Wednesday, October 31, 2007

I've fooled you into reading what I write? Check THIS out

I can barely amuse you for the length of time it takes you to read a paragraph. By the time you get to the bottom of the screen, you probably debate with yourself if it’s worth scrolling down any further. But all of your diligence and loyalty – there were 13 of you the last time I checked - is going to pay off. Because I have a sister. And she’s an actual, honest-to-goodness writer. One who actively tries to avoid sentence fragments and comma splices. Which, as you can tell, I do not. So. Go to my sister’s blog – Ember Case. Check out what yummy goodness she has for you today. It’s free. It’s a book. It’s HOT. What the hell are you still doing here? GO NOW. (PS – and I know you haven’t clicked over yet, so you’d better get busy on that mouse – if you want the good stuff – And I’m talking the REALLY good stuff, the stuff you don’t want your mom to know you read - just wait til January when Ember’s book comes out. Thank god Ember already told Mom all about it. Hi Mom.)

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Therapy. I need Therapy.

The Professor has all these job functions that I get to go to. Mostly with faculty that I actually took classes from in college. I mingle, I drink the free booze, I be as amusing as only I can be, I laugh, I try not to tell stories that begin with “that reminds me of the time I came to your class after downing a few of the $1 PBR specials at the pizza place”, and – thank god – I leave as soon as it is socially feasible. I’m witty, graceful and much younger than anyone else in the room. The alcohol helps. Especially with the witty. But every single time he comes home and says “Hey! Dr X is having a get-together” or “the department Christmas party is coming up”, or even “Dr Mostly Nice Guy wants to meet us for a drink”, I get this cold feeling deep in my stomach. It’s like he just told me that his parents are coming. To live with us. Until they die. I coach myself through it every time. It goes something like this: “They’ve never actually called you the Whore of Babylon to your face. They’re not going to start tonight. Besides, they like the Professor. So obviously they have good taste. And they seem to like the stuff you cook. At least they eat all of it. So what if you have NOTHING to discuss with any of them? So what if The Professor is the youngest of his crowd because the rest of them are all RETIRED? You like hanging out with your parents, and these people are the same age. Well, they drink more than your parents. And they did a few more drugs when they were younger. But those topics aren’t socially acceptable. Note to self: marijuana usage on campus in the mid-70’s is only considered polite conversation if you’re talking to Dr Laid-Back, alone where no one else can hear you. And if you’re talking to Dr Laid-Back alone, then they’ll all think you’re hitting on him, because you’re 30+ years younger than they are, and you’ll be wearing your black hooker boots, you KNOW you’re going to end up in the black boots because they make you more confident. But all they’ll know is that you’re having some kind of private conversation with *gasp* another man RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOUR HUSBAND and they’ll probably think you’re being somewhat of a tramp and call you the Whore of Babylon. “They’ve never actually called you the Whore of Babylon to your face…” The thing is, these are really nice people. All of them. But any time I have to go mingle with a group of people that I’m not good friends with, I tense up. The thought of going to a conference or work shop alone is almost paralyzing. But I do go, because I convince myself that it’s good for me. I still remember one time when I switched schools as a teenager, I got myself through the first day with this mantra: “Cool, Calm, Confident. If you believe it, they’ll believe it.” What kind of crap is that? We were all 16 year olds. Otherwise known as The Most Horrible Creatures on Earth.
So this post is my pre-get-together therapy. Tomorrow night, I go to mingle with The Professor’s lunch crowd for a couple of hours. It won’t be bad. A couple of them are only 20 years older than I am. One of them will REALLY like the boots. But only because he’ll want to steal them. And we aren’t anywhere near close enough to share these boots.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Because I only seem to be talking about music this week

My boss just came over and told me about a conversation he had with a coworker, J. J: So I'm going to Kansas City for a conference. Boss: Oh yeah? J: Yeah. You know. {singing} Everything's up to date in Kansas City. Although that's really a song from Oklahoma!. At this point, I can't stop myself from interrupting my boss and I start singing "They've gone about as fur as they can go!" And my boss rolls his eyes and cuts me off before I'm even properly warmed up. "Will you let me finish? Because I told her that if I ever wanted to hear anything from Oklahoma! I was pretty sure you could sing me the whole damn thing."

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Life is all about how many different ways you can embarrass yourself

For the past several weeks the weather has been gorgeous. We haven’t had our AC on for a while, which is my favorite part of fall. I wish I had more windows, just so I could open them. It annoys me that there’s an entire side of my living room/dining room and kitchen that have walls to other rooms instead of windows for me to open. I also love fall because I love to cook with the windows open. I don’t know exactly why open windows with a nice breeze makes me want to go get messy and all sweaty over a hot oven when for the first time in MONTHS I could go outside and actually breathe without melting. But it does. And I do. And when I cook, I love to have music on. There’s something soothing about singing along with the absolute best Sarah Brightman album while I’m stirring up a pot of risotto. That duet with Andre Bocelli…well, I may not always sound as ethereal as she does, but it’s all so I can practice my vocal range. And when you’re making bread, the absolute best soundtrack is Aerosmith’s The Big Ones. Rag Doll has the best beat for kneading. And of course, the fact that I sound nothing like Steven Tyler only means that I have to turn the music up louder so that I can’t hear myself as much. Baking anything that requires multiple steps and concentration? I like to go with some stuff with really good harmonies so that I can kind of flit in and out of the music as I please. One thing I seemed to forget in my excitement over the fall cooking season? My neighbors. To be specific, the next door neighbors in my little garden home neighborhood who happen to be extremely close by. If we wanted, we could talk through our windows. As long as one of them was by their toilet and I was at my kitchen sink. Also? Apparently I’m not the only one who opens their windows this time of year. It does seem that I’m the only one in the neighborhood who listens to Sarah Brightman, Aerosmith, John Denver, and Peter, Paul and Mary – in that order – on a Saturday afternoon. I guess it goes without saying that I’m also the only one who was singing along?

