I've misplaced my ability to sleep. I know it's here somewhere, buried under the downy comfort of new bedding or hiding patiently under the two feather pillows and two firm cotton ones, all four of which I need to sleep. I just can't find it.
When I do find something that comforts or calms my mind enough to allow me a brief respite into sleep, I dream disturbing things that tend to revolve around sports figures. Thus far, I've dreamt of Wallace Gilberry, Donovan McNabb, Darren McFadden, Matt Jones and Michael Vick. With the exceptions of Matt and Darren, they were all in completely separate dreams. Let me tell you, nothing is more disturbing than Donovan McNabb in drag running down the interstate and preventing you from passing him.
I've decided the entire process of sleeping is unnecessary and useless in my case. I'll just be that girl with the bags under her eyes and the slurred speech from here on out.
That combination should land me a husband right quick.
A few weeks ago, I received this e-mail (subject line: Memories) from an old ex:
In church today someone was wearing Ralph Lauren's Safari perfume. I couldn't help but think of you. I miss you sometimes. Just thought you'd like to know.
The truth was, I couldn't care less. I know that sounds harsh and unfeeling, but today is very different from yesterday and the memory of him fails to stir more than a few good times and a relief that I've moved on to better things.
It did make me think, though, and I caught on to an odd personality trait. Every. Single. Time. that I've changed relationships, I've changed perfumes. I'm sure it wasn't a conscious decision, or I wouldn't have been so taken aback by the realization. I just think that, like *Allen*, I began to associate the scent with the relationship and moved on when they did.
It's still an odd realization, though and I'm not eager to have any more relationship-related-self-discoveries anytime soon.
First of all, let me start by saying: FIRE HOUSTON NUTT! Ahhhhh, I feel better.
Then I shall say: John Madden actually said something funny when he said (paraphrased, of course) - "Even Rex Grossman has to be getting to the point where he's boo-ing himself." Oh, oh dear, that brought me near tears. So true. So true. Rex, buddy, you've had a . . uh . . hmmm . . well, you've had a run. Time to call it quits for the good of your team. If this goes on much longer, I wouldn't put it past Urlacher to kill you, bury you and recruit Michael Vick from prison. Anyone is better than you.
And, now, I shall ask: What are those green dots in the middle of all the NFL quarterbacks helmets? Just the quarterbacks. Just in the NFL. But they all have them. I'm intriqued. Befuzzled. Baffled.
Yes, I realize that everyone else on the planet probably knows the answer to the last question and Yes, I have my own guesses about what it indicates, but I prefer to be ACCURATELY informed by a knowledgeable second party.
And mine is blood pumping, chest-shaking, mind-numbingly loud music at least once a day. Seeing as I played therapist to a friend tonight while walking the track, my typical iPod-blow-out-your-eardrums workout was forgone.
This gave me a prime opportunity to try out my new subwoofer. Have I mentioned how much I love my mother for everything she does for me . . but the dirt cheap, best in the world speakers help put her a notch or 9 above all other mothers.
Thus far, I've broken a lamp, a vase, two bottles of wine and have shaken the majority of cans from my kitchen cabinets. I'm sure my neighbors lu-lu-luv me.
My mother had few what I would call prize possessions. Things never meant much to her, just people. But sometimes, things can remind you of people and you end up cherishing the things as much as the memories they evoke.
My mother had every single Johnny Mathis record every released. She'd received them all at once as a Christmas present from a boyfriend who knew how much she loved his voice. Those albums were her release from bad days, stressful nights and, sometimes, annoying children. I knew how much they meant to her, but I was too young - or too stupid - to care.
When mom left town, I'd occassionally use her records as frisbees. I don't know why. Who can explain the actions of young children? It just seemed like the thing to do. I never reached for the Jethro Tull records or the Wham! albums, no-no, I always went straight for the Johnny Mathis ones.
It was all well and good until one night, my mother had had a horrendous day. Work was Hell, a friend of hers had died and my father was . . less than sympathetic. She went to her old stand-by: Johnny.
The first record she put on just happened to be an original recording of a live performance. VERY rare, to say the least. I still don't know how Larry found that one. But he did, and it was my mom's favorite. I didn't pay much attention until the album started skipping.
Mom leapt from the recliner and raced to the record player with a speed that would have impressed Jackie Joyner-Kersey. She gently pulled the needle from the grooves and inspected the oft abused album. The racket I heard coming from my mother was a million times worse than the skipping and screeching of the record player just moments before. I thought the roof was going to come down on top of us.
She threw herself to the floor and wailed for what seemed like hours, though I know it couldn't have been more than a few minutes. My heart was torn from my chest. I was despondent over what I had done. The honest parts of me were dying to confess, but the more practical side realized that I couldn't. In her state of mind, homicide was a very real possibility. So, instead, I ran to my room, hid in my closet and cried my little eyes out.
Many years later, during a weekend home from college, we were cleaning out closets and stumbled across her Johnny Mathis collection. The six-year old still inside me couldn't take the guilt of what I'd done one second longer. I stutteringly confessed to using her records as frisbees all those years ago.
Expecting a tongue lashing, and possibly a slap across the face, I closed my eyes tight and waited for her anger. But it never came. Instead, I heard a small giggle that soon turned into a deep belly laugh. "Oh, baby, that's too funny. You know, I used to use my mom's 45s as frisbees whenever she wasn't at home. What is it about a record that just makes you want to launch it across a room?"
You have to have a license to drive a vehicle, but any idiot with working parts can have a child. This has to be stopped. I think you should have to have a license to bear children.
How do you obtain this license?
1 - You take a minimum of three parenting classes and pass them.
2 - You pass an IQ test. I'm not saying you have to be a genius, or even of "normal level" intelligence to have children. I'm saying you have to show that you have enough intelligence to be able to take care of another human being and make the daily decisions that a parent has to make for their child.
3 - You show check stubs indicating you have a job. It's a sad but true fact that the world operates on money. If you don't have enough to clothe and feed a child, you just can't have one. It's that simple.
4 - You show that you have a clean and suitable household. Babies will put anything in their mouths. So if you're the kind of person that throws things on the floor or has indoor pets who use your carpet as a toilet, etc. a child crawling around doesn't seem like the best idea - now does it?
There are more, but these are the most important of the requirements. I, also, have a perfect demonstration of why these should be implemented:
Last week one of the classroom teachers at my new center got a new truck. It was early morning and she only had one kid in the class at the time, so we snatched him up and walked outside with him so she could show me the vehicle. We'll call this particular 4 year old Alan.
Alan has a baby sister - approximately 9 months old. Note: All of these children have some form of problem that allows them to be at the center. All the children receive at least one therapy and have a minimum of THREE diagnoses. Most have far more than the three required. We'll call the sister Molly.
Alan, his teacher and I are walking back into the building when another therapist approached us carrying Molly. Alan points to her and says: "Hey! There's shit rocket!"
His teacher stops dead in her tracks, as do I. "Alan, what did you say?" We're certain we must have misheard him. "There's shit rocket." His teacher still has a look of disbelief on her face so he repeats, "That's shit rocket." Shaken from her stupor by his third repetition of the term she says, "Alan! Where did you hear that???" and he calmly answers, "That's what my mom calls her."
Today, he came in with his jeans on backwards and no shoes. It's less than comforting to think that this woman has three children.
Well, here we go again, I'm going to attempt another 30 days straight of blogging. We'll see what crap manifests itself here.
For the first week, you'll get a political platform. One idea per day. Enjoy and understand that most of this is very tongue in cheek.
First up: The Legalization of All Drugs
Anyone who has ever wanted drugs has been able to obtain them. And, let's face it, if these idiots want to kill themselves, we'll let them. It will be a form of population control while also serving as a survival-of-the-fittest, weeding-out-the-rubbish kinda thing. PLUS, a few other benefits - as explained below.
So, here's what we do: Manufacture all the drugs and package them with umpteen warning labels informing them of all possible and probable side effects, thus preventing any form of litigation . .. if only those poor bastards at the tobacco companies had done this. We then distribute them to the stores and tax the buddha out of them. I'm thinking 50% sounds like a good number, but if we wanna really stick it to 'em, we can always do 75%. This should allow us to eliminate all property taxes immediately and, over time, income taxes.
Yes, we will probably lose some to shop-lifting (though, this can be minimized by locking them up as we do the cigarettes and, heavens save us, the Tylenol Sinus) and to general theft, but the high tax rate should cover these losses as well.
See, it's all planned out. I don't see why this can't work! Please, if you have some ideas of why it wouldn't or couldn't, let me know and we can discuss them. I look forward to trouble-shooting this master plan.
Regardless of how it may seem on my blog, I actually display loads of patience in real life. Notice I said display, that's not to imply that I have a lot of patience, I don't. But I keep my internal lack of patience . . well, internal.
I received this in an email from a friend this evening:
. . . so now the new house is chalk full of boxes of crap that I need to throw away but can't. It turns out I'm a packrat.
I read that portion three times and each time I sighed, rolled my eyes and thought "I never would have believed it, but she's probably one of these people that thinks they put their clothes in a Chester Drawers."
Pet Peeve #372: People who use phrases they don't know the meanings or origins of, nor the spelling of.
Chock or Chuck (if you're in less formal areas) Full is derived from Choke-full: meaning something or someone was full to the point of choking. Over the centuries it has evolved to Chock-full or Choke-full.
