Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Get-Together Games NOT brought to you by Parker Brothers

I've been a bit remiss in posting the last week. Not because I haven't written - - I have all kinds of stories for you kids. But my family lives in a part of Hell known as "Dial-Up Country" and I refuse to deal with that. So, you've been blogless lately. I'll do what I can to make up for that . . . but don't hold your breath. I'm only in town tonight. Then I'm gone again until after New Year's. I MAY post from my vacation destination. The following was penned about Saturday, December 16th.

It is my personal belief that anyone who yells “CHARADES!!!” when asked “What sounds like fun?” should be sentenced to death by firing squad. Sans blindfold.

And anyone who seconds that motion should be strapped to a board and forced to endure water torture or 12 continuous hours of Barney! LIVE. A few repeats of “and the green grass grows all around, all around, and the green grass grows all around” and they will learn that Charades is never an acceptable past time.

Saturday night a rather impromptu Christmas party, of sorts, popped up. Clark and Mandy, Ally and Chad and then the two singles: Ally’s sister Diane and, of course, me. After all conversation was exhausted, Clark surprised us by suggesting we play games. That was Mandy’s cue to drag out every board and card game imaginable. I was perusing Pictionary (a game I hadn’t seen in someone’s possession since I was in Junior High) when Ally practically screamed, “I know! Let’s play CHARADES!!!”

I thought she was joking. SURELY, she was joking. But the look on her face, and her husband’s enthusiastic nod, were enough to tell me that she wasn’t. I looked to her sister, Diane, for help but she too was smiling and nodding. I had to stop myself from digging the short stubby Pictionary pencils from the box in front of me and stabbing them in the eyes. Charades?

Look, I only voluntarily perform any semblance of Charades once to twice a year. And, even then, only when it’s part of another game entirely: Like Cranium. I’m all about some Cranium. But Charades? Standing alone? I would rather organize a CD collection alphabetically, thank you. Clark had the same pained look on his face that I had, so I thought I might be saved. “Ummm . . . Ally, we’re not really Charades people. In fact, the lazier we can be during a game, the better. How about Monopoly? Monopoly doesn’t require a lot of movement.”

Just as I began to nod MY head enthusiastically, Mandy – that Judas – betrayed us both. “Come on, guys, Charades sounds like fun! We can do teams! Meghan can be with us and Diane can play with Ally and Chad!” Charades does not sound like fun. Charades sounds like the worst game ever created. I know that some of you would argue “Dodgeball.” However, Dodgeball is just cruel – not unusual. At least in Dodgeball you get to throw something at the person annoying you.

I didn’t even try to whisper as I looked at Clark and said “You married her.” He leaned over to me and quietly said “Think if we start being louder, we can wake Emma up and get out of playing, at all?” I elbowed him for even thinking about waking my sweet girl up and then suggested we light the Christmas tree on fire. He countered with, “I think we’ve got some tequila in the kitchen. Maybe if we started doing shots, Charades could be bearable.” I shook my head forlornly and said, “There’s not enough Patron in the world to make Charades bearable.” Clark nodded solemnly in agreement.

This is when Mandy interrupted with, “Well! If you two are going to be so negative about this, maybe you just shouldn’t play.” YES! I was going to be saved after all! Though I realized she was completely trying to guilt/reverse psychology us into playing, I wasn’t falling for it. Yay! No Charades! But before I could launch myself to my feet to perform my Happy dance, Clark RUINED it by saying “We’ll play.” Agh! I can’t tell you how badly I wanted to look at him and say, “We? You got a mouse in your pocket?” But I was already getting labeled Negative Nelly and decided to swallow that caustic remark.

And so Charades began. Now, I could bore you with the details of how 6 adults managed to miss EVERY.SINGLE.CLUE. that was acted out. Or how Ally fancies herself the Meryl Streep of silent film. Or how Diane got sick of Ally overacting constantly and threw a pencil at her chest - - only her aim was off and she nailed Ally in the eye, thus ending her promising acting career. But I don’t want to bore you with any of those details.

I’ll simply tell you how the game ended.

Mandy was getting increasingly hostile as Clark and I decided “Screw it, let’s have some fun” and didn’t even try acting out the clues anymore. During his turns he was just acting like a mime and I was yelling answers that made no sense at all. An example would be when he was acting out a “movie” and pretended to be trapped in a glass box. Instead of yelling “Trapped!” that Kevin Bacon cinematic classic (sarcasm evident) I yelled “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind!” which made Clark collapse in laughter and Mandy turn purple in anger. She then commenced telling Clark what an asshole he was and couldn’t they just have fun for once and why did he have to be so negative about these things . . blah blah blah, whine whine whine. Thus ticking Clark off. So Clark jumps up and says, “Alright, Damnit! We’ll play for real! This one’s a common phrase, see if you can guess it!” He then stands very still, shakes himself once like he’s clearing the mechanism for Charades greatness and then slowly raises both middle fingers and waves them at his wife.

Oh! Oh! I know that one!

The End

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Phone Etiquette for the Mentally Disabled

Let me lay it out for you:

You call ONCE.
I don’t answer.
This is, more than likely, because I am busy.
I saw that you called. When I get free, and have the inclination, I will call you back.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how it should work.

But, for some reason it works like this:

The phone rings.
I don’t answer.
More than likely, because I am busy.
I saw that there was a call. I will return it at MY earliest convenience.

The phone IMMEDIATELY rings again.
I’m STILL busy, so I don’t answer.
I see that it’s still you. I’m aggravated that you immediately called back when I failed to answer the first time, but I let it slide because maybe it’s important.

The phone IMMEDIATELY rings again.
I’m, surprise-surprise, STILL busy.
But this isn’t why I don’t answer. I’m now NOT answering out of principle.
Because it’s obvious you have brain damage.
My anger levels jumps from a 1 to a 4.
Leaps and bounds, people, leaps and bounds.

The phone IMMEDIATELY rings again.
I’m not busy, but there’s not a snowball’s chance in Hell that I’m picking up this phone because YOU are an imbecile who needs to be locked up in the looney bin!
Freak!
I check the caller ID just to make certain that it’s not someone without brain damage.
We’re in luck. It’s not. It’s still you.
My anger level immediately hops from a 4 to RED-ALERT-she’s-going-to-throw-her phone-into-a-wall-any-second.
I’m fighting myself not to answer the phone and use every single cussword imagineable, and a few new ones thrown in for good measure. It pays to be inventive.

There are a few moments of silence.
I find myself wondering if you’ve suddenly gained an ounce of intelligence and then decide that it’s far more likely that you were struck by lightning and burned to a crisp.
That thought makes me smile.
My anger level drops from RED ALERT to a 9.

The *&(*&^$%#$^# phone rings AGAIN.
The caller ID is flashing PRIVATE CALL.
Oh ho!
So now you think I’M an imbecile.
News flash, moron, if I didn’t answer when your number was flashing, what are the chances I’m answering a blocked call?
Oh jebus.
Anger level back to RED ALERT.
Only now I’m not going to damage my phone.
I’m going to locate your unattended vehicle and dig my key into it so deeply that it cuts THROUGH the metal.
Yes, I will ruin a key . . . but it’s for a good cause.
Does your mother KNOW that you’re more clingy than a barnacle on the Titanic?

Silence.
Blessed silence.
Because I set my phone to only accept known callers.
Ah ha! You’re foiled. Yes, you go straight to voicemail and yes, you will fill my mailbox, BUT I could care less because I don’t check voicemail because I hate it. Have fun!

Dear sweet Mary mother of Jebus.
You’re smarter than I gave you credit for.
You textmail me.
Why aren’t you answering your phone?”
I can’t even begin to muster the physical strength it would take to type in a response.
Mainly because no matter what I would type, you wouldn’t understand, and the response would simply encourage you to send more textmails.

Oh, I can’t deal.

I contemplate committing suicide by digging my heart out with a rusty spoon, knowing it would be less time consuming and painful than dealing with your sheer stupidity.
But this plan is eliminated because it would mean my parents would go through my goody drawer.

So I turn the phone off completely.

If my doorbell rings in a few moments, please know that you will die a horribly painful, untimely death by my hands.
Prison has to be quieter than this.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Tomato Sauce is SO Much Sexier than Whip Cream


Lately, I am klutz extraordinaire.
Though, I don’t really think that this one was my fault.

R., one of my therapy kids, was eating his lunch in the therapy room.
He had ravioli, corn and a small bowl of salad.
Now, 3 year olds aren’t really known for their dexterity, particularly with a spoon, so it was no surprise that he kept dropping corn from his spoon onto the floor.
He was nearing the end of the meal so I decided to get down under the table and retrieve the scattered pieces of yellow vegetableness.

So there I was on my hands and knees, gathering corn niblets from the linoleum floor, when R. decides he’s finished with his lunch and starts to get up from the table to take his plate and bowl to the trashcan. . .
Just as I decide to pop up from the floor and carry the napkin full of corn to the trash.
As you can imagine, there was a collision of epic proportions.

My head makes contact with the plate(full of tomato sauce and abandoned corn), R.’s hand drops the plate and suddenly I am covered in meaty red sauce with corn adornments: Hair, head and chest.
I was SEXY.

Thankfully, I prepare for such occurrences (isn't that sad???).

I keep a bag full of toiletries in my vehicle at all times, along with a set of extra scrubs.
But it doesn’t change the fact that for a good 5 minutes, I resembled one of my mother’s favorite pictures of me: An almost 2-yr old covered in spaghetti from head-to-toe and loving every second of it – even if I do look slightly scared. I’m pretty sure even then I knew my parents were godless commies who were going to blackmail me with these pictures for the rest of my life. kidding, my parents are wonderful

Anywho – so here ya go: A picture of me MUCH like I looked today . . only about 24 years ago.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Not "My"Space Drama

I readily admit that I’m not a “Myspacer”.
Though it may offend a whole lot of people here, and I’m slightly sorry for that, I always thought MySpace was a glorified online dating and bragging service. “Oh, look at me, I’m so hot and my life is so wonderful. Add me as your friend and you’re life can be like this, too.” Again, I’m sorry if this offends anyone.

