Saturday, August 29, 2009

Barbie & Me


Isn't she gorgeous? Well, she oughta be, it's her name. Happy Birthday Gorgeous, Pink Label Collection Barbie. Just scored in the Wal-Mart clearance aisle for eight bucks. Eight bucks! She retails for $24.99 and is priced at various Barbie Collector sites from $30 to $55. I'm not a serious Barbie collector, just dealing with a minor childhood abandonment issue. Since we moved frequently, our belongings were regularly sorted through and what wasn't kept was either given away or tossed in the trash. I'm not sure which move it was, but the major Barbie stash my sister and I had amassed was just gone. Gone. We had dolls, pink kitchen appliances, carrying cases, oodles of clothes, and my personal favorite, a totally bald Barbie that came with three wigs. A short, red curly one, a long brunette pageboy, and a shoulder length blonde flip. Why do I remember this so clearly? Why is this detailed information taking up precious space in my already clogged-up perimenopausal brain? At any rate, possibly to ease this Barbie-less pang within, I started buying Barbie dolls and accessories again a few years ago. Always on sale or at clearance prices, naturally. I currently have seven dolls, including Happy Birthday Gorgeous, Halloween 2008, and Mariposa Fairy Barbie. The other four are lounging around the pool. I never identified with Barbie as a role model, nor was I intimidated by her humanly impossible-to-attain figure. She was just a doll to play with who had a lot of shoes. And seriously weird feet. That's it! I felt a kinship with her over her painfully perpetually arched feet! Having flat feet with congenital bunions, I was oddly out-footed as well. We're social outcasts, Barbie and me, due to our podiatric anomolies. No wonder I love her.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Go, Indigo!

I love the Indigo Girls. Their music is firmly ensconced in the soundtrack of my life. And sometimes, even though it may be random, what pops up during the 45 minute shuffle during my bike ride speaks to what is currently shuffling through my brain.
These words, from Watershed, are my anthem for the day:

Up on the watershed, standing at the fork in the road
You can stand there and agonize
Till your agony's your heaviest load.
You'll never fly as the crow flies, get used to a country mile.
When you're learning to face the path at your pace
Every choice is worth your while


Monday, August 24, 2009

Gutter Mucking

I don't believe there are any local ordinances against it, but it would seem that I have been inappropriately using my rain gutters as mini compost bins, primordial soup containers, pond scum propagators and hydroponic maple tree farms. Thanks to the younger son for ferrying the many buckets of slop to the compost and tool fetching while I was up on the roof. Maybe next time I won't wait five years to clean them out.

Rainbow Boy


Let's see, I believe he started last December with a brilliant green. He then moved on to cobalt blue. Atomic red soon followed, then he was purple for a while. Did I miss any? I like this shocking pink, and on Saturday night I enjoyed how beautifully it matched the popcorn bowl. If I'm not mistaken, I used to own a troll doll with hair that precise shade of pink. That's my elder son, rainbow boy. And in the lower left is Einstein's ear, still its natural color.

Now That I'm fiftysomething...

...the first season of thirtysomething will be released on DVD tomorrow! I find it mildly embarrassing how excited I am about this milestone. While critics of the drama panned it for its whiny portrayal of yuppie angst, I very much identified with the characters. I was a newlywed when the series began, became a mother and left the working world during its run, and went through withdrawal when it ended. It will be interesting to watch from a very different vantage point now that I've gone through a divorce and find myself single and dating, and am on the verge of being an empty-nester. I'd like to see a reunion movie of these characters to see how they are faring in contrast to my life. In the meantime, I'll be joining the midnight line at Best Buy.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

All Hail Dorothy!


May we observe a moment of silence. Thank you. It is the birthday of Dorothy Parker. She was kicked out of Catholic school for describing the Immaculate Conception as spontaneous combustion. I worship her. Talk amongst yourselves, I'm all verklempt.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Friday Facts

1. Mary Chapin Carpenter made me cry today. You're made of stronger stuff than me if you can listen to this unmoved.

2. The extremely cute guy at the guitar store is much too young for me. But we do have matching crescent moon tattoos. And he now knows where to get the best fish tacos in Tucson, courtesy of moi.

3. It would seem that the 17yo has survived his first day of school.

4. Diane cut my hair this afternoon. I love it. Now all I need is to go out for the evening and show it off. If I stare really, really hard at the phone and think of the cute guy at the guitar store, will he call me?

5. I can sort of play the first two lines of Angel from Montgomery. Sort of. Slowwwwly. Another 10,000 or so repetitions and I'm sure I'll have it down.

