Saturday, December 26, 2009

Santa Claus Got Stuck In My Chimney

I have always suspected that whoever wrote the majority of the Christmas songs out there was probably someone I would have hated. Have you ever listened to the lyrics of them, REALLY? They're ridiculous. And half the time, they're full of things that don't even make sense just so they will pseudo-rhyme. It's bullshit. All the happy people and perfect snowflakes and cuddly fucking reindeer--it gives me holiday hives and makes me all itchy. And don't get me started on the goddamn Muppets and Chipmunks, those creepy little bitches. I get all pissed off just thinking about it.

With this in mind, a few nights ago, Mom, B, and I piled the kids into Mom's Jeep to cruise the nearby neighborhoods so that the kids could look at lights. Although this was my idea (via the kids' encouragement--plus I like to make fun of the inflatables because so many of them often look like they are touching themselves inappropriately due to lack of proper inflation), I was jimmied in the backseat between two carseats, so I really didn't have much of a view. To distract myself, I started paying more attention to Mom's Sirius radio, which was set to some All Christmas, All The Time station. Torture at first, but then things got drastically better. Why? Because it was at this point that I heard the GREATEST CHRISTMAS CAROL OF ALL TIME. It was Etta Fitzgerald, and the song was "Santa Claus Got Stuck in My Chimney."

I bet he did, Etta Fitzgerald, you naughty girl.

I have never in my life heard more pornographic lyrics to a holiday song. Sure, there is the occasional mention of a Yule log here and there, but you never hear much that makes you think, "Damn. That's just messed up," and makes you feel like you need to simultaneously use hand-sanitizer and potentially make an appointment at the free clinic. Yet, this year, I did. And it has now become my FAVORITE CHRISTMAS SONG OF ALL TIME. Because I was 1) drunk; 2) suffocating between the minions; and 3) laughing too hard to properly decipher some of the lyrics, I missed a few. Therefore, as my Christmas Gift to you all, I have Googled said lyrics and am posting them below. Please note that I enjoyed them all over again in the written form. Merry Christmas (a day late) and enjoy.

SANTA CLAUS GOT STUCK IN MY CHIMNEY
(William D. Hardy / Billy Moore Jr.)

Ella Fitzgerald - 1960
Lisa Nicole Carson - 2000


Santa Claus got stuck in my chimney,
Stuck in my chimney, stuck in the chimney
Santa Claus got stuck in my chimney
When he came last year

There he was in middle of the chimney
Roly-poly, fat and round
There he was in middle of the chimney
Not quite up and not quite down

Santa please come back to my chimney
Back to my chimney, back
Santa please come back to my chimney
You can come back here.

Cause baby, made a brand new chimney
Just for you this year!

Santa, come on back!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

And I Find Myself Alone

My Mom is here, B is off from work, both kids are out of school. It's Christmas Eve (which, incidentally, I ALWAYS type as "Christmas Even" and then have to go back and correct) and all are out running last minute errands. I am home alone, vacuuming. Yes, that's right. I'm vacuuming. Give me a break, I'm neat and I find it soothing. Plus I'm a fan of instant gratification, it's a great mood booster.

I have a vivid memory of sitting at my parents' kitchen table last Christmas Eve, drinking with my brother and sis-in-law (Crown for him, martinis for us), exhausted and sad, and talking about which would be worse--the Christmas we were having or the Christmas yet to come, which we knew would be our first without Dad. Everyone kept telling me that it was the first without him that would be the hardest, which was just an inconceivable amount of pain. I didn't think it could get worse than watching him suffer, and having to pretend to be happy. And you know, still, even with the First Christmas staring me in the face, I think I was right. I miss him so much it reduces me to a puddle sometimes, but he's not in pain. He's not suffering. He's not sick. I think, though it's an infinitely tiny amount, this one is easier. I imagine somewhere, wherever his soul rests, it's a better place than here.

