I have decided that if ‘Ash’ or anyone on his team pulls me over, I will consent to a search of my vehicle. Everyone else will have to wait for a warrant. Problem solved!

Do you remember the band EMF? They sing that song ‘Unbelievable’. I LOVE that song. Lately I have been on a retro music kick and have been listening to the songs I used to love in when I was still in middle and high school. This particular song makes me think of tennis lessons and overnights in the Hy-Vee bakery. There is something about working retail when you’re young that makes it enjoyable. . I cannot imagine it is still nearly as enjoyable. Not at all! Low pay, long hours, cranky people. No thanks!

This weekend will ring in 2012! I am not big on New Year’s resolutions because I seldom keep them. It isn’t that I cannot commit to being disciplined. I just don’t choose resolutions wisely. I either rush to choose one that doesn’t really matter to me or I choose something unattainable and the constant failure kills my enthusiasm. This year I am trying a new approach. I have thought seriously about what it is I truly want in my life. After considerable thought and analysis, I have decided that in 2012 I want to laugh every day. I am referring to a genuine laugh brought forth uncontrollably due to mirth. My hope is that laughter each day will keep the blues away.

Speaking of Blues . . . I went to Blues, Booze, and BBQ once. They soaked their raw vegetables in jalapeno juice. I burned my mouth. Mean trick!! I do not like them. . . But, I do like the House of Blues in Dallas - because Better than Ezra and Graham Colton sang to me there.

That is all I have.

PERSONAL NOTE: I want my present, please!

CONFIDENTIAL NOTE: “I love your face!”

29 December 2011

Sacred Book of Whom?

current state of mind: relaxed

But oh the victories I’ve lead
Haven’t brought me to your bed
You see, everybody loves me baby,
What’s the matter with you?
~ “Everybody Loves Me Baby” by Don McLean

In the corner of my backyard is a giant blue bean bag chair. Before you ask, yes, THAT giant blue bean bag chair. You see, after I went to all the trouble of bagging the beads into trash bags, then getting them situated in the freshly washed bean bag chair, I walked into the basement to see Princess Grace christening the bag. WTF?!?! The cat that had never gone outside her litter box apparently decided that Elizabeth’s bean bag chair would be a great location for her bathroom needs. I yelled at her; but she didn’t care. Though, it did result in her going to the vet, which was severely unpleasant for both her and my checking account. Because I just didn’t have time to mess with it, I set the bean bag chair outside the backdoor so I could “get to it later”. Well, the dogs got to it first and it was the new fire hydrant. Bloody hell! I have not abandoned all hope; but, I am seriously debating whether I wash the damn thing again. The good news is that the pellets were protected by the trash bags. Woot Woot!

Recently I attended an event via work that brought a blast from the past to the forefront. When I was a sports trainer in college, I had a little crush on one of the coaches. That crush resulted in a lot of teasing from my friends and the players. It also resulted in me being the trainer that had to walk up and down the sideline with a water bottle, always within 6 feet of this particular coach and the quarterback. Looking back, I remember the situation with fondness. At the time, I was mortified by the assignment and couldn’t even talk to the coach without blushing like a lovesick schoolgirl. And when the team travelled; I somehow always got assigned to his van, which meant I had the constant fear of getting carsick in front of him. This particular coach is now an assistant coach for a Big Ten team that is pretty popular around here. I do not follow the coaching staff of this particular team; so when his name was mentioned at the aforementioned event, I was surprised. Out of curiosity I broke my usual rule of not Goggling people I know and typed in his name. Bam! His picture and bio popped up for my perusal. I read it and grew a little nostalgic.

This little bit of nostalgia was the catalyst for another Goggle search: Bobby Hurley. I only Google BH once a year, as any more often would make me feel like a stalker instead of a curious fan. Lo and behold, he is now coaching at Wagner with his brother, Dan (aka Danny Hurley). Since I was already there, I read Bobby’s bio on the Wagner site and saw that he now has 3 kids (2 girls and a boy). I knew about the first daughter because she was named after Cameron Indoor Stadium at Duke. The other two kids were new additions to my knowledge bank. Dan is definitely aging better than Bobby – but, nothing can take away the glory of #11 in my memory!!!

PERSONAL NOTE: I am looking forward to New Years Eve!

CONFIDENTIAL NOTE: My heart breaks for you; but, I trust that 2012 will heal your wounds and bring you much joy.