But Chalk full?? That doesn't even make sense. Unless you're talking about an eraser. Or possibly a resin bag. I have no patience for this level of stupidity.
It's too damn hot to wear clothing. The only reason I haven't been fired for nudity at work is because we have an industrial sized air conditioning unit that works sooooo well that one of the Occupational Therapists actually put on a sweater today. A sweater!
However, as of Thursday morning, I won't be at work for a while. I'm taking a tiny, itsy bitsy, mini-vacation. Hooray for me! I haven't had one in a year. And that one was also a mini-vacation, but hey, I'm not begging for someone to send me free tickets for a cruise ship to Alaska. No, that wasn't a subtle hint for someone to take pity on me and send me free tickets. I promise, it wasn't. But, if it was, send two. I'd like to take the boyfriend. He's expressed some interest in the cold state, as well.
Back on track. So, I'm leaving Thursday morning for a mini-vacation. And, being the OCD Queen that I am, I'm starting to pack now. Actually, physically, pack. I've been mentally packing for a coupla weeks.
However, leafing through my jampacked closet, I've discovered nothing is cool enough for the 120 degree heat indices that this Hell I live in is currently putting us through. No tube top is skimpy enough, no camisole thin enough, no skirt short enough. Plus, I don't wanna walk around like some hoochie mama.
So, I've decided I'm not packing. I'm just going to be naked for five days. With the right hairstyling and perfect makeup - not to mention killer shoes - I can pull the look off and few people should even notice that my unmentionables are bared for all to appreciate. I might wear a piece of costume jewelry or two. Just for conversation pieces. Ya know, for those women that like to come up to you and say: "I love your insert article of clothing, jewlery, shoes, pursehere. Where'd you find it??"
Naked is far classier than some skimpy camisole and skirt up to your hind parts. And it gives you much less to lug into a hotel room.
My mother, God love her, is the human resources director for a multi-national speaker company which shall remain nameless to protect the innocent . . and my anonymity. As a human resources director, she's subjected to a great deal of ignorance. This happened rather recently and I just had to share.
At 8:30 A.M. on a Friday morning, one of the plant supervisors calls my mother to inform her that they now have proof that an employee they'd suspected of stealing was indeed taking things that didn't belong to him. In this particular instance, it was a Tweeter.
My mother calls the supervisor and the employee in question into her office and informs said employee that he is being terminated due to the theft of the Tweeter. Strangely enough, the employee doesn't make too much of a fuss. He simply accompanies the supervisor back to his workstation, gathers his belongings and leaves the premises.
Wouldn't it be grand if that were the end of the story?
At 9:00 P.M. that night the terminated employee calls his supervisor at home and demands his job back. I have to use his exact words (and pardon my attempt at his dialect, as well), because it's the only way that the true humor of the situation may be captured:
"I ain't gwanbe fired no mo'. Ima gwana sue all you 'less you give me my job back. I's wrongfully ter'nated."
The supervisor informs him that he was caught - on video, no less - stealing a Tweeter from the plant. The accused comes back with:
"I ain't steal no damn Tweeter. I stole a Woofer. I been wrongfully ter'nated. I didun steal whatchu said I did."
Oh, sorry dude. Our bad. That's a horse of another color. Please, PLEASE, come back to work. We'll see you on Monday morning at 8:00. So sorry for the inconvenience. We'll put a little bonus on next week's check to make up for our grave error.
I once thought I was in love with this intelligent, attractive, perfect-but-not-quite, guy. He said and did all the right things. Kinda.
He would take off work early, just to beat you home. He'd stop by the florist's to get you flowers . . . but they would be something like carnations. He'd put one of your favorite, slow, calming CDs on . . . but just a little too loud. He'd light dozens of candles in the tub, on the sink, in the bedroom . . . but they would be a scent that makes you sick; like vanilla. He'd wait until five minutes before you were set to be home and run you a deep, relaxing bubble bath . . . but somehow the water was always cold. He'd cook you your favorite meal . . . but the best parts always ended up burning. He would make love to you passionately . . . but always stop just before you climaxed. He would rise quietly and ready himself for work .. . but then he'd slam the door.
If it was truly the thought that counts, this was your man. But after a while, the thought grows old and it's the actions that matter.
I spent our last night at his place. I put on his favorite CD, but just a little too softly to hear. I cooked his favorite dinner, but burned his favorite dessert. I took a long, steamy shower, but made sure to use all the hot water. I teased him passionately, then fell asleep before he made it to bed. I silently readied myself and packed my bags, but I made sure the taxi knew to honk loudly when it reached the house. I flew to my convention and stayed there for a week, but I never took his calls.
Do you ever read someone else's blog entry - or even mine - and think, wow, I have absolutely nothing positive to say here. I don't want them to think that no one is reading their blog, but at the same time I think it's rude and downright uncouth to leave critical or meanspirited comments on someone else's blog. It's their blog. They should be able to say whatever they want. No matter how longwinded, misspelled or flat-out ignorant.
I did contemplate leaving this on someone's blog the other day: "Wow. Congratulations. You've said less in more words than anyone I've ever known. Way to use the dictionary!"
I decided that would seem bitchy so I just failed to leave a comment at all. I think that was best.
He looked ridiculous and cocky; as incredulous as that sounds, in his pale blue Oxford shirt with it's cuffs rolled tightly to the elbow. They appeared to be holding on for dear life, choking the blood supply there and swelling his forearms into great purple eggplants that I had an odd urge to slice and serve up, parmigiana style.
His Ray Ban aviators, relics of the seventies, no doubt, were perched precariously on a shellaced bed of white hair and I could almost hear him speaking to his reflection in the morning: "You're a silver fox. You've got some miles on you, but ladies love an experienced man. These aviators, they're the ticket. They're the glue that holds this ensemble together. There. Now they're perfectly placed atop my head. I can't slide them down over my eyes or it will ruin the look. I'll squint in the sunlight, but I'll look cool. This is it. The pinnacle of fashion. I'm ready." He would then glide out the door to his convertible . . .whatever. Porshe, BMW, Mercedes. Something foreign. No Mustangs for the Silver Fox. Something expensive that subtley screams Mide-Life Crisis.
His plaid pants of hunter green and navy blue clashed horridly with his shiny black loafers and George Hamilton tanned ankles. They didn't do much for the shirt either. But they hung perfectly with a crease the military would envy tracing his leg from thigh to foot. He walked with purpose and determination. An important man with places to be and people to ignore. I was surprised when he eased himself into the uncomfortable chair beside me and threw out a cheap line meant to amuse, or perhaps enthrall: "So . . . .come here often?" I sighed loudly as I rolled my eyes heavenward. This was going to be the longest oil change of my life.
I could feel myself choking and I was certain it was the scrubs that I wear day in and day out so I tore them from my body and threw on the roomiest pajamas I own . . . but the air around me still wouldn't fill my lungs. That's when I noticed the walls. They were closing in on me.
Slowly they were creeping inwards as the ceiling descended and the floor rose. Needing to escape, I set a determined pace and walked to the nearest exit.
But once outside, the open spaces made me want to fold in on myself, crumpling to the ground and shrinking until I was as small as a seed that could burrow into the dry summer earth.
In my mind was an inane picture of Spring's rains soaking the soil, touching my seed, breaking me open and, come April, the land would yield a brand new me.
I do not forward emails. I rarely read forwards unless they're from a very trusted source that I am certain knows my sense of humor or political ideals and would not send me something that would waste my time. Much like the YouTube posting below, this crossed my inbox today and I felt the need to share:
Like a lot of folks in this state I have a job. I work, they pay me. I pay my taxes and the government distributes my taxes as it sees fit.
In order to get that paycheck, I am required to pass a random urine test, with which I have no problem. What I do have a problem with is the distribution of my taxes to people who don't have to pass a urine test. Shouldn't one have to pass a urine test to get a welfare check because I have to pass one to earn it for them??
Please understand, I have no problem with helping people get back on their feet. I do, on the other hand, have a problem with helping someone sitting on their ass.
Could you imagine how much money the state would save if people had to pass a urine test to get a public assistance check?????
The other afternoon at my neighborhood’s pool, I watched a friend’s daughter twisting and turning underwater with her legs seemingly welded together. When Micayla surfaced I shouted to her, "Whatcha doin?!?" She smiled coyly and answered, "I’m a mermaid, Ms. Meghan. See my tail?" and promptly threw her upper body back into the water flicking her conjoined feet to the surface. She played like this for well over an hour. All alone in the deep end, lost in her own thoughts. When Rebecca pulled her from the water, Micayla kept her legs together and waddled precariously to her deck chair beside my own. "Ah, I see you’re still a mermaid." She grinned slyly and said, "Well, yeah. You don’t stop being a mermaid. You’re born like that." Looking in her eyes, you could almost see her belief in that statement.
It made me wonder when we lose the ability to become lost in a belief such as that. I can remember laying in the grass for hours, seeing the clouds over my head not as the foreshadowing of rain to come, but as rabbits and castles and clowns. Now, I just see clouds. When did I become so disillusioned?
The only irrational belief I still hold is the one of True Love. And part of me questions if, in time, that too will go.
When the world around us contradicts our beliefs at every turn. When every dream we held proves a failure or a failed initiative. When the love we've held from the beginning never forms in our partners eyes. It becomes harder and harder to hold hope when every corner we turn shows us that the hope is wasted.
But, every once in a while, we’re lucky enough to find a mermaid to renew our hopes and beliefs.