Though this year has royally sucked for the most part, I have been giving a handful of blessings. My children are happy and healthy. My Mom is taking steps forward to better her life. B has been incredibly supportive. I have gained new loves (Easy E and my carpenter-- you know who you are, and I love you both), and I have made it this far. I will continue on, and grow stronger for it. Of that I am certain.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Dirty, Pretty Things

I am a girl who likes lingerie. I have it abound, a bureau full of lace and silk, satin and tulle, in every color of the rainbow, every style one can name. (For the record, I would have a great deal more if I hadn't purged my collection of everything obtained during my previous relationship. Some of it I had never even worn, but it just felt creepy to hang onto.) It makes me feel like a vixen, pretty and desirable, regardless of how bad a day I may have had--you slip it on, and suddenly you're beautiful.

Tonight I went shopping for something new. There is a new year coming, it's a time of beginnings, and it's been a while since I added to the collection. A few minutes into my journey, I located a lovely black piece--a little sparkly, a little racy, but still quite elegant. Unfortunately, the smallest size they had was a medium. Since I can pull off a medium on occasion, depending on the fabric, I took it and headed towards the fitting room. A beautifully dressed, very robust, older black woman was the fitting room attendant for the night, and examined the garment, then me, shaking her head and making some type of "mmmhhh" noises under her breath. I wasn't sure if this was approval or disapproval, didn't care much. I just waited for her to unlock the door and allow me inside.

Once I was in the fitting room, I stripped down (it's 30 degrees outside--I had on several layers) and tried it on. Hmmmm.....it was okay. But just okay. The fit wasn't quite right. A little loose, gapping a bit in the top especially. Just then I heard a knock on the door.

"You okay in there, honey?" It was the attendant.
"Yes, ma'am."
"You got that thing on?"
"Yes, ma'am."
"Now open up this door and let me take a look."

I paused. It's not often that one is asked to model lingerie by an African American woman old enough to have given birth to me. But, I'm not particularly shy. I figured "what the hell" and opened up the door.

She stood back, looked at me for a long moment, then shook her head frowning.

"Girl, you too skinny. You can't even fill that thing out. And look, your girls don't stand up like they should, because it's just too big." She stepped forward so that she was behind me in the mirror, reached around my chest, grabbed my breasts and hoisted them up. It was my first experience going to second base with a 60-year-old woman. Comparitively speaking, I've had better, and I've had worse.

I tried to gently shake free. "Yeah, it's a little big, but I think it COULD be okay...." I cocked my head to the side and studied my image.

She started shaking her head before I even finished. "Nuh-uh. Ain't no way. That thing don't half fit you. I could put two of you in that thing. Now, ME--if you had MY girls, you'd be spilling outta it, ain't now way it could hold you in. You young girls don't understand that a man likes a little meat on those bones."

I examined her and agreed. "True, I wouldn't argue if I had those suckers. I'd flaunt them all the time. Hell, I'd probably be wearing a tank top in THIS weather. They're fabulous." Anita (her name, by the way) was probably a size 16 or so, and rocking approximately a 38 DD.

She stuck out her chest and looked in the mirror, clearly in agreement. I may have been standing there nearly naked, but all eyes were on Anita. I love to see a woman proud of her body, regardless of what her shape or size may be. This was a woman who was proud of her body.

In this world, we are all different. In my 32 years, I've been enormous with child twice, I've grown and I've changed. At this point, I'll probably never make it beyond 5'3" (on a good day) and my weight has stayed within 3 pounds for about four years. I'm settled into myself. I like my hair long, my makeup sparse, my fingernails unpainted, but my toenails red. That's who I am. And even if something pretty doesn't fit, whether it's too big or too small, I'm okay with that. Even better, I'm glad that there are other women out there who feel the same, like the lovely Miss Anita. To channel my soul sister Ray, "if you've got it, work it." Stand proud, ladies. Every last one of you is awesome.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Call Me Crazy

Today, for the second year in a row, I volunteered at the elementary school during the Gingerbread House Making Extravaganza. Last year I helped 30 kindergartners use frosting as glue to build gingerbread houses out of graham crackers, them trick them out with candy decorations. I came home with frosting in my hair, frosting beneath my fingernails, and frosting on my shirt. I drank for two days straight afterward.

