Saturday, February 28, 2009

Way Cool Hat

And, yes, I have already worn it out in public. I plopped it on my head at the check-out and walked the length of the mall with it on. I felt chic. And despite being tired, I believe I had a little spring in my gait which I credit entirely to wearing the hat. Me and Aretha, we're sisters of the big bow hat. Oh, yeah.

Wrapping up February

Things I worked on this month that I'll blog about later:

* Setting up my office/writing room

* Ended a three month long stint on an internet dating service

* Two, yes that's right, TWO major shopping trips with the 16yo! Which will also entail moving furniture around, including down the basement steps. I sincerely hope both of us will survive juggling furniture about, which sounds actually easy compared to shopping with him. He tends to get a little bored and cranky once the shopping parts that directly involve him are over with.

* Found some great bargains while shopping! Eyelet trimmed 250 thread count sheets for me for just over $20! A comforter and pillow shams for the guest bedroom for $17! And a way cool hat for $11!

* I've given up shaving my legs for Lent.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Internet Irony

A couple of months ago, the subject up for discussion was Facebook. I casually remarked that I didn't see me participating in a social networking site. Because I'm, well, antisocial. A friend's college-age daughter responded that everyone knew that. In a perfect deadpan, no less. Her face then burst into a glowing smile. Everyone laughed. A smart-ass is born!!

Monday, February 23, 2009


I have just joined Facebook. My elder son friended me. Why is it that nouns that are verbified make me feel suspicious? Could it be because I'm not entirely sure that I should be engaging in the verbified activity? Or that I'm not qualified to? Or that it's actually an activity at all? At any rate, I feel ever so special. Also, he is a redhead now. I'm certain the younger son shall also friend me. Goodness, but time flies when one is dinking about on the computer. I must get back to Facebook and find friends. Do people who do this ever sleep again?

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Dig Deep

Ah. A revelation before ten in the morning. It is apparent to me now that I have not dug deep enough for inspiration and subject matter as poetry writing fodder. The Writer's Almanac for today confirms this. I'm surprised that after raising two boys that I had never gone here before. How stimulating and reassuring that I still have room to grow artistically. The booger joke. A timeless classic.

Thursday, February 19, 2009


About five million years ago, when my husband-to-be and I were dating, a curious thing happened early on. On a lazy summer Sunday morning we were basking in the afterglow of an evening out and a night spent together. He made breakfast, probably an omelet. There was tea and toast with honey. I lounged on the couch wearing one of his shirts and watched him putter about the kitchen. I wasn't in love or really even thinking about the dreaded L-word. I wasn't assigning any labels to our relationship because I didn't know what it was yet. I wasn't afffixing either of us with specific roles involving specific behaviors. I simply knew in that moment that I was happy and was inwardly marveling at how quickly I had become so comfortable around this interesting, quirky, intelligent man. I had no expectations except that he would treat me with care and kindness and that he'd have the courtesy to not think of anyone else while he was kissing me. I had no agenda. I was willing to let what we were together evolve at its own pace and arrive where it was going of its own accord. I liked him and knew that I liked being with him. It was enough. After we ate he wandered over to the stereo to put on some music. I was thinking maybe Steely Dan or Clapton, though I didn't voice a request. This was the day of vinyl lp's and he pored over his considerable collection for a while. Aha, there it was. He pulled out an ancient Hank Williams album, dusted it off, and carefully placed the record on the turntable. Positioning the needle on a chosen track, he told me to sit back and listen. The lp was old and scratched and much crackling and hissing emerged from the speakers before any music could be heard. Then ole' Hank exploded into a rollicking number that contained the line, get that marryin' out of your head, I'll be a bachelor til I die! Talk about an ambiance killer. The soft feeling of contentment and comfort evaporated in an instant. He stood across the room, arms folded across his chest, appearing more than a little defiant, awaiting my reaction. The words of the song hung in the air making the room feel suddenly too small for what it contained. I was puzzled. Then I laughed and informed him he was protesting much too much. I left soon after, abandoning him to his Sunday afternoon bachelor devices. Later I was pondering his possible motivation for shattering the mood but I never asked him why. I guessed that there was something about the pace of our relationship that struck a nerve, and he felt the need to assert some control or express an opinion. That Sunday morning was more than twenty years ago yet it remains crystalline in my memory. Was it just one of those men-are-from-Mars-women-are-from-Venus moments or was it a relationship red flag I should have paid more attention to? I'm left with the thought that sometimes, when we allow ourselves to be open and let our guard down, that what happens can be terrifying even if we're enjoying it. I'm willing to be present while the we of you and I unfolds and presents itself. It's a fascinating and engaging process that I embrace rather than fear. I am a process kind of girl.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Careful What You Wish For...

