Friday, November 28, 2008

Did'ja Do Black Friday?

Did'ja survive Black Friday?

Did'ja remember your mace and pepper-spray and brass knuckles?

Did'ja get out of the stores with anything you went in for?

Did'ja settle for the lime green fuzzy hat with the blind-you-bright orange and hot pink pom-pom cause it was only a buck and you wanted to come home with at least ONE bag of something to show for the pitch-black circles under your eyes and all those bruises and jammed fingers?

Did'ja freeze your ass off lining up at Best Buy before the 10 o'clock news aired on Thanksgiving night just to be 98th in line and miss getting the one $300 laptop in the store?

Did'ja surprise yourself by out-maneuvering
that flannel-clad-barbarian like you were bargaining with God for more time on Earth in order to get the last $600 50 inch plasma TV, become giddy in a way that is only appropriate for pre-teens in crush-love, then go to move your car and have your heart drop into your shoes because it all of a sudden hits you... you drive a Toyota Corolla, it's 5:45 am, and everybody you know with a truck (including the U-haul place) is still out cold from their turkey-induced-coma?

Did'ja get home exhausted and battered like a refugee and find that no one saved you any whipped cream to go on the mini-sliver of pumpkin pie that was left, and then found out that you were out of coffee to wash it down with too?

Did'ja set the alarm and get up at 3am Friday to hit the sales after staying up all Wednesday night cooking, and now you're so over-tired that you can't see straight, remember your name, or manage to drive yourself home even if you did know your own address, which at this point, you soooo don't.

Did'ja do Black Friday in all it's over-pumped, over-hyped, over-tired, knock-down-drag-out-sales-pitch-on-steroids?


Did'ja decide to be smart, and hold out for Cyber Monday so you can call in sick, travel less than 500 feet, shop in your pj's while sitting on your couch, get everyone on your list done in one day, have everything you bought show up at your doorstep, and not look like you've been in a multi-car-pile-up on the drive home from Aunt Esther's house?

Not only can you guess my choice, I'll make it even easier for you...

Shop by Personality.

Designer Linens Outlet 40% Off

Happy cyber-shopping my dear readers!
~Now, isn't that better?~

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Holidays Are No Vacation

Remember when we were kids... when we'd get time off from school to run around like maniacs and eat like pigs? When we were kids, we thought holidays were one big vacation. Oh, to be that stupid... I mean delusional... I mean naive--yeah, that's it, naive... to be that naive again.

I'm grown now, and I can tell you with all certainty that holidays are NO vacation! They are a lot of damn-hard-work and long hours. As an adult, holidays are primarily hell with some good food and a bit of booze mixed in so you don't go postal.

Everything changes around this time of year. First you see it while you're driving. People are rude and distracted. Cell phone use goes up, and speedometers go down. They pull out in front of you with a millisecond to spare before they completely broadside you, and then they look at you as if you are the crazy-dumbass-that-shouldn't-be-driving-cause-you're-such-a-fucking-hazard-that-they-should-call-a-cop-report-your-plate-and-demand-that-your-license-be-revoked one. C'mon, don't tell me you haven't gotten one of those looks--or given one and thought that about someone else on the road during the holidays... maybe even several times on the way to the grocery store.

When you finally finish navigating the obstacle-course-of-road-hazard-other-drivers to get to the store, you have to park... somewhere that is hopefully in the same zip code...maybe. Once inside, you get to do death-match battle for the main course as well as every other single thing that goes with it. Even if you're gonna serve hamburgers, you'll have to think fast and move faster in order to get the ingredients during the two weeks before the actual holiday. I'm convinced that the stores only put out minimal amounts of holiday-dinner items at a time, so that the managers can re-position the security cameras. This way, while the employees are on break they can watch the brass-knuckle-beat-down over the last box of Stove Top and take bets on who is going to win. Then the looser has to go and re-stock the shelf with 5 boxes for the next round. It's how the stores boost morale for their workers this time of year...

Once you've loaded up the car with way-too-much-food,
that was way too expensive... cause you did the shopping last year and knew to bring your mace with you to the A&P... you get to navigate your way through the insanity all the way back home. The entire time swearing inside your head that if you have to stop-short one more time, you're gonna get nailed in the back of the head by the sweet potatoes and eggs. Thanksgiving day, someone in the family will repeat this process about 4 times as things that were forgotten, but crucial, have to be picked up---One-at-a-time--- at the only open store in three counties.

When you get home and have managed to get all of your groceries put away-ish, you start with the clean-up and decoration. Your main cleaning motivation being that cousins you haven't seen since St Swithen's Day are coming, and that one bitch cousin never liked you, so she's gonna be tossing out those backhanded compliments like plastic necklaces at Mardi Gras. Hell be damned if she's gonna be able to say anything about the state of your home! So you start. You vacuum cobwebs from the ceiling and dust from the heater vents. You vacuum every surface of every single piece of furniture and scrap of carpet you own. You then go back and polish and swiffer-dust and fluff pillows and scrub the floors and every nook and cranny of porcelain. You even clean out the book case that is three shelves of junk-drawer in the family room. You do it all, so it only needs a tidy-up Thanksgiving morning. Even though this is total crap, and the clean-up will most likely only last until 5 minutes after the husband and or kids come home.

The cooking starts on the latest. Pies, cookies, certain side dishes will all be made in advance so you can "have some time with guests enjoying the day". You know you're living a pipe dream with that one, right? No matter what you do, short of going to a restaurant, you will spend 98% of the day in the kitchen, with the remaining 2% split between the table and the bathroom. Don't be too upset about it, it's way easier to get sloshed on the extra bottles of wine if you don't have to refill your glass in front of others.

Clean up will be chaotic as you try to figure out how to fit all the leftovers in the fridge, even after sending some home with everyone--except for that one bitch cousin who, over the course of the day, despite the 98% of your time in the kitchen, you have come to detest more than ever. In fact you fantasize about going off on, or beating the shit out of her while you work on the Mt. Everest of dishes... it makes it go faster.

And you need it to go faster so that you can kick everyone out by 7pm in order to get to bed by 7:30 so you can get to all those "Black Friday" sales... the ones with insane low prices that start at the equally insane hour of 5am. Which means that you need to be out your door no later than 4am if you want to be one of the first 100 people waiting in line. Good thing you didn't use up all your mace at the A&P... I guarantee you'll need a whole lot of portable-medieval-torture-devices in order to get out of the stores before noon with nothing more than bruises from being trampled, smashed into, and flat-out-punched-out for that duvet cover. And you're smoking crack if you think the pants you want will be out on the rack in your size. It ain't gonna happen.

Yes, this is the kick off for the Christmas season... even though there have been fake trees, wreaths and tinsel in every store in America since the day after Halloween--or earlier. It's the same hellish-hustle-and-bustle as Thanksgiving ...times 20. Tempers grow as bank accounts shrink and by the 900th time of hearing "Holly Jolly Christmas" you want to rip Burl Ives' liver out through his nose and feed it to Rudolph while mommy turns into a cheating whore and makes out with Santa...