This year, I helped 24 1st graders do the same. I came home with frosting in my hair, frosting beneath my fingernails, and frosting on my shirt. I am currently drinking. (As a side note, my Mom arrived a lunchtime, which is in fact reason enough on its own to drink. Considering the circumstances, you, my readers, are lucky I'm still functional enough to use the laptop.) At least this year I had the foresight to wear a white shirt so the vanilla frosting wasn't quite as visible whenever some kid bumped into me with an icing-coated hand or spoon or gingerbread house.

Why do I keep submitting myself to this torture, you ask? Well, the look on Belly's face when she sees me helping out at school is rather priceless, regardless of how much I often loathe being a mother. Some of these kids don't seem to have anyone to recognize their awesomeness, so I feel it is my duty to not only point it out, but to celebrate it (as in, "Yes, James, I think it's a fabulous idea to construct a fence out of Twizzlers! Way to be a GENIUS!"). I'm not a chipper, super peppy Mommy, but dude, I can tell when a kid needs a boost, and I'll be damned if I'm not going to help he or she get it. Kids may not be my forte, but I don't like to see them in need.

We live in a community that is so economically diverse that the range covers all kinds, types, races, and incomes. My kids fall somewhere in the middle, and I feel very lucky to be able to give them all that we are able. But it breaks my heart to think of those children who aren't so lucky--the ones whose parents don't care enough to give them the Christmas they deserve. Hell, I may be the antithesis of Christmas joy this year, but I will not deny my kids the best parts of it all-- watching "How the Grinch Stole Christmas," baking cookies for neighbors, saying their prayers every night to thank God that we are as blessed as we are, taking them to church for the candlelight service. These are the things that bring them the happiness, and hopefully, the memories they will carry. I only hope that they ingest that THESE are the important parts, not the presents or wrappings or bows.

If I could trade myself, just to give one happy Christmas to every soul on earth, I would do it in a heartbeat. The universe could have me, no questions asked. I only wish I had that kind of worth.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Those Presbyterians Know How To Party

Last Thursday night, we attended the St. Andrew's Preschool Christmas Program. Sutton had been talking about it for weeks--Miss Emily, the music teacher, was preparing them well. There was to be caroling, bell ringing, sign language--all kinds of good Christian hijinks abound. From time to time, he had burst without warning into "Away in a Manger" and "Silent Night," as well as some song about "Happy Birthday, Jesus" that involved him singing so loudly and with so much fervor that he became red in the face and made me wonder, at least briefly, if he would have an aneurysm onstage. We had his black pants and white button-down clean and ironed. The kid was ready for his stage debut.

The show started at 6, but we arrived around 5:15, as Santa was also planning a visit to the program and was to be available for pictures beforehand. My children never miss an opportunity to suck up to Santa (and in Bellamy's case, remind him that a Barbie RV SURE would look nice in her bedroom), so we made sure to get there plenty early to talk to Santa. Of course, since we arrived early it also gave Sutt the opportunity to play tag with his classmates, hence dirtying the knees of his black pants and disheveling his hair, but alas, 'tis the price one pays to talk to get on Santa's good side, so it was all good.

At 5:45 sharp, we delivered Sutt to his classroom and found our seats. Pops and GrandBabs had come out for the occasion, and Bellamy was decked out in her Christmas dress. Everyone was ready for the performance. Shortly after we were seated, the children entered the sanctuary. They had all had red velvet bows with tiny bells pinned to their collars. Every one's hair was brushed, their cheeks flushed, their eyes bright. Until Sutt entered the room.

Clearly, poor Sutt had decided that he was adverse to performing for the masses. His eyes were red, his cheeks tear stained, his shirt partially untucked. He was herded into the room glumly, amidst a sea of festive little classmates. As the girls preened their way to the stage, the boys standing tall and ready, Sutt spotted our family in the crowd and immediately shoved his way free of his class and sprinted straight to our row. He leaped into his Daddy's lap, buried his face in his shirt, and informed us (albeit very muffled) that there was no way in hell he was going up on that stage.

