15 June 2006

Aw f***ing Sh*t!

In honor of the new FCC anti-obscenity rules, my title is a bit modified from how I actually feel.

So. I live on the south end of our county. Mr. Stapler lives on the north. I work a little more than halfway to Mr. Stapler's. Every morning I drive 20 miles to work and every afternoon I take twice as long to drive home, because of stupid idiots in traffic.

Today 20 miles took 45 minutes. The problem? A CHP giving a ticket was good enough for a 5 mile backup. A tow-truck loading a car stopped me for about another 2 miles. WTF is up with these looky-loos? Arrrrrrrg.

At least one moron gave me a great laugh though. Since we were basically moving at 1 mph, I let about 4 car lengths get between me and the car in front of me, so I could just roll instead of stopping-and-going.

The lady in the white BMW behind me (always a BMW, why? Do you have to show your as*hole card to buy one?) took offense to my driving style and first HONKED long and loud at me. Then when that didn't do the trick, she zoomed into the median and around me...only to have gained 10 whole feet and still be stuck in f***ing traffic, only now right in front of me instead of right behind me.

I gave her a big round of applause and a fake laugh. Then I followed her at 1 mph for 6 more miles.

When I got home I was burnt to a nubbin. There is cr*p going down at work that I shall not speak of, but it is wearing on me.

Mr. Stapler called. He is in Cincinnati on business (no, whaddya think, on vacation, Suebob, nobody goes to Cincinnati on vacation), left yesterday, comes back tomorrow night.

"Did you look in on the dog?" he asked.

"Nope," I said. "I will see her tomorrow."

"Honey," he said. "You promised you would do it. I didn't get the dogsitter to come this time."

Huh?? He didn't ask, "Will you come over instead of the dogsitter?" He asked me to look in on her. The last time he was gone for a week, I went over for lunch twice, and I figured this duty would be in line with that.

I did the only logical thing. I burst into sobs.

Just the thought of driving another 80 miles tonight, when I am already tired, when my back hurts like hell from sitting too much, when I have driven that stupid drive just an hour ago, when I'm so sick of worrying about this funny smell my car is making...I just lost it. Loooooooost it.

He was very pissed at my reaction. He is calling the dogsitter to see if she can go by and somehow put some food and water outside, since she doesn't have a key.

If she can't, I guess I am doomed to my little dose of martyrdom tonight. I am just so on the verge of cracking up I can't tell you. The awful part is that I didn't think my head was such a mess until this happened, then I realized that I must be a horrible mess if I can't handle this without freaking out. THAT's the bad part.

Of course we had a sh*tty fight on the phone where he told me I needed to apologize and I told him to get off my back, so the wholeVegas trip this weekend is in some doubt. He got a friend to drive way out of his way to come deal with the dog. I took my dog for a beach walk and had a lovely time. And I think I need some help to deal with this f***ing peri-menopausal mood swing shit. Oops I said "shit."

Today on Linkateria: Fart-curing undies, 13 year-old boys, proof that modern art is stupid, and other fine links.

14 June 2006

Not dead yet

Half the Sky wrote a post about a friend who died young and left his funeral planning to his family, who werent particularly close to him, and how oddly off the ceremony felt because of it.
Of course, you get to plan the wedding yourself, but the funeral is unfortunately--unless you've got intentions to leave the planet soon-- the domain of those left behind...and not necessarily the people who know you the best. And what 45 year old with plenty of living to do sits down and writes out a funeral program? Clearly our friend did not.
What 45-year old? Well, um, me. I guess I am some kind of freak, but I have been to enough bad memorial services to not want to leave mine to the whims of other people. I'm not planning on kicking the bucket soon, but I have a folder labeled "What to do if I get hit by a bus" (a title inspired by Brian Lawler, supergenius) in my file cabinet. Mr. Stapler knows it is there.

The document lays it all out. It bans Bible quotes, with Psalm 23 expressly forbidden (all that anointing and "in the presence of mine enemies" stuff creeps me out).