I had you in my head yesterday. I could feel you there, wandering around. Picking up the knick-knacks that were strewn about. Casually inspecting them for signs of who I am. Determining what is real and what has been placed there to throw you off course. You discarded items at will. Deciding they couldn’t be indicative of the person you think you know. You couldn’t have been more wrong, but I let you think that you were clever. "How sly of you to recognize those small, glaring untruths! I’m impressed with your sleuthing." my smile seemed to say. If only you knew that what you threw away so easily were the things defined me the most.
And you thought they were there to make you feel sorry for me.
Friday afternoon I was treating one of my fav-o-right kiddos. He’s 5 years old and the most beautiful boy you’ve ever seen. He has eyelashes and porcelain skin that all women would kill for. He’s the kind of kid you look at and know he’s going to break hearts when he’s older.
Unfortunately, he’s also one of my most severe children. He suffered severe brain injury (frontal lobe) directly after birth. He has no impulse control, frequent seizures, Autism, an unusual form of Tourrettes with ticks and vocal outbursts and on top of all of this, he was born profoundly deaf. He’s had a cochlear implant, but only recently has it aided him enough to enable some sounds to get through.
It’s not unusual to see him in a foam helmet, for his own protection, because when he’s angry (which is frequent) he’ll bash his head against any surface available to him. If he wants to leave a room and can’t get out, he’ll bash his head repeatedly against the doorknob. If he’s locked in his restraining chair and wants something you won’t give him, he’ll bash his head into the tray. If he wants outside, he’ll bash his head against a window. You get the idea.
Poor *Greyson spends a great deal of his day locked in that chair. Mostly because he’s a danger to the other kids and his two classroom teachers have 11 other children with severe disabilities in the room. They don’t have the time, patience or resources to be one-on-one with him at all times - which is what is necessary. He is into absolutely everything before you can blink. Especially if it’s mechanical or a form of plant or flower.
*Sarah, one of his classroom teachers, had received flowers from her husband Friday for her birthday. *Greyson saw them delivered and immediately started pointing at them and signing "want". Knowing he would destroy them, we placed them on a high shelf and signed "No. Not yours. Teacher’s." He may not understand all of it, but the word "No" is well known to him. He got angry for a bit, but then calmed.
Since I was one-on-one with him, and because I can’t stand to see him in that chair, I had unlocked him from his chair and we were venturing around the room pointing to objects as I was signing and saying their names and trying to get him to mimic me. We got within sight range of the flowers and he started pointing and grunting. I signed "No" and began to pull him away to another section of the room. He lashed out and began flailing and screaming. I knew I had to get him back into his restraining chair before he harmed one of the other children, but he was refusing to walk. I lifted him in front of me and he instinctively wrapped his legs around my waist. But now, he was on level with the flowers and began pointing with a renewed vigor. I took one hand from under him and signed "No."
Needless to say, that wasn’t what he wanted to see. He began bashing his forehead into my own. I quickly shifted him to my hip, but he did not stop slamming his head into me - I’d only succeeded in directing the hits to my temple and cheek. But, I couldn’t put him down until I reached the chair - to which I traveled as quickly as possible.
I felt the headache forming before I even had the strap around his waist or the tray locked onto the chair. What I didn’t anticipate was the bruise it would leave. The left side of my face looks like my boyfriend used it as a punching bag. I’m black, purple and green from upper temple to the bottom of my cheek bone. In other words, I’m HAWT!
It wasn’t *Greyson’s fault. He was confused, upset and lacks impulse control of any kind. It was my own fault for not having a better plan of action and not having placed him in his helmet the moment the flowers were delivered and he was denied them. When he sees something he wants, even if he seems to forget about it for a bit, he continues to go after it. I like to think I’ve learned my lesson in that respect. I treated him with a newfound respect this afternoon and always had his helmet close at hand. I prefer not to injure either of us like that again.
I can't really form coherent, flowing thoughts at the moment. They're mostly random flashes. So, I'm afraid you'll be subjected to them.
I'm pissed. Neither the damn maid nor the electrician never showed Friday. My calls went unanswered. She finally answered today and claimed to have come down with the flu and swore she would be here this afternoon to clean and let the electrician in. She even called to make certain that it would be okay for them to be here after I'd gotten off work and was here, too. I assured them it was fine. And yet . . NO ONE EVER SHOWED UP.
I'm ecstatic. One of my therapy kids has made great strides in the last three weeks. His new aid for his cochlear implant seems to be functioning much better than the last. He's said three words (he was previously completely non-verbal) and has learned a handful of new signs.
I'm sad. My Kady puppy has been "visiting" my parents for a while and has picked up a ton of bad habits from my dad's ignorant dog Maddox. She was the most well-behaved, sweetest puppy on Earth. She wouldn't jump on you and she would always come when called. Now she leaps on you the entire time you're near her and wanders off on walks. Re-training her is going to be a long process. I can tell.
I'm confused. Men make very little sense to me. While chatting with a male friend about football, it would often take him 3-5 minutes to respond to an IM. That's fine. No big deal. Whatev. Though, not a conscious decision, I think part of me wanted to show him what it was like: So I went to the kitchen to get a drink in the middle of our chat. I was gone maybe 3 minutes, max. I come back to a bevy of "Meghan?", "Are you there?" and "I'm leaving in 5, 4, 3 . . " messages. Yet, when I bring it to his attention that I STILL answered faster than he answers MOST of my messages, he couldn't believe me. Thank God for timestamps. Men are a little clueless sometimes.
I'm enamored. I'm completely in love with two of my therapy children. A little girl - 13 months old and a little boy - 15 months. I never want to take them back to class after I've seen them. And I think they feel the same since any time I walk into either of their classrooms they attack me at the door and won't let go. I may just have to kidnap them.
I'm lethargic. The many hours of sleeping this weekend have left me drained and useless. I pulled a 9 hour work-day which NEVER bothers me, but today I feel like I was run over by a train. I'm not sure I can move from the couch to my bed. I may have to sleep here and hope my internal alarm wakes me in time for work.
I'm eager. My summer is almost over, yet hasn't really started. I have two trips coming up, at least. Both of which are still in the pre-planning stages. But, both of which WILL happen come Hades or high water. I'm going to the beach and I'm going on my annual girls' weekend out trip. Damnit.
I've been rather under the weather lately. Now, one could ask "Who get's sick in the summer?" Well, not me. I managed to sustain what I was worried was a concussion, but thankfully was just a blow hard enough to leave me deeply bruised and has brought upon me a migraine that rivals all others. Out of the last 72 hours, I've slept at least 60.
Which explains the complete lack of a blog entry. Stay tuned. Your regularly scheduled drivel will return soon. Most likely - tomorrow.
You would think that after four weeks, one would grow accustomed to having no ceiling fan in the bedroom. You would be wrong. It is still stiflingly hot and I've been counting the seconds until the maid service was to have an electrician install the new fan. Today was the day. Or, it was supposed to be.
In theory - the electrician was supposed to arrive at 10 this morning, in conjunction with the maid, to install the ceiling fan while the service was cleaning.
In reality - neither the electrician NOR the maid showed up and no one felt it pertinent to contact me. I had a less than stellar day at work and was greatly looking forward to coming home to a clean, brand-new-fan-having house. Instead, I walked in to find stagnant air and dusty surfaces. Woe is me. I call the service and discover my maid is sick, the electrician had to postpone until Friday and no one notified me because . . . well, I still haven't worked that out in my mind. I only know that no one contacted me and no one offered any explanations when I called. They just assured me that Friday morning my new fan will be installed and my house will be spic-and-span. And, because of my inconvenience, it will all be free.
I'm abashed to admit that until Friday, I'd never played a round of miniature golf. Yes, it's true. 27 years old and I had never set foot on a putt-putt course.
I've done a great many things that others will never do. Some won't even think to do them. But there are a few things I haven't done that might surprise you:
1 - I've never driven or ridden in a Go Kart. 2 - I've never seen a Star Wars, Star Trek or James Bond film. 3 - I've never paid rent. 4 - I've never changed a flat tire . . even though I've had a LOT of them. 5 - I've never mowed (is it mown or mowed?) the lawn at my house. 6 - I've never enjoyed a Jim Carey movie.
Okay, so we've moved from shocking to downright absurd. I'm sure there are a host of other things I've never done in my life that would shock you more than my dislike of all things Jim Carey . . . but I'm currently at a loss. Settle for what you've got. I'm sure I'll add a few in the comments section.
Is it football season, yet? I’m wasting away in this off-season of nothing to do.
Baseball is only fun if you’re there - and it’s too damn hot to be there. I’ll admit to having attended a Roller Derby, which rocked, but it made me want to be part of the action . . .and thanks to crappy self-employed medical insurance, that foray of fun can be eliminated from the list of possibilities. Though, I admit to being intrigued by another, related, option: Cassie’s cohorts in Roller Derby Crime have asked me to consider coaching the team. Oooh, telling everyone else what to do while I stand safely out of harm’s way?? Sounds tempting to me.
But there is no substitute for football. My mainstay. My love. Oh dear Lord, I miss football. I can see I’m going to have to break down and attend an Arena game. It’s not REAL football, but it will have to do. For now.
The scourge of the South and the bain of my existence are the fashion offerings down here come mid-to-late-July.
