Monday, June 29, 2009

Rambling in Reverse


Today, my dentist stuck a giant syringe in my mouth and wiggled and poked until my eyes watered. I may have whimpered once or twice. When he removed the instrument of evil from my mouth, he sweetly asked, "Are you alright?" Wiping away tears, I muttered, "That really hurt, but I was very brave." For some reason, he found this funny.

For the next fifteen minutes or so, he used whirly things that made screechy noises and one gadget that vibrated my head so bad I thought my earrings were going to fall out. Apparently, this teeny tiny cavity was in between my two back upper molars on my left side. Apparently, it was one tough son of a bitch to get to. At one point I had three hands, three tubey things, a cotton swab and some sort of Medieval clamp in my mouth. None of the hands were mine, as my two were on my lap trying valiantly not to flip my dentist the bird.

With torture complete, my numb face and I headed to the front desk to check out. As I handed the office manager my debit card and paid the $94 fee charged for their proprietary brand of pain, I stupidly said, "Thank you," and grinned at her with half my face.

As the pain medication is wearing off, I'm finding that my jaw aches. What a bonus!


Last night, Mr. Right and I decided to go see the big moneymaker at the theater and contribute another $19 to its bottom line. Yes, we saw The Hangover. It was crude, rude, foul, rank and absolutely hilarious. I typically don't care much for what I refer to as "boy humor," but I have to tell you, I laughed from beginning to end, virtually non-stop. And, when I say I laughed, I mean I guffawed, bellowed and snorted. I'm sure it was quite lovely to behold.

The only thing that tainted the experience for me was the couple sitting next to me. They must have been in their early twenties. (Since turning 40, anyone under about 25 looks like an ankle biter to me, so I'm probably not the best judge of age.) Anyway, these two had either just been recently released from separate prisons or just had their chastity belts removed because they were practically making babies right next to me. Don't get me wrong. I'm neither a prude or anti-young love, but jeez-o-pete. He would occasionally, and loudly, repeat a line that was just said in the movie, laugh and ask the object of his lust if she'd heard that. (As in, "DID YOU HEAR THAT?!") She, on the other hand, appeared to be bored out of her skull with the movie, but perfectly enthralled by the fact that the arm of her chair raised up so that she could actually lay in her man's lap. I eventually had to position myself in such a way as to make them no longer appear in my peripheral vision. *Bleh*

As we were leaving the theatre parking lot, we saw this sign:

This made me break out into serious giggling. Caution indeed!! If only they'd posted this sign inside the theatre, I could have been better prepared!


Snotty and Grumpy arrived home from their month in Colorado. *Sigh* We'd no sooner set foot inside the front door when the calls started coming in from their friends. We let them spend about an hour "hanging out" and then called it quits for the rest of they day. We'd not seem them for a month and here they were wanting to immediately dump us for their pals. Rotten, they are.

I prepared one of their favorite meals and as we ate dinner, we let the hammer fall. We'd made a deal with them in December when we'd finally broken down and purchased cell phones for them. The deal was that they had to keep their grades up to A's and B's as they currently were or their phones would be taken away. From December until the end of school, we fought tooth and nail with them over their declining grades and had to take their phones away several times until they pulled grades back up. When we received final grades in the mail after Snotty and Grumpy left for Colorado, it was not good news. Mr. Right and I decided to let them keep their phones while they were away, but agreed that we'd have to hold up our end of the deal as soon as they returned home. Oh, boy. I'm sure that we will be the subject of their reports in school if asked to write about evil dictators or homeland terrorists.


I decided not to cook dinner because I was seriously jonesing for the Greek salad at My Big Fat Greek Restaurant, so off we went.

As our waitress approached us, I noted that she was probably a solid 6 feet tall and possibly around 210 lbs. or so. She had long wavy blonde hair and was what I would call "cute." As she stood at our table and opened her mouth to speak, it took all of my will power not to jerk my head to look at her and stare in shock. She had the voice of a four year old. I'm not kidding. One of those squeaky, baby-like, itty bitty voices. On the inside, I was in full on hysterics.