28 December 2011

No Free Pass from the DPD

current state of mind: hungry

I like to keep it in the refrigerator.
Keeps the powder dry, and the action quicker.
Let me be your American Gladiator.
Find enclosed an adhesive N.R.A. sticker.
~ “Michigan Militia” by Moxy Fruvous

This holiday weekend brought me two very special items . . . a Peter Walsh hard-cover, sticky notepad for my purse and arrow-shaped see-through sticky notes. Both are miracles of the office supply world. I am torn between the two and not quite sure which I want to place higher on my list of “technology greats of the 21st century”. There is something about sticky notes that brings out the geek in me. Perhaps it is genetic; my maternal grandfather worked for 3M.

Much to my chagrin, I did not get any of my “need to ship” gifts sent out -- so those of you in other states will have to wait a while longer -- sorry. Think of it as the twelve-plus days of Christmas. They will get sent off soon. I promise.

To prepare for the upcoming New Year, I am asking you to donate fifteen dollars to the 2012 Susan G. Komen 3 Day for the Cure. It will be my 5th year that I will be walking 60 miles over the course of 3 days to bring attention and much-needed funds to a cause that I hold close to my heart. It is easy to donate and you can get a nice deduction for the 2011 tax year.

1. Please visit: www.the3day.org/goto/jtuck2012
2. “Click to Donate to Jillian in 2012”
3. Make a quick and easy donation.

And, if you would like to join my team and start your own incredible, life-changing journey toward a cure for breast cancer, you can do that as well.

PERSONAL NOTE: You are swell!

CONFIDENTIAL NOTE: I want some chick-fil-a!

21 December 2011

Hells Bells

current state of mind: blank

Lovers, tongue-tied and tied to the tongue
Making deals gone bad by the dawn
Every dog must have its day
And then it’s got to pay and pay
~ “Half Way to Crazy” by The Jesus and Mary Chain

Transparency is overrated. 

That is all.  Carry on with your day.

PUBLIC NOTE: Happy Christmas to everyone who celebrates it.

CONFIDENTIAL NOTE: Hoping you and Dallas have some answers soon.

19 December 2011

The Anarchists are All Enslaved

current state of mind: Kafka-esque (not really)

It doesn’t matter what I say
As long as I sing with inflection
That makes you feel that I’ll convey
Some inner truth of vast reflection
~ “Hook” by Blues Traveler

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way--in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only. ~ Charles Dickens
Funny how that paragraph maintains its relevancy, no matter the era or location. The fact is, technology may change how the world is perceived; but mankind remains as it always shall be. We do the same activities and think the same things and we do not learn collectively from our mistakes. Over half a century ago, the U.S. dropped two atomic bombs on Japan and decimated two cities, along with their inhabitants (innocent civilians). Even now, as American service personnel leave Iraq, we carefully watch North Korea and her regime change (from one mad-man to another) with hopes and prayers that the unstable nation remembers nothing good can come of another fricking war. I am not optimistic.

With the New Year almost upon us, I reflect (as we all do) on my life over the past 12 months. There have been ups –and-downs – even some sways from left-to-right. Still, I like the fact that almost a year ago, I purchased a Nook e-reader. It was one of the best decisions I made in 2011 and it took place in mid-January. I am in love with this little blend of old (books) and new (technology). I love the fact that I have 100s of books at my fingertips at any time. And I did not get the Nook Color which is a slightly less expensive iPad without the pre-requisite brainwashing. I didn’t want another distraction – I wanted a book that looked like paper when I read it (without a back light). And I got exactly what I wanted. Thanks to Nookie (what I named my Nook), I am finally finishing the 4th book in Dean Koontz’s Frankenstein series. I carry it everywhere, so I can read while in line or at a restaurant or while driving . . . kidding. I do not read in a car; it makes me car sick. Now I just need to start eliminating my physical book collection and enjoy the new literary world at my fingertips.

PERSONAL NOTE: Safe travels this week with those kids of yours. Give them my love!

CONFIDENTIAL NOTE: May Santa bring you a mattress for Christmas!

14 December 2011

Laughter is Not Always the Best Medicine

current state of mind:  cherished

All my life, I’ve tried to make everybody happy
While I just hurt and hide, waiting for someone to tell me
It’s my turn to decide.
Who cares if you disagree?
You are not me
Who made you King of Anything?
~ “King of Anything” by Sara Bareilles

While I am on break from school, Tuesday and Thursday nights are reserved for working at the studio for mi familia. I actually enjoy it, even when there are things I would rather be doing. It feels good to help out and support a local family business; especially when the local family is mine! I digress. Let’s move forward to the issue at hand.

