Sunday, January 31, 2010

more warped by the hour glass...

"I tried to stop it, but I was trapped. The car was out of control. No driver, the passenger useless for help, me trapped in the back and there were people in the path of the car..."

The other morning my friends and I gathered at the local coffee shop for a little bit of java joe, a tasty morsel or two and a lot of conversation. It was exceedingly cold with a fresh layer snow over the ice left from the winter storm that had barreled through the night before. It was also extremely bright with the suns rays reflecting off everything but the salt stained cars.

From my comfy chair between the window and the fireplace, I had a good view of the passersby this frigid morning. I guiltily enjoyed watching the woman in her stiletto boots slip and fall as she tried unsuccessfully to navigate the pile of snow on the curb. Slip...smack! Down she went. Why she had on stilettos in the wake of a snowstorm is beyond me. But it was quite amusing, especially when she saw that her fauxpas did not go unnoticed by the patrons within.

As conversations jumped from topic to topic; husband back from a Haiti supply drop; new haircut deemed successful; children once again in the hoosegow for missing homework...I told my klatch about my previous nights dream. I hadn't slept much, I just manged to tick the hours by by looking at the illuminated clock on my nightstand every hour and twelve minutes. It was a mathematically wonder. 11:14. 12: 26. 1:38. 2:50. And so it went the entire evening until my programmed alarm buzzed. As if I needed it. I was a warped, but consistent hour glass.

Coffee was needed this morning. Large quantities of it if I was going to make it through my day.

I have the tendency to recall dreams. I do much of my list making and next days planning when I dream. I keep a tablet on my bed stand so I can jot ideas down, so I won't forget when morning comes...which does happen often. When I recounted my dream to my friends, they all chimed in with it's meaning, which I hadn't even thought about.

I was upstairs on the third floor of my home and looked out the window to see what all the loud commotion was in front of my house. Here was a large dump truck parked at the end of my drive, with the driver poised and ready to pull the lever to dump 10 tons of loose bricks on the apron of my drive. I held my hands to the sides of my mouth to try to make myself heard below . I screamed, "NO! Wrong driveway!" But to no avail. The bricks tumbled from the back and made an enormous, haphazard pile. As I ran down the stairs to try to catch this fool that just ruined my yard, my driveway, my morning with this pile of ruble, the first thought that came to mind was, "Maybe, just maybe I can drive over them? It might not be too bad after all..." But I didn't get downstairs fast enough, the driver was pulling away. He kept leaning out his truck to pick up loose bricks from off the road that had fallen out of the truck on his way up the street. I stood and watched as he leaned out too far and fell from the truck. It continued barreling up the street without a driver and crashed into some parked cars at the end of our road. I ran up to the driver and demanded his name, the company's name, why he dumped the bricks, etc....but all my questions went unanswered and were ignored. At that very moment my ex happened by. Inquired what was happening, why I was upset. He said he'd give me a ride back home. I got in the car, which wasn't his but borrowed, a sleek 2 door Mercedes coupe, but had to climb into the cramped back area behind the seats because of another passenger. He looked like Cartman from South Park, and was a little 'touched'...not quite all there. The ex got out of the running car to get something he had forgotten but had left it in neutral and the car started to roll away. I kept telling this guy, the passenger, "Step on the brake pedal! Pull the emergency brake! Do something!" But he did nothing. How could he, he was just made of felt. As we were gaining speed, I noticed that we were going into a street fair blocked off for pedestrian traffic. There were children walking in the path of the rapidly gaining speed car I was in, trapped, unable to do anything. The children kept popping down under the car between the tires, unhurt, and then popping back up like those targets that you shoot with water guns at a fairground. I managed to finally squeeze out of the confined back and pull the emergency brake and bring the car to a stop before anyone was hurt. I opened the car door, fell out crying and collapsed.

The coffee girls in unison said, "Do you feel out of control?" I'm thinking, "...well, yeah, maybe a little. But what's new. Welcome to my world..."

When I got home, I looked up the symbols from my dream. The car? It represents your personal space, spiritual direction and motivation. To be in a car alerts us to our own motivation. To dream that you are in a car crash, indicates that your beliefs, lifestyle, or goals are clashing with another's. It may also represent a shocking situation or painful experience. Being a passenger in the car represents handing over responsibility for our lives to someone else. Dreaming of brakes shows the ability to be in control of a situation, while crashing a vehicle suggests fear of failure in life.