Although this was extremely unexpected (at least to me) we shrugged and decided to watch the show. I figured Sutt might eventually decide to go onstage with his friends, and in the meantime we were already settled in, so we might as well check it out. The music began, and so did the fun.

A brief list of things I saw during the performance:
1. One kid from Sutt's class completely fell over, and crashed into the Christmas tree behind him, leaving nothing visible except the soles of his shoes that were straight in the air.
2. Two boys decided to start up a conversation during "Jingle Bells." This conversation turned into them each licking his own set of handbells, then allowing the other kid to lick them. Perhaps they were comparing flavors. I do not know.
3. Just as the infamous "Happy Birthday, Jesus" song came to a quiet moment before the (very loud) chorus, one child burst into tears, screaming, "I. WANT. TO. GO. HOME!"
4. A few children, mid-performance, decided that their reindeer antlers were indeed an impediment to their ultra-cool Christmas attire, and yanked them off to chuck them into the audience.
5. Mid-performance, post the one kid falling over, another kid fell over and dominoed the entire back row, save the one child on the end who, apparently, has super sonic balance. The performance never wavered, even as five children tumbled off the risers into oblivion, causing teachers galore to sprint onstage and help right the minions.

To add to the joy, Sutt decided, during the grand finale, that perhaps he would indeed participate in the program, but only if Mommy went onstage with him and held his hand. I agreed. We crept to the stage, but once we arrived he informed me that he was "too tired to stand up" and collapsed into my lap. I had the great honor of singing the finale with the preschoolers, while a boneless Sutt puddled in my lap and refused to utter a single sound.

Ah, yes. The joy of the season. Merry Christmas to all.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

One More, Weak

Christmas is apparently next week. As I have been choosing to ignore everything around me with the exception of the cocktail shaker and my torrid relationship with the North Suffolk Public Library, this somehow managed to escape my notice until this morning when Sutton asked if Christmas was tomorrow and I had to think about it (for all I knew, it really COULD have been tomorrow) and figure out exactly when Christmas WOULD be here. (As a side note, I have this theory that I could technically put Christmas off indefinitely as my children obviously have no concept of time. I would have to leave the tree up, and once we broke out the pool pass and sundresses, they might become suspicious, but then again, maybe not.)

True, there have been signs that Christmas was rapidly drawing near. The house across the street installed a large, lighted, inflatable chimney that boasts Snoopy (in a Santa hat) peeking from the top. I enjoy watching it topple over every night when the wind picks up. I have received a few assorted Christmas cards, mostly from people I can't stand and whom I wish would take me off of their Christmas card list (although the upside is that should I ever decide to have them killed, I will always have an updated home address). I think the kids get out of school for winter break at some point, although I'm not certain when this happens and suspect I won't know for sure until we arrive for the drop-offs and I notice that the parking lot is empty. (When this happens, I intend to just drop them anyway, as I figure it will give me a good hour or so of free time before they flag down someone with a cell phone and track me down.)

Sometimes I think about how I can't get this time back, and it makes it hard to stomach all the happiness I'm probably missing. I'll never get Sutt and Belly's 3rd and 5th Christmases back, not the goodness, and the only memories I have of it involve hospitals and cancer. Third and fifth Christmases are supposed to be good times for all involved. It's frustrating that there are no do-overs in real life. It also leads me to try harder this year, which believe it or not I'm doing.

Yesterday, we baked Christmas cookies after school. It wasn't that bad--they helped put the shapes on the baking stone. After they baked and cooled, I gave each kid a bowl of green frosting, red frosting, and a cup of sprinkles. (Sutt used all of his sprinkles on the first cookie, then spent the next half hour laughing at how "silly" he was. Belly mixed her frosting together and turned it gray, because "Gray is a great color for Christmas!") It was nice to see them so excited over something so small and easy. (The subsequent sugar high from licking frosting off of the utensils wasn't quite as nice.) The point is, as I said, I'm trying. Last year I just taught them how to mix Mommy a strong martini (and a useful lesson that has been).