I went shopping last Friday hoping to find cute camisoles, flirty skirts, short-sleeved baby-doll dresses and strappy sandals. I rarely get the urge to shop, seeing as how I loathe the activity to my very core, but when the desire strikes - it's best to move fast. So I flitted from store to store in what was later deemed a very vain attempt to jazz up my summer wardrobe.
In every store I entered were huge signs proclaiming "Clearance!" and "50% Off!" and "Biggest Sale of the Year!" Well, YIPPEE! I thought. If I have this unlikely urge to shop, at least I can catch things on sale! What's better than a sale?
Unfortunately, it didn't dawn on me until much later what this would mean: All summer clothing items are now non-existent in the South. If, by some miracle of fashion, you are a size 2 or a size 22, you can procure hordes of cute summer clothes at low-low get-'em-while-they're-hot prices. However, if you fall anywhere between the two sizes . . well, you're relagated to the full price FALL items. Which wouldn't be so bad . . . if the South had a Fall.
There are two seasons in the Deep South: Hot as Hades Summer and Still Hot but Bearable Summer. If you doubt me, I can probably find pictures to post of myself in short sleeved attire in front of the Christmas tree.
The fashion moguls who supply the Southern stores with their wares have yet to discover the above fact. I spent hours flicking through rack after rack of kicky jackets and jaunty sweaters. Jackets and sweaters. In near-August. In the South. And, ha ha!, most of them were made of some form of wool-blend.
Disheartened, I realized I would have to stick with the summer wardrobe I'd already attained. Sad, I know. Hopefully, some buyer for Dillard's will run across this post and realize that Summer attire will always be needed in stock in the South. However, I know how unlikely that is.
Recently, an acquaintance committed suicide and I use the term acquaintance as loosely as possible since I'd met the man a sum total of twice. But regardless of the depth of our relationship, his suicide affected me greatly.
Cradling a baby at work, slowly and cautiously working on his oral motor goals, I overheard the classroom teachers talking:
"Did you know that *Ethan committed suicide last night?"
"Where'd you hear that?"
"Jenny told me."
"Jenny'd know seeing as *Ethan's her cousin."
"Yeah. Well he did it right in front of his momma and his girlfriend. You knew they'd moved in with his momma, right? After they'd gotten evicted from that apartment."
"He did it in front of them?"
"Yeah. Just up and pulled the gun outta the couch cushions and stuck it to his head and he was gone."
"Who keeps a gun in their couch cushions?"
"Ain't that kinda beside the point." "I was just wondering."
"Well, I think suicide's gotta be the most selfish thing a person can do. They're not thinkin bout nobody but themselves."
Suddenly I was in 7th grade again. My mother was telling me how Jennifer had hung herself with a pink and purple jump rope and left a note that simply said, "I've always hated jump ropes."
I remember thinking about how tortured she'd always seemed. And how unhappy. No 7th grader - no child of any age - should have that much pain in their eyes. Part of me felt relieved for her. That she didn't have to feel those things anymore. I don't think it occurred to me to think about how it affected the other people in her life.
Funny that 15 years later, that thought should finally occur.
I'm completely addicted to OneRepublic. I've been searching online and doing everything I can to feed the addiction since I can't find their CD anywhere around here.
Apologize floats through my mind all day. And, odd for me, I actually like the remix - though I still prefer the original.
If anyone feels like making a wild gesture of adoration, feel free to email me for an address to send this CD to. Typically, I'm a very private person in regards to location information - but I'll make an exception for this. :)
Excuse the early 90's (possibly late 80's, but SURELY not) R. Kelley lyrics. I know it's wrong, but I like his music. Just his music. Not his taste in women, ahem, I mean girls.
I've given up on the stupid elliptical crap this week and have abandoned all hope of laps in the pool uninterrupted. Excuse me while I mutter to myself about home-owner's associations and liability and can't be allowed in the pool without a lifeguard present during regular pool hours and nevermind that I was a lifeguard for five years and a swim team coach and I still teach swimming lessons but whatever *urgh*.
Where was I? Oh, yes. I've given up on the stupid elliptical. I'm tired of working my butt off to stare at the same paint on the wall every day. If I'm going to move, I prefer to actually move every now and again. Move in the sense of from one place to another.
Therefore, I've dragged out the best video work-out EVAARRR. And by best I, of course, mean probably burns fewer than 100 calories, the music that was once hot is now cheesy and out-dated and why did I ever think Eric was attractive, but still this video is nothing but fun and will forever epitomize my Freshman year of college where almost my entire dorm had the video and we would get together in groups to work out to it . . oh dear, I've said to much, stopping now.
Anywho . . . I will not be on that stupid machine again for at least a week. Instead I will be working out to: drumroll please
I'm rarely a huge fan of greeting cards. It seems as though you spend endless minutes (which feel more like hours) searching for that just-right card and you end up settling for something that's kinda-close-but-not-really. Somehow, though, the SO found one that I agree with.
I won't quote it all, but just the pertinent part:
Real love isn't found in the falling - it's found in the staying . . . the day-to-daying . . . the ups and downs and the smiles and frowns . . .
Here's hoping you all find your Real Love.
Now back to your regularly scheduled BS and sarcasm.
I'm semi-cheating on this 30-days of blogging thing, but sue me. Today, July 13th is an anniversary of sorts for me. What's truly ironic is that the end of the story below occurred exactly on FRIDAY, July 13th. Therefore, I'm re-posting it for all to read. I'm relatively certain the majority of my readers (all 5 of you!) have not read it.
I smelled him before I felt him. His aftershave mingled with the clean smell of soap. He wrapped his arms around me from behind. “Hey there.” The sound of his voice in my ear made me tingle. Through the butterflies in my stomach and the choke in my throat, I managed to get out, “Hey there, yourself.” “Miss me?”
Without hesitation I practically screamed, “Yes.” I felt his hand sweep my hair aside a second before his lips touched the nape of my neck. I shivered. There were so many things I wanted to say. “Is this really happening?” His nose burrowed in my hair a little deeper, “Is what happening?” “Is this what this feels like? Am I really in love with you?”
I felt his chest shake with laughter as he pulled me tighter into him. “Do you have to analyze everything? Can’t it just be?” I tried not to hurt when he said it. “When it’s this unreal, I have to question it.” A bit of water dripped onto my shoulder.“Did you even bother to towel off?” “I didn’t want to be gone from you that long.”
He brushed his cheek against mine.“I wish you hadn’t shaved.” “I didn’t want to scratch you.” “I like it. Feeling your stubble scrape against my cheek.” “You’re not like other girls.” “Comparing me to anyone in particular?” “Stop questioning. Just accept it for what it is. I love you.” “Don’t go to work. We’ll both stay home.”
He looked at the bed and I could almost feel his glance as it swept me from head to foot. “You didn’t get enough last night?” “I waited 5 months for that, and after last night, I’m not sure I can ever get enough.” He laughed and then pushed me unto the bed. “I’m not staying. I just want to kiss you a little before I leave you.”
He fell next to me and our legs tangled together. I pulled him into me and closed my eyes. Seconds elapsed without a kiss. “What are you waiting for?” “I want you to look at me.” I opened my eyes. “Watch me as I kiss you.” I looked into his eyes as his lips met mine. He stayed for three days.
The End(18 months later)
He led me to the gazebo. I felt like a prize fool. Everyone on the grounds could see me crying. “Why can’t we just talk about this in the apartment?” “Do you want Amber to know what is happening?” “No.” “Then we are sitting out here.”
We reached our destination and I sat down. I expected him to sit next to me, hold me, tell me everything was going to be okay. He sat across from me. Staring at me without seeing me. The distance between our bodies echoed in his eyes.
"Did you do this on purpose?” “You’re serious????” “Yes. I need to know. Did you do this to speed things up?” “You’re really a piece of work! Of course I didn’t do this on purpose! Do you think this is a great time for me either? I’m in my senior year, I have a thesis to finish, applications to grad school, we’re in different cities. NO! I didn’t do this on purpose.” “I had to ask.” I could feel my heart tearing a little.
“You trust me so little? Then why did you ask me to marry you?” “I trust you. I want to be with you. But this changes things. A lot.” “Do you think I did this alone?” “Shut up. I have to think.” A million retorts rushed down my head to my lips, but none crossed them.
“What does the doctor say?” “I want to know what you want. Not what the doctor wants. Doctors always want omething different. I’m asking you. What do you want?” “I’m not answering that until I know all the details.” “Do you want this baby? Do you want our child?”“ "God, yes, you know I want children. I want them with you. But now? After everything we’ve found out. With you still in school?” “Then let’s do it.”
My heart was in my hand and I was timidly holding it out to him. Please, don’t hurt me. Please, let this be the future. Let this be real. Don’t let everything else control our lives. Make this decision with me.
“I can’t. You can’t.” “You won’t.” “You’re a selfish bitch, you know that? You’re right I won’t! You’re 21! You just found out you have a tumor! You could die if you carry this child to term! But all you can think about is what you want, you want a baby, you want a family, you want happily ever after. What about what I want? I want to see you finish school, I want to see you raise our children, I want to grow old with you. Will those things happen if you ignore the tumor to save this baby??? We can always have children, but if we do it now, I can’t be sure I’ll always have you.”
The tears I had succeeded in blinking back came rushing forward again.