After getting off work at the studio (20 minutes earlier than I was scheduled to leave), I headed over to “Hooper’s” house.
[SIDE BAR: I am calling him that because when we were in Hooper, NE for a holiday party, he gave me money to play the crane game and I won a purple stuffed elephant. I was pretty stoked about the whole thing and behaved with the enthusiasm of a small child who was just given a trip to Disney World.]
So, when I arrived at Hooper’s place, he let me know that he had acquired a splinter in his index finger. I asked if he had any tweezers, to which he responded, “Um, not exactly. But I have removed most of the splinter already. There is just a small fragment left, I think.” I offered to take a look at the finger and sure enough, a small splinter fragment was embedded pretty damn deep. I asked if he had used a needle in the absence of tweezers. Again, his response was in the negative. I immediately had flashbacks of when I tried to conduct self-surgery on my elbow several months ago.

When he showed me what he had been using to cut into his finger, I started to laugh. It was a serrated edge blade. And those edges were sharp. I was willing to MacGyver it if he was. I grabbed the blade and his finger and held them as close to the light as I could. This is where things went downhill. You see, when someone is conducting self-surgery, they are well aware of their own pain threshold and acts accordingly. When you let someone else take over, the lack of anesthetic becomes readily apparent. Granted, I should have had him numb the area with ice first, but I didn’t think it would be such an involved procedure. He was brave and only yanked his hand back a couple of times. I suggested he soak his fingertip in some hot water to soften the tissue and I also advised him to hold an ice cube on it to numb it before I started digging out the splinter again. Unfortunately, I was unable to remove the fragment and I don’t think my constant commentary on his lack of adequate splinter removing tools was helpful at all. I don’t know how much blood loss occurred; but I am pretty sure the wound will scar.

Let this serve as a lesson for all of you out there who could possibly get a splinter. Own a sharp pair of tweezers and a travel sewing kit (for needles). And for those who don’t want to perform unsterile surgery in your apartment, there is always the interwebs, which provides quite a few suggestions for splinter removal, which include using glue, bread, bacon fat, duct tape, a sliced potato, baking soda, or some magical stuff called Ichthammol ointment (also known as black drawing salve) which apparently smells putrid but draws the splinter out. The other option is to just wait for your body to purge the offensive item – if you can tolerate the pain that long. Also, verify that you have a tetanus booster as your doctor recommends, just in case . . . If all else fails, give me a call, I am always willing to “help”.

PERSONAL NOTE: Congrats on your amazing review. You are a phenom as a worker, a wife, and a mother. Well done!

CONFIDENTIAL NOTE: Revenge is a two headed snake with sharp fangs.

12 December 2011

It's Electric

current state of mind: swamped

Electricity at rest is called static electricity.
Like in the winter, wearing a heavy coat,
You get a shock off the doorknob.
Or you scrape across a carpet
And sneak up on your very best friend,
And zap'em on the ear with a shock of-
Electricity, Electricity
~ “Electricity, Electricity” by Schoolhouse Rocks

Several weeks ago, I bought Elizabeth a very comfortable bean bag chair. It was in perfect condition at a fundraiser rummage sale. Initially, I was going to share it with her; but she loves it so much, I couldn’t bear to keep her from it. Plus, I have a hanging hammock chair in my living room and have no need to sit in a bean bag chair. Every day, as soon as I get home, I let Ebie out of her crate and she runs over and gets comfy in her new bean bag chair. It is adorable. Well, it WAS adorable . . .

Last week, I saw a wet spot on the bean bag chair. Of course, it was on the Lycra part that allows moisture to wick right into the area where all the Styrofoam beads are stored. Against my better judgment, I smelled the spot, in hopes that it was spilled water or a leaky ceiling or anything besides dog pee. My hopes were crushed by Mother Nature. Sometime, during the night, Elizabeth decided to pee on her bean bag chair instead of waking me up to go outside into the snow-covered yard. Grrrrrrrr!