There are people across the world having wonderful Christmases, miserable Christmases, joyous Christmases, and lonely Christmases. To each and all, I wish the same as I'm hoping to find myself at some point this year: peace, and strength in the knowledge that, somehow, we are probably all in this together.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Because It Wouldn't Be Wednesday Without It

Since Fate has chosen me as her bitch, I at least intend to benefit from the entertainment. Lucky you, I intend to share.

JUST A DELIBERATELY CHOSEN FEW OF THE EXTRA FABULOUS THINGS I HAVE ENCOUNTERED ON THIS WINDY WEDNESDAY THAT HAVE LED ME TO PEER AT THE SKY, SHAKING MY HEAD AND WONDERING, "WTF, UNIVERSE? DO YOU REALLY WANT TO THROW DOWN WITH ME? BECAUSE I'M CRAZY, UNIVERSE! I'M CRAZY AND I WILL TAKE YOU OUT IF GIVEN HALF A CHANCE!" Yes, I will.

1. The head of the herd~ This morning, I pulled Sutt's preschool craft from yesterday out of his backpack, and then just stood there wondering what the hell it was supposed to be. It was a coloring sheet of a shepherd standing in a field, looking up at the Star of Bethlehem, with Bible verse along the bottom. Sutt had colored the entire page orange, and glued cotton balls on shepherd's head. Yes, you read that correctly. He had glued cotton balls all over the shepherd's head. Bending down next to him, I said, "Hey, Sutt, what's this?" He looked at it and started to giggle, "Well, Mommy, that's the sheep man and those are his sheep. I glued his sheep on his head because I'M SO FUNNY!" then he literally fell over onto the kitchen floor holding his stomach and cackling with laughter at himself. Okay, then.

2. Losing your drawers~ As I was cruising through Chesapeake on my way to the grocery store, I noticed that all the rain had made virtual mini-rivers on each side of the road in the ditches. And floating down one of said mini-rivers was a dresser drawer, full of socks. A DRESSER DRAWER FULL OF SOCKS, PEOPLE. How does that happen? HOW DOES THAT HAPPEN? Seriously.

3. Santa needs some skins~ While standing in line at the grocery store, I happened to glance up just as Santa, in all his red velvet, white-fur trimmed Christmas splendor came walking by me, pushing a shopping cart completely filled with nothing but T.G.I. Friday's frozen potato skins. (Although he never acknowledged me, I did feel the need to shout after him, "Hey, Santa, I hope you've already scheduled your next cholesterol screening!" Here's hoping Santa has good heath insurance, as if his shopping habits are any indication, he's sure going to need it.)

4. Vitamin C never hurt anybody~ Returning home from the grocery store, I rolled down my street only to see an elderly black man sitting on the sidewalk in front of my house, drinking a carton of orange juice and holding a harmonica. I did not recognize him as someone who lived nearby, so I got out and asked if he was okay. (Note: I do not make a habit of asking if strange men loitering near my house are okay. However, in this case I made an exception because this dude was pushing 75 if he was a day, and small enough that I could have flattened him if necessary.) He said nope, he was fine, just out for a stroll and taking a break. I asked if he needed more juice (I thought maybe he was a fellow diabetic). He said nope, he was just soaking up the sun since the rain had stopped. When I finished putting up the groceries I looked outside and he was gone. (Ooh, maybe it was Jesus! I KNEW he was going to pull that old "disguised as somebody in potential need" trick on me one day. Busted, Jesus. Totally busted.)