Ahhhh... I love the holidays... Don'tcha see the huge smile on my face?

*shhhh...yeah, the smile is from the wine... pass me the new bottle, one isn't gonna be enough...

Someone Thinks I'm Great!

I was given three more awards this week (and it's only Wednesday--Yay Me!!!) so two bloggers think I'm great! OK, they may just like to read my stuff, and I mistakenly think I'm great cause they gave me awards... this is probably much closer to the truth, but tomorrow at Thanksgiving dinner, I'm gonna go with the first story...

All three awards require:
1. Adding the awar
d badge to your site.
2. Back linking the person who bestowed them upon you.
3. Passing them on to a maximum of 10 people.
4. Leaving newly awarded a comment on their blog, so they know about it!

I'm glad about the having to comment part, because there are a few of these blogs that I have been telling myself since Sunday that I need to get over to and catch up on... But it is Thanksgiving week; which will be the topic for the next post: Holidays Are No Vacation.

It is without further ado that I award ALL THREE of these awards to these blogs, cause the blogs and the bloggers behind them are just too cool to split up the awards; they literally deserve to receive them all...

The Lemonade Award
Which was awarded to me by Tricia at 1 Stop Mom

The Power Blogger Award
Which was awarded to me by Kaye at Random WAHM Thoughts

The Sparky Blogger Award
also presented to me by Tricia at 1 Stop Mom!

“This blog invests and believes, in ‘proximity’ [meaning, that blogging makes us 'close' - being close through proxy]. These blogs are all charming and they aim to show the marvels of friendship. Let’s give more attention to them! So with this prize we must deliver it to eight bloggers that in turn must make the same thing and put this text.”

The Sparky Award comes with the text so the members of the Academy know exactly what they are winning for... Please pass it on along with the badge, newly awardeds...

"And the Winners Are..."
will you look at that Skippy-Jim, we have a 9 way tie!
(I'm a three girl, don't judge me for going over/under!)

Brittany at Musings of a Barefoot Foodie
who is totally my blogger hero, and I am one of her many blog-stalkers...

Judi at [zany life + crazy faith]
who took all of November and turned her blog over to guest posts... I get tired just thinking about all the work and non-ego that entails!

Pearl at Pearl, Why You Little...
who makes me laugh out loud and wake up my son & who posts damn near daily...WOW!

Jay at halftime lessons
for Mission Mondays as well as your writing & who also posts daily, I'm in awe of daily posters.

Jill at jill jill bo bill
who's hundred things post, right before vacation no less, had me in stitches!

Welcome back, btw.

Deb at Dirty Socks and Pizza
who is so easy to read, is in on Mission Mondays with Jay, and totally cracks me up...

HappyHourSue at Happy Meals & Happy Hour
who I only read once a week now, because Depends are really expensive.

texasholly at June Cleaver Nirvana
who is a low maintenance girl doing battle with a toddler, I am SO with you!

Eve at thatsfunnybecause
who I can only read on the same days as Sue, the dialogue is priceless!

Congratulations Ladies and Gentleman...
It is my pleasure and honor to award you for you're GREATNESS!

In your honor the blog roll below reflects ONLY your blogs--
along with 1 Stop Mom for awarding me FOUR awards this year.

*If you were on the blog roll prior to this post, I will put you back on the list on December 1st.

Monday, November 24, 2008


OK, so just a couple of probably unrelated thoughts that have come to me over the weekend as I interacted with friends. Thank you Hubby & M & G for sparking me off.

Bottom Line: I have issues...

Issue Number One: The W Economy.

I believe that the tanking of the economy has been coming for quite some time. Thanks in part to what started in January of 2001 as a very strong economy, and evolved by January of 2004 into the terms-for-dummies mortgages that were available at the height of the housing boom. Ones that featured interest-only-payments with adjustable rates that had to be refinanced in two years- -you know, after the value of such homes had dropped so much that they could NOT be refinanced. Yeap, this was the catalyst for the banks going under (or threatening to, pre-Bailout). How is this W's economic fault you ask? He pushed congress to approve legislation to make homes available to everyone, not just people that could actually afford them. He didn't care how it got done, he wanted magic wands waved and people in homes, creating the illusion of a still booming economy...

All of this magician-mortgage bullshit was instituted to build American confidence in the post 9-11 world, and distract the public from the fact that W had not sent our troops into Afghanistan ( because home-owners are less likely to form an angry mob and lynch someone--the authorities know where to look for you). Instead, W got us into another war in Iraq to finish Daddy's war and make his defense contractor buddies--like his vice president-- a whole lotta money at the expense of more American soldiers' lives than Viet Nam. Not that Cheney cared, he shot his own hunting partner for crissakes ( how much do you want to bet that the real story there was they got into an argument over something pathetically 'WTF'-ish ... like the bet between Randolph and Mortimer Duke in Trading Places ). Besides, Cheney doesn't have time to give a shit about soldiers, he's too busy drinking water while pulling Bush's strings so it appears that W is talking.

The eventually-it's-gonna-hit-the-fan-mortgage-problem had been festering for a few years, and then the powers that be came to the conclusion that they could get away with being even more greedy and self-serving. Triggering phase two of sell-out-your-country-for-fun-and-profit; a massive spike in gas prices. Since the beginning of W's second term, gas prices have been see-sawing at unprecedented levels. That, in turn, made every other price on every other thing go up because of shipping (aka fuel) costs. It's only become globally obvious this year though, because prices surpassing $120 per barrel translated into over $4 per gallon at the pumps. SUV driving families had to decide between driving to work, and putting food on the table--and the mortgage simply wasn't an option at all. Their status symbols had become their financial nooses. Pretty soon, the rest of the house of cards toppled, and it stopped being just the SUV drivers and those with families. Now it has spread to the majority of the populace, including the Prius driving singles. And how exactly did those gas prices get so high? Couldn't W have stopped all that? Of course, but W was helping out some more buddies, including Daddy Bush and some other people who are related to that guy we're NOT going after for masterminding the 9-11 attacks. Difference with this phase of W's sell-out is that he's also doing it to line his own pockets.

To be fair to W, he kind of had to line his own pockets. He's been such a shit president he won't be able to get a book deal on an Etch-A-Sketch. Add to that his abysmal speech giving dis-abilities, and he also won't be able to get a speaking engagement in a preschool. He had to take advantage of being President and make enough to last him the rest of his life... It's not like he's going to spend those ill-gotten gains making Crawford, TX the future home of a Presidential Library-- unless it houses comics and coloring books.

Issue Number Two: Drama Queens.

I can spin some bullshit, but really, it's usually with a smirk on my face and a smile in my voice that lets others know I'm spinning it. I do it for laughs or to make a point very-obviously, not to try to get away with something or manipulate others. Unlike a Drama Queen.

There is a huge difference between someone that tends toward the dramatic, and a full-blown Drama Queen. A dramatic person will stub a toe, and then limp all day so that people will ask them what's wrong and they can evoke a little bit of sympathy as they tell you that they stubbed their toe. It's no biggie, thanks for noticing.