She asked what I'd like to drink and when I said, "Ice tea, please," she squeaked, "Thank you," and then...she curtsied. Yep. One foot behind the other and a bow. It was a mini-curtsy, but a curtsy nonetheless. Hmmm. I waited while Mr. Right ordered and when he was finished, "Thank you," and a mini-curtsy. For the duration of our meal, no matter if we asked for extra napkins, more pita, or for her to do a little jig, we received a "Thank you" and a mini-curtsy. When she brought us our ticket at the end of dinner, she'd circled her name on the "Your Server Was...." line. Her name, as it turned out, was "Stacey." Oh...I'm sorry. That's St♥cey. Mmm hmmm. With a heart. And, to top it off, she wrote, "Thank You!" on the ticket and turned the dot of the exclamation point into a heart. Then she drew a heart around the Thank You. If she hadn't been such a damn good waitress, I would have punched her in the snout.

So, there it is. My weekend in reverse. I would put it in the proper sequence for you, but this is the way I thought it and now I'm too lazy to turn it all around. It's 110 outside and even though I'm inside, the heat just seems to suck all motivation and ambition right out of me. You certainly are dears to put up with it all.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Remembering The Man In The Mirror

Some of you Dear Friends, will not care for this blog, and that's okay. I'm writing it more for myself and for those other children of the 80's who grew up listening and dancing to the music of Michael Jackson.

True, yes...he was a member of the incredibly famous Jackson Five in the 70's, but he reached iconic status in the 80's.

Some of you may not be able to look past his life as it was played out in the media all around the world for the last several years. Some of you may not have liked his music. Some of you may think he was a "freak" and have no use for him at all.

I can honestly say that despite all of the hoopla that surrounded his somewhat bizarre behavior at times, I will remember him as he was when he was at his very best. I cannot remember him as he was at his worst because that would be remembering that he was a damaged and lonely human being who desperately sought approval and affection and who sadly, never felt truly loved. I'll remember him at his best because that is when his talent ruled the world.

In high school, I never quite felt like I fit into any clique. I mostly felt awkward and goofy and out of place. There were though, a few times when I felt a part of the group. One of those times was made possible by Michael Jackson.

When the video for Thriller was released, my family only owned a black and white t.v. and we had no cable. Imagine that. A teenager in the 80's and no MTV. My parents should have been arrested for abuse. Anyway, the school library had a television and I remember when the video for Thriller came out, the librarian turned on the t.v. so that those of us who were "studying" in the library could watch it. We all gathered around the t.v. and as students passed by the library windows and saw the crowd gathering, they came in to see what was going on and the crowd grew. There must have been thirty or so of us standing around watching that screen in complete silence and awe. I remember looking around at my fellow classmates and thinking that I was a part of something. History. Music. I could feel it in the hair that was standing up on my arms.

I suppose that each generation has a King. My generation, the children of the 80's, had Michael Jackson. He was the King of Pop. His body of work contains hundreds upon hundreds of songs, legendary music videos such as Thriller, Beat It and Billie Jean, The Moonwalk (Oh, yeah. Don't tell me you haven't tried it!) and more crotch grabbing, lip biting, glove wearing dance moves than you can shake a stick at.

And, speaking of The Moonwalk, I once had it perfected. Yes, I was that geeky. I'll give you a tip: Don't wear your Nikes to Moonwalk. Wear ballet flats. "Real" ballet flats like we wore in the 80's. You'll slide like you're on glass.

I don't know if anyone knows what went awry in the mind and heart of Michael Jackson. We must assume, even with only elementary knowledge of psychology, that he suffered greatly at times. We've all heard those who claimed to have been in his inner circle say that he was a gentle, loving, compassionate and childlike man. It's difficult to reconcile that with what we saw played out in the media, so I'm not going to try.

What I will remember is the legacy he leaves behind. I'll remember the music he gave us that was sheer fun and that made us open our sun roofs and crank up the stereo while we were cruising Main Street. I'll also remember the music he made in an attempt to make us open our minds and see beyond race and gender and social class. I'll remember him as that soft spoken and shy King of Pop with the glittery glove and moves that would make Elvis blush.

I will remember.

Friday, June 19, 2009

(D)eoxyribo(N)ucleic (A)cid

Tuesday evening we took The Duchess to see her very first live musical production of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

She selected on one of her favorite dresses, lacy socks, a pair of her sassiest shoes, made sure her hair was properly sprayed into place and off we went to the theater.