I’m sure some people would think the same things could be said for the “blogosphere”, but I just can’t see it that way. MySpace is anything BUT anonymous. There are pictures and links to family members and friends and people leave you visible messages related to your personal and private lives. People KNOW you.

That’s not, necessarily, true in the blogging world. You can be completely anonymous if you wish. You don’t have to have contact information, your real name, pictures, heck - - I read blogs that I think are completely fiction. Yeah, I could be wrong . . . but somehow, I doubt it. And as for pictures . . unless it's a picture of me as an 8 yr old or a baby, it's not being posted. I don't want someone I know surfing blogs of Arkansans and finding out I blogged about that time they threw their engagement ring into the middle of a crowded dancefloor.

I started blogging just to vent. I didn’t care if I got comments or not. That started to change somewhere along the lines. I would obsess over how many comments I was getting, who was leaving them and who wasn’t.

“Kelly* commented on my last three posts, but not this one. Gosh, did I offend her? Did she not like it? Has she stopped reading me? Oh crap, what did I do?”

And, I admit that I started making blogging friends. E-mails, IMs, I even exchanged phone numbers with a handful of bloggers. Last New Year’s Eve was spent with a blogger. We met for the first time two days before New Year’s. She drove down to AR and we spent a few days together partying and having a good time.

I could never say I regret involving the blog in my real life. I’ve met some amazing people who, at times, are even closer to me than the people in my real life - - because the anonymity is comforting. I don’t have to worry that they’re going to go running to the people I vent about and cause some huge 8th grade dilemma of he said, she said. It’s (for the most part) drama free.

From what I’ve heard about MySpace, it’s nothing but drama. I can’t count the number of grown-adult-people I’ve heard start a conversation with “And this crazy ho that I don’t even know left a comment on my profile talking crap about me!” Lord save me.

But now we’re getting to the point of this whole post.

I DO have a MySpace account. Until today, I’d never even visited my own profile (which, by the way, is completely devoid of any information).
I signed up for it to view pictures and blog entries that friends had emailed me about and said “Please check this out!”
And since stupid MySpace is completely unlike Blogspot and you HAVE to have an account to view ANYTHING, I very reluctantly typed in my email address and a password.

And after a few brief stints checking out Tara’s new baby pictures, Grant’s blog entry and about his jack-butt boss and photos of James's new husband (I admit that this one was “spying”, he had constantly denied he was gay – but suddenly got married to a boy when he was safely out of AR), I forgot all about it.

I knew I had signed up for it, it was always there in the back of my mind, but I never visited, never put any information on my profile, never nothing.

Well, I woke this morning to an e-mail from a friend saying “Get on MySpace and go to my profile, then click on my pictures. I had Michael upload all the pictures of the new house and you’ve GOT to see it!”

Alright, alright, fine. I’ll go look at the pictures.
I type in her MySpace url. I click on pictures. It kicks me to the “You must be logged in to do that!” page. I type in my email address, type in my password and am greeted with “Invalid password”. Do what, huh?

I try it two more times before having the MySpace gods e-mail me a new password. When that finally occurred, I signed in to look at the house pictures. But before it let me view the pictures, it kicked me to “My profile”. Something I’d never even looked at. There’s a little icon on there that says “New Messages.” Call me curious, I clicked on it.

Oh my goodness.
I had like 98 messages.
Messages from people I didn’t know.
Messages from people I’d known in college, but hadn’t spoken to in years.
Messages from people in the blog world.
Messages, messages, messages.

Most of which made NO sense to me.
Some of which were HOSTILE.
Messages like:

“Oh! You can’t return people’s calls anymore but you can spy on me on MySpace. I’m going to set my profile to private so you can’t see anything anymore!” (from James and his new husband)

Or

“Glad you’re finally on MySpace! Add me so you can see the new pictures up of me and Charles!” (this from some girl in New York that I have NO knowledge of)

Or

“I didn’t even know you’d signed up! Why haven’t you commented on my page, snob??” (a blogger I adore much!)

Why DO so many MySpacers use exclamation points at the end of every sentence?

But what freaked me out were the hostile messages. Or messages from people I didn’t’ know, but seemed to know me somehow, someway.

And now I’m all completely paranoid.
It’s not like it’s hard to figure out my password.
Easy, breezy. And, I do that thing that NO ONE is supposed to do because I have NO memory: I use the same two passwords for everything on the planet.
It’s more than obvious to me that someone has been using my password and account to play Super Stalker.

But what I can’t get is who these people they were stalking were and WHY they were stalking them.
It has to be someone I know: Who else would care about James and his new husband?
But it must be someone that blogs, too, because there were bloggers on there with messages like: “You’ve finally converted! And you said it would never happen! Leave me a comment!

So now, I’m going through the process of visiting the profiles of all these messages and trying to figure out how they link up. Maybe, just maybe, if I can put the pieces together just right I can figure out what psycho has been using my good name to spy on other people.

Drama. The one thing I was avoiding by NOT being a MySpacer, still somehow manages to jump up and bite me on the butt.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Seriously? No. Seriously.

Partying with my brother and his friends has died off pretty significantly.

A) Because it makes me feel like I'm 123 years old.
B) Because my brother is cutting back secondary to "The Wife"
and
C) Because I can't deal with the idiots that show up to these things anymore.

One idiot in particular.

We'll call him Ian.

Ian is a 36 yr old, single father who works as a nurse at one of the area hospitals.
Why Ian is hanging out with 21-24 year old nursing students is beyond me, but it's not as though I can say too much.
Hey pot, this is kettle, you're black.

Ian thinks he's God's gift to women. Ian is greatly mistaken.
It's not a lack of attractiveness, though - to be honest - I don't find him attractive, in the least.
It's his personality. He's comes on EXTREMELY strong. And by extremely, I mean that where most people would use a simple fly-swatter to kill a mosquito, Ian would locate the nearest arsenal, procure a bazooka and several missles, don camoflauge and go in for the kill.

To add insult to injury, Ian is also my neighbor. A fact that I wish I hadn't learned. I had seen him, infrequently, at the pool, but he had maintained his distance. Possibly because he had his son in tow. Possibly because I was constantly surrounded by younger men. Possibly because I had THAT look on my face. The one that Casper told me I had all summer whenever any guy looked in my direction. Apparently it's a mixture of "Who the hell do you think you are?" and "Do I look remotely interested?"

Well, at my brother's last gathering, Ian decided to bring his "neighbor" status to my attention. "Hey, did you know that I live two houses down from you?" Now, I'd not previously paid a lot of attention to Ian when he was in my presence. But knowing that he was acquianted with my brother and apparently friends with some of the other guys, I assumed he was a good (to be read NORMAL) type of guy. Not knowing any better, I did my best to be polite and friendly.

"You don't say. Which direction?"
"Kinda caddy-corner from you. I can see your front yard from my living room windows." This odd statement was followed with a semi-creepy wink.

"Well, that's cool." (yes, I realize that wasn't the best comeback, but seriously - what do you say?)

Apparently, though, "that's cool" is enough of an encouragement for Ian.
He sat down at the empty spot beside me on the couch and put his hand on my knee.
Again, trying not to offend, I just shifted uncomfortably and muttered something about needing to retrieve my cell phone from the kitchen counter.
He got up and followed me into the kitchen.

"So, do you have a dog?"
"Ummm, yes, but she lives here with my brother because he has a fence and I hate chaining her up."
"Oh, okay, well, do you have a cat?"
"Ummm, no. Why do you ask?"

Brace yourself, because here's where the conversation takes a turn into La-la-land.

"I just wondered if you had any pets or anything that you walked around the neighborhood so I could see more of you."
"Do ya know a lot of people that walk their cats?" I readily admit that I expressed this question with a heavy accent of sarcasm and a raised eyebrow look that conveyed my horror at the thought.

Instead of being offended, which would have been my first inclination, he giggled like a school girl and exclaimed, "That's a good one! Walk their cats!"
This man has people's lives in his hands. (shudder)
I roll my eyes in his general direction and begin to textmail my boyfriend. Anything to make it evident that I'm not interested in continuing this conversation. But Ian's not done wowing us with his prowess.

Mike puts a country CD in and a few of the diehards start singing, loudly, to Hank Williams, Jr.
Ian looks at me and says, "Hey, do you have some boots?" Not looking up from my textmailing endeavors I quip "Steel-toed boots, fuck-me boots, cowgirl boots? You're gonna have to be a touch more specific." He, again, laughs that scoff manly laugh and says "Cowgirl boots." I look up and give my best "Go A-WAY" look and ask "Why?" "Because you look like a city girl. I wanted to know if you had some country in ya." Pardon my confusion here, but what the buddha does that matter? Yet, instead of yelling this at him, I just say "Why?" again. "Cause I like girls that can do a little two-stepping from time to time." He then takes my cell phone from my hand and puts it on the counter before grabbing at my hands to attempt to lead me around the dining area in some epileptic version of a Texas two-step. YIKES!

Before we continue, allow me to remind you: He's a single father.
This means at least one woman out there had the unfortunate mental INcapability to sleep with him.
A brief moment of prayer for this woman would be greatly appreciated, for it is evident that she has suffered immensely in this life.

But I digress.
After the dancing/seizure activity, Ian continues to woo me.
"So, we should like go out sometime and get something to eat. Or do you cook?"
I'd had enough of being polite (or as polite as I could be) and decided to be blunt.
"Look. I have a boyfriend." Whatever I intended this statement to do, it failed miserably. Ian was not, in the least bit, fazed. He looked to my phone on the counter and said, "Is that a picture phone?" My patience wearing transparently thin, I answered, "Of course. Aren't they all these days?" Unaffected, he comes back with, "Well, then show me his picture."

Needless to say, I did a double take. Do what? Huh?
"I don't have a picture of him on the phone." He broke into this jack-o-lantern grin and said, "Well, then you don't have a boyfriend. If you had a boyfriend, you'd have a picture of him. All girls have pictures of their boyfriend."

Really, now. All girls have pictures of their boyfriends. Go figure.
My disdain has become palpable and I parry with "Umm, maybe hanging up on my locker door when I was in 8th grade, but grown women don't keep pictures of their boyfriends on them. Sorry to disappoint you." And there's the grin again. "It's okay. You can just tell me you don't have a boyfriend."