To see a truck in your dream, suggests that you are overworked. You are taking on too many tasks and are weighed down by all the responsibilities. To see a brick in your dream, represents your individual ideas and thoughts. Experience and/or heartbreak may have hardened you. To see your ex-husband/wife in your dream, indicates that you are finding yourself in a situation that you do not want to be in. It suggests that you are experiencing a similar relationship or situation which makes you feel unhappy and uncomfortable. And to see children in your dream, signify an aspect of yourself and your childlike qualities. You may be retreating back to a childlike state where you are longing for the past and the chance to satisfy repressed desires and unfulfilled hopes. Perhaps there is something that you need to see grow and nurtured. To save a child, signifies your attempts to save a part of yourself from being destroyed.

Wow. But c'mon.

All of these things could be true, to an extent. Which now freaks me out a little. My mind speaking to me whilst I slept. Thanks be to my posse for filling me in what I didn't acknowledge before they enlightened me. Couldn't we have one image per dream? My brain didn't have to load them all into one, did it? Too bad it couldn't have used my reoccurring dream of Johnny Depp, baby, to overload with images. Why not choose that one? That one was goooooood. Oh no, it had to be the one that would basically tell me when I looked it up that my life (as per my brain) was in shambles.

Have you ever watched that program 'Solitary'? I don't watch it on a regular basis, but the other night I was flipping through my 1000 or so channels looking for something decent to watch for a few moments of down time.

I am intrigued by the premise of this show; placed in a small room with the only contact a disembodied voice. I thought to see what 'treatments' the computer was going to instill on it's human inhabitants.

Interestingly enough after being alone, speaking only with a computer without sleep, put through physical tasks, mental tasks...the inhabitants are introspective and share insights into their psyche. The episode had a Romanian writer, Florin, as contestant #4. He shared, "If I put something off and don't attempt it because I'm afraid I'll fail. Yet by not attempting it, I've failed already."

While I listened to him talk about this in his lilting accented voice, it hit home.

There are times that I don't want to do something. So I neglect it. I put it off. The mentality of 'Out of sight, out of mind'.

Yeah, not good practice. It doesn't always work to my advantage.

Take into consideration the film "House of Sand and Fog" with Jennifer Connelly and Ben Kingsley. The film firmly fixes itself in the realms of classic tragedy, and all could have been avoided if Jennifer Connelly would've opened her damn mail. Seriously. That's what it boiled down to.

I know from personal experience. If you ignore tasks, to hopefully disappear so you won't have to deal with them, it only makes matters worse. I joke that I must have been a farmer in a past life. When it gets light; I get up. When it gets dark; I go to bed. I also must have been an ostrich at one time as well. If something bothers me, really bothers me...I disappear. I put my head in the sand and wait for it to blow over.

When in this state, don't expect me to answer the phone, return e-mails, or have social lunches when I in 'ostrich mode'. It's not going to happen. I retreat within myself and wait.

Sometimes it just takes me an hour or two to 'heal', get over what's bugging me. Sometimes days; or months. I'd guesstimate that I've been functioning lately at about 65%. I didn't realize how deeply my mothers passing has affected me. Sure, outwardly it appears as all is normal. I get Boo to school on time, make sure all details of her life are taken care of. But for me? Not so much. I ignore my needs many times.

I didn't send out Christmas cards this year. I've never done that. I've yet to answer some of the correspondence from the funeral. I've perused and corresponded with some on eHarmony, but I've not followed up with any of them. There have been offers of coffee, or drinks...but I don't answer. I don't make those plans. Is that what my brain was telling me?

That on a basic level, I'm sometimes afraid of life like Florin was.
Or I'll climb into that driverless car. With Cartman, no less.

Come to think of it, I might look good in felt.
But what I'd really like is some good old fashioned sleep. Without the planning. Without the lists. And definitely without bricks, without trucks and without crashing cars into small children.

Yeah. I want some sleep.

I don't need my mind telling me stuff that I really don't want to acknowledge. At least for today. Maybe tomorrow. I dig procrastination.

Is that okay?

Yeah. That's sounds good.


Monday, January 25, 2010

step away from the boo bear...

I'm sure everyone knows how mother bears will do most anything to protect their cubs.

It's instinct.
No way around it.

Protect your young. Keep them from harm. Do whatever necessary.

Ask the hikers in Montana that found themselves between the mother and her cub while in the hills. Or the Florida boy who scrambled up an embankment in Tennessee ahead of his father and older brother only to startle a black bear and her youngin's. It's a place no human wants to be. In the sights of a bear. Especially one that thinks you were out to hurt their cubs.

It's serious stuff. Do a Google search for photos and info. It's disturbing. And many times fatal.