A drama-queen, is a whole other snowball--one that is rolling downhill and growing to epic proportions fast. If Lucy stubs her toe and tells a Drama Queen, said Drama Queen will start making phone calls to alert the media (or their version of it anyway). The first call will have Lucy breaking the toe, the fifth will have her with a broken leg, and the twentieth will have Lucy's car flipped over on an icy road (in August) down in the ditch, at the bottom of a ravine, with the doors pinned as water rushed in and she had to hold her breath for 5 minutes as she kicked out the windshield to barely escape and crawl her battered and exhausted body to shore where Lassie found Lucy, alerted the authorities, and she is now comatose in ICU after being airlifted to the insert-nearest-big-city-name-here hospital. It's a miracle she survived, sorry it took so long for the Drama Queen to alert you. Hopefully, if you send flowers, they will get there before Lucy flat-lines. Of course Lucy has no idea about any of this. She just stubbed her toe, got over it in two minutes, and is busy making dinner when the doorbell rings with the 5-foot-tall-get-well-arrangement.

Drama Queens thrive on having their world in full-tilt chaos and they bring their whirling dervish with them no matter who they talk to or where they go. I'm convinced that this is because they are so clinically miserable, that it's easier to focus on the circus they create. At least in the circus, they are in control instead of real-life which controls them. They are Alice down the rabbit hole, and just as clueless that they're making all this garbage up in their own heads.

Conclusion of the Two Discussed Issues:
You will be much happier in your life, if you don't allow anyone to feed you bullshit and call it chocolate.

Issues solved.

Hey, will ya look at that, they're not so un-related after all...

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Hazards of Cereal

Oh, those Special K commercials make it look so good and healthy for you. Their little brown flakes with mini chocolate bars mixed in with them, "... so you don't ruin your day" they say... what about your night?

This is why you shouldn't eat cereal at night. I didn't have Special K. I had what was left in the bag of maple-and-brown-sugar-fake-shredded-wheat. As my mild sweet-tooth clouded my judgement and beckoned me to pour all the little wheatlings into the bowl...along with all of the maple and sugar bits that had flaked off the big mini-wheats and collected into a funky brown and white dust in the corner of the bag. No where in my brain did anything register that I was about to ingest enough sugar to launch the next three space shuttle missions. No, totally blanked that part out.

So here I am, at 11:45 pm --wound tighter than an eight-day clock, you ask?--Oh honey, I am so far beyond eight days... I am wound like someone who snorted their body-weight in meth and then washed it down with a quadruple espresso. I am Amped to The Moon and Wired For Sound! I would ride roller-coasters if I could. I want to bungee jump off of Mount Rushmore. I want to run to Walmart~literally~~ Run the thirty miles to the nearest Walmart and do donuts in the parking lot without the car. Did I mention that normally, I don't run for anything. A fast-ish walk is the best you can hope for.

There is only one saving grace in this as-close-to-a-coma-as-is-possible-without-completely-having-a-stroke sugar high; I know when I crash, I'll sleep through the night, no problem. I'll probably even dream of chasing Oompa-Loompas through Willie Wonka's factory only to wind up taking a breather by doing the backstroke in the chocolate river.

This type of wound-up should be reserved for mornings when you're facing a house that has just been vacated by hundreds of way-drunk frat boys and have to get it ready in 7 hours for a dinner party when your in-laws, your priest, Martha Stewart, and Oprah are on the guest list. This kind of fake-energy is only useful when you are bamboozled into solo-supervising an entire class of pre-schoolers on a playground about 90 minutes before nap time. By the way, I'm typing like 700 words a minute right now.

I was watching TV, but it was too Too TOO slow-moving to handle this kind of zing. I manually cleaned out the coffee maker and have high hopes that tomorrow when I turn it on that I haven't ruined it, nor will I have to wait the FULL HOUR I did this morning for the damned-worn-out-clogged-up-cheap-ass maker to brew the entire pot. Luckily, I was cleaning house and didn't mind so much. The roads were fogged in badly this morning, and hubby requested that I keep the phone lines free in case he needed to call me, so I couldn't get on the computer. In that one hour I'd done everything but vacuum floors and fold laundry. You can tell now what a mistake that was, what the hell am I supposed to do while I'm all sugared-up and zippidy-do-dah over here now? I already made hubby's lunch. I figured that if I crash as hard as I'm flying high, I may not wake up until Thanksgiving dinner.

And, since my mind is going several-hundred-miles-per-minute, I've had plenty of time to think about the sugar content in today's cereals. This is the REAL root cause of all those kids with ADD. They eat fruit-loops and the like, finish off the little dust in the bottom of the boxes, and they can't sit straight and concentrate to save their lives. I finally understand and can now say that I know the feeling. What I don't understand is how this much sugar in one product is legal. I became diabetic in one bowl, I'm sure of it.

Oh, they talk about Big Tobacco and their lobbyists on Capitol Hill... Bullshit, it's that satanic General Mills over there with their evil little Leprechaun and that plotting rabbit who has grown malevolent from years of "Trix are for kids" tauntings, and then there is their CooCoo for Cocoa Puffs--thing...what the hell type of creature is that Cocoa Puffs thing anyway? I'll tell you what it is, it's something they came up with in their uber-sugared-synthetic-chocolate-flavored frenzy. Sonny-Cocoa-Puffs was a sugar fueled hallucination put on paper. These are the people who are the real threat to this country--Sugar and Cereal manufacturers.

So rant if you will about cigarettes and drunk drivers, pollution and pipelines, pharmaceutical companies and the economy... but I know the truth, the real hazard in America is cereal.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


One week out of the month, I have PMS, in varying degrees, which sucks big fat donkey dick no matter how mild it may be. But I also get something else in that week... I get organized.

Jimmy-Hoffa-fridges (* see my guest post on Judi's blog for that insider reference!) and closets that can crush you if opened too quickly don't stand a chance during this week. Neither does the most driven internet marketer or business person. I make my list and I plow through it like a Missouri Mule. My mother, sister and I all share this, common-to-us, but what I'm told by other women is bizarre, monthly hormonal effect.

We can walk into each others homes, see all of the furniture pushed to the center of the room because, "These baseboards were filthy! I couldn't stand it anymore!" and know exactly what is going on. It's not strange to us, even if the person cleaning their baseboards is down on their hands and knees with the vacuum and a bucket of water and a sponge and a rag, and is the type of person who usually doesn't notice when they've got stepped-on goldfish crackers on their living room rug.

We go a little overboard... kind of like opening the door to under the kitchen sink in order to get out paper towels, and winding up cleaning out the cabinet to such spotless, organized perfection that we could showcase it in House Beautiful. Doing laundry takes us three hours in the laundry room so we can move, vacuum, tighten hoses, pick up ALL the lint from the dryer-lint-trap no matter where it may be hiding, and organize the detergent, bleach and fabric softener in size order to attain the 'proper look'. Dressers get cleaned out and every stitch of clothes from bras to bathing suits get folded and put in their proper places. Bathrooms get cleaned and sanitized to such a degree that you could invite the Pope to eat on the floor behind the toilet. Windows get washed, inside and out with a streak-free shine for Pete's Sake! How much more neurotic than that can you get?