ARGH!!! I call my brother and "The Wife" over to verify my boyfriend's existence and even threaten to call said boyfriend to let Ian speak with him. Ian shakes his head in mock disbelief and then says, "Well, you can't be that happy with him if you're here instead of with him, so I know I've got a chance."

Seriously? No. Seriously.
That was my cue to exit. Stick a fork in me, I was done.

But the battle is far from over.
Ian periodically drives by my house and honks, attempts to stop and chat if I'm unfortunate enough to be gathering my mail and even tries to pull me over when he finds himself behind me in the neighborhood.
Carolyn, my immediate next door neighbor, tells me that she sees him ring my doorbell occassionally during the day.
I'm convinced the only thing that's saving me is that he works nights. But even so, it doesn't stop me from closing my garage door the second after I drive inside it. Perhaps if he never sees my vehicle there, he will assume I spend every evening at my boyfriend's - instead of just being a 26-yr old trapped within her own home.

Help.

Immediacy



Once, in 26 years, I was beat so badly I couldn’t sit down for a week. I’m not saying I didn’t deserve it . . . but, in my opinion, it was a bit excessive.

My mother later admitted that she had to leave the room. Not because she couldn’t stand to see me hurting so badly. But because she was afraid if she stayed, she would kill me.

The year was 1989. Christmas Day. Morning, to be more exact.
4:40-ish to be extremely exact. Mom and dad had been up and down all night trying to keep my brother and I in bed. Ty had given up the fight and was cuddled under a (Lord, save me) Dallas Cowboys blanket, fast asleep.

I was just biding my time. I knew, eventually, the parentals would abandon their posts.
Sure enough, they did.

By 4:00 AM, mom has retired to bed, but daddy remains vigilant. He checks to make certain that my brother is still snoring loudly and then comes to my door. I close my eyes and burrow deeper in the covers.

"Meg, you awake?"

Why do parents do this? If I’m feigning sleep, do they really think I will be stupid enough to say "Yeah, daddy." Silence. "Meg?" Last ditch effort. Finally, he turns and leaves the room.

I wait an eternity. Which, at age 9, means I wait 6 minutes. I spring from the bed in my very adult, pink "Hug Me" night shirt. Run to the door and look side to side.

The coast is: Clear.

James Bond music is playing in my head as I check the hallway.
No sign of the guard. The living room is alight with the multi-colored tree. The presents are left unattended.

Fools!

But I don’t trust the silence. Not just yet. Daddy snores like a freight train.
If all is silent on the Western front, this does not bode well.

I retreat to my bedroom, planning my attack.
It takes everything in me, but I read 4 chapters of a Dean Koontz book ("Lightning", in case you were wondering) and wait silently.

Back to the front lines.

Checking doorways. Stealthily creeping to the living room. Thunderous heartbeats are momentarily eclipsed by the snores of my father.

YES!!!!

I frantically sort through the oceans of presents. Any one labeled Meg is thrown to the side.
I’m not going to open them. Of course not. I just want to count my loot. I need to make sure that I have more presents than my brother. Sibling rivalry and all. But . . . .

This one sounds funny when I shake it. What in the world can that be????
It’s not a book, it’s not a purse, it’s not clothes . . . Oh please, oh please, oh please, I have to know.

I pull it back to my bedroom. Lest the tearing sounds of paper rouse my father. Shrinky dinks??? Has my mother forgotten I’m not 5 (even if I still look it)? Though, they are Transformer shrinky dinks. Which makes a vast difference. Alright.

(Note: I’m 26, but if I got some Arkansas Razorback Shrinky Dinks, I would be ECSTATIC!)

Curiosity satisfied. Back to the pillaging and counting of the loot.
Something catches my eye. What is that enormous shiny thing BEHIND the fireplace? The box is twice as big as I am. Oh holy buddha! Does that tag say "Meghan"???? Goody, goody, goody!!!
Wait. What in the world could it be??? It’s the size of a small city state!
I move it side to side as best I can. Semi-shaking it. It is silent.
A silent, large present?? I can’t bear it! I must know!
I get behind it and push with all my might. Navigating it through the living room, curving into the hallway, pushing with all the strength in my 9 year old body. Finally, the bedroom.

I remember the paper just falling off. No ripping, no tearing. The angels of Christmas just pulled the paper from the box in one smooth, easy motion. Fully intact. I'm sure that this isn't how it really happened, but in my nine-year old mind, this moment was magic.

Sony?? But I already have a TV. Oh, no, wait. A real live stereo.
Dual cassette deck, record player, AM/FM radio, speakers.
The whole shebang! Who could want for anything more??
I yelp before I can contain myself.

Oh no no no. Look around. Listen intently. Nothing.
Maybe it was an internal yelp, after all.

Well, there’s no way I can hide this massive unwrapped present.
And since I’m already going to be in trouble. . . in for a penny, in for a pound.
So, my young mind begins to rationalize:
I may as well open ALL my presents.
I mean, there could be some tapes or records that need to be played on the stereo.
There could be some super cool dancing duds that need to be tried on.
I have to open them all now.
I HAVE TO.

I get my Radio Flyer wagon and load it as quietly as possible. I drag it, in my barefeet, to my bedroom and open every present.
I fall asleep in the middle of my floor. Wrapping paper as a blanket. New clothes as my pillow. Dire Straits and Tiffany albums under my feet.

I am happy.
I am sated.
I am at peace.
Until . . .

I am rudely awakened by my father jerking me up by my arm. The force should have rent my shoulder from it’s socket. It’s only the flexibility of youth that saved me from bodily harm . . . at that moment.

My mother is shrieking "You’ve ruined CHRISTMAS!!!"
My father is purple. Literally, purple. The purple of Barney and Grimace and new Crayola markers.

I can’t even begin to compose myself enough to TRY and place my hands in the way of the spanking I KNOW is coming. My father bends me over my little blue writing desk and beats me senseless. I can’t even cry it hurts so badly. EVERY fiber of my being is concentrating on the pain.

My mother has left the room, as I said, not to avoid watching my pain - but to circumvent the desire to kill me where I lay.

I am locked in my room for the remainder of the day. My presents have been placed on the highest shelf in my closet. To taunt me.

"Here we are, your lovely books and clothes and music. You can not have us. When you finally get us back, you will have outgrown us or we will be out of style. Ha ha! We will teach you! You will get your Swatch watch in 1999!"

The stereo system is placed on top of my bookshelf. My father refuses to hook it up.
I cry everyday for the loss of the music that should have been.

It is New Year’s Day before I can sit down without wincing.
It is Valentine’s Day before I can listen to the Dire Straits - Brothers in Arms album that was wrapped in ThunderCats wrapping paper.
"Money for Nothing" still pains me.
Do not play "Sultans of Swing" in my presence.
"Romeo and Juliet" will never be a love song for me.

But a lesson went unlearned.
I still have the most horrid sense of immediacy.
The past has taught me nothing.
And isn’t that just sad?

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Wander - Porcelain - Constantly - Prescription - Spin

He sat on the hard plastic, gripping the wheel in his short fingers, he slowly began to turn.
The momentum picked up and soon the periodic circles began to constantly spin.

His knuckles white with effort, he held on for dear life, giggles and squeals hiccuping forth.
Finally, he could hold on no longer and his diapered bottom slipped with a solid thump onto the hardwood floor, the brightly colored spinning wheel still producing rainbowed arcs in front of his eyes.
He giggled again before jabbering excitedly in the direction of his smiling mother.

He grabbed the coffee table's edge and pulled himself upright.
His stubby pink legs churned quickly towards his mother, but the dizzying effect of the spin caused him to wander off course.

He screamed in surprise and joy as his mother's hands grasped him tightly and held him in midair, kissing and blowing raspberries on his bare stomach.
She pulled him to her, holding him close with one arm as the other extended wriggling fingers to the ticklish spots only toddlers seem to have.
Her incessant tickling as they walked towards the bathroom distracted him and he failed to notice their destination.

The white plastic padding covered with Blue's Clues and Blocks provided insulation from the cool porcelain of the sink that was suddenly his chair.
He watched his mother convincingly pretend to drink a bright red liquid and begged for a taste with grasping fingers and a series of grunts.
She hid her grimace as she moved the tiny cup to his mouth and tipped it forward.
A small pucker of his lips, a tiny squint of his eyes and the prescription was gone.

She tickled him and thanked God once again that it was just a simple cough.
He touched his tummy with his fingers and she blew another raspberry as they left the bathroom.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Better Late Than Never . . . I Guess

In the (newly expired) spirit of the season, you get to read my one and only ghostly experience:

In the corner of my first therapy office, I kept a milk crate full of electronic books. The ones that you read to children and when they see Simba’s face or Nylah’s body they reach over and hit the button on the side of the book that produces a Simba "ROAR!" or Nylah singing.

After I had been there about a month, I noticed that the books would start playing on their own. I just assumed that the batteries were getting low in them or they were shifting in the crate. Just normal things that would make the books play themselves. To prevent this from happening, I removed all the batteries from the books. I kept them in a small box on my desk with the teeny-tiny screwdriver that was needed to replace them. That way, I didn’t have random occurrences of sound effects, but I could always put the batteries back in if some of the therapy kids wanted to play with the books.

One day, I was giving therapy to a little boy named Chris. We were sitting at the table finger-painting when he looked up and said "I want to play with the girl."

I thought he was talking about a paintable doll that we sometimes worked with. She was just durable fabric and you could paint clothes on her, a face, attach different kinds of hair to her head (which my kids called Weave, if you can imagine), etc. I got her down from the shelf and began to hand it to him when he said:

"No! I want to play with the GIRL."

Befuddled, I asked him "What girl?" thinking maybe he wanted me to get another child from his class or possibly go into the nursery and get his little sister, which I had done from time to time.

"THAT girl." he said, pointing to the empty chair on the other side of me. "That girl beside you."

I took his hand and said that there wasn’t any girl beside me.


"Yah huh, she’s sittin’ right there."

He was so emphatic that it convinced me he must be seeing something. I felt the hairs raise on the back of my neck and went to the door to yell down the hall to another therapist. My friend Sally came to the doorway and I was telling her about what Chris had said when one of the books started playing music.