But this instinct transcends species. Most mothers have that intuition to protect their offspring. For some species the protection of the young falls on the fathers shoulders. This includes us homo sapiens as well.

I know I would. Don't be messin' with my BooBear.

You do not want me to come after you. I'd get all Liam Neeson like in the movie Taken. "...I have a particular special set of skills. Skills that will enable me to hunt you down. I will look for you. I will find you. And I will kill you."

Some women have always had that maternal instinct, whether they have children or not. They nurse and protect anyone they call their own. Others instincts come alive with the act of childbirth. I know from experience that I felt something once Boo was born. Something inside me came alive that wasn't there prior to her arrival.

I could no longer watch movies or programs where children were hurt without feeling physically ill. Even some news items affected me to the point of tears. I've been blessed that the 'fight to protect' instinct hasn't been put into play...yet. But the other day I felt it. I swear I did. For the first time. And I'm a little in a quandary what to do about it.

As you know, Boo just had her eleventh birthday. We have birth months here in this household. One day cannot contain the amount of celebration. It'll come soon enough when she no longer wishes to commemorate adding another year to her growing larger her mom. But for now, we celebrate.

Oh yes, we celebrate.

We had the actual birth day observance. That fell mid-week. A school night. So we went out to dinner and had a nice birthday meal. Her choice...with guidance, of course. Dave and Busters is not a mid-week destination spot for us.

And then the next day was a Friday. So we had her neighborhood posse come over for cake, ice cream and games. Then she had a family birthday fete with her fathers immediate family. And a still to be party invitation with my brother and dad up in Michigan once our schedules can manage it. The highlight of this fest was this past Saturday. We hosted a party with her school friends.

That's alot of singing of the Happy Birthday song. (which by the way is now owned by Disney and you need to pay them royalties if singing...)

We went to the Melting Pot. A fun fondue restaurant and chocolate dipped ourselves into a decadent bliss filled stupor.

Perhaps it was naive of me to allow Boo to invite sixteen girls.
Sixteen eleven year old girls.

I didn't think about drama. I didn't think ahead of the drama that might exist. Or the drama that might commence.

Was I wrong.

Now the actual party at the restaurant was fine. Except, of course, for one little girl crying for a completely unrelated issue with some others within earshot then ganging up and making fun of her. And except for one of the girls going around and eating the cheesecake off everyones dipper plates, which didn't please the rest. And except for a few bickering over which pot of chocolate they wanted to be in front of. And except for a couple of the girls wanting more of this or that and complaining that they weren't getting their 'needs' met.

Seriously. Those were the exact words. "Needs met."

Eleven years old. Where did they learn that?
Not out of my Boo's mouth. Ever.

Who complains at birthday parties?Certainly not one that makes the guest list in the future, that's for sure. But all in all, it went well. For the most part. Note to self: do not invite that many girls to a party again. Either that or make sure the waiter has a big ol' martini on a tray waiting for me upon arrival.

Fast forward, return to the homestead. The opening of presents. The playing of dress up. The continued drama that ensued because all couldn't agree on role playing with said dress up.

Finally with all the guests gone, Boo broke down and cried.

"It's all my fault.", she said through big crocodile tears.
"What is, baby?"
"Why everyone was fighting!", she sobbed.
"How can that be darlin'? It's your party! I thought it seemed like everyone was having fun!"
"No. I tried to get everyone to get along, but they were all fighting. It's all my fault.", she wailed. Inconsolable.

Later on, once she got her composure back, she confided that one friend told her that another friend had told the other friend that she didn't want to come to the party but her mother made her and she didn't want to be there at all and would've preferred to do chores than to attend Boo's stinking birthday party.
Yes. That was all in one breath.
Poor BooBear.
It was almost more than I could stand. It made me angry. It made me mad. It made me feel protective.

Of course, this was the guest with the biggest gift. Nice, but a little over the top for an eleven year old...geez. What do you do with that information? Especially since I knew this particular girl had been giving Boo some 'mean' treatment on and off this year. One minute they are best of friends, going trick or treating. And then the next, receiving notes at school of 'I don't' want to be your friend. Ever.' Followed with a phone message of 'Sorry, I was having a bad day."

That's enough to send an adult into tailspins. Let alone a young girl.

I had urged Boo to invite her. She didn't want to originally. So she did.

I've some inside information that their family is going through some difficult, emotional times. So perhaps this young lady might just be taking out her frustrations on her peers. I understand that. It's got to be hard for someone her age to handle that kind of burden. But really. To say something to be that mean?