“Why does it have to be either/or? Why can’t it be both?” “Can it? Did the doctor tell you that we could have both? If we ignore the tumor and focus on the baby, will you still be around?” “I can’t answer that.” “Then we’re not doing it. Call the doctor tomorrow. Schedule the abortion. If it’s the baby or you, I pick you.” “It might be NOTHING. I’ve been healthy for over two years! This mass or tumor or whatever they found could be scar tissue, it could be ruptured cysts, it could be nothing. You’re willing to give up our child for a chance?” “With your medical history, with everything you’ve been through, with the medications you’re on . . . do you think it’s nothing? What about the medicines? Have they harmed the baby already? You’re 7 weeks pregnant, you think they haven’t had an effect? Just do it. Just call the doctor. Just have it arranged. I’m not letting you take the chance.”
The crying became uncontrollable. He pulled me across the space between us into his lap. His arms wrapped around me.
“I love you. I love you. Don’t make me lose you.” “But you’ll accept the loss of our child.” “To know that I’ll have you? Yes.”
The next day, I made the appointment.
Monday morning came and he never showed up. I called Emily and “Ruby” to take me. They held my hands through the procedure. They yelled at the protestors waving cameras in my face. They half carried me, half led me to the car.
Jeff called and apologized while I was waiting on my exiting counseling session. “Big meeting at work, I couldn’t get out. Baby, I’m so sorry. I’ll be there tonight.”
He arrived at 8 P.M. No explanations or excuses for where he had been since he got off work. No more apologies for being absent for the death of our child. He didn’t speak at all. He just held me.
And that’s when I noticed.
He smelled of something. Sweet and musky. A perfume that wasn’t mine. Mingled with something else. I recognized that smell.
I watched him sleep that night. His chest rising and falling with each breath. He slept soundly. What we did, what I did, what he did - didn’t trouble him at all.
That’s when they left. My feelings of love, of safety, of security, of trust. They were all gone. I felt apathy move to fill the emptiness. And it took up residence.
*Sigh* I don't know where my willpower has gone, but it has vanished like a virgin on prom night . . . or an underage boy in the vicinity of Michael Jackson's house.
Just a few short months ago, I was able to resist most any temptation of appetite. Keep your sugary sweets and your tempting treats! I want none of them! I need only a bottle of water and a trek around the track or a lap or 14 in the pool.
But recently, and unexpectedly, my willpower jumped ship. I think I saw it waving to me from the distant shore. It seemed to say, "Good luck on your own, sucker! You didn't appreciate me while I was around so I'm going in search of someone who will. Perhaps an anorexic or Nicole Ritchie." Whoops, I forgot the two were mutually exclusive. Anywho . .
My willpower is gone and I'm not liking it one bit. Now I have to rely on myself to deny my sweet tooth. And while I'm doing alright for now, I know the next temptation is around the corner and I believe that short of wiring my jaw together and handcuffing my wrists behind my back - - there's no way I can continue to say "No."
Nancy Reagan would be so dismayed. Wait, umm, is she still with us? I'm drifting off topic. Again.
I need a Lost and Found to search through and relocate my willpower. Or someone else's. It doesn't even have to be as strong as my old one. Any strength will do. As long as I'm not on this ship alone sailing towards Temptation Island.
*Urgh* I'm weak and weary. Someone throw me a Life Vest.
For just three seconds yesterday I was besieged with the need to run out and purchase the Spice Girls album that played on repeat in my car's tape deck for a month my Sophomore year of High School.
Look, I never claimed that I'd always had good taste. And, if we're being honest, I've always been so schizophrenic in my music tastes that it shouldn't surprise anyone that the next month my tape of choice was God Lives Underwater.
My point being that, no matter how bad it is for us, we sometimes long for something from our past. Most of the time it's a flight of fancy that will never be followed through on, but we still have those momentary pangs of desire for something we once had.
I should also admit that a few months ago the SO and I were in a used CD store and he laughed as he held up a Mariah Carey CD and said, "Maybe we should get this." I'm not sure I've ever told him that I desperately wanted to and wonder now if I went there next weekend, would there still be a used copy for $4.99? crosses fingers
Hello! That tape was the first present I unwrapped at my tenth birthday party before heading to the Roller Rink to be pushed around in a Giant Skate while they played my song of choice: New Kids On the Block's immortal hit Covergirl.
I have no idea what I was attempting to say in this post - other than I have, in the past, had horrendous music tastes. Oh, and that I sometimes long for the things of my past. Like certain Judy Blume books or that feeling of dread and excitement that overtook me at the beginning of every swim meet and, of course, that one Spice Girls album that everyone secretly loved but few of us admit to.
When and Why did Posh go blonde?? Did she not realize that as a dark brunette she was one of the most gorgeous women in the world and now she just looks like some trashy OC divorcee? What's next . . a boob job? Posh, dear, you were the only classy thing in that group. Come back to us. Re-dye your hair before the Spice Girls tour kicks off in December. I'm sure even Becks would agree.
Admit it, you're still singing the J. Geils Band. It's okay. I won't tell anyone.
I had forgotten how addictive blogging can be!
I had also forgotten how easy it can be to make blogging friends and start to feel like some of the readers/commenters are almost like family.
I just hope I don't forget how dangerous that can be, sometimes. Even when it seems like it isn't.
Blogging confession of the day:I have two other blogs. One that I post on semi-regularly and one that I haven't posted on in months, but it was extremely cathartic when I was posting there.
I've been thinking about starting a third (Or, I guess it's a fourth? Since it's the third one no one knows about but the fourth that I have?). We'll see if that happens. I tend to doubt it considering my inconsistent habits on the blogs I already have.
As I've noted about 12 times, my family came to visit for my birthday. It was a short visit, but long enough for my father to make me laugh until my sides ached and my breath was stolen. Though, in actuality, I suppose it was my mother that caused the real laughter.
Dad: "So I was reading the Arkansas Democrat Gazette this morning and you know how the front page has that side bar thing with the little blurbs about things going on in the world and stuff, well there's this story about this guy who was at another guy's house for a dinner party and apparently the guy was pretty familiar with the guy's house or whatever and they were cleaning up from the dinner party and the guy went down to the guy's basement to put the leftovers in his freezer, now get this, he opens the freezer and . . . pause for dramatic effect . . . there's the guy's wife and twelve year old kid. He'd killed them and put them in the freezer and this guy found them!"
Me: "Ummm . . . call me crazy, but if I'd killed my family and hid them in my freezer, I'm not thinking I'd let anyone near the basement. WHAT was this guy thinking letting his friend go down there to put leftovers in the freezer??"
Dad (laughing): "What gets me is that the guy had the gall to have a dinner party! I mean, what, did he just decide, Hey! I killed my wife and kid a few days ago, but I'm getting kinda lonely, I should throw a dinner party!"
Me (ashamed to be laughing): "What is wrong with the world??!?!? People are insane."
Dad: "Yeah, well there was another story on there. But this was a sad one . . . "
Mom: "Oh! I guess the other one wasn't sad!?!?"
Dad: "Oh. . . . . Yeah. I guess it was . . . . kinda."
Needless to say when we all went out to eat with my friends and my significant other that night for my birthday, I made dad tell the story again. Hoping beyond hope that mom would pipe up with her asides again. Unfortunately, that didn't happen.
So much for that newfound love of delayed gratification. Though, in my defense, it wasn't truly my fault.
I opened all my presents last night at 9:00. Not because I couldn't wait another second . . . But because my family had to leave unexpectedly and wouldn't be here for my actual birthday. And because I wanted them to see everything I'd gotten.
So, here it is, my actual birthday and I find myself without a gift to open.
I'm wondering if it will be just as exciting to re-wrap then re-open the presents? Or perhaps I should take him shopping with me and make him buy me things? :) I would never do that. And by never I mean, I would but I don't want to seem like that kind of girl on here with you strangers.
I think I'll go with the re-wrap and re-open the presents gig. It should go along nicely with my plan to make my own birthday cake!
*Don't feel too badly for me. My actual birthday party has yet to occur. Each year my friend Cammie and I have our parties together since our birthdays are two days apart. I anticipate a few more presents. However, I am slightly dismayed that I have nothing to open on my actual birthday and no one to fault for that but myself.*
When I was younger, and by younger I could even mean as recently as last year, I couldn't wait to open my birthday presents. If I knew someone had something for me, I wanted it right then and right there. Now, now, now! was my mantra.
I guess something in me has matured this year, though the hows and whys of it escape me. But tomorrow is my birthday and yesterday my mother set 3 huge presents and a massive gift bag in one of my back bedrooms. Then, last night, my significant other walked in with a very large gift bag and a smaller one.
As we were sitting down to dinner, he asked: "Aren't you going to open your presents?"
My odd, even by my standards, answer?
"Of course. But not today. It's not my birthday, yet."
So, I had an interesting/scary/pissed me off experience this morning.
I take Hwy 64 from my house into Menifee (a town of 450 with the cattle and the chickens) simply because it's more convenient and fewer miles from my house. But, at Menifee, I merge onto I-40 to travel the rest of the way to work. A) Because I get tired of driving 55 MPH and B) Because there are fewer police just aching to show their superiority.
It is now obvious to me that I should have stayed on Hwy 64 this morning.
I knew something was amiss the moment I got onto I-40. This Chevy, extended cab, Z-71 immediately started bearing down on me while swerving erratically from lane to lane. I noticed other drivers were giving him a wide berth, so I attempted to do the same - to no avail.