It has quotes I DO want including from A Course in Miracles, one of which is hilarious for a funeral, I think, because it says "Where would I go but heaven?"(since most people think that outcome is in some doubt - especially for someone like me):
You are my goal, my Father. Only You. Where would I go but Heaven? What could be a substitute for happiness? What gift could I prefer before the peace of God? What treasure would I seek and find and keep that can compare with my Identity? And would I rather live with fear than love?


The hush of Heaven holds my heart today. Father, how still today! How quietly do all things fall in place! This is the day that has been chosen as the time in which I come to understand the lesson that there is no need that I do anything. In You is every choice already made. In You has every conflict been resolved. In You is everything I hope to find already given me. Your peace is mine. My heart is quiet, and my mind at rest. Your Love is Heaven, and Your Love is mine.

If they aren't crying by the end of that, then I have also planned music. Sweet Honey in the Rock is the most amazing a cappella women's group on the planet and "Breaths" is their song I have conveniently copied onto a CD in the "In Case I Get Hit by a Bus" folder (organization, people, organization!). The lyrics say:
Those who have died have never never left
The dead have a pact with the living
They are in the woman's breast
They are in the wailing child
They are with us in the home
They are with us in the crowd
The dead have a pact with the living...

'Tis the ancestors' breath
In the voice of the waters

Ah, that makes me tear up just reading it. That is my whole goal. Give the peeps a good cry at my memorial so they can get those toxic stress chemicals out of their system and get back to eating, drinking and having wild sex.

I also have a bit in there about scattering my ashes, but today I was thinking maybe being eaten by crows would be more satisfying - at least my stinking corpse would be food and doing somebody some good, instead of contributing to global warming by burning the thing.

I feel better, having written all this stuff down. Just knowing no one will have to sit through that 23rd Psalm for the 1000th time makes me happy. I also have a will. Hey, stuff happens.

How 'bout you? Are you ready for the Angel of Death? The Toltecs say we need to make friends with her, because she helps us to see how short and amazing life is. That is what I am going for.

As far as being actually dead - well, I will take the words of my spiritual advisor, Mary Olive Hill (who passed away a few years ago at 90) to heart:
"You don't know how many times we have laid down our bodies and risen up, laughing." Sounds good to me.

Linkateria today: Bush acts like a jerk (again), Ginga Joy on reality TV, Mom to the Masses on paying the bills - and other stuff, too.

13 June 2006

Let's talk about Suebob

About a month ago, I changed my name on my profile from Sue to Suebob. I know some people noticed because they commented, so I should explain.

It is not a sign of burgeoning transsexuality or of an overweening devotion to a partner named "Bob."

Suebob was simply a college nickname (thanks, Stace) that stuck. My whole name, first and last, is a total of eight letters and it is boring as hell. Names that are boring as hell are forgettable names. People were constantly, upon meeting me for the second time, saying "Hi Carol," "Hi Karen," "Debbie?" or any of a bunch of other super common names for a woman of my era (which was, in case you are wondering a long, long, time ago.

When I started going by Suebob, no one ever forgot my name. I got a few "Bobby Sue"s and other permutations, but people were generally on track. And with people who knew me well, it became a joyous shout, kind of like "Norm!" on Cheers. I would walk in somewhere and everyone would yell "Suebob!" just because "Suebob!" is a fun thing to yell.

I had Suebob on my business cards. My mom called me Suebob. I was Suebob.

But then I met Mr. Stapler, who travelled in a much more grown up and serious world than me. I could tell he didn't like "Suebob" and in deference to him, I started going by Sue again and again began dealing with people who could not remember my name.

I thought it was probably a good thing. Time for me to finally grow up and get serious. I got a serious job and more serious clothes and tried to act more my age.

The only problem was that it didn't work. Right under the surface of Sue, there was still the dreamy, goofy girl, living like a weed trapped under pavement. And you know how those weeds are. They find the tiniest crack and a drop of water and they are sprouting up again. This spring the rains came and the weeds grew, and there Suebob was, blooming like a dandelion in the breeze.

On Linkateria today: C-section stories, parents driving you batty and news from an urban farm.

12 June 2006


Even though I just did a meme, Elizabeth at Table For Five (new address!) has tagged me for another one.