Really? To a friend?
To my child?

Good thing I'm not really a bear. A momma bear.

Because, that's my cub.

And I have a particular set of skills. Skills that enable me to hunt you down. I will look for you. I will find you. And it will be easy because I know where you live...


What would YOU do?

Friday, January 22, 2010

january gray...

The sun has finally come out!
Well, it did. For a little while.

It's gone again. Replaced once again by this dreary gray.

Yesterday was so bright that I almost felt as if I should have had my sunglasses on while sitting in my office at home. It was the first time in several days that the big ball of yellow-orange orb called the sun came into view.

We, here in Cleveland, have been experiencing the January Gray.

That's my term for it. January Gray.

It's those days that run together into night into day again without so much notice. The sky, the ground, the air, even the lake is all the same color. Gray.

It's not the wonderful, peaceful, soft dove gray of one of my much loved cushy, cashmere sweaters, but that edgy gray that makes you think of hard, cold metal. It's dismal. It's dreary. It's downright crap.

It's difficult on days like these, even for an optimist like me, to feel perky. Or alive. Weather like this just makes me want to stay in bed. I don't feel like working out, getting dressed or leaving the house. I feel lethargic.

This past week has been like that.

When the weather takes this turn you can understand how people must feel with seasonal affective disorders. I had a friend years ago whose brother suffered from SAD. They had a large light panel in their living room that he would sit in front of daily. It imitated natural sunlight. I thought it odd at the time, but I get it now. I wish I still knew her, I need a little dosage from that sun panel.

Winter doesn't bother me. I actually quite enjoy it. When others are complaining about the cold and snow, I don't chime in. I love the cold that allows me to bundle up in my beloved turtlenecks, mittens and coats. I love putting on boots and hearing the crunch of fresh snow underfoot. I love when it's so cold you can hear the crackle of the tree branches straining under the weight of ice and snow. The chatter of icicles hanging from houses.

I love that about winter.

But these past days haven't been like that. It's not beautiful. It's not cheery. It's just cold. And dark. And gray.

What is left of our gorgeous white snow has been replaced dirty piles of ice particles. The precipitation of this winter is not of snow, but rain. It's not the rain of spring that feels fresh and clean. This is that cold rain that chills you to the bone. Not warm enough to melt everything, it leaves behind traces of what was. Piles of icy muck at the edges of driveways. Debris on the tree lawns that had been hidden is now exposed, frozen to the ground.

We've had some peculiar weather for this time of year. Quite unusual, really. Three days ago we experienced a heavy fog that lasted for days. Days. It was odd and eerie, right out of a Stephen King novel. I had taken the dogs down to the beach for a run, but once off the leash...I could hear them, but couldn't see them. It spooked me. Everything was the same color. I started to get a sense of vertigo. It was all I could do to not high tail it immediately for my car. I suppose having recently watched the movie "The Fog" made me even jumpier in this cloud. I kept waiting for some 'thing' to get me. I didn't like the feeling at all. It really creeped me out.

Plus it gave me really bad hair.

I say, "Either warm up, and stay that way, or get cold again and snow, damnit!" This in between stuff is leaving me in a foul mood. Snappy. Short.

I don't like it. Not one bit.

But yesterday morning was different. It even sounded different. There was no rain on the skylights, but the beat of a lone woodpecker in the distance. I opened my eyes and saw the faint orange glow on the horizon.

Could it be? Is that the sun? Maybe January Gray has moved on to another temporary home.

Alas, it was just a tease. A mere 5 hours of sunshine to remind me what I'm missing. This morning when I awoke I looked up to see that once again it was raining. The drops were clinging to the skylight in the early morning light. The gray had returned. January Gray. Doppler radar informs me that it's going to continue to rain with the temperatures reaching 50 by Sunday. Ugh.

Looking out my window I see the remains of the snowman next door. His head has rolled off and fallen to the ground. His body is tilting at a severe angle, his scarf frozen to the grass beside him. He obviously doesn't much like this weather either. He's not as perky as he was a week ago.

I feel like him today. We can commiserate, he and I.
I cleared my schedule. I'm not leaving the house.
I'm grabbing my laptop and heading back to bed. No real need to go out. No work that can't be done another time. I'm staying in.

It's just too yucky. Even for an optimist like me.

I'll deal with everything...another day. Just not today.
Perhaps when the sun is out once again?

One can only hope...

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

tag. you're it!...

Chanz over at Life, Through my eyes tagged me with this great, and great looking award! Go check out her's a good read.