5. This morning, pre-grocery shopping, I needed to run to BJ's Wholesale Club and pick up a few bottles of wine as Christmas gifts. I dashed through the store, back to the wine aisle, and grabbed four different bottles. Returning to the front, I saw that only the Self-Checkout lanes were open. This is always a huge pain in the ass when you are buying alcohol, because they have to come over and check your id anyway (which in my case is important, because I look so youthful and glorious at all times--CLEARLY under 21, despite my 32 years). So I scan the wine, get everything rung up, and then stand there and wait for someone to come check my id so that I can pay. This older man struts my way, wearing his maroon BJ's vest, the coveted override card hanging from his lanyard. He comes up and looks over my purchases. "Well, there, pretty lady. You're starting early today, aren't you?" "Yes, sir." I replied, pulling out my driver's license. "You gonna drink all this alone?" He gave me an old man's version of a suggestive look. "Yep. Just me. It takes at least four bottles to get a decent enough buzz on for filming," I answered. "Filming? I could see a cute little thing like you in commercials. Do you do commercials?" (Dude, he was really laying it on thick, as I am clearly not commercial material, but definitely more runway and print ad style.) "No, sir. I considered commercials, but then I realized the real money was in the adult entertainment industry. Today's a big day, my first all female orgy!" I left him open mouthed as I took the wine and walked away.

6. This afternoon, I was dropping some books off at the library when my phone rang. Exiting the oh-so-wondrous silence of the stacks, I stepped out into the parking lot and answered my phone. It was Mom. She shouts, "Guess who got certified today in infant and adult CPR AND in how to use those zappy things at the mall?" Zappy things at the mall? "Um, a defibrillator, Mom?" "Yeah, one of those zap 'em things!" Oh, Sweet Jesus. If I'm ever having a heart attack, please, oh please, don't let my Mom be the one brandishing the defibrillator paddles. I think I'd rather just die.

7. And lastly. As I was helping the kids get dressed this morning, I handed Sutt his clothes and asked him to get dressed while I went to go dry my hair. A few moments later, he came into the bathroom and said, "Mommy, sister won't help me!" I sighed, this was a constant issue at our house--the power struggle of him needing or wanting help and Bellamy deciding whether or not she was in the mood to give said help. "What do you need helping doing, buddy?" I asked. He looked up, blue eyes all teary, and said, clearly distressed, "I can't get my pants on right because my junk's all crooked!" Apparently he couldn't get himself, um, arranged comfortably or something. (For once, I was thankful that Bellamy refused to be helpful.)

And that, my friends, had been my Wednesday.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Ex-cited


I am a girl who remembers dates. I remember the date of my first kiss, my "anniversaries" with all of my boyfriends, the birthday of college neighbor's cat (sad, but true)....everything. You give me a date, I will remember it. It's both a blessing and a curse, as I never forget the dates of bad things, but also eternally remember the dates of the good as well. With this ability in mind, I realized today that there are also days that personify qualities both good AND bad, and we are rapidly approaching one of these days: December 17.

December 17th would have been my 10 year wedding anniversary to my first husband. We married on a Friday night at First Presbyterian Church in Cleveland, TN, at 7pm. My bridesmaids (all 8 of them) wore black dresses. I carried red roses. I walked down the aisle to my favorite instrumental song ("Greensleeves"). Both my Dad and my Grandpa were still alive. It was spitting snow. My cake was stunning. That pretty much sums up the positives.

The negatives? Well, my husband was an abusive asshole (I didn't know this at the time, so I'm not sure it counts). One of the groomsmen showed up without his tux. The silver balloons decorating the reception hall had all stopped floating and fallen to the ground. My best friend told me marrying this guy was the worst decision I had ever made. I hated my hair and makeup.

As I reflect on the marriage and subsequent divorce, I can't help but feel anything except gratitude and relief. I am glad that we married, and I am even more glad that we divorced. Leaving my first husband was hands down the best decision I ever made, and foraging through that situation made me far stronger than I could ever have become otherwise. It wasn't pleasant, it wasn't what I would have chosen for myself had I had a crystal ball, but it happened and it's okay. In fact, it's better than okay, it's good.

