Monday, February 28, 2011

Anthropologie, I Still Love You

Just when I thought spring had no intentions of arriving, my Anthropologie catalog did. Page 10, the quiet blush dress. Sigh. It just looks like warm weather. Now that I have set foot in an Anthropologie store, the catalog reminds me that I would love to go back. The rustic wood plank floors, the festive scented candles, the colorful dishes, the shoes, the clothes. Who am I kidding, after taking a look at page 36, I want to move there.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Until the Violence Stops

Last night I attended a performance of The Vagina Monologues with Michael (elder son) and Liz (future DIL). I sat between them. It is during such moments that I am astonished as well as proud that I have raised a son who is comfortable sitting next to his mom. Whilst being pummelled from the stage with every possible term for the female genitalia that anyone has ever heard. Fifteen years after its debut, The Vagina Monologues has evolved from a celebration of the feminine to a movement against violence. This particular production benefited the local Domestic Abuse Shelter. And wouldn't the world be a better place if we didn't have need for one. This play will go on being produced until violence directed at women stops. And then should continue to be produced as a reminder, lest we forget. But also because it is hilarious, angry, wrenching, epiphanal, dark, revelatory, informative, shocking, relevant. Eve Ensler is the queen of vaginas. She speaks for all of us, our wholeness and our parts. Our brokenness and healing. Our angst and our delight.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Think About It

Tunisia. Egypt. Libya. Courage to the people of these countries, who, after all, only want freedom from tyranny. A voice in how they are governed. And peace. These words, from Victor Hugo, describe their situation eloquently and perfectly:

"There is one thing stronger than all the armies in the world: and that is an idea whose time has come."

Friday, February 25, 2011

Dear Mr. Kasdan,

Why, oh why wasn't the flashback Thanksgiving scene included in the deleted scenes? Why? I feel shortchanged. But I do still love this movie.


Your Most Avid Fan

Thursday, February 24, 2011

One Degree

You know the game, where theoretically you can connect any one person in the world to any other person with a mere six degrees. I find it interesting that I am but a single degree away from a number of famous people. Steve Martin and Kevin Costner, just to name drop a couple of them. Today I got news of someone I am one degree apart from. Someone I almost feel like I know. The news was sad, that she and her husband are separated, perhaps in the process of divorcing. This is always troubling, particularly when there are children involved. As you might expect, since I have some experience with this, I also have some opinions. And some thoughts. I have come to believe that ending a marriage is a rite of passage just as getting married is. Life is fluid, relationships and situations change. People grow in different directions. The reasons for a marriage ending are so varied, as individual as the couples who contemplate divorce. Often the root cause for the relationship breaking down has been there for some time, even from the beginning. You ignore, you gloss over, you put on your game face, you hope for the best. But it boils down to the very same thing every time. Husband and wife decide individually or separately that they no longer wish to continue as such. People do sometimes figure things out and get back together. I always hope for the best for everyone involved, especially the kids. And sometimes splitting up is just that. I feel a particular kinship with my one-degree-of-separation friend. It seems that theirs was the marriage that was admired among their group of friends. The couple that others wanted to be. That's how my marriage was. And I can tell you with certainty that how things appear from the outside and how they feel from the inside can be very different indeed. I used to be half of the it couple. Another thing I can tell you with certainty is that you will survive this. You will heal. You are courageous, resilient and resourceful. My heart goes out to you, Maggie.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Star Trek 2009, But I Digress

Have I mentioned how much I adore this movie? I'm soooo envious that Chuck, my PT, has it on BluRay. But I'm committed to collecting movies on DVD. Before that I was committed to collecting movies on VHS. Don't begin to get me started on BETA. In a similar vein, I still possess just a handful of vinyl LP's. As well as a functioning turntable! I guess my ears aren't sharp enough for me to be a audiophile, since I'm now committed, and have been for twenty years, to collecting music on CD's. Screw MP3's. Maybe I ought to be committed.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Mom's Stuff, Part I

As today's title indicates, this is the first of a series of related posts. If you figured that out before reading the previous sentence, you are pretty sharp. Probably sharper than moi at the moment. But I digress. In November Martine and I completed a monumental task. We went through our Mother's belongings and figured out what to do with them. The items that came home with me are finding places to be. It's taken some patience and quiet time for these things to tell me where they ought to be, so as this process progresses I'm sharing the results with you. Above is the dresser in my bedroom. After the clearing out of the Christmas decorations, I cleared this space completely, sending the fairy theme books and such to my office. This photo is a little blurry, photographing this space has proved difficult with all the glare off the glass in the frames. I'll tell you about the pictures in a later post when I get a clearer shot of them. But do take a look at the carnival glass bowl on top of the dresser.