To counteract the scent, I soaked the Lycra portion with Febreze. While it kept the room from smelling, it did not stop the chair from reeking anytime she laid down on it. Bloody hell, dog! On Friday, after work, I attempted to empty the bean bag chair of its hundreds of thousands of pellets. Unfortunately, the static electricity prevented me from actually filling a trash bag with the pellets. Instead, the pellets rolled out, coating anything within 3 feet of the bag. Some of the pellets made it in the trash; but most were on the floor. Elizabeth and Gracie took the opportunity to “investigate”, resulting in both of them being covered in Styrofoam pellets that were stuck to their fur. I cleaned them off the best I could. Looking around the room, I took note of the ocean of pee-scented Styrofoam pellets. Seeing no alternative, I grabbed the shop vac and began vacuuming up the mess. Those pellets are sneaky, and when the shop vac was full (which did not take long) the pellets started coming back out of the hose.

I ended up filling 3 trash bags worth of pellets by the time my doorbell rang. As I ran toward the stairs, I tripped over the trash can and sent a plethora of Styrofoam beads rolling back onto the floor. This action, of course, made Gracie and Elizabeth come running back over to investigate, resulting in both animals getting coated all over again. I groaned, and then ran upstairs to answer the door. I explained to my guest that I was having a major melt down and still wasn’t ready for the holiday party that we were heading to. When he walked down the stairs and saw the sea of pellets, he laughed and told me to get ready while he vacuumed up the mess. I did just that!

Fast forward to yesterday when I bought replacement pellets (which are not at all cheap, mind you). Luckily, they were 50% off and I felt less ripped off than I would have otherwise. As a preventative measure against future pee emergencies, I decided that I would place the beads in sealed trash bags, then stuff them into the bean bag chair, providing a little bit of protection from liquid spills. Of course, brand new clean Styrofoam beads are just as prone to static electricity as pee covered ones. And it took less than two minutes to spill hundreds of beads all over the living room as I filled the trash bags. Not learning their lesson from Friday, both pets came running over to see what was going on. Yes, they were both covered in beads AGAIN. In frustration I started lecturing Elizabeth. She just cocked her head sideways, perked her ears, and stared at me. I do NOT think she understood what I was saying.

The only saving grace (no pun intended) was Gracie. I couldn’t help but laugh at her attempts to get the Styrofoam off of her fur. Every time she would shake her leg to get a bead off, another one would cling to her from the floor. Eventually, I did get 4 garbage bags of beads inside the chair. No, it is not as comfortable as it was before; but it smells clean and Ebie will still lay down in it. A win-win in my book.

Girl Genius Out!

PERSONAL NOTE: I will get the kids’ presents mailed shortly.

CONFIDENTIAL NOTE: Have fun in Guatemala!

08 December 2011

The Representative from California Has the Floor

current state of mind: not dead

Don’t push me in too deep;
I’ve always been a fool who rushes in
I know you’ve got to take the pieces one by one
Before you’ve got everything
~ “Fast As I Can” by Great Big Sea

December 8 is the anniversary of the death of John Lennon. To commemorate the occasion, I listened to a cover of “Working Class Hero” performed by Green Day. I love Billie Joe Armstrong. In 1995, I watched the MTV production of Green Day Live in Chicago and couldn’t take my eyes off of him and his lemon yellow hair, which I almost copied before common sense kicked in. My mom watched the concert with me. Her only commentary was, “You don’t want to be in the front row. That singer spits a lot while he sings.”

In 2009, I fought to get to the front row of a Green Day show. If memory serves me right, Billie Joe did, indeed, spit on me while singing. It was amazing – though not as amazing as the Ranch Bowl show would have been in 1995, had I actually attended. Damn! I don’t think that regret will ever go away; though something that would help would be if someone could find me a pair of (ladies-size 7.5) Velcro-fastened bowling shoes that Ranch Bowl used to rent out. I loved those shoes!!!!

Do you ever want to just break into song? I do, on a daily basis. And lately I have been using “heytell”, a free and fun app, to express myself in song. I bought the voice changer add-on, so I can sing with a chipmunk or robot voice at the push of a virtual button. I think everyone should take advantage of the fun that is “heytell”. You can send me a message. I would love to hear it.

That is all.

PERSONAL NOTE: Did you finish editing those pics for me?

CONFIDENTIAL NOTE: I love my peacock necklace. It brings me great joy!

