Friday, February 29, 2008

The Mean Streak

The baddest ride I've ever been on. I waited in line for hours. Got in the cart. Suddenly wanted to be anywhere else in the world. Decided at 3/4 up the first hill: I must hold on and hold on to my lunch. It was super tough. But I did it. It nearly crippled me, however.

What's the baddest ride you've ever been on?

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Winter Nightmare

“...waitin’, WAITIN’, waiting for the world to change…”, my alarm clock smugged at me. I slapped it with satisfaction in order to snooze for seven more minutes. Already disgruntled by hearing Mayer first thing in the morning, I had difficulty retrieving the threads of the bitchin’ dream I was in the midst of. I lay there in my jersey sheets, under a quilt, a wool army blanket, and a comforter thinking, “Is that my breath I see before me?”

I could linger no longer, lest I be late for work. I jumped out of bed, grabbed my clothes and ran into the bathroom to get ready. God, it’s cold. I turn the radio on in time to hear the weather. Four degrees. Four degrees! How much longer must I take this?!?

“A little over three weeks,” said the Groundhog.

“Seriously?” I said to him, hands on hips.

“Sorry, Dawg,” he shrugged, “My shadow don’t lie…peace out!” he said. He flipped up his collar, sneered at me, and ran after my cat.

Goddamned stupid rodent.

What can I do but wait for the world to change?

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Bitchy Words to Start Emails With

Offered as a public service:

  • Apparently
  • Whatever
  • Actually
  • Regarding your request/idea/submission
  • Um,
  • To whom it may concern


Monday, February 18, 2008

Riley Strikes Again

Riley snuggled up to me way passed bedtime. She reported that Lucy was asleep but she herself was not tired.

"Are you ok?" I asked.

"I'm warm, I'm comfortable, and I have you; what more could a girl ask for? ...except maybe a fashion show. We could design a line together..."

"Sounds good to me." I said.

And then we watched Matilda.

It Changed My Life

Sentimental Hogwash!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Dreams of Spring

We were in the car on the way to drop Riley off at her first playdate with a school mate. The light was red and a lively tune was playing. I looked to my right and watched the winter snow melt, poor gutters giving me a vision of a kick-line of water dancing in a puddle to the beat of the Old Crow Medicine Show. It's amazing what a week can bring. Last Sunday, the wind was blowing ferociously and the wind chill was threatening to burst the thermometers. Today, the sun shone and undid the damage of an angry mother of a snowstorm.

The dancing raindrops augured a gentler time to come, forcing hope to reawaken. Soon we'll pull out the slickers and the umbrellas and watch the bunnies linger in the twilight as we make plans for outdoor adventures. I look forward to the blooming of the many lilac bushes we transplanted that will welcome me home as I make my way from the driveway to the back door. I can remember a time when winter was what I dreamt of. Now, older, I bear the punishments of the cold with a grumpy fortitude, my nose turned to the south and sniffing for warmer winds this late February thaw promises.

But this being northeastern Ohio, I know those promises are merely half-hearted conciliations for the suffering brought by dry, cold winds. I'll wait, with hope for warmth held close to the vest and revel in the hints that cross Mother Nature's brow that the abundance of green will soon surround us.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Love Grows Where My Rosemary Goes

It's Valentine's Day and you may find yourself casting about the internet looking for good love quotes with which to woo. I say, look no further than your own URL. I've compiled a list of love quotes from all of you. And to prove my love, I've linked you too. Enjoy, meine liebchene!


Anyhoos, because I love you all, I have roused myself from the couch and torn myself away from the Hell's Kitchen marathon and the giant lotion-infused box of tissues to wish you all a nice, you know, whatever the fuck it is you're celebrating.


I've always loved Crazy Straws!


But then, I'd never fallen madly in love with a man who lives in fucking Michigan before. What's a girl to do but invest in a good pair of snow boots and throw caution to the wind?


Anyone object if I take charge of Christmas dinner? I would love to roast a turkey in that stove!

---Coaster Punchman

I hope you get what you wanted, that you eat and drink too much, and hug someone you love.


I love a woman who knows how to dress for the occasion.


I know you love Harry Potter, but wizard please...


Love and forgiveness are neither old nor new values; they are the timeless values that make us truly human.


I want to dream of beautiful things tonight. I want to dream of sexy women, and of a life that loves me. I want to wake up and find my world static for two minutes, so that I can pay my bills and find the sexy women that I dream of.

---Evil Genius

I love free.


So far, the artificial heart is insufficiently open to let love in.

---Grant Miller

...but I love this song...

---Johnny Yen

What if radio stations did NOT play any lurvy-dovey-mushy-gooshy love songs for the month of February? What music would actually be LEFT??

---Hot Lemon

I love going out in a warm summer rain and dancing around in it. It just makes me feel alive and free. I spare the neighborhood and keep my clothes on, but the rest...they're just going to have to deal with it.