While we waited for Mr. Right to pick the tickets up from will-call, I told the Duchess to go pose in front of the poster for the play. This is what I got:

Honestly...I don't know where she gets this stuff.

Monday, June 15, 2009

What Happened in Vegas...

It all began on Thursday as a little trip to Utah because Mr. Right wanted to show the Duchess and I where he spent part of his childhood and so he could visit the cemetery where his father is buried.

I was not super jazzed to be going. The lack of jazziness was due primarily to the fact that I loathe car trips. My limit in the car is about four hours. Anything past that and my ass begins to go numb and my brain follows shortly thereafter.

The drive was long, but as we left Arizona and headed into Utah, it became beautiful as well. It was fantastic to see a green world again and to see water running along side the road that wasn't being pumped into concrete canals like it is here in the desert. Ahhh...water.

Mt. Tipanogos, Utah Valley

In Utah, we stayed with an old friend of Mr. Right's and had a nice time driving around visiting old childhood haunts and talking. I did not, however, enjoy sleeping on the Aerobed and being high centered all night which resulted in waking up with a sore back and with my bum shoulder aching. I had to self medicate with Ibuprofen and beer. No liquor within miles. Utah. What a crock.

Saturday night we decided that it might be fun to take a different route home and drive through Las Vegas and spend the night. So, being the Internet savvy gal that I am, I quickly and quite efficiently, booked a room online at Planet Hollywood for Sunday night. Shazam.

We rolled out of Provo on Sunday around noon and headed to the cemetery a few miles outside of town.

I don't know about Mr. Right, but I got a little emotional at the cemetery. This particular cemetery is located smack dab in the middle of Nowhere and contains maybe 200 grave sites. As we pulled up to the site where Mr. Right's father is buried, we realized that there was no marker there. This made me incredibly sad for Mr. Right. He'd come prepared with a letter he'd written with the intention of leaving it there for his father. There was no place to put it.

I left Mr. Right alone with his letter and walked around the cemetery with The Duchess. When I saw that Mr. Right had concluded his business, we walked over and I saw that he had found a stone and had placed his letter under it in the space a headstone should have been. The Duchess had picked some Dandelions for me and I walked over and tucked their stems under the stone with the letter. The whole thing made me want to put Mr. Right on my lap and rock him and hold him tight.

With Utah behind us, we headed into Nevada and set the GPS for Planet Hollywood.

View from the pool at Planet Hollywood

Arriving in the lobby with luggage in tow, we waited...and waited...and waited, to check in. Upon presenting our online reservation to the person behind the counter, we were told that it was ever so lovely that we had a reservation, but that it was for NEXT weekend. What?! Oh, shit.

My "Great Rate!" room which I'd so efficiently booked on Travelocity quickly became the "Rate From Hell." Apparently, the hotel was quite full and they only had the swankier rooms available. Swanky will break the bank, people. Yes, we could have hauled ass out of there, but we'd committed to have fun, dammit, and fun we would have. Or not.

The room was great, yes, and we were having a jolly good time bouncing around on the beds, but it soon became apparent by the bellowing in our stomachs, that it was time to forage for food.

The "Strip" was packed. Throngs of sweaty people in ghastly clothing, walking through millions of pieces of business card sized pornography (hide your eyes, Duchess!) and so much trash that my inner clean freak began to actually freak. In order to just "Let's get somewhere dammit and eat," we decided to take advantage of the coupon for dinner that had been thrust into our hands by a scantily clad person of dubious gender while we were waiting for the "walk" sign to give us the go ahead.

So, off to the Hawaiian Tropic Zone we went. I'll give you the condensed version of dinner: Fajitas x 2. One kids meal. 2 cocktails. Two sodas. One coupon for "Free entree with purchase of entree." Ninety six dollars. Yes. You read that correctly. $96.00. With a coupon. The food was below average and my $13 cocktail was served in a plastic cup. Classy.

This is what a $13 cocktail looks like

After clutching my chest and doing my best impersonation of Red Foxx on Sanford & Son, we paid the bill and headed to M&M World to appease The Duchess. We'd promised her a swim in the pool, but the hour it took us to check in had burned up our pool time. So, we bribed her with chocolate.