I don't remember this bowl from when I was growing up, I think it probably passed to Mom from her mother. But I don't really remember it at Grandma's house, either. The bowl, with its iridescent glow and pressed floral pattern, is more gaudy than I normally like in decorative items. It has grown on me, though, over the last couple of months. I had it in my bathroom over Christmas filled with some live juniper greens. Very pretty and fragrant.

The interior of the bowl is just as pretty as the outside! I vow to not let it become a catch-all for stuff that might collect on my dresser, it's just too lovely for that. An added incentive to keep this area uncluttered is the fact that it is visible from the dining area as well as the living room. Tomorrow, we'll take a look at the framed photos above the dresser. I'm sure you can't wait!

Monday, February 21, 2011


Okay, so we're not twins. Would you believe twins born thirty-five years apart? That's me on the left at the age of one year. The 8 X 10 print that was my mother's. Yes, indeedy, I am so very ancient that they did some sort of color process by hand on just this one. They didn't go about indiscriminately producing color prints back then! The rest of the prints were in black and white, as you can see just off to the right in the sidebar. The baby boy in the photo to the right is my younger son, Reid. He was also about a year old at the time his picture was taken. Note the wacky yet similar hairdos. The mirror image chubby arms and double (quadruple?) chins. The matching ears, button noses, and round cheeky cheeks. There's no denying that is my boy, though he now bears little resemblance to his infant self. Well, except for his hair, which is still wacky. But then, so is mine. It's a character building thing to pass along such assets. Either that, or something that comes out in therapy. Later. Much later. Pass the anti-frizz gel.

Sunday, February 20, 2011


There it is! The new rug. Isn't it pretty? It certainly makes walking barefoot from my bedroom into the kitchen much more pleasant. Often, it seems, when I stop actively looking for something, it just plops into my lap and says, hello, please take me home with you. If there is a greater lesson to be learned here, it reaches way beyond warm feet, just the right size, and making me happy every time I walk into the room. I do know that just outside the patio door to the left it is cold, windy and snowing and the flowers in this rug will have to do for brightening up the afternoon. That is, until it's time for flowers on the deck on the other side of that patio door. Real flowers. In dirt. That smell nice. Spring can't show up any too soon.

Enough Snow Already!

I hereby proclaim this a stay inside and wear your jammies all day Sunday. You know, the ole' SIAWYJADS. And just when the patio furniture was beginning to emerge from the snow!

Saturday, February 19, 2011


Income tax filed! To my relief the refund will be large enough to pay the property taxes on the house this year as well as help plug the hole that my savings account has been bleeding from. FCE* and PT** scheduled! Cleopatra, A Life, I have finished reading. I read the last ten pages verrrry slowwwwly because I didn't want it to be over! I have survived what has felt like one of the longest, most emotionally gruelling weeks of my life. Couldn't see the full moon last night, we were overcast. Probably due to the warmer weather, melting snow, and all that moisture in the air. Since I'm all dressed down and staying home, maybe I should open that bottle of champagne I bought on new year's eve but neglected to drink. It's kind of sad to drink champagne alone, though. Celebrating anything feels just a little hollow when the celebration is solitary. Maybe it's just that joy, when shared, feels larger. So, here's to joy, and how it fills the empty spots, spread it whenever you can. Bubbly wine optional.

