Thursday, January 31, 2013

Six Candles

Six years ago today I sat down at my computer, logged onto the internets and wrote my first blog post. And here we are. Six years later. Still no flying cars. Still no food replicators. Still no magical pill to make your muffin tops disappear over night. We have learned that pink is not a color. And I have been on more than my quota of bad/weird/insufferable first dates than I care to think about. On the bright side, I'm still here. Relentlessly optimistic and living inside a newfound sort of peace and gratitude and happiness. I revel in small, everday joys. I enjoy the company of some pretty wonderful friends and family. And should I cross over the diva line and behave in a shrewish manner, Newton and Einstein have a merciless way of putting me in my place. Scooping poop establishes the pecking order with brutal certainty. So thanks. For showing up here to read whatever shakes out of my brain on any given day. Now, go eat cake.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013


My younger son has a street. Near downtown Sioux Falls. Complete with an art installation. I'd be envious, but I have an entire  town.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Intervention, Take II

I neglected to consider how tiny my world is. It started out as a simple question of semantics that was running around in my head, as in, when is an intervention not an intervention, do a minimum number of people have to participate? Is it a quorum or a simple majority thing? Must the people who host the intervention provide refreshments? With that irreverent start the post evolved into something very different, as writing often does. That said, no bombs were dropped here. It was never my intention to out her or to publish a laundry list of her transgressions. Every point has been discussed with the person in question. Only a handful of people will know who she is, and those few have an awareness of the issue or have witnessed it firsthand. I realize the delicate nature of this subject and do not take it lightly. The post in question, from my point of view, turned out to be my way of struggling through where my responsibilities lay with this friend. The conclusion I came to was that we need to talk about this elephant in the room one more time. Effectively and without judgement. We will see each other this week and with any luck our friendship will survive this considerable bump. As always, I appreciate the comments. Your opinions in this case prompted me to further thought that I felt warranted a second post.

1-29-2013 -- Another thought that I neglected to include in this post...I had arrived at the point where I was aware that anything I had done had made little or no difference. The time had come when I needed to set some boundaries for my own peace of mind. If I don't feel clear and centered and strong I'm not much good to anyone, including myself.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Två Volvos

What are the odds, I ask you, what could the odds possibly be that I would watch two movies in a row where the main character drives a Volvo station wagon? You do the math because I just am not up for compiling all the statistics necessary for such a calculation. To make this even more mind blowing the actors playing these guys who drive a Volvo station wagon are both named Michael. Oh, and they are both tortured souls. For very different reasons. If you happen to have an unfulfilled dream about making a movie, I would suggest coming up with a plot involving an anguished sort of guy who drives a Volvo station wagon. Then hire an actor named Michael to play him. Piece of cake. I won't ask for a percentage of the profits when it's a big hit. All I want is a tiny credit that no one will remain in the theater to read. One of those thanks to kind of things. You're welcome. 


Does one-on-one count as an intervention? Must the interventioners outnumber the interventionee? No matter. I'm not terribly certain it will happen at this point. There is nothing scheduled, there is no clever ploy in play to lure the person in question to a meeting they might prefer to not attend. So. I have struggled with what I should do for my friend who has a serious problem with drinking alcohol. I have already determined what not to do. Counting drinks doesn't work. I don't enjoy babysitting another adult. Taking away the car keys is effective only as short term solution. Endless discussions over the same issues that lead to excessive drinking have accomplished nothing. Suggesting counseling for these issues when my solicited advice has not sufficed has not been productive. Four years this has gone on. And on. And on. I thought the DUI would be a wake-up call. I thought the court ordered drug and alcohol counseling would bring about an aha! moment of enlightenment. But no. A month ago, after the most recent incident of overimbibing, I made a decision. The only one that makes sense to me now is to remove myself from the equation. No more drink counting, no more babysitting, no more feeling responsible for confiscating the keys. I am choosing to decline the pleasure of her company if the consumption of alcohol is involved. Because I'm exhausted. Most days, it's enough of a chore keeping my own bad-ass, smart-ass self in line. When I fail at this undertaking I do my level best to own it and go about repairing any damage. Then I try to find a different lesson invoking activity to try. I hate that doomed to repeating myself til I get it right thing. It's time for the other grownup at this metaphorical one-on-one intervention to do the same.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Flim-Flams Need Not Apply

So. Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o had a fake girlfriend. Having been a fake girlfriend myself, I know from personal experience such women exist. Except that his didn't. I will not be so smug as to sit in judgement on Mr. Te'o, as I believe I was nearly taken in by a fake fellow. This was in the dark days we shall not speak of when I was involved in the nefarious activity called internet dating. I exchanged emails and chatted with a fellow named Ben from Butte, Montana. His profile was impressive, if only on paper. Turned out he was unGoogle-able so I was never able to verify any of his particulars. He was gorgeous. Divorced with one teenage son who lived with him. In one of the photos he was climbing into a fancy corporate helicopter. He possessed a post-graduate degree. Ben was employed in the technical/science/engineering field and traveled frequently. The thing is, he never seemed quite real to me. There was something smelly that I couldn't put my finger on, or nose for that matter. He would disappear and reappear, always telling me that he had been in London and too busy to email until he returned home. Needless to say, we never did meet. Looking back, I am convinced that Ben from Butte, if that was his real name, could have been incarcerated pretty much anywhere. I expect he was on his best behavior. Which earned him computer privileges. Where he perpetrated his too good to be true persona via swiped photos and a fake profile. Testing the feminine waters for companionship possibilities when he was released in 12 to 15 months. Which brings us up to a week ago. When I met a very friendly, nice-looking young man named Richard. He was positively aglow over having connected with a woman through an online dating service. She seemed perfect for him. They were going to meet the next day. For Richard's sake I hope she was real. Because it's perfectly fine to be a fake girlfriend as long as both of you are in on the joke. But when you do it just for the joy of yanking another's emotional chain for whatever perverse pleasure you might derive from it, shame on you. As for moi, I remain an optimist. I truly believe there is an abundance of love available out there for those of us who are ingenuous enough to ask for it, possess the faith to believe it can happen, and remain open-armed and open-hearted enough to receive it.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Bloomin' Plants in January!

My winter experiment with bringing in plants didn't work out so well last year. The geraniums got all spindly and didn't adapt well to going back outside. Partly because I neglected to bring them into the garage during a late spring freeze. Which perhaps may have been a teensy bit deliberate on my part because they were looking crappy. This last fall, I had a brilliant flash of an idea. Bring in plants with low light requirements! So along with a big pot of ornamental ferns, which did beautifully last year, I rescued the three New Guinea impatiens plants from the north side of the house. A blooming plant is a happy plant, that's what I always say. I expect I still possess a brown thumb. But today, it's become just a little beige.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Art Glass

I'm thinking Art Glass would be an excellent name for a character in one of my upcoming novels. Naturally, Arthur B. Glass would be his full name. He may very well be related to George Glass, Jan's made-up boyfriend on The Brady Bunch. As far as occupations go, Art is likely a hair dresser. Of course he owns the salon. Or maybe he's an alcoholic dance instructor. We'll see. 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Envy Arrives

There she is. The HP Envy. She's kind of fancy. Don't ask about her techy specs because I don't feel like rattling off stats from the box she came in. Shiny. Not so fond of Windows 8, but I finally got the os to recognize my printer/scanner. This makes me very happy. I have named her Xanthippe. Thanks to my tech-savvier-than-me sons who helped me set her up. Now I'm wondering whether the other six of the seven deadly sins have a notebook model named after them. And if they do not if they are envious. I think I just lapped myself and have become my own grandma. Which reminds me, it's time to make chicken tortilla soup.

Monday, January 21, 2013

One Please

I like a big pancake. Of ridiculous proportion. I want a plate there underneath it to capture any potential butter or syrup runoff, but the plate shouldn't show much at all. Then I only need one. Pancake, that is. I'm strictly a one pancake girl.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Gone The Way of Pluto

I, for one, shall continue to live in my own little universe where pink is a color. Along with my minus green camera, phone, luggage and feather boa. The rest of you are on your own.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Three Amigos?

Well, okay, one. Lee, I have known you forever and adore you til the cows come home. Can't wait for your birthday party on Saturday. As for Chad, if you do not treat my friend with the absolute utmost courtesy and respect, I personally shall be at your door with a rusty spoon to exact punishment. And Joey. What can I say? Very, very, very bad form to sit down next to a woman and first unabashedly ask how old she is. Even worse form to then inquire as to the amount of pubic hair she may choose to remove. Thank you, Joey, for going out to smoke giving moi an opportunity to put on her coat and go home. Alone. Which, believe it or not, was preferable to sitting next to you. For one of the longest fifteen minute stretches of my life.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Sit Down