07 December 2011

I Am Definitely a Virgo

current state of mind: possibly dehydrated

Flip a coin.
What shall we talk about?
Heads; I tell the truth
Tails; I lie
~ “Mekong” by Refreshments

About 13 months ago, I wrote a blog posting titled “I am not a Sagittarius”.  It is a short commentary on “anicca”, the Buddhist concept of impermanence. A little over a year later, I do not think I have progressed very far from where I was and it pains me a little, only because I am a Virgo. We Virgos have some serious issues with letting things go, especially when we have set goals that have yet to be met. Ironically, the only way I can achieve the goal of impermanence is to not have the goal at all, which sends syntax errors cascading through my brain. This is why the earth keeps spinning, I suppose.

As a follow-up to that entry from last year, I want to let you know that the terra-cotta flower pot is still on my desk. The vase of post-it flags and the yellow treasure box are stored out-of-sight in my cabinet. I still have photographs all over my “pod” walls and I still receive commentary from people commenting on them. Some days I am tempted to take them down and store them away, so that I can enjoy the “quietness” of a sparse desk. When I start taking them down, however, I begin to feel anxious. So, I leave everything up. My “pod” is truly a carnival of visual delights. I don’t want to lose that personalization; at least not yet.

It is apparent that I am not ready to create sand art and then sweep it away. But as I am opening more boxes every day at home, I am discovering that I am probably more ready than not to begin reducing the clutter of stuff that permeates my life. Anyone care to help?

Also, I need to start drinking more water.  Strike that "more". . . I need to start drinking water.

PERSONAL NOTE: Darling, I will be your Sugar Bear forevah and evah.

CONFIDENTIAL NOTE: I am pondering your suggestion; but not sure how to go about it.

06 December 2011

I Annotated a First Lady

current state of mind: whimsical

And instead of saying all of your goodbyes,
Let them know you realize that life goes fast.
It’s hard to make the good things last.
You realize the sun doesn’t go down;
It’s just an illusion caused by the world spinning round
~ “Do You Realize??” by The Flaming Lips

My affinity for gingers, soccer players, and office supplies are well-known. All three make me say “oooh, look!” when I see them. The other day I made an emergency run to the chain office supply store, “the Max” to purchase a new Sharpie pen, as mine was almost out of ink. The Sharpie pen is a modern miracle. It writes crisply and smoothly. The ink dries immediately upon touching the paper, and it doesn’t bleed through.

I purchased the 4 variety pack, because who can’t use a black, green, red, and blue Sharpie pen? Imagine my surprise (and disgust) when the black pen wrote in a muted gray color. I checked the other pens in the pack. They were all muted. Apparently a bad batch of ink was pumped into these exquisite creations. I was at a loss as to what I should do. I had already thrown away the packaging, so no way was I going to be able to bring those suckers back to “the Max”. I made a difficult choice and visited www.sharpie.com. It is a lovely place where dreams usually come true. Not this time . . .

I went to the Contact Us page and wrote a concise (because only 255 characters are allowed) summary of my painful experience. They responded with an auto-response that provided me with a reference number. It is apparent that the genius who invested the Sharpie pen is not the grammar-eejit who proofread this auto-response. While I applaud his correct use of a semi-colon, I cannot grant him redemption for the blatant use of run-on sentences or his reference to something which doesn’t exist in the body of the e-mail.

I am hoping to hear from a Sharpie representative soon. My hope is that they will send me a coupon for $20.00 off any Sharpie purchase. That will cover the $7.00 I spent on the variety pack and provide me with an extra $13.00 to reestablish my trust in a brand that had, until recently, my 100% loyalty. Now it is at 64%. I am seriously debating whether I will ever try the Sharpie liquid pencil. I have never “not tried” a new Sharpie product. Don’t worry! I will keep you updated on this potentially life-changing situation.

PERSONAL NOTE: Loved the Christmas card and picture taken outside the new place! Woot!

CONFIDENTIAL NOTE: Yes, I have my moments.

05 December 2011

Stripping and Screwing

If I had a hammer,
I'd hammer in the morning,
I'd hammer in the evening,
All over this land,
~ “If I Had a Hammer” by Peter, Paul, and Mary

Tonight was supposed to be about me proving myself to all the haters who think a girl cannot be handy around the house.  I had detailed plans for building and hanging a shelf, then hanging a ventilation piece for my wall.  When I got home, I found a circular saw.  And the problems commenced.  Granted, I did saw what needed to be sawed, and the line was somewhat straight.  But when I attempted to screw the board to another board, things went very, very poorly.  I stripped several screws.  I almost whacked Ebie with flying wood shrapnel.  Grace was covered with sawdust.  I tried to hang the ventilation upside down and didn’t know how to attach it to the wall, so I gave up.  Then it took three of us to hang the shelf, and there are several extra holes in the wall, and I broke one of the coat pegs off.  I have a couple of bloody knuckles  and a sliver in my thumb. 

