31 December 2007

Secret Shame Revealed

You know how it is when you remember as you walk into your doctor's office that the staff is going to see your bra and THEN you realize that you have your OMG-last-day-before-laundry faded, stained, stretched-out, frayed-elastic "I really should have thrown this out 3 years ago" bra on?

I had a similar experience at the car wash today. I went to a new car wash and didn't realize that my car would be parked so that all 50 people waiting on this incredibly busy car washing day were going to see inside the back of it.

The photo doesn't do it justice, but I assure you that in real life, in the cold light of a noontime winter sun, you can clearly see the half-inch thick dog fur coating the back seat and the dog drool slime coating the back door.

Yes, glamor is my middle name.

***********
Here's something I do because I am too lazy to keep a real journal:


I buy a desk calendar each year when they are 50 percent off.

I get the kind with plenty of art or photo pages interspersed. Then I tape little mementos on the photo pages closest to the dates when things happened - airline tickets, movie ticket stubs, art opening announcements, memorial service cards - I even saved my visitor's badge from when Dad was in the hospital with his stroke.

I can look back for years and have little tangible reminders of what I was doing on certain dates. It's a fun way to preserve memories and less fussy (and expensive) than scrapbooking.

********

Happy New Year everyone. I hope it is happy and healthy for you and yours.

30 December 2007

Angry Public Service Announcement

I am pretty sure I did this one last winter, too.

***********
Public Service Announcement

If you have a cold, STAY HOME.

If you have to get groceries or diapers, I understand.
If you absolutely have to go to work because your germ-ridden progeny have sucked all the sick days out of your account already, God bless you. I'm sorry you have to go to work sick.

But for the rest of you creeps -
You do not need to go to church when you are sick.
You do not need to go to the movies when you are sick.
You do not need to go to the mall when you are sick.
Or the gym.
Or the library.
Or especially family events where everyone from the very elderly to infants are crowded into one overheated room with doors and windows tightly shut, snacking on the same bowl of chips and dip and mistakenly drinking each other's Diet Pepsis.

Stay home, you infectious jerkwads. For heaven's sake, this is 2007/08. You have plenty of stupid stuff to entertain you at home. God does not require your presence in church. Your muscles will not wither if you skip a week at the gym.

Face it, snotty-face. You are NOT THAT IMPORTANT. Take a day off and lie on the couch clutching wadded-up Kleenex. That is what your body wants, and that is what the rest of us want for you, too.

The world will still be here when you get over your illness.

Thank you.

Movie Rec: Dan in Real Life

I saw Dan in Real Life at the $3 movie matinee this afternoon and was pleasantly surprised.

It was well-written, well-acted, funny and cute. I don't know why it disappeared from theaters so quickly - maybe it got lost in the glut of other Steve Carell movies.

The premise is fun - it is about an advice columnist who really doesn't have a clue. His is nothing but an annoyance to his teen daughters (what dad isn't?), his family is worried about him, and he hasn't had a date in so long that his parents set him up with the neighbors' daughter whose childhood nickname was "Pigface."

I'm not going to spoil it by revealing plot details. It might be kind of a chick-flick but Carell is entertaining enough that guys might enjoy it too. I saw it with a male and female friend and they both liked it as much as I did.

I just give it a thumbs-up for when it comes out on DVD.

29 December 2007

Year end meme up

I got this meme over at Jonniker and just looking at it made me queasy. THAT is the kind of year it has been. But following my policy of doing things that scare the hell out of me, here I go.

1. What did you do in 2007 that you’d never done before?

This should not be that hard to think of. Bought a brand new car. Traveled overnight for work by myself.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I don't think I made any. I may have just know myself too well. (What the hell? Did I write that sentence when I was drunk out of my mind, or am I just a rotten typist?)

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

My niece had a little boy, Skyller. Some of my favorite bloggers - Stefanie Wilder-Taylor of Baby on Bored got twin girls,Christina of A Mommy Story had Mira, her second girl,Sage arrived to bless Liz of Mom-101, Tammie of Soul Gardeninghad a sweet boy,and so did Kristen of Motherhood Uncensored. And I'm probably forgetting a few.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

I can barely read this question without choking up. Yes, my sister on May 13; my next-door neighbor, Nice Neighbor John, 2 days later.

5. What countries did you visit?
The good ol' USA. I dreamed of Mexico a whole lot, though. Viva Mexico.

6. What would you like to have in 2008 that you lacked in 2007?

A wage that feels comfy, not scary. A belief in the future. Sex and a good relationship to go with it. More time with family and friends.

7. What dates from 2007 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

We have already discussed May 13 in question 4. July 27 & 28 for BlogHer Chicago. March 22 for The Break Up (Part 4: The Final Battle) with the exMrStapler.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

I think just surviving this year is pretty good, considering.

9. What was your biggest failure?

Continuing to gain weight. Either that, or doing such a crappy job at work.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Tendinitis in my left shoulder. A big shout out to my physical therapist, Matthew.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

The Bluemobile. Or this MacBook. Both very cool.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

My nephew James. He is a young guy, but he is handling an extremely difficult life situation with such strength. I am proud of him and his parents for all they do to help out 2 little girls who really need them.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

Personally? The exMrStapler. I have always managed to stay on good terms with my many exes but he isn't having it. I think we could still enrich each other's lives (well, crack each other up at least), but no. So that sucks.

And do I even need to mention the criminals that are running the country?

14. Where did most of your money go?

Basic living expenses, sadly. F***ing California.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

I do not get really, really, really excited. It is not in my nature.

16. What song will always remind you of 2007?

Have we talked about how I never, ever listen to music anymore? Ask me about what was on NPR.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
 a) happier or sadder?
Oh, way sadder.
b) thinner or fatter?
Fatter. Another happy one.
c) richer or poorer?

And Strike three! Poorer or holding steadyish.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Go to the Islands.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Sobbing ruefully.

20. How did you spend Christmas?

Out in the country at PKs with her big family. It was super.

21. Did you fall in love in 2007?

Nope, unless you count with Keith Olbermann's special commentaries. I could give them a big long kiss.

22. What was your favorite TV program?

I do not have a TV but I watched a lot of the Office and Entourage on DVD.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

Hate is a pretty strong word, and I have had GW Bush for 7 years now.

24. What was the best book you read?

The Disappearance of the Universe by Gary Renard. It would be a bit much for someone who isn't already into A Course in Miracles, I think.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?

See #16. I will tell you who makes me want to tear my ears off and stomp on them: Joanna Newsom.

26. What did you want and get?

More time at the gym. To travel for work. Time with my folks.

27. What did you want and not get?

Peace of mind. Skinnier.

28. What was your favorite film of this year?

Stranger than Fiction (I saw it in 07 I think).

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I went out with my crazy friends and too old to tell.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

A nice BF who knew how to...nevermind. Is it hot in here?

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2007?

Things without noticeable stains. Baggy and nondescript.

32. What kept you sane?

This question presumes that I managed to stay sane, and I am not sure I qualified for much of the year. I would say "What kept me alive?" would be more accurate. My friends. Church. My family. Running Goldie on the beach. This blog and my dear commenters.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

Craig Ferguson. That accent, oh my.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?

Health care.

35. Who did you miss?

See #4 again. My nephew Lyal. Mikey. The exMrStapler when he is in a good mood. Also all of my faraway blogger people who I would love to spend real face time with.

36. Who was the best new person you met?

Oh, gosh, there are quite a few. Super Des, Count Mockula, Alex Elliott, Kevin Charnas and Will...I could go on. Oddly all bloggers.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2007.
Do not put a container of milk in your purse no matter how securely you think it is closed.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
Only Monty Python will do...
"For life is quite absurd
And death's the final word
You must always face the curtain with a bow.
Forget about your sin - give the audience a grin
Enjoy it - it's your last chance anyhow.

So always look on the bright side of death
Just before you draw your terminal breath

Life's a piece of shit
When you look at it
Life's a laugh and death's a joke, it's true.
You'll see it's all a show
Keep 'em laughing as you go
Just remember that the last laugh is on you.

And always look on the bright side of life...
Always look on the right side of life..."


This meme is courtesy of Linda at Sundry Mourning, who is keeping track of the players. So let her know if you decide to go along for the ride.

As for me, I'm ready to grab this year by the shoulders and kick its raggedy butt out the door. You?

27 December 2007

Scary presents

What happens when an 80-something gets a cell phone for Christmas:

My phone rings but I can't get to it in time. No message. Caller ID indicates it's Mom on her new prepaid cell phone.