The bad news is, my motherboard is fried. The good news is, my data seems to be intact on the surviving hard drive. So all the photos and various desktop items I failed to back up will be preserved. Bleah. I swear I will never feel smug about being under budget for the month again. That sort of behavior opens the door to all kinds of evil. Once again, bleah.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

2013, Day 16

What with the computer being out at the electronic gizmo doc's, I have taken advantage of the missing tangle of wires and hardware normally in residence on the desk and am engaging in an office cleaning frenzy. So that when said computer returns she shall be welcomed back into a much more pleasant space than she left. That is, if she comes back at all. Still no word from the three-to-five business days we'll respond with a diagnoses people. Time to label a file pocket with the year 2012, then sort out the various piles associated with last year and tuck them away. If you need me, I'll be carrying on with the paper and dust bunny chase.

The Earth Below

This is so cool! I love how the video footage is accompanied by Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata. To see the Aurora Borealis from above rather than below is not something I ever expected to experience. Lovely and unexpectedly moving.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Designation "D"

It has occurred to me that as far as post-divorce dating is concerned, the D's have it. Not only as a standard letter grade which indicates below average work, but how often accurate descriptive words begin with the fourth letter of the alphabet. They are duds and disappointing, rarely rising above mere distractions. One or two were downright deceptive. One was definitely deviant. Defective, decrepit, deficient degenerates who wasted my time and energy. I hate to sound disgruntled and disgusted, but I have fully explored the darker side of D and have decided it's time to cross over into the light. Where I might find a delightful dimpled darling. Make the acquaintance of a dignified man dressed in durable denim who desires to deliver the devotion I deserve. Who deliciously denotes a dash of devilish depravity. Delectable like dessert. But displaying diligence of a different determination. Desperation and doubt desist! I dare to dauntlessly dream of a dashing, deep and dynamic destiny.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Daily Dose of Destiny

Mine: There's someone you'd like to know better and you'll make inroads now. Isn't it nice to know the feeling is mutual? Also, you'll learn something interesting about yourself if you consider why you find this person attractive.

His: There are many facets to your personality. You will utilize your gifts to do unique and captivating work. There's someone who wants to get closer to you, drawn in by all you create.

My take on it: Let the mutual learning and captivation begin!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Triskaideka Yearlong Phobia

My seven and a half year old lap top may be dead, at the very least seriously ill. I will find out in the next few days if my data is intact and can be extracted. It's really effing cold outside. There's still a bag of cat poop on my back steps. I did not ace the Sunday crossword. This morning I got up to discover that Reid had devoured the last of the pumpkin bread. Welcome to my Sunday the Thirteenth! Let us hope that we do not suffer the effects of triskaidekaphobia this entire year. I'm going to need more lucky underwear.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Thirteen Degrees and Holding

If you should happen to wander into my garage this afternoon and wonder about the bag on the back steps, my advice would be to turn around and run. If you find yourself pondering, make yourself useful instead. Stop pondering and unstick the frozen shut lid of my garbage can and deposit the bag of cat poop inside. Thank you. Should none of you take care of this bit of business for me, we can at least be thankful that this nasty cold snap temperature range not only welds the lid securely onto the garbage can, it also renders the bag of cat poop unstinky. Until a warming trend sets in, let's just hope it doesn't attract vermin.

Pointed Political Rant

Listen up, members of the United States Congress. Mom has run out of patience with every last one of you. 

Federal law requires Congress to authorize the government to borrow any money that is needed to pay for the programs that Congress has passed.

What is not clear about this statement? Get off your fat, pompous, grandstanding asses and sign on to raise the debt ceiling! Did you not understand when you voted to pass any of the various bills that at some point there would have to be cash to cover the expense? Even if you did not vote in the affirmative these provisions passed nonetheless to become law and therefore must be funded! This is nothing new! Congress has voted to raise the debt ceiling 94 times since 1944! Exchange your gutless grumbling for acting like grown-ups! And do your homework next time before you vote on a bill that will require funding by the Federal Government. 

Friday, January 11, 2013


All I want for Christmas are these two missing puzzle pieces! I've looked everywhere. Except, obviously, where the pieces actually are. I suspect the cats are responsible. If they are returned by morning I will be lenient in dispensing punishment. 

At least the jiggy shaped holes are in a nondescript area of the picture. The bird's heads could be missing or the shining beacon at the top of the lighthouse. I think we need some crime scene tape so this investigation can get underway.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

He Makes Me Laugh

Slightly blue day yesterday. Not wandering around the house in my bathrobe weeping with a kleenex box in one hand and a bottle of tequila in the other sort of blue. Just a teensy bit whiny. Then out of the blue, Tigh pops up in a chat window on G+. He asked how things are going. So I briefly bemoaned my life's current predicament. Then, as if on cue, he pulled me out of the blues.