And all three of us are like this, we three witches of Endor. I've called us this for years due to our psychic links to each other, which are Strong, to put it mildly. My mother doesn't go through this anymore to the degree that sis & I do, in a word, menopause. But I remember how she was when I was growing up--speaking of my youth, this is also the time of month that our spouses (or your parents, if your child is ...well...Me!) will come home and find the entire house full of furniture re-arranged. I'm sure my mother vividly remembers the day she came home from work to find that I had designated my grandmother's old bedroom as the new TV room... Yeah, aren't you glad you weren't my parent, people. It's a wonder I've lived this long. And a shout out of appreciation to my Mom for that, she let it stay that way... until I changed it again.

...Anyway, (as I return from my flashback!) it is in this state of heightened-hormonal-manic-madness that I take my list in hand so that I have an actual direction for this organizational-juggernaut. Thank God for that, without the list, I'd be as flighty as a hummingbird! The hormones kicked in just in time, because I'm working on my other site... the one I actually got the dot-com for, back when I thought I could manage an e-commerce site on my own. Talk about over-reaching. I am way too picky to manage a site with as little webmaster experience as I have. This was also when I thought this site would just be my 'little personal outlet'. But hey, live and learn. So, after months of trying to figure out how to remove the dot-com thorn from my side, I've got a game plan...And My Hormone Frenzy... It's on like Donkey Kong! I'm in high gear and roaring to go, whipping things off my list in record time. Sometimes it really pays to be bullheaded; yay Taurus ascendant!

There is another saving grace to having a week of Super Woman. Next week when I'm cramping and laying like a sloth on the couch, feeding my sweet/salt cravings with Ruffles & cheesecake I'll look at what I got done this week, and I won't feel quite so bad, even if there are goldfish crackers stepped into the carpet.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

What Shade of Crazy

Who...The...Fuck... brings a camera to a funeral?

Apparently, my step-mother.

It's true, I could not, would not make this up. I don't believe in defaming someones good name with lies... But if they do something stupid, crazy and or crass, I may pass it on, especially if it is so over the top as to make everyone else in the world go, "WHAT?!?" and get a look on their face so priceless that you wish you'd set up the camera before you popped out with the news.

Yes, this is how fucked-up my family is. A camera at a funeral. Now, people, I didn't rush to this judgment when I opened the email and saw the first four pictures of the flowers I sent and the picture table that was laid out with different pics of Gran and the family. Were those all that I received, I would have given the benefit of the doubt; that maybe someone had casually said it was a shame that I couldn't be there, or see the lovely bouquet I had sent, or the many family photos of Gran which were so touching, and then someone else said, "Well, I have a camera in the car, when the first viewing is over, I'll take some pics to send her during the break before the evening wake-session." I could understand that, and that's what I thought when I sent my step-mother the thank you email for the pics, which I thought was very good of her to send considering the strained-non-speaking nature of our current relationship....

It was after I sent this email that I opened the last picture, and friends, this is what convinced me that someone over there, if not all of them have completely gone over the edge of reason...
Forgive my bad taste in posting it, but I couldn't possibly describe it, you'd swear I was lying! And here is the more scary-to-me-than-anything-else part, ready?-- My sister and I were discussing the pics, and we realized that they were taken at the Actual Funeral, and it still took us a few minutes to deduce how completely jacked that was. It wasn't in any way an instant reaction, it had to dawn on us. Now that was quite a OMG-Wow (and not in a good way) on our part. Then again, we were raised around these people...

We are in the same dye-lot... we are a similar shade of crazy.

As the conversation progressed, we started laughing so hard that we could scarcely breathe. I mean the choices were: to laugh about it, OR, to off ourselves and my children to make sure these genes were not allowed to propagate and infect the rest of the world with this top-shelf-level-of-crazy. Seriously. Baring issues like incest and living in a meth lab; I'm pretty sure snapping shots of a coffin about to go into the ground which contains your mother-in-law of 28 years who you were on Good Terms with and sending the pic to your step-children while none of the 5-grown-actual-blood-children of the dead woman, who were all in attendance said anything about how crass, crude, and absolutely, unbelievably fucked-up even having the nerve to do flash photography at a funeral is... pretty much lands us in the top 10% of crazy families in the US, if not world-wide. I know I come from this crazy-lot, but I'm pretty sure this would have been stopped by any other family even if the daughter-in-law and mother-in-law were on bad terms. I'm just guessing, obviously, I Don't Know.

What I do know, is that despite the level of insanity, this family functions very well in regular society. Houdini & Copperfield have nothing on the illusionists in this family. We hold good jobs, have very nice homes, and in general, seem like upstanding members of the community. But we're crazy enough to allow cameras at funerals. We deserve a 10 page color spread article in Psychology Today.

It got me to thinking about the spouses we attract. And if this degree of crazy can attract and maintain long-term marriages with their mates, then the mates must be crazy too. And the more I thought about it, I came to deduce that everyone is crazy; just in their own way. And maybe we attract people to us that are at or about the same level of crazy as we are. That may be how long-term relationships are able to work, both people involved are operating at the same level of insanity brought about by their genetics and upbringing. Then again, I'm not sure if that's comforting or disturbing...

But, hey, the next time your spouse or family does something embarrassing and crazy and you want to never again have to admit that you are related to them, remember this...

At least they didn't bring a camera to a funeral.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Guest Posting on JLo's NO-HO

Well, tomorrow is the big day; my First Ever Guest Post (YAY!!! Can y'all hear the Jefferson's theme music?) is being published on [zany life + crazy faith]

Normally this blog is authored by Judi Moran, who is an excellent writer, an amateur photographer with a good eye, and in my opinion, a really cool lady. I cannot begin to describe to you the largeness, and possibly overwhelming nature of turning your blog over to guest writers for an entire month. It sounds like a vacation, but I assure you, it Really Is Not. It may very well be more work that producing your own posts. And for this, Judi, my admiration of you, not only for your work but also your generosity in turning over your blog to showcase other readers has grown (you already ranked pretty high! *wink* Go WOMAN! lol) exponentially.

So, in case it wasn't already obvious, I am extremely honored that Judi asked me to sign up for a NO-HO. Which, by the way, all you fellow Slut-Brains, is not what you think! I know, I thought it too, and simply assumed that Judi was taking on another direction; which was accurate, just not in the way that my immediately-drop-to-the-gutter-and-roll-around-in-giddy-twisted-fashion mental processes went to; my Slut-Brain as I call it. NO-HO actually stands for November Holidays. Turns out that some bored and probably deranged card-company-worker has come up with an actual 'Holiday' for every single day in November. When you go over to [zany life + crazy faith] you'll understand why I think that...

I have to say that I have been enjoying all of the guest posts. Some are art, some are video clips, some are actual writings... More than anything, I'm loving finding new styles and exploring the works of the new-to-me bloggers and artists that Judi has managed to assemble... It is all the more humbling (and ego-boosting, if I am truly honest) to have been picked. My personal fave so far has been November 13th, World Kindness Day. Head over to Judi's blog and choose your own fave!