He and his cohort would pull up directly beside me, smile maniacally and then start to edge into my lane until I would speed up or slam on the brakes; at which point they would swerve in the opposite direction, throwing up dirt and grass in the median.
I should have known he was insane the moment I saw the Tennessee plates and the "Go Vols!" sticker. If I had to guess, based on driving habits alone, I would believe him to be a Memphis resident. Though, judging on facial expressions and hurled Spanglish insults, he could be from any insane asylum in the U.S. or Mexico.
On the third round of Interstate Tag, I'd decided I'd had enough. I dialed 911 and alerted the area police to a crazed lunatic driver terrorizing the roads at 6 A.M.
All I could think was, "It's too early for this mess. I prefer to limit my police interactions until, at least, noon."
One of my favorite movie characters is from a movie few of you will know, but all of you should:
Steve Dunne played by Campbell Scott in the 1992 cinematic classic Singles.
Cameron Crowe did an amazing job creating the character of Steve and writing his lines. If Steve Dunne were a real man, I would want to marry him. Why? Because he says things like this:
Talking to his friends about Linda: If I had a personal conversation with God, I would ask him to create this girl.
Calling Linda for the first time after meeting her: Linda Powell? Steve Dunne. Hey, yeah, I met you... 61 hours ago. Yeah, that was me. Listen, uh, do you want to get some dinner? Uh, how about some lunch? No lunch. Coffee? Water? How about some water? I'll meet you where you're already having lunch, and we'll have some water.
What he says to Linda when she answers the door to an unexpected visit from Steve: I was just... nowhere near your neighborhood.
Explaining his upbringing in regards to relationships: My dad left home when I was eight. You know what he said to me? Have fun, stay single. I was eight.
Trying to comfort Linda when she thinks she might have accidentally gotten pregnant: I'm probably sterile. It runs in my family.
Steve is just that right combination of awkward, endearing, honest and beguiling. He's unsure when it comes to women, but he knows that he's unsure and he hangs it all out there anyway!
I want a man to tell me: I was just nowhere near your neighborhood. In a completely, non-stalkerish, cute and sexy kind of way.
If you've ever lived in the South, you know the value of a ceiling fan. No amount of central air conditioning can slay the heat on it's own. It requires the assistance of the mighty fan - circulating it's cooling goodness throughout the room.
To be quite honest, even I didn't realize the full value of the ceiling fan until last week: When my less-than-spectacular new maid killed my poor little innocent fan. What it did to incur her wrath, I will never know. But it must have done something horrendous, because she made certain it would never rotate on it's shiny nickel-plated axis again.
So, night after night, I've laid in the sweltering heat and stiffling humidity of the Deep South. Air conditioning cranked down to 65. Comforters and sheets thrown haphazardly onto the floor. Anything resembling clothing abandoned. Hair tied firmly in a knot atop my head. Praying for the Ceiling Fan Gods to bring my fan back to life or for my maid service to cough up the $200 for the new fan they've promised to purchase and install, all to no avail.
I can see I'm going to have to visit the dreaded Wal-Mart and purchase temporary relief in the form of a standing, oscillating fan.
What an attractive piece of decor! I can't wait to display it in the center of my bedroom. Ah, the joy. Traditional Homes should be calling any moment.
I'm going to try and be a better blogger. Or, at the very least, the blogger that I once was. So, for the next thirty days I'm going to attempt to post at least a little sumpin', sumpin' every single day. Granted, it might be a little blurb like this, but at least it's better than nothing!
Seriously??? Has the ACLU nothing better to do with it's time?
The only thing worse than the bible beaters are the anti-bible beaters. Find a happy medium people, I beg of you. It doesn't appear to me that anyone in Slidell had a problem with the painting . . . so why should anyone else?
*sigh* People should really mind their own business and let others live their lives.
When you put your phone on silent. Because you don’t want to answer it.
Scratch that. Because you are hiding in your own house and you have psychotics in your life that will come to your house, be unswayed by the unanswered door, call your phone and then troll around windows and doors to see if they can HEAR the ringing, thus proving you’re home.
But that’s beside the point.
You put your phone on silent. But set it near you so you can see the display light up for a call.
You answer a call from your brother to learn that your arch-nemesis, AKA the stalker that’s driving past your house every three minutes to see if you’re home yet, is safely distanced from yourself so you may venture into the kitchen to make a sandwich, grab a yogurt and a bottled water and then huddle in a hallway far from the line of sight of any door or window to enjoy a meal.
You take the phone with you to the kitchen. Simply because your brother may call to inform you that your arch-nemisis is returning to the area and you should duck and cover IMMEDIATELY. You get involved in the intricacies of concocting the sandwich, juggling it with the Dasani and Yoplait and shoving all of it down your throat before anyone can notice a light on in your house. You completely forget to grab your phone from the counter. The counter in full view of the back door of your house with the huge, uncovered window and no fence (or moat) around your house to prevent others from letting themselves into your backyard.
Two hours later. You know that the "safe zone" is long gone. The arch-nemesis could be at any window, at any time, searching for signs of life or unobstructed entry into your abode. You realize that someone you WANT to call is supposed to call soon. You reach to your left for your phone, only to discover that it’s haven is devoid of inhabitants. Oh dear God.
You desperately search all areas deemed safe. Unlit, windowless rooms. Windowed rooms with shadowed areas to tip toe in. You begin to realize that you’re too old to be sneaking around your own home. Actually, the mere fact that you OWN your own home should alert you that you’re too old to be sneaking around it. But, being the chicken that you are, you continue to sneak. You narrow down the possible places for the phone to one: The counter in full view of the back door of your house with the huge, uncovered window and no fence (or moat) around your house to prevent others from letting themselves into your backyard.
You cry tearlessly. You straighten your spine, take a deep breath, become determined to act your age, then bend down and skulk quickly (were there ever two such incompatible terms?) to the kitchen, retrieve the phone and sprint faster than Jackie Joyner-Kersee to your safe place: Your bed littered with books, the laptop and . . well, could anything else be needed to survive? I think not.
And, after all this trouble, you realize:
You really wanted a glass of sweat tea . . and as long as you were exposed, you could have gotten it. But, now, you’re relegated to tap water from your bathroom which you will have to drink from your hand.
I’m unsure if I’ve ever professed my love/hate relationship with summer on here, but I’ve got one.
The reason I hate the summers in Arkansas is simple: Heat. On a good day - the high temp is in the mid-90's. On a bad day - the one hundred and teens with a heat index of 212 and nary a breeze to be felt.
But, the reasons I love the summer are many. Not the least of which include WATER!
I’m a water baby, always have been and dare to say I always will be. The moment it’s warm enough, I pack a beach bag with provisions and head to water. Regardless of how cold it is.
Last weekend, I flirted with water a bit. Just one small (8 hour) trip to the lake. This weekend, however, I had a full-blown affair! I skipped out on work on Friday (one of the many joys of the self-employed) and headed to Heber Springs with Cassie to cliff jump, swim, float and sun ourselves on the rocks while reading amazingly good books. But that simple trip only served to whet my appetite. I needed more!
Saturday dawned cloudy and cool, but the puffy grey clouds that promise rain were nowhere to be seen. I over-packed every possible necessity in a beach bag the size of a small storage unit and a cooler that was significantly smaller, but no less stuffed, and headed to the dock to beg a ride with Cal.
Cal, Garrett, Todd, Jenn, Sarah and I loaded quickly in the boat and spent the day attempting to commit suicide. Or, possibly, it was only me. I was born with this sense of accomplishment that drives me to practice everything - even the things I do extremely poorly - until I get it right. The previous weekend Cal had tried to teach me to slalom ski . . . after being repeatedly skipped across the water - and damaging my swimsuit to the point where I could not decently remove my lifevest - I gave up. For that day. But Saturday, I was more determined than ever. I was going to slalom ski, come Hell or high water.
Well, the high water brought Hell with it. On my third pathetic attempt, a wake the size of a Tsunami attacked me and I was thrown across the water with considerable force into a large (read massive) boulder. I fear my black, blue and now green leg will never recover. Neither, I’m afraid, will my pride. I won’t say I will never try slalom skiing again, but it’s a distinct possibility.
Sunday - broken and battered - I decided to take it easy, but I still required water. Enter my neighborhood pool. Five hours of lounging in a deck chaise and teaching my god-daughter to jump to me in the water. I can think of no better way to conclude a morning of Fire and Brimstone speeches than to hear my god-daughter shout "Catch you!" and my answer "No, Eve, say Catch Me."
And what do I have to show for my weekend in the water? Skin so tan that I will be able to forgo make-up for at least two weeks, tan lines which will embarrass me in my halter-topped bridesmaid’s dress next week, sun-streaked hair and a bruise that covers my right leg ankle to mid-thigh. Would I trade any of it for the world? Nope. I’m even thinking about working 5-days a week (a novelty for me) and only 6 hours a day to allow me to get to my pool by 2 PM every afternoon.
Sounds like a good plan to me! Thank God summer is here!
Can someone remind me Thursday that I uttered that "Thank God" statement? I get the feeling that when we reach that projected 97 degree mark I might start to curse summer in Arkansas.
Riverfest is a three-day music festival in Little Rock that always takes place on Memorial Day weekend. It’s quite the deal. A $10 advance ticket purchase ($15 at the gate) gets you 72 hours worth of music, fireworks and every fried food imaginable, not to mention enough beer to replace the ocean’s water supply.