The 'rules' with this award is to answer the following questions, and add one more question to the roll before tagging others.

What a wonderful way to learn more about your favorite followers?


Thanks Chanz!

So here goes! Information that you really didn't want, or need to know, but now do.

1. What is your current obsession?
Organizing. Spring cleaning has come early for me this year.

2. What are you wearing today?
As if this is a surprise. Black turtleneck, Levi's and black boots.

3. What’s for dinner?
I'm eating out tonight...Sushi sounds good.

4. What’s the last thing you bought?
Chocolate covered strawberries.

5. What are you listening to right now?
My dog snoring.

6. What do you think about the person who tagged you?
It's interesting to read Chanz's posts. Over there on the other side of the world, it's neat to see how ours views merge.

7. If you could have a house totally paid for, fully furnished anywhere in the world, where would you like it to be?
In the Abacos, which is one of the small Bahamian Islands. Beautiful, Peaceful and unpopulated.

8. What are your must-have pieces for summer?
White tee and flip flops.

9. If you could go anywhere in the world for the next hour, where would you go?
Machu Pichu

10. Which language do you want to learn?
Spanish. I hate that people have to translate for me when on warm weather vacations.

11. What’s your favourite quote?
Time is your most valuable commodity. ~ My dad.

12. Who do you want to meet right now?
Johnny Depp. Or Christopher Walken.

13. What is your favourite colour?

14. Give us 3 styling tips that work for you.
Lipstick, always. Mascara, a must. And never underestimate the power of hair products!

15. What is your dream job?
Movie Continuity Supervisor. I'm always picking out errors between takes. I'd love that job. I'd be good at it too.

16. What’s your favorite magazine?

17. If you had $100 now, what would you spend it on?
Another cashmere sweater. Hopefully on sale.

18. What do you consider a fashion faux pas?
Too many accessories.

19. Who according to you is the most over-rated style icon?
Victoria Beckham

20. What kind of haircut do you prefer?
choppy. I hate helmet head.

21. What are you going to do after this?
Put some laundry in.

22. What are your favourite movies?
Recently, The Invention of Lying. Overall, Out of Africa, the Big Blue and Orlando .

23. What inspires you?

24. What do your friends call you most commonly?

25. Would you prefer coffee or tea?
Martini. Dirty. Oh, I mean coffee.

26. What do you do when you are feeling low or terribly depressed?
I stay in bed.

27. What makes you go wild?
You really don't want to know...:-)

28. Which other blogs do you love visiting?
Geez. ALL of them!

29. Favorite Dessert/Sweet?
Grand Marnier souffle from the Ritz.

30. How many tabs are turned on in your browser right now?
6. I've two computers on.

31. Favorite Season?
Winter. I love the snow. (and turtlenecks)

32. If I come to your house now, what would u cook for me?
Whatever your little heart desires. I just went to the grocery so I'm stocked up!

33. What is the right way to avoid people who purposefully hurt you?
I don't engage.

34. What are you afraid of the most?
Complete and total darkness. (too many scary movies still running in my head)

35. When you looked at yourself in the mirror today, what was the first thing you thought?
I need to make a hair cut appointment.

36. What brings a smile on your face instantly?
Thoughts of my Boo.

37. A word that you say a lot?

38. What would you do if you were made President for one day?
There is no way I would accept that job, even for a day.

39. What is that one thing that keeps you going?

Rules for those who are tagged: Respond and rework – answer these questions on your blog, replace one question that you dislike with a question of your own, and add one more question to the list. Then tag eight or ten other new set of people.

One more question? Oiy~!

40. What's word drives you crazy when you hear it?
(for me it's 'anyways'. It's ANYWAY. No 's'. I hear that ALL the time and it isn't even a word! Drives me insane...)

Let's see now, whom to tag...

Who's 'It'?

These guys are. They've all been around (most at least) from the beginning. But it's always good to know more about them...
Yes, you're welcome.

1. Indigo @ IndigoWrath

2. Matthew @ AbodeOneThree

6. Maureen @ Island Roar

8. JennyMac @ Let's Have a Cocktail

9. Ron @ Vent

10. JenJen @ Jen's Voices

NOTE: ALL my followers are great, but these are some that I want to see how they answer the questions. But please! If you want to do this little questionnaire, feel free to pick it up and pass it on! The more the merrier!

Have a great day!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

bring on the body cast...

Sometimes what I say isn't quite what I mean.

It's happens alot.
More often in the last three months or so.