The books without any batteries.

Chris looked over to where the books were and said, "We’re not playin’ with the books right now, we’re paintin’, come back over here."

It completely freaked me out and poor Sally looked like she was about to cry. She spent the rest of the day randomly spouting, "You know they say that little kids can see that stuff. We can’t because we’re old and jaded, but kids can see spirits." I just kept telling her to shut up and then moved my stuff into an empty office up the hall the next day.

I didn’t take the books with me.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Traffic, Again

One would assume, as much as I drive, that I would accept the inability of the public to navigate the highways and byways with any semblance of skill and/or ease. That's not how I work. I just become more frustrated with it day by day. So frustrated, at times, that I feel I should be able to lecture those who are inept.

I'm aware that I've proposed this action before, but I am now more adamant in my belief that it is a need - a necessity- for the safety of our travels and the sanity of the good drivers of America.

Our license plates should be our cell phone numbers.

So when jigaboo with his spinners, Ridin Dirty tint, driver's seat leaned back so far that the headrest touches the backseat and both hands typin' on his two-way knows that I feel his 97 Honda Accord in the left lane traveling at a mind-boggling 62 MPH should probably be in the right lane with Grandma Georgina and the Wal-Mart delivery truck who has mistaken his load of Brawny paper towels and Fancy Feast cat food for Nitroglycerin. Don't drive above 60! We might explode!

(Please, do not interpret jigaboo as a racist term - despite its checkered past - in this particular instance it is being used to refer to a very white man with prison tats and a diamond and gold grill adorning his teeth. Attractive, yes? Ladies, do not hesitate using the cell phone number license plates as not only an outlet for your anger, but also a dating service. This man is anxiously awaiting your call.)

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

How You Know You're Female

If the anatomy, itself, didn't tip you off.

You spend THIRTY-TWO minutes sitting at the bottom of your walk-in closet searching for a pair of black boots.

You find 7 pairs: black leather ankle boots with a pointed toe, black leather knee boots with a square toe, black leather mid-calf boots with a round toe, black leather mid-calf boots with a pointed toe, black leather knee boots with a rounded toe, black sueded slightly above the knee boots with a pointed toe, black sueded just below the knee boots with a square toe . . . .

(yes, some of these are out of style, but you never know when they will return)

What you DO NOT find is:

The one pair of pointed toe, stilletto heeled, right at the knee, black calf-skin leather boots that you KNOW you own, but can't for the life of you locate.

I would finish this post, but I think they MIGHT be in a BCBG box in the back of the library/office closet.

Monday, October 16, 2006

The Moth

My flame was burning an orange red glow that cautioned others to their distance but beckoned you strangely for reasons I won't fathom and as you grew closer I faded to the blue white of gas stoves and pilot lights hoping it would stop your steady pace but brought a smile to my internal face as I saw your step quicken and I extinguished myself, now shadowed from your view I observe your confusion and can't stop the laugh that maniacally breaks the dumbfounded silence of the empty room and you follow the echo to the wrong corner and I dig my torn nails into my sinking palms and hold my breath so I don't whisper my hidden position to you bringing an end to a game I didn't want to play because I couldn't write the rules and you slump into the corner where you didn't find me and I watch and decide I never wanted you at all.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Collage

I could mend myself, if only you would start to tear me apart, instead of leaving me here, picking myself into pieces and sticking them willy nilly to a page with an off brand glue stick and tweezers that were never mine but won't be returned to the owner. The sharp metal ends dig deeper than my nails and the clear drying of the glue doesn’t satisfy as much as the red stickiness that emerges from the small cuts I provide. You watch me delving into my arm, my leg, my hand, my cheek, missing the heart of me and smile because you know I’ll never go that deep. The red dries black on the page, soaking through the peach-pink of my skin with the jagged edges and I watch transparent fade to opaque. I scream soundlessly in non-existent pain and watch your tears course over your laughter in streams. Pulling the tweezers from my hand you stab them into my center and I implode on myself and blink out of existence the only bits left are the ones on the page.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Untitled

As I climbed the last step into the loft of the barn, I wondered if I had bitten off more than I could chew. I had always wanted to buy a huge old barn or even (as sacreligious as this sounds) and old church and turn them into a house. The houses of today are too sterilized, too cut off, too winding. I wanted big open spaces. Ceilings so high your voice echoed as you spoke. Something with character. Something thatI could make my own, but something with history behind it. I stepped from the ladder to the wooden floor and fought to stay upright. I felt his strong hands grasp my upper arms to stop my slide.

"Angel, be careful. I don't know what you're doing in those shoes." The slick bottoms of my kitten heels weren't conducive to wooden planks lined with remnants of hay, but I didn't know that we were going to be here. We had decided at the last minute to take a Sunday drive. The heat of summer was fading into an autumn crispness that was just right. We rolled down the windows, opened the sunroof, turned on some music and enjoyed the ride. We'd gone miles before a word was spoken. None were needed. But he had spotted the For Sale sign before I did. "Angel, look." he had almost whispered it through the smile that had graced his face since we slid in the car. His finger pointed at the massive red barn surrounded by acres of empty, green field. I just nodded and he knew. We were taking a detour.

"You want it." His lips were so close to my ear that the words were almost a kiss. "Am I that transparent?""Angel, you should see your face. Did you know that there are tears in your eyes?" I lifted my fingers to my cheek and wiped the saline trail leading to my chin. "I didn't know until you told me. It's just .. . this is it. This is perfect. It's not too far from the city, so the commute wouldn't be bad. It's massive so there is plenty of space downstairs to divide with half-walls and brick partitions to make bedrooms and a living room and a huge study for you to write. Oh . . baby! And there's plumbing and electricity already, maybe someone had the same idea that we did. It wouldn't be that much more work. And we could turn the loft into our own private haven. It's so huge. We could have a sitting area/library over in this corner and divide this other one off for a huge walk in closet and put our bed right by the loft door and put a window in behind the door so we could have the sunlight and . . . It's just perfect. Please. Please, will you think about it." He wrapped his arms around my waist and squeezed. "It's very big, sweetie. Do we really need all this room? And we don't know how much they want for it. Who knows if it's structurally sound." He paused for a minute as she twisted her head to look at him again. "Baby, I can't tell you no when you're this excited. We'll talk to them and see what they're asking. But we still have to be practical. What are we going to do with all this space?"

I didn't say one word. I just moved my hands down to where his arms rested on my waist and took his hands, drawing them up to my stomach and pressing them there.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

The Two E-C's of My Not So Distant Youth

On any given workday, I pass by two of my old haunts at least four times.

The Geyer Springs El Chico and the Chico Road Electric Cowboy.

El Chico:

Before you start getting any bright ideas about my love of Tex-Mex cuisine, understand that Steve - my overqualified and underachieving friend with three college degrees and about a gazillion dollars in stocks and bonds - wasted his free time as a bartender there.

Mainly for the free booze and the bar sluts.

Yes, there are bar sluts at ANY bar, even El Chico.

Every Friday night, and most Saturdays and Sundays, we would journey to El Chico to partake of free appetizers, free dinners, free desserts and copious amounts of free alcohol, not to mention the enlightening conversation of Steve and his bar mates.

I say free. But, of course, it wasn’t.

Because when you have friends like that - who hook you up to no end - and you know that both them and their friends behind the counter live off the tips . . . okay, so not so much Steve as his friends . . . you tip well.

And by well, I mean that I standardly left $50.

On more than one occasion, thanks to drunkenness or the extreme cuteness of one particular bartender, I left a tip of $100 or more.

So, actually, it would have probably been cheaper just to pay for the food and drinks.

Or . . Maybe not.

This should not give you a grand notion of my personality.

I’m not the best person around, I assure you.

You should have no noble ideas of my character.

Yes, I tipped well, but I also did bad bad things at that bar.

In fact . . . .

One occasion in particular springs to mind.

I was dating one of the Jeffs.

I say one of the Jeffs because I dated SEVERAL guys named Jeff.

People, don’t name your kid Jeff. There are far too many Jeffs in the world already.

And I’ve dated half of them.

But this Jeff happens to be one of the few men I slept with.

And by slept, I mean didn’t get one wink of rest.

Well, Jeff and I had been fighting a lot lately and while make-up sex was spectacular, I was getting sick of the lead-in.

So we decided to take a night away from each other.

I went with *Mary and some of the guys to meet Steve at El Chico with plans to journey to Electric Cowboy when the bar closed at 12:00 (this is what we had always done).

Well, lo and behold, Jeff and two of his clients had decided to eat at El Chico . . . in the bar.

Ummm, yes, I think he was checking up on me.

A - because he didn’t trust my guy friends.

B - because he told me later that he went there with the intentions of checking up on me.

Well, though I should have been peeved, I was kind of intoxicated with the thought of him being protective of lil’ ole me.

Yes, I know, I’m a freak.

So we both pretended to ignore each other throughout appetizers and the meal.

However, when dessert came around, apparently neither of us was willing to ignore one another anymore.

A hand grazed my spaghetti strapped shoulder and a voice said semi-loudly, "Hey, I need you to come out to the truck with me and help me find these estimates. You’re the one who ‘organized’ the truck and now I can’t find a damn thing out there."

Other than the me organizing his truck thing, that was all a big fat lie.

He knew where everything was.

I knew where this was going, but I wanted it, too.

Yes, I know I’m a freak, but not the same kind of freak that I was in the last paragraph.

Anyway . . .

So my friends hear this lame excuse and take it at face value.

Because they’re trashed on Vodka and Tequila.

And I have a reduced gag reflex because of Tequila . . hmmm . .

So to the parking lot we go.

And into the backseat of his well-tinted truck.

And my gag reflex is noticeably absent.

And . . . several minutes later . . we return to the bar.

I don’t even think my friends remembered I had left.

But his clients were aware of the time discrepency, and being that they were young and easily impressed, quickly signed a contract with him.

Men are so easy.

Electric Cowboy:

The least fond memory of the club can be found HERE.

But one of the best memories I have of the place also involves Jeff # . .. Umm . . was he 3 or 4?

Oh well.

Jeff and I had called it quits at least a month earlier.