Therefore, it is my great joy to invite all of my readers over to Judi's blog [zany life+ crazy faith] and check out my guest post for November 15th, which is Clean Out Your Fridge Day. That title just cracked me up, so you know I had to take it and run with it. Enjoy Y'all and thanks for reading!

I have to throw in a mini-disclaimer here; My fridge was NOT the one I wrote about, nor the one pictured, just in case you were considering coming to dinner at my house. It was modeled after an actual fridge though, and then of course expanded upon to make my point.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Cleaning My Room

I was blessed last Saturday to have three hours of alone, grieving time while everyone else was still asleep. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I'd already been in mourning for over two weeks, so three hours was adequate, the big factor in that was ALONE time. Parents, you already know how rare that is, but to get it without having to leave the house was quite simply, a gift from God and Grandma.

I was remembering my early child life with my grandmother, and it progressed into a broad question, "how did I get here from there?" That question sparked an introspective examination of my far distant past. I talked to myself like I was someone else, and explained out in detail some of the memories. As I described, the more the memories evolved into visualization. The deeper the visualization, the more specific the remembrances. I honestly don't think I've ever done this before. Looked at things in such vivid detail, and managed to dissect it including the emotional ramifications from an (almost) entirely analytic viewpoint.

After working out the root cause of some of my most deeply buried, and therefore inconspicuous to me, personal issues. I was starting to answer my primary question, "How did I get here?" I began to recognize things about myself on a much larger scale. I realized where my negative self-image began and how deeply ingrained it had become with time. And that in the long term, everything I had done for twenty-eight years was a subconscious, concerted effort to live down to that image. I, unbeknownst to my conscious self, had striven to self-destruct. The longer I carried the weight of my own imagined unworthiness, the more my own actions undermined what my aware-self said that it wanted. If things worked out well for me, they were in spite of what I did, not because of it. I saw it all so clearly for the first time, and I didn't just see it, I microscoped what I saw, and finally, I understood it fully. Every decision in every area of my life had been tainted with this hidden insidious agenda. From bad grades to weight issues, alcohol to abortions (yes, that word is plural--not proud of that, but can't change it, and won't lie about it either.)

Even moving to Texas. As much as I love my husband and our son, following hubby to Texas meant leaving an actual career (not just the gas station cashier jobs I'd held for 10 years). A career that I was excellent at (not to toot my own horn, but it's the truth). One with benefits and steady pay, vacation time and weekends off. I also gave up my first all-mine very nice apartment in over a decade as well as all the friends I had accumulated in 17 years. I had done some soul-searching regarding this choice before, but I thought the divorce from my ex and relinquishing my full time mama status had just made me go sideways. It wasn't until Saturday morning that I understood how it was my own need to self-debase that fueled that fire with a steady stream of gasoline. Loving my husband just made jumping into the fire more palatable.

And that's when I finally came upon my room. My personal room, the place where my inner child resides. It was dark and scary the likes of which Arthur Conan Doyle and Alfred Hitchcock together couldn't have imagined. The air in there was full of suspense and anticipated terror. It was a horrible place to be, and yet I'd allowed my little self to cower in the corner of this horrible place for almost thirty years. For the first time in that long, I remembered that there was a light on one of the shelves, and that I'd left it on. I knew it was a light that was bright enough to banish every last shadow, it had simply been buried and pushed far back on the shelf as all these negative bags of crap were stacked around it, on top of it, and on every single other shelf in the room. The negativity doused all manner of light in that room to the point of not being able to see your hand in front of your face.

I went straight for the hidden light and started throwing the stinking things off the shelves and into a huge garbage bag. The negative self-image was so big that I had to take it straight to the construction-site-sized dumpster. And once I unburied that light, all the other crap I'd been storing on the shelves disappeared. I washed the shelves and polished them. Then I chose-- did y'all hear that?-- I CHOSE what I put back on the shelves. I chose peace and joy. I chose prosperity and compassion. I chose wisdom, health and love. I chose all the best things that the universe has to offer, and put only those things back on my shelves. I took my light off the shelf and put it into the center of the room to eradicate every sliver of darkness in there. And the light shifted shape and grew and became... Me. A me that had all of the things I had put on my shelves. And then something else happened. My mouth simply opened and the words, "I am worthy" came out of both the physical and the me of light. I was stunned to find out that as I said it, I came to know it; as surely as one knows how to breathe or blink their eyes.

A saying came to me several weeks ago: "Love and resentment can not live in the same heart. Eventually, one of them has to die." I am so thankful and blessed that for me, the death was of resentment. I will not mourn it's loss.

Nor will I mourn my grandmother any more. The sadness still comes in waves, but it is less cutting now. I think part of this is because my Gran helped me clean out my room. She is the reason I was able to reflect. And she is who reminded me of the light buried on the back shelf. She is the reason my psyche is healing with remarkable speed. Fitting for a woman who spent her career-lifetime as a nurse and somehow, always seemed fearless to me.

There is a flying owl mobile hanging over my head in my inner-room to remind me that Gran's wisdom is always there if I just look for it; high enough to be watching, low enough to be heard. It's new, and I didn't exactly choose to put it in there, it just kind of...appeared. Funny. Gran's owl figurine collection never seemed more apropos.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


"I cannot go to school today
Said little Peggy Ann McKay
I have the measles and the mumps
A gash, a rash and thirteen bumps...
...What? What's that? What's that you say?
You say today is... Saturday?
Goodbye, I'm going out to play."

partial quotation from the poem, "SICK"
available in full in the book,
Where the Sidewalk Ends
by Shel Silverstein

Hubby is home from work today. He is having some follow-up blood work done from when he was sick a few weeks back... I want to know, WTF is it with men when they're sick?

They go from being strong, generally-self-sufficient, adults to... well... pathetic. A glass of water becomes too difficult to navigate. And somehow, whether they are suffering from a stomach flu or an ingrown toenail they manage to get the sniffles and watery eyes, making them look all the more pitiful as they gaze up at you with their new-found-puppy-dog-eyes and ask you to close the curtains so they can die peacefully in their deathbed because they have 'no energy'. If they could talk you into bringing them a bedpan they would. Groans and other poor-me noises emanate from wherever they are lying prone to let all others in the house know that they are feeling absolutely miserable, and if they survive, it will be a miracle worthy of the Pope. "Pray for me in my time of hideous suffering", the whimpers seem to say...

Now, I'm not heartless. Really, I'm not. I understand wanting some comfort, compassion, and maybe even a little 'babying' when you're sick, but men have it down to an art form that would be the envy of Michaelangelo. Almost like they had graduate-level-classes on how to play it up. And hey guys, we want some of that 'babying' too! Where did you come up with having the monopoly on playing the sick card?