We blazed through four stories of every imaginable M&M related item in about 15 minutes flat, scooping up an M&M dispenser, hand held fan, mini set of binoculars, drinking cup with silly straw and a giant bag of multi-colored M&Ms personally selected by The Duchess from the massive Wall-O-M&Ms on the second floor. At the register, the dude behind the counter happily informed us that we'd spent enough money to qualify for a free candy dispenser for only five dollars. "How much did we spend" we asked? With chocolaty breath he bubbled, "$71.00!"

Sweet mother of all that is holy. How much can fucking M&Ms cost?! Apparently, in Vegas, they cost $12.95 a pound. So, we threw in the other dispenser for $5.00. What the hell.

As we tumbled into our swanky beds that night, my brain kept running through the receipts of the day and I must tell you, my brain was having a panic attack. After convincing Brain to settle down and chill out, I cozied up under the blankets and began drifting off into the Land of....SLAM! *Giggle, giggle, hiccup, moo, giggle, snort*

Yes, Dear Friends. Our next door neighbors had arrived. They'd just come from a wedding and it was midnight. The party was on.

For the next four hours, I listened to a full on version of the, We're in Vegas, We're Drunk off our Asses, and We are the Most Fabulous and Funny People on the Planet Show. I've never heard so many people crack themselves up so damn loudly before in my life. (Except me that one time at IHOP, but no one was trying to sleep ten feet away. I assume the kitchen staff was awake because I got my Big Country Breakfast in no time flat.)

At about 3:00 a.m. Mr. Right called security. At about 4:00 a.m. Mr. Right called security. At about 9:30 a.m. I woke up and swore revenge on the bridesmaid cows next door and on Planet Hollywood.

Breakfast: Delicious. I had eggs & bacon, Mr. Right had French toast, The Duchess had the short stack of pancakes and we made it out of there for a mere $61.00. Holy shit. "Hold on, Elizabeth! I'm comin'!"

As I was rubbing my temples and repeating under my breath, "Holy shit, I hate Vegas, holy shit," I looked up and saw a familiar face. I did a double take and jumped half way out of my seat. It was Holly Madison. No, not Dolly Madison, the cupcake girl, Holly Madison. You know, Hugh Hefner's ex-girlfriend and star of the Girls Next Door?! Oh, c'mon! That show was one of my dirty little secrets that I was a wee bit ashamed of admitting that I loved. I recorded every episode. Don't judge me.

The lovely Holly Madison

(It turns out she was at Planet Hollywood preparing for her role in the new show, Peepshow, beginning next week.)

Anyway, the Holly sighting redeemed Vegas for me momentarily. She walked three feet in front of me wearing her signature tube socks and shorts and little pink velour hoodie. She had no makeup on and was accompanied by her little doggy on a leash. She headed straight into Starbucks and once she had coffee in hand (a Venti), she cruised right back by me as I was still recovering from a seizure that consisted of me bouncing up and down in my seat and grinning from ear to ear saying, "Oh my god!! I can't believe I just saw Holly Madison! Oh my god!"

Oh...and we temporarily stole the Blackberry of one of the over sized bridesmaid heifers from the party next door. That made me feel a little better as well. We'd found it under the newspaper next to our door that morning (and next to the three giant boxes of empty booze bottles) and decided to just hold onto it for a bit. When we checked out at 1 o'clock that afternoon, we took it to the concierge and dropped it off without saying anything except, "We found this in the hall."

Take that, Bitches. (Okay, okay...I know it was lame, but it's all we had. When you're exhausted grumpy and bitter, you take what you can get.)

I've been to Vegas four times now and all four times I have found myself wondering what in the hell all of the fuss is about. Overall, I've found the service to be rather crappy, the food WAY overpriced and sub-par, the town itself rather stinky and dirty, the public smoking disturbing and nauseating (I had to eat my $20 scrambled eggs while inhaling second hand smoke thanks to the asshole sitting at the next table) and the overwhelming disregard for manners and complete loss of self control, quite off-putting.

I'll take a beach on St. Thomas over Vegas any day of the week. Give me a bikini, a few glasses of Rum Punch and some Calypso music and you've got yourself a party. And what happens there, well...I promise I won't tell.

Coki Beach on St. Thomas. Ahhhh....Paradise.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Apparently, I DO Have a Smoking Section

Sometimes, it occurs to me that I just may be abnormal. I know, I know. You're wide-eyed and holding the sides of your head in disbelief and proclaiming, "YOU?! No freakin' way!"