The reasons are and were a bit unclear.

I think it just had a lot to do with differences in choices and lifestyles.

I expected him to be more mature at his age and he expected me to be less.

Less mature, less demanding and less . . well, less everything else I was at that age.

But just because a relationship is on the rocks doesn’t mean the sex isn’t still outstanding.

And I was at the club with my friends, dancing up a storm and pretending I didn’t see Jeff #something leaning against the bar with his running buddy and watching my every move.

Until I couldn’t pretend anymore, because he was directly behind me grinding into my back as Jason was grinding into my front.

Jason leaned in and said "I see a bride-to-be who needs one last fling before committing her life away, so you’ll excuse me if I don’t stick around for what could turn into a menage-a-trois."

Not begrudging Jason his man-whore ways, I searched for another out.

I grabbed *Mary and started dancing with her - very close.

A ploy we had perfected in South Padre during Spring Break.

Sometimes if the guy thinks one of you is a dyke, they walk away before one of you shows the man side of you and beats his behind.

However, Jeff knew full well what I was doing.

So he kept on.

Time for another tactic.

"Hey, Jeff, how bout you dance with *Mary while I run to the bathroom. Kay? Kay."

Only the bathroom turned out to be the bar on the other side of the room with my bouncer friend Larry keeping me company.

That worked for about 20 minutes.

Until Jeff’s running buddy saw me and immediately reported to him that I was canoodling with an unknown.

Unknown to Travis (running buddy), but Jeff was fully aware that Larry, while attractive and fun, was engaged to one of the waitresses - and a good friend of mine.

Jeff looped his arms around me from behind and said:

"Why are you fighting this, babe, you know you’re coming home with me."

Ugh . . .

I hated it when he was right.

Thank God I rode into town with *Mary that night, allowing me a clear mind about leaving my vehicle in a shady area.

I’ll leave the rest to your imaginations.

I am beyond proud to say that I haven’t set foot in either establishment in 3 years.

Well, that’s kind of a lie.

2 years ago, I graced Electric Cowboy with my presence for *Mary’s bachelorette party.

But forced presence at an engagement soiree does not count as elective assent to attend a club.

So . . there’s a peak at my less than graceful past that keeps haunting my present with daily reminders.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

A Glimpse

In case you ever wondered at the oddity of mine and Robin's friendship, here is something that may either confuse you more or give you a glimpse inside. Obviously, this email string started long before the few bits I'm posting, and obviously, there were other email strings going on (we really WORK when we're at work, don't we?), but they were either insignificant or too sensitive in nature to be posted. Enjoy what you've got here. Oh, and I'm too lazy to insert Robin's link . . you guys know her blog and if you don't - find it on the blogroll.

Me: Okay So I'm sitting in here laughing like a loon about that twi lilly email I just sent you.
Just so you know where I was and what I was doing when they took me to the state mental hospital.
Why was that SO funny to me?

Robin: Exactly where did you come up with TWI LILLY??

Me: It's at the end of the song.
Ying and Yang (ha ha) keep going: Twi lilly, twi LILLY. Twi lilly, twi LILLY.

Robin: I appear to have missed that part, even after repeated listenings

Me: Which now means you will go home and listen to the song to verify the truth of my lyrical decipherations.

Robin: Quite naturally

Me: Ever start to think we have a weird friendship?

Robin: No. why, do you?

Me: I think it's . . . . Atypical.

Robin: How is that?

Me: This is so Golden Girls . . . But nobody else gets me like you do.
And you're the only one I can be THIS weird with.

Robin: Aw sugar- my eyes just got all fluttery. And just so we're clear, you're the only one I can honestly talk about this weirdness with. And I haven't told anyone else about the other thing- which will make sense when you read the other email string. I can't have ordinary folk knowing that. Also, I love the golden girls. WE SHOULD ALL strive to be the golden girls. Okay, so I think you should be Blanche. Blanche had more layers than people give her credit for.

Me: I'm so down with being Blanche.
Cheesecake next Monday???
I can't address the fluttery eyes thing cause I teared up writing that email.
How was I lucky enough to find you Freshman year?

Robin: We are being very sentimental today, have you noticed. Besides, it wasn't luck, it was fate. I don't believe in this one soulmate nonsense. I believe in people, sometime just a few sometimes a whole stadium, whose souls mesh ours. And yes, cheesecake next Monday. I will have to stop by starbucks so I can have some yummy coffee with it because NOTHING beats cheesecake and coffee.

Me: Yeah, I noticed. Think we're okay?
Ummm cheesecake.
Nice soulmate summary.

Robin: Yes, we're fine. I'm sad about XXXXXXXXX. You're sad about XXXXXXX. And various others. Mid twenties life crisis day!

Me: Maybe we should buy something.

Robin: Because sliding further into debt makes ME feel better (she says with sarcasm) :)

Me: Hi
I'm Brittany
Have we met?
Obviously not if you think I'm not the synchronized swimming champion of the debt pool.

Robin: Oooooh that was a lovely analogy. I mean, seriously.

Me: I think we're both on our A game today with our snide comment, snippy writing, witty things to be said jottings.

Robin: I'm all over that A game. I'm so all over that A game I got a big fat scarlet A tattooed on my wrist, just for fun.

Me: You just got demoted to the B team. Congrats.

Robin: See, I knew it was possible.

Me: That's my little over-under, basket weaving, keep em guessing achiever. (pats her on head)
Robin: On our way to our respective cars the other day, my boss asked me if I was the kind of kid that lied to other kids about the grades I made, because I didn't want to seem too smart. I had to laugh because is it REALLY that obvious I'm a total freak?
He said: Yes, actually, it is.

Me: Oh wow. Think that goes for both of us, or do I hide it better?

Robin: No, it must be completely obvious for all the world to see. My thoughts, anyway.

Me: We've been living in denial. Hmmm . . .and nothings changed with this realization. Go figure.
Robin: I'm perfectly happy in Denialville. They have good margaritas here.

Me: Yes, but the dating pool sucks.
Men in denial are all fat, bald or have short, not stubby, third legs.

Robin: And the women in denial are all wicked hot, naturally.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Football and Poker and Weeds, Oh My

All I can say is Thank the Dear Lord that football season is now fully in swing.
I didn't even have to question what I was doing on a Monday night.
In fact, I was overloaded with things to do.

I spent the night flipping amongst the Miami vs. Florida State game (Go 'Noles!!! Though you dearly suck this year because everyone, including lovely Bobby, is overestimating your infantile quarterback Weatherford . . . Weatherford, if by some miracle of internet fate you run across this blog, know that you suck - kisses, B), a poker game (Go Negreanu!! Honey, it's totally not your fault that the table quaded twice within a 20 minute span, that's a 1 to 2000 chance, I know because Gabe Kaplan told us, but that's no excuse to keep playing in pots you shouldn't be in, honestly, did you think your Queen Ten was going to hold up with a Straight draw on the board, even if you did pair your Queen? No, no, sweetie. You're normally such a better player. Most days I would put you well above Hatchem, Helmuth and even Ivey . . . but, babe, put this bad day behind you and move on, you can do it. We're behind you.) and one of the best shows on TV, bar none, Weeds (Nancy, are ya gonna tell the kids that you got married in Vegas to a DEA agent to keep him from turning you in for being a dimebag selling ex-housewife?).

Though I'm loathe to admit that my night revolved around a TV screen . .. umm, why am I loathe? Like you kids did anything better? Okay, it's possible that you were all out at friends and family cook outs celebrating the labor free-edness of Labor Day, but not me kids. Because, true to form, B gets sick on holidays.

Yes, it's true. It has always been like this, even when I was an itty bitty thing. I wait til holidays and vacations to come down with illnesses. Just ask my momma. So, of course, Friday, when I had to work, I was feeling fine. A little tired from the Nickelback, Hinder, Chevelle and Hoobastank concert from the night before (which, in case you wondered, was fan-freakin-tabulous and I recommend you all get tickets, unless of course you live here or closeby because you guys missed it), but otherwise fine. Friday night, I wasn't feeling as chipper as usual, but hey, when do I ever feel completely well?

Saturday, I was well enough to journey to the land of the Hogs to watch our NOT (amazing!) humiliating defeat, though if you only looked at the scoreboard, you might think differently. Though, note here to Houston Nutt, you friggin waste of oxygen, ummm . . . hey . . . think it's a coincidence that we score ONCE the entire game with your miserable excuse for a quarterback that you let start and finish 5 games last season - - 5 games, 4 of which we lost because he's so incompetent - - and then you bring in, miracle of miracles, the NUMBER ONE draft quarterback in the NATION and within 60 seconds we score again?? Ummm, was that PRUDENT planning to keep him out until the LAST THREE MINUTES OF THE GAME?? I mean, seriously, if you're going to take off his red shirt, make it for something GOOD. The last three minutes SO does not count. WHY didn't you take your sorry behind to Nebraska?? They were RECRUITING you?? Ummm, I wouldn't fight traffic for you. Just so ya know.

Anyway, that was Saturday. And Saturday night I felt like butt. I thought it was just because I became a little emotionally overwrought at the game. Tends to happen with me. Football obsessed, but we'll let that slide. I actually cried at the end of the game. Yep, I cried. Deal with it. But, again, I thought it was just me being upset about the game. It sometimes presents itself physically. It always gives me a migraine from Hades. And by "it" - I mean my constantly cheering and yelling and possibly my snide comments to my friend about Nutt and RoJo the moron quarterback. But when I woke up every hour to hour and a half and felt my body aching and my eyeballs burning, I knew . .

The Flu.

So, yes, I canceled all other plans and spent Sunday, Sunday night, Monday and Monday night safely tucked away in my sick-blankie (no judgements, everyone has their comforts) on either my bed or my couch ignoring most all phone calls and any emails. Sorry kids, I pamper myself when I'm sick. Even to the point of allowing myself to watch bad TV.

