Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Valentine's Day

Some people believe Valentine's Day is a "Hallmark Holiday," created to make money for the greeting card companies. To this I say: Perhaps. However, in my experience, I've found that I quite like getting a beautiful, store bought card that has a sweet sentimental message about how awesome I am and how awesome we are together. So, I have never been able to turn my nose up at the consumerism of Valentine's Day. I like it too much. I like having a sweetheart. I like being someone's sweetheart. I like getting candy or flowers or a small teddy bear with a red bow on it. I like the acknowledgement. I also like to do the same for my beloved ones. It's a perfect excuse for someone like me who has turned down her squishy sentimental side to let hopeless romanticism fly.

In the spirit of the liberation of my own personal cupid, I recommend you let a little love in your heart and spring for some sentimentality this year. Buy a card. Buy a gift. What's the matter? on't know where to start? For the most part, you can count on advertising to let you know what the most appropriate Valentine's Day gifts are. But I would like to help keep you out of the dog house. So, here is a list of things you should avoid buying as Valentine's Day gifts.

  • Household appliances
  • Exercise equipment
  • How-to books
  • Sweats
  • Yarn
  • Motivational tapes for dealing with emotional vampires
  • Klingon Dictionary
  • Wallet
  • Carton of Cigarettes
  • Foil
  • Zip Strips
  • TurboTax
  • Java coding book
  • Odor-Eaters
  • White-Out
  • 3-hole punch
  • Coupon for tire rotation
  • Mulch

What would you like not to receive?

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Parents Say The Darndest Things!

Seriously. I'm amazed at some of the things that come out of my mouth:

  • Why is there cat food in this umbrella?
  • Don't drink the jelly
  • Butter is not a toy
  • No, I will not smell your hand
  • Because I said so
  • Please don't put snow down your pants
  • Why did you sit on that egg?
  • Who put my keys in the freezer?
  • It's not a good idea to dance naked in the window, even if you do give me the thumbs up sign
  • Don't stick the knife in the toaster
  • Take the scissors out of your mouth
  • Underwear does not go on your head
  • Don't put roller skates in the bathtub
  • Take the pretzels out of your nose
  • Put the sword down
  • Poop is not finger paint

Special thanks to Doc for his contributions...

Friday, January 25, 2008

It's Friday...

What should I BeDazzle first?

  • The blinds in my bedroom
  • The shower curtain
  • The milk jug
  • The couch
  • My jeans
  • The trash can
  • My American Idol hat
  • My holster
  • My DVD storage books
  • The "good towels"
  • My apron
  • The cordless drill

What would you BeDazzle?

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

In Monopoly, Doc is spelled G-O-D.

If you are Doc and you’re reading this, I know you just got a blast of the blasphemous and you are feeling very uncomfortable with the title of this post. Forgive me Doc; I do know what I’m doing.

For those of you who haven’t had an opportunity to play Monopoly with Doc, I will tell you this: His skills are godlike. In the eleven years that I have known him, I have beaten him once at Monopoly. Once. If you know me at all you must also know that this makes me crazy. I don’t like to lose. I know how to lose graciously because I am a good sport. Please don’t mistake that for pleasure.

Mind you, Doc is the kindliest Monopoly player you’ll ever have the misfortune to tangle with. He never taunts you or screams “That’s what I’m talkin’ about!” when he gets a good roll. But if he agrees to deal with you: you’re screwed. And there’s something godlike in that, I believe.

Doc has this freaky aura of the predestined when he sits down to play this game. He is the one who wins. You are at his mercy. He’s in control of the game from the beginning. If you make a deal with him that seems like it will get you farther ahead in the game, it ends up cutting you off at the knees. Better to trust your luck on your own, play by the rules and make incremental progress.

Because he’s a nice guy, he usually doesn’t toy with you, but he could if he wanted to. He’s got the loopholes covered. It is a rare case when Doc, like the gods, ends up with the fuzzy end of the lollipop. It is usually the lowly human who is stuck tied to a rock being eaten by hawks, damned to wander the earth as a donkey, or doomed to lose against him in a game of chance. Don’t let those dimples and baby-blues fool you; inside all gods is an unbendable core of steel. Rather than try to work around them, it’s best to keep your eyes open, mind your p’s and q’s, and look for a chance to advance on your own.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Nostalgia From a 5-Year Old

"Mom," Riley asked wistfully, "Do you remember that webpage Google..."

"Yeah," I said, "Good times..."

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Celebrities Who Have Appeared In My Dreams: Tanya Espanya

I exited the taxi cab in a ramshackle but perfect piazza in Rome with a small suitcase. It was overcast but warm and I breathed deeply. Rome! I had finally made it! I was overcome with joy to have my feet alight on ancient cobblestones and my eyes to rest on elderly Italian women fussing about their daily chores.