*Functional Capacity Evaluation

**Physical Therapy

Friday, February 18, 2011


We started off the week with Valentine's Day. You know. No further explanation needed. We are finishing up the week with the day I got married. Twenty-five years ago. We stopped counting at twenty. At any rate, VD passed without weeping or grieving, and today feels the same. I am at last learning to embrace and enjoy my singular state. I also feel happy about it with an effortless sort of acceptance. In other news, Reid and I are throwing a Pink Panther Pizza Party. This involves cashing in my credit at a local pizza place for their accounting error last month and watching the original 1963 Pink Panther movie. Excuse me whilst I change into my Pink Panther tshirt for the party. Oh, we are also celebrating the outcome of yesterday's blood test, which indicates I do not have rheumatoid arthritis! Whew! And yayyyyy! This, as they say, has been a heckuva week.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Ten Things About Today

1. It is my brother Cullen's birthday. He would have been 47. He never liked his birthday, he didn't like people making a fuss on his behalf. Still completely wrong that he is gone.

2. I really like my nurse case manager, Leah. She gets on the phone and gets answers and kicks butt.

3. Still mystified over the painful sensations in my hands, the doctor ordered a blood screen to rule in/out rheumatoid arthritis.

4. They draw a whole stinking lot of blood for this test!!

5. The lab tech who drew my blood was expert and painless.

6. And, yes, I do watch when they poke needles in me. Kind of a horrible fascination sort of thing.

7. The possibility of having a debilitating auto-immune disease has supplanted my usual annoyance/aggravation over this whole situation with my hands. Leah and I were both crying in the waiting area for the clinic lab. Did I tell you how much I like her? She even got me kleenex.

8. I bought a lovely rug for the patio door area. My bare feet will appreciate it, that is the coldest patch of floor in the house!

9. The nice people at Kohl's cheerfully exchanged my defective Calphalon pan for a new one. I didn't even have a receipt.

10. Ravenswood Vintner's blend zin is a lovely red wine. I'm going for a second glass right now.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Monkey Business

This is for Michael, who until tonight was not aware that his mother has monkeys on her brain. It actually explains a lot. I recently gave someone a little blue sock monkey for his birthday, but it's not doing its job. The monkey was under strict orders to render me irresisible to and constantly on the mind of the recipient. I'm not a very good witch at all, my spells never seem to take properly. Tonight, the monkeys were appeased with Patron margaritas. Unfortunately, I did not drink enough for them to pass out. With this near full moon and a head full of liquored up monkeys I may not get a wink of sleep tonight.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Water the Fish?

It didn't seem the least bit odd in my dream that my mom was alive. Or that she was only about forty years old. She was walking around in a house I didn't recognize preparing to leave on a trip. My sister and I were watching her bustle about looking for her clothes. We were nervous and whispering back and forth and wondering how we were going to explain to her that we gave all of her clothes away three months ago. It was weird how Mom was finding things to toss into the suitcase in the middle of the floor. For a while she was wearing this dress that would only zip about halfway up the back. Eventually she just gave up on the zipper and donned her red raincoat to cover it up. The strange part was this huge fish, about the size of a football, that was flopping around on the floor. It looked like a cross between a clownfish and a giant koi. Mom reminded us to water the fish when she left. I'm certain this dream is a portent of traveling somewhere to eat fish while having clothing malfunctions. With the full moon later this week it's likely I'll have more strange dreams to report. Thank you for staying awake, and go back to what you were doing, which I'm sure was more interesting than this post.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Dinner for One

1 Dos Eqis amber with lime

1 Grilled cheese sandwich, made with American and Swiss

1 Chocolate cake with homemade chocolate buttercream frosting

Instructions: Drink the first item. Consume the second item. Share the third item or you'll have a tummy ache. Follow up dessert with a chick movie, I watched Boys on the Side, but any favorite will do. Further beverages are to your discretion.

Sunday, February 13, 2011


Several years ago, a tattered bumper sticker showed up at my house. In very large type were the letters WWBD, followed by a question mark. In smaller type beneath were the words what would Bacchus do?. I think there were some grapes or viney stuff as well, maybe a wine glass. I don't know what made me think of this, but now that I have, I wonder what happened to the bumper sticker. I do know that it didn't end up on any of my bumpers. The last I remember seeing it, it was on top of my husband's dresser in our bedroom. Amid the loose change, the Dilbert coffee mug full of pens, the candy tin that held $2 bills, his wallet and watch. That dresser hasn't been his for over five years. I expect Bacchus departed along with the other assorted items when he moved out. The husband, that is. Bacchus could come back as long as he had some pretty good wine and was willing to give me a foot massage. I seriously doubt he is Mr. NPBPFM*, but sometimes all you want is a festival. Maybe just a distraction. Hmmm. What would Bacchus do?