I could have watched at least 3 hours of Lifetime Movie Network and might have watched something called "Mother, May I Sleep With Danger", ummm maybe, but I will neither confirm nor deny the truth of that statement. Just acknowledge I was burning up with fever and therefore delirious. However, I was NOT delirious enough to believe in the second movie that JACK WAGNER, who is hot in his own right and was playing a super rich plastic surgeon, would EVER dump his hottie girlfriend to go after a married Judith Light AKA Horseface with a bad bleach job from Who's the Boss. Ummm . . . not going to happen. Though, it was interesting to draw 80's TV parallels since Judith Light's daughter in the movie was Tracey Gold from Growing Pains fame. Now . . . had they had Alan Thicke be a plastic surgeon I could ALMOST believe he was going for Judith . . . almost. But personally, I believe Judith Light NOW is the picture of Jessica Simpson in 20 years. Same bad bleach job that is doomed to continue and same horsey features which appear moderately attractive in youth but just get worse with age.

And that concludes the randomness of the day.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

R.E.M.'s 1994 Release: Monster - Critically Acclaimed, Publicly Shunned

The blatant honesty of it is this: We never tell each other the complete truth.
We never speak what's really in our heads. Never.
Anyone that says otherwise is lying.
Possibly to themselves as well as everyone else.

Yesterday morning, to the outside eye, I appeared a picture of patience.
A child on my lap, my arms around her, rubbing her back, soothing her, whispering calming words in her tiny ear, rocking her.
Exteriorly, I was doing everything right.
There was no need for her tears. She was not being harmed, she had just eaten, everything was fine.
But she was crying.

Inside - so was I.
Tears of anger and frustration.
I was mentally screaming: (pardon my language) "Shut up! Just shut up! SHUT. UP! Shut the fuck up! There's nothing to scream about!! No one is hurting you, no one is doing anything to you, you're not hungry, your diaper was just changed, you're a spoiled ass brat with a crackhead mother who gives you whatever you want so you'll shut up, but I'm not doing it! I'm not! You've got to learn that this is life! And you probably don't even need therapy! But you tested so low, I had to take you on the caseload. And you tested low because your crackhead mother sits you in front of a TV all day and gives you candy instead of teaching you something and feeding you healthy food and she tells you to shut up when you talk so you don't talk at all! And I would feel sorry for you, I would, but I can't right now because you've been screaming in my ear for the last 35 minutes for no reason what-so-ever and you have no tears so I know it's not sincere crying and it's not even crying or wailing it's out and out shrill screaming and I've had it, I've had it, I've had it. My head hurts from the endless minutes, which seem like eons, of auditory onslaught. It's pounding in time with your breaths. And I just want you to shut UP. NOW. Oh God, I'm a horrible person. I should never be a mother. Forget bearing children, I shouldn't be allowed to be around them. Who thinks like this? Me, that's who. I think like this. And I think it at least once a week.

Near the end of the session; after 55 minutes of ceaseless screaming, I could take it no longer.
I would never harm a child, regardless of thoughts to the contrary, so I put her down on the red plastic mat with the cream foam poking out of the broken corner.
I grabbed the blue and white gingham pillow from the therapy kit, the one presumably for the cabbage patch kid with the yellow curls and the pink crib with the baby blue bedding.
I put the pillow over my mouth and I screamed for all I was worth.
Just screamed. Something I'm ashamed to admit that I do with some regularity.
Hence the pillow in the therapy kit.

It's a stress release technique.
A psychologist friend told me once that he does something similar.
Though his release is more physical where mine is more vocal.
I think all therapists - speech, occupational, physical, psychological, have to do this.
They have to have a release. Any kind of release. An immediate one.
Because working with other people's problems is enjoyable, rewarding and wonderful.
But it's also grueling and hard and tiresome, at times.
There are times when you're certain you want anything else, anything else, as a job.
There have been moments in my short career that I would have gladly become a contract killer, a fast food drive-through worker, a nurse's aid or even the person who cleans up carnival rides after some small child loses his corn-dog and cotton candy all over the metal seating.
But I never admit these things to anyone but myself.
Because what kind of person would that make me seem to others.
No kind of person at all.
A monster.

"If I were you I'd really run from me, I'd really really wish that I were you, When I get loose I'll climb a tree, and drop a load on your head, This monster in me makes me retch, you messed it, messed it up . . . "

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Rationalization Works: At Least, That's What I Tell Myself

I used to try and psych myself out of being sick.

I would sit on the bathroom floor, staring at the horrifying patterns on the wallpaper and think things like "Okay. You've got this. If you can count 43 of the scary country blue flowers on the Home Interiors nightmare on the wall behind the toilet, you won't throw up."

About 5 seconds later - I would, of course, throw up.
Which is, generally, the start of a chain reaction for me.
I hate few things in this world more than throwing up.
And the simple act of doing so for the first time would trigger a reflex action of a second go 'round.

By the third, I would need the placebo effect of rationalization again.
"Alright. So that didn't work so well. Flush the toilet. And if the blue water now muddied with stomach acid doesn't swirl around more than seven times before disappearing into the maze of plumbingness below - you won't throw up again. Please, God, please."

In case you wondered, rationalization - even a second one - accompanied with a heartfelt plea to God Almighty, does not work.

This morning was further proof of that.

"I can do this. If I can sit here until the second chorus of the Goo Goo Dolls - Iris, I won't throw up."

And I don't want the world to see me
Cause I don't think that they'd understand
When everythings . . .

Damnit.
Lurch.
Gag.

Well, there's those pills I just swallowed.
Fantabulous.
Does this mean I have to take the pills again?
I mean, surely if you vomit them 20 minutes after digesting them, their job cannot be performed adequately.
I should have known the Goo Goo Dolls are far more likely to induce vomiting than prevent it.

Lurch.
Gag.
Round two.

Sorry, God, I didn't realize you liked the Goo Goo Dolls.
I rescind my last thought.
I really like them, too.
No, I really, really do.
Honestly.

Though I probably wouldn't admit that aloud to anyone else.
But I like them.
Why else would I have thrown this song onto the mix CD.
I think I even have two of their. . . .

Lurch.
Gag.


Please, please, please, make it stop.

Pleading sometimes works better than rationalization.

No sudden movements.
Stay still.
Okay, this is working.
Reach for the bath towel.
Mop my brow.
I'm okay. It's over.

Too soon.

Dry heave.
Lurch.
Dry heave.
Please, please, please.

"Seriously. It's over. Surely it's over. Oh. The White Stripes.
Seven Nation Army. Focus on the lyrics. Remember the lyrics. If you're thinking of the words and not the rolling motion of your stomach, you won't be sick. You're making yourself sick because this is all you can think about. Stop thinking about it. Sing. But don't open your mouth. Don't tempt fate. Sing silently
to yourself. Sing."

I'm going to Wichita
Far from this opera forevermore
I'm gonna work the straw
Make the sweat drip out of every pore


(
these are some weird ass lyrics, what the buddha was Jack thinking?)


And I'm bleeding, and I'm bleeding, and I'm bleeding
Right before the Lord
All the words are gonna bleed from me
And I will think no more


And the stains comin' from my blood tell me Go back home . . .

"You did it. One whole song. You can move now. Slow motions. Please, slow motions. Careful. Careful. Alright. You're alright."

I'm getting better.
I know it.
My body's acclimating to the medications.
This was an every morning routine.
Every. Morning.

Every. Single. Damn. Morning.

Today is the first time since . . .
Oh, that was just last Monday.
9 days is still better than everyday.
I've gone nine days.

Now I can go ten.
Or more.
How about 12?
We'll go twelve.

And, tomorrow, I'll tell myself, after I swallow two fists full of pills:

"No. We're going to go twelve days. You're not going to be sick this morning. 12 days. You can do it. Today's the first step. 12 days. Please, God, ple . . . ."

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Every Morning

Every morning, on the way to work, I pass a business.
This business is still in operation.
I can say that with some certainty.
For when I pass it again on my way out, I see customers, employees and all signs of a bustling business.
The business is a Goodyear Tire Store.

Every morning, on the way to work, I question this business.
Because the front windows are painted with a jaunty display.
Something that obviously cost a great deal of money.
It’s quite impressive.
The block lettering, the faux fireworks, each paint-stroke meticulous.
And still I question, every morning.
Because it says:

Make 2005 a Happy New Year!!!
Giant Tire Sale Occurring Now!

By my calculations, this must have been painted at least 20 months and a few days ago.
20 months.
Because it is now 2006.
And nearing the end of 2006, at that.
And this message was clearly painted in 2004.

What a fantastic way to run a business.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

No Common Thread

New Nickname

I’ve been given a new moniker.
Which to the untrained ear sounds sweet.
G has begun calling me “Sugar.”
Casper heard this last week and said “Awww, how sweet!”
That was until I explained the origin.

Since G will be a Junior in college this Fall, he has no source of income.
Unless you count his moneyed parents.
Therefore, he has begun calling me “Sugar” in anticipation of me taking him under my financial wing.
Sugar is his shortened form of Sugar Momma.

Ummm . . . . nu uh.

Traffic

Since I spend approximately 33% of my day on the interstates, highways and by-ways of Arkansas, I feel this entitles me to make some observations:

Most of you idiots can’t drive.
And by most I mean 95%.

Okay, so it wasn’t observations so much as observation.

Courage

I have no idea where it went, but the courage afforded me by my self esteem and pride have disappeared.
Possibly because my self esteem and pride have been taking a rather slow, but steady, decline over the past few years.
Funny how a body image can change everything.

Freshman year, I had no fear.
In October of that year, a resident assistant in our dorm arranged a Girl’s Night Out.
We were all to meet in the lobby and then journey out to eat at Tia’s and to a movie: Meet Joe Black.
I hate that movie, but that’s another story.
21 of us attended.
Yes, I was a joiner. I hang my head in shame.

Once seated at Tia’s, we began to notice the plethora of attractive males seated around us.
One in particular caught my eye.
Having no fear . . . and no shame, I wasted no time making my move.

I saw him excuse himself to go to the bathroom and began to get up.
Robin looked up and said “Where are you going??”
My answer?
“I just saw the father of my children. Back in a bit.”
And I followed him into the bathroom.
Something his girlfriend, sitting at their table, didn’t fail to notice.
She was, needless to say, not amused.