But I really love the snow. I love how it sparkles in the sun, and when the wind blows it around the air sparkles.


At this point people will say we’re in love and there might be something to it. Her coffee sucks.


If you don't love it then you are obviously devoid of mirth.

---Pezda's Ghost

I don't believe in love at first sight.

---Skyler's Dad

I love it when restaurants give you a moist towelette. They smell awesome.


Who doesn't love triangles?


I hope tonight finds you surrounded by people you love, and who love you back.


Sweet sweet pink love, in all your soft cuddliness, drape yourself on me and whisper sweet nothings in my ear.


I do love you all.

---Tenacious S

If cancer is our love, then I hope you don't have the technology of chemotherapy.

---The Boob Lady

Love the banjo.

Because I am merely a man, and I bring nothing but love for you, here comes the Wednesday 15:


I love orange kitties!


I love you, man, but you need to just shut the fuck up .


Well said. Happy Valentine's Day, you mad, marvelous geniuses!

Monday, February 11, 2008

This One's For Chris

I turned on the news to check the weather; we've got a mother of a snowstorm coming, according to all the hysterical meteorologists. I wanted to see if they were freaked enough to call off school for tomorrow. It was only about 5:45 and the only news on was Fox News. They were reporting on a product called the "Nu-Wave Oven" and, after having been tested by a local housewife, pronounced it a "dud."

"That's some 'news'," Riley proclaimed in a bored tone, using the air quotes like the true blogger she is.

And I thought I couldn't already be more proud of her.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Happiness Is Overrated

I feel so bad I got a worried mind...

Recently, Newsweek said "Happiness...Enough Already!" and it gave me pause. I remembered when I started going to a psychiatrist and a therapist (two separate people) who both asked me how often I cried. Once a week, was my answer, though sometimes it was more than that. They both looked at me, chagrined and replied with something along the lines of, "Well, let's see if we can't reduce that number." In their defense, I was crying at the time they asked me that, and, if Ricky taught us anything, it's that excessive crying is obnoxious.

But, I wondered, how healthy is it to never cry? I didn't want to cry at work. I hated crying because I was angry or frustrated, especially when crying is often seen as a sign of weakness. I wanted to be strong and not let the bastards get me down. So I went along with their advice. I took the medicine, I applied the coping tools and I went a good year without shedding so much as a tear.

But it always bothered me that I had removed all crying from my life. Surely, it was appropriate to cry at, say, a funeral or a sentimental movie. I missed expressing myself that way. But I also was glad to be able to function at a soul-killing job and not flinch when cruelty was flung at my head.

Savin' nickels, savin' dimes...

Through the help of my family and my therapist, I was able to extract myself from that job and settle in a place with a network of support and at a job where people were like-minded and respectful. As a result of this move, I also had to go four months without healthcare. As my perscriptions ran out, I began to ween myself off the anti-depressants and only take the "nerve pills" when absolutely necessary, approximately once a month.

It went OK, it seemed. By steering clear of anxiety mine fields, I was able to keep the tears and stress out of my life. But in the past month or so, tears have made their re-entrance into my life. Once, they came from frustration. Once, I got a little misty watching a movie. But I over came it. I've had healthcare for the last month and I've been meaning to go back to the shrink and resume what I figured would be a lifetime perscription.

Working till the sun don't shine...

But I'm so busy! How can I book any more appointments? I could if I really want to. And really, I'm not depressed. I've got a healthy family, I've got a good job, I work with great people, my friends are buoys, and I'm enjoying making progress while staying put. So what if I cry every now and then?

I spent some time with my cousin Rachel yesterday. She and I are 9 months apart and have always considered ourselves sisters. We drove to Columbus and back to see her brother Aaron's new baby boy. Round trip, we spent about 5 hours together in the car and it's really the first time since moving back home that I've spent that much time with her. We shared stories and frustrations. We learned that we are both pretty much in the same boat. I felt so good reweaving my family ties with her.

At one point, on the way home, she said to me, "It sounds like your depression is situational. You don't need to go back on medication." She's right of course, but it helps very much to have my own instincts confirmed.

Go to see my baby again
And to be with some of my friends
Maybe I'd be happy then on blue bayou...

Techinically, according to the Newsweek article, "The highest levels of happiness go along with the most stable, longest and most contented relationships." If I wasn't a hundred percent sure of this before, I am now. Reconnecting with my family, building new friendships, making an effort to maintain the old ones, and making my marriage work, makes being happy on Blue Bayou possible.

So, when the impulse to cry threatens to overcome me, I will pause my hand from reaching for the medicine cabinet and consider the circumstances. Am I frustrated or angry? Am I just sad? Did I put on the waterproof mascara? Do I have time to recover and not doom my eyes to red swolleness? Can I employ some anti-crying tactics or should I just let the tears roll? Do I turn to my inner Spock and remain calm? Or do I let the Kirk in me fly? Who knows. But either way, good or bad, sad or happy, my emotions are what they are and I'm perfectly willing to let my heart and head work together from now on.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

New Kid On The Blog: It's Jeff!