Last Day of Leo

I'm alone in the house! Well, except for the cats, and they're ignoring me. Although I have already cleaned up a cat-hairball-expulsion from my bedroom carpet, courtesy of Einstein. This feels odd after having a houseguest for three of the last four weeks. Being alone, that is, not cleaning up after the cat. The younger son is off at his first official full day of his senior year in high school. I have but one lazy summer schedule week at work remaining. Fortunately, my first two weeks back will be 32 hours each. It will be painful but easier than slamming in at 40 hours per right away. Having finally settled on October 25th as the memorial gathering in honor of my dear brother who died in May, plans for the day are in the works. Knowing that it will be one of those mixed emotion days, I am so happy both of my sisters will be here, we're going to need each other to get through it. I want the day to be a celebration of his life, and I am looking forward to being with people who loved him, whose lives he touched. It still seems so very wrong that he is gone. I need to call the Sioux Falls Argus Leader to find out if I can submit his obit or if they truly only accept them from licsensed funeral directors. I had to pare it down to three column inches, so just the essential information will run there. I love you, bro, but not to the tune of $35 a column inch! I'll probably take the longer version to the local paper today, it will run one day next week. I have a feeling a whole new wave of emotional processing will hit when I see the words in print. I don't know how to prepare for that. I don't know that anyone does. But first, a bike ride.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Note to Shawn...

Of course you can change your mind with the mind you've got! The current state of our brains is the only tool we possess! Use it or you're doomed to stagnation! Or death or inertia or langour or lethargy! It's called growth. And the only place you can start from is here. With what you've got. That lyric, that line that you so often employ has always irritated me, and just now I finally figured out why! It's an excuse, a deflection, a distraction. Lameness couched in clever. Stasis hiding in pithiness. Fear disguised as novelty. Using your mind to change the mind you've got is the path to your potential. Use it or lose it.


Saturday, August 15, 2009

Pink Again

File this under things I never in my wildest musings thought I might see! A cute guy sitting in my bedroom playing my brand new pink Squier Strat. He's writing a song. Cool. In the music store, I played the opening bars of Smoke on the Water. If you're not a musician, you might be impressed. I went for the tube amp rather than the solid state. Try this at home! And always take a guitar player with you when you shop for something of this nature.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Torta e Vino!


Is this a trend? Has anyone else noticed baked goods masquerading as wine? Is this appropriate? Should this be allowed? Is some sort of sinister genetic recombination going on involving vintners and dessert chefs? All I can say is, both of these wines are highly drinkable. As a fan of cakes as well as of god's gift to us, the fermented grape, I approve of the mixing of these two food classifications. This can be a lesson to us all. If the pastries and the wine can live in peace inside a bottle together, we ought to give it a try as well. Oh, and let me know if you see further evidence of this desegregation of the pantry. As Julia always said, bon appetit!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Birthday of Note

Well, it is and it isn't. Allow me to explain. Although it will be a convoluted explanation. Ten years ago I printed out the first draft of a novel. The story centers around three women who are friends, and the narrative bounces back and forth between their last two years of high school and the summer that they turn forty. Action commences on page one on the day of one of the girls' birthdays. And although I moved the birthday in question from August to May for plot and character reasons...the actual birthday of the woman who the character is loosely based upon, is today. Thank you for bearing with me. And I wish the merriest of natal days to Susie/Josie.

Progress?

With just over two weeks until school starts up again and I am back at work full time...these summer projects remain to be completed...

* Paint the 17yo's bedroom

* Install trim strips in one doorway and one transition area to finish the carpeting project!

* Finish up the carpet installation in the basement room where I recycled the old bedroom carpeting

* Repair the landscape light in the back yard where the bunnies, or some other evil, sharp-toothed critter, chewed the wire clean through!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Five W's (and one H) for Saturday Morning

* Who left those beer bottles on the deck?

* Why is the soft butter gone when it's my turn to use the toaster?

* Where is Ed?

* What is the air speed velocity of an unladen European swallow?

* How much anti-frizz gel will be necessary to tame my hair in this humidity?

* When will Newton and Einstein clean up their own hairball expulsions?

Monday, August 3, 2009

Ten Good Things in the Last Ten Days

* Hammock-friendly evenings

* Discovering Fish Eye California Shiraz, at $5.47 a bottle it's a little bit of heaven

* McCrory Gardens is in bloom, fabulous, technicolor, late summer bloom

* The insert superlative form adjective here because words fail me Rodin Exhibit at the Washington Pavilion in Sioux Falls

* Fat Tire beer

* It's not your standard fare summer reading, but I am plodding my way through David Foster Wallace's epic Infinite Jest

* There is an ineffable inner calm within I have attained from near-daily bike rides coupled with meditation. I am approaching learning to be still

* Locally grown veggies are appearing in abundance

* Realizing that I have outgrown casual sex

* The gratitude and warmth from true friendship is life affirming and irreplaceable



Higher Love


At right is a tiny photo of Rodin's sculpture, Fallen Angel. Which does not begin to do her justice. I am completely in love with her. I spent a great deal of time at the Rodin exhibit rapturously transfixed by her. I'm certain the other fifty-nine sculptures felt slighted. I wanted to take her home with me. Inconsistent with my usual attitude of ask away! all they can do is say no! and they might say yes!, I did not ask if this was possible. They just might have said yes. And then, when Fallen Angel came home with me, I would have once again been rapurously transfixed by her. Resulting in me never, ever again accomplishing even the tiniest of tasks. And likely dying unwashed and starved before her in utter adoration. This time it was wiser to limit our relationship to a brief out-of-town affair. It never would have worked out.