I will try again tomorrow.

PERSONAL NOTE:  I am sorry about the sawdust.

04 December 2011

Time Capsule

Flashback--warm nights--
Almost left behind
Suitcases of memories,
Time after—
~ “Time after Time” by Cyndi Lauper

Tonight I unpacked a collection of boxes that I have not looked in since May 2008.  My friend, “Fleur de Lis” was here to help.  She warned me that opening the boxes would be like opening a time capsule because there would be things that I have forgotten about.  She could not have been more right. 

One box contained a picture frame that I had painted in March 2008.  Inside that frame was a 2007 photograph of me and “Yuz” taken in Cleveland, OH.  I remember the moment with clarity.  We took a dinner cruise on the lake and both of us were dressed up and we looked happy.  It is a nice memory.
I opened another box and there was a dual picture frame with a clock and shelf.  More pictures of “Yuz” and me.  Looking back, I am amazed with how different my life is now than I ever could have foreseen at the time.  At the time I packed those boxes, I thought that I would be moving to Omi-haha for a period of 6 – 9  months.  I was wrong.

So, maybe I am not living in a beautiful brownstone, shopping on Newbury Street.  But, I am living in a beautiful apartment that was designed and built with my happiness in mind.  My Ebie and my Gracie have a warm and safe home where they reside in happiness and ignorant bliss.  I am surrounded by people who love me.  I don’t know that this is where I wanted to be; but it is where I am supposed to be, and that is the something that keeps me living each moment with the belief that things will work out. 
Hell, if a beautiful glass bowl from Borsheims can be wrapped in newspaper, placed in a cardboard box, moved across the country, then from storage unit to storage unit in the Nebraska elements, and survive 3+ years unscathed, then how can I not believe?

PERSONAL NOTE: It was my chocolate chip cookie, dammit . . . and I proved it.

CONFIDENTIAL NOTE:  Fly safely. . . I know, I know. . . Always. 

03 December 2011

Hard Used Stock Car

Last Christmas, I gave you my heart
But the very next day you gave it away
This year to save me from tears
I'll give it to someone special
~ “Last Christmas” by Wham!

This year we celebrated Thanksgiving and Christmas on the same day.  On my favourite holiday of the year, I had to celebrate my least favourite.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I am all for the birth of the baby Jesus and have no problem with gift giving – but Thanksgiving is supposed to be about no obligations, parade watching, and overeating.  That is what I enjoy and this year we didn’t do that.  Instead we celebrated Christmas. 

Imagine my surprise when one sister showed up wearing my brand new leggings.  First off, I don’t know how they even fit her since she is smaller than me; but they didn’t look all that baggy, which means they must have a lot of stretch when I wear them.  LOL But, when I called her out on it, she denied that they were mine, though she was laughing and knew that she had been caught.  Instead of taking the blame for the theft, she blamed our poor, defenseless mother who was a hapless accomplice.  It turned out that mom mistakenly added the cute pair of leggings to a bag of stuff she thought belonged to my sister.  She was WRONG!

Still, I love my sister and know that she would never ever intentionally upset me for any reason, as she is kind and loving and generous.  So, I forgave her for the oversight of wearing my brand new leggings to our Thanksgiving-Christmas get-together.  I believe in karma.  So should you.  Because within days of this magnanimous act of forgiveness, I was presented with a bag of stuff from my sister’s house.  In that bag were a pair of gold strappy sandals, a sweater, a tank top, and a small, black, Nine West purse.  The very black, Nine West purse that I had been seeking for two years.  I bought that purse on August 28, 1999.  It was a purchase made without thought to the price.  My only purchase I think I have ever made where I did not ask how much something cost before I bought it.  I love that purse, and I love my sister for returning it to me. 

Merry Thanksgiving!

PERSONAL NOTE:  I love you, Shrub!!!

CONFIDENTIAL NOTE: That was my chocolate chip cookie. . . 