Sunday night, at the conclusion of the festival, thousands of people were crowding and pushing their way to the ONE line that allows access to the trolley which transports you back to the parking areas. Apparently all of these people flunked Kindergarten because none of them knew how to form a straight line. Of course, this meant that a huge mass of people were herding like cattle towards a single point. People were cutting in line, trampling others and being generally rude.
Somehow, during the whole bru-ha-ha, a woman I termed "Bozo the Bimbo" elbowed and prodded her way in line beside me. Bozo was the color of heavily creamed coffee with a large afro of ORANGE hair and a shirt cut down to her navel. Bozo had very poor social skills and turned towards me to sneeze on my bare back (I had worn a tube top to attempt to thwart the 110 degree heat). I began to shake and moan to my brother’s girlfriend:
"Ewwww, ewwww, ewww!! Bozo the Bimbo back here just sneezed her germs ALL OVER my back!!!"
"Umm, you mean Dennis Rodman back there?"
"Oh yea, I didn’t notice until now, but she does look like D-Rod. Ewww. Gross. What am I going to do?? I’ve got her sneeze juice all over me!!"
The brother’s girlfriend, Tiffany, is the sweetest girl imaginable, so she offered to help. She turns her back towards me and says "My tee’s covered in sweat and stuff anyway. Just wipe it on me."
Well, a guy we’ll term Smokey the Thug had recently stepped on my feet upwards of 32 times and pushed his way in front of me, effectively pissing me off. I decided to pay him back.
"Why would I do that, when I can wipe it all over this jerk?" I then twisted and turned to make it seem like I was turning around in line - when, in fact, I was wiping Bozo the Bimbo’s sneeze juice all over his "2 Pac Lives!" shirt.
Hey! Don’t judge me! He deserved it.
Tiffany began giggling uncontrollably and then said, ‘See! That’s why I love you!"
Yeah, I’m fantastic. Just don’t push your way ahead of me in a line.
*If you're confused about the title . . one of the last acts I saw Sunday was "Georgia Satellites", yeah, I know it doesn't really fit - but cut me some slack.
At four in the morning, my phone rang. I tried to work up some form of anger or resentment at the sounds of James Hatfield singing “No Leaf Clover” and breaking the stillness of my night, but I’d been emotionally beaten the previous day and found only mental exhaustion in my reserves.
“I didn’t wake you.” It was a sentence, not a question. He knows I never sleep. But what if I had been?
“I didn’t think you’d answer.” I stayed silent. The truth was that I shouldn’t have answered. We hadn’t spoken in months and had nothing to say. He refused to understand my position and I couldn’t comprehend his.
“I just wanted to say hello.” At four in the morning? Only drunkards and morons say Hello at four in the morning. Knowing he’d expect that response, my silence was maintained.
“Try to sleep. Please.” I turned another page in my eighth book of the week, a thousand page monolith detailing the life of Adolf Hitler.
“I wish . . . “ I disconnected before he could finish what wouldn’t have mattered. We said all that needed to be said last July.
Ernie pushed for the hiring of his Occupational Therapy mentor Bert. Once taken on, Ernie and Bert were inseparable, until (dah dah dah) Bert insulted Ernie's wife and his friend. Weeks of silence and seething anger ensued. Bert, at his wit's end, resorted to a candle lit dinner and a romantic movie. Ernie was swayed back into his arms.
Bert comes in to find that Ernie has not made the lemonade he prefers, but has instead made a green tea blend. He furrows his brow, but remains silent. Refusing to admit something is amiss.
Ernie, obviously put off by something, stomps heavily around the therapy office until his wife can take no more:
Wife: "Alright, Ernie, enough. What's the deal, pickle?"
Ernie: "What are you talking about?"
Wife: "You're stomping around like an elephant and biting everyone's head off. What bee is buzzing around your bonnet?"
Bert looks up from his desk, stares in their direction, then realizes he shouldn't look interested. He shuffles papers on his desk and makes notes in margins, trying vainly to look disinterested and otherwise occupied. However, his ears remain perked up like dogs'.
Ernie: "SOMEONE said they would call last night with the information on LP. But I guess SOMEONE had more important things to do than his or her actual job."
The wife turns her head to look at Bert. Always the peacekeeper she attempts to repair the rift.
Wife: "Bert, did you forget to give Ernie the billing information for LP last night?"
Bert, still trying to seem like he's not been eavesdropping, replies: "Hunh? Did you ask me something?"
Corey gets a disgusted look on his face and practically screams: "Don't play stupid, Bert! You heard her! If this job means so little to you that you can't carry out the simplest of tasks, maybe you should work elsewhere."
*Did anyone else mishear that last sentence as "If this relationship means so little to you, maybe I should forget the whole affair, return to my female wife and banish you from this office FOREVER." Or is that just me?*
I walked last night. And then I ran. I started running and just didn't want to stop. It was as if things I didn’t even know I was feeling were chasing me the moment my feet hit the pavement. I ran further, and it seemed faster, than I’d run in ages. And the thought struck me that maybe, just maybe, if I could keep running – they could never catch me. They would be unable to jump back inside me, weighing me down, drowning me.
But I eventually stopped running. You have to. It wasn’t a conscious thought, it was just an empty moment where I found myself at my front door. Miles Davis was placed into the surround sound system and the neighbors were treated at a late hour to So What, Blue on Green and All Blues. I skipped the exercise ball crunches and the elastic band curls to stand under the water and hope the music was louder than the thoughts in my head.
I tried to talk to someone, just to ease the anxiousness that was threatening to overwhelm me. But I learned early not to be open, and he couldn’t hear me through the walls I erected.
Though I’m certain it wasn’t the first tongue lashing I’d received from my mother (also a very noted ranter), I can clearly remember one instance.
I was, at most, 3.5 years old. It was just my mother and me. We had been shopping all day and I was restless and tired. But my mother had assured me that if I would stay quiet in the hallowed aisles of Dillard’s, she would take me to K-Mart and allow me to use some of my “savings” to buy a toy or four.
At three and a half, toys are powerful motivators for silence. Particularly when coupled with the fact that I could be a “big girl” and buy it with my very own money.
Let me tell you: I was decked out.
I had on my boat-necked turquoise tee that perfectly matched the turquoise, hot pink and bright yellow stripes of my best skort. My pink jellies (shoes, people, surely you remember jellies) had the tiniest of heels and complimented the pink stripes floating happily above. My hair was coiffed appropriately and my necklace was a large gold heart replica of Orphan Annie’s prized possession. I, also, had on my officially licensed 'Muppets' Miss Piggy watch in a lovely shade of lavender, something I never left the house without.
I was accessorized to the hilt. Right down to my pink Cabbage Patch Kids clutch purse. In which, was a fifty dollar bill that would procure me the toys I had been so manipulatively promised.
When we reached K-Mart, the only thing on my mind was the Barbie aisle. Skipper had just emerged on the scene and I was determined to have the newest item (in this, I’m not much different today – my mother calls me the “Gadget Queen”). I took my mother’s hand and led (read dragged) her to the toy section.
My mother has never been keen on watching me. She raised me to be independent and responsible and knew I could be trusted in the aisle alone. She was, as it turned out, quite wrong. This is not to say that she left me. She was simply at the other end of the aisle looking at the baby-doll accessories. I had informed her, quite petulantly, earlier that I was out of Cabbage Patch diapers.
I, focused on Baby-Sitter Skipper complete with a high chair and a small plastic baby, laid down my cash filled purse and began to search the box for signs of other parts – such as a bottle or a small spoon and bowl to feed her with.
I imagine it’s typical of a 3 year old to forget her own items when faced with a treasure of such magnitude. So, true to form, I forgot to retrieve my purse. I took my Skipper doll and the Cabbage Patch diapers my mother had located and moved hurriedly to the next aisle. I was in dire need of Shrinky Dinks.
My mother failed to notice the absence of my purse until we reached the check-out lanes a good 15 minutes later.
“Meghan, where is your purse?”
“You just had it. Is it in the buggy?” “I dunno.”
My mother searched frantically in the buggy without reward. We then scoured the toy aisles for any sign of my purse – or my fifty dollars. Needless to say, they were not located. Purloined by K-Mart scavengers, I have no doubt.
Mom, god love her, restrained herself until we reached the car, but then she laid into me with all the force of a Fire and Brimstone preacher on Sunday morning. The words “responsibility”, “maturity”, “disappointed” and “angry” were used several times. Several, several times.
She actually seemed more upset about the loss of the purse than the money.
“I can’t believe you lost that purse. Your Aunt Cheryl gave that to you. It matched your Cabbage Patch dress perfectly.”
I figured as long as I’d already shown my monsterous, ranting self to you people, I could get this off my chest, too.I would like to propose that:If you are over the age of 60 and/or handicapped you not be allowed on public road-ways during designated “rush hour” periods. I suggest 6:30 AM to 9:30 AM and 3:30 PM to 6:30 PM.
I don’t mind if you drive 55 MPH in the 70 MPH zone in the “fast” lane. I don’t mind if you slam on your brakes every third mile just because you anticipate someone might quickly exit the field of nothingness on your right onto the main highway. It’s your vehicle, drive it like you want.
Just DON’T, for the love of Pete, do so when myself and fifty million other people are trying to get to work. We have someplace to be. Someplace important. Someplace that provides our livelihood. We’re not leisure driving to the McDonald’s two cities away to meet our Class of ’48 band friend for coffee and a biscuit at 7:00 AM. Meet them at 10:00. Enjoy being able to sleep-in.