No. I don't have Tourettes. I don't start spitting out obscenities (normally) unprovoked. My mind is just moving faster than my lips...and so the word (s) that come out are similar, but not always the one (s) chosen by my mind. It's like my mouth has it's own drummer and by God, it's marching along to it at it's own damn speed.

My daughter has gotten used to it.
Most of my friends have as well.

There's a relative comfort zone for me. I can spout out whatever and they all know what it is that I mean, even if that isn't what I've said.

For instance, this morning as I was standing on my friend Melissa's front porch she was informing me that her daughter Lucy had been sick. Lucy had missed school the day before, but was feeling better on this gray Saturday morning. Just in time for her sleepover with my daughter this evening.

Melissa inquired if I knew about 'Neti Pots'. That wonderful cleanser of sinuses. Nothing like pouring water into your nostril to have it flush green stuff out the other side. I don't like the feeling of water up my nose. Never have. And although I know it's a good practice, I never could quite get used to the idea.

I have a really cool looking one that I had picked up with the full intention of using it daily in the winter months. My friend Pamela swears that since she's been using hers, she's never had a cold. Sounded good to me. I don't like colds either, so the Neti was now all mine.

I've used it once.

I'd rather be sick.
I would.

Like I said, I just don't like the feeling. Nor do I like seeing what comes from out of my sinuses. Although I must admit, the wall color of Boo's room kind of resembles the shade of that last infection...

So Melissa was asking if I was familiar with a Neti Pot. She's been giving Lucy treatments with it to rid her of the blasted infection. I said, "Yes, I'm familiar with them. But I don't use them. Often."

"I can come over later and help Lucy with it, if you don't mind. Either that or she can come back home when the other girls go to bed...but she'd prefer to stay over.", Melissa told me.

"I have a humidor that I can put in Boo's room. That might help."

It didn't dawn on me until Melissa called me on my cell that I had said humidor, not humidifier.

We laughed. I mentioned that "I'll just light up a big ol' Cuban for her and that'll take care of any ailments."

She responded with, "Yeah. That's how heroin usage usually gets started."

These are how our conversations go, Melissa and mine. Back and forth, building our laughter to a credenza until we can't breathe.

I mean, crescendo, not credenza. That's what I have behind my sofa.

She then shared with me a story of her neighbors sister that has the same problem as me. Mixing up words with others that don't mean anything close to what was meant to be said. It was so freakin' funny I almost peed my pants. Seriously. I did.

So, that's a warning.
Got coffee?
Put it down.

Possibility of needing to go to the loo?
Go now.

Her neighbors sister had a cast on her leg.

She'd been experiencing some severe pain in her foot. The doctor identified it as bone spurs, or it's medical term 'plantar fasciitis'. He suggested surgery as the answer. So she had surgery done. While at the grocery a woman had approached her to ask about her obvious injury as she was sporting a large, up to the knee cast. A total stranger expressing concern. Inquiring on how she was feeling. How nice...

She replied, "Oh. That. I got fellatio."

(She meant to say 'fasciitis'. The medical term in order to sound intelligent. She didn't quite get that right.)

Excuse me? Come again? What. Did she fall off the bed and break her ankle? Knock her foot too hard on the headboard?


She wondered why the woman, this perfect stranger, had given her such a quizzical look. It was just her foot, after all.

She didn't realize what it was, or recalled what she said, until later. Much later.

I'd like to hear her try to explain that the next time if she ever runs into her again.

I can guarantee that woman will switch aisles so fast and continue to do so as to not run into the woman ailing from oral sex. If it had been me she'd said that to, I'd have laughed my ass off right in her presence. I'm sure I would have. I'd have fallen into the cereal boxes like a rag doll unable to control myself. "Clean-up on aisle 3!" you'd hear blaring over the loudspeaker.

Oh yeah, I can hold it together...I'm cool like that.


I love it.
Hell, I'd willingly be sporting two casts if that's the price you pay.

But really. Who am I kidding.
You can just put me in a full body cast. Thank you.
It'd so be worth it.


Thursday, January 14, 2010

the Birth day...

I had a baby.
Well, I had a baby. Past tense.

Eleven years ago today.

Right now, eleven years ago I was watching a ProAm golf tournament in a hospital room. I was busy timing the space between contractions and trying to keep track of my husband who was continuously turning various shades of green. I repeatedly asked the nurses to attend to him, but they kept their attentions on me instead despite my protestations.

I'd never had a baby before. And haven't had one since.

The day I gave birth, my friend and manicurist found herself with child. At each visit she'd query me about my birthing experience. As if I were now an expert. She'd ask me, "What were your hormone levels? What tests did you have? What were the results of your amniocentesis? How many Lamaze classes did you go to? What are your thoughts on water births...?"