Houseguest

Speaking of Robin, she is my houseguest this week.
Due to recent traffic violations (see what I mean about people not being able to drive?), her funds for her vacation were cut short.
Therefore, instead of a plush hotel room in a far away city, she was relegated to the guest room of my home.
Which, while not overly plush, affords her a silence and comfort that her own home can not provide.
Because she has cats.
Demon spawn cats from Hell.
Who are never quiet and constantly a burden.
Yet she loves them???

Hmmm . . . sounds like my brother.
Kidding.
Kind of.

She requires the silence to write.
And informed me last night that I was NOT to show her how to operate the myriad of technologies that allow her to watch TV in my living room.
“If I don’t know how to turn everything on and get it going, then I can’t watch it, and will be forced to write.”
Unfortunately, I believe she’s failing to take into account the bazillion books in my home.
And her love of reading that echos my own.
Here’s hoping she doesn’t locate the Greg Iles, P.J. Parrish and Douglas Preston/Lincoln Child book shelves.

I Just Don’t Care

I have ceased drying and styling my hair in the mornings.
I’ve realized that this simple routine costs me another 15 minutes of prep work.
NOT because I concoct some elaborate, artistic hair-do, but because my hair has grown so long and is so thick, that it takes forever to dry.
These are 15 minutes that I could be sleeping.
And let’s face it, I work around women and children all day long, every day.
Who am I trying to impress?
Other than the men I pass on the roads, I have little to no contact with the male species.
What contact I do have is with men I would rather NOT have contact with.

Therefore, instead of my 4:45 AM wake up time, I’ve pushed my alarm back to 5:00.
I rise, shower, wash and condition my hair and then pull it up into a ponytail.
Which is typically the style it would end up in anyway.
To keep small children’s hands from playing in and pulling my hair.

If people find my wet ponytail unattractive, I just don’t care.

The makeup may be the next thing to go.
God help us all, if it does.

They Don’t Care Either

Even in my sopping wet ponytail, I attract the attention of the wrong males.
Lord, save me.

This morning’s example:

P Diddy Wanna Be with his blinged out grill decided I was “tasty” this morning.

“Daummm, girl, you sho look tasty. Lemme have a lick.”
This was accompanied with a lewd gesture and some interesting gesticulations of his tongue.
And by interesting, I mean the sight of them made me throw-up a little in my mouth.

Gosh, I do so love to be hit on.
By a 23 year old father of 4.
Who drives a $5,000 vehicle with $8,000 rims.
And supports himself with welfare checks and drug deals.
Which he brags about.

It’s a mystery why I’m still single, doncha think?
I mean with the prime specimens I attract.

Commenters

I have some anonymous “friends.”
I love them much.
They keep me grounded with their catty comments.
Thanks guys and gals, you’re the tops. :)
Love ya, mean it.

I appreciate people who take the time to tell me how they really feel.
Even when they hate me . . . but for whatever reason, keep returning to the site.

Sounds like a problem to me.
Hate me, but keep reading me.
Interesting, interesting.

I Have a Problem

Book buying addiction.
Not weight, though thanks to the anon commenter (AKA Captain Obvious) for pointing that blight out.

This week’s purchases, thus far:

Greenland Expedition: Where Ice is Born by Lonnie Dupre
Bono: in conversation with Michka Assayas
Dear Scott, Dearest Zelda - the love letters of F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald
Ash Wednesday
by Ethan Hawke
J. Edgar Hoover: The Man and the Secrets by Curt Gentry
Blood Memory by Greg Iles

This combined with my shoe addiction (thanks go out to Gianni Bini, BCBG, Cole Hahn, Antonio Melani and Kenneth Cole for this week’s debts) makes sure that I keep working 10 to 12 hour days at least 3 times a week.

That's all, folks.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

The Complete Randomness That is Me

I have a couple of amazing "blogging friends."
And though my blog has been slowly dying for months, the friendships haven’t.
I can’t tell you how much that means to me.

It’s not that I can’t write.
I write constantly.
All kinds of things: rambling disconnected prose to funny stories about my regular irregularities to depressing monologues about hospitals and illness.
I just don’t post them.

I have no real excuses or reasons for this.
Just kind of tired of watching myself whine or opine about my days.

Because on some level, I realize, I must do these things to myself.

On the phone with a blogger the other night, I was telling one of the three CRAZY insane things that happened to me that day.
All he could keep saying was: "You have to blog that! I can never think of anything to blog and you’ve got all these stories and you never blog."

(Side note to him - I slightly paraphrased you, but I think you’ll agree that is the EXACT idea you were getting across)

It’s just downright depressing to keep seeing these insane things that happen to me:

The Tom Petty voice-mails.

The white trash guy with no shirt in a Ford Probe circa 1993 playing interstate tag with me, following me off my exit and parking directly behind me, blocking me into my spot and waiting for me to exit my vehicle - - which I didn’t do until he left.
Which prompted him to leave a lovely note full of misspellings and colorful words about what a hag I am for not talking to him when he obviously wanted a word or four.

The fraternity brother who lost his finger a few weeks ago (remember the post?) getting arrested for DWI in an apartment parking lot because his ex-girlfriend reported him for stalking.

The stalker I’ve had for almost 10 years that the police can do nothing about because he is not threatening harm.

The marriage proposal I received via snail mail letter from a man I haven’t seen since I was 16.

And the list continues.
These all have to have something to do with me, right?

But I will share this story:

Casper and I have switched up our routine.
Instead of nightly laps in the cool, refreshing pool, we’re now alternating with walking the nature trail for 3 miles.
In the 98 degree heat at 9 PM.
Yes, we’re stupid.

My brother jogs this track at the same time we walk.
He walks with us for the last mile as his cool down.

Monday night, we’re walking and let me tell you we were HAWT.
As in sweaty, nasty, 97 degrees with 100% humidity HAWT.
If I had stopped mid-stride, stripped off my T-shirt and twisted it, I assure you a gallon of water would have rained upon my feet.
Nasty.

As we’re approaching the half mile mark of our cool down, my brother says:
"Hold the MP3 player and my keys. I’m gonna sprint this next quarter mile and then walk the last quarter."
Freak.

As he starts his sprint, I look to Casper and say:
"So, yeah, I could run this. But I would hate for one of you to have to carry me back to the vehicle."
A rather attractive jogger is passing us at this point.
He looks over his shoulder and says "I’ll carry you back."
I laugh nervously and then roll my eyes at Casper.

My brother has finished his sprint and is strolling back to us, so we tell him what happened.
I then say: "I guess it’s darker than I thought. Because OBVIOUSLY if that man had seen how much weight he would be carrying back to the vehicle, he would have kept his mouth shut."
Those of you who KNOW me, know that my voice is rarely low. Even when I’m just talking with friends, my voice carries. Apparently it did so this time as well.

I’m oblivious to the fact that the man is jogging towards us.
He gets even with us, looks me in the eyes and says: "I saw. I’m still offering."

Good grief.

See what I mean about things happening to me?
But, as you can tell from the story, I evidently bring them upon myself.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Yesterday

He called me this morning.

His voice broken down by time, emotion and fear.
A shell of the man I had committed myself to.

"I'm in Little Rock. Bricky, I'm having surgery and I'm here alone. I'm alone and I'm scared."

The silence between us expanded as I thought of what I should do.
As I pictured him lying there in a sterile room.
As I raised my hand and looked at where his ring once was.
As I lowered my hand to the womb where his child once grew.

"Brittany, I need you."

My voice was cold.
My words slow, quiet and measured.

"I needed you once, too."

I heard him sob as I hit End.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Random Unedited Post About Inappropriateness

Brittany’s forays into the realm of inappropriate males continue.

Though I said the reasons for discarding C were unfathomable, there were some that could be understood.

At a certain point in life, you no longer play the age game.
You don’t ask everyone that asks you on a date "How old are you?"
You just gauge by appearance and other exterior items how age appropriate they are.
Upon first glance, C appeared to be in the mid-30 range.
Perfectly acceptable for my newfound late 20's age group.

My glance was incorrect.
So, as it seems, was his.

When we met, I was not in my usual pony-tail, scrubs, little make-up, work attire.
I was dressed to the nines with make-up and hair to match.
He checked the Early 30's age box when he saw me.

After a few dates and many phone conversations, we discovered the discrepancies.

He is 43.
I, as of last Saturday, am 26.
17 year age difference.
Hmmmmmm.

We continued seeing one another, determining that the age difference would work itself out.
Either we would discover it was too much to overcome, thus effectively ending the relationship, or we would learn that the difference didn’t matter.

Neither of us anticipated that our feelings would be at opposite ends of the spectrum.

With a combination of other factors, I determined the age difference unacceptable.
He, apparently, feels otherwise.
Because almost two weeks after telling him we should no longer see one another, I continue to receive late night musical voice-mails.
Many in Tom Petty form.

Though there is the occassional "Don’t Do Me Like That" or "Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around," his favorite seems to be the following verse from "You Got Lucky":

You put a hand on my cheek
And then you turn your eyes away
If you don’t feel complete
If I don’t take you all the way
Then go, yeah, go
But remember


Good love is hard to find
Good love is hard to find
You got lucky, babe
You got lucky, babe
When I found you

I’ve received this voice-mail three times.
The most recent was Friday night, when my friend ‘Casper’ fell off my couch laughing about it.

"Is this the same guy that left Stop Draggin My Heart Around the other day when I was over here?"
"That would be him."
"Britt, what are you doin to these guys, huh?"
"Seriously, I do nothing. I must have a tattoo across my forehead that says Freaks Apply Here."
"But he was NORMAL when I met him."
"Yeah, they all look that way in the beginning."

Casper is pushing for my acceptance of a different suitor.
Though, equally inappropriate.

My brother’s fraternity brother G.

G spent the 4th through the 9th of July at my house.
When I asked him why he was staying with me, he said it was because I had an empty queen bed in the house.
When Casper asked him, he said he was hoping a continued presence in my home would prove to me that he was not too young for me.
Ummm hmmm, not so much.

Saturday, July 8th was my 26th birthday.
Sunday, July 9th was G’s 21st birthday.
Yes, 21st.
Meaning he is now legally able to drink.
Junior in college.
Spoiled little rich boy.
But handsome.
6'4", dark hair, blue-green eyes, washboard abs.
Yummy.