I call her right back.

*Ring ring* *Ring Ring* *Ring Ring*

Mom: Hello?
Sue: Hello.
Silence. She hangs up.

I call right back. No answer. The phone tells me voice mail is not yet set up.

I call to her landline. It's busy. She calls me.

Mom:
Did you call? I couldn't hear anything.
Sue: Yes, I called twice.
Mom: It was over there ringing and ringing.
Sue: Is it ringing now?
Mom: No.
Sue: Good. I will call you right back on the cell phone. Answer it, okay?



*Ring ring* *Ring Ring* *Ring Ring*

Sue: Hello
Mom: Hello?
Sue: Hi Mom.
Mom: Hello? Who is this?
Sue: It's me, mom. Sue.
Mom: Susie? Is that you? I can't hear you.
Sue, changing position: Can you hear me now?
Mom: Oh, I can hear you now. I guess I don't need to press it to my ear so hard. Why did you call me the first time? What did you want?
Sue: I was returning your call.
Mom: I didn't call you.
Sue: Right. I will see you tomorrow, ok?

1 minute later

*Ring ring* *Ring Ring* *Ring Ring*

Sue: Hello
Mom: Hello?
Sue: Hi Mom
Mom: Who IS this? Susie?
Sue: Yeah, Mom. It's Sue, again.
Mom: I was trying to call PK. I don't know what happened.
Sue: I don't know either. I will see you tomorrow, ok?
Mom: Ok.

25 December 2007

Christmas present

My Christmas spirit was not entirely missing, just delayed. Its arrival coincided with the gift of these reindeer antlers

from my boss on Friday.

I took to wearing them everywhere and people laughed and pointed and giggled and told me they loved my spirit. It made me feel suddenly festive, not ridiculous as one might imagine.

Then Alicia and her family and I had a big wrapping party on Sunday night and seeing those piles of gifts (and drinking that wine) really made it feel like Christmas.

I spent Christmas eve and morning at my sister's house with all the nephews and their kids and what a big, noisy, happy time that was. I had to take a few little breaks out on the deck in the cool air when my ears couldn't take any more, but I did ok for a cranky old auntie.

I should talk about what an amazing hostess my sister is (homemade Chex mix! Shooting photos with one hand and calling Bingo with the other!), but that would take a whole nother post. I am officially in awe.

I'm not going to post photos of my cute great-nephews on my blog because I don't feel like collecting permission from all their parents, but my sister's goat is pretty cute and doesn't have any privacy issues:
Chivo

I hope your Christmas was as good as mine. I am going to lie on the floor and try to imagine ever wanting to eat again.

24 December 2007

He hasn't asked for them back

While I was searching for wrapping paper amongst the many boxes I have that are labeled "Xmas," I made a startling discovery.

When I moved out from the exBF, I had inadvertently taken a whole box of Christmas ornaments that he had recently purchased.

I should not have gotten them in any case, because he lives in a 12-foot Christmas tree kind of house and I live in a place that has room for a tiny potted tree IF I move a bunch of stuff around.

Yes, I moved out and took my boyfriend's balls.

I wonder if he has been missing them?

***************

Merry Christmas, everyone. I hope you have health, wealth and love in the New Year, with plenty of time to enjoy them.

23 December 2007

Bad girl


Goldie chasing birds
Originally uploaded by suebobdavis
The winter storms turned the beach that Goldie and I run on from a nice wide sandy stretch like this photo to a field of cannonball-sized cobbles.

I let her off leash anyway. She can run through the rocks like they don't exist and she needed some exercise.

The problem came when I tried to get her back. She totally ignored my yells and whistles, and when I tried to catch her, slipping and sliding over the rocks and soaking my shoes, she just danced away.

Like a bad toddler, she always kept me within sight, but kept moving further and further away as I moved toward her.

My calls turned from "Goldie, Goooooooldie," to "You g**d*mn piece of sh*t dog!"

Finally I turned into a smart dog mom.

I clambered up the bank into the sea grass and crouched down so she couldn't see me.

(Of course a hiker suddenly appeared, startled to see a big fat woman kneeling as if she were praying to an oceanic Mecca. I'm glad I didn't think to try and explain to him - "I'm hiding from my dog..." )

Within 3 minutes, Goldie was running along the path, panicked, looking for me.

Ha ha. She DID miss me. Mom wins again.

22 December 2007

An easy gift

Many of my readers seem to be pregnant, so I thought this would be a good time for a public service announcement.

Please consider donating your cord blood if you aren't going to bank it. It could save a life and, other than getting a cute healthy baby, what could be better?

Here's the FAQs on donating.

A little story from marrow.org:
Diego was just a toddler when Georgette learned he had acute lymphocytic leukemia. When he was first diagnosed, Diego did not respond to standard chemotherapy. He needed a transplant.

No one in his family was a suitable match and Diego’s Hispanic heritage made locating an unrelated match challenging. His doctors searched the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) Registry, looking at both bone marrow donors and cord blood units. When Diego’s leukemia relapsed, he needed a transplant right away. Because a matching cord blood unit was available, he was able to receive a transplant quickly.

That was in August 2003. Today Diego is a happy, energetic young boy, thanks to the lifeline of donated cord blood.

21 December 2007

You're not helping

I did all my Christmas shopping tonight at Target.

I know this makes me seem like a procrastinator, but this trip was actually pencilled in on my calendar for months: Friday night before Christmas, between 9 and 11, Target.

It went off mostly without a hitch, too.

The only problem was that I filled up my basket with goods, and because the aisles I wanted to be in were so crowded, I parked my basket in an adjacent aisle.

I was gone for about 10 minutes. The helpful Target employees had taken my basket and begun restocking my items.

Whaaaaa??

I came back to find my basket - which had my canvas shopping bags that say things like "Organic Expo 2005" on them, so it was obviously a shopping cart in use, not abandoned - moved and half emptied.

I just sighed and went and got more stuff, but decided to forgo some of the restocked items because I didn't need them that bad anyway.

There's efficiency and then there's annoying, and I would say that this falls into the second category.

Happy Yule

It is the longest night of the year.

I just set my candle in the window, a tradition that I learned from my friend Gael, who is of Scottish heritage.

This tradition apparently stretches way back.

She always said it was for the travelers who were abroad on such a long, dark night.

In any case, this night, with its promise of coming light, always feels sacred to me.

That's why I am sitting here watching "The Office," drinking a nice Valpolicella and eating some Stilton, pecans and Seckel pears. Sacraments, you understand.

20 December 2007

Merry Christmeme

Look! It's a meme! Play along if you wish

Favorite place I had Christmas: Gramie's house

Least favorite place I had to spend Christmas: Work at the movie theater

Favorite Christmas present ever: Mac laptop

Least favorite Christmas present ever: $5 gift certificate to Kmart (from Kmart management when I worked there)

Best Christmas cookies: Shortbread with the sugar sprinkles

Worst Christmas cookies: There are bad cookies?

Most fun job at Christmas: Delivering flowers (happy!)

Least fun job at Christmas: Kmart cashier (I still have nightmares)

 

18 December 2007

Meaning what?

Back in college a ditsy girl was quizzing a Jewish friend about Christmas.

"But, like, don't you do SOMETHING for Christmas?" the ditz asked.

"Yes, I do," said my Jewish pal. "I fly, like all other Jews fly. We get on airplanes and go somewhere and it is so fabulous because no one else is flying and there is plenty of room to stretch out. We call it Jewish Flying Day."

I thought that was hilarious and a great story, but Ditsy wasn't going to give up.

"But you celebrate, right?"

My friend fixed her with a razor gaze.

"I. Do. Not. Know. How. I. Can. Convey. To. You. How. Little. Christmas. Means. To. Me." she said, in a tone that let Miss Ditz know that she had better shut up.

The weird part is that I feel the same way. I don't know how I ended up so curmudgeonly, but if someone announced that Christmas was cancelled this year, my only question would be "So do we still get a long weekend?"

The only reason I do any traditional things at all is to fit in with other people. Other than that, I do not care.

To change the subject from my freakish musings, here is a question: What is your favorite Christmas carol?

Mine? O Holy Night.

17 December 2007

Waiting out the dark

I have Seasonal Affective Disorder and I know that many of you do, too.

This time of the year is so dark and the nights are so long that I literally count the days until Yule, the solstice, so we can flip around and begin to head toward the light again.