Now, I found her enthusiasm with her pregnancy amusing. Her overwhelming curiosity and involvement made me question how little I had known about my own. My theory was, "I'm pregnant. When it's time, they'll tell me what to do." Which they did.

And everything went fine.

I have a plaque in my dressing room that reads; Better Living Through Denial.

I love that.
It works for me.

I wouldn't suggest it as a mantra to others, but for me, sometimes it's a damn blessing.

Boo asked me last night to recant, again, about the events right before she was born...

It had been snowing for 3 days. I had already been out clearing the driveway from new fallen snow...twice. A few of my neighbors had stopped while driving by and asked incredulously, "What are you doing?!!!"

"I'm snowblowing the driveway. What does it look like I'm doing?"

I didn't get it that a woman nine months pregnant possibly shouldn't be working heavy machinery. In my head I thought,"Seriously folks. All I have to do was walk behind it!" Plus the snow was beautiful! I wasn't able to ski that year, or sled, so I was Jones'ing for that cold stuff. Why wouldn't I want to be out in it? I didn't consider what I must have looked like to passerbys; Me. Out in the driveway shoveling snow. Hugely pregnant. Wearing my husbands parka, since my own had long ceased to fasten.

I didn't approach having a baby with the inability to do things. My pregnancy never got in the way. Unless I turned to the side, straight on I looked about the same.

I even hosted a New Year's Eve extravaganza dinner party that year. Cooking all seven courses myself. My feet seemingly swelling with each one. Unable to partake in the wine served, I enjoyed the festivities nonetheless...elegant in my black velvet ensemble. I remember wearing large chandelier earrings thinking that they would distract attention from my bulging midsection.
When your chef's apron ties fit, rather than having to wrap know you must be HUGE.

The evening I went into labor, we chose to sleep in the guest bedroom. It's located on the second floor of our home as opposed to our suite on the third. Why? I haven't any idea. We never slept in that room, but that night we did. In the middle of the night I awoke disoriented and perplexed. I wasn't sure where I was. And what possibly did I eat that was giving me such stomach pains?!

It was then that it dawned on me.
Dear God. I'm going into labor.

I woke up my husband who immediately jumped out of bed and got the car running.

"I'm not going anywhere until I shower..."

He argued against it, but I won. Go figure.
Don't argue with a pregnant woman. Ever.
Especially one in labor.

By the time we left for the hospital, not only was the car warm (from running for the last three quarters of an hour), but the drive was still relatively clear for our departure due to my work out there earlier. Blizzard. Bah.

There weren't any cars around. Everything was still; quiet. Snow still gently falling. Peaceful.

Just how I felt.

My labor wasn't like what you see in the movies. I didn't scream. Or call out obscenities towards my impregnantor. I just followed directions. Pretty simple stuff. No complications. Just me, the nurses, the doctor, some pro golf and a green husband.

And thus, Boo was born.
Eleven years ago today.

Happy Birthday Baby!

She still lets me call her that...Baby.

And as all the mom's out there know, no matter how much time passes...they will always, always be our babies.


Thursday, January 7, 2010

stereotype fulfilled...

I got ripped off at Christmas.

Well, not me exactly. But my friend did. And I feel somewhat responsible.

You see, I'm a trusting soul. I'd never scam anyone. I do 'what is right' all the time. So I figure everyone else to do the same.

Naive, I guess. But I'd like to think that the world is the way that I view it, not the way it actually is.

So this is what happened.

You know the stereotype that Used Car Salesmen have.

Shady. Underhanded. Untrustworthy. Sleazy.
All of those wonderful adjectives. And more.

I now think of Used Car Salesmen with other more eloquent descriptors in front of the adjectives.

For example: F**king Shady. F**king Underhanded. F**king Untrustworthy. F**king Sleazy.

You get the point.

My friend wanted to buy a new car. New to him, at least. I suggested a car that I'd owned in the past which I loved and wished I hadn't gotten rid of. A Land Rover Discovery. It would be perfect for him. And now since they no longer make that body style, they are more affordable than they were when I plunked down 45 grand.

I did some searching for them, and found some for sale on eBay.

Now I've sold and bought many things on eBay. Cars included, so I didn't have the bad experience stories that some have. This car seemed perfect. And it was offered just 10 miles away, so I could go take a 'look see' in person.

Clean. Very low mileage. Black on black. It seemed an unbelievable deal.