Monday, October 22, 2007

Soundtracks to Life

Last week I went to see Phantom of the Opera (for the - FIFTH! time). It's probably my favorite show EVER. Seeing it again with my mom made it even more special, because I know how much she loves the shear musicality of the experience. I've been in a Broadway mood ever since. Tonight I'm listening to Les Mis. I don't know what it is about these lines. Maybe it's the fact that I've studied this part of history. Maybe it's just the emotion that comes through in the writing. But even though it's not my favorite show, I've always thought these are most powerful lines I've ever heard put to music: Tomorrow we'll discover what our God in heaven has in store. One more dawn. One More Day. One. Day. More.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

It's what the in-crowd does

I had a couple thousand dollars worth of car work done this week. So what did I do to make myself feel better? I went shopping on Amazon. I blame it ALL on my sister, since she found it and sent me the link. It was on sale for $25 with free shipping. She knew I wouldn't be able to resist. I love being blameless in my shopping habits! So, instead of buying Christmas presents this week, I bought myself.... I am too cool for words. I mean, all the popular people can their own food. If there were meters for determining how hip you are, a canning set would spike you up to the top. I'm sure Angelina cans in her spare time. And then sends the food to Africa. Which makes her only SLIGHTLY cooler than I am. Which is why she has Brad and I don't. Not that I want Brad. I'm holding out for George. Or Pierce. Until then, I should go find something to feed The Professor. I don't want to lose him just yet.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Who needs Thanksgiving anyway?

I case you were unaware, today is Oct 20. For those of us who keep track of such things, this translates into two months and 5 days til Christmas. I have 10 nieces and nephews to buy presents for. I'm up to purchasing for number 8. And I know what I'm getting for the rest, it's just a matter of getting it. God bless Amazon. Wal-Mart is trying to convince me that I should be purchasing new ornaments and wreaths. I've heard at least two local radio stations playing Christmas music. I've received 3 catalogs in the mail with all their Christmas glory on the front page. Can I PLEASE celebrate Halloween first? I haven't purchased a pumpkin yet! I haven't even thought about candy for the 5,000+ kids that descend on our neighborhood. I DO NOT want to hear Christmas music until after Thanksgiving. And I'm already getting so sick of Christmas that I'm thinking of not putting up a tree. God knows I have enough other decorations to more than cover my home and 2 others. But there is one thing from the Christmas season that I wish would last all year long. It's even good enough to make me agree that the radio stations can play Christmas music if I can get it any time I want. After all, I pretty much only listen to NPR. So those other stations can do whatever the hell they want, if I can get this: I've been through a Pumpkin Spice and one Gingerbread already. This is my second. Big Sis told me she went to crazy and got sick of the flavored stuff. So I made myself take half and half all week, saving the good stuff for the weekend. This is my equivalent of crack-cocaine. I would probably shoot this stuff like heroin if I weren't deathly afraid of needles. Although that would completely defeat the purpose, because it's the taste I'm going for. Hell. I'm going to go drink another cup of coffee and work on my metaphors.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

When the Moon is in the Seventh House and the wind blows East by slightly Northeast, miracles happen

StepSon just asked if we could play "Family Trivial Pursuit" tonight. Let's rephrase this so that you can grasp the whole meaning: My 16 year old stepson just asked to spend time together as a family in a way that guarantees actual interaction. First the drivers license. The dates. Now this. Oh my god, he's growing up. I'm going to store this memory up and give him a free pass the next time he leaves the toothpaste open and dripping on the sink.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Maturity Required

There are certain things that I have learned in my years on this planet. Chocolate is the work of a benevolent god. Wine is what the ancient ones meant by "ambrosia". 4 inch heels add an exponential amount of sexiness to my legs. Math - especially in the incarnation of tax forms - are the work of the devil. But, unfortunately, there are also things that I have not yet mastered. More than that, they are things that I think should have been on my "list of things I could competently handle before I moved out on my own." Things like shaving without getting out of the shower and wondering A) how the vampire hid from me in that very small space, and B) if I am a failure as a woman for not being able to shave without blood as an end result. Things like being able to watch The Hunt For Red October - which is not in any way a horror movie - without getting so claustrophobic that for DAYS my husband needs rope to keep him on the bed because I am clinging to him in case our house spontaneously morphs into a sinking submarine while I am being less than vigilant due to the need for sleep. /sigh Maybe these are abilities that occur during the fourth decade of life?

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Frustration: A few definitions in the order that they invaded my world this morning

knowing as you pull out of your driveway that even though rush hour is an hour away, so is your place of employment, and you are on a collision course;

the sound that your thermos makes as you drink the last of your FULL POT of coffee a mere hour and a half after getting to work;

Knowing that you won't get any more caffeine til you get home;

Realizing that you won't be home for another TEN hours;

Listening to your boss pour more of HIS coffee into HIS coffee cup because this morning HE didn't become a caffeine-whore who couldn't get the liquid in her body fast enough;

Realizing that in addition to the fact that you basically just said "whore" to your mother, the pronouns in your last sentence were probably more confusing to every one else in the world than they were to you;

finding out that your StepSon, who was diagnosed with pleurisy four days ago, is right at this moment at the doctor because his temperature spiked up and his symptoms haven't gone away - and then realizing that you will be the very last person to know ANYthing about the situation and you just have to pray that information is sent down the pipeline faster than usual.