If you are from out of state, or even just out of city, and are unfamiliar with the highways and byways of our fair area, please – also – stay off the roads at these designated times (see above). I don’t have time for you to drive 20 MPH looking for Exit 134 and is it on the right or left and is this really the exit or has Mapquest messed up again and OH! There it is! On the left! And here I am in the far right lane. Brake! Swerve! Crash!
While we’re talking about Senior Citizens (whom I have much love for, I promise), please do not enter the grocery stores on the weekends. Most of you have all week to do your shopping at your slow, monotonous, push the buggy at .002 MPH pace while we’re at work. Blocking the aisle on a Saturday and debating over regular Prune Juice or Prune Juice NOW with Calcium! is not an option any longer. That should be done on Tuesdays.
It’s only Tuesday. Tuesday, I tell you. And already I’ve had four, yes four, people tell me I’m “black.”
I’m not offended by this. Don’t get the wrong idea. I’m simply confused. Highly confused. Confounded, even.
If you were to know me in real life, you would quickly say I was the whitest person on the planet. Unless, of course, you did one of two things: Looked in my R&B and Rap CD case (yes, as of Saturday, they are officially in their own 208 containing case) OR watched me dance. And a certain male acquaintance would also point out that I can throw gang signs. Look, I spent most of my junior high and high school years in a predominately black populated town with an unusually high gang incidence. Yes, in Arkansas. Haven’t you people seen the classic 1992 HBO Special “Bangin’ in Little Rock”?
I do, readily, admit that I pull into the parking lot with my sunroof open and – sometimes – rap music playing. Yesterday, I was playing Jimmy Buffet. Can you get whiter than Jimmy Buffet without crossing into Country?
Today, however, I admit that I was playing Three 6 Mafia. And I may have slipped when Felicia asked “Girl, whatchu bumpin over there?” and threw out our old high school version with “Some triple-six!”
Felicia had told me on Monday, when she heard my phone ring with old school Bone, Thugs and Harmony “Crossroads”: “Meghan, girl please, you black. Face it.”
Shonda said the same thing yesterday afternoon when she saw one of my therapy kids and I dancing.
Then Ms. Harvel said it this morning when she saw me “waggle yo head” when I was on a phone call and getting highly irate with Medicaid.
The last straw was just now when Therese said it again because they were talking about Tyler Perry and I knew who he was. I’m sorry, ummm, but doesn’t EVERYONE know who he is now? It’s not like Diary of a Mad Black Woman wasn’t a box office smash.
Do these things really qualify me as “black”, I ask you?
If something annoys me or aggravates me, I rant. Typically, they’re pointless soliloquies that only serve to vent my frustrations. Such as this morning when the idiot in front of me on I-40 slammed on his brakes for absolutely no reason in the world and I used all the breath in my lungs to chew him out with phrases such as “Are you serious? There isn’t even anyone in front of you! Are you trying to kill us all? Where’d you get your license? A cracker-jack box? IQ tests should be required of all drivers. You, sir, would fail miserably. I’m certain of it. Idiot.”
Ranting isn’t the greatest thing in the world. I have friends who are offended greatly by it. I tell them to ride with other people or make new friends.
Such as the incident with Beth on the way back from a bachelorette party in Memphis:
There was a very ignorant individual who kept weaving in and out of traffic. Typically, his weaves were directly in front of me – thus effectively cutting me off, about every 4 to 5 miles. My friend Rebecca and I are both ranters. And, it just so happens that we were driver and front seat passenger for this trip. This was bad. Very bad. It allowed us to feed off one another.
So, every time ignoramus cut me off, we both launched into tirades about idiot male drivers and their inability to notice others on the road.
Beth finally loses it: “Why don’t you both shut up? What good does it do to yell at the moron who can’t drive? All it serves to do is annoy the people in the car with you.” I noticed a couple of the other passengers for our trip nodding along in agreement.
You would think the fear of alienating my friends would be enough to shut me up. But, instead of stemming my rant, it caused another one: “Well, if you guys have such a problem with it, maybe you should drive once in a while. It’s not like I enjoy being the taxi-driver at all times. Yes, I have the largest vehicle, but that doesn’t automatically mean I should have to drive. First of all, I get sick of paying for all the gas. Second of all, it wouldn’t kill us to split up and drive two vehicles every now and again. Let’s face it, 8 females in one automobile is a bit too much estrogen for anyone. Particularly after 3 days and 2 nights in the same hotel room. Say one more thing about how I choose to act in my own vehicle and we can pull over and you people can hitchhike back to Little Rock. See how much you like that.”
I’m not proud of this trait. Not at all. I’ve tried to alter it. Really, I have. But it is to no avail. I’m a ranter at heart. And if this is one of my few vices, I’m sure you will forgive me. Or ride with someone else.
I promise that I'm working harder at making my rants INTERNAL only.
Though it may not seem like it at the outset of this story, this is in memorial of my friend Jack. He was an amazing man who was taken from us far too early in life. Three years ago, during Christmas break, he was involved in a car accident that took his life. This may not be the most memorable Jack story, but it’s the one that always comes to mind when his name is mentioned:
Junior year of college, JD, Steffan and I signed up for the same Honors course. Though there were a veritable plethora of reasons for this, the following were the most important:
1) The class would be held in the Honors Forum. Which meant that instead of a stuffy classroom with rigid desks, we would be seated in a living room environment with our own kitchenette. Plush couches, rocking recliners, pillows, throws and a never-ending supply of cookies and juice.
2) Dr. Adams was teaching the course. He was notoriously easy. As long as you showed even the slightest modicum of effort on something, no matter how wrong it was, he gave you an A.
3) It was a Science Fiction class. We had no love for the genre, but knew that the readings would be more interesting than the Philosophy or Ethics classes and that at least once a week we could sleep on the couch while Dr. Adams had the class view clips from Bladerunner, Pitch Black and Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
4) It also helped that the class was at 11:00 AM. Prime college time. Late enough that you could sleep in, early enough that you didn’t waste your whole afternoon.
Two weeks had gone by when Jerry (Dr. Adams) decided that we should dissect certain passages of Childhood’s End in “teams”.
Teams – a term professors use to try and trick college students into feeling like adults instead of third-graders who’ve been placed into reading groups.
Since the class had 18 people (very large for an Honors group - - guess we were all wanting to be slackers that year), we were to be divided into 6 groups of 3. Fate was with us that day. I had gotten to class early and saved a couch. JD and Steffan were on either side of me when Jerry began his divisions. He pointed his finger at us and said “You, you and you. You’re Team One.”
JD, in a vain attempt at humor, looked up forlornly and exclaimed “Why do we have to have a girl in our group?”
Jerry looked pointedly at JD and Steffan and then said “You guys are rowdy. I think she’ll be a calming influence on you.”
Cue the confused look from me. Followed immediately by dumbfounded stares of the entire class and then Steffan saying, “Meghan??? A calming influence? Ummm, Jerry, did you take your medications this morning?”
This is why I loved Honors classes. Not only was this type of banter condoned, it was encouraged. They wanted us to feel that we were equals with our instructors. Peers instead of lowly students to exalted professors. They thought it would facilitate more enlightened and open discussions. Instead it just promoted pure chaos - - but it was fun, none-the-less.
Jerry, ever the optimist, came back with: “Yeah, she can be a little rowdy herself. But her thought processes are good, her writing is impeccable and she seems to keep a pretty tight reign on you two when you’re in here.”
This was interrupted by JD making the whinnying sound of a horse followed by an up-and-down movement of his head.
“Guys, you both know if I’d let you pick your own group, you would have picked each other. Quit being assholes and let me get on with the rest of the class.”
JD smartly saluted him, I smacked JD’s leg and Steffan just sat there shaking his head in mock dismay.
Though, in hindsight, it probably wasn’t mock. Steffan and I both have very strong opinions about writing styles and interpretations of readings. He was probably worrying that we were going to butt heads on a few issues and that I would try and take control. Which, of course, I would. Have you met me? Control freak, extraordinaire.
Twenty minutes later, Jack entered class. Not only was he severely tardy, he was carrying enough food to feed an army: Two Chick-Fil-A chicken sandwiches, one twelve pack of nuggets, two snickers bars and the largest coke I’ve ever seen.
A little back story – There was a girl that lived in our dorm named Laura McAffey. Laura was, at least, 300 lbs. Now, we probably would have tried to work up some sympathy for her if this were medically related. But it wasn’t. She was just a fat, lazy cow. The most active she got was stomping around to the polka music she played at unbelievably high volumes in her room.
And her eating habits were worse than atrocious. We once sat in the lobby and watched her eat an entire jar of peanut butter – WITH HER HANDS. Her hands, I tell you!
So anyway, Jack walks in - late as can be and loaded down with more food than a cattle drive’s chuck wagon. I, naturally, could not let this go without comment. Regardless of my “calming” influence on the males.
“So nice of you to join us, Jack. Well now, that’s a lot of food! Who do you think you are? Laura McAffey?!” The entire class bursts into laughter, including Jack – who had one of the most beautiful smiles you could ever imagine.
JD, never one to miss an opportunity to prove himself right, looked at Jerry and over the din of laughter stated: “Yeah, Jerr, SHE’s going to reign us in! Calming influence my ass!”
Jerry never regained control of the class that day. And that’s the last time I can remember seeing Jack's smile.