Tigh: Kinda reminds me of Erin Brockovich.

Me: And she ended up in pretty good shape!

Tigh: Yeah, she turned into Julia Roberts.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

My Social Experiment

From When Harry Met Sally...

Harry: You realize of course that we could never be friends.
Sally: Why not?
Harry: What I'm saying is - and this is not a come-on in any way, shape or form - is that men and women can't be friends because the sex part always gets in the way.

I love Nora Ephron. And it was from her fertile, brilliant mind that sprung the story of Harry Burns and Sally Albright. From personal experience I know that Harry is full of crap. I am friends with a number of men where sexual attraction is not an issue. Okay, fine. So most of them are gay. Let's not quibble about the details. Because it's about the specifics. Which I shall now explain. I have embarked on a social experiment which may ultimately prove or disprove Harry's male/female friendship conundrum. At least in this one specific case. Meaning that the sample is far too small to have any scientific validity. From this point forward, my experiment will be referred to as Friendship According To Impertinent Harry, or FAITH*. FAITH has been fully deployed and is in progress, but at this time it is too soon to report any conclusive results. As John Donne said, reason is our soul's left hand, faith her right. And as we all know, moi suffers from right/left confusion. If this experiment does not kill me, I will be so freaking strong.

*Yes, I am perfectly aware that Friendship According To Impertinent Harry forms the acronym FATIH. Please. FATIH makes no sense at all. I reserve artistic license to swap around the t and i.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

What Fun!

L-R, Jimmy Speirs, Andrew Reinartz, Nate Jorgensen, some hotshot young drummer sitting in for Jim Mckinney, and Mr Blurry Hands himself, Jeremy Hegg

May I present the Dakota Jazz Collective. Consisting of the most eminent musicians within a stone's throw. Even if you can throw a rock a couple hundred miles! If they are playing anywhere near you, drop what you're doing and go give them a listen. That is an order. For your own good. You will be a better person for it.

Waltz Tango Foxtrot!

Let me first disclose that I prefer Mrs. Butterworth's syrup. But the large economy size wasn't on the shelf. Don't judge me for buying a big jug of empty calories! Okay, whatever, judge me. I have lots of French toast in the house, so I have fully rationalized this purchase. I was beguiled by the NO HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP banner on the label. It really was not necessary to shout.

Fast forward to this morning. When I bothered to turn the jug around and read the ingredients. WTF! The first one listed is corn syrup! Mind you, it isn't high fructose, but isn't that really just a technicality? Somebody should be keeping an eye on this high fructose. It's likely hoarding gallons of this stuff and dousing Twinkies with it. Between bags of Doritos. You have been warned.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Purple Rain

When we walked into this upscale furniture store, I thought upscale referred to the price and quality of the merchandise. For the most part this was an accurate assumption. The surprise was that in many cases upscale also described the actual relative size of the furniture. I swear there was this cabinet that was taller than Karen, AndiBean and me all stacked up on each other's shoulders. Which means that it was not only too humongous to fit in any average person's house, it might come in handy to hide an entire football team in that you just kidnapped. Should such a scenario ever arise. Also way too big for practical purposes was this absolutely gorgeous light fixture. 

It looks to me like the result that would ensue should you seed a bank of angry cumulonimbus clouds with grape Kool-Aid. Upscale purple rain. I wonder if Prince has one of these hanging over his dining room table. If he doesn't, he should.

I Love You, Jenny Lawson

Last week I finished reading Let's Pretend This Never Happened, written by blogger Jenny Lawson. I loved it! I doled out the last few chapters to myself at the rate of two pages per day. Three if I had been really, really good. Yesterday afternoon I thought of Jenny while browsing about in Zandbroz Variety in downtown Sioux Falls. I came across this antique taxidermied mink and was seized with the desire to purchase it and send it to her. As other fans of her writing have done. I wound up thinking it would be just plain weird to spend $150 on a gift for someone I don't know. Not to mention the problems Jenny has experienced getting packages properly delivered to her rural Texas home. Not knowing her address to begin with also complicates this matter. But if I had bought the mink, I certainly would not have sent it in its uncostumed, unaccessorized state. I would have dressed her (and I don't actually know the sex of this specimen, so if it's a guy mink he's just going to have accept being forced into the role of a cross-dresser) up as a ballerina. Complete with a pink tulle tutu and a tiny bejeweled tiara. I know Jenny would have loved it and would have christened him/her with a suitable name, and I do hope the name would have included a title. Sadly, I must admit one more thing. I have to consciously will myself to not read Jenny's blog. Because I'm like a sponge and fear I will adopt her writing style! Not 100% and not right away, but it would, I'm certain, creep in and take over. She's just that funny and just that good! Stylish plagiarism may be the sincerest form of flattery but I'm guessing it won't get me any closer to my own book deal. Surmised the girl who hadn't budgeted for a stuffed mink.