Despite your passionate cries of protest, I say to you...I am. Or, maybe not. Maybe you're all as freaky as I am but not quite as shameless about splashing your oddities all over the World Wide Web for all to see.

So, here's something I've never divulged, and I must say, I'm a wee bit hesitant. (Actually, I just told Mr. Right about this two minutes ago and his response was, "What?! *laughter* "You're a freak!")
Up to this point in my blogging, you may have found a few things here and there that made you laugh and say to yourself, "Oh, yeah...I can relate." But, try this one on for size.

Often times when I'm anxious or stressed about some upcoming situation I have to deal with, I pre-create the situation in my head so that I can plan out all of the possible scenarios that may occur. In my brain's eye view, I see myself going through the actions and conversations associated with the event. As my mind is racing through all of the possible outcomes, I see Me, there in my mind, and...I'm smoking a cigarette.

I've never smoked a day in my life. Not even half a day. The thought of sucking on a tar-filled cancer stick makes me want to gag. Yet, there I am in all my daydream glory, smokin' up a storm.

What is up with that?!

(Remember that voice inside my head that was screaming at me to shut up in the DMV? I think she's taken up smoking. That is one uptight bitch.)

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Portrait of an American Family

Have you stopped laughing at the picture yet? Okay. I'll wait.

I can't believe you're still laughing! How very insensitive of you.

Okay. I'll admit it. When I came across this photo in my picture box yesterday, my first impulse was to physically cringe and my second was to giggle. I just sat and looked at it and wondered if I submitted this to a Most Hideous Family Photos of All Time contest, if it would win first place. I think it might.

Let me set the scene for you.

Picture it. 1976. The Bicentennial of our country. If I recall correctly, my Granny found those lovely red white and blue vests at a yard sale and thought just how very perfect they would look on her precious grandchildren. Of all of her thousands of downright lovely qualities, my Granny possessed not one single ounce of fashion sense.

When Granny presented the oh so very patriotic vests to my mother, it was decided between the two of them, now that we all had matching clothes, it would be just a swell time to have a family portrait taken. And here's a sad little fact for you Dear Friends: this was the first and only family portrait we ever took. This one. Doesn't that just beat it all to hell?

Shortly before this photograph was taken, my father had broken his leg while working at a saw mill. He'd been out of work for several weeks and had put on a few pounds laying around the house. He looks a wee bit bloated. And, how about that snazzy checkered shirt with the giant collar? I can only assume it was fashioned from a tablecloth ripped off from the local pizzaria. (And, see how very happy Dear Old Dad looks in the bosom of his family?)

As you can see, my mother had a relatively young baby and was still toting around some excess baggage. I have no explanation whatsoever for her hairdo. I can only apologize to you for the damage to the ozone layer that must have occurred from the massive CFL emission put off by the three cans of Aquanet it took to get her hair like that.

My sister, Inga, is to the left of my father. We always wore hand-me-downs so I have to assume that the reason her pants appear to be swallowing her alive is because they recently belonged to our sister, Tonjia, who is three years older than she is. I must say though...Inga sure looks happy. I wonder what she just got away with by blaming it on me?

Tonjia is directly behind Inga. She must have just been hitting puberty, poor thing. I don't recall her hair ever looking like this, but then again, I was busy sliding down barn roofs and eating blackberries and running through cornfields. While I was actively engaged in those extremely important activities, Tonjia was most likely camped out in her room or under a tree reading a book or writing poetry and trying to avoid her family altogether. (You know how I write really bad poetry? Tonjia writes really good poetry.)

Teal is next to Tonjia and let me just say, "wow." Look at that hair. She must have been getting ready for roller derby tryouts or something. Apparently, a large portion of our family's budget was designated for hairspray. This is also the same facial expression Teal wears in every photograph taken of her. Never a real smile. Weird. She has some of the best teeth in the family, too. If I had teeth like her, I'd be smiling like a goon every time someone whipped out a camera. Teal is pretty much the very definition of "introvert," though. I have some seriously strange stories about that one, I do.