"I can't believe I'm here!" I said out loud to myself. The taxi door slammed shut behind me and the cabbie hurried back to the drivers seat and executed a five part turn to exit the culdesac. A flicker of worry crossed my brow as I realized that I didn't speak the native tongue. At least not the one that has been spoken here recently. I could hold my own in medieval and ancient Latin, but that wouldn't get me very far today.

Up above me on a balcony, I heard the giggling of half a dozen or so younger ladies who were making their way down to meet me, all of them with long, dark wavy hair and ready smiles. Tanya and her many sisters descended to greet me. They were friendly and welcoming; making a good deal of fuss about my arrival

I was overcome with a certain muteness, a relic of my shy childhood self, that often over takes me in situations where emotions are obvious and overwhelming. I needn't have worried; Tanya and the ladies took care of all conversation. After they welcomed me they resumed a discussion in medias res, laughing and correcting each other over the events of the day..

We made our way to a Mom and Pop (Mama and Papa) restaurant where I was handed a menu I couldn't read. A stern Italian patroness stepped up to take my order. I couldn't figure out what to order or even how to pronounce "spaghetti". Tanya laughed, the old lady grunted and took my menu.

I realized I was dreaming and felt looming disappointment that I wasn't really in Rome nor in the company of such lively friends. And then I woke up, determined to let the joy carry me through the day and abandon the disappointment in the overflowing garbage cans outside of Mama's restaurant.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Fifteen Minutes 'Til Bath Time

Who knows when I'll get another chance to write much. But have you ever been at a poker game with a couple who's broken up but just wants to be friends? It's awkward, I tell you. Waves of iciness followed by drafts of neediness all in the cutthroat atmosphere of a poker tournament. It wasn't entirely unpleasant, but it was weird.

The worst part is that I'm very bummed that these two have broken up. The one who is not technically "family" is someone I would never want to leave my life. I fear that the "just friends" might soon move do "drifted apart." Crap. It doesn't help much that this family member had broken up with someone equally as lovable to be with this person. And she is breaking up with her current love to return to the one she broke up with in the first place.

Maybe I'll get lucky and have them all three around. But this wouldn't be so lucky for them, I don't think. The latest lovelorn one must find the way to happiness and fulfillment and I doubt that being second place behind the first lovelorn one is the best destiny. For now, it seems to be working, though, so I'll enjoy it while I can.

I'll just stand by, play my cards close to the vest and try to hold on to them all, regardless of the probable futility of it all. After all, as Orlando Bloom says, "No cause is lost if but one fool is left to fight for it."

Friday, January 11, 2008

Diggin' Up Bones, Episode 1

I've been diggin' up bones with Doc and we've come up with some treasure.

That's our Corona tray we found at our local head shop/record store, the Quonset Hut. Unfortunately, this quirky little shop no longer sells music, but it still sells funky stuff and smoking devices. Worth a trip, if you're ever in the area. But I digress...

That's not a mole on her neck, though. That's a penny Doc and I stretched at the House of Blues at Disney. We went there back in '99 with my parents and had a lovely time. It was when I first learned that Doc can't pass a bathroom without stopping and that my love also has stealth powers. One minute, he's standing next to you, the next: gone. I swear, we nearly turned the music resort upside down looking for him. This was before the days of cell phones, but that doesn't really matter; he wouldn't answer it if you called anyway. That's just how he rolls.

But I didn't bring this up to crab about Doc's excentricities; they are so few and most of them are charming. What I want to know is, how in the hell were we able to hang on to this little odd penny for going on nine years?!? In that span of time, we moved from Newark to New Albany to Canton to University Heights and back to Canton. We gave birth to two children. We've held five or more different jobs between us and I can barely keep track of my keys from day to day.

As I write this, my Doc is displaying one of his excentricities: the ability to recite Rudyard Kipling poems on command. I am currently enjoying Gunga Din. See? He is charming. He can also wail out Classified Ad by C.W. McCall, something I usually command after a few beers.

I'm amazed going through the relics of our life together. In one box, I found five bathing suits, a box of '80's Trivial Pursuit cards, several coffee mugs, a jug of pencils wanting sharpening, pictures, my mother-in-law's tole painting stencils, a marble and a saki jar. It really captures a moment of stressed out packing. We were probably at the "just throw that shit in a box and let's get the hell out of here!"

One of the grand things about my life right now is that I'm in no hurry to leave. I've got time to quarden off the basement and sift through the ages of my married life and sent time traveling to not what I'd call the good old days. Yes, there were good times, but we were always looking around the corner like a Shiite looking for the 12th Imam.