*not perfect but perfect for me

Sunday the 13th

Is there something in the air today? Something specific or just a general disturbance in the force? Things feel on-again, off-again, hurry up and wait and up in the air from all corners. I don't know how things are going with you, but I'm keeping a wary eye on my phone and email til this ill wind settles down. Maybe I just feel this way because I have an appointment with the ortho doc this week. It's that old need to know, fear of knowing creeping up on me once more. Or maybe with just fifty-odd pages left in Cleopatra, A Life, my own life is echoing a tiny bit of the drama and intrigue contained in hers. On the other hand, it's Sunday afternoon. All I may need is a movie, some munchies, and a glass of wine. In fact, I recommend that you do the same and we'll regroup here later.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Shhhh...Sleeping Llamas

This is it, the glamour of deep winter on the northern plains. Last week when I was up at Colleen's for dinner and wine, I couldn't leave without taking a few pictures. Despite the bitter cold, I walked around for five minutes or so without gloves to capture these stark images. I know, you're thinking, five minutes! What a wimp! Hey, it was only 5 degrees F out there, mercifully without wind, but felt like an hour on the fingers!

Friday, February 11, 2011

It's a Family Affair

I'm a little more than halfway through this wonderful book. This particular passage, that describes the home life of the Judaean king, Herod, sticks in my mind. I keep returning to it, reading it again and again. And each time, a shiver goes up my spine.

Herod had the misfortune to share an address with several implacable enemies, first among them his contemptuous, highborn mother-in-law, Alexandra. She represented but one aggravation in Herod's largely female household. He lived as well with his insinuating mother; a grievance-loving, overly loyal sister; and Mariamme, the cool, exceptionally beautiful wife who had married him as a teenager, and who, to his frustration, somehow could never get past the fact that Herod had murdered half of her family.

This, it seems was common. Murdering family members was an expedient way of disposing with rivals and establishing sole power. Cleopatra herself was responsible for doing away with all of her siblings, two brothers and two sisters. Leaving a clear line of succession to the Egyptian throne for her offspring. She may not have personally brandished the dagger or administered the poison, but she gave the order. In contrast with today's lack of civility and respect in the political arena, the first century BC was indeed a more bloody and dangerous place to be. I guess it's just relative. And back then, it was the relatives.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Tummy Touble

Really, you'll thank me for not sharing the details. The miserable thing is, until my digestive system is back to normal, no ibuprofin for my aching wrists and neck! Another day or so should do it. Truth be told I might be fine right now, but for my own lack of judgement last night. Thinking I was on the mend I made the unfortunate choice of spicy wings and beer for supper. They were irresistible and delicious. And I have paid my dues for enjoying them a little too early in the tummy recovery process. I don't know what started this whole business, Reid and I have eaten pretty much the same food in the last week and he's just fine. I was popping the Advil more often than my once or twice a week, though. Physical therapy made the shift from heat and stretching to more aggressive strength training. Making me a little more sore than usual. Ibuprofin is my magic pill for aches and pains and I don't want to overuse it to the point that it doesn't work its magic for me any longer. Maybe my tummy is telling me just that. And it may be a while until spicy wings seem appetizing once again. Trust me, you don't want to know the details.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


The English language expands once again. Since Michael and Liz are graduating from college and getting married the next day, we have an event-filled weekend coming up. Liz is calling it the GraduWedding. I like it. Now, excuse me while I get a head start on sandwich making, cake decorating, and checking things off of numerous lists. I'm really hoping the snow will be melted by then. Really.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Live Long, and May the Force be With You