About 80 percent of the blogs I read are mom blogs, and I can see that there is a lot of darkness and sadness out there in the momosphere as women struggle with holiday preparations, family stress, grief and regret.

I just want to take a small moment to remind you how important you are.

The word "mother" was voted the most beautiful word in the English language. As the article points out, in some form or another, it is usually the first word we ever utter and quite often the last.

When we are tired, hurt, hungry, lonely, we want our mothers. (For some, not their REAL mother, but a good mother, a kind mother, a caring mother).

You are providing something that no one else on earth can provide for your children. There is no substitute for a loving mother. If you doubt that, or even if you don't, listen to this lovely story from NPR about a woman who, as she approached death in her late 80s, finally got to hear her mother's voice.

16 December 2007

Gifted and talented

People who went to law school love to argue the merits of various schools. Harvard Law is usually in the top 3 (along with University of Michigan. Hi, Keith!). Usually the top 2. Often on top.

The best and brightest from law school end up on Law Review. And the best of those end up being on the editorial board. One rises to become Editor in Chief.

Barack Obama was Editor in Chief Harvard Law Review. He is in company with a few other famous Harvard Law Review alums: Supreme Court Justices Edward Sanford, Felix Frankfurter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer and Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr.

George W. Bush is proud of being a C student. After 7 years in office, he still can't pronounce "nuclear" correctly. He is stupid and proud.

It isn't Oprah's influence, I swear. I just think so fondly of Obama because I want, so badly, to have a smart president again. Is that too much to ask?

15 December 2007

Spot the flaw in logic

Man on airplane: I wonder why the plane is overweight.

Woman: I'll tell you what it is. It's all that carry-on luggage.

Man: Yeah. I don't know why they allow it.

13 December 2007

O Canadick

Gaining Altitude
Taking off over Santa Monica early morning

What is it with airplanes? Jumping Jehosephat, it's what, a few hours out of your life? Get in, sit down, shut up, hang on. It will be over before you know it.

But NOOOOOOO. Some people turn into weird kinds of monsters when they fly. Their everyday personalities peel away to reveal the stinking garbage heaps of soulessness that lies just beneath.

Like the lady that ran over my foot with her OH THAT IS SO NOT CARRY ON luggage in order to get ahead of me in the line to board the same plane that was going to take us all to the same place at the same time. She didn't say "excuse me," didn't even acknowledge me in any way, just stood there right in front of me in line with her thin shoulders all tensed up like they have obviously been since 1963.

Or Mr. Man in front of me, who sat in a seat that was not assigned to him because it was in an empty row and then began to shriek when a guy sat next to him. The guy next to him, mind you, was in HIS assigned seat.

The plane was already delayed 45 minutes and Mr. Man held it up further, demanding to be able to return to his assigned seat - a seat that was now occupied by a baby.

Mr. Man didn't care if everyone on the plane had to be shuffled around. He said as much. He wanted his assigned seat.

God love the flight attendant, who told him "That will not be happening now. It MAY happen IF we get this plane in the air and IF it all works out."

Then the plane was overweight and Mr Man and I both volunteered to get off (because of the delay, I had already missed my connecting flight and this way I got $200 in travel vouchers and was automatically rerouted - cool!)

Mr Man proceeded to give the people at the gate lip up one side and down the other, telling and retelling his "I didn't get my assigned seat" story as well as bitching about random stuff, like how he had to give them his address to get the travel voucher.

He turned to me, his Canadian passport in hand.

"You should stand in the other line, since this woman obviously doesn't know what she is doing."

Have we not already covered why you should be nice to gate agents?

Normally I try to be a nice person and to let jerkness not get to me, but this time I snapped.

"I thought Canadians were supposed to be nice," I said. "You defy that stereotype."

"I just want to get OUT of here," he whined.

"Well, you were ON an airplane," I said. "No one made you get off, right? You could be gone by now and then you wouldn't be waiting in line."

I think he wished I was gone by now. I stayed in the same line and got wonderful service while 2 gate agents, another passenger and I trashed Mr Man for being the King Hell Psycho dude of the day.

Flying. It is basically just sitting there. Good gosh, get over it already.

Those were some good jellybeans, too

I spent my free evening in Virginia seeing some of the wonderful historical sites and chatting up the locals as I dined at a charming little cafe that served fresh, regional cuisine.

Lies.

I acted like every other boring business traveler on earth. And now you get to hear about it. Yay, you! Sorry, Maggie Mason.

Free drinks in the atrium? I believe I will! Free greasy snacks? Don't mind if I do!

I actually DID begin to mind after I ate something breaded, fried, and unidentifiable. It was small, round, and very slippery. It might have been an olive or a turkey testicle - I'm not quite sure but it was frighteningly more like the latter than the former.

Then a lovely dinner at TGIFridays, conveniently located across the parking lot. My helpful server, Ed, brought me a glass of pinot noir and a cup of ice, "In case you want to chill it down." That was a new one on me, but maybe that's a local custom. Anyone?

Ed turned out to be an amazing young man. He was a really good server - quick-witted, in the right place at the right time, with a great sense of just how much interaction his customers wanted.

I left him a big tip and then gave him a stern lecture on the way out about how he was meant for Greater Things and how he should Think Big and Get The Hell Out of There as soon as he could. He nodded enthusiastically.

"I'm just working on my bartending skills and want to go to work on a cruise ship," he said. "I figure maybe 2 years."

"Give it 6 months, Ed." I didn't want to get into the evils of the cruise industry right then. Ed is smart. He will figure it out soon enough.

I collapsed in my hotel room with a Project Runway marathon (my excuse is that I have to get my trashy TV fix in hotels since I have no TV at home) and a bag of of Jelly Belly jellybeans that I had purchased at LAX.

When I bought them, the sign said $3.49 a pound. I was overjoyed and amazed, since they are $6.99 a pound at the grocery store, and this place had the full flavor selection.

I am a big Jelly Belly junkie. I spent my time picking a bag of all my favorite flavors - cappucino, sizzling cinnamon, raspberry and none of those gag-worthy buttered popcorn or bubble gum ones.

When I put the bag on the scale, the snotty little LA beeyotch behind the counter said "$14.54." (She didn't say anything else because she was waaaay too good to be friendly to a mere customer. I LOVE LA! LOVE IT!)

"Uhhhhhhhhhhh...I thought they were $3.49 a pound?" I said.

"A QUARTER pound," she corrected. I sensed she went through this at least 1000x a day. No wonder she was a beeyotch. If I had to deal with angry travelers who just found out they had made a custom mix of candy that was going to set them back the price of a large pizza, I would be cranky, too.

So I didn't argue. I ponied up my damned $15 and took my beans. I have to say they are really, really good.

11 December 2007

On the road again

At 3 a.m., I was cheering because MY ALARM WAS GOING OFF! I set it correctly! Woo hoo!

Of course, by then I had been awake for an hour, so the point is moot, but STILL! I am in my 5th decade and I CAN SET AN ALARM hear me roar!

Next up: tying shoelaces correctly.

Flying rule #28: Every airplane must contain at least one fully sick, coughing, snotting, germ-spewing toddler. I'm sorry, that's just the way it is.

Flying rule #14: Every airplane must also contain one old man with really bad gas. He must sit in the row in front of you. This is for your own safety. Apparently terrorists are deathly afraid of the farting elderly. Again, my apologies, but this is according to the Transportation Security Administration rule 530.11.

True Travel Confession #1: I forgot to take my makeup out of my backpack and put it in a tray in its plastic bag, even though it contained liquids and gels.

True Travel Confession #2: It was a GALLON sized ziplock, not a quart. If I disappear tomorrow, please tell my mom what happened to me.

All in all, a relatively nice day of travel. Except for the part where I almost missed my connection because the airport restaurant was busy screwing up my order (I can assure you ma'am, that I would NEVER order the black bean soup on a trip that involves an evening business meeting with my bosses. Nevah!)

They had to call my name and stuff. It is pretty surreal for me, Miss Pathologically Early, to hear my name called over the loudspeakers by an annoyed gate agent.

I have heard those announcements SO OFTEN and thought "What losers those people are!"

Hey, guess what? I'm a loser, too!

I caught a ride from a guy with an electric cart. Thank you, Mr. Man, whoever you are.

They had the doors locked and the gate agent had taken off, but after I stood at the door, shaking it on its hinges and sobbing, "Pleeeeeaaaaase, oh, pleeeeease, can't someone HELP me??? Oh cruel fate!" a nice guy unlocked the door and let me, sweating and redfaced in.