...we are often told, your wish may come true! On Saturday night at Latitude 44, when the magician had finished his little show, he asked if we had any requests. I'm sure he was referring to card tricks or other standard magical fare, but it was Valentine's Day! I had something else in mind. I figured if he could pull a coin out of Nancy's ear, he might just be capable of conjuring up some real magic. So I asked for a man. A single, available, spirited man with a warm heart and a kind and generous soul. He suggested eHarmony. I laughed. Returning to the bar, which was completely deserted except for one lone fellow, I opted to sit right next to him. In this space he shall be referred to as Mr. Shaken, not Stirred. Oh, and yes, he is gorgeous. Didn't even think of asking for that! I need to find that magician and thank him.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Present in the Moment

Some good words, although not mine, but very good words, so I thought you should read them, too.

...we'd all be better off if we could not stop time but slow it
down a little bit, and live the pleasant things more pleasantly
and live the incautious things more cautiously.
Richard Ford

Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Nancy Factor

I seem to be among the Valentine's Day survivors. No thanks to the phenomenon hereafter known as the Nancy Factor. The Nancy Factor, or NF, involves drinking shots, often driving to some remote location, meeting strange and sometimes interesting and occaisionally cute guys, dancing, frequently witnessing a fight, and staying up so late that yesterday blurrs into today. I received a pink, ridiculously long-stemmed rose at the Bitter Ball which is still on the dashboard of my car. I didn't bring it in because Einstein becomes weirdly aroused in the presence of flowers and often eats them. He can hop up on the table, deftly remove a blossom from the vase and have it secreted away in the basement for future chomping without anyone being aware that he was in the room at all. Holy cat ninja, Batman, who tipped over the floral arrangement. Other high points include dancing til they kicked us out of Borrowed Bucks, which, by the way has the most lovely bathrooms even without the disclaimer of calling them bar bathrooms and being entertained at three am in Perkins by Kyle and his most drunken friend who had his head down on the table and a pastry take-out bag at the ready just in case we were sitting in the barfing section of the establishment. In the crush of people vacating the bar at closing time, a very drunk and beaming young man informed me that I looked like a teacher. But that it was okay because he thought I was really hot. I thanked him most graciously. I had to slip on my wine nazi hat for just a moment and inform the bartender that, yes, indeed there is a difference between champagne and asti. We saw up close magic tricks involving a match box, ropes that mysteriously altered their lengths and coins, one of which he pulled out of Nancy's ear. I met a cute guy named Dave while I was sipping a glass of Bitch at Latitude 44. Bitch is a red grenache that was actually quite tasty. At this moment I am desperately in need of coffee and then will torment myself with the Sunday crossword. After which I predict a nap will be necessary. And as soon as I can get my hands on the sd card from Nancy's camera, I'll share photos of the latest NF evening. Wish I had an orange scone from Panera. Where is that magician from last night when I really need him.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Obscenities & Income Tax 2008