My little sister, Summer, is on my father's lap. She was just a few months old and in the larger version of this picture, you can actually see drool running out of the corner of her mouth. Summer was the "oops" baby and happened along six years after I'd asked my mother if she was ever going to have any more babies. To this she responded with a hearty laugh, "No, honey. You're the last one." Then, not only did my mother have the audacity to get accidentally pregnant, but the circumstances under which Summer was concieved, led my mother to proclaim her as a "miracle baby." In my mind, I might as well have right then and there, put all of my worldly possessions in a bandana, tied it to a stick and hopped the local train to wherever it was bound. (My mother forgets my name if Summer and I are in the same room together. "Ann...Amber....Alice?")

I saved the best for last. I am the incredibly adorable child on the right who is missing several teeth. Damn, I was cute. I remember this year of my life mostly because I lost four teeth at very near the same time and was rendered incapable of eating corn on the cob. When my Granny would offer to cut the corn off the cob for me, I would cry because, "It's just not the same!" Those of you who have eaten home grown corn right from the fields of Southern Illinois, you know what I'm talkin' about.

So, there we are in all our glory. A poor, snaggle-toothed, baggy pants wearin', table cloth shirt havin' family, which includes a closet roller derby queen and an undiscovered poet.

I look at all of those faces and have so many mixed emotions. It's difficult to comprehend that thirty-three years have passed since this photo was taken. Thirty-three years, countless heartbreak, eleven children, divorce, marriage, prison time, bitterness, forgiveness, acceptance and love.

There is a sweetness in some of those faces and an innocence not yet shattered. I love those faces, and occasionally, I shed a few tears for them.

Happy Birthday, Dear Inga...Happy Birthday to You

Next week is my sister's birthday. She is two years older than I am, but has recently taken to telling people that she's two years younger. When I was in Oklahoma visiting her a few weeks ago, someone asked the question we're always asked when we're together: "Are you two sisters?!" Without skipping a beat and with a shocked expression, I replied, "No. She's my mother!" I thought she was going to stroke out right there in the middle of the V.F.W.

Inga and I are close, in terms of our family. We've had periods in our lives where we've had large gaps of time between communications due to distance and circumstance, but as we've grown older, I think we've decided that we like each other as people and we've become friends. For the past decade at least, we've built a nice, loving and comfortable sister-friendship.

When we were kids, Inga and I were probably each other's best friend. Since we were only two years apart, we were the closest in age of all of our sisters and that made for easy companionship. Because she was older though, she always had that trump card up her sleeve. I was her test subject for many things and I usually ended up either wounded or in trouble because she always made me do everything first. Smart girl, that one.

Me? Not so smart because I always fell for it. I knew I was her guinea pig, but I also wanted to please her, so I always charged ahead (usually after much bickering and bargaining) and tried out the tire swing (which broke with me in it, mid swing), slid down the barn roof (who knew it was rusty and had nails sticking out of it?!), and jumped off the roof with an open umbrella in hand to see if I would float to the ground like Mary Poppins. (I didn't.)

My parents always used to call me the "record keeper" of the family. Not only do I write everything down, but I have an uncanny ability to remember almost everything.

If I am the memory for my family, Inga has been the thread that has tried to keep us all bound together. That thread has been stretched and pulled and has broken many times, yet she persists.

I am grateful for my sister. She is a gift in my life. I often times think that she carries around burdens that are not hers to carry, but how can I convince her to do otherwise? It is who she is.

On her birthday, I wish for her happiness of the greatest sort. The kind of happiness that makes her walk around with a smile on her face for no reason at all and the kind that makes her heart feel like it's floating out of her chest. She deserves that and more.

Happy birthday, Sister. I love you.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Get Off of That Camel and Step Away From The Twinkie!

The squishy gray matter which resides inside my somewhat battered skull is at it again. My damn Creativity Switch has been turned to the "OFF" position and for the past few days, all I have floating between my ears is a bucket load of random nothingness and an uncomfortable quantity of vitriol little spiders creeping around in there and mucking up the mix.

My first impulse to begin the purge of the dastardly duo of Acid and Arachnid, was to make a list of things that utterly and completely irritate the living hell out of me, but upon second thought, abandoned that idea in lieu of making a list of things that utterly and completely irritate the living hell out of me whilst throwing in a few things that I might actually find cheerful and lovely or possessing some positive quality. This tactic, I think, might avoid the probability that a person would read this post and immediately assume that I am a wretched, wicked and altogether miserable old cow.