I had to make the Walk of Shame down the skinny little airplane aisle. I knew what all those other passengers were thinking.

I am NOT a loser.

10 December 2007

Be glad you don't live in my head

I believe I have mentioned this before, but I cannot set an alarm clock to save my life. The whole process just baffles me.

You'd think, at my advanced age, that I would have mastered this by now. What on God's green earth is my problem?

I don't need an alarm clock. I never use one. I am an annoyingly light sleeper. Though I appear to be asleep, I am actually in a sort of daze with my eyes closed. Anything from a breeze to a car alarm going off 6 blocks away can awaken me.

(I think I scared my doc when I started talking about the last time I got a good night's sleep: "Oh, I remember it so well - March, 2003, Tempe Arizona for spring training...we were staying at the Sheraton and I slept like a rock.")

I can also awaken myself at any time that I decide the night before. If I say "Wake up at 5:15," I will be awake between 5:12 and 5:17. This has failed about 4 times in 46 years, usually when I am sick as a dog.

Snooze alarm? Screw you. That is a tool of the devil. Once the fucker goes off once, I AM AWAKE and there is no way I am "snoozing."

What is my problem, then? I still get paranoid on nights like tonight, where I have to get up at 3 a.m. to catch a plane.

Despite everything I know about myself, I will nervously awaken every 15 minutes or so to make sure I didn't oversleep. I would love to be able to set an alarm and count on it to wake me up at 3.

But I can't. Because I can't be sure I have set the alarm right. Because I don't need to except maybe once every 3 years.

I hate being me sometimes.

09 December 2007

Learning to Fight

About 15 years ago I took a class in self-defense where I learned to fight like this:
Getting mugged by 2 big guys

It was called "Model Mugging" (yeah, stupid name) but it also goes by Impact Personal Safety, Prepare and other names.

It taught me to fight after getting knocked down, grabbed from the rear, when waking up with someone on top of you...it taught me to fight dirty and to fight from the very center of my being.

It was the best thing I ever did. I would trade my college degrees for those 100 hours of training on the mat. I became a different person because of it.

One of my friends described it thusly: After Model Mugging, everything else seems easy. I hear people say "I'm afraid to fly," or "I'm afraid to drive in strange cities," and I think "Well, if I faced down 3 attackers at once, I can do THAT easy."

But the fighting wasn't the most important thing I learned in class. There were a dozen of us and we all told our stories of why we were there on the first night. Out of 12 women, seven were rape survivors. Two with multiple assailants. Three who had had abusive husbands or boyfriends. Four who had survived molestation. And one woman, who I took an instant dislike to because of her cold, standoffish attitude.

I learned about strength and courage from these women. Because even though they had been terrorized and abused, they were going on with their lives. They had husbands, kids, were in positions of power at work.

They hid the pain most of the time. But when they opened themselves up, the pain just poured out. It was harsh, raw, unshielded. It took my breath away that they could even survive, much less thrive.

They taught me that you never know why someone is acting like a jerk. They might just be a jerk, or they might be skating on the thin ice that covers a lake of hurt, a lake that is boiling and ready to blow.

The woman who was cold wasn't just an ass. She had been and was being stalked by an ex-boyfriend for over 4 years. He made her life a living hell and she was so terrorized that she was afraid to show any emotion. She was also sleep-deprived to the point of insanity.

She got her life back through the class and her stalker, seeing she had taken back her power, moved on just like that.

I got a piece of my heart back through the class because I gained compassion that I could not have found any other way.

And I also pack a mean round kick.

08 December 2007

Kodachrome

These past 3 days haven't been productive in the usual sense of getting laundry done or vacuuming, but boy have I given my Flickr Pro account a workout.

I have uploaded over a hundred photos, organized and written little stories about them.

Looking back at these photos gives me a sense of history and belonging that I don't often feel. I am usually an in-the-present kind of gal, pretty much.

I was talking to my mom about this photo:
My mom, Pauline, as a girl
She could still remember what she was wearing and how she felt that day, waiting for Mr. Kluge, the piano teacher. That photo was taken 75 years ago.

Likewise, I still remember this - the warmth of sitting out on that rock, the little hat -
Me in Santa Ynez at Evie's house
There's something about a photo that brings it all back. I wonder if it is real or imagination, a story made up after the fact because we can see what is happening.

**********
Watch Keith Olbermann rip the Bush administration up one side and down the other at Linkateria. Also, kitten playing with turtles.

07 December 2007

More fun with photos


HS Grad 1979
Originally uploaded by suebobdavis
My neck is still ouchy so you get a photo.

You can't really tell from this, but I had a zit the size of a bumblebee on my chin. What you can tell from this is that one of my old phobias used to be having my hair trimmed.

I think it started with the scary Asian hairstylist lady my mom took us to as kids. She would appear from behind a beaded curtain, which was in itself exotic and weird. She had a fantastic chignon and long red nails and used to scrub our scalps until we yelped for mercy.

06 December 2007

How I Passed the Day

I didn't go to work. I awoke with a knot between my shoulder blades the size of a monkey's fist.

I put on a heat wrap, took some Advil, and I may be the only woman in American who is using an electric wand massager for its intended purpose.

I could have worked okay, but since I could not turn my head, I didn't feel safe to drive.

Instead, I played with my new Canon Pixma 470 scanner/printer and a box of old photos. The results are over on Flickr. This is just a start.

Five Davis kids

05 December 2007

My election predictions

So who is it going to be in the presidential election? I asked you and now it is my turn to predict...

Romney and Edwards.

Crazy, no? What am I basing this on?

The most important thing, people, obviously. Looks.

From close examination of the past few presidential races, I have realized that the better looking man always wins (Gore and GW Bush were pretty evenly matched, thus Gore just won by a bit).

The looks thing obviously eliminates McCain, Tancredo, Thompson, Giuliani, Pau1 and some of those other dudes on the Republican side.

Clinton is kind of a wild card, being a woman (is that why she is always referred to by her first name, or is that a choice by her campaign? None of the male candidates are called by their first names...) but Edwards obviously creams Obama, Biden, Richardson, etc.

Do I think Americans are that shallow? You betcha, folks. You betcha. If Romney doesn't totally pooch his speech tomorrow, I think he has a good shot. He's got the look.

********
And a new post is up at Linkateria, including more Republican animal torture news.

04 December 2007

Tell your friend Veronica...

It's time to celebrate Hanukkah...with the Adam Sandler song (there's no video, but the audio is where it's at. Push play and enjoy):

03 December 2007

The truth comes out

I tell people that I wasn't a very good-looking baby and they always pooh-pooh that.

"Oh, I'll bet you were adorable," they say.

I have evidence to the contrary:


It is the early 1960's. That is Laura on the left, with my brother Al, PK, and me being dandled by my oldest sister Elvie. They don't look that tremendously pleased with their new little bundle of crankiness, especially Al, who was still trying to will me into being a little brother.

We lived in a 2-bedroom house (plus a converted garage) on an oil lease with thousands of acres of wilderness to play in. Seven families total lived there, all in a row.

It was 15 miles from the nearest town of 300 people. We had a phone with a party line (in case you have never heard of a party line, it is when more than one family shares the phone line. You could pick up the phone and listen to other people's conversations - and I am sure that many people did!) To dial out, you had to call an operator. No, I am not making this up.

I may have been cranky THEN, but that was nothing compared to when the chicken pox hit a few months later.

02 December 2007

My guilty admission

I must confess: there is almost nothing I ever do to get dirty enough to justify the lengthy, scalding-hot showers that I take.

For instance, I went to the gym today and worked up a little sweat and came home and took a 15 minute shower. Didn't wash my hair, even. I will do that in the morning.

Hot running water is the pinnacle of civilization to me. Take away TV, the internet, highways, airplanes, coffeemakers...but leave me my hot water. And proper dental care.

What is your idea of the best thing civilization has to offer?

*********
New Smashboard Sunday brilliance up at Linkateria. This week featuring posts by Her Bad Mother, The Blanktop Chronicles, Kevin Charnas and Madness Rivera.

01 December 2007

Please be patient

I am learning iMovie. This is my first attempt to put some pieces together. Love my mad movie making skillz. You may notice that I am not exactly Spielberg yet. I mean, there is no plot...but there is a lot of wind. Doesn't that count for something?