Because, when women get sick--especially if those women are mothers-- it is an entirely different story. They still have to get out of bed and change diapers, make their own coffee, and do some measure of housework. They can go through an entire box of tissues in 12 hours, cough so hard they throw-out their backs, puke up everything they ever ate in their entire lives as well as their shoes, and have dark circles under their eyes that extend down to their bra, and they will get no extra compassionate anything. They're lucky if their partner actually 'sees' them and makes a comment like, "Wow babe, you look like shit!" Which makes us think something along the lines of, "Gee thanks! You heartless, thoughtless jerk."

We may get out of doing laundry or not get some sort of comment about us going back to bed. If we're really lucky, they'll turn down the TV so our heads don't explode from the bass as something gets blown up in the action movie they are watching. If they order take-out and spare us from cooking dinner, it will very likely be more from not wanting to get whatever you've got, than actually trying to help your sick-ass out.

I'm sure not all men are this bone-headed when their women are sick or as whiney when they are the sick one. I'm sure there are some men who are compassionate and considerate of their ill partners, or don't expect to be waited on hand and foot with the dedication of a prisoner-servant to the sadistic dictator in a militia state when they're laid-up... I just know that I've never been married to one.

Sunday, November 9, 2008


I am Grieving.

When I found out that my grandmother was in the hospital I started doing reiki treatments on her. For those of you unfamiliar with reiki, I'll simply explain that it is a healing energy. Reiki treatments can be administered for everything from heartburn to cancer, and that once a practitioner has been initiated to level two, the treatments can be done from a distance. I had an unusual experience when I did the second treatment on her. When I finished doing the standard hand positions, I took her hands and continued to allow the energy to flow into her. The scene however, changed from her lying in the hospital bed to us sitting, holding hands at her dining room table. The holding hands part was new, but sitting at the table is how I remember some of my most wonderful conversations occurring with her. As we talked, we told each other the things we wanted to say, and she told me that she was tired, and ready to go. After that she got up, and went up the stairs, as if to bed. It was also metaphorical in all the standard 'rising up' ways. I knew that she would not be with us long...

I did other reiki treatments after that, and she felt very peaceful, and her calm calmed me. I became more aware that she was ready to go with each subsequent treatment, but I couldn't tell my family, because they couldn't have stood hearing it at that point. With that in mind, I have been in mourning for my grandmother for almost three weeks. When she died Friday, it was almost a relief, because I knew she was ready, and even though she hadn't been communicating pain, her mental state had deteriorated drastically in the last month. Considering that she'd been sharp as a tack until then, I know she wouldn't have wanted to last long without her wits. I'm sure I would have taken it much harder than I already have if I didn't have that reiki-trance conversation with her.

I thought I'd be able to attend the funeral, but I am not. I was told earlier today, that no one expected me to come all the way from Texas with my toddler son to attend. I'm not sure if that made it easier or harder to not be there. I ordered the flowers yesterday, and was racked with sorrow and pain knowing how she would have loved having those flowers on the aforementioned dining room table. Stargazer Lilies. They just looked like her. I added three white long stemmed roses for myself and each of my two children. Gran always had rose bushes in her back yard. She loved flowers. I would call for her birthday each year, and she would always tell me how wonderful the azaleas and lilacs looked and smelled.

There is some minimal speculation that the house will be sold. She had recently commented to my uncle that she had lived there 50 years. I remember when she and my grandfather had the "title burning" celebration when they paid off the 30-year mortgage. I remember Easter-egg hunts in the backyard and lunches on the great big wrap-around porch when it rained and my dad and uncles carried the picnic table from the backyard so we could all still eat outside. I remember breaking out all the cushions for the porch furniture in the spring and sitting out for the first time of the season, rocking on the glider couch. I remember the one drawer that always had cookies in it, and the ever-present cooked kielbasa on the little kitchen table, which was always ready for a nibble. I remember decorating the Christmas tree and the many beautifully wrapped packages that only magically appeared on Christmas morning. I remember the pink bathroom with the starfish-mermaids on the wall and the smell of Norell and Jean Nate. I can't imagine never returning to that house. It's been the one constant of my entire life. I'm having trouble wrapping my head around never answering the phone again to hear, "Dear, it's Grandmother..." I can hear it now as I write this.

What's more, I'm not sure if the 21st century family that we've become, can survive without my grandmother's 20th century cohesive glue. With Gran's passing, I fear that we are like a very worn-out-kinda-broken couch that has had it's very nice slipcover whipped off. I'm finding out about rifts that I didn't know existed, and the ones that I did know about are much bigger and more vehement than I suspected. I wonder if the whole thing will be pitched in the dump without her there to smooth over the wrinkles.

One thing I can say for sure, is that it has opened a pathway for me to look at some things from my life and childhood that needed to be dealt with and changed. Introspection abounds in my grieving process. So Gran, I am eternally grateful for that.

My grandmother was the truest, most accurate, walking definition of the word 'Lady' that I have ever seen. Her obituary said that the world would be a little bit colder without her. I know mine will never seem quite as warm. I miss her deeply and will remember her kindness, generosity, grace, and intelligent 'southern-lady' genteel ways for the rest of my time on earth. My unimposing, yet astoundingly solid, rock is gone. And it has altered my universe. Not necessarily for the better.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Body Crash

My body decided it was tired today. I crashed. I didn't crash like dropping-all-the-dishes-in-a-12-piece-place-setting crash, but for the first time in my life I had to dump out a full pot of coffee and start over.

That's what I'm doing now, as I write this...desperately awaiting the coffee that I so deeply NEED this morning. I'm still bleary eyed, and extremely fuzzy headed. The day has gone like this;

6:30 am: Got up, beelined to the bathroom, washed hands in cold-ass-morning-in-the-country-in-a-trailer water, made hubby lunch, and started coffee.

6:45 am: Crawled back into bed, snuggled with hubby and fell back to half-asleep.

7:00 am: Heard the alarm go off again, hubby shut it off for real, and got up to get ready for work. I leave my consciousness and enter a bizarre dream world consisting of many of my old friends and trying to outrun the end-of-the-world in my two door 2000 Toyota Echo. Don't ask me, I'm way more "off the hook" in my dreams than what I've ever written...

7:15-ish: Hubby recognizes that I am dead to the world, probably kissed me goodbye and left.

8:45 am: I crack my eyes open thinking I hear the baby playing. I stumble to the bathroom and then onto check the baby. He's still asleep. I make sure both doors are locked and go back to bed. I burrow all the way down inside the down comforter, and spread out all over the bed the way I only can when hubby is not in bed. Ahhhh. Out cold in 1-point-2 minutes.

9 something: I wake up without opening my eyes, because opening them would take more energy than I have. Initially I thought I heard baby (because when I first wake up, I think every noise is baby) but in listening for more than a millisecond, I realized that it was the chickens and the cats on the back porch playing a loud rendition of what I'm guessing was "Chicken"--I mean that's the only game that would make sense, right? Called out to son who didn't answer, indicating that he was actually asleep, not just playing quietly waiting for me to get the fuck up already. No answer, re-enter the land of the not-quite-alive. Snore Loudly for effect.