I have just e-filed my federal income tax return! And my refund shall magically appear via electronic deposit in ten or so days. And where, precisely does that three bucks for the Presidential Election Campaign fund come from if it does not come from my taxes? Where the hell is this mythical well of money and how do I get to it? Will it show up on my GPS? Wait a minute, I don't have a GPS. But it would be worth the money if it could locate the PEC fund money-seemingly-from-nowhere cow. And now onto a completely different subject that also involves a mysterious source, but not of cash, of obscenities! Every few months the HR department where I work sends out an important email to all employees, at least that's the title said email is given in the subject box. The email states very clearly that obscenities, jokes or remarks of a sexual or inappropriate nature do not belong in our professional, respectful workplace. That my place of employment strives to provide an atmosphere of non-hostility that is pleasant for all to perform their various work-related tasks. Figuring out what sort of incident broke the rules and who the persons involved were is always a nebulous bit of information to nail down. I swear it wasn't me! It wasn't me that prompted the scolding email! Not this time, anyway. I hope to find out tomorrow.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Scrunchy Squabble

If there is one thing the fashionistas agree on, it is the universal contempt for the hair accessory known as the scrunchy. You know, that stretchy ponytail holder that comes in every color of the rainbow and multiple fabric choices from velveteen to tshirt knit to lace. From Glamour to Cosmo, disdain reigns. Last night as I was getting in my weekend fix of Sex and the City*, Carrie and Berger suffered a relationship crisis that centered on, of all things, a scrunchy. If for no other reason than to fly in the face of being fashionable, which my everyday choice of clothing confirms anyway, I have taken up a love affair with the scrunchy. I own a drawerful of them. And I vow from this day forward to have one in my possession at all times. In my hair, on my wrist or maybe hiding in my purse, I will carry the hated rescuer of bad hair situations with me. And to annoy the fashion-conscious even further, I will color-coordinate said scrunchy with my outfit! Civil disobedience, at least as far as fashion is concerned, is alive and well in South Dakota.

* Season 6/Part 1/Episode 4, Pick-a-Little, Talk-a-Little

Friday, February 6, 2009

My Car is a Cop Magnet!

I knew I still had a wild streak! I just wasn't entirely sure why, but I could feel it. And as proof, I have received three tickets in the time I've owned my Outback. In the thirty-plus years of driving various vehicles prior to becoming an Outback owner, I received two tickets. The three recent tickets, issued in a time span of less than 18 months, were a five dollar parking violation for exceeding the 2 hour limit in downtown Rapid City, a speed warning on I29 just past the 10mph slow down north of Sioux Falls and a parking warning on my birthday last summer in downtown Sioux Falls. Despite the fact that the car was sitting completely still and I wasn't even in it at the time for two of the tickets and that the moving violation was a mere warning makes me feel no less tempestuous and imprudent. I've got my mojo back!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Festival or Assigned?

As overheard in the lunchroom yesterday, "well, I 'spose if I get going by eight-thirty tomorrow morning, I should get to the funeral in time to get a good seat." Somebody please explain to me what a good seat at a funeral could possibly be!! I would think that sitting anywhere would be preferable to lying down in that particular situation. And when you think about it, with the exception of seating family members together in the front, there is no assigned seating at a funeral. Which leaves everyone else with festival seating. Depending on how you feel about the dearly departed, festival could be an appropriate term.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

E Pluribus or Something

Yours truly has been summoned for jury duty. A very official-looking envelope arrived in the mail last week. Inside this envelope were two official-looking pieces of paper. The first describing the particulars of the juror selection process, the second a juror questionnaire. Should a jury trial be scheduled from April 1st through June 30th of this year in Brookings County, I may be selected to serve on it. But first I would have to turn in the paperwork. And I expect I shall. In the name of civic duty and also because in bold type on the first sheet it says, knowingly failing to comply with this summons is a crime punishable by a fine, jail term, or both. Resistance wouldn't exactly be futile, but perhaps not worth the effort. And you know what they say about a guy who insists upon having a jury trial. That he's asking for his fate to be decided by twelve people who weren't smart enough to get out of jury duty. If his trial date falls between April 1st and June 30th, one of the idiots might just be me. The closest I've been to an actual jury was five years ago when I delivered pizza and eleven drinks to a deliberating jury at the local courthouse. Why eleven and not twelve remains a mystery.