The video is shot on my still camera's video feature - so the quality is frankly crap. I also had end titles that somehow didn't make it to YouTube. Next time, grasshopper.

30 November 2007

The Whine Festival

Mea culpa, bitches. I apologize in advance. You don't have to read this crap, but I feel compelled to write it.

The day began at 2 a.m. when it started raining and my dog woke me up to point that out to me. It hasn't rained in 8 months, so my big strong dog was AFRAID OF THE SOUND OF RAINDROPS. I was not that sympathetic to her plight. I am bad, bad dog mom.

Then she woke me up an hour later with the lightning and thunder. THAT I can sympathize with. I cried into my pillow a bit and so did she.

4 a.m.? Gunshots! Sometimes if there are lots of gunshots, I get on the floor because I am a big chicken. But I decided to stay in bed. Goldie hid in the closet with the dirty socks.

And a power outage to boot! I decided to skip showering and making breakfast in the dark and sleep in a bit. Hey, my hair looks GREAT all bent and greasy.

Off to work. Computer still broken. Rush job due. I moved heaven and earth to find a workstation I could borrow for an hour to get it done. Done! Yay. I am hero.

But the rest of the day...hanging out. No work, no computer. The message on the screen, after 4 tries by our tech, is "No system present." Oh yay. Boring as hell. Pass time by making fun of the girl who sings in the next row of cubicles and eating the last of the cookies Jean brought in.

Time for a teeth cleaning! With the new, not so good hygienist. I am usually pretty calm, but I felt like climbing out of the chair before it was half over. I almost lost my shit. I imagined tossing the suction device on the floor, standing up and screaming "OH NO YOU DON'T!" My gums felt like pincushions. Agggh!

And then physical therapy on my shoulder. It isn't so bad but I was done being poked and prodded by then.

That's all. Friday. Over. Whine fest.

Well, it's almost over

NaBloPoMo - did you make it? Why or why not? Good, bad, indifferent?

29 November 2007

Move along, move along

Recent google searches that somehow found this blog:

carrot in the butt parade I think we have a different idea of what makes a good parade entry

wetting my pants there are several of these every single day

pissing in my pants see what I mean?

red stapler finally! a sane one

wax crotch men Don't do it! Read Christopher Hitchens' article first, at least, so you'll know what you're in for

no crotch women I'm not sure this is possible

motorway, i am going to pee my pants I told you that you should have gone before you left. Let me guess - sent from your Blackberry?

the worlds beautifulist dog Yes, this is the place

cheese kills Damn vegan googlers

movie idoits frozen 45 years the spelling here enhances my enjoyment

28 November 2007

Is it just me?

Do you have real, serious problems with almost every medical bill you receive?

Just this week I have had 2 egregious mistakes -

1. About 3 months ago, I got billed $1025 for a procedure done 11 months ago (needle biopsies in both breasts). At the time, they only billed my insurance for one breast, so then they waited almost a year and billed ME for the rest of it. I wrote and told them to go back to my insurance company. They billed me again. I called them. They said it was taken care of.

They just sent me a FINAL NOTICE. When I called, they said they would look into it and call me back. I waited all day but they never called. I called at quarter to five and the same rep I talked to the day before said "Oh, I was wondering why that file was on my desk all day!" They promised to rebill. I have little hope.

2. I got a brief exam of my shoulder. The doc billed my insurance for draining the bursa and injecting me with 2 drugs as well as $375 for an exam. I contacted the insurance company's fraud department.

The moral of the story? Keep all your EOBs. Examine them with eagle eyes. Match them up with your dates of service. Question everything. Note who you talked to. Get their extension #. Report irregularities. No one is going to do it for you.

This is assuming, of course, that you are lucky enough to have health insurance.

27 November 2007

Sadness vs depression

I love to read Sister Wolf's blog "Godammit.com" because she so often has a perspective that I haven't thought of before. For instance, she has passionate views on the ethics of surgically modifying children to appear more "normal" if they have congenital "deformities."

She recently wrote regarding a NT Times book review of three books on the pathologizing of common conditions like shyness and sadness.

During my annual visit with my primary care physician I told her what a crappy year I had had. Well, she asked. Foremost on my list of crap things were breaking up with the exMrStapler and my sister dying.

She was sympathetic - and then she offered to medicate me. I demurred. She pressed, saying, "Well, you know if it gets bad you can always call me and I will fix you up."

Memo to Doc: I'm not clinically depressed. I am grieving. Can I do that?

I don't know about you, but I don't think all pain can or should be avoided. To me, not feeling this pain and loss would actually be worse than feeling it. As I said in my comment to Sister Wolf, I think I would be a monster if I didn't hurt like this.

I wonder what Emily Dickinson's poetry would have been like if she were medicated out of her social anxiety. Van Gogh clearly could have used medication for his bipolar disorder, but...I'm too chicken to say this, but his art and his illness seem so bound up together. What would be the ethical thing to do with someone like him? Would it be better to end his suffering, if it ended his genius? (Please note: I'm not saying you have to be mentally ill to be a talented artist or that people who are on medication can't produce great art.)

When I was a kid, the 18-year-old son of our neighbors 2 doors down ran out of air while SCUBA diving, a dumb macho kid mistake. He got the "bends" which left him unable to feel his legs.

He could still walk, but his pain receptors were gone. This condition turned out to be very dangerous, because he often cut, bruised and sprained himself, even once broke a bone, without ever being able to feel it.

Is there a parallel in our society? Where there is pain, is there also necessarily illness? And what are the dangers that come with being chemically removed from our deepest feelings?

Edited to add: I just want to be sure that you know I'm not doing a Tom Cruise and saying that psychiatric medicines are unnecessary. I know that many people need them, just as diabetics need maintenance drugs, and that there should be as little stigma involved in both. I am concerned, though, that a family doctor would offer to change my brain chemistry after a 3 minute conversation because I mentioned being sad.

26 November 2007

Norma Rae, where are you now?

I am always on the lookout for freelance writing gigs, so I headed over to the Problogger job board to see if I could scare up some joblets.

Pretty soon my mouth was hanging open. Most of the ads were for bloggers with fairly specialized knowledge and/or semi-fanatical passions as well as a great deal of experience. That's not the part that scandalized me.

They were also offering as low as $5 to $10 per post, a couple posts a week max. Or something like $250 for a post a day, every day.

'Da hell?

Are people REALLY whoring themselves and their writing and blogging skills out for that little? "Whoring" hardly seems fitting, because any decent sex professional gets paid much better than that.

This is so wrong, people. Don't sell yourself for chump change. It lowers the bar for all of us. Is it time for a union?

*******
And now...my first video! 10 whole seconds.

25 November 2007

This comment deserves its own post

I wrote a post about the morons that stand around at Jets football games and harass women.

One of the quoted men was a guy named Marco. A few days later I got this great anon quote:
Anonymous said...(edited for clarity)

i go to school with marco and either way he'll never get pussy. he looks like a scrambled egg headed alien. give the kid a break those tits at the jets game are the only ones he'll ever see


*********
And as usual, there is more brilliance up at Linkateria than you can stand. Now featuring links to great posts by Mommy with an Attitude, Motherhood Uncensored, Moosh in Indy, and more.

24 November 2007

Just a question

If you will so indulge me, who do you like for president?

And why?

(And why is it that the people with great ideas - to me - are always considered people who are nutballs who can't possibly win because they are so out of touch? I know I'm a freak, but am I THAT much of a freak?)

23 November 2007

More like a white and silver Friday

I did something I never do.

I'm not so big on crowds. I'm not terribly keen on shopping, either, so the day after Thankgsgiving is usually devoted to seeing how many times a day one person can eat mashed potatoes (the record is eight, I believe. And no, I don't believe in those horrible non-fat "make them with vegetable stock instead of butter and milk" travesties, either).

This year was different. I went shopping on Black Friday. At the mall. I spent a boatload of money. I survived. And I was happy about it.

Despite my worst fears, I got in, got a parking spot right away, walked in, made my purchase and walked out, 10 minutes later, grinning.



The old Red Stapler iBook finally coughed up a hairball yesterday morning and expired, clicking and gasping.

Yes, my computer died on one of two days a year when it is physically impossible to get a new one. Do I have your sympathies? I suffered, people, I suffered for tens of computerless hours.

Yesterday was not a good day.

Today, much better. Those Apple store kids are so nice. And my new MacBook is just wonderful. Shiny. Happy.