G has been a reoccurring character in my life.
Until he moved back down to his parents for the summer, he was constantly at my house.
He was there to hold me and make me laugh when my heart got broken.
He was there for my near arrest on Memorial Day weekend.
He was there every afternoon for our trips to the pool.
And, until he abruptly quit his job and moved back in with his parents for the summer, he was on my couch or in my guest bed most of those nights.

He is my drinking buddy and a decent enough friend.
But he is not relationship material.
He’s a baby.
He’s younger than my brother.

The brother who separated us at our birthday gathering last weekend.

Apparently, my brother feared his friend would be unable to control himself following a night of drunkenness.

Particularly after the series of tequila shots G and I ingested at midnight: The hour when our two birthdays mingled.

My brother forced G to his own residence in the early morning hours saying: "Your drunk ass is NOT sleeping in my sister’s house tonight. I don’t trust either of you."

Harsh.
I assure you, I can be trusted around inappropriate males.
If I spent almost two months NOT sleeping with C, there’s no way I was going to give in to a 21 year old.
So, I ask you, where are the appropriately aged males?


Applications should be sent to:

Brittany M. Goodluck guessing my last name
5265 Somewhere in my Neighborhood
Conway, AR - look up the zip code

Thanks.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

The Random 7 of C

7 - weeks of courting
3 - "sleepovers"
5 - conversations about sex
0 - occurrences of the act
4 - birthday gifts returned
6 - pink roses in the trash
2 - Tom Petty voicemail messages
1 - more man discarded for unfathomable reasons

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Draining Her

(a Scheherazade Project Entry)

Her trust for him had grown
The months spent together
Sleeping in his arms
Waking to his touch
And in his absence
Still feeling him move inside her

His gift was as he asked
Every lamp burning bright
Mirrors raised all around
A tripod at the edge
A bed with crisp white sheets
Her wrists bound with silken ties

He joined her on the bed
Sliding ties around the frame
Binding her before him
Kissing her with care
He whispered for the first time
'I love you'

Her silence unexpected
He raised his gaze to hers
Her face was cold and void
Her eyes dead and vacant
Her lips moved in soundless words

He learned that she was Empty

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Or

Do you know when it happens?
Or do you look around you, seeing the faces of people you know grimacing and shadowing over, and begin to realize: I’m melting down.

Things change before you can stop them.
Before you can decide if you could or would or even should.
You find yourself at the center of things.
Faces and objects revolving around you.

Spinning so quickly that you know if you only reached out, tried to grab one, to see it’s shape instead of a blur, you couldn’t withdraw, you would be swept inside or lose your arm resisting.

You start to question.
Are these things revolving or am I?

Curling centrally, rotating so quickly, dizzying, spellbinding, screaming, but the words won’t be heard because the whoosh you're creating overtakes them.

Don’t stop or you’ll be sick.

Don’t stop or you’ll be sick.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

A Boring Day In the Life

Whomever left the comment below about my absence being secondary to the addition of a new man in my life must have been male.
Only males think that a woman’s world stops because he enters her life.
I assure you, there is no new man.

My life has been turned inside out, upside down and sideways lately.
Work has compounded, once again.
The beginning of the summer months always brings with it an onslaught of social requirements, not to mention re-certification and licensing seminars/conferences.
And my health, per usual, has not been cooperating with my needs.
What are the chances?
But to give you an idea of the schedule of the last weekend/early week:

Friday:
4:00 AM to 7:45 AM - Emergency hospital trip.
8:00 AM to 10:00 AM - Off and on attempts to sleep off the effects of the hospital trip while fielding phone calls, faxes and emails questioning my absence from work and replacement therapists.
10:00 AM - purchase of concert tickets.
10:30 AM - brother bursts into the house to procure concert tickets and will not leave until I agree to shower, dress and accompany him on a shopping expedition/ lunch outting.
4:00 PM - return home.
5:00 PM - leave for a Girl’s Night Out.
5:30 PM - Midnight - Dinner, movie, etc with females. Somehow the dinner turns into a "Men are dogs, especially my husband/fiancee/boyfriend" whine session. Since I have no husband, fiancee or boyfriend, I can only lend a sympathetic ear and caustic comments.
Midnight - 3:00 AM - read "The Great Influenza" and watch "The Lion in Winter" because I can’t sleep due to the pain in my back.

Saturday:
8:00 AM to 11:00 AM - Business conference.
11:30 AM to 6:30 PM - cliff jumping, diving, swimming, boating, etc at the lake with friends - ill advised, I know, but I wanted to swim, durnit. I wanted to dive. I wanted to hurl myself off a cliff. I wanted to pretend for a few hours that I was normal. Sue me.
8:00 PM to 2:00 AM - Stephen’s medical school graduation festivities and subsequent celebration.

Sunday:
5:12 AM to 8:30 AM - Emergency hospital trip. I love it when they know your name when you walk in the door. Wonderful. Shouldn’t I get a discount with this much regularity?
9:00 AM - Church with Jeff and Ashley.
12:30 PM - house cleaning, laundry, etc.
3:00 PM - trip to Lowe’s with my brother where his friends pimped me out to one of their co-workers. Despite my extreme argument against such activities, not to mention my complete non-cooperation. Now, a 32-yr old Lowe’s employee thinks I may acquiesce to a date. Ummm . . my interests lie elsewhere - in fact, much further elsewhere. But a big "Thanks" to Burkes and Gabe for making my already convoluted love life more complicated. You guys are wonderful. I mean it. I should bake you cookies. Punks.
4:30 PM - landscaping, anchoring trees, spreading mulch, washing vehicles, other outside activities.
8:00 PM - get kidnaped by Gabe and Burkes to my brother’s house where the boys are cooking out, drinking beer and discussing how they are going to get the 32 yr old Lowe’s employee to buy them alcohol for setting him up with me. Lord save me. Please. Really. They do realize that when he calls and I don’t answer the phone, they won’t be getting any reward - right???
1:00 AM - return home, converse with a friend until 2:30 AM because I can’t sleep. Pain has become rather excruciating, yet I refuse to go to the hospital . . . again.

Monday:
3:48 AM - give up, drive myself to the hospital. When they still haven’t released me by 8:00 AM, I surreptitiously use my new Blackberry and stealthily hidden cell phone to convince friends and relatives that I’m at work (and co-workers that I took a personal day to go to the lake) so that no one will worry.
11:00 AM - released. Home. Lie around, wait on the stupid pain pills to wear off so I’m not a zombie bride.
2:00 PM - begin to get ready for Stephen’s going away party.
3:00 PM - go to save my brother. Gabe has text mailed me that brudder is at Lowe’s and can’t find his truck keys. Find out it’s all a ruse to let Kevin see me dolled up for a night out (as opposed to pony-tailed, no make-up, in athletic capris, sports bra and a t-shirt to perform landscaping duties). Blame Hydrocodone and Skelaxin for convincing me to believe such an obvious lie to begin with. Cunning fraternity boys.
4:30 PM - arrive at Stephen’s, cry a lot because my best friend of 8 years is moving 13 hours away, repair damaged makeup and travel to the going away party while planning ways to move to Cleveland without anyone but Stephen noticing. Ummm, right.
6:30 - 9:30 PM - Going away party - where I come to terms with the fact that Stephen really is going to leave me. He really, really is. And for the last time at a social occasion in Arkansas, pretend to be my gay best friend’s girlfriend . . . since there are STILL only a handful of people who know he is gay. (And his young adult church group isn’t included in that handful. Neither are his parents.)
9:30 - 10:00 PM - cry uncontrollably while driving home because I have had no sleep, my best friend’s leaving and life seems to stink pretty much in general. Plus, I don’t want to retake the licensing exam and the Praxis to become certified to perform therapy in Ohio - at least not right now. So much for moving.
10:00 PM - arrive at my brother’s to be comforted by him and Burkes, instead get random hugs, awkward boy moments of "What do we do with the crying girl?? Ummm . . hurry, get her a beer. Uh, she can’t have beer, umm, put a puppy in her arms." and finally start to laugh until I can not breathe when Burkes decides the only way to cheer me up is to put on really loud rap music and dance around me like a crazed lunatic. Sometime during all this I manage to semi-lie to a man via phone. So as not to make him worry. Is it worse to hide problems from someone who can’t change them, or just dump them all on him and hope he will not worry?? Hide. Hide. Hide.
11:30 PM - arrive home and converse with a friend because I, again, can not sleep.

Tuesday:
2:30 AM - finally fall to sleep.
4:30 AM - alarm goes off for work.
6:00 AM - 2:00 PM - work. The day is cut short when I discover my afternoon appointments at one particular center have been cancelled, without my knowledge, for an impromptu field trip to the zoo. Monday off and an 8-hr day on Tuesday?? Has Hell frozen over??
2:30 PM - meet brother in Little Rock to return half the things he purchased on his shopping trip Friday.
5:00 PM - can no longer ignore the fact that I’ve urinated blood throughout the day and break down to go to the hospital. Again. To pee in a jug, as per instructions received at LAST hospital visit.
7:00 PM - dinner meeting with therapists which turns into a 3 hour bitch session fueled by alcohol. None of which I can/should/do drink.
10:00 PM - arrive at my brother’s house to drop off presents purchased for him . . just because he’s my brudder. Drive brudder, Gabe and Burkes crazy because I’m delirious from no sleep combined with narcotics and think it’s hilarious to wander around, a la "The Little Rascals" singing: I’ve got two pickles, I’ve got two pickles, I’ve got two pickles, hey hey hey hey. I have NO idea why this popped into my head, why I thought it hilarious to repeat it over and over or why they laughed so hard at it forever before finally going "Seriously, it was funny the first twenty times, now you just sound crazy." They leave for a night of debauchery - inviting me along, I politely refuse, knowing that if I were to go . . . it would lead to badness.
11:00 PM - home, again. Can’t sleep, again. Converse with friend until 2:00 AM, again. Cycle repeats.

Interesting life, yes?
See, no new man.
Just drug induced delirium, insomnia, lies by omission and general busy-ness.
With some "Little Rascals" thrown in for fun.
Nothing particularly blog worthy - hence the hiatus.
But look at me, bowing to peer pressure and blogging NOTHING of any import.