Resigning myself to accepting that I'm not perfect, I make mistakes (sometimes BIG ones) is not easy. It's a matter of taking steps towards the future and making the best out of what I have. So this December 17th, I won't be sad that I'm not celebrating ten years of marriage. I'll be thrilled that I'm celebrating 8 years of freedom. And I won't look back for a second.

Friday, December 4, 2009

A Change in Perspective

Today I took the kids to the library to get new books for the weekend. The weather was cold and overcast, and the parking lot was extremely full--not your average Friday afternoon library crowd, which is usually around two cars, max. As we hurried inside the lobby, I noticed that there were people everywhere, in three separate lines, snaking around the room, through the entryway, and starting to spill outside into the cold. They were all in line for the City of Suffolk Treasury offices, and I quickly realized that it was because today was the deadline to pay your personal property taxes. My first thought was, "Thank goodness I don't have to stand in that line! That would take forever." I had send our payment through the mail almost as soon as it arrived last month.

As we wove our way through the crowd, I noticed that while there were many people who looked stressed and harried, there were also a few people waiting, one black woman in particular, who looked perfectly content to be spending her Friday afternoon in a never-ending line. She was probably twenty people from the front, with a long wait in front of her, and had probably been waiting a very long time already. But by the look on her face, she didn't seem to mind at all.

Seeing her face, I wondered what she was so happy about. There was no way in hell I would look so zen while standing in that throng of people. And then I had a realization, almost like a tap on my shoulder, a shot to my brain--My Dad would have looked the same way. If my Dad had been standing in that God-awful line and I had complained about how long it was taking, he would have told me exactly this, smiling all the while: "I'm just happy to be standing in line, Princess. Because if I'm standing here in this line, that means I have the money to pay the taxes I owe. Lots of people don't have that." And that's absolutely true.

This time of year, everyone is strapped for cash it seems, and with the economy in the shape that it is, things are tighter than usual all around. Even though we aren't rich by any means, I never had to wonder for a moment where that money was going to come from when our tax bill arrived. It's easy to forget with a life like mine that so many people DO have to worry about that, that some people have been up at night wondering how they are going to pay their mortgage, or provide food for their families, or give their kids anything for Christmas. I have had to worry about those things in years past, but not for a very long time. Which reminds me that despite all the pain and loss and heartache of this year, I'm still a very fortunate girl. And being fortunate doesn't just include the material things in this world, even the necessities, but also includes the fact that I had this amazing Dad who lived his life in a way that taught me so much and can continue to teach me, if only I keep the memories of him alive.

So from now on even though I'm sad and I'm tired and I'm desperately missing my Dad, I want to try to emulate him a little more. I want to step back from situations that seem hopeless or frustrating and try to consider how he would have looked at them. I want to be thankful each morning when I wake up. Because no matter how bad things got, there wasn't one minute of his life that my Dad wasn't grateful just to be alive. And that's how I want to live my life--making him proud, for him, my kids, and myself.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Aiming High

When I was in elementary school, my future goal was to go to college. When I was in high school, my future goal was to go to a GOOD college. When I was in college, my future goal was to have an awesome career. Now that I have this awesome career (I say this very dryly. Please keep up.) my future goal has changed a bit. Now it pretty much goes something like: Just don't die. And if you DO go and die, at least die in some interesting way. Which is why I compiled the list of:

ACCEPTABLE WAYS, FROM AND OF MY OWN TWISTED MIND, FOR ME TO MEET MY OWN DEMISE, SHOULD THE UNIVERSE GRANT ME THREE WISHES, ONE OF WHICH (HOPEFULLY, THE LAST OF THE THREE) BEING CHOOSING MY OWN MODE OF KICKING THE BUCKET, BITING THE BIG ONE, KEELING OVER....YOU GET THE IDEA.

*Please note that each of these is only acceptable should it happen in a public place, with many attentive and traumatized witnesses*

1. Being hit by an astronomical object~ I would prefer Halley's Comet to take me out, as it would be ironic. However, should Halley's Comet not be available in its grand, universe circling schedule, I will accept any meteor, or hell, even planet (let's dream big!) falling from the sky and leaving me nothing but a pile of starr-dust on the ground. Preferably while a news crew is filming, or at least someone with a camera phone so that it can be uploaded to YouTube.