Now to pay for it. Writer needs freelance work! Any and all offers considered.

22 November 2007

If you see me with my hand down my pants, you'll know why

Oh happy day.

I seem to have developed an...um...extreme sensitivity to a new brand of toilet paper.

I feel like I am sitting naked on a racing bike seat that is woven from Brillo pads.

It is going to be a fun holiday.

Hope your weekend is itch-free.

21 November 2007

Thanks

I always sit next to the same guy in church.

I don't know what the latest p.c. term for him would be, but my mom would probably say "He's a little slow, bless his heart."

I don't sit next to him out of a sense of misguided Christian charity, so I'm not looking for a gold star on my report card. I sit by him because I truly enjoy our conversations. It is pretty hard to be in a bad mood after a talk with Neil, because he keeps such a positive outlook.

We sat together at Thanksgiving and I was so touched when he got out a little card for me. I want to share what he had written in it, because with his message was so sweet that I thought it captured the spirit of thankfulness in a way perfect for this holiday. I only hope to be so eloquent and succinct:

Appreciate encouragement, support. Sitting next me in church service. Wonderful child of God. Make different others life. Have a good sense humor about life. Good Sunday School teacher for child learn from. May life be showers with inspirn. from Neil.

I can't remember a time when I have been more honored.

*********

I wish you all love, happiness and all good things on Thanksgiving and in the coming year.

20 November 2007

Googleriffic

When my nephew, Johnson, was a tyke, he once got so mad that he said "That makes me stink!"

The non sequitur stuck and, 30-something years later, I still find myself saying it every once in a while.

Like today, when I read the NY Times article that Suzanne is talking about.

It is all about how, at Jets football games, men stand around during breaks harassing women to show their tits.
When one woman appeared to be on the verge of obliging, the hooting and hollering intensified. But then she walked away, and plastic beer bottles and spit went flying. Boos swept through the crowd of unsatisfied men.

Suzanne mentions that two young men, Patrick Scofield (Poughkeepsie, NY, age 20) and Marco Hoffner (Lacey Township, NJ, age 18) are quoted in the article, and she has some words for them:
If women were smart (and lucky for you, they are not), they would read about your attitudes and decide that no one should ever, under any circumstances, have sex with you. You would both be shunned like the pathetic, hateful pieces of shit that you are until you apologize and learn how to behave like a civilized person.

Here's a nice thought for you, Suzanne - these men are both very young and are not very accomplished. So the NY Times article is likely to be the biggest thing to ever happen to them. Which means, for the rest of time, when someone googles "Patrick Scofield" or "Marco Hoffner," the first thing that will pop up is the NY Times piece. Good luck getting jobs, guys. You may need it. Ain't no justice like internet justice.

19 November 2007

Birthday/Not birthday

I was standing at the counter between the dining room and kitchen of my parents’ house, the counter where the phone and calendar and address book sit.

 

I glanced down at the calendar, upon which my mother lists everyone’s birthdays and ages.

 

Nov. 26: Laura – 57

 

My chest instantly tightened and my eyes filled. I blinked hard and tried to keep breathing, talking, carrying on conversation with my parents while drums pounded in my ears.

 

Nov. 26 is my sister’s birthday. Was. It isn’t her birthday anymore. Is it? She won’t ever reach 57. That’s what stabbed me so hard. The wrongness of that number.

 

One part of me wanted to erase it, that 57. The other part of me just doesn’t know what to do.

 

 

 

 

18 November 2007

Justice for jerks

This one for Meno, who says she loves it when jerks get their due:

Scene: major airport

A man berates a ticket agent in the rudest possible manner. The ticket agent keeps his cool and is extremely polite and professional. The man stalks off in a huff.

My friend JFE: Wow, that was amazing. That guy was such a jerk and you were so calm. How do you do it?

Ticket agent: Oh, that's easy. He's going to Philadelphia and his luggage is going to Atlanta.

That, my friends, is why you should try to be nice to the little people. Kindness pays, and so does jerkness. Just in different ways.

17 November 2007

Doing what I can

It must be genetic. As much as I would like to be one of those people who sits back and doesn't rock the boat, I can't help myself. I find myself getting involved when other people just look on, afraid or dumbfounded.

You know what they say - "Fools rush in where angels fear to treat." Might as well be engraved on our escutcheon.

One of our favorite family oft-told tales is about the time my mom stood in front of a California pepper tree in the lot across from our house to prevent a workman with a bulldozer from removing it. The punch line is that it was my dad who had ordered the removal as a gift to mom, thinking the tree blocked the ocean view from our home.

When you have a mom who is willing to stand in front of a Caterpillar to save a tree, รก la the Tiananmen Square guy, you learn that you can get mad as hell and not take things anymore.

Today at water aerobics class at my stupid gym, about 15 of us ladies were bouncing around like maniacs to some ABBA tunes ("Waterloo whoooaaaa whooooaaa whooooaaa Waterloo") with Avi, our timid Israeli instructor leading us from poolside.

This big beefy tall dude in red board shorts came in and stood around for a while before approaching Avi. I thought he was going to try and pick up on her, a not altogether uncommon occurrence at the gym.

(Why random men think they can walk up to a female instructor in the middle of a class and chat her up is beyond my ken. But they do.)

He spoke to her briefly and she shook her head. He spoke a little more emphatically and she gave him a look like "We just went over this, didn't we?"

Out of the blue, Beefy Dude started yelling.

"Why? You people aren't using the whole pool! I used to be a lifeguard! You could put in a lane line and people could swim. Why do you need so much space?"

He raved on and on, getting louder and louder. We just continued Waterlooing and doing our side kicks. We didn't bother arguing with him or mentioning that we have the pool for 1 hour a day while swimmers have it for 15. Or that the schedule is clearly posted. Or that he was acting like a total boob.

But finally someone had enough. A baby's cry was heard. A loud, big whiny baby cry. Waaa-aaaa-AAAAA. Waaah-ahhhh. It echoed off the walls. You couldn't tell where it was coming from, because everyone was still just aerobicizing along.

Beefy Dude's face grew crimson and he swung his big head from side to side, trying to determine the source of his humiliation. He finally stalked off, pride in shreds.

Of course it was me. You knew it was, right? I could have gotten out and talked to him, but the guy was truly acting like a maniac, and I didn't want to get hurt.

That's part of being a troublemaker. You have to know when to stand in front of the bulldozer and when to sneak up and drain the oil out.

16 November 2007

What season is it?

It is catalog season. I yanked a big slippery fistful out of the mailbox today.

After Eddie Bauer (Motto: "We'll make you look like a big ol' butch lesbian or your money back") they all had 2 names. Hearth and Home. Wind and Weather. Night and Day. Buttocks and Bollocks. That sort of thing.

The problem is that I am not a catalog person. I can slaver over the descriptions like anyone else: "Made of butter-soft Carthiginean leather and hand-sewn by a family of dwarves who have inhabited the magic Brillig hills for over 30 centuries."

I can pick items out and tear out order forms, carefully working around the staple in the middle.

Then I get to calculating the shipping, and it all goes to hell. The melt-in-your-mouth caramels that are handmade on Whimsy Bean Island look great at $14.95 a pound, but I just can't see paying $8.95 for shipping on top of that. I think "Damn, I could make my own caramels!" and start researching caramel recipes.

I never actually MAKE any caramels, and no one actually gets any presents from me, but at least I didn't shell out $8.95 for shipping.

15 November 2007

Skyrockets in flight



I met a guy on the plane. He was sitting in my row and as soon as I sat down, I was taken by him. Very tall, very nice-looking.

I liked him because he looked out the window a lot. People don't do that enough. Man has been dreaming of flight for thousands of years, but now we act like we are too cool to look out at how marvelous it is.

Eventually we started talking. He was smart. Had an interesting job. He could talk politics, travel, history. Had no wedding ring. Yessss!

He was charming. How charming?
1. He said "Well, I'm obviously a lot older than you" (He was 6 months younger and acted truly amazed that he was wrong.)
2. He so wowed the flight attendant that she brought him a cup of cashews and a free glass of wine. In economy. Who has THAT happen to them?

So we chatted and chatted as the miles flew by, tra la. Tiny bluebirds were flying out his mouth as he spoke. The sun glinted off his perfectly greying hair.

He leaned over and said "Oh, I want to show you something." Ooh. All confidential-like. My heart beat a little faster.

He pulled out a jewelry box. In it were an amber pendant and amber earrings. I looked at him questioningly.