02 December 2011

It’s Raining in Baltimore

There you go,
Falling off the map.
And who would’ve known
The Earth is really flat?
~ “Stars are Falling” by Dog’s Eye View

I used to be a writer. I don’t know what I am now; but that isn’t it. Still, I am clawing my way back. Along the journey that we will call “My Life”, because, well, it is my life, I have encountered some characters. One in particular inspired me to be a better writer when I actually wrote. ‘Addis’ has a natural talent for putting the truth on paper in such a way that it jumps into the reader’s mind as fiction. Think Hunter S. Thompson and Tucker Max on mescaline. That is ‘Addis’.

I have lived vicariously through him many, many times. He has travelled everywhere and done everything and I am envious of his freedom. My favourite picture of ‘Addis’ is one where he is lounging across Saddam Hussein’s throne with a devious look on his face. Good times! When I once expressed my desire to stay at the Burj Al Arab in Dubai, his response was, “It’s gaudy. I prefer the Ritz in Paris.”

Before a family vacation I took to D.C. in 2006, ‘Addis’ recommended that we go to Dupont Circle and eat at Pizzeria Paradiso. He promised it was one of the best in the world. I argued that Fat Freddy’s in Galway was the best pizza in the world, to which he said, he had eaten both and that Pizzeria paradise would definitely be my preference after trying it. He was right, as usual.

The thing that made him so different than the other people in my life is that his only expectation of me (and anyone, really) was that I find my truth and get it on paper (virtual or otherwise). He didn’t use a moral compass to dictate what I should do or say or feel. He provided me with constant feedback on anything I wrote and gave suggestions which made me a better writer (and arguably a better human). I look back at his stories and laugh aloud at the adventures he chose to share; adventures with bicycles and flak jackets and computer programming.

I don’t know the last time I spoke to ‘Addis’. It has been years. Last I heard, he had gotten married on a whim to an Irish lass who made his heart pitter-patter (my words, not his). Not sure how that turned out; but I hope well, as he deserves to be happy. He is on LinkedIn; a fact I discovered today when I decided to write this. I did not elect to “connect” with him. I don’t think I have lived up to my part of the bargain. When I am once again a writer, perhaps I will do so.

I used to be a writer.

PERSONAL NOTE: Have a safe drive!

CONFIDENTIAL NOTE: “There is no use trying,” said Alice; “one can’t believe impossible things.”

01 December 2011

A Cell Phone is not a Walkie Talkie in the Korean War

Do you acknowledge?
~ Patton Oswalt

I have forgotten how to write original content. Completely forgotten! I can take notes like no other; and write up a school assignment. Now, though, when I just want to pour out the ideas that are sitting in my brain, I cannot. In fact, even this week, I have run out of funny ideas for ‘History in a Flash’. Now granted, there are limitations to the content I am working with, as I cannot make jokes about genocide or plane crashes or terrorist acts. But still . . . funny is funny.

I don’t know where my muse has been taking a holiday and I don’t know when he will return. One thing I do know, however, is that my muse speaks in an Irish accent. I know this for a fact. You see, the Irish accent is my favourite. I cannot imagine an accent I would rather listen to for inspiration than that one. There is something about the lilt (along with the fair complexion) of the Irish that makes me want to write pages and pages of creativity. I really think I need to start saving my money and plan a trip to the homeland. Perhaps if I could take 10 days and just go there to write and people watch and immerse myself in the culture which once made me fill two journals with original thoughts.

I think if I take a holiday in Ireland, especially the western edge, Galway, Limerick, Bunratty . . . (you get the picture,) then I could finish my novelette and perhaps write a few short stories as well. I would write for 6 – 8 hours a day, in between tours and exploring and naps. Yes, even in Ireland, I will take naps. What if 10 days on the Emerald Isle is all that stands between me and getting published? Ideally, I would spend a month and rent a small cottage on the coast with no cell phone or television. I am not sure I could leave Elizabeth for that long. Gracie would be okay; but Ebie would miss me (and I would definitely miss her). She is getting older and I worry that she wouldn’t do well without me for a month. When I was gone for just two weeks she took on signs of depression. No bueno!

Perhaps if I could just finish my apartment, get everything unpacked and in its place, I will be able to take the necessary steps to get a trip planned. Time will tell!

PERSONAL NOTE: Darling, I love you, girlfriend! xo, Sugar Bear

CONFIDENTIAL NOTE: Thank you for the voice mail and the idea!

Eidetic Vision

Main Entry: ei·det·ic Pronunciation: I-'det-ik Function: adjective : marked by or involving extraordinarily accurate and vivid recall especially of visual images - an eidetic memory Merriam-Webster's Dictionary, © 2002 Merriam-Webster, Inc.