2. Murder by spiritual being~ People who are killed by ghosts ALWAYS go down in history. If you don't believe me, just turn on the SyFy channel, the History Channel, or Biography at nearly any point after dark. If you are haunted, possessed, and then slaughtered in your own home by a Dark Presence, you're a shoe-in to become both a ghost story AND an urban legend. Your memory will scare teenagers looking for a make-out spot for years to come. Priceless.

3. Spontaneous Combustion in the Nordstrom's Shoe Department~ Spontaneous combustion because I am partial to fire. Why the Nordstrom's Shoe Department, though? Well, because I like shoes. And because I don't want to pick Barnes & Noble and run the risk of singeing any of the lovely, sweet-smelling literature that graces the shelves.

4. Plane or spaceship crash~ Due to my Dad's love of flying, I have never had any fear of it myself. I've been up in all kinds of planes and flown all over the world without the slightest hesitation. (Please note that I HAVE NOT been up in a spaceship. Unless I was abducted by aliens at some point and have no memory of it, in which case it's possible that I HAVE indeed been up in a spaceship. Perhaps we should just leave this particular point undecided.) I can totally dig the idea of dying in a plane crash or (or a spacecraft explosion) and be fine with it. When everyone else was going down screaming, I'd be doing that rollercoaster thing--hands in the air, shouting with glee. No, seriously. I would.

5. A Crime of Passion~ Hey, Johnny Depp-- want to dress up as Roux from Chocolat, have a mad affair with me, then kill me because you can't stand the fact that I won't leave B for you, but will only satisfy your mad, gypsy sexual desires? Go for it, dude. Make it happen.

6. Walking the Plank~ Say I'm at the beach and kidnapped by pirates. Say they make me their captain and I sail the high seas, raping and pillaging and just generally running amok. Then say there is a mutiny on the ship and somehow I am overthrown by the OTHER pirate badass on the ship (preferably Johnny Depp dressed as Captain Jack Sparrow) and forced to walk the plank. That might be kind of cool.

7. Lightning Strike~ (*This scenario is potentially the most likely.) The universe recognizes my rogue nature and decides to take me out in a big way, thus teaching the masses a lesson that goes something like "Yeah, Masses! You had better not fuck with me! I'm the UNIVERSE, bitches, and this is how I roll!" A storm brews, lightning strikes, bam! I'm toast. Or, even better, there is no storm, it's FREAK lightning that shoots from the sky unexpectedly and bam! I'm toast.

Awesome.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Delivery Triangle of Love


Some of you are familiar with my penchant for having wild sex with the delivery people. UPS, FedEx, DHL, USPS....it doesn't matter, really, there's just something about those polyester uniforms and those knee socks that's got it going on. If he comes to my door with a clipboard, I'm as good as naked. (Which might explain all of the things delivered to my house that I don't actually order, now that I think of it. Hmmm.)

This morning, I awoke to an interesting sight (see photo). After careful consideration, I have constructed my own theory regarding how this happened. The UPS lady is jealous. Yes, readers, I now have a UPS lady. She's a bit on the (how should I say this?) rugged side, a redhead, and can lift the equivalent of a compact car over her head with one hand while the other hand carries the electronic signature pad. She likes me. I fear her. Regardless, I am an equal opportunity housewhore, I see no reason to exclude her based on her gender or the fact that she could kick my ass (and make me her bitch at any point she decided to do so, so why fight the inevitable?). However, as of late I've been receiving things from the USPS on a much more regular basis than from UPS, and I fear this may have displeased my Lady in Brown.

Perhaps this is a warning to me. Perhaps this is a warning to my mail carrier. Regardless, I choose to take it as a compliment, that someone is willing to damage personal property in order to remind me of their lust and devotion.

Time to visit Amazon.com and nip this problem in the bud.