I'm Not Anal Dept.

Beth Jarrett could not have been more wrong when she emphatically stated that you can't save French toast. While she was mercilessly jamming several still-warm-from-the-griddle slices down the garbage disposal, mind you. There is a reliable method for reheating it which is why I have a fear not attitude when preparing a gargantuan batch. The trick is heating it thoroughly as well as reproducing the crispy exterior. First, you must microwave it minimally, just enough to warm the tender interior. Then toast it minimally as well in order to crisp up the outside. I can't give you time recommendations, you yourself are going to have to experiment with your appliances to achieve these results. I know you are capable of this so no whining. And, no, I don't measure the slices because I'm some sort of anal Martha Stewart clone desirous of turning out pieces of uniform perfection. I just got tired of digging stuck pieces of French toast out of the toaster. Which is particularly difficult if you're not quite awake and your blood sugar is crashing. You may show poor judgement and forget to unplug the toaster and use a metal fork. I don't recommend this practice. Although I'm pretty certain you'll be so wide awake you won't require coffee.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

I Love The West Wing

The Presidential entourage is leaving a fancy schmancy function. After trouping through a labyrinthine series of stairwells and corridors, they finally exit the building where cars are waiting to whisk them off. Of course, there has been snappy dialog throughout. On the street, Josh's enthusiastic groupies are ecstatic to see him so up close and personal.

Josh's groupies: (all gushing and giggling and in chorus) Josh! We love you!

CJ: (to the groupies, with a sidelong glance at Josh) It helps not to know him!


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

2013, Day Two

1. Still putting away Christmas decorations.

2. It's taking me so long this time because I'm not merely putting them away, I'm going through all the boxes. I have made a major executive decision to keep only the stuff that I really love. I hope to pare down the current volume by half. And then properly sort and bubble wrap the remainder. 

3. I am happy to report this process is actually going quite well.

4. The West Wing has finally shown up on Netflix!! This makes me so happy I've added it to my instant queue five times.

5. I made the best soup for supper tonight. A variation on my classic creamy ham and potato, with smoked sausage standing in for the ham. Because I didn't have ham, I had smoked sausage. Which is fortunate because Reid doesn't like ham.

6. About item #4. You can only add a movie or series to your instant queue one time. Unless you remove it, then you could add it again. Saying I added The West Wing five times was an indication of how enthusiastic I am about the show.

7. The new calendar in the kitchen has dazzling photos from the Hubble Space Telescope. It also has interesting astronomy and space trivia and events noted on several days each month. Were you aware that on this day in 1959 that the USSR launched Luna 1, the first man-made satellite to orbit the sun? Don't you wonder why they named something after the moon when it was made to orbit the sun? I do. 

8. In reference to item #5, it's not entirely accurate to say that there was no ham in the house. Because there was. But it was the lunch meat sort of very thin sliced ham that wouldn't be suitable for soup-making purposes.

9. Packing away the Christmas decorations is also being slowed due to my being occasionally distracted by the jigsaw puzzle that is currently occupying the dining room table.

10. Newton and Einstein are still ignoring the Victorian ball ornaments on the coffee table. Are they rendered less interesting because they aren't dangling? I mean, it's not like they actually move unless they bat at them in the first place even when they are hanging on the tree. I swear they are doing this to annoy me.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

And It Begins

I haven't stayed up this late listening to Dan Fogelberg, my only companion a bottle of wine, since I was much, much younger. Hello, 2013. Let's be the best of friends. Dream some dreams. Then make them come true. Make big, fat, delicious messes in the kitchen. Eat more cupcakes. Be kind. Be generous. Live with an open heart that loves unconditionally. Except for those mean bastards that will ultimately cross my path. Even though they likely need a hug more than anyone else. Okay, fine. I'll love them, too. Cautiously, though. Happy new year, y'all.