Now I'm not looking. In the evenings, my eyes turn to the horizon and see the sun setting in the valley where we courted and hope to someday return. But not any time too soon. We're going to let it ride. I can't speak for Doc, who longs sorely for his home, but for now, I appreciate the time to stop, take a breath, let the paychecks roll in and plan my next move.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

So, I had a Bad Day...

Not a talking to crickets bad day, but bad, none the less.

  • Power failure
  • Alarm failure due to power failure
  • Mysterious disappearance of car keys
  • Punctuality failure due to power failure
  • Intelligence failure to all of the above

I was supposed to go to calling hours tonight for my Great Aunt Bonnie, but I just couldn't do it. My Mom said she'd represent me. All day I thought I was going to be OK, but I was just kind of weepy. It was a relief to be excused from the whole thing. I came home and played Wii with Doc and the kids. At about 8, I went over to Tiki and had a beer.

We talked and listened to music. Jimmy D graciously creamed me at cricket. The ladies and I decided to work out together. At around 1o, I knew my time was up. It would be Doc's turn and he worked his ass off today around the house. So, I began to make my good-byes.

I walked out of there with 7 hugs and 4 kisses. And, you know what? I really needed it. Farewell, Aunt Bonnie. I'm sorry I couldn't be there tonight. But you have my prayers and well-wishes. Say hi to everyone for me. And for everyone else:


PS: Lucy's joke of the day: How does the tuna fish play on the piano? Because it's angry!

Monday, January 07, 2008

Spotchy's Got Some Fun...

I pinched this from I, Splotchy...

First, the rules:Let's Make a Band:1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Random

The first article title on the page is the name of your band.

The last four words of the very last quote is the title of your album.

The third picture, no matter what it is, will be your album cover.

You then take the pic and add your band name and the album title to it, then post your pic.

Here we go...

My band: Elie Siegmeister

My Album: Is Shallow As Time

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Celebrities Who Have Appeared In My Dreams: God

Last night I was having a dream that I was in the kitchen talking to Doc. I was telling him about something that ended with me flipping the double bird to God and yelling "Eff You!"

I woke up feeling a bit uncomfortable, both about what I had done in my dream and because I had to go to the bathroom. Half awake, I rolled to my side and made to swing my legs over and stand up at the same time. Because I had socks on, I didn't realize that my feet were entangled in a fuzzy blanket that is not usually on the bed. And as I made my forward/upward progress off the bed without my legs underneath me, I was dropped on my knees with an almighty force.

I knealt on the floor breathless. I was overcome with rue. Earlier that evening, I had been talking to Elizabeth about a friend of ours who had never "been knocked to his knees" by life. As my knees throbbed and my wrists burned, I felt smote. I thought, who the hell was I to judge whether or not someone had had any hard knocks.

"You OK?" Doc asked, after having been gasped awake by the holy thud I made.

"Yes," I said as I recaptured my breath and made my way to the bathroom, thankful that no one was awake to see what must have been a spectacular fall.

When I returned to bed, Doc began to tell me about a dream he had. Then I told him about mine. He laughed.

"I probably shouldn't have flipped God off," I admitted.

"Probably not," he said.

I related this dream to Hot Lemon on the phone this morning. He said, "You know that kind of thing never happens to Pastafarians..."

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Seven Things You Don't Know About Me...

Skyler's Dad tagged me on this one recently and since I can refuse him nothing, I'll plunge in...

First, the rules: Link to the person that tagged you. Post the rules on your blog. Share 7 random and/or weird facts about yourself on your blog, tag 7 random people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs. Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

  1. My favorite type of humor is executed by initiating a Crazy Ivan or a sudden change in direction. David Sedaris and Douglas Adams are expert at this type of move and I love the disorienting effect this type of humor has on me.

  2. I cannot stand it when anyone touches my feet. I don't like it. My grandmother, God rest her soul, who was a womb-regression therapist, said it was because, when I was a baby, my feet turned in and the doctors recommended that my parents periodically twist my feet outward to correct them. She believed it caused me pain and now I no long want anyone to touch my feet. I think it's because I'm very sensitive. Just as I am a supertaster, I am also a super-feeler.

  3. My grandmother was a therapist who dabbled in womb-regression, primal scream therapy and conducting group therapy sessions on deviant sexual behavior. She had a sound-proofed room full of mattresses in her house. She was also a naturalized Canadian.

  4. My great, great Aunt Rose on my father's side of the family was a madam and had a brothel near my maternal grandfather's barber shop. They new each other, but just as colleagues.

  5. I like the idea of camping but I actually don't like camping. I like campfires and wearing flannel. I like the idea of carrying everything I need in a backpack. I like that camp dinner wear that is blue with white speckles. I like looking up a the stars. By all rights, I should like to camp, but I don't. All that nature gets in the way.