My good pal and co-worker, Jeff, has taken up the gauntlet and answered pointed questions from your's truely. He's a man who's decided to flaunt the advice to simplify. Check out what he has to say and find out why he hates wooden spoons.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Listen! Do You Smell Something?

It's quiet here for the first time in 36 hours or so. My beautiful girls are zonked out, Doc is at the neighbor's house watching the game. I've got the Mythbusters marathon on and I'm listening to my stomach roll over onto itself.

About 2:00 p.m. the Groundhog's Day festivities began. We had a houseful: six under 15 years old and nine over 15 years old. We had food and drink and drink. I started out with Orange Crush and Vodka. I think I had three. I tried a quarter cup of Cherry Ale, which numbed my tongue on impact. I had a glass of wine and a Budweiser. That's a lot of booze for someone who doesn't usually drink. I'm hoping I didn't make a complete ass of myself. But everyone had silly hats on, so I'm thinking that I might have blended in to the crowd. Then again...

Here is a list of things I did:

  • Drank
  • Ate veggies
  • Invitied my new neighbor over while wearing a black hat with a large red feather in it and a serape
  • Got into a hot tub that was 112 degrees...requested passerbys drop ice chunks into it
  • Tried to figure out the Spaudio system but was frustrated, causing much supressed mirth in my cohorts
  • Called a co-worker and left a voice mail demanding he join us
  • Got into the hot tub again, got too warm
  • Exited the hot tub with my lovely sister-in-law to hike 25 yards through frozen grass, clamber onto the trampoline and jump
  • Laid on the trampoline with my lovely sister-in-law and stared at the stars for a good 20 wet bathing suits
  • Returned to the hot tub
  • Called it a night
  • Woke up at least 4 times to chug 3 glasses of water each time, finally and biolgically understanding the meaning behind the song "How dry I am"
  • Finally gave up trying to sleep at 5 a.m. and watched Columbo and Murder She Wrote
  • Hung out with my neice when she woke up at 7 a.m. and proclaimed everyone should be up by now
  • Felt pretty good as I helped my lovely sister-in-law toast the homemade waffles and English muffins she brought
  • Played Pirate Dice
  • Got suddenly and violently sick to my stomach
  • Dozed off for an hour
  • Woke up to the smell of tuna fish salad (does Doc hate me?)
  • And ran to the back of the house and hid my head under the blankets until the nausea subsided
  • Coaxed the girls in to snuggle with me
  • Sent Doc on his way to the party
  • Ate four potato chips and had a few sips of Diet Coke (sans Mentos...though, as I learned today: Mentos and Diet Coke will not make your stomach rupture, but I'm not taking any chances)
  • Took Depeche Mode's advice and enjoyed the silence.

So, perhaps I didn't blend it; it is not my lot. But I had a blast and I don't think I was a huge jerk. I still have to confirm this completly with Doc, but hopefully, I have enough goodwill in the bank that folks will give me a pass. At any rate, I've been punished. My feet have been shredded by the ice. My knees are abraded from climbing on to an ice-encrusted trampoline. My hands are cut up as well. I've bruised my hips and my hair has taken on a life of its own. Don't worry, though; it promised to write often. One thing I didn't do, though, was watch the movie Groundhog's Day.

I think you all need to join us next year. Clear your calendar and figure out how to get yourselves here for the best party you'll never fully remember.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Groundhog's Day 2008

Oh, no! He saw his shadow...

Oh yes, wait a minute Mister Groundhog
Wait Mister Groundhog

Please Mister Groundhog, look and see
(Oh yeah)
If there's a cloud in the sky for me
(Please, Please Mister Groundhog)
Why's it takin' such a long time
(Oh yeah)
For me to see some sunshine

There must be some sign today
From my Mother Nature so far away
Pleas Mister Groundhog, look and see
If there's a cloud, a cloud for me

I've been standin' here waitin' Mister Groundhog
So patiently
For just some rain, or just a flower
Sayin' Spring's returnin' home to me
(Mister Groundhog)

Mister Groundhog, look and see
(Oh yeah)
If there's a cloud in the sky for me
(Please, Please Mister Groundhog)
Why's it takin' such a long time
(Oh yeah)
For Spring to return to me

So many years you saw your shadow
See the tears standin' in my eyes
You didn't stop to make me feel better
By leavin' me cold and under the weather
(Mister Groundhog)

Mister Groundhog, look and see
(Oh yeah)
If there's some springtime soon for me
(Please, Please Mister Groundhog)
Why's it takin' such a long time
(Why don't you check it and see one more time for me, you gotta)

Wait a minute
Wait a minute
Wait a minute
Wait a minute
(Mister Groundhog)

Mister Groundhog, look and see
(C'mon deliver the Springtime, the sooner the better)
Mister Groundhog