10:20 am: Emerge from spotty-coma, realizing that it's after 10 and the house stinks of burnt coffee. I bolt out of bed as best as I can for a woman recovering from a coma, and make the bed. I go over and start the wash water for laundry, walk into the front room to collect anything hubby may have left that needs washing. Somehow manage to comprehend that son is still sleeping--And Breathing... finish loading laundry. Emerge into kitchen, dump burnt-so-badly-it-would-easily-peel-paint coffee and start over. Look at uber-disgraceful mountain of dishes in sink. Vow to do them sometime after computer work and coffee--In other words, lied to myself enough to escape one of my most hated household duties...

The running water to re-make coffee woke my son up, so I got him changed and breakfasted all the while sending up a little prayer of thanks for my son. I mean, come on! He woke up after me! I ask you parents out there--Is that a great kid, or what? Well worth a little prayer, to be sure! Speaking of prayers of thanks...

I was still in my scattered, pre-coffee state when I got online and started moderating comments. And I just have to give a shout out, I have the best readers in the world! No, really, y'all. Your comments are so great and thoughtful. The number of followers are growing, and my Link Referral reviews are consistently really good. I always hoped for this kind of feedback, but I'm not sure I really expected to get it, and I just have to say, Thanks to you ALL for all the positive reinforcement that compels me to want to be here (aside from my own natural compunction) and make you think, or laugh or simply to give you something new to read.

I was feeling so good after the comment moderation, that I decided to hop over to Alexa and check my ranking. I started checking this site on Oct 22nd, and had a page rank of 1,118,951. (for those of you not Alexa savvy, they rank from the top of the pile down, IE: if there are 9,000,000 sites out there, you start at that number and work down to number one.) 1 million plus is not too bad for a blog that has only been going since June of this year. Today I checked it, and Aria'z Ink is at 882,042!!! I broke 900K. With that I went into the kitchen for my first cup of coffee (at now 11:15 am) to celebrate!

Thanks to YOU readers, followers, and commenter givers (and a fair bit of marketing hard work), I may actually get my call from Oprah! OK, so I know that it's still so remote as to be in the same league with hitting the lotto, but hey...even awake, a girl's gotta have dreams.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Power of Obama

I had no intention of posting today. But the power of Obama compelled me...

Since I can remember, which is all the way back to coming home from morning-session-kindergarten and watching Jimmy Carter being sworn in, I have not been political. For many years I didn't even vote because I felt that I was too ignorant of the issues to make a decision that had the potential to... I dunno, turn "Bushish". I watched, I listened half-heartedly, and I deemed the entire process: full of shit. The voting part changed some years back, but I still find the whole process, and politicians in general: full of shit.

But last night something happened that has never in my personal history happened to me. Obama came out and started into his acceptance speech, (my Texan hubby had, of course, gone to bed) and as I watched this man and listened to him speak, I got goosebumps, tears streamed down my face--slowly at first and as the speech continued, they became unchecked-- and the most remarkable thing of all... I Believed Him. For the consummate political cynic that I am, this was the most amazing thing of all to me. I never believe politicians. They have all been inducted into the highest order of liars, and are simply better than most people at covering it up enough to get elected. That has Always been my view. You can not possibly imagine my surprise at my own reaction.

I guess you can say that I fell a little bit in love with Obama during that speech. I was so glad to know it was not just an indicator that I'd mysteriously contracted a mental disease. I watched and flipped back and forth between the after-shows, and they had all felt it, and had fallen for him too. They were full of glassy-eyed praise and optimism that I haven't seen in news reporters maybe Ever... this was the immediate effect of our collective decision to put this man at the helm and what it would mean to this country. I called out inside my own head, "We are FREE" ... of Bush of course! Of all that Bush stands for; the lazy, greedy, sell-out-your-own-country-to-line-your-pockets, fear-mongering, all-about-me mentality that has pervaded and perverted the outlook, world image and general feeling of the entire population of America--I'll stop myself before I tell you what I really think...

And while I feel this strongly about the double-term-dose of hell that W's administration has inflicted on our country, until last night, I was not overly moved or felt really invested in the outcome of this election. I live in the middle of nowhere. Cows, cornfields and chickens don't give a damn who is in power. The only real effect in my personal day-to-day has been gas and food prices, and a generalized low-level sorrow that had gripped me from the day my son was born when I think about the world he's inheriting. Because fear-mongering, although it may not work directly on cows, cornfields and chickens, does distort the surrounding energies of the universe in the long term, so that even I, in the middle of nowhere, had become fearful of standing on my back porch by myself at night. That is how completely it has taken over and placed a secret stranglehold over our citizenry. After the speech, and the post-speech-shows, that fog of fear felt cleared. I stood out without fear for the first time in a very long time.

It was an unbelievable conclusion to a night that had started with my sis & I giving my Texan hubby a ration of shit for voting McCain. He said he did it because watching the SNL political bash show the night before, when he finally saw the Sarah Palin rap with Amy Pohler shooting the moose... well that was it for him. Ohhh, that reminds me, I need to get hubby out there and have him start teaching our son how to shoot... I mean he is almost two already, so if they don't get on it, the state of Texas will revoke my boy's birth certificate!

Yeah, so my only real disappointment of the night--aside from hubby's voting decision-- was not getting to watch the results come in, and seeing Texas turn BLUE....

OK, I have to go, I just laughed so hard I spit coffee all over my 'puter! Ciao for now, readers... and I hope you realize like I did that it's OK to have hope now, because Yes We Can.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Things today, for me, are jumbled.

While I find writing to be as cathartic as an activity has the possibility to be, I am no longer writing in my private-tucked-away-under-the-mattress journal where I can be angry or hurt or simply rant about shit without fear of censure from the eyes and opinions of another. And while I have put some personal things into this blog, when I'm here, for some reason, I'm able to put emotional distance between myself and the subject I'm writing about...OK, well sometimes. But those that I'm not distanced from are issues that I've already dealt with in the private, enough to take the edge off the heartache or the anger or whatever other emotions I go through to write about a particular subject.

I can't say that about all that is going on today. It's fresh. Some of the emotions are brand new, even if the situations are not. Odd, isn't it, how that happens sometimes. I've been going through over a year shall I put this tactfully... Delusional Bullshit with my father. Throughout the year, I was hurt and saddened over the situation, but in a resigned, wish-you-well-sorry-you-think-that sort of way. I was surprised that he had come to the conclusions that he had, and suspected that he may be in the beginning stages of dementia. I understand that those suffering this mental disease tend to feel persecuted, may make up conspiracy theories, and cut themselves off from others by way of being hostile to the point of belligerence and yet, even as their theories and conclusions make perfect sense to them, make no reasonable sense to those around them... (this is my understanding anyway, if you've had a different experience or have more knowledge, please add your insights in comments, it would be appreciated.)