In the last six weeks, Reid and I have watched seven Star Trek movies and the three original Star Wars movies. My brain is full to overflowing with quotable lines, narrow escapes, evil beyond evil bad guys, visions of alien species and spectacular explosions. I also am occasionally experiencing a mixing of the two series. And I'm left wondering if it was Yoda who taught at Star Fleet academy. Who would win a fight between Spock and Darth Vader? Would Klingons become all touchy-feely and happy if they lived side-by-side with Eewoks? The evil Emperor might have been an okay guy if he'd had a few drinks with Scotty. A couple of things I'm certain of, though. Jabba the Hutt wins Han's (sorry) down in the slimy bad guy department. The Borg are the scariest alien race ever invented, even if they weren't in any of the movies we viewed. And their cubic ships are way cool. Star Wars wins for creating the most varied looking alien races. Star Trek wins for fun use of Terran ethnic accents. And if you ask me, Scotty would have had an endless supply of power if only the Force had been with him.

Monday, February 7, 2011

The Na's Have It

Somebody much cleverer than me came up with this little flow chart. Since it made me laugh, I felt the need to post it. Unfortunately, the Batman theme is now perseverating through my brain.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Just Asp Me

Just as all eyes are turning to Egypt, Cairo that is, where alliances shift and the streets are crowded with throngs of protesters, I have begun reading this book. The real story of Cleopatra. Which begins in Egypt, Alexandria that is, where civil war is underway. I am so completely caught up in this critically acclaimed accounting of one of the most powerful women who has ever walked this Earth. If you think you spring from a dysfunctional family, you'll feel sane and normal, perhaps even dull, compared to the murder, incest, intrigue and betrayal that abounds in the Ptolemaic Dynasty. It seems so very appropriate that we named our half Siamese calico cat after this queen of queens. After all, a clumsy visitor to the Alexandrian palace was executed for stumbling over and subsequently killing one of the royal cats. It must have been an honor to be employed as the royal poop scooper. Words cannot express how tickled I am that Cleopatra is an anagram for Carla, poet. While you ponder this, I'm getting back to my book.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Miss Martine & Pamela Jean & Me

And as long as I'm feeling whiney, I miss my sisses, too. It's been much too long since we were together. Is it spring yet?

Friday, February 4, 2011

Tigh Sigh

I miss Tigh. I'm pretty sure he misses my big comfy chair, which I allowed him to sit in for a few hours just before he left for Oz. Sigh. My boys have scattered so far away from me. Actually, I think he misses me just a little, too. He's having an adventure, as young men should. He'll be back in August for his brother's wedding. If he's really nice to me, I might let him sit in my big comfy chair again. Maybe let him wear the tiara this time.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Chinese Compatibility

Let me admit right up front that to my knowledge, I am not the least little bit Chinese. But we are now in the Chinese year 4709, which is determined by a lunar based calendar, and I think we can all agree that I have lunatic tendencies. On occasion. Now that we have established that, according to the Chinese zodiac, I am a Rooster. Also according to the Chinese zodiac, my current man interest/distraction is the Ox. We are most compatible. To the point of perfection. All we have to do is figure out who leads and who follows. After half a bottle of 7 Deadly Zins and one potent margarita, I would have to say I would follow him durn near anywhere. If only he could figure out where he's going. The only thing I'm sure of is that the word perfection always makes me nervous.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Is There an Echo in Here?

Bill Murray is really a terrific actor. Sometimes. I think he often is trapped in the wrong script with the wrong director with that characteristic smirk on his face while breaking the fourth wall. Or maybe it's difficult for me to take him seriously because he doesn't come in the standard leading man package. I keep waiting for him to pull a face, do a pratfall, or engage in some Three Stooges type behavior. I do like him in Groundhog Day. Which I just viewed with the 18 yo son. On Groundhog Day! I think we did this three years ago, and maybe I wrote precisely the same thing. Maybe it's just going to be Groundhog Day over and over and over again until I get it right. Whew. I don't know about you, but just to be safe, I'm not setting my alarm for six a.m.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Cure

When the aftereffects of physical therapy leave you stiff, sore, cranky and with intermittant numbness, this little countdown fixes me right up and renders me tolerable to be around. I can't recommend it as a health professional, since I'm not one, so don't try this at home.

3 ibuprofin
2 glasses of wine
1 heatpack

Naturally, the perfect final touch would be soft music, muted lighting, and a massage. Lacking that, I'll settle for a comfy bed with a cat as a footwarmer and a good book. Is it still winter?