  6. I really like knotty pine.

  7. Every now and then, but moreso when I was a kid, I was totally pissed off that I wasn't born a boy. I hated that I had to wear a shirt, even though my chest looked nothing different than a boys did (when I was younger, of course), I resented being excluded from playing kickball because I was a girl (I eventually got to play because I lead a protest), I was totally pissed that I had to menstruate. For a long time, I related better to guys and didn't have many female friends. Now, I've grown to accept and actually enjoy being a girl, despite having to read "Growing Up And Liking It."

I tag...

Frank, since he's back and married now

Phil, since it's been months since he's posted

Tanya, since I can't get enough of her love

Evil, Evil Genius, since it will piss him off

Hot Lemon, since it will piss him off if I don't

Tenacious S, since I want to know more...

Beth, since she'll put a great soundtrack to it

GKL, so she doesn't body check me


Wednesday, January 02, 2008

The Reluctant Traveller

Buckeye Lake, Ohio

On the morning of New Year's Eve, I rallied the troops to get up and ready and on the road by 10:00 a.m. to hit the highways and head to the country to visit friends and family. It's hard to be the drill sargeant when you're an old softie like me, but, dammit, I had a schedule to keep. We had two days off that we owed those folks and the sooner we got there, the more time we would have.

I took a little bit of grumbling from Doc who had forgotten he had promised me the night before that he would get up when I asked him too, no complaints. I had to remind him of his promise in no uncertain terms and very loudly in order to make my point. We got the kids bathed, dressed and fed. We got ourselves dressed. We packed clothes and snacks. We remembered the camera, we took the Wii (yes, we got a Wii for Christmas, thanks to my super sweet parents) and we hit the road 45 minutes behind schedule.

It was a pleasant drive and the kids are finally old enough that they can tolerate a two-hour road trip without much complaint, and, I proudly say, without a built in TV/DVD player, thank you very much. We hauled our butts down to Buckeye Lake to check in with our friend ERR and his son Devin. He welcomed us warmly and after some goofing around, we headed out to Buckeye Lake to enjoy the sunshine and 50 degree weather. It was so beautiful. Here are some photos:

ERR fed us Italian food until we burst and he and his girlfriend helped us ring in the new year. He then handed over the keys to his lovely home and headed over to his girlfriend's house. I suffered with indigestion througout most of the night as a snowstorm blew in and rattled the rafters. I slept in fits and had absurd, semi-realistic dreams where I couldn't tell if I was asleep or in hell. Finally, by six a.m. I dropped off into a deep, dreamless slumber, only to be awakened two hours later by a couple of perky, young, well-rested children. Doc kindly took the reins and let me get a bit more sleep.
After a late breakfast, we made our way to my sister-in-law's house where we were greeted with hugs and the delightful scent of a homemade, simple and delicious meal. All my neices and nephews were there along with my two brothers-in-law. Everyone was happy and well. We had a great time playing with the Wii, sharing geneology stories and playing games. Late in the afternoon, I tried to coax Lucy into taking a nap with me. She was showing all the signs of sleepiness: she was cooing and sucking her bottom lip. But there was too much going on for her to absent herself for even a moment.
My sister-in-law, is a lovely woman and a great cook. She busted out some homemade cherry liquour, which we toasted with. We made plans to get together for our second annual Groundhog's Day celebration at our place, complete with hot tubbing and watching Groundhog's Day, of course. Before I knew it, it was 8:30 p.m. and it was time to hit the road.
Once again, I was rallying the troops to hit the road. We hated to go, but I had to work the next day. We packed up and said our goodbyes. We weren't out of the driveway before the kids were asleep and we were making our way through the snowstorm on darkened country highways home.
Needless to say, I was dragging today. Work is slow and there is not much to keep the mind active. I fought fatigue most of the morning, but, on the advice of John Tesh, I had a Caesar salad with lemonade to boost my energy. Apparently, lemon helps kick in the benefits of the iron in the romaine lettuce. It seemed to work and I made it through the afternoon.
At my lowest moments on the road, I always gather evidence for why I don't like to travel. I become the princess and the pea and cannot sleep. I stay up too late the night before departure, running over my mental checklists until I become mental. I'm then grouchy and bossy and impose impossible schedules on my family, who are also creatures of habit resist being rushed. I know I'll burn the candle at both ends and end up paying for it once we get home.
However, I have found that the trouble is almost always worth it. I got to take some lovely pictures. I got to revisit my old home away from home. I got to see my lovely families. I got to eat wonderful food. I made many good memories. Sure, I'm bone-tired and I'm off-schedule. But the goodwill and love I found along the way made it worth it. As my good friend, ERR, once said, it's important to test one's limitations on occaision. He's right, of course. But, boy, am I tired.