This is either the six weirdest things about my childhood or my three favorite childhood memories. Great. Either MORE admissions of my weirdness - haven't you people heard enough, or I get to offend family members by not mentioning them in my favorite memories. Hrmph.

Three Favorite Memories:

I could immediately remember so many terrible memories. Not that I had a terrible life - nope, I was one of the lucky few who had loving, funny, smart, employed parents and tolerable siblings.

It was my brain that was terrible.

I worried about everything. Not that that has ever stopped since them, but as a child there was SO MUCH to worry about.

On a family vacation we took a tour of some park up by Mount Shasta and when the ranger talked about the volcano, I thought the volcano was going to explode RIGHT NOW. I completely remember the tantrum I threw. I wanted to GO HOME and get away from exploding volcanoes!

Or the beach with that damned undertow. I always knew the undertow was going to get me.

And don't get me started on bats, which were a good reason to stay indoors at night like a sane person instead of going out to risk certain attack. So many terrifying things out there in the world. No wonder I became a really, really good reader.

I have always loved animals, so naturally one of my favorite things was going to the Zoo. Now that I am older, I have a hard time with zoos and other animal amusements, but the zoo made me feel like a kindred spirit with the animals.

A Child's Estate Zoo in Santa Barbara is still there today. There is a little train, a monkey island and all kinds of animals, but the sea lion pool was my favorite. It had windows in the side where you could stand there and the sea lions would swim up and look at you looking at them. It felt like a relationship between equals at that point.

I remember sitting around the kitchen table and arguing silly philosophical questions like "If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around, does it still make a sound?" The discussions got very passionate and lasted a long time. We lived in a tiny house with a little kitchen and at the time there were two adults and four kids at home. But sitting around that table for dinner was a really happy time. I wish all kids could have that kind of experience.

One of my favorite memories isn't a specific time but an action. When I was sick (which was often. I was not sickly but really, really loved attention) and had a fever, when I got up to use the bathroom my mom would go in and straighten the bed and smooth the sheets so they were perfect and cool.

That feeling of sliding back between the cool sheets? That was the feeling of being loved.

11 June 2006

Hot or not?

I went to church today. We have a young woman, Lindsay, who leads the singing. She is about 20 and is just stunning. Drop-dead gorgeous. Tall, curvy, with long wavy red hair and a perfect face.

I was sitting with my buds in row 4, just like usual (isn't it funny that, even when there isn't assigned seating, there is?). In row 2, which is about 8 feet from the "altar" or stage or whatever you want to call it, the area at the front that is raised up about 8 inches, was a new guy and his wife.

The new guy was really tall and maybe late 40's or early 50's. I noticed him because when Lindsay got up to sing, he was riveted. He was staring at her so hard that I couldn't NOT notice. His wife saw what was going on and tried to interest him in the songbook, but his eyes were tractor beams that were impossible to disengage. It was the same kind of intense focus you see on nature shows when the slavering wolf is crouched in the snow, regarding the limping reindeer.

I could just feel the waves of helpless lust energy coming off him. It felt icky and wildly inappropriate, but on the other hand I felt kind of sorry for him. If he was such a slave to his hormones in church (of all places) what was he like out on the street?

And then I thought about Lindsay. She saw what was going on - she was facing the guy, just a few feet from him. She is an entertainer and sings in all kinds of venues, so she must have had the same thing happen before, but it still can't be that comfortable, can it? Maybe if you're Madonna and you need to drink attention in like vampire blood to survive, but most people aren't Madonna.

I don't think I could handle it and I know many other women who feel the same way. I have talked to very attractive women who carry a few - or a few dozen - extra pounds, dress down or otherwise go out of their way to keep from being noticed.

Add a rape, assault or stalking to that mix and there are plenty of women who would rather zip on a suit of fat, the modern woman's emotional equivalent to armor, than to take their chances on attracting attention from men.

"Why can't you lose the weight?" people ask. "It's as simple as calories and exercise." Maybe not, especially if the wolf has been at your door.

What do you think? Have you ever tried to make yourself less attractive to avoid unwanted attention?

Cute kitties, strange sports, weird guys lip-synching and more over at Linkateria
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