*Why does it bother me so much that so many women define themselves by what their uterus has accomplished? Yes, I am a mother, but that's not so very singular or unique is it? It is merely one of the many things that makes up who I am, and quite frankly, it's one of the least interesting. To the question, "Tell me a little about yourself," many women I know would answer, "Well, I have (fill in # of nose pickers here) children...." To that same question, I would answer something along the lines of, "I love to write and write bad poetry very well, I love to cook and love to eat even more, I can tell the difference...blindfolded, between good vodka and really good vodka and I love books like bears like honey." That goes a bit more into who I am instead of what my reproductive system has done. (Mr. Right believes that this makes me slightly "not normal." Thankfully, he likes his women a bit freaky.)

*I've discovered that I'm tired, nay, exhausted with attempting to maintain relationships with people I feel I'm supposed to like and with whom I have felt an obligation to keep up the appearance of a relationship, but which bring me no joy and which actually cause me to frequently grit my teeth and bash my innocent and unsuspecting palm upside my forehead. So, for the time being, until I decide otherwise, (I am a girl in flux and progress you know) I'm done. I just must get on with things and expend my limited mental energy on moving onward and upward.

*I know that there's going to be an entire horde of individuals lighting their torches and grabbing their cans of aerosol glue when I say this, but...I hate scrapbooking. Scrapbooking is something I know I'm supposed to like doing, but despise completely. I tried it once and much to my horror, discovered that it took me about an hour of my time and $5 or more of real live, hard earned American dollars to complete each page. Oh my hell. Everytime I see a scrapbook full of pictures at someones house, all my brain can do is scream, "Do you have any idea what you could have accomplished with all of that time and money?!" Thankfully, no one can actually hear my brain screaming because I'd most likely be thrown out of the homes of most of the people I know. (The dislike of scrapbooking aside, a brain screaming would be very, very disconcerting and worthy on it's own merit of being tossed out of someone's house.)

*Did you know that the top two causes of death in this country are illnesses related to the use of tobacco and illnesses related to obesity? Most of the deaths in these categories are completely preventable. I've never been addicted to tobacco, (Swearing is my only real vice and thus far I've not had any medical side affects) but there are people in my life with whom I'm close who struggle with the addiction. More than anything, it makes me sad because I want these people not only to be around for many many years, but to be healthy for those years. I'm that selfish. I want my loved ones to be active and healthy old people with me. Dismount that camel, damn you!!

*Did you know that I used to be a fatty? Yep. A bona fide, medically obese person. I'm 5'4" and at my peak (or rather, the deepest valley of my life) I weighed around 175 pounds. I was quite the roly-poly. I also couldn't fit down the slide with my kids at the park, run, find clothes that looked attractive on me, dance (which I love) or experience a single day where I didn't spend at least part of the day loathing myself. I wasn't healthy physically or emotionally, and yes...they do go hand in hand. The mind and body work in harmony and when one is out of balance, the other is out of whack. Food can be seriously addictive, I know. But, that Twinkie can KILL you. Not only can it do you in, but it can rip your family apart and leave your children parent less and your partner without companionship. (And, probable early death aside, what is your family missing out on in the meantime?) Love yourself more than you love Twinkies. And if you can't love yourself enough to begin the work it takes to lose the weight, love your family enough.

*Have I listed anything lovely yet?! Well, hell. (See...I warned you about those spiders.)

*Okay. Here's one. The Duchess is very vocal about her love for me and never misses an opportunity to tell me how much she loves me. She makes up all sorts of things like, "I love you to the moon" or "I love you 90, 60, 80 percent!" Today, she came up to me and wrapped her arms around my legs and said, "Mom...I love you more than clams." *sniffle* Clams. Now that's love.

This blog sucks on the level of mind blowing suckiness, and I apologize. I've been reading the news again which is a horrific error in judgement on my part and I've been walking around in the dense fog of gloom and doom. (Why aren't my peace sign flip flops, earrings, ankle bracelets and t-shirts getting the message across to the world?!)

If you stayed with this 'til the end and endured the preachiness, the bitchiness and the craziness, bless your little heart. I promise, I'll stop reading the news and I'll continue the search for those brain cells. They're bound to turn up somewhere...right?