This is not a new situation, as I have said. I was side-swiped with this particular Mack truck right around Christmas last year. In the time since, I have accepted that he wants no contact with me. I can not get behind the reasoning, which is the opposite of accurate. (So much so, that latest reports have a completely different line of reasoning for my alienation, though it still ends up with the same result.) What I do get is his way of dealing with it, I understand how my father is. I am cut off because I am Satan. Luckily for me, I am not alone, my sister is also Satan for completely different reasons. Her story, to hear her side of it, was a misunderstanding that has been apologized for repeatedly. To hear the opposing side, she is the most vindictive, malicious human being to ever walk the earth and her name is not mentionable--since downright execution is currently unavailable for her transgressions.

I believe the truth to lie somewhere in the middle of the two sides, since in my experience, that is usually where it tends to be. I've come to conclude through my years that fact and perception rarely line up together in relationships. However, considering the other 'view point conclusions' my father has been making, after they have been mulled over as featured topics of the conspiracy-evolutionist-discussion group (consisting of my father and my step-mother) and the fact that there is always a 'base reason' and then a host of other not-necessarily-related reasons that someone has sprouted horns and become lower than an untouchable in India, I tend to see his reasoning, and that of his newly appointed mouthpiece, my step-mother,
as *ahem* somewhat skewed. At this point, I feel the need to tell you that up until my expulsion from their lives, I considered my step-mother to be one of my best friends, so this view of her is brand new and based on conversations that have occurred over the last year with me as well as other third party translators...

OK, so getting on with the story... yesterday morning, I received an email from my aunt (NOT my father, but my father's sister, if you hadn't guessed that part already) informing me and my sister that my grandmother, who has been in the hospital for over two weeks now, was being moved yesterday from the hospital to hospice. As positive as I'd like to be about her condition, factoring in the that she was not going home, but to hospice... well, to be honest with myself about the situation, I have to admit that she's dying, and soon. I have been somewhat poised for this news since I found out that she was in the hospital in the first place. My grandmother, although in her 90's, doesn't go to the hospital unless it's major. She spent her professional life as a nurse, and with age, she's gotten a fair bit stubborn about her own health. Readily admitting some things, like the need for hearing aids, and in complete denial about others like taking vitamins not specifically prescribed or recommended by the doctor. That said, I knew her being in the hospital overnight at all was a huge red flag. I immediately started doing distance reiki treatments on her, and I knew that she was ready to be done with this particular life experience because she told me so, but that is a whole other post...

Despite all of this, the hospice thing hit me kind of hard, and made me look at some reality crap, like my inevitable soonish visit to NJ for the funeral. My sister was relieved that I have decided to be there despite our disowned state with my father. She was mostly relieved because she wasn't sure that she could hold her tongue in such close proximity to our father. As evil as he perceives us, she has been doing a lot of introspective-therapy-type stuff and has a large amount of her own anger back at him, and several issues that stem from it. Over her four (plus goodness knows how many) years of alienation from my father, she has gone from trying many avenues of reconciliation and communication to utter disgust at the thought of him. Basically, hold her tongue is my polite way of saying that she wants to rip his head off and spit a loogie down his neck.

So, I took a nap yesterday to get a break from the swirling-family-tornado-waiting-to-happen (that and I was up way too late reading a good book). I was not expecting the angry indignation toward my father that I woke up with. I had felt many emotions over the past year toward him and the situation, but this was a new one. I had my soap-box-conversation with him in my head (because the person you're talking to can't interrupt your litany this way) while I was folding laundry. I made several good points concerning all of the accusations leveled at me by their particular hanging committee. When I was finished, I was unsure if I would be able to contain myself at the funeral, let alone talk my sister down.

With the dawn of a new day, the red-hot anger is gone, so I am confident that I will be able to keep my composure. Those many valid points may never get made to the appropriate person, but I can work them out and heal my own emotional wounds without behaving like a total ass. My grandmother deserves much better than to have her funeral remembered for an uproar worthy of the Hatfields and McCoys.

One thing that I do know for sure is this, everyone is simply trying to get through their days to the best of their ability. I have a feeling that I'm going to have to adopt this as my mantra for this difficult time... and I'm going to need to take A Lot of deep breaths.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

War Games and Pine Cones

I love my hubby. I'm not so much telling you as trying to remind myself.

You see, hubby and I were raised very differently, and we have many opposite likes. Him doing what he wants has the capacity to rub me against the velvet grain... A Lot. So this morning, I got up and went to get breakfast, and it became a fiasco that I won't even go into except to say, it was indicative of how my day was going to go.

You see, I came home to my hubby playing one of his many war-type-video-games. I hate these things. The constant shooting and barrage of shouts and yells and grenades and killing and being killed sets my hackles on edge. The fact that our son is in the room and being raised with this for 'background noise' irks me to no end. Having to listen to it for hours on end makes me angry--then again, maybe it's just the angry nature of the game. It's hostile and makes me hostile by proxy.

I went to the back for *ahem* personal business, and it got quiet... Finally. I guess I didn't send my thank you to God fast enough for the silence because before I knew it, I was being treated to an excessively loud rendition of one of his favorite Cd's. It is music that always makes me think of the part in Die Hard With A Vengeance where the Justin Long's character says of CCR, "'s like having pine cones shoved up my ass." Ever since we've viewed that movie, I call this particular band 'Pine Cone Music'. It's the techno-sad-drug-addicted-newly-sober music of a band that I listened to in my teenage years, where my angst fit it's melancholy beautifully. 20 something years later, it simply makes me cringe and wish I could escape-- to a fire ant hill wearing nothing but honey. Add to the irritation, when hubby samples music, he does precisely that...samples it. You never get to hear the full song... OK maybe 'never' is the wrong word... but it's got the same stats as McCain voting with Bush.

Which reminds me, early voting ended yesterday, not, as I thought, this morning at the local polling place. So now I have to figure out how to vote on Tuesday even though voting hours are the exact same 12 hour stretch that hubby is gone for when he goes to work. Oh, how helpful. Not.

Add to this the fact that last night, for our Halloween viewing we watched Silence of the Lambs, and he busted out with the completely inaccurate statement, "this is the movie that MADE Jodie Foster." I could have died.

In utter astonishment, I replied, "Uh, hello, Taxi Driver?!!?!"

It wasn't until he came back with, "Never heard of it." That I didn't even try to list any of her other movies. I realized that I obviously Have Not stopped doing drugs. Somewhere in an unknown-drug-fueled-frenzy I must have entered an alternate universe. My brain is just calling it 'my address in Texas'.

I am as perplexed at how I wound up married to a man that has NO movie knowledge what-so-ever, as I was in my first marriage when my ex-husband revealed to me that he flat out, "doesn't get" comic strips. I mean, they are both a case for seriously bad karma if ever there was one. For someone raised on both movies and comic strips, along with TV, how can I expect my partner to truly understand me if he doesn't understand these basic-pop-culture-reference-categories. They are to my personality what dictionaries, encyclopedias and card catalogues are to libraries.

So here I am on this sunny Saturday, my head reeling from self-realization in relationship to my relationships interspersed with flinching from the sounds of war games and pine cone music.

Dear God, please let him want to listen to something not alternative or hard metal or suicidally sad, very, very soon...

PS. as I was editing this post Nickleback came on... There is a God in heaven--November is looking up!