Key in the ignition it started right up. Beautiful. The Discovery may not leave the best of carbon footprints on the environment, but there is something to be said for the feeling you get with all that horsepower at your command. I took it out for a spin. Nice. Very nice. It brought back all those fond memories of driving my own years ago.

I urged my friend to buy it.

He placed a deposit on it so no one could swoop it out from under us online while he squared away financing. One day later, he was signing papers and the car was his.

It's exciting buying a new car...or a used car. It's the nicest car he'd ever owned thus far and was pleased with the purchase. We were 'high five-ing' ourselves in finding the perfect car. And at at good deal to boot.

That is until 12 miles down the road. Twelve whole blissful miles.

That's when the 'Check Engine Light' came on.

And the proverbial wheels fell off this stellar, seamless used car transaction.

Land Rovers, from my experience, have a few basic maintenance issues. The biggie is that the gaskets need resealing. Usually this happens around the 75,000 to 100,000 mile range. This vehicle being on the low mileage end, I wouldn't have figured this would be an issue for many, many years. And because of the engine design, some of the maintenance can be expensive due labor costs.

To have a Engine Reseal done is around $3500. At a dealer it'll run you $5000.

Guess what?

It needed to be done.

In Ohio you have to get an eCheck on your car every year. If it doesn't pass emissions, no tickie. No taggie. They won't even run your car on the machine if there is a dashboard light on.

I took it up to the local Auto Parts store to run the codes to get a preliminary idea as to what might be causing the damned light to illuminate. They found 14 codes.

A few basic ones; filters, air flow, spark plug misfires in #2, #4 and #5. But there were some that are dealer codes that only a Land Rover specialist has access to.

I called the people we bought the car from. AutosDirectOnline. Drew Lofgren, the salesman, said it was probably a maintenance issue. I agreed that that is a possibility, but pointed out that this obviously was a problem BEFORE we signed for the car...

"Give me the codes." he quickly chimed in, "I'll have my mechanic find out what's wrong."

"I'll e-mail them to you right now." Which I did.

"Let me get back to you after the weekend. We'll get this squared away." he replied.

I thought, "Okay. That's cool. He seemed sincere. I'll get this problem solved in a couple of days. He's a good guy. He's not going to screw us over. Perhaps he didn't know. He'll do the right thing..."

The long and short of it. He never did call me back. When I would follow up, he would take my calls at first, but then stopped responding to any communication. Each and every time he would say, "It's seems a maintenance issue." He said that as if I'd just put 1,000 miles on it and the oil needed to be changed. It was like his mantra. Maintenance issue. Maintenance issue. Maintenance issue.

They must teach that in sleazy used car salesmen school. Learn it. Live it. Love it. It's the catchall phrase to obliterate your responsibility to be a productive, caring human in society.

During his last conversation with me, he pointed out that my friend had signed a paper stating in small, fine print that he accepted the car in an "As Is" condition. That the dealer no longer has any responsibility for the vehicle.

Shady. Underhanded. Untrustworthy. Sleazy.

I then took the Disco to Isaias Cornejo.
He owns and runs Westend Rover +Jag. I found him through another mechanic friend whom I trust, but wouldn't work on a Land Rover.

I love this guy.
I wish I'd had known him prior to our buying the Disco.

Smart, knowledgeable, fair. He took the time to completely go over the car. He said by no uncertain terms that he knew the place we bought the car had cleared the codes. On purpose.

AutosDirectOnline cleared the codes so no one would know that they were selling a car with problems.

To trusting, unsuspecting people like myself.
Taking advantage of my 'Golden Rule' philosophy.

F**king Shady. F**king Untrustworthy. F**king Underhanded. F**king Sleazy.

Never, ever buy a vehicle from AutosDirectOnline.
I don't care how nice the vehicle is. Or looks. Just don't do it.

What I thought was a clean, easy transaction changing my initial perception of the 'Used Car Salesmen' directly back to all that I now know to really expect. And more.

Now, I'm sure that there ARE good sales people out there with integrity that sell cars. I'm not talking about you. You keep doing what you are doing to change the image. I commend you. I only wish I had been dealing with you and not them...

I'm currently spearheading a campaign against this company. I've called the local news stations that love to investigate these types of 'crimes'.

I absolutely hate that I got ripped off. And tricked. I thought I was smarter than that.
But it is still a nice car. Beautiful really.

And just think, it'll be even nicer once we can actually drive it.


FOOTNOTE: If YOU have had a bad experience with Autos Direct Online, please contact me directly. I'd love to add your story to ours to help keep others from being ripped off by this company.