He said "Yeah, I left my wedding ring at home by accident and my wife called me and accused me of wanting to be a bachelor on this trip. So I got her a little something to show her I was thinking of her."

Smart. And cute. And interesting. And treats his wife well. Figures. Men!

14 November 2007

Color Me Amazed

We don't have fall like this where I live.

I found myself spontaneously singing "How Great Thou Art."

13 November 2007

LAX 11-13-07

Liveblog me baby

Good morning, America! I'm not quite awake!

Do you want me to clean this up, or do you want me to tell it like it is? Ah, good people of the internets, I knew I could trust you to want the real deal.

My alarm didn't go off. My fault. I can't set an alarm to save my life. It is one of my many shortcomings, along with an inability to dress myself fashionably or to keep my mouth shut.

Fortunately I wasn't really sleeping, since I was tossing and turning all night with the anticipation of getting less than 5 hours of sleep. I was also wondering at my decision to order the spicy garlic noodles last night and

So I looked at the clock and sprang into action at 2:37. Got naked to take a shower (yes, I need one - have you seen my hair after I sleep on it?)

My first action was to sneeze hard and pee on my leg (hello, Google pervs! Welcome!) Yes I did. I know, Kegels. Kegels.

The shuttle arrived 15 minutes early, which doesn't seem like much but the difference between 3 a.m. and 3:15 a.m. is significant. So instead of doing the last minute dishes, I put them in the fridge. They'll keep, right?

The first lady on the shuttle was my kinda gal. "I'm going to sleep," she declared. Yeah, baby. But of course the second person was not only Latey McLatelady, but also Chatty McYakmeister AND Stinky Lotioncloud. A trifecta of annoyingness!

The good thing is that once I take off my glasses, other people don't exist. I inflated my travel pillow, put in my earplugs, and pretended to sleep.

The airport is todo desmadre, even more than usual. But complaining about airports is so passe. Just like the guy next to me's puma tattoo. (Oh, crap, that is poor grammar. But you are talking to a woman who peed on herself and put her dirty dishes in the fridge, so what do you expect?)

I took a brilliant photo, but my camera cord is in checked, so I will share later. Wait for it. Pray for me.

Did I mention that I got my period between Ventura and here? My glamorous life continues...

12 November 2007

Fly away

Woo hoo. Off to Virginia for a few days on business.

Don't worry, my Hells Angel neighbor and his pit bull are watching my house.

I love to travel and am so happy to be going anywhere that it almost makes up for the fact that the shuttle is picking me up at 3:15 a.m.

ouch.

11 November 2007

Do not help me out like this again, okay?

Today I started taking the plastic off a bunch of dry cleaning I had picked up and found this:


They found my gloves in my jacket pocket, removed them and dry cleaned them, put each on an individual hanger and charged me $3 EACH GLOVE.

Yes, I am a dope for leaving my stupid $1.99 magic gloves in my jacket, but I think they are jackasses for not just setting them aside. Do people normally have cheap, pilly gloves dry cleaned? Am I too sensitive?

I'm sorry, Four Seasons Cleaners. It has been nice, but I don't think we can see each other anymore.

Why do dogs wait? A photo essay

Q. Why is Goldie waiting outside on a Saturday afternoon?
Goldie waits
A. She wants to do this.
Another Goldie
Then she comes home and does this. It's a rough life.
Dogs get tired

10 November 2007

Red Stapler, east coast style

Anyone out there from near Richmond, VA? I'll be there next week!
*********

Overheard phone conversation in the 15-items or less (shouldn't that be "15 or fewer items"?) line at the grocery store, where at least 10 people could overhear:

"I don't f***ing care. I told him it was too late. I said I wasn't f***ing in love with him anymore and that I wanted to be with you, f*** it. He shoulda f***ing known when he pulled that f***ing sh*t with that f***ing b*tch that I wasn't gonna f***ing sit around forever and wait for his f***ing a**. It's his f***ing loss, you f***ing know, I mean, sh*t, you can't f***ing disrespect me like that and f***ing get away with it. I told him I was gonna beat that b*tch's a** but f*** it it ain't even f***ing worth it anymore. He's all crying and sh*t but too bad, so sad, f***er. What? A 24-pack? Sure, yeah, Bud Light, I got it. Okay."

I think someone needs a new image consultant!
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There's a great video up at Linkateria. It is one of those "only on the internet" things. Check it out.

*******

My new house decoration. It is a tin La Catrina that I got at Dia de Los Muertos. La Catrina reminds us that, no matter who we are, no matter how fancy our clothes are, the Angel of Death will come for us someday.

Why is that a good thing to remember? So we will live like we don't have forever. We will hold our loved ones and say what we mean. We will do the things that are important to us. That's why La Catrina welcomes me into my home each night.

09 November 2007

And I write like a 2 year old, too

Today is my blogiversary. Time flies blahblahblah doesn't seem possible yadayada.

One cliche is true - I couldn't have done it without you.

I wish I could personally thank each of my readers AND ESPECIALLY MY COMMENTERS for helping me to become a better human, because you really have.

You have encouraged and cheered and suggested and prodded and questioned me. I thank you for indulging me and for continuing to read.

I'm happier, more compassionate and smarter because of you. And now I'm raking in the ad money, too (My first check, for slightly over a month, was $25.48 yeah baby, that's what I'm talking about).

If you come over, any of you, I will take you out to either a nice cup of coffee or some fish tacos at Pepe's. Promise. Because I love you people.

08 November 2007

A Veteran's Day Wish

To me, the best thing about blogging is the community that develops.

I feel all alone and screwed up, yet when I muster the bravery to write a truthful blog post about just what a mess I am, people come out of the woodwork to tell me that I am not alone, that others feel just like I do.

It makes my life a lot richer and more satisfying, knowing that I am not an outcast but a struggling little human just like everyone else.

Today I found a blog by a soldier who got a brain injury during military service. He got a big piece of shrapnel lodged in his head, and his recovery has been rough on himself and everyone around him.

I noticed that he has very few comments. Can you do me a favor and go over and introduce yourself? Even if you are a lurker on my blog, please don't lurk on his.

Linky love would be great, too. This man stood up for our country, and I feel like the least we can do is honor him by reading his story and by telling him he isn't alone.

Thank you.

07 November 2007

Facehoor

I already cancelled my Facebook account over the titty thing, (because I am all about the boobies) then I reinstated it with a "Facebook Sucks" button, just to see if I could earn me another Golden Shit Stirrer Award, but it didn't work. Facebook wasn't paying attention to my little Agent Provocateur act.

Now there's this.

If I understand this right, Facebook wants its users to recommend products, and they will send those recommendations to all of the user's contacts...um because why?

Am I going to get PAID to recommend things? And even if I am, do my contacts have a way to opt our of my noxious ad-spewing blast?

Look, I recommend things all the time. I back my truck up and dump my shit into the Internet's tubes and people seem to like it.

Sometimes on my own blog, other times of Epinions,Chowhound or other sites.

So what's the difference, then?

On my site, Epinions and Chowhound, I don't go banging on anyone's virtual door to advertise to them. They stop by for a reason, to see if they want to wreck their spines with a crappy Dirt Devil vacuum or not.

"But you have ads on your site. What's the difference NOW, Ethical Girl?"

I hope people who read my site know that my ads come from a feed, and while I can choose not to carry particular content (I don't do tobacco ads, for instance), I have no choice over what advertisers appear in my sidebar and I don't endorse or unendorse (is that a word?) any of them.

I'm already not so big on Facebook. It is a minor part of my online life because my blog is where I live on the internet. But if every time I go there, I get a pile of ads from contacts I may or may not know well, recommending everything from hair product to hemmoroid cream, well, I'll go play somewhere else. Again.

***********

Goldie loves squeaky toys, and the ones she loves most of all are these little soft hedgehogs. She has about 8 between my parents house and my house.

Because the old ones were so torn and drool-covered, I bought 2 more this weekend. I am amazed at the amount of joy she gets out of them, considering the fact that she has so many in reserve. She is so proud of her new toys. She really knows the difference.

Of course, my mom always says her granddog is a genius.

*********
Three more seconds in my 15 minutes of fame over at Queen of Spain's BlogHer video cooking thingie. More fun than the FoodTV network.
********

06 November 2007

She who pays the piper

My gym, LA Fitness, is extremely lame.

As a result, we haven't had music in my water aerobics class for 3 weeks, despite whining, complaining, cajoling and getting pissed off.

The plug out by the pool blew and apparently there is no modern invention that can take the place of AC power for a boom box. Crazy!

Doing aerobics for an hour with no music makes it seem like 3 hours, especially when the quiet, timid Israeli teacher is there on Saturdays. And I go to class 3x a week. Interminable.

After a fruitless call to the manager ("We're working on it," her voice mail said) I decided to act like a Muffett (my sister's old fake sorority - motto: "Don't fuck with a Muffett) and take matters into my own hands.

I loaded up my high-tech $50 boom box with C batteries and a CD and took it to class.

Thus, for the first time in 3 weeks, we had music. And I guaran-damn-tee you it was the first time that particular class ever got to, in our very vanilla suburb, dance along to "Say it Loud - I'm Black and I'm Proud!"

doot doot.

********
And a movie reco: "Talk to Me" with Don Cheadle. It is the story of Petey Greene, a legendary Washington DC DJ (back when that meant on the radio). The acting is great, the story is great, the costumes are fabulous, and the music is too cool. Suebob says 2 thumbs up.

05 November 2007

I can't make this up (in 3rd person like an NBA star)

Scene recap: Suebob sits reading blogs and eating reheated frozen pizza (not bad, actually).

First, she reads
Kevin Charnas' post
about people who RSVP and then don't show up:
So, I don't want to turn this into anything nasty. I don't want to tell you how approximately 40+/- people who actually made it a point to tell us that not only were they coming, but they were bringing people, DIDN'T show.

Not only did they not show up. They haven't called or emailed to apologize.

Suebob mentally agrees that these people are kind of jerky.

Then she reads Queen of Spain and thinks about what it would be like if the Queen and Kaiser moved away, and how much she likes all the local bloggers she has met and

HOLY CATS!! SHE SUDDENLY REALIZES SHE IS SUPPOSED TO BE DRINKING WINE WITH VenturaMom at that very moment. At a soiree she had RSVPed for and was in great danger or not showing up to.

So that's what she did. And it was fun. Period. End of story.

04 November 2007

Color my world

Conversation at the Pharmacy

Woman with her cart parked in front of the hair dye: Oh, excuse me, let me get out of your way.
Sue: That's okay. It always takes me a while to remember what color my hair is.

********
(Pecan, by the way)
********

Advantage of dragging your floor-length mirror outside to dye your hair in the back yard: You don't get dye all over the bathroom wall like usual.

Disadvantage of dragging your floor-length mirror outside to dye your hair in the back yard: You get to see your body in a swimsuit in a full-length mirror in the unforgiving light of a fall afternoon (and then I died).

03 November 2007

A whole new world

Oh, boy, this is going to sound stupid. But that has never stopped me before! So I beat on, a boat against the current borne ceaselessly into my own dorkness.

Juliness of Fresh and Sassy (aka Sfrontato) wrote a comment on my last post that blew my mind.
I think it's wonderful that he was even comfortable enough to speak to you at all. Which tells me you are doing something very right.
It made me make the Scooby Doo noise (example below).


Reading that comment was akin to having the scales fall from my eyes. It was a real revelation.

I honestly just never, ever thought of the idea of being comfortable enough to speak to people or not. I mean, I know that there are autistic or mentally ill people who have a hard time communicating with others, but the idea of one adult being uncomfortable with approaching another just isn't in my genetic make up, and if it ever was, becoming a journalist drove it out completely.

A good 50 percent of the skill of being a journalist is the ability to walk up to anyone and start talking. But I pretty much do that anyway. My dad does it. My sisters do it. It just seems...normal...to me.

But this clears up a lot for me! Some people aren't comfortable talking to others! Wow! So when I start rambling to random strangers and they shoot me looks, it isn't necessarily that they are dicks or have rotten personalities. It is that they are UNCOMFORTABLE!

I swear I am not being sarcastic. This is a major breakthrough. I am just amazed. I feel like "Why didn't anyone tell me this before??"

Right thing at the right time

Goldie and I got the idea to go for a beach walk last night. She said it was depressing her to hang out at home with me and watch me write sad blog posts.

When we got out of the car, Goldie went into full tractor mode, dragging me forward (SO not like a Dog Whisperer show), because she knew what awaited.

The Bushes of Scurrying Rodents. There is this strip of landscaping that is full of little animals (I prefer not to think of them as rats). Goldie LOVES to hunt for squeaky little animals.

So as I wrangled the flexi-leash, trying to avoid tangles, she ran from bush to bush, jamming her head inside, seeking prey. I am sure we looked like maniacs, this leaping dog and this chunky woman jumping after her.

After 20 minutes or so, I called her off and her tongue was hanging to the ground. We headed for our usual second stop,this fountain where the water alternately squirts about 6 inches high, then gets higher, then goes away altogether.

The dog has it all figured out. When it is on low, she bites the water. When it is on high, she stands next to it and lets it splash her. And when it goes away, she flops down in the puddle, cooling off her tummy.

Most people ignore this. It is something that would make me laugh, but most passers-by act as if they don't even see it. But last night, there was a guy who LOVED Goldie's fountain show. He laughed and laughed and said "That's great."

"Thank you," he said. "I really needed that."

I felt so happy to be able part of cheering him up. I don't know why he needed it or what was going on, but his happiness made me happy, too. Sometimes - maybe always? - we are in the right place at the right time.

02 November 2007

Still? Still.

Oh the Joys made me cry with her post about her grandmother's death and how angry it has made her. She was feeling bad about being angry at her grandma for leaving her so suddenly and horribly.

I haven't gotten angry at my sister for dying - no, not at her. Mad at the universe, yeah, of course - I mean, what a crap deal, taking away my best pal AND my sister and leaving me here in the soup for what, another 30 years?

I took that longevity test and it said I would live to 95. To which my response was: "Shit. I hope not."

I get through everything ok until it comes to Friday night.

During the week, there's work and all that other stuff that I feel like I HAVE to keep doing. On Saturday, I get busy right away with the gym and Farmer's Market and all the errands and activities of the weekend that take me right thru til Sunday night.

But Friday night seems to fall through the cracks. I am just tired enough and uninspired enough for the little wobbly fence I have built around my emotions to tumble down into a pile of sticks.

Most days I don't cry anymore. But I really, really miss my sis. I am so damn glad she doesn't have to live in a body where she was so trapped, and I know I will see her again. It just seems so far away, these dark Friday nights.

01 November 2007

The Rules of NaBloPoMo

(My rules, anyway, inspired by the Fight Club rules. I don't know what Mrs. Kennedy's rules are).

1st RULE: You do not talk about NaBloPoMo.

2nd RULE: You DO NOT talk about NaBloPoMo. I'm serious. After Nov. 1st, quit writing about it and just do it.

3rd RULE: No whining. If you whine, I will delete you from my Bloglines and Blogroll and crush your bones in my teeth. This isn't brain surgery. It is a blog post a day for a month, fer goodnesssake.

4th RULE: It doesn't have to be brilliant. Write a stupid post already. Literally a stupid post. It wouldn't be the first time somebody ever wrote a crap blog post. If you need reassurance, just read my archives. Do not be afraid. There are no NaBloPoMo referees.

5th RULE: Only one post a day, that's all you need. See Rule #3.

6th RULE: No recycling old posts. No one likes a cheater.

7th RULE: If you miss a day, bow out gracefully. Or keep going and don't mention it.

8th RULE: This was your idea. So just do it already. It's spozed to be FUN! GO!

31 October 2007

Princess Dog

Conversation

"Goldie ate a whole can of food today," Mom told me this afternoon.
"Great," I said, because Goldie is as picky as a fussy toddler when it comes to food.
"I discovered something," said Mom.
"What?"
"She likes to eat out of your hand," Mom said.
Nasty, gooey, stank-ass dog food, out of the palm of her hand.
"Moooooooom! I am SO not doing that," I said. "And I wish you wouldn't, either."
-Pause-
"I am NOT spoiling her," Mom said.
Dad and I looked at each other and snorted.
"I'm NOT!" she said, petulantly.
Look. Snort.
"She just has that long nose and she doesn't like to get it down in her food," said Mom.
"I'm not doing it, Mom," I said. "She's a DOG!"
Mom clamped her lips shut.

Yes, people. I have a dog that rivals any of Paris Hilton's purse dogs on the spoiled scale, but she weighs 65 lbs instead of 3. Next stop: sweater vests. Big ones.
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